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Plainfield Precision announces participation in the MD&M Minneapolis 2011 trade show in Minneapolis MN on November 2-3, 2011. Plainfield Precision will be presenting their innovative ability to produce highly specialized insert molded and assembled products that integrate stamped metal and molded plastic components. Look for sample products such as syringes, insulin delivery devices, suture/staple removal devices as well as implantable devices demonstrating their precision micro-stamping and overmolding capability.

“We’re thrilled to play a role in one of the most influential medical device events in the world”- Jonathan Soucy, President Advanced Technology Group.

Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) Minneapolis is the most comprehensive resource for every aspect of medical device development. It gathers medtech professionals and leading medical OEM suppliers together to provide you with immediate hands-on access to the tools you need to accelerate your new device to market, all in one convenient location.

Plainfield Precision operates in three countries, United States, Dominican Republic and Mexico, and has over 50 years of experience with insert injection molding and assembly of metals and plastics. Cutting edge technologies such as Spun tip and MuCell as well as unique processes such as Micro-Molding, Micro-Stamping, and Multi-Slide metal forming. Plainfield Precision offers a unique solution to medical device companies as an expert in combining plastic and metal.

For more information, please visit: www.canontradeshows.com/expo/minn11 or www.plainfieldprecision.com

Lattice Technology® Inc., the standard for technical communication and digital mock up software in the manufacturing enterprise, today released the latest version of XVL Player - Ver. 11.1. The free version, XVL Player, and XVL Player Pro are included in the update. At the same time the company also released updates for Lattice3D Reporter to Ver. 5.0 and XVL Web Master to Ver. 9.0.

Lattice Technology’s XVL format is the industry’s most compressed 3D format with no loss of accuracy of the data. This lightweight footprint for 3D allows complex 3D data and assemblies to be viewed on lower-specification PCs and easily shared across a network or the internet.

XVL Player can be downloaded for free and enables full viewing, measurement, markup, cross-section and animation playback of a 3D model in the XVL format. XVL Player Pro adds the ability to import multiple files, save changes made to the XVL files and export images. The latest XVL Player Pro supports Windows Internet Explorer 9 and enhances viewer options allowing the addition of background images to models.

Lattice3D Reporter enables 3D data, with related BOM, assembly, animation and annotation data, to be embedded in an Excel spreadsheet. Version 5.0 brings a number of new features and enhancements to reports, work instructions and parts lists. Improvements have been made across the product including support for Windows Server 2008 32bit / Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit (WOW64) and Microsoft excel 2010. Additional enhancements include support for multiple workbooks, better support for optimized XVL files and more options for tailoring the product to meet individual publishing requirements.

XVL Web Master automates the creation of intelligent HTML documents combining 3D graphics, BOM and other information. Version 9.0 adds support for Windows Server 2008 32bit / Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit (WOW64). Enhanced viewing and improved illustration views are also included in this version.

The latest version of XVL Player can be downloaded from the company’s web site. Customers with current maintenance can download the updated version of XVL Player Pro, XVL Web Master and Lattice3D Reporter free of charge.

To find out more about these products and register for a free product trial download, visit: www.lattice3d.com

SolidWorks® software reseller CADD Edge announced today that John Slamin, SVP of Engineering for ConforMIS, leading manufacturer of partial knee implants and orthopedic devices, will serve as their annual user event’s keynote speaker. The 2011 CADD Edge User Group & Training Event takes place Wednesday-Thursday, October 26-27, 2011, at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT and begins with Mr. Slamin’s address on how ConforMIS has utilized Solidworks to develop its innovative product line and bring products to market quickly.

The user group coincides with the launch of the SolidWorks 2012 product line, the newest release of the popular 3D CAD design, simulation, product data management, and documentation software. However, the conference is educational in nature, specifically geared toward the learning needs of new and experienced SolidWorks users alike - offering attendees over 35 technical training sessions from which to choose, each led by Certified SolidWorks Instructors and Technicians.

The theme of this year’s event is “Seeing Is Believing: Better, Faster Designs” and Mr. Slamin’s presentation promises to be an exemplary case-in-point. “CADD Edge has been instrumental in facilitating our rapid product development cycle,” said Slamin, adding: “We’ve been working with them since 2007 when we adopted SolidWorks as our primary CAD design software and, without their dedicated, knowledgeable training and support staff, it would have taken twice as long to get up to speed.”

CADD Edge Chief Operating Officer, Marcel Matte, commented “ConforMIS’ collection of industry awards speaks for itself and serves as testimony to the product excellence that is possible when visionary designers and engineers have the right tools to execute their ideas.” In June 2011, ConforMIS’ iTotal® Knee Replacement System was recognized as the winner of the American Technology Award in the Health & Medical technologies category. Other ConforMIS accolades include 2009 Winner of the Medical Design Excellence Award for its iUni and iDuo knee resurfacing devices.

Following the keynote address by Slamin at 9am on Wednesday, October 26th, attendees will have access to a vast array of live training breakouts covering all facets of 3D CAD design, FEA design validation, CAD/CAM, product data and product lifecycle management, 3D printing and rapid prototyping, design automation, and solids modeling – culminating in a detailed SolidWorks 2012 feature walk-through at the end of the second day. Aside from SolidWorks, other CADD Edge partners that are sponsoring and attending the conference include: Objet Geometries, HSMWorks, HP, Omnify, Tacton Systems, DriveWorks, Extensible CAD, E3.WireWorks, and SolidThinking

According to CADD Edge Technical Manager Leon Austin, “This user group offers an unmatched opportunity for SolidWorks users to receive detailed instruction from experienced, certified professionals on tackling such a wide range of engineering and design challenges. In fact,” Austin added, “I'm not aware of any other SolidWorks events in the Northeast that will offer the breadth or depth of topics we plan to cover.”

Online registration for the user conference as well as a complete agenda and schedule of training sessions are available at: www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1006979

ADEX Machining Technologies, a manufacturer of precision machined components for aerospace, defense and energy industries, announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year contract by The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) to produce a variety of Titanium and other exotic alloy structural components for Boeing 747 and 777 commercial passenger jetliners. ADEX will utilize a variety of advanced 5-axis CNC Milling and CMM quality measurement capabilities, in addition to value-added coatings, hardware assembly and kitting, to provide a complete solution of products on a monthly basis.

Earlier this year in March, ADEX was one of three companies selected for Boeing’s Mentorship Program following a rigorous evaluation process and competitive down-select to identify qualified companies in South Carolina. As part of the Mentorship Program, Boeing provided technical, quality and supplier-management support to help ADEX complete all critical steps necessary for qualification.

"Producing flight worthy components for Boeing is the pinnacle of an aviation career," said Jason Premo, Co-Owner of ADEX Machining Technologies. "The team at Boeing worked closely with our staff throughout the entire process, while also coaching ADEX on best practices. This greatly accelerated the typical learning curve and enabled ADEX to successfully win a competitive contract in only 6 months. The Boeing philosophy of partnering with suppliers is a role model not just for the aerospace industry, but for any company looking for a supply-chain advantage in a globally competitive market.”

Premo and fellow co-owner, Sean Witty, acquired a small tool & die job-shop in 2007 and implemented an aggressive modernization strategy during the height of the recession to create ADEX – an advanced manufacturer of precision machined components for the aerospace, defense and energy industries. ADEX was recently named one of INC Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Companies” for two consecutive years and also featured on a CNN program segment titled “The New Face of the Blue Collar Worker”.

“I’m proud to support Boeing’s continued investment in America’s work force and development of suppliers such as ADEX right here in South Carolina. In this economy, every single job counts, and Boeing’s continued success will bring the skilled manufacturing jobs we need to spur our nation’s economic recovery,” said Trey Gowdy, U.S. Representative for the 4th District of South Carolina.

ADEX Machining Technologies is Greenville, South Carolina-based supplier of precision machined prototypes and production components for the Aerospace, Defense, and Energy-Power Generation industries. ADEX’s niche is 5-axis CNC milling and VTL machining and of tough exotic materials such as Titanium and Inconel, while holding tight tolerances of .0002 inches on complex applications up to 40” in diameter and 6000 lbs. Certified quality systems include AS 9100 and ISO 9000. The company is located at 260 Feaster Road, Greenville, SC. 29615.

For more information, visit: www.adexmt.com

Friday, 07 October 2011 12:20

New additives for high-performance bioplastics

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In view of dwindling reserves of fossil resources, industry is showing growing interest in bioplastics. However, compared to conventional high-performance plastics, these have their limitations – among other things in terms of stability and strength. In cooperation with Tecnaro, Henkel has now succeeded in developing new high-performance polyamide additives based on renewable raw materials that can significantly improve the performance of bioplastics.

The use of plastics components based on renewable raw materials is seen as the way forward in the plastics industry. Ecologically, such bioplastics are far superior to classic, petroleum-based products. The growing diversity of bioplastics applications is being accompanied by rising expectations on quality and processing characteristics. In cooperation with compounder and biopolymer specialist Tecnaro, Henkel has developed new polyamide additives that upgrade the performance of bio-based plastics.

Containing a large proportion of natural raw materials, the additives of the Macromelt brand are ideal for the production of industrial plastics. This has become possible through the use of dimer fatty acids based on natural oils (e.g. rapeseed and tall oil). Along with a general increase in the proportion of bio-sourced ingredients, the new additives also have a positive impact on the performance profile of bioplastics. Impact resistance and fiber-matrix adhesion are much improved by these additives.

Depending on the plastics formulation, the additives are capable of reducing processing temperature, in some cases considerably. This diminishes the stressing of the fibers employed, with a positive effect on stability and appearance.

By developing Macromelt polyamide technology further, Henkel is thus helping to improve the quality and usability of bioplastics and paving the way for further high-end applications.

Tecnaro is one of the world’s leading companies in the biopolymer sector with its Arboform, Arboblend, Arbofill and Arboflex families of materials. Thanks to the many years of successful cooperation between Henkel and Tecnaro, tailored biopolymers and composites containing Macromelt additives are already expanding Tecnaro GmbH’s broad range of biomaterials.

For more information, visit: www.henkel.com or www.tecnaro.de

Dielectric Corporation announced today that it has opened a new division, JR Prototypes, which will offer prototyping and short-run manufacturing services.

The division, which will be run by Michael Esser, Jr., was created to meet a growing need for prototypes, validation runs and small run production.  According to Esser, "The Dielectric Corporation has always helped clients design for manufacturability.  Creating a division that offers prototyping was a natural evolution since it will enable companies to obtain proof of concept for a design before committing to full production."

JR Prototypes produces fused deposition modeling (FDM) prototypes which are built from production-grade thermoplastics.  FDM prototypes are fully functional and can be used for form, fit and function testing as well as working parts.

Prototypes are being used increasingly by design and manufacturing companies to identify and correct design problems early in the process, conduct functional tests under real-life conditions and obtain advance approvals for required certifications.  Prototyping can result in significant savings as multiple concepts can be tested before any tooling is done.  It also speeds the development process.  "Prototyping increases efficiency and ROI for companies that take advantage of the technology," according to Esser.

JR Prototypes specializes in rapid prototyping and short-run production.  The facility, which is located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, will serve customers throughout the Midwest.  JR Prototypes is a division of the Dielectric Corporation which is a single source solution for parts and assemblies fabricated from thermosets, thermoplastics, aluminum, brass, copper and stainless steel.

For more information, visit: www.jrprototypes.com

Menhirs NV, the parent company of Bricsys NV, announced today that it has acquired the intellectual property rights for several flagship software products from LEDAS. The acquired IP consists of the source code to LGS 2D, LGS 3D, Driving Dimensions, RhinoWorks, and other programs used by the computer-aided design industry.

The acquisition reinforces the position of Bricsys in the mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) market. As a result of the acquisition, Bricsys and its team of third-party developers will easily build more MCAD applications on top of the Bricscad platform. The technology developed by LEDAS permits the development of advanced applications in the areas of direct modeling, assembly design, and related functions.

