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Precise control over hot runner temperatures was the key to ending a problem with burned parts that plagued a particular job being run by custom molder American Plastic Molding Corporation (APM), enabling the company to increase output of saleable product by 10 to 15%.
The part discoloration caused by burning stopped almost immediately after connecting an Ion Series temperature controller from Fast Heat Inc. to a 16-cavity hot runner system that was producing 30% glass-filled nylon 6.6 parts for a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry, according to Alan Myers, APM plant manager. Within two hours after installing the controller, APM had fine-tuned the system to the point where temperatures were reduced by nearly 70 ºF.  
“Before we installed the Fast Heat controller, we were unable to reduce the temperature without having gates freeze,” said Myers, “but within the first couple of hours, it became a question of ‘How low can the temperature go?’ We soon established a new temperature range of 430 to 440 ºF. The lower temperatures increased our output of good parts by 10 to 15% and eliminated the labor involved in sorting out parts that were burned.”
Fast Heat’s Ion Series controller has also increased productivity in other ways, according to Myers. In startups it quickly tunes the system to the new set of molding parameters. And in the event of a zone shutdown caused, for example, by a heater failure, the controller automatically slaves the affected cavity to another cavity, running two cavities from the thermocouple in the unaffected one.
“In the past, when a zone shut down, we would end up producing from 15 cavities instead of 16, making that much less product during the typical three-day turnaround needed to replace the defective unit,” said Myers.
Family-owned and -operated since it was founded in 1971, APM is a full-service custom molder that provides extensive engineering services and stages free quarterly seminars on design and engineering for customers and prospects. The company has 38 injection molding machines, an assembly facility with lean manufacturing cells, an on-site mold shop, and a 60,000 sq.ft. (5,575 sq,m) warehouse. It provides full engineering services and offers customers supply chain sourcing and management, warehousing, and distribution. Employing 120 people, APM serves customers in a wide range of end use industries.   

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012 11:02

SIGGRAPH 2012 Business Symposium

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In its second year, the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium provides an intimate, interactive forum for open, frank conversations among leaders and executives in the visual effects, gaming, and media arenas as they explore the present and future of the industry. SIGGRAPH 2012 welcomes visionary leaders and experts from a broad spectrum of the computer graphics industry, including animation, education, motion pictures, gaming, and visual effects, to this year’s Business Symposium in Los Angeles, 5 August 2012.

This full-day event is an exclusive opportunity for attendees to gain high-level, experiential vantage point insight from the producers and executives who have all forged unique paths to their current roles and now design the industry’s direction. The day begins with breakfast and round-table discussions of the day's agenda. Possible topics include visual-effects production, marketing, international law, education, business development, and other areas related to the industry's current issues. The morning session provides a foundation for the day – an opportunity to hear from leaders on the global stage what they experience from their particular perspective, followed by featured speakers Carl Rosendahl and John Textor, both visionary leaders who influence the direction of our industry in vastly different manners.

Throughout the day attendees will join in-depth discussion and have ample time to interact with their peers before the afternoon session closes. The Symposium provides a look into newer business models from some of the people and companies defining the future.

SIGGRAPH 2012 will bring thousands of computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles, California for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, music, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from Sunday, 5 August through Thursday, 9 August 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. SIGGRAPH 2012 includes a three-day exhibition of products and services from the computer graphics and interactive marketplace from 7-9 August 2012. More details are available at SIGGRAPH 2012 or on  Facebook and Twitter.

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HTI Plastics made a significant investment this year by purchasing two Krauss Maffei EX Series machines. These machines are all electric with a fast response, direct force transmission and a closed system ensuring absolute cleanliness.  Staying ahead of the competition and utilizing the latest technology has always been our goal at HTI Plastics.

One of HTI’s machines, the 150 ton model, was displayed in Krauss Maffei’s exhibit during the NPE 2012 this past April in Orlando Florida. The machine was shipped from Germany to Orlando, Florida then made its way to Lincoln, Nebraska.

“We are pleased with the new presses and feel it will keep us a step ahead of our competitors and will ultimately lead to better service for our customers and higher precision in the molding of their products and components,” stated Troy Just, division president.

In addition to the new machines, HTI Plastics enhanced its design and engineering capabilities with the addition of simulation software which tests customers’ product designs in real-world environments before manufacture.  This will benefit customers by reducing time to market and the number of prototypes needed before going into production.

As a division of PCE Inc., HTI Plastics benefits from the corporate commitment to capital investments in injection molding equipment that help maintain high product quality, while improving efficiencies and reducing energy consumption.

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Imagine being able to design a new aircraft engine part on a computer, and then being able to print it. Not the design – the actual part. And not just a lightweight, nonfunctional model, but an actual working part to be installed in an engine.

The University of Dayton Research Institute was awarded $3 million from the Ohio Third Frontier to provide specialized materials for use in additive manufacturing – the science of using computer printers to create three-dimensional, functional objects. The University of Dayton Research Institute will work with program partners, Stratasys of Eden Prairie, Minn., and PolyOne and Rapid Prototype Plus Manufacturing Inc. (RP+M) of Avon Lake, Ohio, to develop aircraft-engine components for GE Aviation – who also collaborated on the program proposal – as well as parts and components for ATK Aerospace Structures, Boeing, Goodrich, Honda, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

While traditional paper printers use a moving toner cartridge head to form lines of text, adding row upon row of toner as the paper moves through the printer, 3-D printing works much the same way. Instead of toner, however, a free-moving printer head precisely deposits layer upon layer of plastic or other material to create a solid object from the bottom up.

3-D printing technology has existed for about 20 years, but additive manufacturing in its current form is only about five years old, said Brian Rice, head of the Research Institute's Multi-Scale Composites and Polymers Division and program lead for the Third Frontier-funded Advanced Materials for Additive Manufacturing Maturation program.

"The difference is that 3-D printing is known in the industry as being used for nonfunctional prototypes or models, while additive manufacturing is being used to create usable parts for industries such as aerospace, energy, medical and consumer products," Rice said.

Additive manufacturing, which made headlines this month in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today and was named number one in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine's May list of "Top Technologies to Watch," is a rapidly growing manufacturing technology being touted for its cost savings and waste reduction. By 2015, the sale of additive manufacturing products and services worldwide is expected to grow to $3.7 billion from $1.71 billion in 2011, according to independent consultants Wohlers Associates.

There are a number of advantages to additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing, such as injection molding or machining, Rice said.

"Cost savings is a major benefit, because there are no molds or tooling needed to fabricate parts. With traditional manufacturing, every time you want to make even a slight change to the design of what you are making, you have to retool or make an entirely new mold, and that gets very expensive. With additive manufacturing, you can change your design as often as you want simply by changing the design on your computer file. "You can't make complex parts with injection molding," Rice added. "And because you can print an entire part in one piece with additive manufacturing, instead of welding or attaching separate components together as in traditional manufacturing, the finished part is stronger."

Additive manufacturing holds additional benefits, said Jeff DeGrange, vice-president of Stratasys, which owns an industrial line of additive manufacturing machines that will be used to print components for end users.

"It's better for the environment because it reduces waste," DeGrange said. "With additive manufacturing, you only use as much material as you need for the part you're printing. But with machining, you're shaping objects by removing material from a larger block until you have the desired form, so there is a good bit of wasted material."

Additive manufacturing eliminates the need for bolts, screws and welding and, in some cases, reinforced polymers can be used to replace heavier materials, DeGrange added.

"Lighter parts mean greater fuel efficiency in vehicles and aircraft that use them. Another advantage is the cost savings that comes from a print-as-needed process, because you don't need to ship parts or find a place to warehouse them," he said.

3-D printers can use polymer, metal or ceramic feedstock, but our focus will be on polymers, which is already a major manufacturing industry in Ohio, according to Rice.

"UDRI has developed a highly specialized nanomaterial that will reinforce the polymer feedstock, giving the finished product greater strength and stiffness than nonreinforced polymer. It will also make the polymer electrically conductive," he said.

PolyOne will scale-up the polymer feedstock needed for mass manufacturing, Stratasys will support the inclusion of new materials in their additive manufacturing systems, and RP+M will use its expertise in additive parts manufacturing to work with Stratasys to print and supply parts to end users, Rice said.

"We've created an entire supply chain designed to create Ohio jobs," Rice said. "We expect this program to result in the creation of 30 high-tech jobs in Ohio during the first three years and 85 jobs after five years."

The Research Institute will use part of the Third Frontier award to purchase a 3-D printer to demonstrate the technology, and the University of Dayton School of Engineering, which recently purchased a similar machine, will provide hands-on opportunities for engineering students to become involved.

"They will focus on research into new materials and innovation in additive manufacturing," Rice said. "It's a boost for our program, and it will also provide those students with skills that will help them secure high-tech manufacturing jobs after graduation."

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The Hamburg-based software company Simufact Engineering now offers new versions of its simulation software Simufact.forming and Simufact.welding. Providing more functionality for a broader scope of application while offering a simplified usability - that´s the credo of the new software versions that are employed for the design and optimization of manufacturing techniques in metal processing.

With the new Simufact software releases, companies aiming to link various production processes in the process chain (from semi-finished material to finished component) have come closer to their goal of an integrated, cross-process approach in the simulation of entire process chains.

Simufact simulation solutions cover all essential production processes from forging to cold massive forming, rolling, sheet metal forming, mechanical joining, heat treatment, and welding. Also, standard interfaces allow customers a fast and reliable integration of Simufact software in their CAD/CAE environments.

A major step forward is Simufact’s integration of material data in the simulation of forming and joining processes: Simufact.forming 11 and Simufact.welding 3.1 not only offer a multitude of new, experimental material data; they also provide access to high quality analytical material data, thus ensuring accurate simulation results.
Simufact.forming 11 – professional forming simulation

Simufact.forming is an established simulation solution for forming and joining processes. The software release Simufact.forming 11 includes new modules for open die forging and ring rolling. Application-specific functionalities such as fully automated processing of a complete pass schedule in open die or radial forging, and the consideration of the manufacturer’s kinematic concepts in ring rolling, help the user to model and simulate all possible processes and conditions of these production processes.

Thanks to new possibilities in result-dependant, force and path controlled processing as well as an optional, method-related calculation of the structural transformation during forging, these new special modules have become indispensable tools for companies that use ring rolling and open die forging.

Release 11 is particularly interesting for joining experts, since it takes adhesives and high speed effects into consideration, which are gaining more importance in modern joining technology.

By offering improved possibilities for networking and evaluation, Simufact.forming 11 eases the engineer’s daily work in tool and process development. The feature “optimization” allows the comfortable testing of process options and ensures substantial time savings for the definition of the best process design. Highlights include the flexible description of thermo-physical boundary and initial conditions, and the automated reporting in pre- and post-processing.

The efficient simulation of realistic heat-treatment processes provides for more flexibility and realism in mapping the process chain – before, during, and after the forming process.
Simufact.welding 3.1 – more than welding simulation

Simufact.welding 3.1 enables the simulation of various welding methods. Cutting edge solver technology and a user friendly overall concept allow for an effective calculation of welding sequences and a realistic prediction of component distortion, also taking into account microstructural transformations.

The coupling of Simufact.welding with Simufact.forming is a new functionality linking different process chains. Thus, processes taking place before or after welding can be efficiently integrated in the numerical approach. Easy data transfer allows for consideration of the forming history and the strength analyses of the simulated welding seams.

The calculation of phase transformation and phase volume fractions, as well as the automatic mapping of weld filler metals complement the new features. Simufact.welding 3.1 provides the user with a simple and comfortable modelling of more complex welding seams, even the simulation of multi-layer welding is now possible. Last but not least, the new release offers an improved calculation of contacts for process related gap formation during the welding process.

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The DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library at the University of Nevada, Reno is the first academic library in the United States to make the leap to offer 3D printing and scanning as a library service to all students, enabling students in a multitude of disciplines to make plastic 3D models from a computer drawing for their research and studies.

“We’ve brought the technology out of the lab and into access for all students,” Tod Colegrove, director of the DeLaMare library, said. “It’s a first for universities around the country where the machines are typically part of a specialized program or research lab.”

Using specialized software, the machine can build a three-dimensional, real world plastic model from a computerized drawing of an object. It can be as simple as a box or as complex as a protein chain from a theoretical model. The model can be inspected, modifications can be made in the drawing and another prototype printed.

“3D printers are typically purchased by a faculty member with grant funds in support of a particular research project, and installed in isolated departmental locations,” Colegrove said. “Printers remain largely inaccessible to students and faculty outside of a select few. We’ve changed that.”

“In the arts, sciences and engineering, breakthroughs in learning or research often require going beyond pencil and paper,” he said. “With technology and a supportive environment, it becomes possible to breathe life into ideas – in the library. We have a waiting list for projects, which can take anywhere from 40 minutes to 40 hours, depending on the complexity.

“Our first job – a rotor for an impeller pump being prototyped by a team of senior engineering students – came in literally as we were pulling the printer out of the box. The machines haven’t stopped running since.”

University students are using the 3D printing service to “print” custom parts for student-designed robots and hovercraft, fine art sculpture, chemical models, lattice structures, a moving parts engine block and more. The potential for prototyping models and experimental apparatus in support of ongoing research has become a reality for many students who lacked access or the funds to send the project out to a commercial 3D print company.

“This service leverages library access with an incredible new opportunity for student engagement,” Colegrove said. “It takes the library’s support of the learning and research missions of the University to a new level – beyond simple information exchange and consumption into knowledge-driven creation.”

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Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:28

Morris Technologies Acquires Five-Axis Mill

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Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI), a service provider specializing in additive manufacturing and CNC machining, has acquired a DMU 50 five-axis machine from Mori Seiki.  The DMU 50 machine is a state-of-the-art mill that features a performance-enhancing NC swivel rotary table, high rigidity, and a large bearing diameter in the B- and C-axis.  The equipment is the latest addition to MTI's world-class machine shop.

A five-axis machining center utilizes two axes in addition to the standard three axes (X/Y/Z), so the tool can move along five different planes. This allows the part to be fixtured just once as the tools and the table rotate according to the CNC specifications.  The result is parts that are produced with high precision and detail and tight tolerances.

Morris Technologies will utilize the DMU 50 machine to produce complex parts for the medical, aerospace, and other industries.  The new mill enhances the company's machining capabilities, which also includes EDM and Swiss turn.

Adam Collins, machining manager, believes this acquisition takes Morris Technologies to a new level.  "Until now, we've had a very complete shop, but the one missing piece of the puzzle was a five-axis (machine)," says Collins.  "We now have a facility that rivals others in the industry.  This is really exciting for us."

As the global leader in additive metal manufacturing, Morris Technologies also will use the five-axis machine to complement the company's extensive additive manufacturing capabilities.

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.

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Barnes Group Inc. (NYSE:B), an international aerospace and industrial manufacturing and service provider, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Synventive Molding Solutions, a leading designer and manufacturer of highly engineered and customized hot runner systems, components, and services, headquartered in Peabody, Massachusetts. Hot runner systems are the enabling technology for many complex injection molding applications and are standard in industries that require premium product aesthetics and performance.

Barnes Group has agreed to purchase all the capital stock of Synventive for $335 million in cash, subject to certain closing and post-closing adjustments, and is expected to finance the transaction with cash on hand and additional borrowings under an accordion feature of the Company’s existing credit agreement. The acquisition is anticipated to close in August 2012, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions, including obtaining necessary third party agreements.

