News (814)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 11:30

3D Printed Robotic Dinosaurs at Drexel University

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Researchers at Drexel University are bringing the latest technological advancements in 3-D printing to the study of ancient life. Using scale models of real fossils, for the first time, they will be able to test hypotheses about how dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals moved and lived in their environments.

“Technology in paleontology hasn't changed in about 150 years,” said Drexel paleontologist Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We use shovels and pickaxes and burlap and plaster. It hasn't changed -- until right now.”

3-D Printing Technology in Paleontology

Lacovara has begun creating 3-D scans of giant dinosaur bones and other fossils in his lab. The 3-D scan puts a virtual image in a digital workspace that researchers can manipulate and analyze. To bring these scans to life, Lacovara is also teaming up with mechanical engineer Dr. James Tangorra, an assistant professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering, to use 3-D printing technology to create and test scale models of fossil bones.

A 3-D printer is a technology for rapid prototyping and manufacturing objects based on a digital design. Common models work by repeatedly extruding extremely thin layers of a resin or other material, building up strata to create a physical object.

“It’s kind of like Star Trek technology, where you can press a button and the object pops out,” Lacovara said. A six-inch model of a dinosaur bone can be printed in a few hours using current technology.

Using 3-D printing can aid paleontology in several ways:

  • To create exact-size replicas for museum display, without the limitation on the number of copies made and materials and storage hassles of traditional casting methods.
  • To create small-scale models for educational use.
  • To create small-scale models for modeling and testing hypotheses about the mechanics of how long-extinct animals moved and behaved.

This biologically-derived modeling to test possible movements of extinct species is the major focus of Lacovara and Tangorra’s collaboration.

Robotic Models to Test Mechanics of Dinosaur Movement

“We don’t know a lot about the way dinosaurs move,” Lacovara said. “How did they stand? How did they ambulate? Did they run or trot? How did they reproduce? It’s all a bit mysterious,” especially when it comes to the largest dinosaurs. Paleontologists’ current methods of understanding such mechanics rely heavily on guesswork and common sense about what types of movements seem possible. With new technology, researchers can begin testing their predictions for the first time.

Lacovara has been part of scientific teams unearthing some of the largest known giant sauropod dinosaur specimens, including the new species Paralititan stromeri found in Egypt in 2000, which is the second-most-massive known dinosaur species and a new giant from Patagonia. Such giant sauropod dinosaurs could reach weights of 60 to 80 tons, which is 12 to 14 times heavier than a large modern elephant.

When working with enormous dinosaur fossils, Lacovara said, it’s simply physically impossible to manipulate the bones to test theories about mechanics and movement. That’s why scaled-down replicas that preserve the exact shape and proportion of the bones can help. Researchers can also digitally reshape the models to correct for changes that may have occurred over millions of years of fossilization and compression.

Lacovara and Tangorra will work together to create robotic models of giant sauropod dinosaurs, attaching artificial muscles and tendons to perform comprehensive tests of how the animal’s body could have handled physical stresses of the environment.

This work is similar to Tangorra’s ongoing work modeling and manufacturing robotic fish. “We extract features from biological species and create software-based or robotic testing systems. It’s easier to test a biorobotic system than a biological system,” Tangorra said. This work relies on studies of the fish’s movements, biomechanics and fluid mechanics to ensure that the robot reflects the biological system. Tangorra noted that because the dinosaur species they are modeling are extinct, any robotic reconstructions will be more speculative.

Lacovara predicts that they will have a working robotic dinosaur limb constructed by the end of 2012. A complete robotic dinosaur replica will take one to two years to create.

“A Virtual Zoo of Cretaceous New Jersey”

In addition to constructing models of giant dinosaurs, the researchers will make 3-D models of some fossils found closer to home. A fossil dig site in Gloucester County, N.J., has yielded a large number of marine animal fossils from the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. Lacovara and his students and collaborators from other institutions continue to excavate the site. Now they will begin producing 3-D models of the turtles, crocodilians, fish and other animals found at that site, for what Lacovara called “a virtual zoo of Cretaceous New Jersey.” A sample of their first reconstruction, of an ancient New Jersey crocodile, can be seen here:

See A Giant Dinosaur Bone and its 3-D Model in Philadelphia

A cast of the giant, 5.5-foot-long humerus bone of the Paralititan dinosaur is on display alongside a 1/10 scale 3-D printed model at the Franklin Institute as part of the Giant Mysterious Dinosaurs exhibit. The Franklin and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University are offering a “Giant Dinosaur Deal” combination ticket, available at the box offices of both museums through March 18, 2012.

Saelig Company, Inc. announces the availability of the Replicator™, an affordable, personal 3D printer offering 1- or 2-color “printing” of solid objects. The Replicator runs open-source 3D-printing code and is compact enough to fit on a desktop. Ready within minutes to start printing right out of the box, The Replicator fabricator turns raw feedstock, such ABS or PLA, into instant prototypes as large as a loaf of bread.

The Replicator is a precision-made parts fabricator, built with linear ball bearings and precision-ground 8 mm shafts, ideal for personalized manufacturing or prototyping, providing a new way to fabricate designs and variants quickly as large as 225 x145 x150 mm (8.9” x 5.7” x 5.9”). The Replicator is available with single or dual extruders, facilitating simultaneous two-color printing.   

The Replicator features a 4x20 character LCD panel and multi-directional control pad. The LCD screen provides build data as well as monitoring information, and full machine control is possible without the use of a computer. Using an SD Card slot or USB connection, model designs can be loaded and built directly from control pad commands. Professional engineers can now quickly fabricate solid objects using tools like AutoCAD and Solidworks producing STL or gcode files.  ReplicatorG software provided (Linux, Windows, and OSX compatible) enables rapid prototype production. Layer thickness may be selected from 0.2-0.3mm with the stock 0.4 mm nozzle, and parts are built at a speed of 40 mm/s, with positioning precision of 2.5 micron (Z axis) and 11 micron (XY axes).

Sized for almost any desktop (320 x 467 x 381 mm; 12.6” x 18.4” x 15”) The Replicator weighs 26/29lbs (single/dual). Made by Makerbot Industries.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:57

Instructables Make It Real Challenge

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This is your chance to win an Objet 3D Printer with a 6 month supply of 3D printing materials.  Ten first prize winners will receive an Up! 3D Printer.  Twenty runners-up will receive free 3D printing services.

To enter, post an Instructable that shows how to turn a virtual item into a tangible object. Examples include: 3D printed objects, laser-cut files, and even printed decals using an inkjet printer. So long as something in your project was designed using a computer and turned into a physical object, you are eligible to enter.

If you need software to help generate design files for your project check out all of the free software packages on 123D.

Anyone who shares the digital files that they create (using any software) in the 123D Gallery and posts a link to it in their Instructable will receive a free thank you gift from 123D (see details here) and then be eligible to win the special 123D Judges Prize.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive an Objet30 Desktop 3D Printer Bundle and a 6-month supply of build material for the printer. Winner will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Ten First Prize winners will receive an Up! 3D Printer, and one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000).  Winners will also will receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Judges Prize is eligible to those who share the digital files that they create (using any software) in the 123D Gallery. One winner will receive an Up! 3D Printer, and one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000). Winners will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack

Twenty Runner Up prize winners will receive one 3D print of a print-ready 3D model of your choice within a 6" x 6" x 6" boundary (worth up to $1000). Winners will also receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Multiple entries are accepted, but each entrant can only win one prize. Contest is open to entries from US, Canada [excluding Quebec], UK and Australia. Contest closes for entries at 11:59pm PT, April 30, 2012.

For more information, visit: announces the demonstration of their newest product, MESH SURFACE, to be shown at SolidWorks World 2012 in San Diego, California, at the San Diego Convention Center, February 12 through February 15, 2012 in Booth #404., a Certified SolidWorks Gold Partner reverse engineering plug-in, now supports non-contact measurement capabilities for Point Cloud to Mesh Surface for SolidWorks. provides an easy to learn four-step workflow, for mesh surface creation:

1-Set Alignment, 2-Laser Scan, 3-Process Point Cloud, 4-Create Surface Mesh.

  •     Optimized dialog boxes allow for quick processing of large point clouds for profile extraction and surface mesh visualization.

  •     Process millions of points in seconds for parametric modeling in SolidWorks, while working direct in both SolidWorks Standard and SolidWorks Premium allowing for STL support.

  •     Transform and reduce large point clouds for SolidWorks to work with even after the data capture device is disconnected.

  •     Simplify the extraction of geometric entities on digitized models, accelerating the development of parametric wireframe, surface and solid models in SolidWorks. 2012 has the ability to integrate with devices such as Faro EDGE , Romer Absolute , Microscribe, 3D Creator, Baces 3D, 3D Scanners, white light 3D digitizers, Faro and Leica laser trackers although the new Mesh Surface is not device or CAD reliant.

Established in 1996, is an industry leader in supplying indigenous bridging software for Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) systems, portable coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and other scanning devices. software seamlessly bridges native CAD integration with 3D engineering applications, such as reverse engineering, inspection, and measurement.

Based out of La Jolla, CA, has dedicated to developing unprecedented CAD-integrated 3D reverse engineering solutions. The continuous growth of the product line is primarily attributed to user input and has led to the addition of new features that improve 3D digitizing processes.

For more information, visit:

Friday, 10 February 2012 11:25

Haas Automation Produces 125,000th CNC Machine

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In 1988, Haas Automation, Inc., America’s leading machine tool builder, achieved an industry milestone by introducing the first American-built vertical machining center (VMC) to sell for less than $50,000 – a price unheard of at the time. The Haas VF-1 quickly became the industry benchmark for affordable CNC technology.

Haas Automation is pleased to announce the company’s latest milestone: the production of the 125,000th Haas CNC machine tool. Machine number 125,000 – a 2012 VF-1 vertical machining center – came off the line January 26, and is bound for a customer in the Philippines.

The VF-1 is a fitting model for the 125,000th machine, as it is the model that began the Haas legacy nearly 25 years ago. A simple comparison of that first VF-1 to the modern version of the same machine proves how far Haas has come, and how much value a Haas machine provides.

When Haas introduced the VF-1 in 1988 at IMTS in Chicago, the suggested retail price was $49,900. Adjusting for inflation, that’s equivalent to about $94,880 in 2011 dollars.* The machine featured 20" x 16" x 20" travels, a 7.5-hp (peak) spindle motor, speeds to 5000 rpm, brush-style servomotors on all axes, 480-ipm rapids, a 16-tool ATC, and the Haas CNC control, which featured a whopping 128 K of program memory, and a maximum processing speed of 20 blocks per second. Additional options were essentially non-existent.

Today’s VF-1 is easily 10 times the machine as its 1988 namesake, yet its base price is only $45,995, or about $24,190 in 1988 dollars. The VF-1 still has travels of 20" x 16" x 20", but now features a 30-hp (peak) spindle with a high-performance vector drive, speeds to 8100 rpm standard, brushless servos on all axes, 1000-ipm rapids, a 20-tool ATC, and the Haas control, which now features 1 MB of program memory (8 times the 1988 figure) and provides processing speeds up to 1000 blocks per second (or 50 times faster than in 1988). And that’s the base model machine. A wide selection of high-productivity options is available to boost performance – and value – even further.

Haas Automation currently manufactures a complete line of CNC vertical machining centers, horizontal machining centers, CNC lathes and rotary products. The company also builds a variety of specialty machines, including 5-axis machining centers, mold making machining centers, toolroom machines, and gantry routers.

All Haas products are built in the company’s 1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Southern California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets (HFOs) that provide the industry’s best sales, service and support.

*U.S. dollar equivalents calculated using inflation conversion factors published January 19, 2012, by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information, visit:

Friday, 10 February 2012 13:10

Protecting Your Guitar from Wear

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This article covers my concept and design process for creating a sound-hole guard for my acoustic guitar. The idea was to protect my guitar from damage and wear after long and repeated use of a pick while strumming.

Some time ago I decided to replace the pick guard on my vintage Guild acoustic guitar. I play it all the time, and it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It was my very first guitar. I purchased it new back in 1982 in Northern California. After nearly 30 years of use, some minor maintenance and repairs were in order, including replacing the original pick guard. I removed the old pick guard, cut out a new pattern matching the old guard (using new acrylic plastic) and applied the new one on to my guitar. That’s when I decided something needed to be done in order to prevent any further damage to the lower portion of the sound-hole. I noticed over many years using a pick while that this area had eroded away considerably. Bare wood from the soundboard was now exposed and continuing to grow in length downward from the sound-hole edges. Depending on the guitar manufacturer, there is usually a gap between the edge of the sound-hole and the beginning of the pick guard, which runs concentric to the sound hole. Regardless, the edge of the sound-hole and soundboard on acoustic guitars are exposed and unprotected from damage, something where even moderate use can have long-term affects.

My initial concept was to develop a flat pattern that could be laid onto the soundboard with an overlapping piece that bent around to the back of the sound-hole. The development piece would have to have a pressure sensitive adhesive in order to adhere in place. I used a .020 thick piece of Mylar for the original pattern, but soon afterward came up with another concept that would act as a more permanent and stronger solution. That fix turned out amazingly well and is still on my guitar.

I designed a flat pattern out of .125 thick piece of polycarbonate, heat formed it around a fixture that duplicated the sound-hole/soundboard dimensions. This design acts as a clip that fits over the lower half of the sound-hole. I attached the prototype piece onto my guitar with some silicon rubber adhesive in order for it to stay in place. Although this prototype proved to prevent any further damage to the area, I felt I needed to refine the design by reducing the wall thickness (the prototype appeared to be too bulky) and to simplify the fit by eliminating the use of an adhesive.

Then I picked up a seat of SolidWorks so I could properly build and design 3D solid models. This was something I had been putting off and had wanted to do for quite a while. My guitar project prompted me to take some action. After familiarizing myself with the software, I decided to tackle the sound-hole guard project. My first design incorporated negative draft on the two walls to act as a clip to squeeze onto the soundboard. I also designed three concentric ridge features on the inner wall to act as teeth to bite onto the soundboard, preventing movement and eliminating the need for the adhesive.