Parametric Modeling and Direct Editing in Bricscad V12


Since its founding in 1999, LEDAS has become been a leading provider of constraint-based design tools, as well as component technology and software development services for the CAD, CAM, CAE, and PDM markets. Its line of Driving Dimensions products revolutionized the field of direct modeling by bringing constraint-based parametric design to popular, low-cost 3D modeling applications, such as SketchUp and Rhino.

The Driving Dimensions technology is original to LEDAS, and allows designers to edit many kinds of solid, surface, and wireframe models parametrically. It provides designers with full control over their design intent through the use of geometric and dimensional constraints. Parametrics and constraints increase the productivity of designers significantly as they make changes to designs. By adding the LEDAS technology to its portfolio, Bricsys continues on its track to growing its sales in the worldwide CAD market.

The first result of the technology acquisition is Bricscad V12, which will allow designers to enter the world of 3D parametric and direct modeling – without needing to leave the .dwg-based design environment with which they are familiar. In addition, Bricsys plans to offer APIs that allow application developers to raise their applications to the next level of sophistication.

Management Changes

To efficiently manage the acquired IP, Bricsys is establishing a wholly owned subsidiary, "Bricsys Technologies Russia." Current LEDAS CEO Dmitry Ushakov will remain a member of the LEDAS Board of Directors, a entity separate from BTR; in addition, Mr Ushakov has accepted the position of CEO of BTR.

Bricsys has signed a service agreement with LEDAS, which continues as a service provider in the field of engineering software development. Under the agreement, Bricsys will hire several software developers from LEDAS who, under the management of Mr Ushakov, will integrate and continue the development of the acquired technology.

“By combining advanced technology from LEDAS, the excellent skills of its developers, and the expertise we have here at Bricsys, I am convinced that together we can make a significant impact on our industry,” said Erik De Keyser, CEO of Bricsys. “The technology acquisition we announced today enhances our vision for MCAD software, and expands our .dwg-based CAD offerings. We intend to use the new technology to extend our reach into the AEC and the civil engineering markets.”

“We successfully pushed our development to the edge of technological possibility, and so it's great to see how our technology will be applied to build new, highly competitive CAD solutions,” added David Levin, co-founder of LEDAS Ltd and Chairman of the Board. “This deal allows us to now focus instead on the most profitable direction of our business: providing high-quality engineering software development services for CAD/CAM/CAE/PDM vendors who use LEDAS as their long-term R&D center. We have the competence, the skillets, and a ready sources of talented young developers, and so we are intensively working at extending this side of our business as we welcome new customers.”

“For me, it is an honor to be invited by a company that has become a leader in the .dwg-based design market,” said Dmitry Ushakov, current CEO of LEDAS. “I am excited about applying our constraint-based technology on top of a powerful CAD platform. With the support of the talented, multi-national team of engineers and mathematicians at Bricsys, we will create advanced MCAD solutions.”

For more information, visit: www.ledas.com or www.bricsys.com

A Swedish creative studio has used Z Corporation 3D printing technology to create a stunningly detailed 3D architectural model that is helping promote Stockholmsarenan until the 30,000-seat sports and entertainment arena is completed in 2013.

Thanks to the accuracy and resolution of the ZPrinter® 450 owned by the WE DO studio, virtually every detail in the architects' 3D digital model of the arena is represented in the physical model, a cross-section that includes 7,400 highly detailed seats, each 4 mm wide.

"Stockholmsarenan is a monument to world-class sports and entertainment, activities that can stir passion like few others," said Patrik Lindberg, owner of WE DO, based in Stockholm. "Until the arena is complete, this ZPrinted model is helping generate the excitement for the arena, helping the owner and operator rent the space, sell seat licenses, plan events and entice sponsors – in other words, make the business a success."

The 1.2-meter-by-1.2-meter model is the centerpiece of an information pavilion offering a multimedia experience of the project. Both the architect and prospective patrons are "blown away" by the piece, said Lindberg.

3D printing speed, color and affordability dictated the choice

Much as a document printer converts a word-processing file into a business letter, 3D printing converts 3D digital data into a physical model you can hold in your hands. "We chose to ZPrint this model because it creates a model faster, more affordably and more accurately than handcrafting," said Lindberg. "We worked toward a tight deadline and printed different sections of the model nonstop for two weeks. It would have taken us at least three times more time and money to make this by hand, and the result would have been far less detailed. In other words, ZPrinting made this project a success."

Lindberg, a trained industrial designer, uses ZPrinting constantly to create product prototypes for design clients and models for architects. Although Stockholmsarenan was ZPrinted in classic architectural white, clients are increasingly asking for color, according to Lindberg. "Companies are becoming enlightened on the possibilities for rapid prototyping," he said. "Color, in addition to speed and cost, are why we selected the ZPrinter."

ZPrinters are the only 3D printers capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors. They are the fastest in the industry and have the lowest operating costs, automatically recycling and reusing all material that isn't used for the model.

For more information, visit: www.stockholmsarenan.se/uk or www.zcorp.com

Lattice Technology® Inc., the standard for technical communication and digital mock up software in the manufacturing enterprise, today announced the availability of the iXVL View application for the iPad®. It is available free of charge from the Apple App Store.

The ultra-lightweight 3D XVL format is widely used in industries such as automotive, aerospace, defense, heavy machinery, medical devices etc. where products can have a large number of parts and complex structures. Now, iXVL View will allow that data to be shared and viewed using the iPad®.

The iXVL View player will read previously captured/converted XVL files, displaying 3D models that can be rotated, panned and zoomed using the intuitive finger tip controls common in iPad® applications. XVL’s industry leading compression will allow even the largest CAD files (often more than 1GB!) to be viewed easily on all iPad® devices.

iXVL View joins the existing family of products and free players available from Lattice Technology. It will ensure that companies wanting to adopt the iPad® to distribute and share 3D data and product information can do so easily.

Additional information about “ iXVL View” can be found at: www.lattice3d.com/products/ixvl/index.html

Tuesday, 04 October 2011 10:18

New Version of The CAD Viewer Kubotek Released

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Infotech Enterprises GmbH, with more than 1,500 customers in Europe one of the leading providers of visualization solutions for CAD, announced today the release of the new version 11 of the CAD viewer Kubotek KeyView. Being development partner of the software producer Kubotek, Infotech plays a decisive part in the KeyView development. Version 11 comes with a completely new user interface, new functions such as structure tree, new markup symbols and much more.

Highlights of the new version 11
“Version 11 really is a big step forward”, Jochen Layer, Sales Director Products at Infotech Enterprises explained. “We are particularly proud of the new user interface in the style of the current Microsoft Office products. It facilitates the use of KeyView enormously. The new logical arrangement of the functions makes it possible to use the CAD viewer intuitively, and users can do their work much faster.”

Another highlight is the new structure tree. It helps users to keep track of data, especially when working with complex assemblies. The structure tree is the new 'control centre' for the KeyView user to quickly navigate through an assembly. Through the structure tree, single assemblies can easily be displayed or hidden, and parts can be selected. By double clicking on an element in the structure tree, the respective part will be zoomed in in the model view.

As response to the request of many customers, Kubotek KeyView now provides a range of new markup symbols, such as cloud, different stamps for "Approved", "OK" and more. There is also the possibility to create customer specific stamps.

Besides, Kubotek KeyView 11 comes with a number of other new features to make work easier for KeyView users. Parts and assemblies can now easily be opened by selecting the respective elements in the assembly tree. With another function, users can quickly find the root files. In addition, Kubotek KeyView 11 offers PMI support as well as new functions for “Quick Open” mode.

A free trial version can be downloaded on the website at: www.infotechsw.de/en/visualisierung/produkte-im-detail/keyview/downloads/testversion-laden

“First to file” is not working out for small businesses in Canada, and the UK’s patent system is “broken”. The EU, which also operates under first to file, declared an “innovation emergency”. Questions remain as to why the US would change its patent law to a first to file system to harmonize with other countries that lack the innovation potential that America currently has. It may well add up to major obstacles for future small business start-ups, and hinder job growth. “While there may be pros and cons to this act, we do know from other countries that first to file does not favor small business, and we have an 18-month window to get our (IP) intellectual property protected before first to file becomes law. And the window may be even shorter than that, because corporate inventors filing under the new act can claim protection if they publicly disclosed their idea up to 12 months prior to their patent filing. So says Mark McKitrick and Kim Sena, authors of a new invention workbook titled “The Complete Guide to Inexpensive Ideaing”.

“With the impending first to file law favoring big business, and the world’s playing field shrinking, I cannot imagine why anyone would not be rushing to file patents on existing ideas, or thinking of new ideas and filing,” stated Mr. McKitrick. “Patents filed now will fall under the existing first to invent rules, which are advantageous to small business inventors. We make provisional patent filing easy, affordable, and understandable with our new book.” Mr. McKitrick adds that when the new patent law goes into effect, large corporations will rush to file ideas that aren’t even fully developed. “There will be cases where corporations will file three, four, or more patents on the way to developing an entire concept. They can easily afford to do this. The typical person with an idea can now file multiple patent applications by utilizing our new workbook. This allows the person to lay claim to their idea, even if they don’t plan to develop it right away. Our book helps to level the playing field.”

Mr. McKitrick and Dr. Sena have written “The Complete Guide to Inexpensive Ideaing”. This book offers a complete inventor’s guide from the “aha” moment of product conception through the entire process of development of the new idea, and is meant for people from all walks of life with any type of idea. Included are invaluable proprietary templates for writing provisional patents, business plans, and product brochures. The easy-to-follow “Ideaing” guidebook will also, among many other benefits, help the inventor determine if their idea is worth pursuing before they pour money into it.

The authors, who have enjoyed many successes (and learned many expensive and character-building lessons) along their respective paths, will save readers hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars with their experience and suggestions. The reader will learn about patent and market research, writing their patent, developing their product, writing a business plan, finding angel and venture capital, and much more. Just as importantly, they will learn when to consult specialists (patent attorneys, prototype experts, etc.). This book will show inventors what and what not to do themselves, and how to make their time spent with specialists more productive (and therefore less expensive).

“Our goal, utilizing our years of experience in the idea development process, is to empower people in all walks of life with the necessary tools that can make them successful,” states Dr. Sena, “and our templates save a tremendous amount of time and money. Best of all, people will look and feel like an experienced inventor, regardless of their walk in life”.

For more information, visit: www.ideaing.us

Tekpro Group, a Level 1 Distributor of Stratasys Fortus Rapid Prototyping & Dimension 3D Printer equipment, today announced the grand opening of its new Technical Training Center in Lake Forest, CA., supporting the companies growing customer base.

“We are thrilled with our new space in Lake Forest, CA, that includes both technical/training facilities and a new product showroom,” said Jack Lisinski, President, Tekpro Group. “The tech center positions our team to deliver better service and support to our customers in Orange and San Diego Counties.”

Advanced training classes for Fortus 3D Production Systems are scheduled monthly at the Tekpro Lake Forest facility, with application seminars, and focused events offered on a regular basis. A Grand Opening event is planned for October 26th, 2011 and will run from 10:00am – 2:00pm. Prospects and customers alike are invited to meet local Tekpro Group and Stratasys staff, test drive a Fortus 3D Production System, and grab a bite to eat. Product presentations will be available, along with the opportunity to mix with current customers to learn about local successes with Stratasys products and Tekpro Group. Additional details and registration can be found at Tekpro Group’s website.

Tekpro Group, Inc., established in 2002, provides RP and Manufacturing Systems to discrete manufacturing companies and product development companies in Southern California, Southern Nevada and Hawaii. The company’s focus is on slashing product development and manufacturing time by providing additive manufacturing systems manufactured by Stratasys, Inc. The company offers the full line of Stratasys products from the uPrint Personal 3D Printer, to the workhorse Fortus 900mc 3D Production System, that offers a wide variety of thermoplastics, and is able to build parts up to 36 x 24 x 36 inches.