Synventive is one of the world’s largest hot runner systems manufacturers, serving a global customer base of more than 3,000 molders, mold makers and original equipment manufacturers across 50 countries. With estimated 2012 revenues of approximately $160 million, Synventive operates out of three manufacturing locations in the United States, Germany and China, with sales and service offices in 28 countries and 770 employees worldwide. Synventive will operate as a strategic business unit within Barnes Group’s Industrial Segment.

“We are very excited to add Synventive to Barnes Group and about the tremendous opportunities for growth we expect this acquisition to bring to us,” said Gregory Milzcik, President and CEO of Barnes Group Inc. “The global demand for more complex, highly technical injection molding solutions is anticipated to grow substantially in the future. We are eager to add Synventive’s innovative products and services to Barnes Group’s core manufacturing capabilities and to work with them to create a stronger, more dynamic presence in the global marketplace.”

Added Milzcik, “Barnes Group takes pride in providing rewarding opportunities for all employees to grow and develop their careers with the company. We are impressed with the expertise and commitment demonstrated at Synventive and are enthusiastic about having their employees join our team and contribute to our ongoing success. We welcome the opportunity to invest in this outstanding company and to continue providing customers with the superior products and services associated with the Barnes Group and Synventive names.”

Barnes Group will provide additional details about the Synventive business on its second quarter 2012 earnings call scheduled for July 27, 2012 at 8:30 a.m.

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Morris Great Lakes, a division of Morris Group, Inc., broke ground for a new headquarters in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania on July 3.  Morris Great Lakes supplies advanced machine tools and related engineering, technology, and support services to manufacturers of precision machined parts in western Pennsylvania, western New York, and the state of West Virginia.

After reviewing several alternative locations in Pennsylvania and New York, Corey Johnson, President of Morris Great Lakes, chose to keep the company’s headquarters in Butler County.

“We’re very pleased to be staying in Cranberry Township,” states Johnson. “It’s been home to us for almost ten years and after a lengthy search process, we decided that this was the best place for us to build. The location is central to our regional customer base. We’re not only excited about our expanded, new headquarters; we’re excited about helping the area grow.”

The 12,000 square-foot facility will include an 8,000 square-foot state-of-the-art technical center housing machine demonstration areas and test-cutting or trial areas devoted to developing custom turnkey and automated manufacturing solutions for customers. The remaining square footage will be reserved for application engineering, parts, service, and administrative offices. W.K. Thomas and Associates of Butler, Pennsylvania was selected to construct the facility, due to open in December 2012.

Morris Great Lakes currently employs 35 people. It is the exclusive regional distributor of Okuma, Tsugami, Hardinge, and Bridgeport CNC machine tools. In addition to new machine tools, Morris Great Lakes provides engineered solutions, replacement parts, service, preventive maintenance and other services including customer consultation, financing, installation, training, and disposition of retired machines.  Its customers are manufacturers of precision machined parts from virtually every industry, including aerospace, medical, automotive, and heavy industries.

Morris Great Lakes is a division of Morris Group, Inc. whose history of serving the manufacturing community dates back to 1941. Its thirteen divisions form one of the largest machine tool distribution networks in North America. The firm is headquartered in Windsor, Connecticut and employs more than 400.

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InventHelp, America’s largest inventor service company, has launched a new website this week to highlight the company’s inventor services and continue to offer resources to inventors.

InventHelp®, known for iconic commercials featuring the prehistoric InventHelp caveman chipping at the wheel, is excited to launch a more user- and inventor-friendly site. “Our site is already known as a resource for inventors, but now it’s easier to use and has a great new look,” said InventHelp® President Robert Susa.

The new website features client inventor stories and testimonial videos, access to blogs and details about InventHelp’s partnerships with organizations like the Electronic Retailing Association. The site also features a section on INPEX®, the largest trade show in the United States for inventors, which InventHelp® sponsors.

Inventors can use the site to locate the closest InventHelp® sales office in the area, as well as read more about the services the company offers. Additionally, there is a section of the site designed specifically for companies that are seeking new products for license or manufacture. Companies interested in seeing clients’ inventions and new products can register on the site for the InventHelp® Data Bank at no charge.

The redesigned website also directs consumers looking to purchase new products to the official InventHelp Store, a website that showcases innovative new products invented by InventHelp clients.         

In business since 1984, InventHelp® is America’s largest inventor service company, with more than 60 sales offices in the U.S., Canada and abroad. InventHelp® also holds INPEX®, America’s Largest Invention Show.

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Green developer Voltaic Solaire will unveil the first building in New York City to power itself. The mixed-use private development, known as the Delta*, was built in conjunction with IKEA, Samsung, Sharp, and other partners. It combines solar and wind energy to meet 100% of its energy needs—generating its own electricity, hot water and heat. “The Delta fulfills the promise of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, whose goal is to reduce New York's carbon emissions by 30% by 2030,” says Voltaic Solaire CFO Ron Faia.

From its solar panels to its solar skin, from its aggregate building materials to its innovative window treatments, the Delta is a case study in sustainability and energy independence. Renewable energy is projected to see 40% growth per year for the foreseeable future. Below are a number of Voltaic Solaire’s partners who have been integral in supplying the Delta with products and materials to make the project possible.

Staged from top to toe in sleek, economical furniture, the Delta proves that high design and efficiency can work hand in glove. For Swedish furniture makers Ikea, it’s about taking care of people and the planet—from tackling the problem of child poverty to creating renewable energy. One can see evidence of this work through innovative IKEA products and solutions throughout the Delta. Believing as they do that if we all take small actions, we can all contribute to big results, Ikea has proven a perfect fit for this project.

Since 1959, Sharp has led the solar electric industry with efficient solar systems, from the world's first solar-powered calculator to solar-powered residential and commercial applications. Now the company partners with SMBs such as Voltaic Solaire in truly revolutionary developments. As founder Tokuji Hayakawa notes, "If we could find a way of generating electricity from limitless solar heat and light, that would benefit humankind to an extent we can scarcely imagine."

The Delta’s additional solar modules were supplied by Samsung. The company’s worldwide presence adds heft to the Delta project, with its history of stability and reliability. In addition to their core business around LCD and semiconductor manufacturing, Samsung is making a name in the solar energy space. The company has demonstrated its long-term commitment backed by financial strength, as well as a high customer satisfaction rating.

Kingston Block
The Delta is composed of green and recycled materials, including aggregate cement and bricks. Kingston Block & Masonry Supply, LLC, an innovator in the concrete and masonry industries, have taken a leadership role in manufacturing a sustainable line of concrete products. With global concern for sustainable building on the rise, the company understands the importance of reducing our carbon footprint.

Tankless water heaters are now essential for any truly sustainable project. Eemax’s water heaters offer 99% thermal energy efficiencies, paying for them-selves many times over, which was an enormous value-add for Voltaic Solaire. The original Eemax technology was patented and quickly emerged as the most flexible technology on the market, which was a critical factor in the early stages of the development of the U.S. market for electric tankless heaters.

* The Delta is on the forefront of a sustainable movement that is long overdue in New York and other dense urban areas. The building is comprised of one triplex residence and one studio residence, with attached restaurant and retail. It will be maintained as a bed and breakfast, in order to facilitate ongoing educational visits for schools, tour groups, et. al., underlining Voltaic Solaire’s ethos of philanthropy and sustainability.

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At Farnborough Airshow, EADS Innovation Works is presenting the prototype of a portable Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) produced by Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) technology, also known as 3D-printing. The plane with a wingspan of approximately. 1.5 meters has been designed by students from the University of Leeds. The small, portable drone will be capable of being controlled via wireless video communication over a short distance. Powered by batteries, it could serve as a tool for surveillance, search and rescue or disaster control.

Using ALM technology in the production of such a small drone opens new possibilities for aerodynamic optimizations such as wing twist, which would otherwise be difficult and expensive to realize for an aircraft of this scale. Different, detachable wings can be “printed” in a relatively short time to adapt the UAV to missions with different requirements.

The four students from the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Engineering have developed an initial concept of the UAV, created the design and performed an aerodynamic analysis under the supervision of EADS expert Martin Muir. In order to take advantage of the ALM technology the students carried out a detailed design of the wing through topology and aerodynamic optimisation. This allows building a pair of wings which are optimised in terms of weight, aerodynamics and stability and yet cheap to produce. Thanks to the tests performed, both the angle of incidence and the angle of twist could be optimized. Normally, manufacturing of such complex parts would be too expensive for a small UAV. With ALM, it is possible to produce several sets of – for example – wings tailor made for different missions at a reasonable price.

The students also performed a stability and control analysis of the whole system and produced assembly instructions for the print shop. A flight capable metallic version will be manufactured at EADS Innovation Works UK ALM facilities in Filton. This plane will be produced using innovative Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) technology. The plastic material UAV shown at Farnborough serves only for exhibition purposes and displays the design features made possible by ALM technology.

The UAV has been sized to take advantage of future propulsion systems, such as the Lightweight Hydrogen Fuel Cells (LwHFC) currently under development by EADS Innovation Works. A replacement of the existing battery system with the LwHFC would increase the endurance of the UAV from two hours of continuous flight, to approximately six hours. The sizing and optimisation of the UAV’s fuselage and wings was undertaken with the future use of LwHFCs in mind, hence the large open spaces and large profile wing.

The revolutionary manufacturing process known as Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) is based upon the principles of rapid prototyping and allows single products to be grown from a fine powder of metal (such as titanium, stainless steel or aluminium), nylon or carbon-reinforced plastics. EADS has developed the technology to the extent that it can manipulate metals, nylon, and carbon-reinforced plastics at a molecular level, which allows it to be applied to high-stress, safety critical aviation uses. Compared to a traditional, machined part, those produced by ALM are up to 65% lighter but still as strong as those would be. Simply put, a part is designed on a computer, which then directs a high-powered laser at material in powder form, melting it into a solid shape, repetitively, layer by layer, until the desired part is completed. The development of ALM is an activity that spans the entire EADS group, with early applications in the production of fixtures and tooling for Airbus, and flying applications being implemented by Eurocopter and Astrium. EADS’ UK research facilities have the lead in the group’s ALM activities.

Another piece of innovative ALM technology made in UK on display at the EADS’ stand is the Laminar Flow Device which can be mounted on the leading edge of an aircraft’s wing section. It enables laminar flow over large portions of a swept wing by removing the turbulent boundary layer of the attachment-line flow at the wing’s leading edge. Laminar flow causes less skin friction drag than turbulent flow and therefore helps to reduce fuel consumption.

ALM technology makes it possible to produce the complex contoured shape at a low cost. The device on the model on display at Farnborough is produced using the EADS proprietary ScalmalloyRP material, which provides exceptional mechanical properties useful in the production of complexly shaped structures.

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For many years, A1 Technologies has been an active advocate for placing advanced, integrated 3D digital technologies into the hands of tomorrow’s designers, engineers and manufacturers to encourage and develop these skills for future generations. In April 2009 the company sold the world’s very first low-cost commercial 3D printer. Now, following stringent R&D efforts the company is delighted to be launching a brand new, proprietary 3D printer, the Maxit, with some key design and operational improvements.

The Maxit 3D printer has been developed to enable it to be built quickly and easily, within a few hours. A major part of the A1 mission is to engage children — in a school environment — to get creative with 3D printing and associated technologies, and to become familiar and comfortable with the technology. This is because A1 firmly believes that, in the future, we will all design+make in 3D, and putting 3D tools into classrooms now is the best investment we can make into that future for industry and for society.

What is more, reliable printing has also been at the heart of the development of the Maxit 3D printer, with quality electronic components sourced to support uninterrupted and consistent printing operations.  Thanks to a key design feature (the motor is remote from the hot end), the printing head is much lighter with lower inertia, allowing faster printing.

Maxit Specifications:

  • Dimensions 360 x 360 x 320 mm (excluding material holder)
  • Weight 2.7 kg
  • Printable area: 210 x 160 x 100 mm
  • Printing Speed: 40+ mm/sec
  • Layer thickness: 0.125 – 0.3 mm
  • Nozzle size: 0.5 mm (good for fast printing)
  • Filament size: 3 mm
  • Material: PLA (Poly Lactic Acid: biodegradable material)
  • Supplied complete with software
  • Maxit — At a glance
  • Super light and easy to transport
  • Very simple to assemble (under a day)
  • Reliable support
  • Compatible with CAD software — both open source and commercial
  • Price: £995

According to Martin Stevens, CEO at A1 Technologies: “3D Printing is proving to be a disruptive technology in many industrial sectors: however, it is also just on the verge of hitting mainstream consciousness and I believe that it is impossible to overstate just how important the technology will be in the future. That is why I am so passionate about getting 3D printing into classrooms now, to furnish kids with the knowledge and the skills to succeed in the future whether this is for their careers or as informed citizens. And, beyond that, hands-on learning with products such as these has been shown to foster enthusiasm for STEM subjects, not to mention entrepreneurial spirit.”

3D Printing, however, is not a process that can be utilised in isolation of other 3D disciplines. To this end, A1 Technologies offers a globally unique and compelling mix of low-cost 3D products, with complete integration to make 21st century engineering principles both accessible and applicable in the classroom. As well as 3D printing; 3D design, 3D scanning and 3D machining products can all be sourced from A1 Technologies to provide a fully comprehensive suite for designing and making in 3D.

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MCAD Technologies, a SolidWorks reseller located in Lakewood, Colorado, purchased from Shounco Design Studios, Inc. the territorial rights for sales and support of SolidWorks in Oregon and Washington. This merger forms the MCAD Northwest division which will occupy the existing Shounco Design Studios’ office in Beaverton, Oregon.

MCAD Technologies was incorporated in 1989 with a mission to sell and support mechanical CAD, analysis and data management software to the Colorado marketplace. In 1997, MCAD became a SolidWorks value-added reseller for the Colorado Territory. With the recent merger, MCAD Technologies has offices in Colorado, Washington, New Mexico and now Oregon with territory rights in 5 states across the country.

MCAD and Shounco Design Studios, Inc. have developed very similar approaches to providing the highest quality technical support, training and sales to their respective regions and this made the merger a logical step for MCAD’s expansion plan. MCAD will be adding staff to the existing Shounco Design Studios, Inc. to better meet the needs of the growing Washington and Oregon engineering community.

"MCAD Technologies has demonstrated strong leadership in the channel since becoming a SolidWorks value-added reseller in 1997. They continue to provide excellent support and training for the entire SolidWorks application portfolio while delivering additional value for their customers. We are certain MCAD Technologies will provide a high level of support to the Northwest Territories and look forward to their success," said Alfred Saad, Vice President, Americas Sales, Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks.

Shounco Design Studios customers will benefit from an increased portfolio that spans product design, simulation, enterprise data management, technical communications, 3d printing systems, engineering services, support and training. With an addition of MCAD’s certified technical experts, this acquisition will make the combined organizations an even stronger business partner.

“Our first priority in considering this merger was our customers. All of our key employees will remain with MCAD and we firmly believe the new company will be stronger and better able to serve the Oregon and Washington SolidWorks user base,” said Paul Shoun, president of Shounco Design Studios, Inc.

Susan Evans, president of MCAD Technologies added, “The merger with Shounco Design Studios, Inc. customer base and high quality technical staff will position MCAD to offer an even higher level of support to SolidWorks Users in the Northwest region. Over the past 12 years Shounco has built an extremely well run organization, which combined with the resources at MCAD will be a benefit to all involved.”

MCAD specializes in sales, support and training of SolidWorks based products; including 3D Solid Modeling, Design Validation and Product Data Management.