After converting to my first .stl file, I was ready to shop for a prototype service that would build the part. I was a little disappointed in discovering the pricing structures I was looking at, as my part did not seem very intricate or big. Searching further, I found ZoomRP who’s pricing seemed reasonable. Plus they offered very fast turn-around times, and their on-line quoting system was convenient and almost immediate, within seconds after submitting the .stl file. I decided to go with the Poly Jet HD Blue process, which advertised the highest resolution, highest accuracy, and was specific to smaller prototypes.

When I received my first part, I was completely impressed by the accuracy and quality of the surface finish and to the details of the very small teeth on the inner wall. My part would allow me to test for fit and function on my guitar. The only problem I experienced was an interference issue, which I overlooked in the design process. The inside edge of the outer wall of the part was catching on the edge of the pick guard. This prevented it to seat properly. The dimension of the outer wall of the part was too close to the location of the edge of the pick guard. So I went back to solving this issue on SolidWorks.

I also felt it necessary to play around with wall thickness and draft. Thickness of .100 still seemed too thick and the fit also seemed too tight on the guitar. I did extend the front wall to fit over the pick guard and added a small radius extending the entire inner edge.

A couple of designs later I was finally able to fine tune all design concerns including the right amount of draft, wall thickness, overall length, and front wall length, (final part: pic-4, front view and back view). I now feel very comfortable that this piece will fit and offer protection on all acoustic guitars that have round sound-holes.

I now have a provisional patent, and plan to go forward with obtaining a final patent. I am sure my sound-hole guard product will catch on and appeal to all levels of musicians who can appreciate the need to protect their investment, whether sentimental or financial.

For information, visit: or

Following several years of declines, manufacturing employment in Illinois rose a half percent over the past twelve months according to Manufacturers' News, Inc. MNI reports Illinois gained 3,496 industrial jobs between November 2010 and November 2011, the first time in over a decade that the 100-year-old company recorded a gain in manufacturing employment for the state.

Manufacturers' News reports Illinois is now home to 19,111 manufacturers employing 817,063 workers.

"We're finally starting to see positive numbers for Illinois," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "Despite a high corporate tax rate, Illinois still boasts an educated workforce, easy access to capital, and a central location within the Midwest to do business. It's unlikely that manufacturing employment will ever return to the levels of ten years ago, but it's nice to see the uptick."

Bright spots for the state included Chrysler's recent announcement that it planned to hire 1,800 workers for its Belvidere assembly facility; the opening of a new Boeing plant in Mascoutah; the planned expansions of Caterpillar's facilities in Decatur and East Peoria; and Ford's plans to expand its Chicago-area plants. Excel Foundry & Machines recently announced the company would expand its Pekin factory; Continental Tire and Magnum Steel Works both plan expansions in Mount Vernon; and Italian pasta maker Pastificio will open a production facility in Bartlett.

MNI reports industrial machinery and equipment remains Illinois' largest industrial sector by employment with 129,114 jobs, up 871 jobs or a half percent. Second-ranked fabricated metals accounts for 94,089 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months, while third-ranked food products manufacturing accounts for 91,615 industrial jobs, down 1.6%.   

Industrial sectors that gained jobs over the year included transportation equipment, up 5.2%; instruments/related products, up 2.4%; rubber/plastics, up 1% and electronics, up a half percent. Losses were seen in lumber/wood, down 4.8%; printing/publishing, down 4.6%; furniture/fixtures, down 4.5%; stone/clay/glass, down 4.1%; paper products, down 4% and chemicals, down 1.9%.

Manufacturing locations closing down included Quad/Graphics' Mt. Morris site; the Chicago Sun-Times printing plant on Chicago's south side; Protein Solutions' meatpacking plant in Chicago; Honeywell's Safety Products establishment in Rock Island; Dehler Manufacturing's facility in Chicago; National Envelope's Elk Grove Village site; and Lifetime Doors, Inc.'s location in Watseka.

Manufacturers' News reports Northeast Illinois accounts for 70% of the state's industrial employment, with 568,929 jobs, up 2,047 jobs or less than one percent over the year. Cook County accounts for 301,209 of these jobs, down 1.4% over the past twelve months. The manufacturing employment picture improved significantly for some of the collar counties, with jobs in the region posting a net 3.1% gain. Industrial jobs were up 4.7% in DuPage County; rose 3.7% in Lake County; and increased 5% in Kane County. Will County saw no significant change in industrial employment, while McHenry County saw a 3.7% decline.

Northwest Illinois accounts for 71,735 jobs, down 1.4% over the past twelve months. East Central Illinois is home to 56,507 jobs, up 1.5%, while West Central Illinois accounts for 55,660 industrial jobs, with no significant change reported over the year. Employment in Southwest Illinois increased 3% and now accounts for 35,912 jobs, while industrial jobs in Southeast Illinois were also up 3% with the region currently home to 28,320 jobs.

MNI's city data shows manufacturing employment in Chicago was virtually unchanged over the year, with the city now home to 106,980 industrial jobs, down 932 jobs or less than one percent. Elk Grove Village accounts for the second most industrial employment in Illinois with 20,333 jobs, down 1.8% over the year. Third-ranked Rockford accounts for 19,291 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months, while Decatur is home to 11,358, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Fifth-ranked Elgin is home to 11,259 industrial workers, up 5.4%.

Detailed profiles of Illinois' 19,111 manufacturers can be found in the 2012 Illinois Manufacturers Directory, available in print for $209, or available online through MNI's subscription-based service at Users may generate custom profiles of manufacturers using a variety of criteria, including area or zip code, county, SIC, sales volume, number of employees, and more. Each profile provides up to 30 facts, including vital contact information (phone, web, e-mail), 60,913 executives by name and title, product(s) manufactured, annual sales, and number of employees. MNI also maintains, an industrial search engine designed specifically for locating manufacturers and suppliers nationwide, and has recently launched an expansion and relocation guide for manufacturers.

For more information, visit:

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the federal government.

Working in conjunction with Tinker Air Force Base, MTI will be developing methodology, processes, and analytical tools required for final machining of metallic aircraft components produced using additive metal manufacturing. The goal is to reduce qualification costs and time versus conventional manufacturing methods. In this endeavor, MTI is partnering with TechSolve, an Edison Technology Center.

As the global leader in additive metal manufacturing, Morris Technologies is ideally suited to conduct aerospace research using DMLS and EBM technologies.  "This is an important step toward helping the USAF resolve their diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages through the use of additive metal processes," says Lloyd Fields, VP of MTI's Federal Business Unit. "The SBIR program is fundamental to our advancing additive manufacturing technology."

The project is expected to take up to nine months to complete.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies since 1994.   MTI's heavy investment in research and development has enabled them to evolve into the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing processes and advance technologies by offering new materials and developing new hardware.  MTI also specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit:

Signaling a significant breakthrough in polyurethane research and development, Innovative Polymers, Inc. today introduced a new biobased family of products to the marketplace. The environmentally conscious line of polyurethane materials includes biobased elastomers with Shore 30A to 90A hardnesses as well as one rigid Shore 80D biobased polyurethane. Created for hand-batch and vacuum-assisted casting processes, these formulations contain 30% to 40% soy oil-based polyols, a rapidly renewable feedstock produced as a co-product of soybeans grown and processed as a food source for humans and livestock.
According to Michael Molitor, president of Innovative Polymers, “We developed our new line of biobased polyurethanes to provide customers with environmentally sound casting materials that offer measurable carbon benefits to contribute to reduced global warming.”

New InnoGreen™ polyurethanes exhibit low viscosity for easy handling and processing.  Parts cast from the new elastomers can be demolded in less than 12 hours.

Once cured, the polyurethanes exhibit elongations of up to 200% and tear strengths as high as 115 pli.  In addition to use as casting systems, the new products are ideal for overmolding biobased foams.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages the BioPreferred product effort that was initiated in 2002 as part of a Farm Bill and expanded in 2008.  The goal:  to encourage the use of renewable feedstocks in products ranging from coatings and adhesives to cleaning agents and lubricants. As an industry leader in manufacturing polyurethanes without mercury, MOCA or TDI, Innovative Polymers used its environmentally conscious formulating expertise to create the new family of InnoGreen™ polyurethanes.  Each of the new materials was tested by USDA-approved independent laboratories and subsequently was certified as BioPreferred.  Companies seeking to use biobased products can receive purchasing consideration by federal agencies and their contractors.

Innovative Polymers is a leading manufacturer of advanced polyurethanes for modelmaking, prototyping and initial part production. Shore A and Shore D hardness materials are formulated without mercury, MOCA or TDI. The comprehensive line of Innovative Polymers polyurethanes exhibits a broad range of physical performance properties. In-house chemists specialize in custom-coloring and formulating products tailored to specific project requirements. Outstanding product quality and rapid, cost-effective response to customer needs are our top priorities.

For more information, visit:

Polymer Technologies, Inc. (PTI) today announced its acquisition of Polmold, a Wallington, NJ-based manufacturer and repair shop for injection molds, tools, dies and fixtures. The acquisition is expected to close February of 2012.

PTI is a custom plastic and metal injection molding company that provides contract manufacturing to the aerospace, defense, medical/surgical, automotive, commercial, consumer electronics and dental industries. The company offers design, engineering and manufacturing services supported by Mold Flow™ analysis. Its Clifton-based facility is home to 24 injection molding machines ranging from 38-Ton to 650-Ton machines and employs 71 professionals across its 24 hours a day, five days a week operations.

Polmold manufactures precision injection molding tooling for both plastic and metal injection molding (MIM) programs. Additionally, the company has extensive experience in construction and repair of molds for compression and investment castings applications, as well as providing complementary services for associated tools, dies and fixtures. The purchase will strengthen PTI’s position as a ‘one-stop shop’ contract manufacturing solutions provider. The company has five CAD/CAM work stations, four late-model computer numerical control (CNC) machining centers, seven CNC milling machines, two lathe machines, two wire and three “sinker” electric discharge machines (EDM), six grinders and QC inspection equipment to guarantee the quality of the value-added services they supply.

“The acquisition of Polmold complements our existing product offering and continues our strategic plan to offer streamlined contract manufacturing services to our customers in the USA and internationally,” said PTI president Neal Goldenberg. “Our vertical integration of this critical technology into our operation will truly make us a complete solutions provider for any engineered injection molding application.”

Melvyn Goldenberg, PTI founder and Neal’s father added, “We have been pleased to see a strong resurgence of tooling work being done here in the United States. Much of this is due to the realization that the cost-savings from work done overseas in places such as China didn’t pan out the way people had hoped it would when variables such as lost time and additional costs of rework were not a part of the original equation. Further, given the size of some of the tooling, transportation and import fees, outsourcing has become very cost prohibitive.”

Wallington-based, Polmold was founded by Henry Marzec in the 1980s. Polmold employs six highly-skilled workers whose combined 80+ years of experience in injection molding tool design and construction and use of their state-of-the art equipment will ensure the tools built will meet or exceed the stringent requirements of PTI’s customer base. With this acquisition, PTI will employ a total of 77 manufacturing professionals at its two facilities. Mr. Marzec will assume the role of Polmold Tool Inc general manager.

“We are very pleased to join our forces with PTI and the Goldenberg’s. We still intend to support our existing clients with the same level of superior quality, workmanship and service for which they have come to rely on us however, now can also offer a new value-proposition,” says Marzec. “Through utilization of PTI’s injection molding expertise, we can prototype and troubleshoot these tools prior to being shipped to the client. This will significantly reduce the debugging time associated with new tool manufacturing and increase our client’s speed-to-market.”

Polymer Technologies Inc. (PTI) is a custom plastic and metal injection molding company providing contract manufacturing to global leaders in the aerospace, healthcare, commercial and military industries. PTI, a family owned-and-operated company was founded in 1987 and is ISO9001:2008 and AS9001B registered.

For more information, visit:

University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate innovators will present 14 inventions on Feb. 9-10 in Engineering Hall on the College of Engineering campus as part of the annual Innovation Days.

The inventors will present their ideas and demonstrate prototypes in hopes of earning a share of more than $27,000 in prizes in the Schoofs Prize for Creativity and Tong Prototype Prize competitions. Designed to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in students and give them experience with prototype building and intellectual property, the contest awards teams whose ideas and inventions are judged the most innovative and likely to succeed in the marketplace. In addition, awards are given for the best ideas notebook and best presentation.

All prototypes will be on display during the presentations and judging Thursday, Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Many prototypes will be on display during the presentations on Friday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Winners will be announced Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m. in 1610 Engineering Hall.

UW-Madison students can receive a door-prize ticket for each presentation they attend. The prizes, including electronics and computing equipment, will be distributed in a drawing after the awards ceremony.

UW-Madison chemical engineering alumnus Richard J. Schoofs (BS '53) sponsors the Schoofs Prize for Creativity; the Tong Family Foundation, including electrical and computer engineering alumnus Peter P. Tong (MS '65), sponsors the Tong Prototype Prize and grants.

Engineering Hall is located at 1415 Engineering Drive. Visitors can park for a fee in Lot 17, the parking ramp on Engineering Drive near Camp Randall Stadium.