For more information, visit: www.tekprogroup.com

Manufacturing and metrology leaders have announced a new certification body establishing performance standards for service providers and equipment manufacturers in the rapidly expanding digital metrology industry.

The American Association of Advanced Metrology (AAAM) "encourages and facilitates effective use and integration of advanced metrology tools, and provides an avenue for professional users of these technologies to demonstrate their competence to the market," according to the organization's mission statement.

Advanced Metrology uses innovations in 3D white light, LED, laser and other non-contact methods to generate accurate and complete part surface scans. The scans can then be compared to CAD models or blueprints to help manufacturers isolate problems -- speeding up production, improving quality, and reducing costs.

"Our goal is simple," AAAM Chief Coordinator Joseph Meyers said on Monday. "For the U.S. to regain its lead in precision manufacturing, products need to be made faster, leaner, and less expensively, all to a higher quality standard. Advanced metrology helps toward those objectives. Our mission is to help North American metrology leaders qualify and quantify their performance, increasing their impact in the industries they serve."

AAAM offers a rigorous and tailored three-step certification process consisting of an on-site audit, a straightforward application packet, and a self-administered gauge repeatability and reproducibility (Gauge R&R) study based on inspection of a feature-rich artifact. After completing the certification process, metrology laboratories and equipment manufacturers are permitted to use AAAM's certification mark in their advertising. They are also listed with their qualification score on the AAAM website.

AAAM's process evaluates equipment manufacturers, laboratories, on-site field inspection companies, and technicians. "Inspection is a process," Administrator Sean Greene explained from AAAM's Tucson, Arizona branch. "Having a hammer doesn't make you a craftsman. We've found that the most competent practitioners have made themselves their customers' trusted partners. They've incorporated outstanding metrology into every relevant design and production stage, and have helped their customers develop trustworthy manufacturing processes according to Lean Six Sigma or whichever quality standards are most appropriate."

To help manufacturers find the services and technologies best suited for their own needs, AAAM has developed a portfolio of industry-specific riders for aerospace, jet engine, industrial gas turbine, medical instrumentation, orthopedic implants, and spinal applications. Forthcoming riders may include Consumer Product Safety Commission and ENERGY STAR co-certification, forensic examination, injection molding, investment casting, and laser machining. AAAM has invited leaders from these industries and related certification bodies to serve on its Board of Advisors.

The customers that stand to gain the most from AAAM-certified services and suppliers include tight-tolerance manufacturers including automotive, aerospace, optical, turbine engine and medical device companies, Meyers added. "We've also received inquiries from less obvious sectors, such as green construction firms and RV manufacturers. By bringing metrology experts together with these industries, we're increasing the technology's availability, improving confidence in its results, and driving down overall cost. Everybody benefits from well-qualified partners and thoroughly certified systems."

For more information, visit: www.aaametrology.org

Precision Medical Products, Inc. (PMP) is injecting a new component into its substantial body of capabilities. “With the addition of the ENGEL vertical injection press, we can now offer our customers new manufacturing opportunities under the PMP roof with the same level of reliability and peace of mind they’ve come to expect,” says Stephen Beversluis, director of QA/RA and business development.

“We selected ENGEL as our partner for this expansion on the basis of its construction, performance, energy savings and control flexibility,” Beversluis adds. “We are currently the only single source manufacturer in the region with this unique equipment.”

The ENGEL 65-ton vertical injection molding machine brings the total to 14 presses under PMP’s roof, including 5- to 65-ton vertical and 20- to 180-ton horizontal units. The new press provides for:

* 16 cavity needle hub overmolding
* High volume production, either automatic or manual
* Rotary table process removes operator downtime, and allows simultaneous insert loading and molding over two stations
* All electric injection unit for highest precision, superior repeatability, and lowest energy consumption
* Molding capability in a certified Class 7 ISO clean room
* Operational flexibility for complex applications

“ENGEL and Precision Medical worked diligently to specify a highly flexible machine, to meet both current requirements and provide for future business,” states John Pirro, ENGEL account manager. “The hybrid ENGEL e-insert machine was chosen as it offered the compatibility for existing molds with the benefits of shorter cycle times, faster injection speeds and energy savings of the electric injection unit.”

During a recent site visit Scott Rosander, ENGEL processing engineer, notes: "Our latest CC200 controller allows PMP to create custom sequences for their insert molding applications. The Quality Data Programs monitor and record multiple process variables necessary for PMP’s molding requirements. This data is saved on a central server for easy company wide access."

“PMP constantly invests in new technologies to better meet our customers’ applications and evolving challenges,” notes Beversluis. “With more capabilities in-house, we can improve efficiencies through a shorter supply chain.”

With over 50 years experience, Precision Medical Products, Inc., is the proven choice for leading pharmaceutical and medical device suppliers worldwide for manufacturing, assembly and contract packaging of medical devices incorporating a variety of metalworking and plastic injection molding technologies, laser engraving, ultrasonic welding, subassembly of electronics and temperature controlled calibration. PMP manufactures devices and needles for cardiovascular, orthopedic, dental, drug delivery, ophthalmology and general hospital use. PMP also houses the most OEM manufacturing technology under one roof, including ISO: 13485 certified clean rooms.

For more information, visit: www.pmp.net

The Quickparts sample kit includes 15 SLA, SLS, FDM, CNC, PolyJet, and Cast Urethane samples. The kit also comes complete with an Injection Molding design guide and literature regarding Quickparts’ complete product offering.

Sample Kit Includes:

* SLA: ABS-Like, Rigid, Durable & WaterClear
* PolyJet: Tango & Vero
* CNC: Machined Metal
* SLS: Duraform PA & Duraform GF
* FDM: ABS and Polycarbonate (PC)
* Cast Urethane: ABS-Like, Glass-Filled, Lexan-Like & 80A Elastomeric
* LV Injection Molding: Design Guide

The sample kit cost is $60 and can be paid via credit card or purchase order. Shipping charges are not included.

For more information or to order, visit: Quickparts Sample Kit

Hagerman & Company, Inc., one of America’s premier, value-added resellers of Autodesk software, will be a Platinum co-host of Autodesk University 2011. The three-day conference will take place November 29 – December 1 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Autodesk University (AU) is the foremost international learning and networking event for thousands of highly motivated Autodesk product users and managers from every industry.

In addition to the Platinum sponsorship, Hagerman & Company will hold an exclusive evening reception for its valued customers on Tuesday, November 29 from 6-8 pm at the SUSHISAMBA restaurant inside the Palazzo Hotel and Resort Casino. Attendees who list Hagerman & Company as a co-host during the registration process will be guaranteed an invitation to this annual event.

“Autodesk University is a valuable experience that our customers look forward to all year long,” said Hagerman & Company CEO, Dennis Hagerman. “We are very happy to once again serve as co-host for AU and welcome our community of friends and supporters to our annual reception.”

For more information about Autodesk University and Hagerman & Company, visit: www.hagerman.com or au.autodesk.com

This Old House, the beloved public TV series for home renovation enthusiasts, will use a highly detailed 3D printed architectural model from Z Corporation to communicate planned improvements to a historic Bedford, Mass., homestead once owned by a prominent Revolutionary War figure, Nathaniel Page. The model will be featured in the Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 episodes, and make other appearances during the 16-episode season (check local listings or www.thisoldhouse.com/tvschedule for dates and times in your area).

The 14-piece multicolor physical 3D model – 28 inches x 21 inches x 9 inches – can be assembled in two ways, depicting the Nathaniel Page Homestead before and after two additions and a thorough renovation. The model includes removable rooftops and second floor, and a fully detailed interior.

"The 3D model powerfully communicates the architect's vision for the finished home before we pry off the first clapboard," said Dan Quaile, the architect for the This Old House Bedford Project. "The designers, contractors, viewers and homeowners get a much clearer image of the project than they could through 2D plans and conversation alone."

This Old House plans to use more of Z Corporation's models down the road, most immediately for their next project in Barrington, R.I.

The story of 3D printed models communicating design intent for building professionals, their clients, and other stakeholders is a familiar one as architects have begun discovering the ability to quickly create physical 3D models that are more highly detailed, accurate and affordable than handcrafted models. ZPrinted models can be printed in traditional architectural white or in full color.

Z Corporation 3D printers create physical objects from 3D design files much as document printers create business letters from word-processing files. ZPrinters are the only 3D printers capable of simultaneously printing in multiple colors.

The Nathaniel Page Homestead belongs to Rebecca and Joe Titlow. Joe is Z Corporation's vice president of product management and in one of the episodes explains to host Kevin O'Connor how 3D printing works. "It was a lot of fun to bring my work home with me this time," he said. "I was thrilled that the crew was able to use the model."

Photo Credits: © May's Photography

MAKE Eyewear is peering into the future with the launch of its new eyewear collection and Freestyle design service. The company offers unique designs and virtually unlimited customization, and is able to do so because it employs a revolutionary production method known as 3D printing.

The technology used to print three-dimensional objects has been around for a few decades now, but it has only recently attained a level of quality necessary for making end consumer products. It is still rare to find anything which is manufactured using this process, primarily because it tends to be much more expensive than traditional production methods. However, since cost is based on the amount of material consumed and not design complexity, it is reasonable to produce small products like eyewear.

Founder David Minich states, "There are some really interesting 3D printed objects out there, but many of them do not really make much sense to me as products. A basic 3D printed chair, for example, can easily cost thousands of dollars. That's a lot of money for a plastic chair." Sticking with a relatively small product that does not require a large volume of material, has allowed the company to keep prices competitive with other, non-3D printed, glasses on the market. What's more, each frame style in the online store is available in three standard sizes and can be customized further to provide an even better fit.

In addition to the frames offered in the online store, customers can design their own glasses from scratch using the "Freestyle" service. MAKE provides as much or as little assistance in the design process as a customer wants, and a frame can be designed from something as simple as a rough sketch.

For more information about MAKE Eyewear, or to order a pair of glasses, visit: www.makeeyewear.com

Coinciding with the start of the new academic year, the fifth annual “Henkel Innovation Challenge” international student competition is set to begin. Students from all disciplines are invited to develop innovative ideas in teams of two.

Students from all over the world will participate in the “Henkel Innovation Challenge”, as teams from 14 European countries and the Asia/Pacific region will compete. This year’s international final will be held in Poland, the home country of last year’s winners, in April 2012. The winning team will receive an around-the-world ticket and a travel voucher worth 1000 euros.

The “Henkel Innovation Challenge” is open to students of all subjects, including economics, engineering or the natural sciences. The task is to develop a concept for a product under a Henkel brand or for an innovative technology which will meet the needs of customers in the year 2030 – for one of Henkel’s business areas: Cosmetics/Toiletries, Laundry & Home Care or Adhesive Technologies. New this year: the product ideas and technologies must contribute to sustainable development, such as reducing energy or water consumption.

Apart from thrilling experiences and plenty of fun, the competition offers young talented minds an opportunity to establish valuable personal contacts with Henkel at an early stage in their career. During the “Henkel Innovation Challenge”, the best teams will be assisted by experienced Henkel managers, who will act as mentors and advisors. Henkel stays in touch with many participants even after the competition has finished; a number of talented youngsters have already been recruited from among past participants.

Students interested in business and innovation who want to pit themselves against other students on an international level must register at www.henkelchallenge.com by December 12, 2011.

Friday, 23 September 2011 14:10

TEDxWinnipeg - Urbee 3D Printed Car Unveiled

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The unveiling of the first prototype URBEE, with its completed body, occurred at the TEDxWinnipeg event on September 15th at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). The unveiling was a milestone for Urbee as they are a small group of designers and engineers in Winnipeg. Jim Kor, owner of Kor Product Design presented 'Rational Automotive Design for the Human Race' at TEDx. The event featured 8 speakers, each doing a TED Talk (18 minutes each, ... IDEAS worth Sharing). The car was unveiled in the lobby and was the first time the finished 3-D printed body was shown.  This is still a prototype and only 1 car like this exists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Would you see 3D printing as a viable production method for a commercial proposition, or was that simply used for prototyping?