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Bayer MaterialScience and Solid Composites GmbH are partnering to develop thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powders for selective laser sintering. This innovative method for fabricating three-dimensional structures is based on the use of a laser beam to sinter powdered starting materials. The start-up company based in Voerde, on the Lower Rhine, will be awarded a brand license to market the new high-tech materials under the name Desmosint. This opens the door to numerous potential applications, for instance in the automotive industry, in sports goods, robotics or aerospace engineering. Solid Composites is a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology (UMSICHT).

“Solid Composites has made a name for itself as a creative developer and supplier of thermoplastic powders for laser sintering and electrostatic coating, among other things, and is therefore the partner of choice for us when it comes to successfully marketing our TPU innovation,” explains Jürgen Hättig, TPU marketing specialist at Bayer MaterialScience.

No molds necessary

Selective laser sintering is becoming a firmly established digital manufacturing method in the additive manufacturing of plastic parts. A part is made from a thermoplastic powder based on the part’s structural design data. Guided by CAD software, a laser fuses successive layers of a powder bed at selected points where the part is to emerge. In other words, the part “grows” layer by layer. “The method eliminates the use of molds, and that cuts costs considerably. Furthermore, in contrast to injection molding, even parts having complex geometries with cavities and undercuts can be rendered,” explains Marcus Rechberger, general manager of Solid Composites.

Material gap closed

Until now, primarily soft, elastic materials and rigid thermoplastics, such as polyamide, were commercially available for selective laser sintering. “Our TPU products, with their high toughness, elasticity and strength, have now closed the gap between these material classes. And that opens the door to good application opportunities,” Hättig says. The first representative of the new class of TPUs is Desmosint X 92 A-1. One of its advantages is that the space in which the TPU is processed layer by layer must be maintained at a temperature of only 80 °C, in contrast to polyamide, for instance, which is processed at slightly below its melting temperature. “Because heating the processing space generates most of the total energy cost, this method results in significant savings on energy. And our TPU has only a very low tendency to warp, meaning the sintering process runs very stably. Lastly, the non-sintered powder does not age inside the processing space and therefore can be used for the next job, an enormous cost advantage compared to the classical laser sintering material PA12,” Hättig explains.

Potential use even in high-volume production

Selective laser sintering typically offers great design freedom and is particularly suited to the additive manufacturing of short to extremely short runs, for instance in the production of components like housing parts, bellows and hoses for full-size and luxury sedans. When used with the TPU products, the method also is ideal for producing custom components, such as orthopedic shoe inlays, athletic shoes, helmets and prosthetic devices. “Beyond that, the technology may prove suitable in high-volume production, too, particularly in those cases where part geometries are very intricate and the cost of injection molds high. In these scenarios, the use of several sintering machines can be more cost efficient,” Rechberger explains. At the end of the part’s service life, the plastic is fully recyclable.

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In industrial environments automated 3D scanning inspection cells have become an important part of various manufacturing processes. The GOM ATOS ScanBox is constructed and engineered to industrial standards to assure highest safety and mobility. Delivery time is short and setup is plug-and-play. The ATOS ScanBox includes an ATOS Triple Scan digitizer, robot, rotary stage, software, safety house, and more. All the elements in one box to ensure automation success. The ATOS ScanBox made its public debut at Control in May. Since then there have been many installations including OEMs and suppliers such as Daimler, Volkswagen, Rolls Royce, Bosch, Eisenwerk Brühl, Dräxlmaier, Delcam and many more. The true definition of “out of box” solution within a box.

The ATOS ScanBox is a plug-and-play measuring cell for fully automated 3D digitizing and inspection. The ATOS ScanBox combines optimized industrial components, mobility and highest safety in an off-the-shelf 3D measuring machine.

ATOS is the most innovative optical measuring system for three-dimensional coordinate measurement on the market. ATOS measures different object sizes, surface finishes, and complexities giving versatility to 3D digitizing by delivering:

  • Accurate 3D coordinates and high data quality
  • Full-field deviation to CAD, 2D and part-to-part
  • Section-based analysis, GD&T and trend analysis
  • Complete measuring reports

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A team of engineering students at Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) won the Judges Innovation Design Award in a NASA contest that challenges college teams to build an efficient digging machine for the moon.

The soil of the moon has minerals that potentially can be mined, but in order to do so, NASA needs a light and efficient digging machine. To construct one, as well as encourage students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – the STEM subjects – NASA sponsors a contest in which college students build a lunar excavation device called a Lunabot.  Fifty-eight teams competed in NASA’s Third Annual Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Its project also received NYU-Poly’s first Paul Soros Prize for Creative Engineering, named for the alumnus whose engineering changed ports throughout the world.

The main test for the Lunabots was to mine and drop in a bin 10 kilograms (about 22 pounds) of simulated lunar dirt within 10 minutes. Challenges included the abrasive nature of lunar soil, the bot’s weight and team-to-robot communications.

“On the moon, dust eats away at everything,” said team captain Stanislav Rosylakov, who graduated in May in civil engineering and is enrolled at NYU-Poly for graduate school. Poly’s Lunabot had very good dust tolerance, he explained, as all the belts and chains were inside the structural frame. “Our robot was light, which is important because it costs so much to send supplies to the moon,” he said. For communications, NYU-Poly’s was one of the few teams that didn’t use a laptop, instead installing a small microcontroller with a Wi-Fi attachment.  

In addition, most of the teams built bulldozers, the simplest way to dig, while Team Atlas used a track, with scoops as part of the treads. “It could do somersaults, flip forward and get back on its feet,” noted Jessica Aleksandrowicz, from East Rutherford, New Jersey, an electrical engineering major who just finished her junior year.

The team used bright NYU-Poly green for parts, thanks to its 3D printer, a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic. The NYU-Poly students’ bot was festooned with a flag, Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. They also made parts for other teams and little rockets for kids who came by their lunapit.

Along with Rosylakov and Aleksandrowicz, Team Atlas included Yusif Nurizade, (Electrical Engineering, BS 2013), who developed the software for wireless communication; Jack Poon (Mechanical Engineering, BS 2012), who engineered the excavation hardware and systems;  Nick Cavaliere (Mechanical Engineering, BS 2012), who engineered the power transmission, manufacturing and overall optimization;  Salvatore DiAngelus (Computer Engineering, BS 2013), who integrated hardware and software for wireless communication and control and worked on the onboard communications; Matthew Izberskiy (Computer Engineering, BS 2015), who engineered the data transfer and graphical user interface for wireless communication and control; and Ryan Caeti (Mechanical Engineering, MS 2012), who integrated hardware and software, engineered network communication and developed the graphical user interface.  In addition to his role of team captain, Rosylakov optimized the craft for the lunar soil conditions.  Aleksandrowicz was in charge of the website, media and fundraising.

The NASA competition also included a social media component, a 20-page paper and outreach. To educate about and promote STEM and space exploration, the NYU-Poly students visited the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women and The Christa McAuliffe School (I.S. 187), both in Brooklyn.

Atlast succeeded, said the team’s faculty advisor, Alexey Sidelev of the NYU-Poly Department of Civil Engineering, because students “were passionate about what they were doing and devoted a great deal of time to the project. They really worked as a team. They are proud to be engineers.” He added that the judges “said they liked everything about the NYU-Poly robot. The judges were cheering for them! I never saw judges so involved with a team.”

The best part of the competition, team captain Rosylakov added, is that the NYU-Poly students “got to see SpaceX launch! We met astronauts, and they complimented us. A few of us possibly have job offers from NASA.”

The Paul Soros Prize for Creative Engineering is a $10,000 annual prize established through a gift from Paul Soros, who earned his master’s of engineering degree in 1950 from what was then Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and served as a trustee from 1977 until 2007. NYU-Poly established the prize this year in recognition of Soros’s creative engineering solutions that improved port operations and his entrepreneurial acumen. The prize will be awarded each year to an individual student or a team from the fields of civil or mechanical engineering for the most innovative design idea or invention.  

Judging the first Paul Soros award were a panel of distinguished engineering faculty and alumni including Konstantinos "Gus"Maimis (’84 CE), vice president and project executive of WTC Memorial & Museum Projects;Jay Shapiro (’77 ME), vice president of Howard I. Shapiro & Associates Consulting Engineers, P.C.; Masoud Ghandehari, NYU-Poly associate professor of civil engineering; and Joseph Borowiec, NYU-Poly industry associate professor of mechanical engineering.

The team received support from Verizon Foundation, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), BatterySpace and MakerBot.

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Husky Injection Molding Systems today announced additional investments to support its continued growth in China with plans to establish a new manufacturing facility in the region of Suzhou. Ongoing investments will enable Husky to improve local support, reduce lead times and more responsively react to the needs of its rapidly growing customer base in the region.

“Husky has enjoyed long-standing relationships with many customers throughout China. Strong increase in demand for plastics in the region has helped fuel customer growth and we have been fortunate enough to grow with our customers. Today, Asia Pacific represents one of the largest and most dynamic markets the company serves,” said John Galt, Husky’s President and CEO. “Our investment in Suzhou is a step toward ensuring we are able to meet the growing expectations of customers in this region. Our goal is to be increasingly nimble and agile to provide the best, most responsive service and support – not only to China, but to markets globally.”

Purchase of land in Suzhou

Husky recently signed an investment agreement with the local government in Suzhou to purchase 53,000 square meters (80 mu) of land in this region. The area of land is located in the Suzhou New District and is a Greenfield site that has significant opportunity for further expansion beyond the existing land area. Husky plans to establish a state-of-the-art manufacturing location that will further increase local capacity to improve customer support and shorten lead times. The site is expected to be fully operational in 2014 and will add to the company’s already strong presence in China.

Investments to improve local support

Working with the industry’s largest service and sales network, Husky is continuously investing in its global infrastructure to meet customers’ specific needs. Over the last several years, Husky has strengthened its presence and supply chain capabilities in China. Since first establishing a presence in 2004, Husky has more than doubled its footprint in the region and has more than tripled its regional workforce. The Suzhou facility will complement Husky’s existing facilities, most notably the Shanghai Technical Center. Opened as Husky’s Asia Pacific headquarters, the Shanghai location has also doubled its footprint since 2004, expanding in 2006 and again in 2009. It continues to be a central hub for the region and is responsible for a number of key activities, including service and sales, development engineering, human resources, finance, machine assembly and hot runner manufacturing.

To accommodate growing hot runner business in the region, Husky has also made recent investments in hot runner refurbishing, hot runner manufacturing and mold conversion capacity. A key focus of these initiatives is to continue to reduce lead times and improve responsiveness, supporting the company’s overall strategy to serve customers in the region more effectively.

Husky Injection Molding Systems is a leading global supplier of injection molding equipment and services to the plastics industry. The company has more than 40 service and sales offices, supporting customers in over 100 countries. Husky's manufacturing facilities are located in Canada, the United States, Luxembourg, Austria and China.

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Goodrich Foundation has awarded Workshop for Warriors (WfW) in San Diego, Calif. $100,000 to support its program that provides job training and skill certification to U.S. veterans at no cost to students. WfW provides training in welding, milling and machining for wounded, homeless veterans and service men and women about to transition out of active duty into civilian life. Thousands of veterans are expected to end their military careers over the next several months as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

"One area of our giving focus at Goodrich is to honor the men and women who serve their country in the armed forces," said Marc Duvall, president of Goodrich's Aerostructures business. "Enabling Workshops for Warriors to provide much-needed job training to veterans one of the best ways that we as a company can tell our veterans, 'Thank you for your service.'"

Many returning veterans will come through San Diego on their way back to their hometowns, making Workshops for Warriors ideally located to assist them with their career transitions. In addition to helping veterans establish careers in an extremely tight job market, the program also benefits the country.

"America is hungry for manufacturing employees; there are more than two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. right now," Hernan Luis y Prado, president Workshops for Warriors said. "Hiring our graduates is a win-win for this country and the people who served it. We want to be a major driver for retraining the world's greatest fighting force into the world's most modern manufacturing force."

Last month, Luis y Prado was recognized as a "Champion of Change" for establishing Workshops for Warriors and his dedication to helping members of the armed forces.

The Goodrich Foundation grant will be used to hire additional instructors in order to increase the number of graduates from Workshops for Warriors. The organization currently has a 100 percent job placement rate for its students.

This is the second Goodrich Foundation grant for the organization. In late 2011, WfW received a $25,000 grant to help it establish its curriculum. In addition, Goodrich Aerostructures business in Chula Vista, Calif., has donated nearly $1 million in equipment and materials to help WfW build out its class offerings.

Goodrich Foundation is the charitable arm of Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR). The Foundation provides support to selected charitable institutions in Goodrich's United States headquarters and plant communities.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace and defense industry.  With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities.

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The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) unveiled the winners of the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) program—a celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Out of 660 finalists, 35 were honored with the Gold Award, while 71 received the Silver Award and 123 merited the Bronze Award. IDSA will reveal the Best in Show, Curator’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Sustainability Award at the IDEA ceremony on Aug. 18 at its 2012 International Conference in Boston.

The top corporate winners were Samsung claiming seven awards, Belkin securing four and Coway and LG Electronics receiving three each.

Among design firms: IDEO received 13 awards; Smart Design captured six awards; Teague, fuseproject, Nectar Inc. and NewDealDesign LLC earned four each; and frog, New, Ziba and Ammunition won three respectively. Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, Calif., topped this year’s list of college wins with eight awards.

“I believe the diversity of experts and opinions within this year’s jury shaped the debate and ultimately made a statement—not only about the best design of 2012, but also setting a clear direction for the future,” said IDEA’s 2012 Jury Chair Rhys Newman, head of advanced projects at Nokia. “This year's jury awarded products that brought together hardware, software, service and experience. While there are many well-designed, innovative products, the exciting future is in the convergence of disciplines and expertise that span the digital and physical divide, ultimately resulting in useful and beautiful products for people.”

“In deliberating on the Best in Show, the important bellwether for where the cutting-edge concerns of the profession are, we witnessed the jurors turn from products that demonstrated great experiences to those that combined all the elements of new digital experiences into solutions that can transform behavior,” said IDSA’s Chair George McCain.”

Comprising the IDEA 2012 jury, 19 international design experts from design consultancies, corporations and universities spent weeks previewing entries online and two-and-a-half days of face-to-face debate and hands-on evaluation of the entries at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. Judging criteria focused on eight areas of industrial design excellence: innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to society; benefit to the client; visual appeal and appropriate aesthetics; usability, emotional factors and unmet needs for the design research category; and internal factors, methods, strategic value and implementation for the design strategy category.

The awards were chosen from the following industry and design categories:  bathroom, spa and wellness; commercial and industrial products; communication tools; computer equipment; design strategy; digital design; entertainment; environments; gardens and outdoor; kitchens; leisure and recreation; living room and bedroom; medical and scientific products; office and productivity; packaging and graphics; personal accessories; research; service design; social impact design; student designs and transportation. Entries came from 30 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (North), Korea (South), Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The partners and media sponsors for this year’s awards are Core 77, Curve magazine,, Microsoft and Yanko Design. This is the third year that The Henry Ford will house the IDEA winners in its permanent collection as it continues to tell the story of innovation.

For detailed descriptions, photos and contact information on this year’s IDEA winners, visit:

Researchers are hopeful that new advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine could one day make a replacement liver from a patient’s own cells, or animal muscle tissue that could be cut into steaks without ever being inside a cow. Bioengineers can already make 2D structures out of many kinds of tissue, but one of the major roadblocks to making the jump to 3D is keeping the cells within large structures from suffocating; organs have complicated 3D blood vessel networks that are still impossible to recreate in the laboratory.

Now, University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed an innovative solution to this perfusion problem: they’ve shown that 3D printed templates of filament networks can be used to rapidly create vasculature and improve the function of engineered living tissues.