The timetable for student presentations follows:

Thursday, Feb. 9

8:45-9 a.m. - Opening remarks from Dean Paul Peercy and competition director Alicia Jackson
9:15-9:30 a.m. - Letzgo (Sean Kelly)
9:35-9:50 a.m. - Mobile Phone Payment System (Michael Starr)
9:55-10:10 a.m. - The DualX Fracture Fixation System (Tom Gerold and Marc Egeland)
10:15-10:30 a.m. - Prototype Judging
10:40-10:55 a.m. - TapTop Double Tablet Laptop (Michael Szewczyk)
11-11:15 a.m. - Rotoar Handle (Kevin Ripley & Brandon Kryger)
11:20-11:35 a.m. - NoVo Luggage (Scott Johanek)
11:40-11:55 p.m. - Prototype Judging
12-12:45 p.m. - Lunch
1-1:15 p.m. - Liico Brand Collapsible Mug (John McGuire)
1:20-1:35 p.m. - Liquid Cooled Replaceable LED Light Bulb (Stefan Jedlicka)
1:40-1:55 p.m. - Passive Interrupted RFID (Scott Hatfield)
2-2:15 p.m. - Clean Coal (Justin Vannieuwenhoven)
2:30-3:30 p.m. - Prototype judging

Friday, Feb. 10

9 a.m. - Remarks from competition director Alicia Jackson
9:05-9:20 a.m. - Javi (Matthew Kirk)
9:25-9:40 a.m. - Manu Print (Eric Ronning)
9:45-10 a.m. - Library Counting and Study Friend Finding System (Junzhe Wang)
10:05-10:20 a.m. - PureWater Trike Converter (John Boland and Joshua Gilberts)
10:30 a.m.-noon - Break for judges' deliberation
1:30 p.m. - Awards ceremony/door prizes

For more information, visit:

Lattice Technology® Inc.,the standard for technical communication and digital mock up software in the manufacturing enterprise, today announced the release of the iXVL Player and iXVL Publisher applications.

The ultra-lightweight 3D XVL® format is widely used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, heavy machinery, medical devices etc. where products can have a large number of parts and complex structures. It allows even the largest CAD files (often more than 1GB!) to be viewed easily on-the-go. Now, iXVL Player will allow your data to be shared and viewed on mobile devices.

iXVL Player is the new addition to the iXVL technology offered by Lattice Technology, Inc. and brings a new level of functionality to mobile 3D Data Viewing.

iXVL Player is a free application for the iPad® and iPhone® available on the App Store for sharing, viewing and interrogating 3D models. As well as viewing functions like pan, zoom, and rotate, iXVL Player provides additional features including hide/show parts, change display quality and view snapshots created with XVL Studio.

“iXVL Player is the ideal tool to share part information and manufacturing and service data” said Bill Barnes, General Manager, Lattice Technology, Inc. “It provides access to additional information including assembly structure and individual part names and properties coupled with the ability to update information over the internet.”

Along with iXVL Player, Lattice Technology, Inc. is also launching iXVL Publisher. iXVL Publisher supports all XVL files types and versions and enables them to be viewed and interrogated using any of the free XVL Players.

iXVL Player and iXVL Publisher are the latest additions to the Lattice Technology, Inc. family of mobile applications. These applications help companies in the adoption and use of mobile devices to easily distribute and share their 3D product data and information.

For more information, visit:

IMDS® (Innovative Medical Device Solutions) announces the addition of its newest Co-Innovation™ facility in Orlando, Florida. The new facility joins three other IMDS Co-Innovation facilities based in Logan, Utah; Chandler, Arizona; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

As a leader of design in Orthopaedic Medical Devices, IMDS Co-Innovation brings over 350 years of combined experience to the development of innovative medical products. The 12,000-square-foot facility currently houses 13 product development engineers, a surgical skills cadaver lab, a prototype manufacturing machining center, an additive manufacturing development center, and a verification and validation mechanical testing laboratory. These capabilities allow IMDS to provide world-class service while continuing to enhance the quality of life and standard of care for patients.

Chief Technology Officer Dan Justin stated, “This IMDS Co-Innovation expansion is all about better connecting our talented resources to the needs of the medical device industry. We are excited about expanding our footprint to include the East Coast. IMDS has an exceptional talent pool and has enhanced its product development capabilities by moving to a location with faster access to many of our corporate customers and surgeon partners. Additionally, Orlando is already proving to be a great location to access the international medical device industry.”

With this recent addition, IMDS service areas now span the country across nine different locations. Specializing in outsourcing to the medical device community, companies and surgeon inventors come to IMDS to bring their product ideas to full market realization. From concept development through full ISO 13485 production manufacturing, IMDS is the one-stop shop for medical device innovation.

“Innovation is at the core of our mission. We believe our new Co-Innovation Orlando facility represents an expansion geographically as well as an expansion of some of the key ingredients of innovation at IMDS such as talent, environment and resources,” said President and CEO Brady Shirley.

Those interested in visiting the new facility should contact IMDS to schedule a tour. IMDS Co-Innovation Orlando is located 25 minutes from the Orlando International Airport in the Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the UCF campus.

IMDS will be exhibiting at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco from February 8-10, 2012.

IMDS (Innovative Medical Device Solutions) is the strategic source for contract, full-service medical device development and manufacturing. With an intense focus on innovation, speed to market, and our partners’ goals, we deliver products that enhance the quality of life and standard of care for patients.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 31 January 2012 11:21

SURFCAM 6 to Showcase at SolidWorks World 2012

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Surfware, Inc., developer of SURFCAM® CAD/CAM systems, will be demonstrating the upcoming release of its flagship product, SURFCAM 6, at the SolidWorks World 2012 exhibition to be held in San Diego, CA at the San Diego Convention Center from February 12 - 15, 2012.

SURFCAM has been a Certified SolidWorks CAM partner for many years, providing SURFCAM customers with world class precision and control over their NC programming environment when using SolidWorks design models in their shops.

SURFCAM’s powerful associativity enables programmers to open native SolidWorks files directly into SURFCAM, completely eliminating the translation process. When changes are made to the SolidWorks design models, SURFCAM automatically recognizes the design revisions and offers to regenerate the affected toolpaths. With this seamless interoperability between these two systems, SURFCAM users can quickly adapt to design changes and efficiently update their toolpaths.

The up and coming SURFCAM 6 release contains many new and powerful features such as:

A 64-Bit Version
New Tools and Material Database Engine
Faster Verification Technology
Updated Interface
Completely redesigned Help System
Four new toolpath strategies
Updated CAD translators to latest CAD systems (plus RHINO CAD translator now included)
Updated Post Processors (MPost and SPost)
Updated Integration to FARO and MicroScribe Arms
Newest Version of EditNC included
Enhanced calculator for TRUEMill toolpath parameters
Refined TRUEMill toolpath algorithms
Plus much more.

SURFCAM 6 also supports SolidWorks 2012 parts, assemblies, sketches and configurations and includes over 200 Post Processors for major CNC machine manufacturers.

For more information, visit:

Company owner Travis Perry is ready to seek funding in dangerous waters after two years of developing his guitar product. On Friday, the Alabama inventor will pitch his ChordBuddy Guitar Learning System to the ravenous business tycoons of ABC's "Shark Tank." Perry developed his product with help from Indiana rapid prototyping company Realize Inc.

Perry has taught guitar lessons to hundreds of students over the past 30 years. ChordBuddy fits on the neck of an acoustic or electric guitar. It is designed to help people learn to play guitar in as little as two months by pushing the colored buttons that correspond with different chords.

"The Realize team was a great partner to have during the development of the ChordBuddy," Perry said. "It was a bonus that they had a couple of guitar players on their staff and that allowed me to communicate my concept and requirements with ease. The series of custom finished rapid prototypes they quickly produced for me really helped accelerate the ChordBuddy's journey to production."

Products often begin as just an image in an innovative mind. In the case of ChordBuddy, it started with Perry's dream to create an easier way to play the guitar -- and his phone call to Realize, Inc.

Realize creates custom rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries. The ChordBuddy project was a little out of the ordinary in that a typical Realize client is a mid-to-large established company, said Realize President Todd Reese.

"When Travis first contacted me, we spoke in depth about this idea he'd had for years. I could sense his passion and we immediately connected," Reese said. "When the conversation ended, it felt as if I had just spoken with an old friend. I knew that Realize would be a great fit for what Travis wanted to accomplish."

Perry called Reese one evening in 2009 and asked if he was familiar with playing guitar. Having played guitar for a decade and with one even propped up at the end of his office desk, Reese proved eager to help Perry create his envisioned product. He connected Perry with Troy Mason, owner of Impulse Product Development, who performed CAD design work for the ChordBuddy. Realize performed Stereolithography and custom finishing and painting services. Multiple versions of the ChordBuddy were produced as Perry evaluated and critiqued different designs leading to the final design.

Now, Perry is ready to pitch to a true shark's den of investors including billionaire Mark Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks; and entrepreneur Daymond John, founder and CEO of the FUBU apparel empire.

So can Perry swim in dangerous waters -- or will he get eaten by the sharks? Find out at 8 p.m. EST this Friday on ABC.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival hosted by Lockheed Martin offers a special appeal for budding entrepreneurs, inventors, engineers and programmers who will find the ideas, tools and resources to help them make their dreams a reality. From robotic technology to amazing desktop manufacturing technology that makes prototype development easy and cost-effective, the “makers” and innovators of society will find a wealth of inspiration throughout the Festival and Expo, as well as in the Robot Fest and DIY Expo pavilion, where creativity and technology meet.

“The Festival is a fantastic place for technical experts of all kinds to learn about the amazing advances that have been made in technology to help them make product prototypes from 3D printers, find designs online for parts and components, and meet an array of experts to help them bring their product ideas to life,” said Larry Bock, serial entrepreneur and Executive Director of the USA Science & Engineering Festival— the nation’s largest celebration of science and engineering that will take place April 28-29, 2012 in Washington, D.C. “If you’re an inventor or entrepreneur looking for inspiration, the Festival will be a wealth of ideas and the DIY Expo will provide the tools to get your ideas in motion.”

Organizations like MakerBot Industries, Fab Lab DC and Fab@Home by Cornell University and Dassault Systèmes Americas will show prospective inventors how they can develop product prototypes with 3D printers and digital fabrication. Sparkfun Electronics will show participants how to bring new product ideas to life more easily and inexpensively than many of us may have thought was possible, through electronics and microcontroller kits. The Festival will also feature an array of robotic technology ranging from military, manufacturing and surgical robots to more entertaining robots like R2DC’s Star Wars droids and other exhibits that allow attendees to build their own robots.

In addition, budding entrepreneurs will be able to network with members of various “hackerspace” groups who work collaboratively to network, socialize and develop technical solutions and new products in their spare time, simply because they love to tinker with new ideas, create something from nothing, and solve problems. The Baltimore Node, Unallocated Space and HacDC are three hackerspace groups participating in the DIY Expo and will show some of their recent projects like the HacDC spaceblimp. Unlike the more malicious forms of hacking, the hackerspace model is borne of an interest in collaboration, shared knowledge and tools to create and innovate.

“One of the most intriguing developments in the world of American innovation over the past few years has been the advancement in collaborative ‘crowdsourcing’ to make it easier for ideas to become reality by working together with like-minded individuals,” said Gary Mauler, founder of Robot Fest and host of the Robot Fest and DIY Expo pavilion at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. “The ‘hackerspace’ groups that have come together across the country are providing volunteer assistance to the defense industry and cyber-security industry, and they are now making an impact on assistive technology for individuals with disabilities, fashion and many other industries,” he added.

The Festival also features a Book Fair where some of the leading authors and experts in the DIY world will speak, including William Gurstelle, author of The Practical Pyromaniac, a professional engineer and has been researching and building model catapults, ballistic devices and flamethrowers for more than 30 years. His previous books include the best-selling Backyard Ballistics, among others.

“The USA Science & Engineering Festival is an amazing place for engineers and DIY enthusiasts to see what’s new and innovative in the world of science and technology,” said Gurstelle. “I can’t imagine anyone in my field who wouldn’t find it to be a tremendously inspiring event, full of creative fuel to spark that next great idea or invention.”

Dustyn Roberts, author of Making Things Move: DIY Mechanisms for Inventors, Hobbyists and Artists, will also appear at the Festival. Roberts is an engineer who started her career at Honeybee Robotics working on the Sample Manipulation System project for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. She is the founder of Dustyn Robots where she consults on projects ranging from gait analysis to designing guided parachute systems.

“I’m looking forward to this year’s Festival to find out what all of the world’s leading innovators have developed to demonstrate the wonders of modern science and engineering,” said Roberts. “I’m particularly excited to see the array of female innovators who will be sharing their expertise and inspiring young girls to consider a career in the science, technology, engineering or math fields.”

The USA Science & Engineering Festival and Book Fair is a free, family-friendly event that allows kids and adults to participate in over 2,000 hands-on activities and see more than 200 live performances by science celebrities, explorers, best-selling authors, entrepreneurs and world-renowned experts. For inventors and others looking for ideas and information, the Festival offers a smorgasbord of scientific and technological wonders that will entertain as it inspires the American spirit of innovation.

The USA Science & Engineering Festival is the country’s only national science festival, and was developed to increase public awareness of the importance of science and to encourage youth to pursue careers in science and engineering by celebrating science in much the same way as we celebrate Hollywood celebrities, professional athletes and pop stars. Lockheed Martin is again the presenting host of the USA Science & Engineering Festival and is joined by many other Festival sponsors and partners. The USA Science & Engineering Festival is a grassroots collaboration of over 500 of the United States leading science and engineering organizations.

For more information, visit:

PolyFlex Products, Inc., Livonia, MI, is moving its headquarters and manufacturing operations to a 50,000 square foot facility in Farmington Hills, MI. Mark Kirchmer, PolyFlex, CEO, stated “our continued growth during the past decade had forced us to have operations in multiple facilities. This new facility allows us to consolodate everything under one roof while providing additional room for future expansion.

“We recently increased our overall injection molding capacity by 30% and also doubled our foamed urethane capacity with the addition of a new RIM machine. Moving forward, this new facility provides the expansion room needed for our forecasted growth.” he concludes.

The new address is: 23093 Commerce Drive, Farmington Hills, MI 48335.

PolyFlex Products engineers and manufactures plastic, urethane and rubber material handling products including custom returnable part handling containers, protective shipping containers, plus custom and standard dunnage systems. Its sister company, ThermoFlex, has capabilities for heavy-gauge thermoforming, injection molding and cast urethane molding operations.