Answer: When we started our partnership with Stratasys, in Minneapolis (the company that 3-D printed our body), we had in mind that this process would be used ONLY for prototyping. The 'we' I am referring to is our Urbee Team. People within Stratasys have been working very hard at making this process a viable production method (called 'digital manufacturing'). I now believe that this is indeed a viable production method. 3-D printing has many advantages. From a design point of view, just to name a few advantages:

1) There is no hard tooling required, the designer is essentially free to place the material wherever it is needed, and each production part can be made unique.
2) This process could revolutionize how we make things. It has certainly changed my way of thinking about manufacturing.
3) Just as an aside: The SAME computer files that made the scale model were used to make the full-size body panels. This way, we knew the big panels would all fit properly (the model was a test).


Question: Might we ultimately get to the point where Urbee body designs could be made available for download then locally produced?

Answer: This process of 3-D printing turned into 'digital manufacturing' would change the way we replace parts within machines. You would have an inventory of computer files on hand, stored somewhere in the world, and utilize the closest 3-D printing facility available to the machine that needs the repair part.


Question: What environmental considerations are made as part of the production process?

Answer: Environmentally this process holds promise because one only puts material where one needs it. It is an additive process, building the part essentially one 'molecule' of material at a time, ultimately with no waste. This process can do many materials, and our goal would be to use fully-recycled materials.


Question: When will we see people driving them on our roads?

Answer: There are many people in the world now working with this process of 3-D printing, and they are doing some amazing, mind-bending things. Stratasys is at the leading edge of this. Regarding our car, this car that you now see runs, and it does have a 3-D printed body. We plan on building a second car that would more fully utilize this 3-D printing process throughout the body, interior, and even parts of the chassis.


Question: When will we all be driving one?

Answer: I don't know. All I know is that I personally will very likely be driving, on the road, in a prototype car with a 3-D printed body by 2012. Which is pretty amazing. Regarding when a production Urbee would be available for sale ..... I am a Mechanical Engineer, so I am quite conservative, but, I believe best-case scenario would be 2014. This would be the first practical, roadworthy car that could run on solely Renewable Energy.


For more information, visit: www.urbee.net

Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), today announced the nominees for its Industry Achievement Award in Product Development Excellence. The award will be presented to a product design, development or manufacturing innovator, and will be announced at Aberdeen's Product Development and Delivery Summit being held October 5, 2011 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. The 2011 Summit theme is Innovate, Develop, Deliver.

Award nominees were selected based on proprietary Aberdeen research conducted over the past year by Michelle Boucher, Senior Research Analyst for Aberdeen's Product Innovation and Engineering research practice. The award will be presented to the enterprise that most effectively combines strategy, process execution and supporting technology investments to drive product development, performance improvement and superior commercial success.

The award nominees are:

* John Deere, the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery, construction, forestry and turf care equipment
* Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology, creating medical devices to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life
* Autoliv Inc., a worldwide leader in automotive safety, a pioneer in both seatbelts and airbags, and a technology leader with the widest product offering for automotive safety, serving all the major automobile manufacturers
* Case New Holland, a world leader in the agricultural and construction equipment businesses
* Array Accuseal, a leading manufacturer and distributor of gate valves, actuators and other flow control products for oil and natural gas wellhead, manifold, fracture and distribution applications

Featured presenters at the 2011 Aberdeen Product Development and Delivery Summit include senior executives from ARRIS Group, Inc., Cambridge Biomedical, Coty Inc., Enterasys Networks, Herman Miller Inc., Medtronic, NCR Corporation, and Performance Indicator.

2011 Product Development and Delivery Summit Sponsors include Microsoft and Siemens PLM Software, aPriori, and Kalypso. The Society of Concurrent Product Development (SCPD) is a Summit partner.

To view the full 2011 Product Development and Delivery Summit agenda visit: summits.aberdeen.com/index.php/Product-Innovation-and-Engineering-Summit/2011-product-development-and-delivery-summit-agenda.html

To apply for complimentary registration, visit: vault.aberdeen.com/public/check-identity/summit/NPDD294024/event.aspx. Summit registration is complimentary for qualified end user executives and qualified members of the press. Vendors, service providers and consultants are not eligible to attend, except as Summit sponsors.

Congress recently enacted legislation changing key provisions of patent law. The bill, called the “America Invents Act” (HR1249), changes the patent award application to award the first person to apply instead of the first person to invent, allows for more public feedback on applications, creates new rules for challenging patents, and changes the patent fee system. The expert patent attorneys of Bay Area Technology Law Group explain how the provisions in the bill changes patent law in the United States.

“Although the U.S. patent laws have been tinkered with over the years, there have not been significant revisions to the law since 1952,” says Malcolm Wittenberg, an intellectual property attorney at Bay Area Technology Law group. “That is about to change.”

The most notable change is a move from a “first to invent” to a “first to file” patent granting system, which is more in keeping with patent laws of other countries. In contrast to most other countries, though, the U.S. system retains a grace period such that an inventor who discloses an invention publicly in some manner has twelve months to file a patent application and claim first-inventor-to-file status. This provision, however, may not be as useful as it might seem at first at first blush, for public disclosure before filing will oftentimes adversely affect foreign filing opportunities. The commercial use infringement defense is also expanded to cover any technology, rather than just business methods as provided in 35 USC 273, including pre-marketing regulatory review for drugs and “non-profit laboratory use” such as by universities or hospitals, instead of only covering prior commercial use.

The new bill also establishes post-grant opposition protocol and provides a new “first window” post-grant review procedure allowing challenges within nine months of an issued patent on any ground. It also provides a revised inter parties review procedure with a high threshold for the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to accept a challenge.

There is a new a “supplemental examination” provision which is, in effect, an ex parte reexamination initiated by the patent owner allowing the patent owner to make pre-litigation submissions to the PTO to potentially correct mistakes and disclosures during prosecution. Submissions of the patent owner could not then be used to support an inequitable conduct defense in patent infringement actions.

For the first time, an alleged infringer is not able to argue that the patent owner did not identify the best mode for enablement in the patent specification. “This again is in keeping with the patent laws in most other countries which do not have a best mode requirement,” explains Wittenberg.

The law provides significant changes to the fee system of the patent office, starting with an across-the-board 15% fee hike. Prosecution of an application can now be expedited by the payment of a “prioritized examination” fee, which accelerates processing with a likely decision on the invention’s patentability within one year from the application filing date, compared to the current average of just under three years. The fee is initially $4,800, with small entities receiving a 50% discount.

The new law also creates a “micro-entity” category composed of individuals and small businesses that file few applications and earn less than a certain threshold. Such applications now benefit from a 75% reduction in most patent fees.

“Like all new legislation, many of the details of these revised patent laws will be scrutinized during litigation. For example, it is difficult, in the abstract, to know just what level of public disclosure will be necessary in order to provide the twelve month grace period to file a patent application and claim first-inventor-to-file status,” notes Wittenberg. “The courts will also undoubtedly tell us more about the defense to infringement based upon prior commercial use as provided in 35 U.S.C. Section 273.”

For more information about the new changes to patent law or any of Bay Area Technology Law Group’s products or services, visit: www.batechlaw.com

Large global manufacturers are setting their sights on top-line growth over the next two years, fueled by new products, strategic acquisitions and alliances, innovation and increasing production capacity in high-growth markets. Bolstering the growth agenda are stronger investments in supply chain risk management to mitigate the impact of continued market volatility, according to KPMG's 2011 Global Manufacturing Outlook.

The KPMG annual survey* of 220 manufacturing executives, including 61 in the U.S., from global companies with at least US$1 billion in revenue, found that businesses are cautiously optimistic on near term prospects and are shifting from their previous emphasis on cost containment to a focus on top-line growth as a priority in the next two years.  

Looking at their top priorities, 26 percent of the U.S. executives say they will focus on top-line growth, followed by 13 percent saying R&D/innovation, and 12 percent indicating customer relationships.  Over the past two years, U.S. executives were most focused on cost containment, followed by customer relationships and process efficiencies/shared services. Seventy-nine percent of U.S. respondents were either very optimistic or optimistic about their company's business outlook for the next two years.

"Today, we're seeing that despite an increasing set of cost challenges, manufacturers are realigning their business models to prioritize top-line growth," said Jeff Dobbs, KPMG's global head of Diversified Industrials and a partner in the U.S. firm. "Companies have learned they can survive the challenges of economic uncertainty, political instability, and historic natural disasters  with lean agile operating structures, enhanced risk management practices, and a focus on innovation."

Strategic Acquisitions, Investments in Production Capacity, and Innovation

In pressing ahead on the growth track, 39 percent of global respondents say they will grow through mergers and acquisitions (M&A), joint ventures and alliances; and 30 percent through increased production capacity, mainly in high-growth markets. U.S. respondents cite increased production capacity (36%), M&A, joint ventures and strategic alliances (31%), research and development (23%), and new sales offices (10%) as approaches to achieving growth for their companies.

"Many companies emerged from the 2008-2010 downturn with significantly reduced cost structures, more cash and liquidity, and a laser focus on their customers and markets.  These 'survivors' have the mindset and strategy to define the standard of success in the next five years," according to KPMG's Dobbs.

When asked to compare the primary focus areas of their growth strategies in the next two years with the two previous years, the survey revealed a marked shift in focus: 56 percent of manufacturers globally are planning to sell new products in new and existing markets over the next two years, up from 37 percent.

As to where demand is expected, the U.S. ranks as the top market, closely followed by China, then India, with Brazil and Germany rounding out the top five. Slightly more than half see emerging markets as key to their growth strategies.

Price volatility of raw materials and inputs remains the biggest challenge for 44 percent of executives, followed by increased competition and pricing pressure, and uncertain demand.   In the U.S., price volatility on key cost inputs, uncertain demand, and intense competition and pressure on pricing were seen as the top three challenges.

Grooming Supply Chains for Growth

To better manage volatility, 56 percent of manufacturers say they are reshaping their supply chain models. Standardization is one of the key strategies – 55 percent of manufacturers plan to standardize their production process while 45 percent will require standardized inputs.  Further, just over 40 percent said they will focus on cost reduction through a shortening of the overall product development life cycle.

Nearly half of respondents say they will invest in technology to improve visibility across the supply chain, the single most important tool for managing risk. Other measures include helping suppliers develop risk management standards and assessing supply chain processes.    

Monitoring where manufacturers are sourcing key components in this year's survey shows that China remains the leading sourcing destination, with the US second, followed by India, the UK and Brazil.

KPMG International commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 220 senior manufacturing executives responsible for, or significantly involved in, finance, supply chain, procurement or strategic development. Respondents represent the aerospace and defence, metals, engineering and industrial products sectors, including industrial conglomerates. All participants represent companies with more than US$1 billion in annual revenue; 40 percent hail from organizations with more than US$10 billion in revenue. Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents are C-suite executives or board members. They are geographically split between Western Europe (31 percent), North America (30 percent) and Asia-Pacific (25 percent), with the remainder coming from the rest of the world.

For more information, visit: www.kpmg.com/global/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/global-manufacturing-outlook/pages/growth-while-managing-volatility.aspx

InventSAI, a company that specializes in counseling individual inventors and entrepreneurs, offers tips on how to avoid common patent application mistakes. The America Invents Act will bring notable changes to the patent application process in America for the foreseeable future. Most notably, the patent reform will change America from a “first-to-invent” country to a “first-to-file” country meaning that it is now basically a race to the patent office. Opponents to the Act fear that the new bill will overwhelmingly favor big businesses over small businesses and individual inventors. Their reasoning is that the “first-to-file” system makes it easier on large corporations with deep pockets who are not concerned with excessive legal costs.