The research was conducted by a team led by postdoctoral fellow Jordan S. Miller and Christopher S. Chen, the Skirkanich Professor of Innovation in the Department of Bioengineering at Penn, along with Sangeeta N. Bhatia, Wilson Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and postdoctoral fellow Kelly R. Stevens in Bhatia’s laboratory.

Without a vascular system — a highway for delivering nutrients and removing waste products — living cells on the inside of a 3D tissue structure quickly die. Thin tissues grown from a few layers of cells don’t have this problem, as all of the cells have direct access to nutrients and oxygen. Bioengineers have therefore explored 3D printing as a way to prototype tissues containing large volumes of living cells.

The most commonly explored techniques are layer-by-layer fabrication, or bioprinting, where single layers or droplets of cells and gel are created and then assembled together one drop at a time, somewhat like building a stack of LEGOs.

Such “additive manufacturing” methods can make complex shapes out of a variety of materials, but vasculature remains a major challenge when printing with cells. Hollow channels made in this way have structural seams running between the layers, and the pressure of fluid pumping through them can push the seams apart. More important, many potentially useful cell types, like liver cells, cannot readily survive the rigors of direct 3D bioprinting.

To get around this problem, Penn researchers turned the printing process inside out.

Rather than trying to print a large volume of tissue and leave hollow channels for vasculature in a layer-by-layer approach, Chen and colleagues focused on the vasculature first and designed free-standing 3D filament networks in the shape of a vascular system that sat inside a mold. As in lost-wax casting, a technique that has been used to make sculptures for thousands of years, the team’s approach allowed for the mold and vascular template to be removed once the cells were added and formed a solid tissue enveloping the filaments.

“Sometimes the simplest solutions come from going back to basics,” Miller said. “I got the first hint at this solution when I visited a Body Worlds exhibit, where you can see plastic casts of free-standing, whole organ vasculature.”

This rapid casting technique hinged on the researchers developing a material that is rigid enough to exist as a 3D network of cylindrical filaments but which can also easily dissolve in water without toxic effects on cells. They also needed to make the material compatible with a 3D printer so they could make reproducible vascular networks orders of magnitude faster, and at larger scale and higher complexity, than possible in a layer-by-layer bioprinting approach.

After much testing, the team found the perfect mix of material properties in a humble material: sugar. Sugars are mechanically strong and make up the majority of organic biomass on the planet in the form of cellulose, but their building blocks are also typically added and dissolved into nutrient media that help cells grow.

“We tested many different sugar formulations until we were able to optimize all of these characteristics together,” Miller said. “Since there’s no single type of gel that’s going to be optimal for every kind of engineered tissue, we also wanted to develop a sugar formula that would be broadly compatible with any cell type or water-based gel.”

The formula they settled on — a combination of sucrose and glucose along with dextran for structural reinforcement — is printed with a RepRap, an open-source 3D printer with a custom-designed extruder and controlling software. An important step in stabilizing the sugar after printing, templates are coated in a thin layer of a degradable polymer derived from corn. This coating allows the sugar template to be dissolved and to flow out of the gel through the channels they create without inhibiting the solidification of the gel or damaging the growing cells nearby. Once the sugar is removed, the researchers start flowing fluid through the vascular architecture and cells begin to receive nutrients and oxygen similar to the exchange that naturally happens in the body.

The whole process is quick and inexpensive, allowing the researchers to switch with ease between computer simulations and physical models of multiple vascular configurations.

“This new platform technology, from the cell’s perspective, makes tissue formation a gentle and quick journey,” Chen said, “because cells are only exposed to a few minutes of manual pipetting and a single step of being poured into the molds before getting nourished by our vascular network.”

The researchers showed that human blood vessel cells injected throughout the vascular networks spontaneously generated new capillary sprouts to increase the network’s reach, much in the way blood vessels in the body naturally grow. The team then created gels containing primary liver cells to test whether their technique could improve their function.

When the researchers pumped nutrient-rich media through the gel’s template-fashioned vascular system, the entrapped liver cells boosted their production of albumin and urea, natural components of blood and urine, respectively, which are important measures of liver-cell function and health. There was also clear evidence of increased cell survival around the perfused vascular channels.

And theoretical modeling of nutrient transport in these perfused gels showed a striking resemblance to observed cell-survival patterns, opening up the possibility of using live-cell data to refine computer models to better design vascular architectures.

Though these engineered tissues were not equivalent to a fully functioning liver, the researchers used cell densities that approached clinical relevance, suggesting that their printed vascular system could eventually be used to further research in lab-grown organs and organoids.

“The therapeutic window for human-liver therapy is estimated at one to 10 billion functional liver cells,” Bhatia said. “With this work, we’ve brought engineered liver tissues orders of magnitude closer to that goal, but at tens of millions of liver cells per gel we’ve still got a ways to go.

“More work will be needed to learn how to directly connect these types of vascular networks to natural blood vessels while at the same time investigating fundamental interactions between the liver cells and the patterned vasculature. It’s an exciting future ahead.”

With promising indications that their vascular networks will be compatible with all types of cells and gels, the team believes their 3D printing method will be a scalable solution for a wide variety of cell- and tissue-based applications because all organ vasculature follows similar architectural patterns.

“Cell biologists like the idea of 3D printing to make vascularized tissues in principle, but they would need to have an expert in house and highly specialized equipment to even attempt it,” Miller said. “That’s no longer the case; we’ve made these sugar-based vascular templates stable enough to ship to labs around the world.”

Beyond integrating well with the world of tissue engineering, the researchers’ work epitomizes the philosophy that drives much of the open source 3D printing community.

“We launched this project from innovations rooted in RepRap and MakerBot technology and their supporting worldwide communities,” Miller said. “A RepRap 3D printer is a tiny fraction of the cost of commercial 3D printers, and, more important, its open-source nature means you can freely modify it. Many of our additions to the project are already in the wild.”

Several of the custom parts of the RepRap printer the researchers used to make the vascular templates were printed in plastic on another RepRap. Miller will teach a class on building and using these types of printers at a workshop this summer and will continue tinkering with his own designs.

“We want to redesign the printer from scratch and focus it entirely on cell biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications,” Miller said.

In addition to Miller, Chen, Bhatia and Stevens, the research was conducted by Michael T. Yang, Brendon M. Baker, Duc-Huy T. Nguyen, Daniel M. Cohen, Esteban Toro, Peter A. Galie, Xiang Yu and Ritika Chaturvedi of Penn Bioengineering, along with Alice A. Chen of MIT. Bhatia is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Penn Center for Engineering Cells and Regeneration and the American Heart Association-Jon Holden DeHaan Foundation.

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Fabricating Partners, Inc. today launched, the industry’s new online Request for Quote (RFQ) Marketplace designed to help U.S. Buyers build U.S. Supplier networks and manufacture made-to-order parts. Their SourceNow platform presents easy-to-use functionality designed to streamline and manage the complexities of sourcing custom-manufactured products, parts, and assemblies.  From multi-line RFQs to crucial Supplier profiles, delivers a productive, paperless system developed to address a critical market need for U.S. Buyers seeking U.S. Suppliers. The web-based service supports more than 250 manufacturing processes including machining, sheet metal fabricating, and thermoforming. requires no IT setup, software installations, or maintenance. Buyers only need Internet access and a standard browser to “source” from any location. also launched their “Sparks Fly” marketing campaign to introduce the service and encourage reshoring of manufacturing jobs. The rising price of fossil fuel, climbing overseas labor costs, the declining dollar, and compelling “total cost to own” factors are compelling American enterprises to reconsider their manufacturing strategies and logistics. These current market trends were key drivers for, which is well positioned to help companies create new supplier networks, reshore manufacturing jobs, support Buy American provision requirements, aid State MEPs with “Made in YourState” initiatives, and verify the “country-of-origin” labeling concept for products sold in America.
“We are confident will set the new standard for Sourcing in the United States,” states Frank Russo, CEO. “In order to revitalize the nation's manufacturing base, we have to encourage the cooperation and coordination of U.S. Buyers and U.S. Suppliers engaged in the Request for Quote process. Our ultra-intelligent SourceNow platform facilitates this interaction and delivers huge benefits to both U.S. Buyers and U.S. Suppliers. delivers the tools needed by Engineers and Purchasing professionals to carve out next-gen Supplier networks that stimulate the economy and energize our nation of makers.”

Helping Buyers Build U.S. Supplier Networks’s SourceNow platform is engineered for maximum throughput of RFQ (Request for Quote) requirements. The system analyzes part details from a Buyer’s RFQ and locates U.S.-based contract manufacturers with the expertise and machine assets needed for the job. Suppliers use the same streamlined, paperless system to quote for business. The sourcing platform adheres to the newest Web standards and provides support for CAD files, Excel spreadsheets, and other popular engineering file formats. The solution can also be integrated with Buyside enterprise applications, and provides a central point for all sourcing intelligence with a host of management tools and analytics for any size purchasing department.
Helping U.S. Suppliers Fill their Business Pipeline
The marketplace provides RFQ opportunities for U.S. Suppliers who want to build a customer pipeline or expand their current client base. The sourcing system analyzes each RFQ posted online by Buyers, then flags the Supplier when an opportunity precisely matches their expertise, capacity, and machine assets. Based on detailed engineering drawings and documentation provided, Suppliers use the same paperless system to quote for the job. A strategic business development tool, can also be utilized to manage quotes, standardize procedures, and diminish the headache of missing engineering drawings and documents.  

For more information, visit:

PCS Engineering, Inc., a product development services company and Objet Geometries reseller will host 3D printing, 3D scanning and CNC software seminars in select Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia venues this summer.

"The road show will display how leading manufacturers use CAD/CAM software, 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies to accelerate the product development process," said PCS Engineering, Inc. CEO Michael Huggins. "It is intended for manufacturing professionals seeking to improve operations with greater efficiencies in terms of cost and time required to bring new products to market."

Technology providers will include software and equipment demonstrations such as:

  • DP Technology: Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Software
  • Epilog Lasers: CO2 Laser Engraving Systems - Special Feature Laser Cutting Demonstration
  • GoMeasure3D: 3D Scanning, Inspection and Reverse Engineering 3D Measurement Reverse Engineering and Inspection Solutions - Special Feature the Microscribe Portable CMM Measurement Arm Demonstration
  • Objet: 3D PolyJet™ Matrix technology and Digital Materials - Special Feature Objet30 Demonstration
  • Siemens PLM: SolidEdge Software Modeling and Assembly Tools

2012 PCS Engineering, Inc. Road Show Schedule:

  • June 25: Marriott SpringHill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 901 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA
  • June 26: NASA Langley Research Center*, Hampton, VA
  • June 27: Newport News Marriott at City Center, 740 Town Center Dr., Newport News, VA
  • June 28: Richmond Marriott, 500 East Broad St., Richmond, VA
  • July 9: Philadelphia Marriott West, 111 Crawford Ave., West Conshohocken, PA
  • July 10: Courtyard Reading Wyomissing Hotel Marriott, 150 North Park Road, Reading, PA
  • July 11: Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, 25 South Queen St., Lancaster, PA
  • July 12: Courtyard Harrisburg Hershey Marriott, 725 Eisenhower Blvd., Harrisburg, PA
  • July 30: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
  • July 31: Virginia Western Community College, 3094 Colonial Ave., Fishburn Hall F206, Roanoke, VA
  • August 1: James Madison University, Festival Conference Center, 1301 Carrier Dr., Harrisonburg, VA
  • August 2: Harley Davidson of Fredrick, RR 255 Frederick, MD

Road Show events run 10:00am to 3:00pm and will include live 3D printing, 3D imaging and laser cutting and software demonstrations from technology experts.

Industrial designers and manufacturing engineers interested in 3D printing a part should send a CAD model in .STL format to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it one week prior to each scheduled event. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-service basis. During 3D imaging demonstration, PCS Engineering, Inc. will scan mechanical shapes and provide the data output to attendees.

PCS Engineering, Inc. offers design engineering, rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing solutions to industrial designers and manufacturing engineers. PCS Engineering, Inc. delivers prototypes and parts in a comprehensive range of plastic and metal production grade materials. Services include 3D Data Capture, Scanning and Revere Engineering, Stereolithography, Selective Laser Sintering, Selective Laser Melting, 3D Printing, CNC Machining, RTV Molding, Urethane Casting, Die Casting. PCS is an Objet Geometries reseller and offers access to Objet Connex500™, Connex350™, Objet260 Connex™, Eden500V™, Eden 350/350V™, Eden 260V™, Eden250™, Objet24 Personal 3D Printer and the Objet30 Desktop 3D Printer to the region.

For more information, visit:

Friday, 15 June 2012 11:34

Register Today! Tecplot Chorus Webinar

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Recently, Tecplot announced Tecplot Chorus 2012, our most advanced CFD visualization management system to date. And in order to help our users take advantage of new features and enhancements, we’re holding a free webinar on Thursday, June 21 at 10 a.m. PST.

Join Dr. Durrell Rittenberg as he illustrates Chorus’ new features by evaluating blade optimization and performance prediction studies of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). In each study, he will show you how to:

  • Evaluate results from multiple simulation cases
  • Model system performance with surrogate models
  • Compare results qualitatively and quantitatively
  • Use results to create reports

Thursday, June 21, 2012
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM PDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have any questions about Tecplot Chorus or the webinar, please contact us at 425-653-1200

For more information or to register, visit:

EON Reality, the world's leading interactive 3D software provider, today released EON Creator 4.8, an easy-to-use eLearning authoring tool that integrates 3D concepts with the web, PowerPoint, videos, sounds, animations and more into complete, blended learning environments. The new release also comes with an updated website look and new video tutorials.

With EON Creator 4.8, users can create unique educational 3D lessons and interactive scenes using high-quality 3D components from the EON Experience portal and blend them together with their own 3D content. The portal contains thousands of models and scenes accessible directly from inside the EON Creator authoring tool. Once content is downloaded into EON Creator, users can add contextual knowledge to any 3D object in their scene. Users can also link multiple 3D scenes together to create continuous learning environments.

3D content can then be published automatically in the EON Experience portal or shared in a live 3D multi-user session in EON Coliseum. EON Creator can present the virtual 3D learning experience across multiple devices- from laptops to 3D projected displays.

“With our rapidly growing community of EON Creator users we are pleased to be able to release this major upgrade with many enhanced functionalities and requested features. Our goal is to provide the easiest and most intuitive workflow for interactive 3D content development for education, allowing teachers and instructors as well as our fastest growing user segment students to start producing content quicker,” said Mats W. Johansson, President, EON Reality, Inc.

The new EON Creator 4.8 release brings a range of updates and improvements to the EON Experience platform, where the most notable additions are:

  • Improved creation process in Quiz mode: Users can now create customized questions and answers using the Quiz function, as well as separate the Quiz and Annotation function as desired.
  • Expanded support for more stereo devices: EON Creator Pro can now support three modes of stereoscopic 3D: Top/Bottom, Interleaved, and Frame Sequential 3D.
  • Recording video of your content is now easier than ever: Users can upload their experiences with 3D lessons directly to YouTube.
  • Simplified login process: Users can now signup and login with a single click via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.
  • Expanded file support for EON Experience Player: The EON Experience Player can now open EON Experience simulation (.edz, .eop, .eoz) and EON Experience scene files (.eos).
  • Easier user interactions: Users can now explore different parts of an object with a single click.
  • Configuration of pivot-points for 3D objects: The pivot-point is the central point where an object is rotated around.