For more information, visit:

Monetizing on Patents and Ideas, Patent Rights Group Inc. of Toronto Canada (PRG) Announced Today the Launch of Phase 1 of Their Aggressive Patent Acquisition Strategy. Inventor's and patent holders are invited to discuss their options for monetizing their innovations.

Innovation is accelerating at unprecedented levels and Industry now recognizes that intellectual property rights are valuable and strategic assets that can yield significant revenues when properly licensed or sold. Nortel auctioned off 6,000 patents for $4.5 billion, Disney paid $4.2 billion to acquire the rights to Marvel Comics, and IBM generates over $1 billion annually in licensing revenues.

"Ideas matter and their values are at an all time high. Patent owners need to act now and participate in this campaign to take advantage of favourable market conditions." said Tony Canapini, PRG's President and CEO. "PRG is committed to stimulating, incubating, licensing, and defending the intellectual property rights of individuals, entrepreneurs, or any enterprise that can benefit from using our services."

PRG is an expert in realizing value from patents. In this campaign, PRG will assume all risk and manage all legal and administrative matters when monetizing patent rights, and revenue generated by PRG will be shared with the patent owners. By working with PRG, everyone benefits; Inventors are financially rewarded for their ideas, Entrepreneurs receive funding to start their businesses, Small and Medium Enterprises can leverage incremental cash to grow or take advantage of market opportunities, and Innovation Labs can realize positive returns on their research and development investments.

Investors can also benefit by contacting PRG because as PRG's patent asset base grows, so does its market value. As a fast growing, private company with a business model that leverages easily, PRG welcomes inquiries from investors interested in a company with a bright future.

Founded in Toronto, Canada in 2010, Patent Rights Group Inc. is an intellectual property management company that buys, sells, licenses, and defends patents. We focus on inventors, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, non-profit enterprises, and innovation labs in Canada and the US. Our markets include, but are not limited to Mobile, High Tech, Health Care, and Green Energy.

For more information, visit:

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) has assembled this year’s International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) jury to choose the IDEA 2012 honorees. Nineteen international design experts from design consultancies, corporations and universities compose the jury.

The jury members include:

Chair: Rhys Newman, head of advanced projects at Nokia, Nokia Insight and Innovation
Jonah Becker, principal, One & Co.
Jan Chipchase, executive creative director, frog design
Ed Dorsa, assistant director and associate professor, Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture and Design
Khodi Feiz, founder, Feiz Design
Sean Hägen, president, BlackHägen Design Inc.
Rachel Hinman, senior research scientist at Nokia Research Centre
Lance Hussey, vice president and creative director, RKS Design
Mike Kruzeniski, creative director, Microsoft Mobile
Shaun Jackson, professor, University of Michigan
Matt Jones, principal, BERG
Sam Lucente, designer
Thomas Overthun, associate partner and practice director, IDEO
Carrie Russell, senior design manager, Procter & Gamble
Leslie Speer, associate professor of design, San José State University
Philip Swift, director of industrial design, North America, Crown Equipment
Tad Toulis, creative director, TEAGUE
Duncan Trevor-Wilson, global design manager for emerging markets, GE Healthcare
Simon Waterfall, creative director, fray

For bios and photos, visit:

With its roots reaching back to 1938 and founded in 1965, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) is the world’s oldest, largest, member-driven society for industrial design. IDSA represents professionals in product design, interaction design, human factors, ergonomics, design research, design management, universal design and related design fields. The society produces the renowned International Design Excellence Award® (IDEA) competition annually; hosts the International Design Conference and five regional conferences each year; and publishes Innovation, a quarterly journal on design, and designBytes, a weekly e-newsletter highlighting the latest headlines in the design world. IDSA's charitable arm, the Design Foundation, supports the dissemination of undergraduate and graduate scholarships annually to further industrial design education. The organization has more than 3,000 members in 29 professional chapters in the U.S. and internationally.

For more information, visit:

3D Engineering Solutions has added another dimension to their 3D laser scanning services with the acquisition of a structured light scanning tool, the Steinbichler Comet L3D, which uses LED blue light technology and can capture up to two million points in 1.5 seconds. 3D Engineering has already used the new technology for turbine blade and impeller inspection, and mold and tool making. The structured light scanner is useful in applications such as 3D scanning, quality control, tool making, reverse engineering, rapid manufacturing and design.

3D Engineering Solutions Vice President Rob Glassburn said, “It’s unusual for a company to have the full range of tools we have to cover different component sizes and accuracies. The Steinbichler tool is great for capturing anything with a lot of sharp edges and detail—even small medical instruments.” 3D Engineering can integrate photogrammetry with the structured light scanning, which increases ability to measure larger parts. “We can capture entire vehicles,” said Glassburn. “We can get accuracies as small as .0003 inches.” In addition to the photogrammetry accessory, 3D Engineering has a 2-axis integrated turn table, which allows for automated inspection.

In addition to increased portability of equipment, benefits of structured blue light scanning over structured white light scanning include a longer-lasting light source and lower temperature influence due to LEDs, the ability to scan a well-lit room, and the ability to filter out other light present when capturing an object. “This technology is about 3D data acquisition with a lot finer detail and greater resolution—especially when working with small parts,” said Glassburn.

Customers rely on 3D Engineering Solutions to design process tooling and fixtures for the automotive, industrial, green energy, nuclear and aerospace industries, using engineering tools such as Unigraphics NX7 Mach 3 CAD platform. Leading edge point cloud software, InnovMetrics PolyWorks, allows a common software platform for collecting data across all of Faro laser-based data collection platforms. In addition to reverse engineering services, 3D Engineering Solutions is registered with the State of Ohio for Professional Engineering and ISO 17025 Certified for third party inspection. In their sixth year of operation, the company maintains a state-of-the-art, climate controlled metrology lab, servicing the Midwest OEM needs for 3D laser scanning, data collection, 3D CAD modeling, FAI / PPAP inspection, and reverse engineering services. 3D Engineering Solutions brings more than 100 years of collective experience to every engineering project.

For more information, visit:

Entrepreneurial inventors and can-do manufacturers will have the opportunity to meet, swap ideas and join forces in what's being dubbed the new "manufacturing revolution" at the Inaugural Manufacturing EXPO: Putting a Face on Manufacturing, Feb. 14 and 15, 2012, at The Galleria in Downtown Cleveland.

The first-of-its-kind event will bring inventors face-to-face with about 175 exhibitors representing just about every aspect of manufacturing. More than 3,000 attendees from across the United States and Canada are expected. Eight regionally and nationally renowned speakers will share their manufacturing-specific insights, including information on the potential impact of the new America Invents Act.

At The EXPO, inventors will find themselves in an elite category with some of the region's and the world's most significant manufacturers, according to Mary Kaye Denning, founder and president of The Manufacturing Mart, creators of The EXPO. "Where else but at this EXPO can you display your invention next to the latest ideas brought forth by NASA?" Denning asks.

The EXPO will feature a designated pavilion for North American inventors called "Design: Protect: Package: Ship." Booth prices are $550 and allow for up to two inventors per booth. Inventors will also have the opportunity to enter the Export Experiment, which is open to inventors with new and exciting ideas.

Hotel accommodations can be made at the Hampton Inn in Downtown Cleveland for $79 per night. The EXPO is sponsored by Penton Media, The City of Cleveland, StudioTh!nk and The Galleria at Erieview.

For more information or to register, visit:

The A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park and Stratasys, Inc., announce the successful design, fabrication, and test of a Webbed Tube Heat Exchanger (WTHX), believed to be the first plastic heat exchanger made by additive manufacturing. Fabricated at the Stratasys facility in Eden Prairie, Minn., the 3D-printed WTHX promises to expand the potential applications of polymer heat exchangers to small production volumes and cost-constrained systems.

The WTHX represents the first time that a plastic heat exchanger has been manufactured through Stratasys' Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) technology and used to successfully transfer heat through a polymer structure from a hot gas to a cold liquid. Room air, heated to 120 degrees Celsius was cooled by building water at 27 degrees Celsius, transferring nearly 65W of heat in the 500 cubic centimeter heat exchanger.

Juan Cevallos, a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in the Thermal Management of Photonic and Electronic Systems (TherPES) Laboratory at the Clark School's Department of Mechanical Engineering, was responsible for testing the WTHX. Under the direction of Professor Avram Bar-Cohen-along with Professors S. K. Gupta, David Bigio, and Hugh Bruck-Cevallos has been working in collaboration with the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi to advance polymer heat exchanger technology for seawater cooling of liquified natural gas processes, among other applications. The relatively high tool and assembly costs of low-volume polymer molding production led Bar-Cohen's research team to select an additive manufacturing technology that could build complex geometries in a single step. Stratasys' FDM technology provides that capability while using some of the strongest and most heat-resistant thermoplastics found among additive manufacturing technologies.

The WTHX geometry consists of a stack of rectangular flat plates, each containing an array of tubes that span the length of the plate and are separated by short webs. The tubular array carries the water, while the air flows in the gaps between the rectangular webbed-tube plates. The diameter of the tubes is selected to reduce the power required to pump the liquid while creating a "bumpy" surface on the gas-side that enhances heat transfer between the gas and liquid streams. Moreover, most of the heat transfer occurs directly across the thickness of the WTHX tubes, minimizing the deleterious effect of the low thermal conductivity of the polycarbonate resin.

The Clark School of Engineering, situated on the rolling, 1,500-acre University of Maryland campus in College Park, Md., is one of the premier engineering schools in the U.S., with graduate and undergraduate education programs ranked in or near the Top 20. In 2011, the Clark School was ranked 11th in the world by the Institute of Higher Education and Center for World-Class Universities in its Academic Ranking of World Universities. Three faculty members affiliated with the Clark School were inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2010.

The school, which offers 13 graduate programs and 12 undergraduate programs, including degree and certification programs tailored for working professionals, is home to one of the most vibrant research programs in the country. The Clark School garnered research awards of $171 million last year. With emphasis in key areas such as energy, nanotechnology and materials, bioengineering, robotics, communications and networking, life cycle and reliability engineering, project management, intelligent transportation systems and aerospace, the Clark School is leading the way toward the next generations of engineering advances.

For more information, visit:

Media Corp has become the official sponsor of the ICKC National inventors contest held in Kansas City. The ICKC contest was created by the Ewing Kauffman Foundation and is a nonprofit organization with over 1,000 members. Media Corp will offer a $20,000 testing package to the winner of the contest.

The ICKC National Invention Contest is looking for inventors to submit their inventions for a chance to win a commercial produced for Direct Response television (DR-TV). The complete package which includes a TV spot to be aired in select markets for product testing is a prize worth $20,000. If successful, the winners invention would generate thousands of dollars in royalties for the inventor.

Ed Waldberg, President of Media Corp. says "We are pleased to be the primary sponsor of the ICKC National Invention Contest. This contest provides inventors of all types to have a chance to win a DR-TV spot that could literally change their lives if the product is a success. DR-TV is still the best and quickest way to get your product to market. In our industry the right product and speed to market is the key to success."

Typically an inventor will spend in excess of $10,000 to produce and air a commercial. "Going it alone is expensive and time consuming. The ICKC National Invention Contest is an opportunity like none other," says Carrie Jeske, Marketing Director for the Inventors Club of Kansas City. When inventors submit products to the ICKC National Invention Contest they should consider the seven most important criteria for DR-TV product success:

1. Does your product have a unique selling advantage? In other words how does your product stand apart and does it have a "wow" factor?
2. Problem/Solution/Benefit Orientation. The bigger or more common the problem solved?the more the product sells!
3. Does your product appeal to the masses? TV reaches a very broad demographic, if your product appeals to the masses you have a winner.
4. Product Pricing. Typically products under $100 are considered good short-form DRTV items.
5. How demonstrable is your product? The better the visual demonstration of the product the greater the chance for success.
6. Is your product believable? Will people believe your product will work?
7. Is your product easily explained? Consumers must be able to understand what the product does in a relatively short amount of time.

If you have an invention and you think that it meets the seven criteria to make a DR-TV winner then submit your product today at:

Friday, 20 January 2012 08:32

ATOS Compact Scan: Capture 3D's New 3D Scanner

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Capture 3D's GOM ATOS series of industrial optical 3D scanners provide accurate scans with detailed resolution at high speeds. ATOS delivers 3D measurement data and analysis for industrial components such as sheet metal parts, tools and dies, turbine blades, prototypes, injection molded parts, castings, and more. Instead of measuring single points or with a laser, ATOS captures an object's full surface geometry and primitives precisely in a dense point cloud or polygon mesh. ATOS is widely utilized in various industries, and can measure different object sizes, surface finishes, and shape complexities.

The new ATOS Compact Scan provides accurate scans with detailed resolution at high speeds. This modern 3D scanner combines the latest ATOS Blue Light Technology and software into a compact design with an affordable price. Manufactured with high-quality components, this lightweight and compact sensor ensures ultimate adaptability for various applications and environments, especially in narrow and confined areas. Quickly measure and inspect castings, design models, forms, injection molded parts, interiors, prototypes, vehicles, and much more.

We live in a world fueled by creativity, innovation, and competition. When product ideas are born, the world of engineering gives it life. The tools and technologies we use on a daily basis are a critical factor to achieve success. Capture 3D is a leader in 3D metrology solutions since 1997. From aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, power generation, entertainment, medical, to a variety of other industries, we improve product development through manufacturing and maintenance processes. Products include 3D scanners, portable CMMs, inspection, automation and robotic solutions.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012 12:12

Moderntech Announces New Charleston, SC Office

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ModernTech, the leading value-added reseller of 3D CAD and Engineering Technology for manufacturers in the Southeast, has opened a new office in Charleston, South Carolina.  The new office is on Daniel Island, a strategically-situated, award-winning planned community is located at:

146 Fairchild Street, Suite 180
Charleston, SC 29492
Phone: 843.410.2276

“Our presence in the Carolinas enhances the opportunity to expand in the Southeast and allows for us to have a large footprint in the coastal areas as a reseller of SolidWorks and Objet.  We are very excited about discovering and getting to know the Charleston business base,” says Jon Carlton, Vice President of ModernTech.