Because of budget constraints on individuals and small businesses, an argument exists that this new law will see a surge of poorly written, low cost “do-it-yourself” Provisional Patent Applications on sites such as Legal Zoom where you are not required to receive the help of a licensed patent professional. This is similar to going to the plate in the major leagues without ever seeing a game or holding a bat before. There will be many unintended and unfortunate consequences as a result of the America Invents Act being passed into legislation. Only time will tell how the patent reform will affect small businesses, entrepreneurs, and everyday basement tinkerers with low budgets and little experience with intellectual property law.

“People can claim virtually anything when filing a provisional application, such as time machines and flying cars without any description of how they work,” warns Bob Montgomery, President of InventSAI. “Getting in line first still does not give you priority rights unless you can adequately describe how the invention works. Many inventors are not aware of this and can be misled into thinking they have something of value – when they do not.”

An internet search for provisional patent or patent application will reveal a multitude of companies that seemingly sprung up overnight offering low cost patent pending status in as little as 15 minutes. While an inventor can achieve patent pending status in a short period of time, many inventors are not aware that these expire within 12 months and that the protection that is afforded them is worth virtually nothing without technical disclosure as to how the invention can be made and used.

“It is easy to see why an inventor would want to rush into filing a patent with the passing of this bill,” says Garvin Putt, Development Director of InventSAI, “however, inventors need to be forewarned before diving right into their application.”

InventSAI cautions individual inventors on common patent application mistakes in light of the newly passed America Invents Act:

1.    Seek a Professional You Trust. Always seek the guidance of experienced professionals before paying for or submitting your invention online to get a patent-pending status.
2.    Never “Go It Alone.” Intellectual Property has many nuances that only a licensed patent professional is prepared to handle for inventors. One mistake in the patent process could cause an individual years of hard work to go down the drain.
3.    Be Realistic. If anything sounds too good to be true, turn the other way. The road from idea to patent to a product in stores is a process that takes time, costs money, and has considerable risks.
4.    Invent What You Know. It is always best to focus on an area where you already have experience and know how.
5.    Keep It A Secret. Keep your invention idea confidential and be especially cautious of submitting to sites that will use a social network to review your invention. Public disclosure of your invention starts the ticking time clock on the one year rule of obtaining patent protection.

InventSAI, part of the Montgomery IP Associates Group, is a veteran invention consulting firm focused on assisting small businesses, individual inventors, and entrepreneurs. With access to a patent and engineering law firm, Montgomery Patent & Design, and full service marketing agency, Ad-Gen, InventSAI is uniquely positioned to help inventors in all stages of bringing invention ideas to life. Inventors can find assistance whether they need help protecting their idea with a patent, developing their idea with engineering, and/ or marketing their idea to get it on store shelves.

For more information, visit: www.inventsai.com

Braun, a member of the P&G family of brands, today began the countdown for its prestigious and internationally-recognised design competition - the 2012 BraunPrize. Now in its 18th edition, the 2012 BraunPrize is back with a bang: It features an all-new theme "Genius design for a better everyday" emphasizing the importance of industrial design and innovative, well-designed products that improve everyday life for consumers around the world.

The hand-selected BraunPrize jury will consist of globally renowned design experts including Naoto Fukasawa, Jane Fulton Suri and Anne Berger, who will reward design concepts and ideas that lead to innovative, practical, beautiful and intuitive product solutions tailored to everyday consumer needs - the trademarks of Braun's influential design. Aspiring design students, professionals and enthusiasts across the world are asked to submit their entries by March 31, 2012.

In addition to the global design award, Braun is inaugurating a new sustainability award which will recognize design projects with a particularly strong focus on sustainable solutions for everyday life. The 2012 BraunPrize will also see the establishment of national BraunPrize winners, highlighting the very best talent in individual countries. All winners will be announced at the BraunPrize ceremony on September 26, 2012, in Kronberg, Germany - the total prize money for the 2012 BraunPrize has been raised to $100,000(USD).

"The BraunPrize remains hugely important for Braun and the design community in general. Since Erwin Braun developed the BraunPrize competition in 1968, our aim has been to find and promote new design talent who would continue to challenge norms, develop their own unique perspective and forge exciting design innovations," said Professor Oliver Grabes, Braun's Head of Design and Chairman of the BraunPrize Jury. "From the 10 principles of the iconic Dieter Rams to inspiring Jonathan Ives, Braun has an impressive design heritage that is founded on beautiful, intuitive design. I'm also thrilled that the 2012 BraunPrize will again be supported and endorsed by icsid, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design."

Speaking about the changes being implemented to the BraunPrize in 2012, Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer at P&G, commented: "P&G's mission is to touch and improve the lives of more people, in more parts of the world more completely. The Braun brand help fulfill this mission with products of outstanding industrial design and through the famous BraunPrize. In evolving the award further, we want to ensure the BraunPrize not only provides a showcase for those design students and professionals who want to pursue a career in design, but that it also encourages design enthusiasts outside of an academic or professional context to enter. This competition isn't just about nurturing and fostering talent, it's also about opening up the accessibility of design to more people around the world."

Design hopefuls have until March 31, 2012, to submit their product concepts to Braun in the form of sketches, images, technical drawings, movies, animations and a project description. Participants must register online at www.braunprize.com, the product concepts can be uploaded through the online registration process or can be mailed on a digital data medium to: BraunPrize, Braun GmbH, Frankfurter Strasse 145, 61476 Kronberg, Germany.

Z Corporation will spotlight designers’ and engineers’ increasing ability to create more innovative products with 3D printing next week at TCT Live 2011, Stand #D12. The premier event for product development and additive manufacturing in Europe, the TCT Live exhibition and conference takes place Sept. 27-29 at the NEC, Birmingham, UK.

Z Corporation will lead several sessions that document how ZPrinting is improving the product development process, saving time and money, and enhancing communication for its customers.

Sessions include:

“Additive Manufacturing Tech Briefs”
Z Corporation Vice President of Product Management Joe Titlow will provide a technical overview of the company’s latest product and material advancements.
Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 1:15 p.m.

“In-House Prototyping a Breakthrough for Time-Honored Shoe Industry”
Ross Authers of Clarks International UK, another Z Corporation customer, will detail how this leading, global footwear manufacturer has transformed its development process to release better, more stylish shoes earlier in the fashion life cycle. Clarks has removed weeks – and in some cases, months – from the design process with       Z Corporation 3D printing technology.
Thursday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m.

“Striving for Excellence….Tangible Results!”
Z Corporation customer Ben White of Integra Products Ltd will discuss how this leading UK-manufacturer of curtain poles is using 3D printing to produce sand cast patterns for production and marketing models to show to clients, like John Lewis, one of the UK's largest department store chains.
Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m.

“These sessions will give TCT Live attendees an invaluable firsthand look at how far rapid prototyping has come,” said Z Corporation Vice President of Marketing Kevin Lach. “Designers and engineers have never been so empowered to create more. It’s a great opportunity to share best practices and learn new ways to improve the product development process.”

Z Corporation will be exhibiting throughout TCT Live at Stand #D12, demonstrating its 3D printing and 3D scanning technologies, including the world’s fastest, most affordable, color 3D printers and unique, handheld 3D laser scanners.     

For more information, visit: www.zcorp.com or www.tctmagazine.com/x/tct-live/tctlive.html

A1 Technologies is delighted to introduce the new DAVID Version 3 laser scanner. After more than a year of development this low-cost, highly effective laser scanner, the DAVID 3.0 boasts some significant upgrades that put real scanning power into the hands of users.

The most exceptional development to note in this latest version of the DAVID Laser Scanner is that it is the first and only laser scanner to include software that supports both ‘classic’ Laser Scanning AND Structured Light Scanning.  The structured light scanning method, as its name suggests, employs  ‘Structured Light’ (SL), which makes scanning faster and easier using a standard video projector compared with the single line laser and camera employed for the laser scanning method.

The video projector is connected to a PC and DAVID 3 uses it to illuminate and scan the object with several stripe patterns.  Within seconds of initiating the process, the 3D scan results appear on the monitor screen. So what are the pros and cons of Structured Light Scanning compared with Laser Scanning? Here is a quick run down:

Advantages of Structured Light Scanning

• SL scanning does not require calibration panels in the background during the scanning process.
• SL scanning is a much faster process.
• SL scanning is a one-click operation compared with the hand-held laser scanning process.
• There are no moving parts or inaccuracies from hand tremors etc.

Disadvantages of Structured Light Scanning

• Projector prices are dropping, but they are still more expensive than Lasers.
• SL scanning requires darkened conditions, usually darker than required for laser scanning.
• SL scanning is not suitable for smaller objects with fine details because projectors typically can not be focused to very short distances.

Because the DAVID 3 is set up to offer both structured light scanning and hand held laser scanning capabilities, the user has the flexibility to select the best method for the application at hand, and maximize the benefits of each scanning method.

Furthermore, the completely new user interface makes DAVID 3 even more versatile, extendable and user-friendly while still compatible with all of the same hardware as previous versions. A comprehensive user manual is supplied with the DAVID 3, which fully explains how to get the most out of the equipment.

The new version of this ultra-low cost scanner will be on-site at TCT Live 2011, at A1 Technologies stand F24. Come and be one of the first to see it.

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk

Industrial employment in Massachusetts increased a half percent over the past twelve months according to the 2012 Massachusetts Manufacturers Register®, an industrial directory published annually by Manufacturers' News, Inc. (MNI) Evanston, IL. Manufacturers' News reports Massachusetts gained 1,478 industrial jobs between August 2010 and August 2011, in sharp contrast to the 1.2% drop recorded by MNI over the 2009-2010 survey period, and the 6.4% lost between August 2008 and August 2009.

Manufacturers' News reports Massachusetts is now home to 8,715 manufacturers employing 368,171 workers.

"We continue to see manufacturing sector gains in Massachusetts and across the U.S.," says Tom Dubin, President of the Evanston, IL-based publishing company, which has been surveying industry since 1912. "The state's educated workforce and investments in innovative technologies, as well as its access to capital have been a draw for a variety of enterprises."

Bright spots for the state include the openings of AFL's new R&D facility in Lowell and Agreen Energy's biogas-fired power plant in Rutland. Solectria Renewables expanded their PV inverter factory in Lawrence, while J.S.B Industries established a second baking facility, also in Lawrence.

MNI reports the state's three largest sectors by employment added or retained jobs over the year. Industrial machinery and equipment is Massachusetts' top sector by industrial employment with 47,985 jobs, up 2.3% over the year. Electronics/electrical equipment ranks as the state's second-largest industrial sector by employment with 46,764 manufacturing jobs, virtually unchanged from a year ago. Third-ranked instruments and related products accounts for 46,706 industrial jobs, up a half percent. Additional gains were seen in primary metals, up 3.7% and fabricated metals, up 1%.

Industrial sectors that lost jobs over the past year included rubber/plastics, down 5.6%, due partially to the closures of Sonoco Products' packaging plant in Devens, and Solo Cup's facility in North Andover. Stone/clay/glass declined 3.4%; lumber/wood, fell 3.3%; and employment in paper products declined 1.6%, following the closure of a National Envelope facility in Worcester.

Manufacturers' News reports Central Massachusetts accounts for the most manufacturing employment in the state with 160,617 jobs, up 1.6% over the past year. The Northeast region accounts for the second most at 108,509 jobs, down 1.4%. The Southeast region is home to 53,305 industrial workers, up 1.3%, while Western Massachusetts is home to 45,740, with no significant change reported.