EON Reality, Inc. is the world's leading interactive 3D solutions provider for businesses and education based on Virtual Reality technology. EON Reality provides state-of-the-art 3D display technology for immersive and stereoscopic viewing, from portable tablet PCs and glass free stereo display systems to curved-screen and immersive rooms consisting of multi-channel projection walls. The technology foundation for developing interactive digital content includes importing the most common 3D animation formats into EON's authoring software and creating modules and applications that can be viewed on various display systems. EON’s technology solutions enable all organizations to more effectively visually communicate, collaborate and accelerate knowledge transfer.

For more information, visit:

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) will host its Die Casting Congress & Exposition October 8-10, 2012, at the Indiana Conventions Center – Halls A&B in Indianapolis, IN.

This event will feature three days of Congress sessions, technical and management presentations that will be given by experts from around the world. These presentations will expose metalcasters to the latest technology, ongoing research and successful management tools that will assist companies in enhancing their competitiveness.

“We are excited to once again offer a “die casting-only” trade show and look forward to bringing thousands of die casters to this event to see and learn about products, services and advancements in the die casting industry,” said Twarog.

This exposition will also feature more than 100 exhibitors, the International Die Casting Design Competition, the Design Competition Luncheon and the Die Casting Industry Gala. Over 75% of booth space has been sold!

The Die Casting Congress & Exposition is an exclusive event to the die casting industry and its suppliers.  The 2015 Die Casting Congress & Exposition will also be held in Indianapolis due to its centralized location for the convenience of the die casting industry.

For more information or to register, visit:

We at FineLine Prototyping are excited to announce the launch of MicroFine Metal, the newest technology of our high-quality, precision rapid prototyping services. We are pleased to be the first in the industry to offer metal prototypes at the highly detailed resolution that we are known for producing, affording us the opportunity to serve you in new and innovative ways.

We discovered through surveying our customers that there was a great need for precision metal parts made quickly. We set about finding a solution that produced precision, full-strength metal parts that our customers could order as quickly and easily as plastic parts. After two years of research and development, we are happy to now have that service in place. We can now meet the needs of our customer base by producing prototypes – and even production-ready parts – in stainless steel and aluminum.

More specifically, the following materials are available as part of our MicroFine Metal service offering:

MicroFine Metal Direct:

  • Stainless Steel 17-4PH
  • Stainless Steel 316L

MicroFine Metal Casting:

  • Aluminum 6061-T6 (A356.2-T6)
  • Aluminum 2024-T7 (B206.2-T7)

MicroFine Metal parts are built in micro-resolution (.001” layers), making extremely fine details possible. The MicroFine Metal Direct process has a working build envelope of 3.5” by 3.5” by 3”. The process is capable of resolving features down to .005”. Tolerances of +/-.002” or better can be expected on features under 1”. Surface finish of the parts as built is approximately 130 microinches RMS.

The current limitations of the Microfine Metal Casting process are a maximum part dimension of 3”, maximum part volume of 1.5 cu. in., and minimum feature size of .010”. Tolerances of +/- .003” can be expected for features less than 1 in. and +/- .005” for features greater than 1 in. Surface finish of the parts as cast is very fine at approximately 32 RMS – similar to die-cast parts.

We offer finishing options to improve on surfaces if needed. In addition to our standard finishes, optional finishing procedures such as anodizing, electropolish, hand polish, and powder coating/painting are available to meet your every need. If tighter tolerances are required, we offer secondary machining operations such as drilling, slotting, milling and reaming. Discuss your needs with our quoting staff and we will help you select the best finishing method for your part.

For your convenience and just like with our other services, you may upload your files via our online quoter and simply select “metal” as your material choice to get started. A typical turnaround time is 2-4 business days for parts built using MicroFine Metal Direct and 5-6 business days for parts built using MicroFine Metal Casting.

We are very excited about this new service and the ability to now offer precision production-level quality metal prototypes with the ease and speed of plastic parts.

For more information, visit:

rapid prototype and manufacturing (rp+m), located in Avon Lake, Ohio, is receiving their first Objet machine.  Next week rp+m, a product development and prototyping company, is expanding their capabilities by purchasing Objet’s largest build machine, the Objet Connex500.  With this 3D printer, rp+m will be able to simulate an overmold or 2 shot process using Objet’s hard and soft touch material as well as run up to 14 materials in a single build.

rp+m is a sister company of Thogus, an engineering company whose expertise is in plastic injection molding.  rp+m became it’s own entity in 2011 due to the growing demand of rapid prototyping.   With a team of mechanical and biomedical engineers, rp+m can also provide product design, quality and regulatory services.


  • largest build envelope (19.7 in. X 15.7 in. X 7.9 in.)
  • run up to 14 materials in one build
  • soft touch material
  • simulate overmold or 2 shot process
  • near water clear material
  • quick build times (.75 in./ hour / per strip)
  • very high resolution and accuracy


  • animation & entertainment
  • architecture
  • automotive
  • consumer electronics
  • consumer goods
  • defense
  • dental
  • educational
  • hearing Aid
  • industrial machinery
  • jewelry
  • medical
  • medical equipment
  • sporting Goods
  • toys

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:41

Haas to Showcase 16 Machines at IMTS 2012

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IMTS is the premier manufacturing technology show in the Americas. For 2012, the show is expected to bring together more than 82,000 visitors from 116 countries to see more than 1100 exhibitors from around the world.  This year, Haas will have 16 machines on display in 10,000 square feet of booth space, as well as 3 additional machines in vendor booths. Here’s a list of what’s new since last IMTS:

UMC-750 Universal Machining Center

The Haas UMC-750 is a versatile 5-axis 40-taper VMC with 30" x 22" x 20" travels and an integrated dual-axis trunnion table. The show machine is equipped with a 12,000-rpm inline direct-drive spindle, and comes standard with a 40+1 tool side-mount tool changer. The dual-axis trunnion can position parts to nearly any angle for 5-sided (3+2) machining, or provide full simultaneous 5-axis motion for contouring and complex machining. The 630 x 500 mm table features standard T-slots and a precision pilot bore for fixturing versatility, and the trunnion provides +35 and -110 degrees of tilt and 360 degrees of rotation for excellent tool clearance and large part capacity.
ST-10Y Compact Y-Axis Turning Center

The Haas ST-10Y is a small-footprint Y-axis turning center that provides 4" of Y-axis travel (±2" from the centerline) for off-center milling, drilling, and tapping, and comes standard with high-torque live tooling and a servo-driven C axis for versatile 4-axis capability. The machine provides a maximum cutting capacity of 9" x 14", with a swing of 16.25" over the cross slide. It is equipped with a 6.5" hydraulic 3-jaw chuck and a 12-station VDI turret. The ST-10Y’s A2-5 spindle nose has a 2.31" spindle bore and a bar capacity of 1.75". The machine’s 15 hp vector dual-drive spindle turns to 6000 rpm, and provides 75 ft-lb of torque.
ST-20SSY High-Speed Y-Axis Turning Center

The Haas ST-20SSY is a high-speed Y-axis turning center that provides 4" of Y-axis travel, and includes high-torque live tooling and a servo-driven C axis to perform secondary machining operations. The machine has a maximum cutting capacity of 10" x 21", and is equipped with a 24-station hybrid BOT/VDI turret. The A2-6 spindle turns to 5000 rpm, and features an 8.3" hydraulic chuck and a 2.0" bar capacity. A 30 hp vector drive system yields 140 ft-lb of torque.

ST-40 Large-Capacity Turning Center

The Haas ST-40 is the largest addition to Haas Automation’s line of new generation turning centers. It has a maximum cutting capacity of 25.5" x 44", with maximum swings of 34.5" over the front apron and 25.5" over the cross slide. The spindle bore is 4.62", with a bar capacity of 4". The machine’s 40-hp vector dual-drive spindle turns to 2400 rpm, and provides 1400 ft-lb of torque. The ST-40 features an A2-8 spindle nose and comes equipped with a 15" hydraulic 3-jaw chuck. A 12-station bolt-on style tool turret is standard, with an option for a hybrid BOT/VDI turret.

DS-30Y Dual-Spindle Y-Axis Turning Center

The Haas DS-30Y turning center combines dual-spindle turning with Y axis, C axis, and live tooling. The opposed spindles support fully synchronized turning, and allow on-the-fly part pass-off to reduce cycle times. The machine comes standard with high-torque live tooling and a servo-driven C axis, and provides 4" of Y-axis travel (±2" from the centerline) for off-center milling, drilling, and tapping. The DS-30Y has a maximum cutting capacity of 18" x 23", and is equipped with a 12-station hybrid BOT/VDI turret. The A2-6 main spindle features an 8.3" hydraulic chuck and a 30 hp vector drive system; the A2-5 secondary spindle also has an 8.3" hydraulic chuck, and is powered by a 20 hp vector drive system. Both spindles turn to 4000 rpm, and have a 2.0" bar capacity.

New 40-Taper Spindles

For 2012, Haas Automation increased the speed and performance of the standard spindle on its expansive line of 40-taper VMCs, and introduced several new optional spindles. All Haas VF-1 through VF-12 40-taper VMCs are now equipped with a powerful 8100-rpm inline direct-drive spindle that is driven by a 30-horsepower vector drive system. An optional 10,000-rpm inline direct-drive spindle is available for shops wanting higher spindle speeds. Both spindles yield 90 ft-lb of cutting torque.

For shops needing additional low-speed torque and wanting the flexibility of a gearbox, two optional gear-drive spindles are also available for standard Haas 40-taper VMCs. The optional spindles provide either 8100-rpm or 10,000-rpm, and feature a Haas-built, high-precision two-speed gearbox. Both geared spindles yield 250 ft-lb of torque.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:02

Capture 3D Measurement Innovation 2012

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The growing need to optimize manufacturing methods are driving companies to advance to accurate and fast non-contact optical 3D measurement solutions to conquer today's and tomorrow's challenges. This educational conference focuses on how companies are improving their design, production, manufacturing, and maintenance processes with optical and structured light measurement technology. Capture 3D is thrilled to be celebrating our 5th biannual conference. This special event is geared for engineers, managers, and executives to learn, discover, assimilate, interact, and collaborate. If you have not already signed up, please remember seating is limited, so register today to participate in this exciting event.

The keynote and guest speaker technical presentations will address 3D measurement applications applicable to various industries for optimizing quality control, inspection, reverse engineering, CFD/FEA analysis, automation, rapid manufacturing, root cause analysis, and much more. The 3D Solutions Expo will showcase the latest innovative 3D measurement equipment and software live.

Goal of the event is to:

  • Learn how companies are utilizing innovative 3D measurement technology into current workflows to reduce costs, speed up processes, and improve time to market
  • Discover techniques for ATOS 3D scanning, TRITOP digital photogrammetry, inspection, reverse engineering, and automation
  • Collaborate with industry professionals and gain insight to help improve various applications
  • See upcoming developments and enhancements from Capture 3D and GOM
  • Receive technical advice and support from Capture 3D, GOM, and attendees
  • Provide feedback on desired functionality and other areas of importance to you
  • Network with people who share similar responsibilities and goals
  • Interact in our hands-on 3D Solutions Expo displaying a series of live labs and solutions experts

Capture 3D Measurement Innovation 2012
Hilton Hotel
3050 Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626
August 21-23, 2012

For more information or to register, visit:

EDAC Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: EDAC), a diversified designer, manufacturer and servicer of precision components for aerospace and industrial applications, announced today that it has acquired EBTEC Corporation, a provider of advanced precision manufacturing processes and fabrication solutions to leading aerospace, power generation, industrial, semiconductor and medical customers.  Privately-owned EBTEC, which is headquartered in Agawam, Mass., had sales of $12.6 million in 2011.

The purchase price was approximately $11 million, of which $1.65 million has been paid in EDAC stock, with the balance funded by financing through TD Bank N.A.

EBTEC Corporation, which was founded in 1963, pioneered the development of non-contact, high energy beam (HB) technologies with the Apollo Space Program, proving at the time that EB welding could meet the demands that space travel would place on engineered products.  Today, in addition to electron beam welding, EBTEC's precision high energy beam processes include laser welding, laser cutting, laser drilling, EDM, vacuum heat treating, and abrasive waterjet cutting, while they also offer comprehensive precision fabrication solutions.  EBTEC has an extensive array of equipment, coupled with substantial engineering, metallurgy, quality assurance, program management, and in-house finishing capabilities. EBTEC is a certified supplier to major aerospace and industrial OEMs.

Dominick A. Pagano, President and Chief Executive Officer of EDAC Technologies, commented, "This acquisition represents an important step forward in our growth strategy. EBTEC gives us highly complementary and advanced capabilities that are required for the manufacture of our precision parts, many of which we formerly outsourced to EBTEC.  EBTEC also fabricates finished components, which immediately expands our product line with additional parts for aircraft engines and ground-based turbines, markets we currently serve.  In addition, EBTEC makes components and products used by manufacturers of semiconductors and medical devices, which opens up new markets to EDAC.  This acquisition also efficiently expands our manufacturing footprint as EBTEC's two facilities in Massachusetts are close to our own operations.

"We are acquiring a very well run and profitable company.  We have the highest regard for the EBTEC team and welcome each of them to EDAC.  In addition to their engineering capabilities and design know-how, they share with the team at EDAC a deep and proven commitment to innovation and exacting execution, making both companies an ideal fit with each other."

EDAC Technologies Corporation is a diversified manufacturing company serving the aerospace and industrial markets.  In the aerospace sector, EDAC offers design and manufacturing services for commercial and military aircraft, in such areas as jet engine parts, special tooling, equipment, gauges and components used in the manufacture, assembly and inspection of jet engines.  Industrial applications include high-precision fixtures, gauges, dies and molds, as well as the design, manufacture and repair of precision spindles, which are an integral part of machine tools found in virtually every manufacturing environment. EDAC's core competencies include extensive in-house design and engineering capabilities, and facilities equipped with the latest enabling machine tools and manufacturing technologies.

For more information, visit: or

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 07:14

Launch of UP! mini 3d printer

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Delta Micro Factory Corp. (PP3DP) announced today, the launch of the much anticipated follow-up, UP! Mini, to their highly acclaimed, flagship 3d printer, the UP! family. The all-new UP! Mini 3D Printer, with its full metal, temperature stabilizing enclosure and groundbreaking sub $1000 USD retail price, was introduced at simultaneous launches at RAPID 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the Atlantic Design & Manufacturing Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and CeBIT Australia in Sydney, Australia.

The UP! Mini is based on the simplicity of a traditional inkjet printer, with a snap in printer head, slide in build table and clip in consumable roll. You are ready to start making your big ideas into 3-Dimensional usable models out of tough ABS+ plastic.

There is no sacrifice on build quality with the UP! Mini, with its enclosed steel construction, double linear bearings on each axis and a temperature stabilizing build chamber; it is ready to produce quality parts on your desk within 15 minutes from switching it on.

"The UP! Mini is the result of 1000's of hours of field testing & valuable feedback from our rapidly growing UP!  user community." says PP3DP's Director of International Marketing, Joseph Guo.


  • Build footprint of 4.7” x 4.7” x 4.7” / 120 x 120 x 120mm with heated build table.
  • Enclosed chamber to reduce warping.
  • Double linear bearings on each axis - ensures consistent build quality throughout the entire print process.
  • Print speed of 9mins per cm3
  • Layer resolution of 250 microns
  • Chip free and open consumables – You can use any suppliers ABS roll of 1.75mm plastic with your UP! Mini. The UP! Mini consumable is an open design so you are not locked into expensive consumables as opposed to expensive inkjet cartridges.
  • USB interface for inkjet simplicity print spooling, you can unplug your computer once the UP! Mini starts printing.
  • Includes the Smart UP! Software, tools and a full roll of plastic to get you started.