ModernTech provides solutions to solve the toughest mechanical design and engineering problems in industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Consumer Products, Electronics, Medical, Manufacturing, and many more.   In addition to offering a variety of 3D technology products, ModernTech also provides training, support and services to customers across the Southeast and beyond.

“We are delighted ModernTech has made a decision to expand operations to Charleston,” said Charleston Mayor, Joseph P. Riley, Jr. ”As Charleston’s high-tech manufacturing economy expands, the leading-edge tools provided by ModernTech will become a great asset to our businesses.”

ModernTech’s expansion to Charleston was facilitated by the City of Charleston’s Digital Corridor initiative. An open house at the new Charleston office is being scheduled and more information will be made available soon.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, ModernTech provides engineers and designers with 3D technology and training for the entire product development lifecycle —Design, Analysis, Data Management, Tech Publishing, 3D Prototyping and Scanning. Our solutions help engineers and designers in any industry meet the demand for innovative, high-quality products in less time and at lower cost.

For more information, visit:

Konica Minolta 3D Scanning Labs announced today its new rapid prototyping service.  The company is now offering 3D printing services with the addition of 3D Systems' Projet™ HD 3000 3D Production System. The Projet™ is ideal for a wide-range of applications including concept development, design validation, form and fit analysis, molding and casting patterns, investment casting of jewelry and other fine feature applications.

In addition to the new rapid prototyping service, 3D Scanning Labs offers high-accuracy 3D scanning and metrology, onsite 3D scanning, reverse engineering to native CAD formats, and dimensional inspection. The new addition of 3D printing services opens up an array of possibilities for prototype testing and development for advanced engineering, manufacturing, and jewelry applications.

"Many of our customers need prototypes," states Jim Clark, Business Manager at Konica Minolta 3D Scanning Labs. "Brining this technology in-house allows us to better serve our customers' needs throughout the duration of their projects.  The high quality parts produced by the Projet are ideally matched to the high quality, high detail 3D scan data our equipment produces."

The Projet™ HD 3000 3D Production System offers the option of two modes, High Definition (HD) and Ultra High Definition (UHD), for applications ranging from prototypes and concepts to direct castable models.  For direct castable models of fine jewelry and other components, the UHD mode is unmatched in its ability to handle delicate features and produce detailed parts and patterns.  The high speed and exceptional surface quality of the standard HD mode is ideal for a wide variety of applications including concept development, design verification, form-fit testing, and product presentations.

For more information, visit:

A record amount of plastic injection molding and extrusion equipment will be available on the market over the next three weeks during live webcast auctions conducted by Great American Group, LLC (OTCBB: GAMR), a leading provider of asset disposition, valuation and appraisal services, involving four plants formerly operated by Fortis Plastics, LLC.

Great American Group, working in conjunction with The Branford Group, has scheduled the first auction to begin at 9 a.m. (CST) Tuesday, Jan. 17 for the Fortis plant in Jackson, Tenn. Some of the items initially up for auction include 38 molders and plastic support equipment.

“There will be more than 600 lots offered up during our first auction,” said Roy Gamityan, a senior vice president and auctioneer with Great American Group. “In all, we’ll be selling assets from four separate plastic plants that will involve more than 130 injection-molding machines, 20 extrusion lines, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools, and several forklifts. It’s a large auction sale for this type of equipment and should be a good test to see how strong the market is within this industry sector.”

Subsequent live webcast auctions are planned for Fortis’ other plants located in Fort Smith, Ark. (9 a.m. CST Jan. 19), South Bend, Ind. (9 a.m. EST Jan. 31) and Poplar Bluff, Mo. (9 a.m. CST Feb. 2). Interested parties can inspect the items at each plant location the day prior to each auction.

The clamping force of the injection presses available range from 50 to 1,000 tons. Gamityan says the larger-tonnage machines are expected to attract special attention from buyers, since a recovery in the automotive sector has reduced the number of the larger, used injection molding equipment available on the market.

Equipment manufacturers include Cincinnati Milacron, Van Dorn Demag, Negri Bossi, Toshiba, Toyo, Battenfeld, JSW, and Sumitomo. Some of the newer injection presses include a 1,000-ton Cincinnati Milacron press from 2000, a 2006 Negri Bossi 700-ton press and a 2004 Milacron Maxima 725-ton press – along with several mid- to late-1990s Van Dorn and Cincinnati Milacron injection molding presses.

Available extruders include Cincinnati and Davis-Standard, and the auctions also include robots, auxiliary equipment and tool room equipment.

In consolidating its operations, Fortis Plastics has closed a total of nine plants since Monomoy Capital put the business together in 2008. In 2011, the company announced plans to close four plants along with its corporate headquarters in South Bend by the end of the year.

For more information, visit:

Manufacturing Executive, the global community for manufacturing leadership, today announced that Dr. Ronald A. Heifetz, co-developer of the Adaptive Leadership concept, will provide a special keynote at the eighth annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit, taking place April 29-May 2, 2012, at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL.

Dr. Heifetz, co-founder of Cambridge Leadership Associates and founding director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, developed the Adaptive Leadership idea with Marty Linsksy, a Harvard colleague. In his keynote on April 30, entitled "The Future of Leadership", Dr. Heifetz will discuss the concept of Adaptive Leadership, which provides critical skills and tools to enable leaders not only to respond but thrive in the face of changing global forces.

Earlier this month, the Manufacturing Leadership Council, a part of Manufacturing Executive, and Cambridge Leadership Associates announced a partnership to deliver a new leadership development program to Council Members. Called Leading Adaptive Change in Manufacturing, the program is the subject of an explanatory Webcast to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 11 am EST. Interested manufacturers can register for the Webcast by going to

Other keynote session topics and speakers confirmed for the 2012 Summit are:

* Ford's Global Manufacturing Transformation
John Fleming, Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs, Ford Motor Co.

* Smart Partnerships for Greater Competitiveness
Carlos Cardoso, CEO, Kennametal

* Ruling the Future by Learning From the Past
Steve St. Angelo, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing N.A. and Chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky and Mississippi

* Ten Technology Trends That Will Change the World in 10 Years
Dave Evans, Chief Futurist, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group

* Back to Nature: The Next Step in Sustainable Manufacturing
Carol Williams, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing & Engineering Division, Dow Chemical

* Sparking a U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance (tentative title)
Mike Molnar, Chief Manufacturing Officer, National Institute of Standards and Technology

The Manufacturing Leadership Summit is an invitation-only event that enables senior manufacturing executives to network and share lessons learned. Through the event's 2012 theme, "The Future Manufacturer: Change the Rules, Rule the Future," the Summit will explore the ways manufacturing organizations must change to meet the demands of the future. These include leadership mandates for managing in an increasingly dynamic global market; the impact of greater collaboration on decision-making processes; new business models centered on work and production; build-to-demand supply chains; advanced workforce skills; and the megatrends of social media, mobility, and cloud computing.

One-on-one networking meetings, group discussions, and social activities such as the VIP Golf Tournament will provide ample opportunities for attendees to interact, all set against the backdrop of The Breakers' spectacular 140-acre beachfront property.

The Summit will culminate with the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership 100 Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony, at which Manufacturing Enterprise Communications honors the top 100 groundbreaking companies in the industry. This year also marks the expansion of the ML100 program to include four new individual leadership achievement awards spanning entrepreneurship, next-generation leadership and culture, turnaround success, and industry advocacy.

Among the sponsors of the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership Summit are Apriso, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Intermec, IQMS, Kepware Technologies, Microsoft Dynamics, Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Oracle, Plex Systems, Polycom, TBM Consulting Group, and Vistaar Technologies.

For more information, visit:

Intergraph® has released its newest product, Intergraph CADWorx® DraftPro™, an intelligent AutoCAD®-based plant design package, and is offering it free to the plant design and engineering community. Built on the company’s CADWorx Plant Professional package, which offers full 3D intelligent plant design, live collaborative database links, automatic isometrics and on-the-fly collision checking, CADWorx DraftPro enables designers to quickly and efficiently create intelligent, specification-driven 2D plant and piping plans, sections and elevations, with full bill of materials capabilities.

CADWorx DraftPro shares the same piping specifications as CADWorx Plant Professional, providing access to more than 60,000 parametrically driven components delivered via hundreds of piping specifications, which are easily modifiable via an intuitive specification editor. Users of CADWorx DraftPro can easily upgrade to CADWorx Plant Professional by migrating or carrying over their existing piping specifications.

Figures shared by Autodesk®, the developers of AutoCAD, state that between 500,000 and 1 million seats of AutoCAD are currently used in the plant creation space. A recent Intergraph survey of plant design users indicated that, apart from P&IDs, 91 percent of them use AutoCAD as their main 2D plant design platform. Also, only 27 percent of respondents used any intelligent tools to deliver their 2D deliverables.

“For 2D plant users the choice has typically been between unintelligent 2D design and intelligent 3D modeling,” said Rick Allen, senior vice president, Intergraph CADWorx & Analysis Solutions. “The release of CADWorx DraftPro lets us empower 2D AutoCAD users, projects and work groups, with technology that we have had for a while, but was always tied to our 3D offering. By releasing this capability, at no charge, we introduce users to the power of intelligent plant design and provide them with a natural upgrade path to 3D when they are ready.”

Gerhard Sallinger, Intergraph Process Power & Marine president, said, “Since the acquisition of the CADWorx product line by Intergraph in 2010, sales of CADWorx have risen to record numbers, proving its value in the market place. CADWorx is an effective AutoCAD-based plant design solution completing billions of dollars of successful projects. The release of CADWorx DraftPro reinforces our commitment to all levels of the plant creation, operations and maintenance sectors of the industries that Intergraph serves.”

The Intergraph CADWorx Plant Design Suite for process plant design offers intelligent drawing-to-database connectivity, advanced levels of design automation and easy-to-use design tools. Because of these distinct advantages, EPC firms and owner operators in the process, power, water treatment, pharmaceutical, food and beverage and semiconductor industries have rapidly adopted the plant design solution.

For more information, visit:

Bodymetrics, a pioneer in 3D body-mapping, announces a new era of personalized retail and in-home commerce experiences.  In retail Bodymetrics technology digitally maps a person's body allowing them to find perfect fitting clothes before they try them on.  In the near future Smart TVs will have the capability to body-map customers and order perfect-fitting clothing in their own homes, thereby reducing returns and beginning the end of the era of the online sizing chart.

Utilizing PrimeSense 3D sensor solutions, Bodymetrics carefully calculates and maps every contour and curve of the body. Once a Bodymetrics account is created, users can virtually try on garments from partner retailers to determine whether a garment fits and flatters their body.

Until very recently, body-mapping required expensive body-scanners. With the advent of the 3D sensors by PrimeSense, this technology can be installed at any clothing store, big or small, and is also inexpensive enough to be integrated into future Smart TVs.

Jonathan Hull, Vice President Emerging Experiences at Razorfish, says, "What consumers want are incredible digital experiences that are connected across channels. We are very excited to work with Bodymetrics  to help pioneer this new era of retail and personalized TV commerce. It doesn't get more personal than having your body scanned in-store or ordering clothing from your TV, knowing that it will fit perfectly."

Hull adds, "More than 90 percent of customers still shop at stores for clothing. Now they can get scanned in-store, share their looks with friends on Facebook, and continue to shop at home through their TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile devices."

Bodymetrics' pioneering solution, designed to body-map a customer's exact body-size and shape to the exact dimensions of a garment, has a successful seven-year track record in retail at Selfridges in London, voted as the world's best department store.

Bodymetrics makes buying clothes quicker, easier and more fun, both in-store and online. For most people, buying good fitting clothing is a trial-and-error, time-consuming process. Human bodies are different in a million ways, but when clothing companies produce garments they make them to fit an average person. In the real world, however, there is no such thing as an average body.

"When you walk into a clothing retailer or browse an online fashion site, they have no idea of your body size, shape or style," says Suran Goonatilake, CEO of Bodymetrics. "Bodymetrics body-maps you within a few seconds and gets hundreds of accurate measurements and analytics of your shape. Then, we match this data to the exact dimensions of a garment and allow you to  virtually try it on your own body to see whether it is too tight, too loose or just perfect."

Although the online clothing market is the largest e-commerce category, worth $30B in the US, it is still a small part of the total US clothing market of $370B. This contrasts with nearly half of computers  sold online and the virtual disappearance of physical travel agents that sell airline tickets. The key reasons are that customers lack confidence in buying clothes online, and there is too much hassle associated with returning garments back to the retailer if they do not fit. Depending on the type of garment, up to 50 percent of garments sold online are returned -- an enormous financial cost to the  retailer and a process that takes a huge environmental toll due to shuffling of garments back and forth to warehouses.

"With body-mapping, sizing charts and hand-measuring yourself will also become history," says Lainey Sheridan-Young, head of fashion at Bodymetrics. "Because there are no standards in fashion sizing, your size can vary dramatically from brand-to-brand and from country-to-country. Add vanity sizing, where brands give smaller size numbers to garments to boost customer self-esteem, and you have complete confusion. What we need is a simple way to map clothing sizes from one brand to another, from one country to another, based on your body. Bodymetrics will do this," adds Sheridan-Young.

Bodymetrics will preview its 3D body-mapping technology at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, January 10 – 13. Visit Bodymetrics at PrimeSense's New Living Room  Experience at Booth #30242, South Hall 3, Upper Level.