MNI's city data shows Boston remains Massachusetts' top city for manufacturing employment, home to 11,406 jobs, up 1.3% over the year. Second-ranked Andover accounts for 11,267 jobs, up a half percent. Worcester is home to 9,407 industrial jobs, down 3% over the year, while industrial employment in Waltham increased a half percent over the survey year, and is currently home to 8,848 manufacturing jobs. Framingham is home to 8,227 jobs, with no significant change reported over the past twelve months.

For more information, visit: www.manufacturersnews.com

Tormach LLC, a premier manufacturer of affordable CNC mills and accessories, announced the release of the latest generation of the company's best selling CNC mill, the PCNC 1100 Series 3. Series 3 mills are expected to begin shipping to customers near the end of September.

The PCNC 1100 utilizes a cast iron frame with hand-scraped hydrodynamic slideways featuring low-friction PTFE-filled acetyl-bonded sliding surfaces for low friction. The 5100 RPM R8 spindle is driven by a stout 1.5HP induction motor with sensorless vector control logic provided by Emerson Control Techniques™.

New for Series 3 is a re-engineered motion system that incorporates the latest in high performance polyphase stepper motors with industry-leading Leadshine® microstepping drivers. This system provides a significant increase in axis speed as well as reserve motor torque at cutting speeds, thermal and overcurrent safety modes for the driver modules, and ultra-quiet operation

In regards to the motion system improvements, Greg Jackson, president of Tormach, commented, "We've invested significantly into the engineering of the new drive system, and are confident that it is best-in-class in both performance and reliability. Our mission with all Tormach products is to provide unprecedented value in CNC, and the Series 3 is another example of our dedication to reaching that goal."

In addition, Series 3 Motion upgrade kits are also available for legacy PCNC models. "From the beginning, we've focused on a modular design principles for our mills," said Mr. Jackson. "This not only allows our customers to upgrade performance of older models to our current product specifications, but also preserves investment value." Special upgrade kit pricing is available to existing PCNC owners.

Other notable Series 3 enhancements include a new, more durable copolymer enamel paint system, and a redesigned operator's panel. A new convenient cast iron tool tray has also been added. Pricing for Series 3 starts at $8480 USD. Tormach products are sold worldwide through direct Internet sales.

The people at Tormach are dedicated to delivering tools, accessories, and components of unprecedented value in the world of CNC and motion control. Whether you are involved in R&D, education, short-run production, or simply entrepreneurs with new ideas, Tormach products allow you to make what you need easier, quicker, and more affordable.

For more information, visit: www.tormach.com

Buildatron Systems to present a revolutionary 3D printer, the Buildatron 1, at the World Maker Faire September 17 and 18th at New York Hall of Sciences in New York City, NY.

Today Buildatron Systems announced the international launch of the Buildatron 1 3D printer which will “Build a Revolution” through affordable 3D printing. Their offering represents a new paradigm in 3D personal manufacturing technology and will be exhibited at the World Makerfaire in New York City on September 17th and 18th. Buildatron’s exhibit at the Maker Faire will showcase both the fully assembled Buildatron 1 3D printer based off the with metal and plastic cases as well as the un-assembled Buildatron 1 social network driven DIY (Do It Yourself) 3D printer kit. In addition to highlighting their machine they plan to give demonstrations and to convert the thousands of Maker Faire attendees to the RepRap Community and the rapidly growing capabilities of 3D prototyping and the effects both can have in shaping and changing lives.

Buildatron will be the latest and most exciting addition to the World Maker Faire’s 3D printer village which has grown to include 22 hobbyist and 8 commercial vendors with varying focuses. The Maker Faire is an event created by Make Magazine to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset". This year the two-day festival will open in the New York Hall of Sciences in New York (Queens), on September 17 and 18th. Like its more serious counterparts, it is a gathering of geeks, but with the addition of do-it-yourself enthusiasts, back-yard scientists, garage tinkerers, artists and crafts people.

When talking to the 3 Co-Founders and Directors, James Wolff, Dan Liotti, and Zach Hines they had the following to say:

“Our 3D printers are built using high quality parts developed from the fantastic RepRap community, and as a result our products are reasonably priced. Currently we are pricing our two models at $2,000 for the fully assembled and $1,200 for the DIY social assembly edition run through the Build Lab. A key value to our three dimensional prototyping machines is the design and research that went into creating a “clean system” that just works. We delivered a strong enclosure designed for both workshops and home environments, and our 3D printers have been developed to be attractive and functional. Our 3D printers also include our proprietary in-case filament feed systems utilizing 1.75mm PLA or ABS plastic filament. We worked out easy plug-and-play capabilities as well as industry leading customer support via Buildatron’s social network gateway that has been coined as the “Build Lab”. ”

Buildatron seems to embody the direction and needs of the 3D printer and DIY movement. Buildatron’s opening of the 3D printer market to millions at industry shattering prices makes no bones about the impact they will have in the United States and abroad for home inventors and DIY enthusiasts.

“The mission of Buildatron Systems is to Build a Revolution through affordable 3D printers and robotic devices. The democratization of personal manufacturing is now a reality with our three-dimensional part building systems; an unprecedented innovation for society. Our products reduce the time and cost of realizing complex projects while also enabling direct and indirect manufacturing for home inventors, educational institutions, small business, and Buildatron’s community at large.

Buildatron is the new definition of made in America manufacturing. We are dedicated to creating innovative 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and rapid manufacturing solutions that are low cost and easily implemented. We are continuously investing in research and development, and we are broadening our technological capabilities every day. Buildatron is working hard to put you in the drivers seat by developing a new generation of tools unparalleled in history. Our technologies are meeting the challenges of sustainability and the green movement through localized personal manufacturing and the use of recyclable non-toxic eco-friendly plastics and materials.”

Launching in the fall of 2011, the Founders / Directors of Buildatron Systems are James Wolff, Dan Liotti, and Zach Hines. They have converted experience in industry leading emerging manufacturing technologies into Buildatron systems and the Buildatron I 3D Printer. Combined, they have publications in leading magazines and websites, multiple awards from manufacturing leader Materialise, and certifications with Autodesk® and Rhino – McNeel®. Their backgrounds in mechanical and electrical engineering along with industry leading product design and business management services are foundational to the Buildatron Revolution

For more information, visit: www.buildatron.com

Great American Group, LLC (OTCBB: GAMR), a leading provider of asset disposition, valuation and appraisal services, is conducting a live webcast auction beginning at 10 a.m. (CDT) Thursday, Oct. 6 for Camtech Precision Manufacturing, Inc. – an aerospace company based in Euless, Texas.

Founded in 1989, Camtech manufactured precision parts for aerospace and defense customers in the United States and internationally. Some of the items being auctioned include 2009 SNK & Makino 6 and 5 Axis CNC Machining Centers, SNK & Cincinnati 5 and 3 Axis CNC Aerospace Gantry Profilers, and many other large-capacity precision aerospace machining, metal fabrication and assembly equipment items.

All items will be available for inspection from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CDT) Monday, Oct. 3 through Wednesday, Oct. 5, or by appointment.

According to Sandy Feldman, a senior vice president with Great American Group, the auction has garnered attention from potential buyers internationally.

“Many of the machines up for auction are not widely available or take a great deal of time to be delivered when ordered from the manufacturers,” Feldman said. “We’ve received inquiries from interested parties in India, Turkey, Japan and China, along with the United States and other countries. This auction is generating a lot of interest from private companies and governments, as well.”

In addition, Great American Group is working in cooperation with The Weitzman Group, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, to sell more than five acres of property and two industrial buildings previously owned and operated by the aerospace company. Located in Tarrant County between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, and only minutes from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and major interstates, the primary site is 5.275 acres – or 5.478 acres if excess land is considered. The East and West Building sites are 42,473 square feet and 70,000 square feet, respectively, and both contain a mix of office and manufacturing space.

For a complete list of auction items and additional details regarding the Camtech auction, visit: www.greatamerican.com

New Equipment Digest (NED), industry's most preferred and trusted source for product news, announced today a new awards program entitled the KING Awards competition. This unique program will acknowledge superior industrial product innovation and honor the best new products in 11 distinct categories, ranging from assembly, controls and electronics to facilities, material handling, safety and more. A panel of industry experts along with the readers of New Equipment Digest will bestow KING Award status to the companies that have shown ingenuity, creativity, and sustainability in the development of their new products.

"The KING Awards, named after NED's long-time Chief Editor Bob King, will recognize best-in-breed products that help manufacturers be more efficient and more competitive in today's global economy," said John DiPaola, vice president and group publisher of New Equipment Digest.

The competition will be open for all industrial products introduced during 2010 and 2011. Deadline for entries is December 9th, 2011. Winners will be announced in the April 2012 issue of New Equipment Digest and at IndustryWeek's Best Plants Conference, which will be held April 23-25 in Indianapolis.

For a complete list of entry categories and for more information concerning the KING Awards competition, including entry forms, visit: www.newequipment.com/Main/kingawards.aspx

TechShop, the first membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio, will host a Grand Opening event on Saturday, September 24, from 10 AM – 6 PM at its new location in downtown San Jose at 300 S. 2nd Street. Councilmember Sam Liccardo (District 3) will make remarks and welcome this innovative business to the 10th largest city in the country.

"I am delighted to welcome TechShop to Downtown San José," said Mayor Chuck Reed. “TechShop will serve as a great resource for our many local innovators looking to incubate new technologies, create art or just have fun."

"Today the opportunity to engage, enable and empower people in San Jose, the innovation capital of the world, is a reality," said TechShop Founder Jim Newton. "TechShop San Jose is providing a broad array of machines and tools, instruction, and a supportive environment to hobbyists, entrepreneurs, artists and others who want to make things but lack the tools, space or skills. By supplying over $1M worth of advanced equipment for our member’s use, we have eliminated the barriers to making just about anything.”

TechShop will be providing in depth tours that showcase its collection of advanced machines, tools, and technologies that enable members to make almost anything they can imagine. Festivities will include displays of a variety of creations ranging from a JetPack to handmade craft items, all made at TechShop. Key partners including Autodesk, Bazaar Bizarre, MakerSHED, EepyBird and more will be represented in activities and demonstrations. Local food trucks from the San Jose based Moveable Meals will be outside with gourmet foods and delicacies.

Grand Opening Schedule
10 AM-6 PM TechShop Tours and Demos
11 AM Food Trucks Open for Lunch
12 PM Ribbon Cutting and Keynote Talk
3 PM Performance by EepyBird: The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments!

TechShop Membership and Grand Opening Offers
The TechShop membership model is similar to a fitness club: Monthly dues provide access to tools and high-end machinery instead of exercise equipment. TechShop is designed for everyone, regardless of skill level.

TechShop provides members with access to a wide variety of advanced machinery, tools and design software including: Epilog laser cutters, lathes, Tormach CNC milling machine, Lincoln welding stations, a 3D Systems ProJet-3000 3D printer, sheet metal working equipment, tubing and metal bending machines, drill presses and band saws, industrial sewing machines, hand tools, woodworking equipment including a 4' x 8' ShopBot CNC router, plastics equipment, electronics design and fabrication facilities, 2D and 3D design software including applications from Autodesk and Adobe, and more. You do not have to be a TechShop member to take any of the more than 75 classes that are offered at TechShop.

Membership and Class Specials
In celebration of the San Jose location, there will be several opportunities to purchase memberships and classes at greatly discounted rates. There will be offers online as well as new promotions that will only be available in-person at the San Jose location the day of the Grand Opening.

Founded in October 2006, TechShop, Inc. is the first membership based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio, providing access to a vibrant community of highly creative people and more than $1million worth of high-quality machines, tools, and software. With plans to expand nationally, TechShop is based in Menlo Park, CA, with current locations in San Francisco, San Jose and Raleigh, NC, and soon to open in Detroit. TechShop offers workshop space and hands on training for people of all skill levels to get them started using TechShop's tools and equipment.