With the introduction this week of the UP! Mini, PP3DP promises no compromises made when designing this newest member of the UP! family, "the Up! Mini has the features of the UP! Plus+ and is available, ready to print, for under $1000 USD. It is more suitable for family use." says Joseph Guo, "Not bad for a new born!"

UP! Mini will be available to preorder from June 1st from local resellers all over the world, and PP3DP website.

For more information, visit:

Xten Industries, Kenosha, announced today that its subsidiary has acquired the assets of Paramount Plastics, LLC, Lockport, IL, an $18 million full service plastic injection molding company with special expertise in large-tonnage molding using engineered grade resins.  Paramount is an ISO/TS 16949:2002 certified company.

“We are very excited about the addition of Paramount, which greatly increases Xten’s production capabilities and substantially expands our customer base,” said Matthew Davidson, Xten CEO and Co-founder.

Founded in 1990, Paramount Plastics grew rapidly, establishing a solid reputation as a reliable large tonnage automotive supplier.  Within Paramount’s 122,000 square foot facility are 24 presses ranging from 60-2,000 tons, with shot capacities from 5 grams to 26 lbs.  A variety of robotic automation supports the production of parts sold into the industrial, consumer durable, health and fitness, automotive and packaging markets.

“In addition to the larger equipment, we’ve gained the operational expertise of Paramount’s people,” said Bill Renick, Xten’s president and operations leader.  “Out of the due diligence process, we came to realize how much they have contributed to Paramount’s success and feel fortunate to have them now within the Xten family.”

“One of the qualities both Xten and Paramount share is our dedication to providing exceptional service,” said Davidson.  “Given this common focus, we’re certain Paramount’s current customers will notice no decline in our ongoing support.”

Levin Ginsburg Attorneys at Law served as legal counsel to Xten Industries. Stevenson & Company advised Paramount Plastics and Chuhak & Tecson Attorneys at Law served as Paramount’s legal counsel.

For more information, visit: or

Cideas, Inc., leading Rapid Prototyping, Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) and 3D Printing company announced its acquisition of 3D Systems sPRO™ 60 HD HS. The purchase comes in response to growing demand for high definition prototypes and parts for aerospace, consumer products and medical industries.

"The sPRO™ 60 HD HS allows us to manufacture high-definition, durable plastic parts from a broad range of available thermoplastics," said Cideas President Mike Littrell. "What makes this a significant machine, is the digital scanning feature, a fairly new technology that is currently unavailable to the sPRO™ 140 and sPRO™ 230. "The part quality is extremely impressive; it enables us to create complex assemblies, as well as, production quantities with ease."

Cideas is the world's largest independently owned service provider of the Fused Deposition Modeling™ technology. Within months of relocating to their new state-of-the-art Chicago-land based facility, Cideas has installed two large frame Fortus Fused Deposition Modeling™ systems and one Selective Laser Sintering® system.

Cideas will display 3D printing technology, prototypes and parts at RAPID 2012, May 23-24, 2012. RAPID is North America's definitive additive manufacturing conference and exposition for design, prototyping, tooling and direct manufacturing technologies.

Founded in 1998, Cideas is the largest independently owned service provider of the Fused Deposition Modeling™ technology. Their new state of the art Chicago-land based facility was specifically designed to house their 16+ FDM™ systems, as well as; Selective Laser Sintering®, Polyjet™ systems, Urethane casting and Stereolithography® services. The new facility also boasts "in house" paint, polishing and pattern finishing services. Cideas supports over 10 different FDM materials such as: ABS-M30, M30i, ABS-ESD7, PC-ABS, PC-ISO, PC, ULTEM 9085, PPSF / PPSU, P400, and ABS F1. In addition to FDM™, the company offers an additional 15+ materials with Polyjet™, Selective Laser Sintering® (SLS®), Stereolithography® (SLA®), Urethane Casting, CAD Engineering and full model finishing services. Cideas is a member of the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

For more information, visit: or

During a customer event KraussMaffei showed fascinated trade visitors a new dimension of injection molding with the progressive GX series. Presented for the first time, the GX series extends the product portfolio in the segment of hydro-mechanical dual platen machines in the medium clamping force range. The passionate engineering of the developers is manifested in a first-class machine concept featuring intelligent product innovations such as the GearX locking device and the GuideX guide shoe. The GX series sets new standards in terms of performance, usability and value retention.

Visitors impressed by the exhibition with a demonstration of six machines

During today's world premiere in Munich, KraussMaffei provided a convincing demonstration of six machines in its new GX series with a clamping force ranging from 400 to 650 tonnes. These machines have different sizes and equipment variants for production requirements in a very large number of industries. The GX machines are impressive during the production of free falling packaging parts and premium quality articles for the automotive industry or the consumer goods sector. "Our customers were primarily interested in the modular automation cells containing linear and industrial robots in different configurations", summarized Dr. Karlheinz Bourdon, Vice President Technologies in the Injection Molding Machinery Segment of KraussMaffei, "and I can only emphasize that the GX is the best machine concept on the market!"

A powerful team: GearX and GuideX

The hydro-mechanical clamping unit in the GX series sets new standards in terms of quality and productivity. The excellent dual platen technology scores highly with a wide range of innovations. "In my opinion, the GX machines represent the best overall concept", underlined Bourdon. "We talk about a new dimension because our customers can use the machine to get the best results from their production." With the ingenious GuideX guide shoe, forces are ideally absorbed and the service life of the molds is increased. As an intelligent fixed bearing joint with an optimized FEM design, GuideX is not just an "eye-catcher", but a genuine highlight which ensures excellent platen parallelism due to the stable design and guarantees smooth, energy-saving movements. The innovative GearX locking system is reliably activated straightaway within the shortest possible time and continuously produces quick machine movements. Arranged in a space-saving way behind the moving mold fixing platen, it facilitates simple access and numerous customer-specific options.

Convenience and efficiency for the complete machine

Maximum priority is attached in the GX series to easy accessibility of the clamping, ejection and nozzle area, as well the switching cabinets and pump area. Thanks to the accessible design, the operator always works extremely comfortably and time efficiently. Short set-up times and simple maintenance are advantages that speak for themselves. GX: This is usability in a new dimension!

Powerful injection unit with proven plasticizing system

The proven KraussMaffei screw system, which ensures a wide range of applications, was retained in the GX series. Our standard plasticizing unit assures optimal melting quality and high throughput. “As a specialist for special polymers, we also offer our customers a raft of material-specific plasticizing solutions", said Frank Peters, Vice President Sales at KraussMaffei. “The application areas range from PC and PMMA through to PET, PC/PBT and plasticizing systems for long fiber processing." The Competence Center provides customers with competent advice, and there are hardly any limits to application areas. Fixed check valves with quick and precise closing behavior guarantee high weight constancy from shot to shot.

Processors profit from unlimited precision

The efficiency of the plasticizing process is supported by the proven in-line injection unit which has a rotary piston design and transmits force centrally via the injection piston to the screw. This direct path ensures absolute precision and maximum reproducibility Injection regulation of pressure and speed is a standard feature of the GX and guarantees processors maximum process reliability.

New MC6 control system offers considerable latitude

"With the MC6 we have a developed a control system which meets our customers' needs for "usability" in every respect”, said Bourdon. “It can be operated clearly and incredibly easy using SplitScreen and ProcessDesigner." Whether an operator is working with a KraussMaffei control system for the first time or is accustomed to its MC5 predecessor – MC6 technology is so intuitively accessible that he will hardly notice it. In keeping with our overall energy-efficient design, the MC6 control system has been equipped with a so-called "Eco button" for the first time. A most energetically optimum machine setting can therefore be made at the push of a button. The new "SplitScreen technology" shows the operator all important production processes at a glance. It almost never takes more than two clicks to get where you want to go quickly and easily. The integrated ProcessDesigner tool clearly presents all current processes in visual terms and enables you to modify them, depending on requirements, by means of simple drag-and-drop movements or wiping movements. This is also usability in a new dimension.

Overall modular concept creates flexibility

No matter which injection unit, clamping unit or drive is needed, the modular machine design makes it possible to meet every individual requirement. Due to the fact that the machine center always remains at the same height, the system is compatible with all clamping and injection unit combinations. In the modular drive system of the GX series, the latest generation of the variable delivery pumps is a standard feature. Their use improves efficiency and guarantees processors maximum cost-effectiveness. The parallel movement of the ejector and core pullers increases productivity and is integrated in the standard. The new premium quality hydraulic components were designed with the focus on higher availability and a long service life to meet the latest state of the art regarding energy efficiency. Depending on the application and production cycle, the machines can be supplied with different PowerPack performance classes for first-class economical production. Through the optional use of "Blue Power Servo Drive" Technology, energy consumption is further optimized compared with variable delivery pumps. The saving amounts to 10 and 30 percent depending on the particular application. Compared with conventional hydraulic concepts on the market, savings of up to 50 percent are actually possible.

Perfect symbiosis of automation technology and machine

Even with fully integrated overall systems comprising a machine and automation technology, KraussMaffei goes one step further. Machine and handling form a functional unit in this combination. The linear robots from the LRX series are ideally suited for simple pick & place solutions and quick removal. The industrial robot (IR) guarantees maximum flexibility during complex demolding and a wide range of other assembly steps or production steps. A uniform protective housing makes the perfect symbiosis visible on the outside as well. The shared control MC6 system in particular represents true added value for the customer. It allows both functional units - machine and automation - to be controlled on any control panel: Smart programming with WizardX: The dialog-based programming assistant in the MC6 control system allows even beginners to create basic demolding processes in the shortest possible time. The interactive communication between the user and control system makes manual programming superfluous and eliminates programming errors.

Impressive during first-time use in production

A GX 550-4300 was delivered to WAFA Kunststofftechnik GmbH in Augsburg in October 2011. Due to the very high demands on the production process and the component, the company was deliberately selected for the field tests in continuous production operation. "The high precision, speed, modularity and high usability completely convinced us", said Wolfgang K. Müller, proprietor and managing director of WAFA. "KraussMaffei once again raised the bar for the high quality of their injection molding machines with their new GX series." The machine is equipped with a type LRX 250 linear robot, the basic component for economical manufacturing cells. This removes the sensitive parts, places them on a cooling/conveyor section and separates the sprues gates as required. The robot also ensures that conditions regarding demolding time and cycle time remain consistent, thus exerting a positive influence on process conditions. "KraussMaffei has created a top-quality machine with the GX, which literally opens up new dimensions. The modular design, high performance and outstanding precision combine to form one user-friendly machine - a great performance!", said Wolfgang K. Müller praising the development team.

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3D Engineering Solutions employed 3D laser scanning, structured light scanning and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) best practices to reverse engineer components for military aircraft, including parts for large helicopters and Harrier jump jets recently sold by Britain to the U.S. Because the CAD models and prints for these parts are not available, 3D Engineering digitized each component, determined the materials, finishes and coatings, and then created new CAD models and prints to be used by government suppliers in recreating each piece. 3D laser scanning was employed to digitize the larger parts while structured light scanning was used to capture the smaller, detailed components.

“The difficulty in these types of projects comes in discerning the original design intent of the component. This is done by studying how the parts interact with the overall system and applying proper dimensioning and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) that is appropriate for the design intent and to reduce the end cost of the components,” said 3D Engineering Solutions Vice President of Operations Rob Glassburn, P.E. In all, 3D Engineering created over 200 prints for the helicopter and Harrier projects, comparing the scans they captured with the models they created numerous times.

3D Engineering Solutions is completing the prints of these wear item components at a time when Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) pertaining to military aircraft is on the rise. “For various reasons, suppliers to our government are no longer able to provide key components to certain systems. Many of these components are wear items that need to be replaced on a frequent basis,” said Glassburn. “When the prints for these parts aren’t available, that’s where we come in.”

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 Siemens advanced NX7.5 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 seventh 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.

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3DVision Technologies is thrilled to announce the launch of its brand-new website.

According to Carrie Patrick, Marketing Manager for 3DVision, there were several goals in mind when redesigning the site. "In our business, the technology is constantly changing. We found ourselves unable to make quick changes and updates to our site to better communicate our products and services to our customers. With this new platform and site redesign we are now able to make updates within hours, not days."

3DVision Technologies last launched a complete site redesign in 2009. While the site was current and still relevant, Patrick believed that it was time to take things to the next level.

With a clean look and new information geared specifically toward 3DVision's technologically minded audience, the site is engaging and educational, holding the user's interest and providing a format that is easy to navigate.

Todd Majeski, President and CEO of 3DVision Technologies, noted, "From a visual standpoint, the new site really reflects our company brand as well as the brand of our partners. In addition we are now able to more effectively communicate with our customers and potential prospects."

Patrick notes, "No matter what your size, your company website leaves a lasting impression with any visitor. At 3DVision Technologies we believe that we have once again differentiated ourselves from our competition and this is just the beginning."

3DVision Technologies Corp. is the leading value-added reseller of SolidWorks 3D CAD software in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At 3DVision Technologies, our team of experienced engineers and world-class trainers help our colleagues in the design and manufacturing industries produce high quality products in less time with lower costs. Our products, including 3D solid-modeling, computer aided analysis, and product data management, provide the tools you need to rapidly turn your ideas into business success.

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Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO) announced today that it has acquired Wayne Trail Technologies, Inc., a privately held Ohio-based manufacturer of automated systems and tooling, serving a wide range of applications in the metal processing market.

"The addition of Wayne Trail Technologies strengthens our already strong position as a market leader in welding automation in North America," said John M. Stropki, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Wayne Trail brings extensive design and system building experience, and we are particularly excited about the company's proven capabilities and continued commercial success in the area of laser welding systems."

"We look forward to expanding our ability to serve customers in the U.S. and international markets as part of Lincoln's broad portfolio of welding and automated solutions for its global customer base," said David M. Knapke, President and CEO of Wayne Trail Technologies.

Wayne Trail Technologies, Inc., with headquarters and manufacturing operations in Ft. Loramie, Ohio, has annual sales of approximately $50 million and employs 162 people.

Terms were not disclosed.

Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln has 45 manufacturing locations, including operations and joint ventures in 20 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.

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Monday, 14 May 2012 11:16

SURFCAM 6 Beta Released

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Surfware, Inc. announced this week that the beta version of its flagship CAM software, SURFCAM 6, has been completed and is being made available to SURFCAM Beta Users, Testers and Resellers worldwide.

SURFCAM 6, the next major up and coming release, is on schedule to follow the previous SURFCAM V5 Series of releases. SURFCAM V5.2 was released in April 2011, SURFCAM V5.1 was released in September 2010. The SURFCAM V5 Series was launched in February 2010 starting with the introduction of SURFCAM V5.0.

“SURFCAM 6 is a significant release version for any serious CAM programmer,” says Peter Marton, Vice President of Surfware. “A large part of this release has been dedicated to taking the existing power and control available in the software today and coupling it with enhancements and features to make for an improved user experience. The addition of a 64 bit version, new and updated internal technologies, and even many new additional features and enhancements will prove this version of SURFCAM 6 to be a must for all programmers that require a tool which is easy to use while allowing programmers the ability to create toolpaths with utmost precision and control. With all the capabilities now available in our flagship product, SURFCAM 6 still remains one of the most competitively priced CAD/CAM systems in the market today.”