Bodymetrics makes buying clothes in-store or online quicker and more fun. The company develops 3D scanners that carefully calculate your size and shape, and allow you to virtually try-on garments on your body to determine whether they fit and flatter you. Once you have created your Bodymetrics account, you can then shop at partner retailers with the confidence that garments you choose will fit and suit your body-shape. The company's 3D-mapping technology builds upon technology developed by PrimeSense, a leader in 3D sensing. Bodymetrics is a London-based, privately-held company that has raised $7m in funding, primarily from its strategic partner, TAL Group (, one of the world's largest and most advanced clothing manufacturing groups. Bodymetrics' partner retailers include the London based  department store Selfridges, voted as the 'world's best department store', and New Look, a global clothing retailer. For more information, please visit  

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has purchased an Arcam A2 electron beam melting (EBM) machine. MTI is the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing, and this acquisition enhances their arsenal of product offerings by making the EBM technology available to their customers in aerospace, medical, and other industries.

The Arcam A2 builds functional metal parts layer by layer using metal powder.  The powder is melted by a powerful electron beam to the exact geometry dictated by a 3D CAD model. Parts are built in vacuum at elevated temperatures resulting in stress-relieved parts with material properties better than cast and comparable to wrought material.

The acquisition of the EBM additive manufacturing machine will offer advantages to MTI's customers. "The Arcam A2 is a complementary technology to our existing DMLS additive manufacturing machines and will allow us to offer additional capabilities and solutions for our customers," says Greg Morris, CEO of Morris Technologies.  "Coupled with our extensive, world-class machining and finishing technologies, we believe that we can offer cost and time savings for a number of customer geometries and projects."

The Arcam machine will be installed at MTI's facility and ready for manufacturing in January 2012.  Initially, Morris Technologies will be focusing on building geometries from titanium (Ti 64). They plan ongoing testing of other alloy powders and will introduce other options as appropriate.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies since 1994.   MTI's heavy investment in research and development has enabled them to evolve into the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing processes and advance technologies by offering new materials and developing new hardware.  MTI also specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit:

Advantage Business Media has acquired Vicon Publishing, Inc. of Amherst, New Hampshire effective January 1, 2012. Going forward Vicon Publishing will be renamed Vicon Business Media, Inc. and operate as a subsidiary of Advantage Business Media, LLC.

“This acquisition expands Advantage Business Media’s reach in Laboratory and Forensics Sciences where our current portfolio includes R&D Magazine, Laboratory Equipment, Laboratory Design, Bioscience Technology, Chromatography Techniques, and Scientific Computing,” said Richard Reiff, CEO of Advantage Business Media.

The new subsidiary, Vicon Business Media, consists of six brands in three distinct niche markets: Controlled Environments Magazine®, covering all aspects of cleanroom manufacturing, ALN® Magazine and ALN World™, known worldwide as the authoritative voice in laboratory animal facility magazines, and Forensic Magazine®, covering a wide spectrum of forensic disciplines including related technologies, industry trends, and solutions. Rounding out the Vicon offerings is the weekly publication, DFI News Digital Forensic Investigator®, which covers incident response and analysis; digital evidence and the law; forensic analysis for mobile devices; and event reconstruction and case studies. In addition, Vicon hosts the annual TurnKey Conference, which focuses on Laboratory Animal Facility sectors and Laboratory Animal Medicine.

“We are excited to bring the history and strength of Vicon’s brands into our portfolio,” Reiff said. “Their knowledge and experience will enhance our expertise in the Science arena.”

Reiff also noted that the Vicon business will continue to operate in New Hampshire.

Vicon is the second acquisition Advantage Business Media has completed in the past few months. In May, the company acquired Continuity Insights, a magazine and trade show business focusing on continuity risk management planning.

Advantage Business Media is an integrated business media company with a diversified portfolio of highly focused print publications, e-newsletters, specialized directories, vertical search databases, conferences, ancillary media vehicles, and associated web-based services. Founded in 2006 with the acquisition of Reed New Business Publications and building upon a 45-year combined legacy of influential Cahners, Chilton, and Gordon Publishing titles, today Advantage Business Media serves more than 1.3 million industry professionals in the science, engineering/design, electronics, and communications markets.

Advantage Business Media properties include Bioscience Technology, CED, Chem.Info, Chromatography Techniques, Continuity Insights, Drug Discovery & Development, ECN, Food Manufacturing, Industrial Distribution, Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operations, Laboratory Design, Laboratory Equipment, Manufacturing Business Technology,, Medical Design Technology, Pharmaceutical Processing, Product Design & Development, R&D Magazine, Scientific Computing, Surgical Products, Wireless Design & Development, and Wireless Week. Advantage Business Media is headquartered in Rockaway, NJ.

For more information, visit:

The University of Dayton will be part of a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop ways to educate engineers to contribute to the entrepreneurial cultures of their companies.

"We all know the term 'entrepreneur,' but we want to develop 'intra-preneurs' as well," University of Dayton Innovation Center Director Ken Bloemer said. "While entrepreneurs create their own companies, an intra-preneur works within the framework of an existing company as a change agent driving business growth."

Dayton will team with lead-partner Baylor University, University of Detroit Mercy and Villanova University, and their industry partners, to build a curriculum that will help students better understand intrapreneurship and provide hands-on opportunities to put the practice in place. Possible courses include an in-depth study of intra-preneurship, innovation in a corporate context, a seminar series, an intra-preneurship-focused opportunity evaluation and a venture-planning course and workshop.

The end goal is to form a Helping Hands Dense Network, which will change the culture in the way engineers are educated and create practicing engineering graduates who are technically competent, and innovative and business savvy.

"The Kern Family Foundation is eager to support this joint initiative of four prestigious universities that desire to work together to change engineering education for the benefit of their engineering students," said Dr. Timothy J. Kriewall, program director for the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) "Their graduates will be effective team players who will be entrepreneurially minded and who will be able to deploy technology to benefit people around the world."

This is the second boost for entrepreneurial education and engineering for the School of Engineering in the last year. Almost exactly a year ago, University of Dayton graduates O. Jack Anderson and his wife, Opal, gave more than $600,000 to create a new faculty position to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit among engineering students and faculty. The new fellow will lead the growing partnership between the School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration to prepare students to better design products for society. The position also will work to provide additional entrepreneurial and product design learning experiences university-wide.

University of Dayton School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said it's important for the University to produce engineers who embrace entrepreneurship and interact effectively with business professionals in order to develop innovations that can succeed in the marketplace.

"It's important we produce job creators rather than job seekers," Saliba said.

The Kern Family Foundation has said the University of Dayton is "best-in-class in project-based learning in engineering innovation education."

Since 1996, University of Dayton engineering students have worked on more than 600 projects for 120 clients. Seven teams of engineering students have finished in the top five of the School of Business Administration's Business Plan Competition in the four-year history of the competition. One team has taken home the top prize.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 08:50

3Shape Releases CAMbridge™ 2011

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3Shape A/S, a user-acclaimed worldwide leader in 3D scanners and CAD/CAM software solutions, announces the launch of CAMbridge™ 2011, an innovative solution that automates the manufacturing of CAD designs. With this latest CAMbridge™ 2011 release, 3Shape is providing dental labs and manufacturing services with new levels of productivity through innovative features for efficient milling and 3D printing of even complex dental restorations. 3Shape CAMbridge™ is also being successfully applied in an important variety of other industries, including Orthodontics, Hearing Instruments, and the production of industrial parts.

New and improved milling path engine
CAMbridge™ has been updated in its automatic generation of sprues (connector pins) to support production of 3Shape's latest dental design indications such as Removable Partials and Lab Models. Additionally, new milling features include support for multiple milling directions with both adding and editing of milling directions. 3Shape has improved the milling path for finishing surfaces and added a dedicated hole-making milling path based on spirals.

Objet Geometries Ltd, a leading provider of manufacturing solutions for the Dental industry, integrates 3Shape's CAMbridge™ in their systems.

"We have found the new CAMbridge™ software to be a perfect integration for both DentalSystem™ software, and our 3D printing systems," Says Avi Cohen, Head of Medical Solutions at Objet. "The new CAMbridge™ delivers unique capabilities, such as built-in support for handling Quality Control in dental lab production environments, a range of options for creating ID-tags, and grouping of items and advanced placement with a unique setting for Objet dental users. It is for this reason that we highly recommend CAMbridge™ to our large dental users' install base."
"The new CAMbridge™ is not only a powerful and efficient tool - but in our vision it is a must for all advanced dental lab owners," concluded Avi Cohen.

Extensive Tool Manager
3Shape has introduced a new tool manager that allows users to maintain total control over tools and tool siblings during milling. The system alerts users regarding tool-usage, the need for tool replacement, and where tools should be inserted.

Enhanced functionality for supports
CAMbridge™ 2011 contains an impressive range of new Supports options and improvements. Not only has the system's Supports generator been enriched with more speed, but users will benefit from many user-friendly options, such as Supports along ridges and minimum extent of foundations (Braces).

Built for efficient processing
Besides the wide array of new features, the CAMbridge™ 2011 release provides a boosted platform  for more efficient processing and added power for handling the large amount of data involved in CAD/CAM manufacturing processes. CAMbridge™ supports multiple large files and parallel processing of up to 10 items using the CAMbridge Assistant™.

"Our new CAMbridge™ 2011 CAM software solution integrates smoothly with DentalSystem™ 2012," explains David Fischer, CAMbridge Group Manager. "CAMbridge 2011 has been enhanced with many special features for Dental manufacturing, such as flexible methods for hollowing and creating wall thickness for dental and orthodontic models."

The new CAMbridge™ 2011 release is now available today. Users who wish to benefit from this opportunity should contact their local 3Shape CAMbridge distributor.

For more information, visit:

The inaugural Manufacturing EXPO, Putting a Face on Manufacturing, is prepared to change the way manufacturers, design engineers and purchasing agents view production and product selection. On February 14-15, 2012, more than 3,000 industry-related professionals from Canada and the United States are expected to gather at The Galleria in Downtown Cleveland to gain insights and build important relationships the old-fashioned way: through in-person contact.

More than 175 exhibitors will be showing off their know-how at The Manufacturing EXPO, and some of the most established names in manufacturing will be sharing valuable information with attendees. At the same time, this is designed to be an intimate, easily accessible event, one in which manufacturers, design engineers and others experts in the industry can realize first-hand how impressive and vital manufacturing continues to be in North America.

"The Manufacturing EXPO will harken back to the days of the International Expositions," says Mary Kaye Denning, president and founder of The Manufacturing Mart. "Attendees will be able to stroll the aisles and meet with the faces behind some of the world's most impressive products. Likewise, exhibitors will have the opportunity to see up-close what others in the industry are doing. This is a chance for everyone in the manufacturing arena to realize how proud they should be of what they are producing for North America and the world."

Among the exhibitors already signed on for The Manufacturing EXPO is Beverage Machine & Fabricators, a provider of custom metal-working services for the medical, food processing, construction, heavy machinery, steel, energy, military defense and waste disposal industries. Beverage Machine & Fabricators has a 100-year history and is a fourth-generation family business in Cleveland. The company boasts a 35,000-square-foot workshop, a 25-ton lifting capacity and highly skilled craftsmen.

Another exhibitor at The Manufacturing EXPO is Atlantic Tool & Die. This global manufacturer of precision metal stampings, welding and value-added assemblies has facilities in Alabama, Ohio and Texas, as well as in China, Costa Rica and Mexico. Atlantic Tool & Die's international presence illustrates the breadth of manufacturing opportunities available to manufacturers with the know-how to exceed expectations.

In addition to a growing list of exhibitors, The Manufacturing EXPO will lend a voice to industry experts who understand current trends and ongoing challenges in the marketplace:

Mr. Roger Kilmer, Director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the National Institute of Standards & Technology

Ms. Birgit Matthiesen, Special Advisor to the President and CEO, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Mr. Grady Cope, Chairman, National Tooling and Machining Association

Mr. John Kastelic, President, Cleveland Intellectual Property Law Association; VP/Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Eaton Corp.

The Manufacturing EXPO is being sponsored by Penton Media, along with the City of Cleveland, StudioTh!nk and The Galleria at Erieview.

For more information, visit:

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, Intl. (FMA) invites manufacturing executives to join its new Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members working together to drive the transition toward environmentally friendly manufacturing.

“The mission of the Green Manufacturer Network is to be the principal resource to advance sustainable manufacturing,” said Edward Youdell, president and CEO of the FMA. “By joining this network, executives throughout the entire supply chain can learn practical strategies and affordable measures to run sustainable operations, as well as discover new business opportunities in the green marketplace.”

Members of the group receive discounts on conferences, workshops, and webinars; helpful event announcements and topical discussions; as well as access to sustainability resources.

“In a recent FMA member survey, 51% of respondents indicated their company has a committed sustainability program with dedicated staff and performance metrics,” said Jim Warren, FMA membership and education director. “An additional 38% of respondents indicated their company was moving toward full commitment to sustainable practices. They’ve recognized that being green directly impacts the bottom line in a positive way. Further, good environmental stewardship sends a powerful message to current and potential customers of one’s dedication to sustainability in their communities.”

Members will be able to share knowledge on sustainable manufacturing and promote awareness that going green can increase profitability while forming valuable contacts with other green leaders through volunteer and educational opportunities.

Based in Rockford, Ill., FMA is a professional organization with nearly 2,300 members working together to improve the metal fabricating and forming industry. Founded in 1970, FMA brings metal fabricators and fabricating equipment manufacturers together through technology councils, educational programs, networking events, and the FABTECH® trade show. FMA also has two technology affiliates, the Tube & Pipe Association, International (TPA), which focuses on the unique needs of companies engaged in tube and pipe producing and fabricating; and Green Manufacturer Network, a professional organization of individual members dedicated to working toward environmentally-friendly manufacturing.

For more information, visit:

The editors of IndustryWeek have selected 10 honorees for the 2011 class of the IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame. IndustryWeek is the premiere publication serving executive and operations leaders in the manufacturing industry. IndustryWeek has a long history of acknowledging the leaders of manufacturing operations through distinguishing programs such as the IW 50, IW 500 and IW Best Plants.