For information and course listings, visit: www.techshop.ws

Tuesday, 13 September 2011 12:35

CCAT Recognizes National Aerospace Week

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Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT) in East Hartford is joining with the Aerospace States Association (ASA) to honor Connecticut's aerospace companies during the first annual National Aerospace Week, Sept. 11-17.  Congress established this week to recognize the contributions of the U.S. aerospace industry to America's security, technological security and economy.

"Connecticut is a place where the aerospace and defense industry has thrived for many decades, and today we need these jobs and this technology more than ever," Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said.  "That is why Gov. Malloy and I will do everything we can to help this industry and its highly-skilled workforce remain a foundation of our economy for generations to come."

Connecticut's aerospace industry is among the most productive in the world and has long been the backbone of the state's manufacturing sector. Close to $6.7 billion of Connecticut's 2010 gross state product originates from aerospace, equaling about 5 percent of the state's total productivity, according to the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC). Connecticut has nearly 250 aerospace companies with nearly 40,000 employees statewide.  Nationally, the industry employs more than 800,000 workers.

"The contributions made by the aerospace industry and their dedicated employees to preserve our country's security have been significant, and as such, worthy of this special Congressional recognition.  At CCAT we are continually committed to serving Connecticut aerospace manufacturers through initiatives that help to strengthen our aerospace industrial base and workforce," Elliot Ginsberg, CCAT president & CEO.

Together with the Town of East Hartford, CCAT is currently developing a plan for advancing aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing and workforce growth in the Connecticut and Western Massachusetts region under a U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant.  The grant supports development of a model for delivering personalized employment transition support to dislocated aerospace and defense workers, filling a void in career support service systems.

"The vital work being conducted by CCAT is critical to not only our town but also to the region and the nation," said East Hartford Mayor Marcia A. Leclerc. "East Hartford, long the home of jet engine manufacturing and advanced technology, must do everything we can to ensure that the A&D manufacturers and their highly-skilled workforce remain here and thrive."

In addition to working with the manufacturing community and promoting workforce development, CCAT is also supporting the skilled aerospace pipeline through its K-12 education initiatives. CCAT's "CATALYST: Explorations in Aerospace and Innovation" program, funded through a grant from NASA, includes an instructional day curriculum and an after-school component. It is designed to teach essential STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) concepts and skills in an aerospace context, with a focus on developing career awareness among traditionally under-represented students.

Middle schools in East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Vernon, and the new Greater Hartford Academy of Mathematics and Science (GHAMAS) Academy of Aerospace & Engineering magnet school are all participating in CATALYST Aerospace.

For more on National Aerospace Week, visit: www.nationalaerospaceweek.org

You're an art director making a video ad for one of the coolest brands on the planet. The setting is a quintessential American cityscape. You need a thoroughly original look -- artistic, but also real and tangible -- and not another CGI animation. What do you do?

You ZPrint it.

That's what Grow Interactive, one of the country's hottest digital production studios, did to convey the power of the world's most advanced mobile search tool, the Google Search app.

Grow used a 3D printer from Z Corporation to create the Main Street for Google's new AdMob rich media mobile advertising campaign, Uncover Your World, which illustrates the power of Google's voice, visual and location-aware mobile search capability. 3D printing is the creation of physical objects from 3D design data much as a business letter is created from a word-processing file.

Grow used a ZPrinter® 450 to create all of the ad's visuals. Every scene and interface element was custom modeled and 3D printed – even the sequence of paint drips that plays back in stop-motion to create a pouring effect. Grow assembled all of the parts into a 10-foot set, which it then used to capture all of the image and video components in stop-motion.  

After deciding that 3D printing was the solution to its creative needs, Grow researched a range of 3D printers and obtained sample prints from all of them. "We explored and tested nearly every 3D printing technology on the market," said Drew Ungvarsky, owner and creative director of Grow Interactive. "In the ZPrinter, we found what we were looking for: speed, color and high detail. The ZPrinter was the only device with the speed, resolution and surface quality we needed. And it's the only one capable of printing in multiple colors, so that saved us time on painting."

The team found the printer surprisingly easy to use. The staff is experienced with 3D design software, including Cinema 4D software used for this project, and quickly learned how to make their images printable objects. Carlton McFaden, managing partner at Anvil Prototype, a Z Corporation reseller, provided valuable support throughout the campaign.

"When you see the objects in the ad, you know they're real, not digital, but you can't quite put your finger on what they are," said Ungvarsky. "And that's what we love about them. We found the unique visual we were after: highly detailed and seemingly handmade. Since Google has a great tradition of representing its technology in the analog world, we found ZPrinting gave us an opportunity to continue that tradition but in a new and unique way. The client was very pleased."

Google blogged on their campaign here: http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2011/08/uncover-your-world-with-admob-rich.html

It’s difficult to determine when the green trend started - whether it was back in the 90s when we all decided to save the whales and ban aerosol sprays or whether it was much recently when Al Gore won an Oscar and Nobel Prize for his travelling PowerPoint-documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” But, no matter when it began, there’s no denying that people these days have become more environmentally conscious, and the green trend is here to stay. Product designers have realized that everyone is going eco-crazy, whether that means going on green vacations, using green electronic products, and even having green weddings. And today, when designing any product, whether it’s a computer, a couch or the latest smart phone, being environmentally-friendly is almost a requirement. Of course, this goes without saying that green product demand has also increased and environmentally friendly products not only save money, but get profits flowing in.

Let’s look at the ways that this green trend has influenced product design.

‘Green’ Product Design Criteria
To design a truly green product, it must meet some or all of these criteria:
• Be non-toxic so as not to harm the environment, people and pets; In electronics products for example, must contain lead-free pcb boards.
• It can be recycled or recyclable, to reduce the amount of trash in the landfills;
• It must use energy responsibly, whether that means that products use only renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or geothermal power or will reduce energy use, such as electronic products that go into ‘sleep mode’ to conserve energy.
• To a certain extent, it must support environmental responsibility, such as eco-friendly practices, creating more green or local jobs, and even use fair and truthful marketing when selling their products.

‘Green’ Materials
Understanding the materials used for any process is essential for any project and one of the first things many designers must master is the use of materials. Unlike 20 years ago, eco-friendly materials are now more available than ever. Eco-friendly plastics for example, which can be recycled or biodegradable, are now more widely available, but are also as tough and durable as their regular counterparts. Take the ubiquitous plastic water bottle, for example - simple to design but the material takes hundreds of years to decompose, and is quite toxic to the environment. Arizona-based Enso Bottles has developed a truly biodegradable plastic, by using an additive that helps the bottle degrade in as little as 250 days, without releasing any harmful gasses. Electronic manufacturers also use green materials for their own products. For example, LCD TVs which use carbon neutral biopaint, smart phones with bioplastic enclosures and electronic products which feature lead-free electronics pcb boards.

Product Manufacture
It’s not enough that your materials are eco-friendly, but the way you create your product should be as well. Consumers truly care about how a product is made, and so the construction of a product must also fit within green standards. For example, Kyocera, a Japanese firm, creates their own energy from solar power generating systems for their manufacturing plants and offices around the world. One of the problems of any manufacturing plant is not just the energy they use, but the amount of waste produced. Canada-based OKI Printing solutions, which produces printers and printing accessories, have reduced the wastes and harmful materials from their process, including the total removal of hexavalent chromium from their screws and implementing a waste segregation policy which has reduced their waste by 70%.

Electronic waste or e-waste is another prevalent problem, this time on the side of electronic product designers. In many cases, such as in with the CEH (Center for Environmental Health) in the United States, electronic design houses are encouraged to, design products that are eco-friendly and safe for the environment, whether that means creating non-toxic programs, or creating products which can easily be recycled.

Product Disposal
Aside from just waste disposal, the end-of-life disposal is just as important - what happens when a product is no longer useful and must be replaced? Previously, manufacturers just let their old products linger in the landfills, but for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer, that simply won’t do. Many manufacturers recycle their products, or donate their waste to other companies or organizations who can reuse their old materials. Electronics designers and manufacturers should, from the very beginning of the design process, should create “Take-back” campaigns wherein consumers are encouraged to bring their used electronics back to the manufacturer for proper disposal or better yet, recycling. Apple Computers in 2009, for example, figured out that they were emitting 9.6 million metric tons of greenhouses gases every year. So, within the next year, they re-evaluated their entire process – from designing, to manufacturing, transportation, product use, recycling and even how they their facilities (office, stores etc.) and made numerous changes that drastically reduced their carbon emissions. Their biggest expenditure when it came to carbon emissions was the manufacturing process itself (45%) and so they drastically reduced this by redesigning their products to be smaller, thinner and lighter, thus dramatically lowering their over-all carbon footprint.

The green trend, it seems, is here to stay. Electronic product designers and manufacturers must comply or be left behind. By keeping their products and processes eco-friendly, everyone – the designers, manufacturers and even the retailers are not just protecting their bottom-line, but the environment as well, ensuring that we all preserve the planet one product at a time.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. They specialise in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

For more information, visit: www.lx-group.com.au

Monday, 12 September 2011 09:52

A Real Source of Power for Designing & Making

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A1 Technologies is very excited about the Power of Making Exhibition, which opened at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last week. This exhibition, hosted by the V&A in collaboration with the UK Crafts Council is open to the public ‘to celebrate the power of making in our lives’ and will run right through until 2nd January 2012.

Passionate about designing & making A1 Technologies was delighted to be invited by the curator and the V&A to get involved with this eminent event that will undoubtedly attract individuals, families and school groups to view highly innovative and inspirational pieces of work. For the duration of the exhibition A1 has loaned the makers in residence at the V&A — PostlerFerguson — a suite of its advanced tools for designing and making in 3D. The synergy between the event and the aims of A1 as a company are clear and by demonstrating these advanced, accessible and easy to use products in such an environment the company hopes to introduce many more people to 3D digital technologies. Any visitors to PostlerFerguson within the Sackler Education Centre at the Power of Making exhibition will be offered the opportunity to try the equipment out for themselves.

The comprehensive suite of 3D technologies on site with PostlerFerguson includes:

• Studiomill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools.
• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package, which incorporates Cloud9 software from Anarkik3D.
• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner.


The Power of Making
Victoria & Albert Museum
London
6th September 2011 – 2nd January 2012


For more information visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk or www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/p/power-of-making

Monday, 12 September 2011 08:53

3D Systems Expands QuickCutCNC(TM) Offering

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3D Systems Corporation announced today the release of additional materials and secondary finishing capabilities through QuickCutCNC(TM). The rapid CNC machining service, launched by custom manufacturing leader Quickparts(R), has added brass and aluminum to the list of plastic and metal materials available for online interactive quoting, along with the option of powder coating parts machined out of aluminum.

Brass 260 (70/30) and aluminum 7075-T651 are both now available online and adhere to the standard QuickCutCNC(TM) lead time of less than five days. Powder coating is a post machining process in which a coating is applied electrostatically to parts in order to create a hard finish that is more functional than conventional paint. Even with the secondary work being done on powder coated parts, the lead time for these projects is still less than 6 days.

"We are proud to be able to expand the options we provide to our valued customers," said Todd Hellman, Business Manager for QuickCutCNC(TM). "As we continue to add more material and finish options to our online interactive quotes while maintaining lead times of less than five days, we are increasingly able to meet the full range of services our customers and prospects are looking for in machined prototypes and parts."

For more information, visit: www.quickcutcnc.com

Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday for its expanded technical center in Stafford, Texas,  that will house a new technology group focused on product innovations to drive business growth.

The $3 million expansion project at the Stafford technical center, the company’s North American chemical research hub, will enable Momentive to add 20 new research and technical roles at the site.  The 14,000 square foot expansion includes new research labs, applications and testing areas, and office space.  There are future expansion plans to add another 35 researchers at the site.

An additional expansion project at the site, slated to begin this fall and be completed in the first quarter of 2012, will involve renovation of its existing 45,000 square feet of space to build out additional office space.  Upon completion, 45 Momentive associates currently housed in office space in downtown Houston will relocate to the Stafford site.