Some of the new features and enhancements available in SURFCAM 6 are:

  • A 64-Bit Version
  • New Tools and Material Database Engine
  • Faster and Improved Verification Technology
  • Updated Interface
  • Completely redesigned Help System
  • Four (4) new toolpath strategies
  • Updated CAD translators (plus RHINO CAD translator now included)
  • Updated and New Post Processors (MPost and SPost)
  • New Productivity Utilities
  • Updated Digitizer Interfaces
  • New versions of editNC and SDNC
  • Enhanced TRUEMill toolpath calculator and toolpath algorithms
  • ...Plus much more

"We have found this beta release of SURFCAM 6 to be solid and stable,” says SURFCAM Reseller Don McKillop in Florida. “I am really pleased with all the behind the scenes work put into this version to bring it to the competitive state it is in today. We have all the power in SURFCAM 6 to easily create the most complex of 5-Axis toolpaths, and then making them work on the floor seamlessly with the post processors we support.”

"This version is a nice mix of features and 'stable under the hood' type work," says SURFCAM Reseller Greg Martin in Utah. "Surfware has really demonstrated their commitment to SURFCAM CAD/CAM systems competitiveness and set the stage for many years to come with new feature-rich development. We look forward to getting this release in the hands of all of our many SURFCAM customers."

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Ashok Agrawal, M.S., P.E., vice president for Academic Affairs at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley, Ferguson, Mo., and a member of the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors, has been acknowledged as a leader exemplifying the best in engineering and engineering technology education by The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and awarded the prestigious James H. McGraw Award.

Ashok Agrawal has served engineering and engineering technology and has held every professorial and administrative position from instructor to chief academic officer. He established the Emerson Center for Engineering and Manufacturing. As a Program Officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF), he played key roles in expanding the Advanced Technological Education program and increasing the visibility of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). An ASEE Fellow and Frederick J. Berger Award recipient, he served ASEE in numerous offices of the Engineering Technology Council and Division, and on the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Agrawal will be honored at the ASEE Awards Banquet being held at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, Ballroom C – 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m., on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Recipients of 15 ASEE national awards will be honored at the Banquet, in addition to 11 Fellows. Agrawal will receive a $1,000 honorarium award and certificate. The awards ceremony will be held during the 119th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in San Antonio, Texas, June 10-13, 2012.  

Agrawal holds an MS degree in Materials Science, an MS degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Kentucky, and a BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Nagpur University in India. Before joining St. Louis Community College, Agrawal was a tenured Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering Technology at West Virginia Institute of Technology.

Prior to assuming his present position as vice President for Academic Affairs, Ashok Agrawal was the dean of the Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology Division and responsible for leading and administering its transfer and career programs. His efforts led to the establishment of the Emerson Center for Engineering and Manufacturing, the development of the joint 2+2 Bachelor’s degree program with Southeast Missouri State, and creation of several customized training programs for key regional corporations including Ameren, AT&T, and Boeing.

As director of the Emerson Center, Agrawal actively engages with St. Louis Community College’s Workforce and Community Development, St. Louis County Economic Council, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA).

In 2006, he was selected to participate in Leadership St. Louis® (LSL), one of the most highly-respected leadership development programs in the nation. The program was built on the belief that the community, just as any business organization, requires strong leadership to grow and improve. In the same year, he was appointed by the Governor of Missouri to serve on the Missouri Math, Engineering, Technology, and Science (Mo-METS) task force, and serve with the Mo-METS coalition. He also serves on the planning team of the St. Louis Region’s FIRST Robotics Competition and on the advisory committee of the St. Louis Science Center.

Agrawal has been honored with numerous awards and recognitions. He is the recipient of the 2003 Florissant Valley David L. Underwood Lecture Award, and also the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Agrawal and his colleagues led the effort to establish a St. Louis Regional Engineering Academy for St. Louis area schools, which included the implementation of Project Lead The Way engineering curriculum. He has received several grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other public and private agencies, including a grant for the College Career Transition Initiative from the League of Innovation.

He has served as a Program Officer at the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation, and continues to assist NSF on special projects. Agrawal has also served on the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Committee to Advance Engineering Studies at Tribal Colleges, the NAE Committee on Community Colleges Role in Engineering and Education, and the National Research Council (NRC) Board on Engineering Education.

Ashok Agrawal is also involved in international activities collaborating with Georgetown University to coordinate The Cooperative Association of States for Scholarships (CASS) program which provides technical training and professional training for low-income and rural students from the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua;  and The Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (USAID SEED) Program, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED).

Founded in 1893, the American Society for Engineering Education is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. In pursuit of academic excellence, ASEE develops policies and programs that enhance professional opportunities for engineering faculty members, and promotes activities that support increased student enrollments in engineering and engineering technology colleges and universities.

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Die & Mold China 2012 (DMC2012) will be held in Hall E1-E6 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from May 31st to June 3rd. This year's exhibition will highlight the salient characteristics of new technologies, new processes and new structures, with high-end manufacturing and innovation as priorities for exhibitions and themes of presentations.

Fifteen hundred exhibitors from 15 countries and regions, including Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Korea, are slated to participate in the event and showcase their new products and technologies.

A group including over 30 domestic die and mold makers from Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces that form the elite of China's contribution to the sector will jointly demonstrate the unique elements that sets them apart.

Several other conferences, including an industry summit led by China Die and Mold Industry Association (CDMIA), a technology seminar organized by SWISSMEM (the Swiss association of mechanical and electrical engineering industries) in concert with several international organizations, as well as many market-focused events held by BOSCH, other world-leading firms, and several users associations, are scheduled to take place concurrently.

"Offshore Wind China 2012", which is being held at the same time in a nearby venue, will complement DMC2012 in terms of synergies all along the new energy sector's production chain.

The exhibition's crowning event will be the gathering of the industry's leading decision makers and influencers from both within China and abroad where they plan to discuss cutting edge technologies and the demand for large-scale and high-end equipment, driving the transformation and evolution of the sector.

For more information, visit:

Philadelphia University will name its innovative interdisciplinary college for alumnus Maurice Kanbar '52, H'03, who has donated $15 million in support of the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. The $15 million gift is the largest in Philadelphia University history.

"It is with great pride and gratitude that we accept this generous gift from our esteemed alumnus and benefactor Maurice Kanbar," said Philadelphia University President Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D. "Mr. Kanbar's investment in this University is a testament to his belief in our vision, and in the strength and talent of our faculty and students. This is a transformational gift in support of a transformational academic experience."

Kanbar, an entrepreneur, inventor, Hollywood producer and philanthropist, said the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, with its focus on transdisciplinary learning and identifying and solving real-world problems, will enable students to achieve success in the 21st century work place and contribute to society.

"The College will be of tremendous benefit to students, and make it easier for them to succeed in life," Kanbar said. "The number one rule to follow is never be happy with the way things are, always be thinking about how to make it better," he said. "That is basically what I have done my whole life."

"Through the convergence of the design, engineering and business disciplines and connections with industry partners, the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce pushes students to think beyond the boundaries of existing academic fields," said Philadelphia University Provost Randy Swearer, Ph.D. "This College, coupled with our Nexus Learning approach, is helping Philadelphia University to revolutionize higher education. Mr. Kanbar's significant contribution is a vital factor in achieving our vision of being the model for professional university education in the 21st century."

The Kanbar College, which officially launched in fall 2011, offers students an integrated educational experience that prepares them to think critically about the world, giving them a multi-dimensional understanding of their rapidly evolving fields.

"A hallmark of the Kanbar College requires that all students participate in an integrated core curriculum beginning on the first day of their freshmen year," said Ronald Kander, Ph.D., executive dean of Kanbar College. "Through our unique curriculum, students learn to ask the right questions, identify problems, deal with complex issues, create opportunities and innovate.  They gain mastery of their specific disciplines along with the added value of expertise in related fields, thus giving them a competitive edge in the workplace."

To support the College's innovative curriculum, Philadelphia University is constructing a new building, set to open in January 2013, which will include flexible space for studios, seminars, conference meetings and team projects, allowing teaching and work space to be reconfigurable as projects and curricula evolve. The 38,500-square-foot building, built to LEED standards, will reinforce the College's integrated curriculum that pushes students to think beyond the boundaries of existing disciplines and focus on market-driven innovation through teamwork, collaboration and industry connections.

In addition to his latest donation, Kanbar gave $6 million for The Kanbar Campus Center, which opened in fall 2006. His support of Philadelphia University and other academic programs stems from a deep-seated belief in the transformative power of education. "Without an education a person is lost," he said.  "With an education a person has a chance. With a good education, a person has a better chance."

In 2003, Philadelphia University awarded Kanbar, who invented SKYY Vodka, the D-Fuzz-It sweater comb and produced several films (including the animated movie Hoodwinked), the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

Philadelphia University, founded in 1884, is a private university with 3,600 students enrolled in more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs.  As the model for professional university education, the University prepares students to be leaders in their professions in an active, collaborative and real-world learning environment infused with the liberal arts.  Philadelphia University includes the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts.

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Award-winning inventor Dean Kamen, best known for creating the Segway™ Human Transporter, will serve as the keynote speaker for the DIA 2012 48th Annual Meeting, to be held June 24–28 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Kamen is founder and president of DEKA Research & Development Corporation, which works to foster innovation in medicine, engineering and other industries. Kamen holds more than 440 US and foreign patents, many of them for revolutionary medical devices used by health care systems and professionals worldwide, including a movable prosthetic arm and a wheelchair that can climb stairs. Advancing the conference theme “Collaborate to Innovate,” Kamen will lead DIA’s meeting with the goal of fostering partnerships that may lead to promising concepts and research into new patient therapies. He will provide the keynote address on June 25 at 8:00am.

Other highlighted speakers will include:

Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Pfizer Inc. Lewis-Hall leads Pfizer’s medical division, which is responsible for the safe and effective use of Pfizer health products. Before joining Pfizer, she held senior leadership positions with Vertex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pharmacia and Lilly. She has led research projects for the National Institutes of Health and served as vice chairperson and associate professor of the department of psychiatry at Howard University College of Medicine. She will be speaking about Meta-collaborations: A Call to Action on June 26 at 8:00am.

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Park is responsible for helping HHS leadership harness the power of data, technology and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation. He co-founded Athenahealth in 1997 and led the health information technology company to become one of the most socially-oriented and successful in the industry. Prior to Athenahealth, he served as a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton focusing on health care strategy, technology and operations.

Guido Rasi, Executive Director of the European Union, European Medicines Agency (EMA). Before joining EMA, Rasi served as director-general of the Italian Medicines Agency, and previously worked in research at the Institute for Experimental Medicine of the National Research Council in Rome, where he directed the molecular medicine department. Rasi attended the University of Rome and holds a degree in surgery and medicine, with specialization in allergology, clinical immunology and internal medicine; he is a full professor of microbiology at the University. On June 25 at 10:00am Rasi will chair a session on push-button regulatory topics that are currently trending in Europe.

Stephen P. Spielberg, Deputy Commissioner of Medical Products and Tobacco for the US FDA, Office of the Commissioner. Spielberg, a world-renowned researcher in academic medicine, was executive director of exploratory biochemical toxicology and clinical and regulatory development for Merck Research Laboratories, and vice president for pediatric drug development at Johnson & Johnson. He chaired the Pediatric Task Force for PhRMA, represented the pharmaceutical industry on the FDA Pediatric Advisory Subcommittee, and was the Rapporteur for the Pediatric ICH Initiative (ICH E-11) to harmonize pediatric drug development regulations among Europe, Japan and the US. He will be speaking about Meta-collaborations: A Call to Action on June 26 at 8:00am.

Thomas P. Stossel, MD, Director, Translational Medicine Unit and Center for Medical Innovation Brigham & Women's Hospital

For his research on mechanism of cell motility Dr. Stossel was elected to The National Academy of Sciences, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Institute of Medicine, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He has licensed intellectual property to startup companies based on his research to develop products that may reduce critical care complications and improve blood platelet transfusion. He is a co-founder of The Association of Clinical Researchers and Educators (ACRE) that educates concerning the value of physician-industry relationships. For his policy work concerning this topic he received the Sherwood award of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and the McGovern Award of the American Medical Writers Association. With his wife, Kerry Maguire, DDS, MSPH and others, Stossel founded a nonprofit organization, Options for Children in Zambia, which provides voluntary dental and medical care in that country. He will be speaking about the Implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act on June 27 at 3:30pm.

The DIA 2012 48th Annual Meeting features:

  • 270+ offerings, 20 preconference tutorials, and interactive workshops
  • Global regulatory agency town halls
  • Patient Advocate Fellowship Program
  • Student and professional poster presentations
  • Multitrack plenary sessions
  • Executive sessions
  • Networking events and lunches
  • One of the industry’s largest exhibit halls

DIA is a neutral, global, member-driven association of nearly 18,000 professionals involved in the discovery, development and life cycle management of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and related products. Through international educational offerings and myriad networking opportunities, DIA provides a global forum for knowledge exchange that fosters the innovation of products, technologies and services to improve health worldwide. Headquarters are in Horsham, PA, USA, with offices in Basel, Switzerland, Tokyo, Japan, Mumbai, India, and Beijing, China.

For more information, visit:

Fifteen scientists and entrepreneurs have been nominated for the European Inventor Award (EIA), which is granted annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to outstanding inventors for their contribution to technological, social and economic progress. The winners of the 2012 EIA will be announced during an award ceremony in Copenhagen on 14th June. The fifteen finalists cover the fields of medical technology and medicine, telecommunications, wastewater treatment, battery recycling, energy storage and environment, clothing, laser technology, railway manufacturing and construction. They originate from seven European and two non-European countries.

The EIA is presented in five categories: "Industry", "Research", "Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)", "Non-European countries", and "Lifetime achievement". From almost two hundred inventors and teams who were originally nominated, fifteen finalists have been selected by an international jury comprising leading personalities from industry, science, politics and media.

EPO President Benoît Battistelli said: "Patents play a key role in stimulating innovation, in securing jobs and advancing society. Behind every invention, there are men and women, driven by the passion of discovery, to whom the European Patent Office would like to pay tribute. They are the true heroes of the 21st century economy."

Nominees in the "Lifetime achievement" category

The three finalists in the "Lifetime achievement" category come from Austria, Germany and Italy.

The Austrian engineer and entrepreneur, Dr. Josef Theurer, has filed for some 1,050 patent families throughout his life, while establishing one of the most successful international companies in Austria, Plasser & Theurer - the world market leader for railway track-laying machines.

Prof. Josef Bille from the University Heidelberg in Germany has filed almost 100 patents in the field of ophthalmology and is considered the "father" of laser eye corrections. Prof. Bille's ground-breaking invention of laser eye surgery (LASIK) has corrected near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism for millions of patients worldwide.

The third nominee is Italian entrepreneur Mario Moretti Polegato, founder of the company GEOX. Polegato's determination to find a better solution to smelling feet has led to an improved vapour-permeable shoe that turned the footwear industry on its head.

Nominees in the "Industry" category

Finalists in the "Industry" category come from Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Together with Dr. Klaus Hallermayer at Roche Diagnostics, the German cardiologist Prof. Hugo Katus has developed a new blood test which revolutionised the diagnosis of heart attacks - currently the leading cause of death worldwide. The so-called Troponin T antibody test brought a new level of accuracy to the detection of heart diseases and has become the "gold standard" for cardiologists worldwide.

Dr. Jaap Haartsen from the Netherlands invented Bluetooth while at LM Ericsson Telephone. Used in more than two billion devices worldwide, Bluetooth has changed not only the way electronic devices communicate with each other, but also how people connect and communicate.