Through the IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IndustryWeek now is extending recognition to individual leaders in the manufacturing community whose vision, leadership, and legacy not only provided value to their individual organizations but also beneficially impacted the larger business community and our society. IndustryWeek is pleased to highlight their accomplishments to our audience of manufacturing leaders.

The IW Manufacturing Hall of Fame is presented by Swagelok.

John Brown – As president and CEO of Stryker Corp. from 1977 to 2003 and as CEO from 2003 to 2004, Brown transformed a small Kalamazoo, Mich.-based manufacturer of hospital beds and cast cutters into one of the world's largest medical-device makers, with a portfolio of more than 55,000 products. During Brown's 27 years at the helm, Stryker achieved average annual earnings growth of 22%. Since January 2010, Brown has served as chairman emeritus of Stryker, which reported revenue of $7.3 billion for 2010—its 31st consecutive year of revenue growth.

Daniel DiMicco – As chairman and CEO of Nucor Corp., DiMicco not only is the leader of the nation's largest steelmaker but also has become a leading voice of the American steel industry and American manufacturing. DiMicco was named president and CEO of Charlotte-based Nucor in 2000, shepherding the company through a period of unprecedented growth as well as the harrowing recession of the late 2000s (during which Nucor hewed to its no-layoff philosophy). An outspoken critic of China's alleged steel dumping and currency manipulation, DiMicco has helped keep fair trade on the forefront of the public-policy agenda.

Armand Feigenbaum – Feigenbaum's work and ideas helped lay the foundation for the concept of total quality control. When the American Society for Quality (ASQ) named Feigenbaum an honorary board member in 1986, the society acknowledged him for a career in which "the precepts of total quality control were carefully laid out and tirelessly promulgated in the United States and around the world." The author of "Total Quality Control," Feigenbaum also is a pioneer in quality cost management, and the ASQ notes that his book "was the first text to characterize quality costs as the costs of prevention, appraisal, and internal and external failure."

Raymond Floyd – During his 42-year career as an executive and operations manager at ExxonMobil, General Motors and Suncor Energy, Floyd has helped some of the world's largest industrial sites and global multi-plant operations achieve best-in-class performance. His impressive resume includes two IndustryWeek Best Plants awards; a Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing; and a Shingo Research and Professional Publications Award for his book "Liquid Lean: Developing Lean Culture in the Process Industries."

Jay Forrester – Forrester is an award-winning inventor, author and professor whose research at MIT in the late 1950s led to the modern notion of supply chain management. He is one of the inventors of the digital control of machine tools, receiving a patent for the numerical-control servo-system in 1962. A pioneer in early digital-computer development, Forrester, 93, is a professor emeritus of management at MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Alan (A.G.) Lafley – Lafley served as president and CEO of Procter & Gamble from 2000 to 2009, capping a three-decade career with the company. At a time when P&G's results had been slipping, Lafley in the 2000s focused the company on core businesses and brands; faster-growing and higher-margin beauty, grooming and health care businesses; and winning in developing markets. When Lafley retired in 2010, P&G had more than doubled its sales since the beginning of the decade; the company's portfolio of billion-dollar brands had grown from 10 to 22; and P&G's market capitalization had more than doubled. His successor, Bob McDonald, called Lafley "one of the greatest CEOs, if not the greatest CEO, in the history of P&G."

Gordon Moore – Moore co-founded Intel Corp. in 1968, along with fellow Fairchild Semiconductor alum Robert Noyce. Moore served as CEO of Intel from 1975 until 1987, and was named chairman emeritus in 1997. Moore is widely known for coming up with "Moore's Law" in 1965, in which he predicted that computing power would double every year (he later updated it to two years). Moore's Law, according to Intel, "has become the guiding principle for the semiconductor industry to deliver ever-more-powerful chips while decreasing the cost of electronics."

Richard Morely – Morley is best known as the father of the programmable logic controller. An engineer, author, inventor and consultant, Morley holds more than 20 U.S. and foreign patents, including patents for magnetic thin film, the hand-held terminal and the floppy disk. A member of the Automation Hall of Fame (a group that includes W. Edwards Deming), Morley has been a pioneer in the fields of computer design, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics/motors and technology trend forecasting.

Alan Mulally – Since taking over as president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. in September 2006, Mulally has led the automaker from the brink of bankruptcy to profitability, respectability and stability. However, he might always be best known for the fact that Ford said "no" to government bailout funds, thanks to the actions he took to finance a corporate restructuring two years prior to the recession. A former Boeing executive, Mulally has become the face of the auto industry's renaissance, and recently unveiled a bold strategy to increase Ford's global sales from 5.3 million vehicles in 2010 to 8 million by mid-decade.

John Shook – As an author, keynote speaker, former Toyota employee, and current chairman and CEO of the Lean Enterprise Institute, Shook has enthusiastically spread the principles of the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing to operations throughout the world. Shook learned about lean management during his decade-long career with Toyota in Japan and the United States, and became the company's first American kacho (manager) in Japan. As co-author of the Shingo Prize-winning book "Learning to See," Shook helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. The Lean Enterprise Institute describes Shook as "a true sensei."

A feature story in our December 2011 issue will highlight these achievements to the more than 120,000 subscribers of IndustryWeek and also will appear on the IndustryWeek Web site at:

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 12:01

SolidCAM Announces Release of InventorCAM 2012

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SolidCAM announces the release of InventorCAM 2012, the latest version of its powerful CAM system, seamlessly integrated and with full associativity to Autodesk Inventor. InventorCAM 2012 launches the new revolutionary iMachining module, that reduces cycle times by up to 70% and increases tool life dramatically.

Autodesk Inventor users will be able to achieve dramatic increases in productivity for their CNC machining with InventorCAM 2012 due to its single-window integration in Inventor. InventorCAM  provides the same look and feel in CAM as in CAD, greatly reducing the learning curve, enabling engineers to quickly generate efficient and safe toolpaths directly from the CAM toolbar, inside Autodesk Inventor.

The revolutionary iMachining technology in InventorCAM 2012 uses morphing spiral cuts and controlled step-over algorithms to enable tools to cut at their full depth, without suffering from shock loading or rubbing. Cutting at full depth helps to spread the load over the length of the tool, instead of the bottom few millimeters while, precise control of chip thickness, keeps cutting loads steady, enabling far greater metal removal rates to be achieved, even in hard materials.

Applications which require the use of small diameter tools benefit particularly from iMachining. Optimized feeds and speeds are automatically generated by the software’s technology wizard, taking into account  the properties of the machine, tool, material, geometry and the user’s selected aggressiveness level for cutting. iRest and iFinish technologies are an integral part of this process, cutting the rest material with smaller and smaller cutters so that the final finish path can be cut at full depth and chatter free.

InventorCAM 2012 is powerful for its ability to drive multi-spindle and multi-turret mill-turn centers. InventorCAM 2012 takes advantage of iMachining for these applications to overcome the problems associated with low rigidity and over long tooling setups. By lowering the aggressiveness of cutting and utilizing the constant tool loading produced by iMachining, programmers can compensate for less than perfect cutting conditions, enabling the machine tool to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity in a collision free environment.

Simultaneous 5-axis milling, multi-sided indexing, high speed surface machining and 3D high speed surface machining in InventorCAM 2012 give engineers the ability to cut the most complex parts designed in Autodesk Inventor, while turning, mill-turn and wire EDM modules extend the software to program all the machines in the workshop.

Learning the software is easy - with an intuitive Autodesk Inventor like interface, experienced designers will quickly become proficient in InventorCAM 2012. Online tutorials provide 24/7 self-teach opportunities to make it easy to optimize CNC programming and machining productivity and are supplemented by the worldwide InventorCAM support network.  InventorCAM 2012 helps companies designing in Autodesk Inventor, to rapidly generate fast and highly productive machining operations, resulting in reduced costs, shortened delivery times and higher quality and profitability.

For more information, visit:

While most of the work at Realize Inc. involves precision reproduction of engineered 3D models, the rapid prototyping company has expanded its services to include custom artistic projects where aesthetics are paramount.

"We're always excited when someone approaches us with a more free-form idea," said Todd Reese, President of Realize Inc. "It's a break from the norm, and gives us a chance to cut loose and let the imagination run."

Based near Indianapolis, Ind., Realize Inc. creates custom rapid prototypes of products for clients in numerous industries, including aerospace, biomedical and electronics. However, clients sometimes request a project that involves more of a creative flair. Reese says that demand for artistic projects at Realize is increasing and that they are now well positioned to take on more of this type of work.

Adam Poots, a creative director, designer and web developer who is creating a role-playing game/board game system, recently selected Realize to fabricate two ornately inscribed miniature books stacked on top of each other.

"It takes a very special combination of love and mastery in order to achieve what Realize Inc. has," Poots said. "The company is a powerhouse of titan class individuals who know how to push their technology to the very edge of its capability."

Realize Finishing Technician Charlie Guernsey has vast experience with artistic oriented projects.

"Ever since I was old enough to hold a paint brush, I have been drawn to all things creative," Guernsey said. "Having the opportunity to help Realize expand into this arena will be very rewarding. I can't wait to showcase my abilities to complement our other services."

Founded in 1999, Realize has grown into one of the largest rapid prototyping companies in the Midwest. Customers use Realize to test product designs before undergoing the cost of full production. Services include Stereolithography, RTV molding and Cast Urethane Models, Industrial Design, Computer Aided Design and Custom Finishing and Painting.

For more information, visit:

Friday, 23 December 2011 09:55

Inventionland Special Premieres on HISTORY®

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Ever wonder where all those fantastic, odd and oddly useful consumer gadgets come from? Browsing the aisles of Target, K-Mart, Walmart and other major retailers, one marvels at the scope of imagination when it comes to products for the home, office, workshop and garage. For inventors and those who have big ideas of their own, home shopping shows and big-box stores are playgrounds of potential.

Now comes "Inventionland," a new reality-based TV special scheduled to debut on HISTORY on Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. EST. Shot on location, the Pittsburgh-based Inventionland is the headquarters for Davison Design & Development, founded by George Davison, the show's star.

"Inventionland" delves into the sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes exhilarating real-life drama of the high-risk world of inventing. The show follows three inventors as their respective inventions take shape. From the thrill of coming up with a big idea to the challenges involved in turning it into a functioning prototype and then into a money-making proposition or a trip back to the drawing board, it all begins and ends at Inventionland, America's largest invention factory.

* Stuck holding onto the umbrella during a breezy day at the beach while watching his young daughters have fun in the ocean without him, inventor Milton Branch envisions a beach cooler that firmly anchors an umbrella even on the windiest days. Find out if the project flies.

* Kurt Whiteside and 5,000 of his car mechanic customers around the country anxiously await the next generation of the Hover Creeper. But first this miracle of physics must pass the muster of NASCAR mechanic "Big A," who ultimately says, "Every fat guy should have one of these." Then Inventionland designers face a last-minute, nail-biting prototyping problem that requires Mr. D.'s expertise as an important celebration looms.

* Taking a cue from the original boom boxes of the 1980s, twenty-year-old Jason Ramsey has the idea for a new surround-sound, six-speaker wearable belt that will enable him to share music the old-fashioned way with his skateboarding friends at the park. There's only one problem, and it's a doozy.

Intertwined with these compelling invention stories are those of Inventionland's own creative captain, "Mr. D."—the one and only George Davison—and an eccentric cast of designers and builders. Jason Rogge configures each design team, balancing personalities and talent for what an invention needs; he's also the master deadline enforcer. Jarrod Campbell, the lone wolf known for his quick temper, never hesitates to speak his mind. The quintessential super-geek Clay Carlino is nonetheless a snob at heart. Lucky Schwartz, ever the skeptic, plays devil's advocate at every turn. Outdoorsman Curtis Wierman is part Grizzly Adams and part Turtle from Entourage. Tensions may flare, creative minds do clash and emotions run high, but in the end, the cast of characters' idiosyncrasies work in their favor, and the new inventions come to life.

George Davison says from Inventionland, "Whether we invent new products to ward off outside competition, or to fix a pressing problem, or to bring pleasure into new realms, there is a ravenous appetite among consumers for the new and innovative. And we do it all at Inventionland."

"Inventionland" is produced for HISTORY by JWM Productions. The producer is Jonathan Wyche. Patrice Shannon is the editor and the online editor is Brian Newell.

For more information, visit:

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and UBM Electronics’ Design News have launched the Digi-Key Continuing Education Center.

The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a free virtual training service created exclusively for electronic, design and test engineers. The program, designed by Design News, provides courses that allow engineers to increase their knowledge and network with peers and thought leaders.

"Digi-Key has actively sought business partnerships that allow us to provide product and complementary educational information to our customers," said Tony Harris, Digi-Key’s CMO. "The Digi-Key Continuing Education Center is a great asset to engineers who desire to increase their knowledge base. With increasing demands on engineers to create and produce quality technology, it is even more important for them to be able to access continuing education resources. We take pride in offering the most in-stock product available for immediate shipment as well as the resources and information necessary to make the engineer’s job easier."

The first course series - Microcontrollers, Basics - begins January 16, 2012 and will be presented by lecturer, Jon Titus, contributing technical editor for Design News, and Alexander Wolfe, Content Director for Design News.

"We are very pleased to be partnering with Digi-Key to bring this education to design engineers," said Alexander Wolfe. "I am overseeing the development and the courses to ensure that we are providing our audience with top-notch content. This education allows engineers to increase their engineering knowledge and stay current with key trends."

Future series include Microcontrollers, Advanced; Sensors; and Basic Industrial Control Processing.

For a complete list of courses and to register, visit:

InnovMetric Software Inc. announced that the latest intermediate release of the PolyWorks universal 3D metrology platform - V12.0.3 - can display on Apple mobile devices in real time laser-scanned points being captured, thanks to the new PolyWorks/Talisman app.  Equipped with PolyWorks/Talisman and an Apple mobile device, laser scanning operators can get immediate visual and audio feedback right where they are, instead of having to go back to their computer, placing PolyWorks in the palm of your hand.