The Danish team of Jan Tøpholm, Søren Westermann and Svend Vitting Andersen has developed a computer-aided method to manufacture individually-fitted, comfortable hearing-aid devices. The unique stereo-lithographic manufacturing method is known as CAMISHA (Computer-Aided Manufacturing of Individual Shells for Hearing Aids), and it revolutionised the hearing aid world immediately.

Nominees in the "Research" category

The three teams in the "Research" category come from the UK and Australia, France, and the Netherlands.

Prof. Jason Chin (UK) and Prof. Oliver Rackham (Australia) created a way to incorporate unnatural amino acids into proteins, enabling molecular biologists to control and elucidate the functions of proteins in cells with unprecedented precision. Their ground-breaking invention has the potential to revolutionise the way patients are treated in protein-like therapeutics, such as insulin treatment, as well as to detect prostate, ovarian, and colon cancer.

One hundred times more infectious than HIV, hepatitis B is a particularly recalcitrant disease that each year affects 350 million people chronically worldwide, and has proven resistant to most treatments - until Dr. Gilles Gosselin, Prof. Jean-Louis Imbach and Dr. Martin L. Bryant (France) developed a drug that is more effective than any other of its kind. The drug has been successfully commercialised.

Prof. Mark van Loosdrecht, Dr. Merle Krista de Kreuk and Dr. Joseph Heijnen (The Netherlands) invented an advanced wastewater treatment technology which uses aerobic granular biomass and is already in commercial application. The so-called NEREDA process reduces nitrogen and phosphate levels by 95% without relying on extra chemicals.

Nominees in the "Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)" category

The three entrepreneurs and teams in the "SMEs" category come from Germany and France.

Dr. Manfred Stefener (Germany), founder of Smart Fuel Cell AG (SFC), Oliver Freitag and Dr. Jens Müller created the first fuel cell for portable use, the so-called direct methanol fuel cell or DMFC. Today SFC's fuel cells are used in a vast array of applications including traffic management, security and surveillance systems, as well as powering isolated environmental data stations. SFC has sold more than 24,000 fuel cells since it was founded in 2000.

A passionate yachtsman and former three-time winner of the Admirals Cup, Dr. Stefan Lehnert (Germany), aimed at improving his sails, which resulted in the development of ETFE- (Ethylene-Tetrafluoroethylene) based roof and cladding solutions. These cladding systems, based on plastic cushions filled with air, have since pushed the boundaries of architecture and allowed the creation of highly innovative structures such as the Eden Project in England or the Beijing National Aquatics Centre in China.

The French scientists Dr. Farouk Tedjar and Jean-Claude Foudraz have developed a novel solution to recycle lithium-ion batteries and recover 98% of the valuable metals they contain. Discarding these rechargeable batteries creates a huge amount of waste: about 180,000 to 200,000 tonnes per year in Europe alone.

Nominees in the "Non-European countries" category

In the "Non-European countries" category the three finalists come from the USA and Australia.

Self-taught American scientist and social entrepreneur Dr. Stanford Ovshinsky developed NiMH batteries, which offer a clean-energy storage solution with record durability and double to triple the capacity of nickel-cadmium batteries of the same size. They have proven to be the battery of choice when it comes to the portable electronic device market. Stanford Ovshinsky dedicated his life to research and innovation and holds more than 400 patents to his name.

Prof. Federico Capasso (USA), Prof. Jérôme Faist (Switzerland) and team invented the so-called Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCLs), which are able to reach areas of the electromagnetic spectrum previously untouched by laser light. Today, the ability of QCLs to produce wide bandwidths, high brightness, and high power very efficiently from a compact source has resulted in an array of unique products, from hand-held sensors for explosives detection and other toxic chemicals, to more powerful radar systems.

Dr. John O' Sullivan, Graham Daniels, Dr. Terence Percival, Diethelm Ostry and John Deane (Australia) created a technology that made the wireless LAN fast and robust so it could be as powerful as the cabled solutions of the time, which led to today's wireless networking technology (Wi-Fi).

About the European Inventor Award (EIA)

Launched in 2006, the European Inventor Award is presented annually by the EPO, in co-operation with the European Commission and the country which holds the EU Council Presidency at the time of the award ceremony, which this year is Denmark. The award honours inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contributes to progress and prosperity. Nomination proposals are submitted by the public and by patent examiners at the EPO and Europe's national patent offices. The finalists and, subsequently, the winners are chosen from among the nominees by a high-profile international jury, which includes prominent personalities from politics, business, media, science, academia and research.

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Tormach LLC, a premier manufacturer of affordable CNC mills and accessories, announces the launch of Teach STEM Now, an online resource that promotes Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in education.

Teach STEM Now places an emphasis on manufacturing technologies and real-world shop skills. Offering lesson plans that can be readily implemented into classroom curriculum, the site also contains STEM-related articles and editorials, teaching tips and ideas, and links to educational grants and funding resources.

"The idea behind Teach STEM Now is to enhance education in an exciting fashion," said Tormach President Greg Jackson. "We're looking at the integration of all technologies and supporting the idea that educators are critical to moving the next generation of tradesmen and skilled workers forward. It's our goal with this project to present these ideas to teachers."

Co-editors on the site are Alain (Al) Chirinian, STEM education expert and Science and Robotics instructor at Brookings-Harbor High School in Brookings, Oregon, and Andy Grevstad, Senior Applications Engineer at Tormach. Grevstad explains, "The types of projects we're putting on to will give people the understanding that Tormach is unique in its ability to provide machines for the classroom at a reasonable price, that can do these big-time projects rather than the small desktop projects."

Noting positive growth in students' interest in shop and vocational classes, Chirinian attributes the trend to popular television shows filmed in real-world machine shops and the "maker movement." "I've never had a student say they didn't enjoy working with their hands; it's quite the opposite. Kids who didn't have any idea what a CNC mill looked like before see them on these reality shows and they want to make parts of their own," he said.

Chirinian added, "The shop teacher has the technical know-how to operate machinery. Unfortunately, you don't see a lot of mixing of the shop teachers and the science and math teachers. Collaboration is key, though, to change the whole STEM paradigm. We want to encourage teachers to move beyond the barriers and understand that in the shop class they do a lot of math and in the math class they can utilize the shop and in the science class, and so on."

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:09

Tecplot® 360™ 2012 Released

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Tecplot, Inc. announced today the 2012 release of Tecplot 360®, the company’s flagship software for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) visualization and analysis. This latest version features a new ANSYS CFX data loader, a faster ANSYS Fluent loader, automated streamtrace seeding, and new cut plane tools.

"Every new release of Tecplot 360 focuses on helping our users get their work done more productively and with greater ease," said Rich Stillman, president. "This version provides important new capabilities to ANSYS users specifically, but it also delivers important improvements to streamtrace seeding and constrained slices in the cut plane tools.”

Tecplot 360 2012 offers performance improvements and enhancements, including:

  • Ansys CFX file loader: Load files generated by the CFX CFD code directly into Tecplot 360.
  • Faster loading of Fluent files: Automatically generates index files for each Fluent case and data file. The index file significantly speeds up the data loading process to rapidly provide the user with an initial plot.
  • Automated streamtrace seeding on surfaces: Select surfaces, such as bodies, slices, and iso-surfaces, and then automatically seed a specified number of streamtraces to start on that surface. This can be very helpful in identifying flow patterns on a body or in the 3D flow field.
  • Constrained slices: Constrain the extent of slices by restricting their range to a user defined box. This focuses the region under investigation and prevents surrounding details from being obscured. Multiple sets of slices can be specified with independently-positioned constraint boxes.
  • Performance improvements. Numerous operations have been optimized to run faster in this version.

Tecplot 360 2012 is available for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Vista, and XP; 64-bit Mac and UNIX platforms and Linux platforms. Tecplot 360 users with current SMS agreements can upgrade to the latest version at no cost.

Founded in 1981 and based in Bellevue, Wash., Tecplot, Inc. empowers engineers and scientists to discover, analyze, and understand information in complex data, and to effectively communicate the results to others. The company launched Tecplot, its first software product for the scientific visualization market, in 1988. Since then, Tecplot has added Tecplot Chorus and Tecplot RS to its visualization and analysis products. With thousands of users worldwide, Tecplot, Inc. has become a trusted name in data visualization.

For more information, visit:

The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) officially opened its doors on April 18, 2012, attracting a large crowd eager to see the Southeast's first comprehensive medical device innovation center.

"GCMI has built and equipped a prototyping design and development facility that will accelerate the commercialization of next-generation medical devices and technology," said GCMI's Executive Director, H. Wayne Hodges. "The Center has the equipment, clean room facilities, engineering expertise and partner network needed to help bring ideas from concept to market."

Matt S. Erskine flew in from Washington, D.C., to speak at the opening. Erskine is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Development for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Erskine said that the EDA frequently cites GCMI as an example of the type of successful public/private partnership that generates jobs and a strong return on investment. "We believe GCMI will help Atlanta and the entire Southeast accelerate development of the next generation of medical devices," Erskine said.

"We have had to rethink economic development," he continued. "There is a new economic reality, and communities can't thrive by returning to the status quo. We have to find new ways to create jobs, and that growth is coming from entrepreneurs. We have found that supporting regional resources like GCMI offers the best return on investment by driving innovation and increasing exports."

GCMI General Manager Doug Schumer, Ph.D. praised GCMI's role in accelerating medical device commercialization, adding, "To me, the greatest thing GCMI will do is to help bring to life devices that otherwise might never see the light of day. There are many doctors out there with good ideas, but who don't know how to bring that idea to commercial fruition. GCMI will be able to help."

The center brings together core members of the medical device community, including universities, research centers, clinicians, established device and drug companies, investors, and early-stage companies, with the goal of accelerating the commercialization of innovative medical technology.

The Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) is an independent, not-for-profit, full-service product development organization -- the first and only one of its kind in the Southeast. The center helps new-product teams enhance their product development, shorten time to market, and achieve significant cost savings throughout the process. GCMI was one of six winners of a national i6 Challenge focused on driving commercialization and innovation in the U.S. in an effort to move great ideas from the lab to the patient, creating jobs and economic growth. Founding partners are the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Research Alliance, Piedmont Healthcare and Saint Joseph's Translational Research Institute.

For more information, visit:

ModuleWorks, the leading supplier of CAD/CAM components for toolpath generation and simulation, has announced the latest release of its CAM components, version 2012.4.  The new release offers a range of new features across the product range, further expanding capability for 3 to 5-Axis machining and simulation.

ModuleWorks is at the forefront of 5-Axis machining and Simulation technology, providing the toolpath generation and CNC simulation components behind many of the popular CAM systems available today.
The latest release introduces a broad set of new features across the product range. Highlights are shown below:

4 and 5-Axis Machining

The 2012.4 release introduces improvements to SWARF machining, providing finer control over tool motion.  New for 2012.4 is the option to minimize rotary motion as the tool approaches a singularity condition, providing smoother toolpath and better surface finish. Corner handling is improved with different options for motion around corners. Internal corners can be rounded or sharp and optional relief cut applied. External corners have sharp, roll around or loop options. Fanning distance may also be specified as the distance used to transition the tilt around corners.

A new 5-Axis roughing strategy has also been added which takes triangle mesh geometry as input. Given floor, walls and ceiling geometry, the toolpath is automatically generated.

Multiblade toolpaths now offer dynamic lead angle to optimise tool approach angle within a given range, providing best tilt and maximum material removal.

3-Axis Machining

3-Axis Roughing now offers automatic adaptive feedrate.  Toolpath generation takes tool engagement into account and varies the feedrate within a given range, improving tool life and maximizing material removal. Roughing will also differentiate climb and conventional cuts and allow different stepovers and adaptive feedrate control to be applied on the different cut directions.

3-Axis Roughing and profiling strategies have now been extended to handle prismatic wire frame geometry for 2½D applications. Roughing and profiling strategies are currently supported.


Simulation now supports a length based mode, in addition to the NC and time based simulation types. This will simulate the entire toolpath at constant speed, making it easier to visualize actual tool motion.

Stock transfer now supports bar work, where multiple parts are machined from bar stock. Simulation will show the cut off and transfer to secondary spindle along with the advance of the bar for the next operation.

Wire EDM application benefit from improved simulation with support for 2, 4 and 5-Axis wire cutting operations.

For more information, visit:

Hagerman & Company, a 28-year, value-added reseller of Autodesk software, has announced a series of Autodesk 2013 software release events. Lead the Way is the theme for launch events and webcasts hosted by Hagerman & Company throughout May and June to highlight the latest 3D CAD offerings from Autodesk.

The new releases of classic applications like Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 promise innovative features to increase productivity - many recommended by everyday users. Other popular topics to be presented include: the new services within Autodesk 360, Autodesk Inventor software, Autodesk Product Design Suite, Autodesk Plant Design Suite, Autodesk Vault, and the Autodesk Revit family of products. Autodesk 360 provides a broad set of features, cloud services and cloud-enabled products to help customers dramatically improve the way they design, visualize, simulate and share work with others - anytime, anywhere.

“Our launch events provide an excellent opportunity for our customers to connect with some of the best-informed minds in the CAD industry, including experts from Autodesk and our own solution engineers,” said Hagerman & Company CEO Dennis Hagerman. “These programs allow us to introduce the latest innovations in the products we offer to our wide-ranging family of patrons.”

The free, educational events include webcasts, live presentations and special user group meetings.

For more information or to register, visit:

On March 31st Evonik experienced an explosion and fire at their Cyclododecatriene (CDT) plant in Marl Germany. One of the key product lines using CDT as an intermediate is PA 12 Laser Sintering powders. Two employees were killed in the explosion and it took 130 firefighters ~15 hours to control the fire, so it was a tragic and major event. As a result Evonik has declared Force Majeure for PA 12 materials. Evonik’s PA 12 is the principal PA 12 raw material used by all suppliers of LS materials.

ALM uses these materials as a basic raw material to produce our 600 series of powders such as PA 650 and PA 615-GS. It is also the base for EOS PA 2201 and PA 2200, which ALM also sells. We have a certain amount of these materials in our supply pipeline. ALM is not accepting any orders from new customers for materials based on Evonik PA 12 raw materials until the situation is clarified, and we will limit sales of these materials, based on historic usage over the last six months. Obviously, the scope of this incident is outside of our control, but please be assured that we are working to minimize the limitations to your powder supply.

We would encourage you to save powder where you can. Please try to optimize your refresh procedures and consider lengthening part lead times in order to more fully pack your builds and conserve powder. Our lab and support teams can provide you with assistance at no charge with part cake and over flow analysis to help you accomplish these tasks.

ALM has alternative materials, such as PA 250 which is based on nylon 12 from different sources, or PA 860 which is based on nylon 11. When compared to the PA 650, PA 250 has outstanding recyclability, excellent part detail and surface finish. PA 250 is more difficult to process and require tight temperature controls on your machine. To help with this issue, ALM is working with Integra on a plan to make upgrades available at favorable pricing to improve temperature control capabilities of you machines. Also, they will offer machine calibrations and preventive maintenance at favorable pricing to help improve machine efficiency.

PA 860 PA 11 powder has been formulated for easy processing and parts produced from PA 860 exhibit outstanding mechanical properties when compared to the PA 650. No double scanning is required. The residual PA 11 monomer is low, so there is less potential for outgassing and potential fogging on the laser window. We also offer various filled materials based on both PA 11 and PA 12 that are not based on Evonik powders.

ALM has been working to approve other alternative powders and we were very close to success prior to this unfortunate accident. We are accelerating this development process and should have the first quantities available in the next 90 to 120 days.

For more information, visit:

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