"PolyWorks/Talisman is a time-saving application for 3D metrology data capture.  Some customers have already reported that it contributes to lowering the cost of measuring parts by more than 50%.  Live laser scanning display is just one of many major productivity enhancement tools that we will introduce in the coming months," said Marc Soucy, president of InnovMetric Software.

PolyWorks/Talisman is free and available from the Apple App Store. For more information, visit:

Electronic components distributor Digi-Key Corporation and Aspen Labs, creator of EEWeb, have produced the industry's first online schematic drawing tool, Scheme-it.

"Digi-Key is excited to launch Scheme-it, the industry's only fully-online schematic tool," said Tony Harris, chief marketing officer, Digi-Key Corporation. "With Scheme-it, engineers are able to easily create the blueprint for any design while gaining access to Digi-Key's expansive product listing in one online experience."

"Scheme-it is a new design tool that allows engineers, students, and enthusiasts to quickly create and share electronic schematics from directly within their web browser," said Joe Wolin, Aspen Labs.

Scheme-it allows users to:

* Design electronics schematics and technical diagrams.
* Utilize an integrated electronic symbol library and the Digi-Key component catalog.
* Keep track of parts used in each design with Digi-Key's Bill of Materials (BOM) Manager.
* Share drawings with other engineers via email and/or web link.
* Export drawings to an image for personal use.

Scheme-it runs natively in all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome, and does not require the use of browser plugins. Users must be registered to save designs on Scheme-it.

For more information, visit:

Z Corporation today announced it will sponsor "Reality Redesigned," a student-focused design competition and online reality show that will spawn daring new mountain bike designs created by inventive riders.

The show bills itself as "the ultimate design contest ... what happens when the biggest names in North American manufacturing, design and engineering throw open the doors and allow both mountain bikers and designers alike to have at it." In addition to entertainment, the episodes will serve as solid curriculum material for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers across North America.

The contest will spotlight the design process from drawing board to finished product. Z Corporation Technical Support Specialist and expert mountain bike rider Dave Mee will "ZPrint" prototypes of three finalists in three categories, in preparation for a showdown at the RAPID 2012 Conference May 22-25, 2012. The winner will be announced live at the Z Corporation booth. The winning design will then be manufactured and tested by a pro rider.

"Reality Redesigned" is produced by host and Executive Producer Jeremy Bout and others involved in "The Edge Factor Show," who are joining forces with Pinkbike, one of the top mountain bike sites in the world. Here's how it works:

Submissions (mid-December through Feb. 24, 2012). After registering for Pinkbike (free), contestants will place their submission into one of three categories.

1. Mountain-bike suspension
2. Mountain-bike component
3. Mountain-bike frame

Screening (ongoing). Submissions will be scored by Bout and qualified experts from the mountain-bike industry. A real-time leaderboard will track the top 15 designs in each category.

The Gauntlet (April/May 2012). Experts determine how designs will stand up to a real-life scenario, then grade each based on research, material pricing and specific criteria:

1. 3D Modeling -- Fit, form and function.

2. Rapid Prototyping -- (usefulness, rideability) -- Judges: Mee and professional rider Mike Montgomery. Mee will "ZPrint" the entries of three finalists in each category. 3D printing converts three-dimensional computer-aided design data into physical prototypes.

3. Engineering/Business plan

4. Manufacturability

Finals (May 22-25, 2012). At the RAPID 2012 Conference, three final designs will be displayed and judged, in three episodes shot with a live audience in the Z Corporation booth. The judging will include stringent and rigorous testing using finite element analysis (FEA) software and ZPrinted prototypes. The winner will be announced in the Z Corporation booth.

Epilogue: The winning design will be manufactured and tested by a pro rider.

"ZPrinting is a center-stage component of the show, inspiring innovation and bringing contestants' designs to reality," said Bout. "With physical models, judges and industry manufacturers can more deeply understand a design, and what it will be able to do on the trail. ZPrints will also expose students to technology they will use in their engineering careers."

"Reality Redesigned" is just one example of Z Corporation's ongoing commitment to education in addition to its EngineeringZONE™ program, sponsorships and education discounts.

To enter the contest:

Friday, 16 December 2011 12:59

Asiga Launches World’s First 3D Pico Printer

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Asiga announced the release of the world’s first low-cost high-resolution 3D printer. The printer, named the Pico, is tiny, having a 22cm footprint and weighing only 10kg. However, under the hood is a novel print engine based on Asiga’s proprietary “sliding separation” technology. The system has two build modes: 37.5 microns and 50 microns XY resolution; and the Z layer thickness is user selectable between 1 micron and 200 microns in 1 micron increments. The Pico is targeted at high-resolution digital manufacturing applications including the fabrication of dental models, crown and bridge casting patterns, jewelry, and hearing-aid shells.

Priced at US$6990, the Pico meets or exceeds the resolution of larger systems having ten-times the price.

The Pico is the first 3D printer to incorporate an ultraviolet 385nm LED light source with up to 50,000 hours life time. The ultraviolet light source allows the Pico to print in pure white and water-clear materials. As the light source never needs replacing, it offers consistent performance from print to print and reduces the cost of ownership, as the only consumables are the fabrication materials.

Asiga’s CTO Dr Ray Ericsson says the Pico is going to revolutionize many industries, particularly small businesses doing bespoke manufacturing. “There are many industries, including dental, hearing and jewelry, where the CAD design software is mature. The missing link that has prevented small businesses from fully engaging with these productivity enhancing tools is the high cost of tooling-grade resolution 3D printers.  The Pico makes tooling-grade digital manufacturing affordable for everyone. This will result in significant productivity gains in may industries.”

For more information, visit:

Towson University’s College of Fine Arts and Communication, in partnership with the Department of Art + Design, Art History and Art Education, has established an on-campus Object Lab. The project received integral funding support from Marcia Welsh, interim president of Towson University.

Located in the Center for the Arts and managed by Associate Professor Jan Baum, the Object Lab is home to three-dimensional scanning and printing, laser cutting and CNC milling equipment.

The facility focuses on rapid prototyping and digital fabrication through reverse engineering, additive and subtractive prototyping and manufacturing technologies, and laser cutting.

Participating students will learn cutting-edge applications for industries that include aerospace and defense, consumer products, product development, prosthetics, dentistry, medicine, forensics, and art and design

Reverse engineering with three-dimensional scanning can digitize existing objects for manipulation and reproduction. For example, the technology can be used to scan an existing body part to make a matching prosthetic. Digitization can also be applied to dentistry, combat weapons, and other arenas, to determine how an object has failed and what is needed to improve performance.

Digital fabrication uses three-dimensional printers and milling machines to create parts and objects, directly applicable to rapid prototyping and manufacturing. Central to this technology is skill in three-dimensional modeling, which is taught alongside the lab.

For more information, visit:

Dynomax Inc., a leader in value-added engineering and high-precision machining, injection molding and tooling, has updated and expanded its micro molding and tooling machine fleet to better serve the tight tolerance requirements of its medical, aerospace and defense customers. Dynomax's increased capacity supports its commitment to meet the growing medical device market demand.

Dynomax's investment includes all-electric injection and insert molding machines employing 6-axis robots for repeatability of plus or minus 0.0001 inches, and micro injection units with 0.6 oz. shot sizes for near 100% accuracy and repeatability. The company also purchased several Swiss-style turning machines for manufacturing components from titanium, stainless steel and other metals, and enhanced EDM machines that employ advanced Swiss technology. The new machines can hold tolerances of plus or minus 0.0002 inches for micro injection molding and turning, and plus or minus 0.0001 inches for thin wall molding.

“Dynomax's high glass content thermoplastic and thermoset injection molding and tooling operations are supported by a vertically integrated engineering and manufacturing team, incorporating the latest design process technology for mold flow analysis,” said Walter Zic, Vice President of Operations. “By expanding and upgrading to over 35 cutting-edge machines, and utilizing cellular manufacturing and robotic machine tending, we are able to provide superior customer service and go from design to part in three weeks or less.”

Celebrating 25 years of excellence, demand for Dynomax's contract manufacturing services has also grown. The company has experienced tremendous growth recently, having added two new facilities and over 100 employees in the past two years. Its molding and tooling operations are located in Mundelein, Illinois.

An ISO 9001:2008, AS9100 Rev C and ITAR registered company, Dynomax is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-precision machined components, injection molding and tooling, sub-assemblies, specialty machines and machine tool spindles. From early stage production through dockside ready components, Dynomax develops fully integrated solutions that enable its customers to improve their competitive advantage. Its customers include some of the largest names in the aerospace, defense, medical, transportation and energy industries.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 09:05

As Seen On TV, Inc.'s Pitch Tank Event Successful

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As Seen On TV, Inc., the parent company of TVGoods, Inc., held a Pitch Tank event in Tampa, FL over the weekend of December 10th and 11th.

Pitch Tank is marketed to entrepreneurs and inventors as a platform to introduce and demonstrate businesses and/or products to the As Seen On TV, Inc. team, including Kevin Harrington. The event includes real training from Kevin Harrington on how to take your business or product from an idea to reality, including information on development and marketing. Covered topics include mass marketing, branding, intellectual property, manufacturing, ecommerce, web design, and all the latest marketing trends and strategies. Distribution channel strategy is also a key area of focus, including television shopping channels, infomercials and the Internet.

In addition to assisting and training the participants, the As Seen On TV, Inc. team was exposed to several businesses and products that it will continue to evaluate and monitor, with the hopes of partnering in the future. The company looks forward to hosting its next Pitch Tank event in a different city within the next 90 days.

"Pitch Tank has already turned into a profitable department for As Seen On TV, Inc. The company is able to use its expertise to be able to monetize the thousands of inventor submissions we get annually," said Steve Rogai, CEO of As Seen On TV, Inc.

"Last weekend's Pitch Tank event surpassed our expectations. It was successful for both the entrepreneurs and inventors in attendance and our company. There are tons of amazing people in this world, people with a lot of talent, skill and great ideas. Unfortunately, many of these amazing people struggle because they have no direction. I get approached daily from people with great ideas, and many have done a lot of work on those ideas. People show me prototypes, market research data and some have even begun selling their products or ideas. Every one of these people have a few pieces of the puzzle, but the one thing that they are all lacking is knowledge on how to complete the puzzle; and Pitch Tank gives them that knowledge," said Kevin Harrington, Chairman of As Seen On TV, Inc.

As Seen On TV, Inc. is the parent company of TVGoods, Inc., a direct response marketing company. We identify, develop and market consumer products for global distribution via TV, Internet and retail channels. TVGoods was established by Kevin Harrington, a pioneer of direct response television.

Engineering Technology Associates, Inc. (ETA) is pleased to announce the availability of Version 5.8.1, of its complete die system simulation solution, DYNAFORM ™.  This latest release promises to deliver a robust environment for engineers to simulate and analyze the entire die system.  The FEA software solution guides the engineer through a wide range of stages in the manufacturing process, from cost estimation and die face design to formability analysis and stamping process simulation.

Some of the most significant enhancements in this version are delivered through DYNAFORM’s Die Face Engineering (DFE) module.  DFE now offers the capacity to parametrically build die faces for a symmetrical part.  Therefore, after the user defines the symmetry line, the program can automatically build the die faces for the other half of the symmetrical part accordingly.

Also notable, a ‘new product change replacement’ feature was added in 5.8.1.  It allows the user to retain the current die face design and simply drop in new product design surfaces, saving the user a great deal of time while providing greater flexibility.

Finally, a new ‘Auto Mesh’ option was added in DFE and allows the user to automatically mesh the CAD model immediately after it has been imported.

The Blank Size Engineering (BSE) module was also enhanced in the latest round of development.  The module was significantly improved upon by way of a streamlined guided user interface (GUI).  New dialogues within the GUI contain tabbed menus for easy navigation between functions.

For more information, visit:

Success through innovation and cutting edge technology has been the driving goal of Flintshire-based company At 3D-Squared Limited, and this was fully recognized last week when the firm scooped the ‘Clogau Gold Growth through Innovation’ award at the Achievement Wales 2011 awards ceremony in Bangor. This accolade comes after At 3D-Squared won the 2011 Flintshire Business Award for Innovation in October, earlier this year. Winning this award was not a given, At 3D-Squared had to fight off some tough competition but the innovative work the company has undertaken with 3D Printing technologies shone through.

Andrew Allshorn, Managing Director of At 3D-Squared in no way expected to win, but was absolutely delighted to be presented with the award by TV Newsreader, Nicholas Owen. Commenting on the night, Mr Allshorn said, “I am a product designer by trade and was up against some really tough businesses, so it is just amazing to win.”

He continued, “I travel a lot in Europe and this has made me realize tonight that I could be doing so much more right here in North Wales — there are so many great businesses, like Airbus, right on our doorstep that could benefit from having innovative technologies like 3D printing locally. And with Deeside being made an Enterprise Zone there are great opportunities to do more, it’s really positive. This award is amazing, a real honour.”

3D printing technology is relatively new and in the 20+ years since it was first commercialised as a prototyping method the developments have been tremendous. It now presents product development, engineering and manufacturing companies in many different industry sectors with an alternative production method for parts and components, as well as speeding up the development process itself. With a wealth of 3D printing technology expertise and experience, At 3D-Squared offers a full strategic consultancy service as well as a direct maintenance & support service for companies with 3D printing machines in-situ. Clients of At 3D-Squared include Formula 1 teams, aerospace companies, auto makers, jewellers and R&D facilities amongst many others.

At 3D-Squared is also the company behind the development of the Metalise it … process. This unique process enables plastic models — often 3D printed — to be plated with a range of different metal finishes and is now offered to clients via At 3D-Squared’s sister company 3DDC Limted.

For more information, visit:

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