"We are excited about the formation of our new growth-focused technology group, which will augment our existing R&D efforts by exploring new products, new technologies and new market opportunities,” said Rich Myers, Executive Vice President, Technology for Momentive.  “We also are pleased to be able to continue to grow and invest here in Stafford, which is becoming an increasingly important location for us."

Momentive began operations at its Stafford center, located at 12650 Directors Drive, in 2007.  Since then the company has consolidated some of its North American chemical research there, as well as its epoxy specialties North American business operations.  The move of additional personnel from downtown Houston will further expand the center’s operations to include epoxy business, marketing, finance, and supply chain functions.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Momentive Specialty Chemicals is the global leader in thermoset resins. Momentive serves global industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries.

For more information, visit: www.momentive.com

Thursday, 08 September 2011 11:50

EWI Announces Manufacturing Innovation Summit

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EWI announced that it will host a Manufacturing Innovation Summit on October 27, 2011 in Columbus, Ohio in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute. The Summit is the second in a series of leadership conferences organized by EWI to gather thought-leaders from both industry and government in a national conversation about how to strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness through technology innovation, and ultimately create an actionable plan.

The Summit will be used to discuss potential manufacturing technology innovation models which require industry collaboration and public/private partnership. It follows a report published earlier this year by EWI entitled "Strengthening Manufacturing Innovation" which details the outcome of a leadership conference held in 2010 at EWI. The report identities the need to strengthen the U.S. innovation infrastructure and lists potential innovation models that should be considered.

According to Chris Conrardy, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at EWI, "There is a growing awareness that the U.S. is falling behind in our capacity to innovate and implement advanced manufacturing technology quickly and effectively. At present, our country lacks a cohesive, strategic plan for improving American manufacturing competitiveness through commercialization of advanced  manufacturing technology. We are trying to change that by increasing understanding of the issue and plausible solutions, and by providing the leadership and venue needed for successful collaboration." 

Approximately thirty leaders from some of the nation's most innovative manufacturing companies will be invited to participate in The Manufacturing Innovation Summit on October 27. Follow-on events will be held for technology facilitators and representatives of state and federal government. Anyone interested in receiving information about or attaining results from the events should contact Nate Ames at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 614.688.5135. Information can also be found online at: www.ewi.org/ewi-hosted-events

PlasticsToday and Injection Molding, the plastics industry's source for business-critical information and plastics processing technology insights, announced the first ever virtual conference for the plastics industry: Continuous Improvement in Injection Molding is live today. This online event has specific conference sessions that cover the path of continuous improvement for injection molders and plastics processing professionals. The event will provide industry insights on several topics that are relevant to molders every day, including energy efficiency, tooling technology, and controlled environment molding.

The virtual event takes place today, September 8, 2011, from 10am-4pm ET. Registration is free to attendees and is now available here.

During the live event today, attendees can interact and network directly with industry experts and peers, download valuable free information, and view webcast presentations directly from their desktop.

A keynote presentation by Dr. Neal Elliott, Associate Director for Research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and an expert on energy policy, market, and technology thought-leader, will kick-off the virtual event.  Dr. Elliott will discuss, "The Outlook for Manufacturing: Optimism with a Dose of Caution."

A variety of engaging presentations, panel discussions, and chat sessions round out the conference sessions for today including:

Session 1: Energy Efficiency: Measure, Control, Conserve, Dr. Michael Muller, Director of the Center for Advanced Energy Systems, will discuss his research team's energy audits that helped multiple injection molding facilities make dramatic cuts in their energy usage.

Chat Session 1: Saving Energy in Your Molding Facility, Lowell Allen, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, at The Rodon Group, a high-volume, small part injection molding specialist, will share his insights into the steps his company has taken to cut its energy use and become an overall more sustainable molder.

Session 2: Building Better Molds, In a panel led by PlasticsToday's in-house moldmaking expert, Clare Goldsberry, Greg Roembke, Roembke Engineering, and Bob Lammon, Phoenix Proto, offer the latest advances in LSR and aluminum tooling.

Session 3: Cleanroom Injection Molding, Dale Behm, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Flambeau, Inc., and Tom Albano and Scott Mackler of Cleanroom Consulting LLC will walk through the do's and dont's of cleanroom installation. Multiple growth markets in molding require cleanrooms, learn what it takes to set one up at your plant.

Chat Session 2: Finding the Right Low-Cost Moldmaker, Bill Tobin, Injection Molding Consultant and Founder of WJT Associates, will be paired with representatives of two leading outsourcing firms; Frank Pellegrino, VP of Smart Souring, and Nick Lintner, Sourcing Associate with Force Beyond; for an interactive chat on best practices in tool sourcing, whether it's from domestic or international suppliers.

Live Q&A will follow each session. Attend the event now, click here.

The virtual Sponsor Spaces will be staffed by suppliers, consultants, and others able to offer energy-saving equipment and services to the injection molding industry. These spaces will be equipped with white papers, videos, brochures, among other resources, and live-chat capabilities for conversations between attendees and suppliers.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter to win an iPad2.

Signature Sponsors for the virtual event include: ENGEL, Milacron LLC, and TMC of America, Inc, and Wittmann Battenfield.

Wednesday, 07 September 2011 10:45

Luxology Extends Research Agreement with UC Berkeley

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A research partnership just renewed between Luxology® and UC Berkeley’s School of Architecture is pushing the boundaries of modo®, Luxology’s innovative 3D modeling tool. This relationship with the Industry Alliances Office of University of California, Berkeley – in place since January 2009 – is pioneering novel applications of modo in architectural research, and opening up new creative possibilities in manufacturing and design.

One of the most intriguing areas of exploration is rapid prototyping and manufacturing, which is being driven by UC Berkeley Asst. Professor of Architecture, Ronald Rael, and his students in an advanced thesis seminar. Rapid manufacturing is the direct production of finished goods using rapid prototyping machinery. Using modo’s intuitive modeling capabilities, the Berkeley team is able to pursue the rapid manufacture of previously impossible geometries, such as undercuts without tooling, by using ceramic and concrete casting techniques.

“The techniques we are developing can transform how architects and designers work,” says Rael. “modo’s unique toolset and workflow provide complete freedom to create any imaginable 3D geometries, and we are able to preserve almost all of modo’s incredible detail through the evolution of our process and materials. We can then quickly cast these for analysis of performance, strength, ergonomics and assembly.”

A prime example of this is Rael’s most recent creation, the world’s first concrete polymer 3D printed bench. Called the Seat Slug, the bench is constructed of nearly 250 unique parts, all designed in modo using a special material developed by Rael and his studio, Rael San Fratello Architects. Both visually arresting and comfortable, the Seat Slug will be on display for two years at San Francisco's Fort Mason National Park, overlooking the upcoming America’s Cup race.

Rael says there is a new generation of “modo-holics” at Berkeley now. In all, modo is being taught to more than 120 Berkeley students this semester at all levels of the academic spectrum, from graduate and entry-level to dedicated engineering students. The response to modo among the student body and faculty has been very positive, even among faculty who had no past experience with 3D modeling.

“Our longstanding relationship with Berkeley helps both parties conceive new possibilities for design and architecture,” says Brad Peebler, president and co-founder of Luxology. “They are on the leading edge of architectural and design innovation, and their input is invaluable as we continue to develop modo for design challenges that were once regarded as impossible.”

For more information, visit: www.luxology.com/modo/index.aspx

SofTech, Inc. (PK: SOFT), a proven provider of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, announces the availability of ProductCenter® PLM version 9.2.0. SofTech’s latest ProductCenter release builds on enhancing the overall user experience and greatly improving user productivity.

This ProductCenter 9.2.0 release includes platform support for the following application integrations: Adobe® FrameMaker® 10; AutoCAD® Electrical 2012; AutoCAD® Mechanical 2012; Autodesk® Inventor® 2012; Oracle® AutoVue® 20.1; SofTech CADRA® 19; CATIA® V5 R20; NX™ 7.5; and SolidWorks® 2011. The ProductCenter Inventor Integrator is an Autodesk Inventor Certified Application and the ProductCenter SolidWorks Integrator is a SolidWorks Gold Partner Product.

With ProductCenter 9.2.0, SofTech utilizes the HOOPS 3D Exchange technology from Tech Soft 3D for integrating with Dassault Systèmes CATIA® V5 and Siemens NX™ 3D solid modeling applications. ProductCenter uses the HOOPS 3D Exchange to traverse through the drawing, assembly and part files, establish how these files are related and create a document hierarchy, which contributes to the ProductCenter “Bill of Information” as the complete product definition.

“Our ProductCenter 9.2.0 release includes updated platform support for ProductCenter’s application integrations and introduces HOOPS 3D Exchange technology from Tech Soft 3D for our CATIA® V5 and NX™ integrations,” states Jay Pappas, ProductCenter Product Manager. “The SofTech product development approach is a very simple – listen to your customer. Our customers are looking for a technology partner that understands their business problems, is focused on their specific requirements, and can rapidly respond with software and service solutions to assist in managing their Bill of Information.”

For additional information on the ProductCenter PLM components, visit: www.softech.com/products/plm/components.php?ref=pr92

Tuesday, 06 September 2011 12:15

Surfware to Showcase at EMO 2011

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Surfware, Inc., developer of SURFCAM CAD/CAM systems and the award-winning and patented TRUEMill Technology, will feature it’s latest release of SURFCAM V5.2 at EMO 2011. A world premier international trade fair located in Hannover, Germany, EMO will showcase approximately 2000 companies from 38 countries in the metalworking industry from around the world representing their products and services during the six day event based on the theme “More than Machine Tools.”

Surfware invites visitors to stop by Hall 25, Stand H32 at the Exhibition Grounds from September 19 – 24, 2011 for an opportunity to see demonstrations of the many new features and benefits of the latest release in the V5 Series of SURFCAM, V5.2.

SURFCAM V5.2 includes new HSM Z-Roughing strategies, additional STL geometry capabilities for rough machining and stock calculations, adaptive slicing, a new SPost interface, enhanced Mill/Turn mode, optimized toolpath verification & machine simulation, and updated CAD translators, just to name a few.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to learn how to increase their shops productivity and reduce operating costs using patented TRUEMill toolpath technology. LIVE demonstrations will be performed on an Okuma MB-46VEA CNC Machine with an OSP-P200 control cutting Titanium, Toolox and Aluminum to prove how shops can increase machining material removals rates by up to five times while increasing cutting tool life by up to ten times, while at the same time, drastically decreasing their machining cycle times.

For more information, visit: www.surfware.com or www.emo-hannover.de

ModuleWorks, the leading supplier of CAD/CAM components for 5-Axis machining and CNC simulation, will show the latest release of its CAM components, version 2011.8 at the EMO trade fair for metalworking technology in Hannover (Hall 25, Stand L09) from 19th to 24th September 2011.

ModuleWorks is at the forefront of 5-Axis machining and Simulation technology, providing the machining and CNC simulation technology that powers many of the popular CAM systems available today. At EMO, they will be showing the latest release of their components; highlights are shown below.

4 and 5-Axis Machining

5-Axis machining has key improvements for the roughing of multi-blade components. Rest material settings allow the user to specify if all possible areas should be roughed out with the selected tool or only complete layers should be machined. An intermediate slicing option is also provided with user control over the number of slices and feedrate to be applied; this gives better control when machining the full width cuts as shown in the image.

SWARF machining now has the option to swap the drive curves. There are cases where the toolpath direction is ambiguous and this option allows the component to be machined from the other direction.

3-Axis Machining

The constant Z cycle now has a spiral option to generate a smooth toolpath with no plunges between paths as shown in the image. The toolpath is one continuous motion to give improved surface finish. The spiral toolpath can also be converted to 5-Axis with automatic tilt which will allow shorter series tools to be used.

Projection is now available for surfaces and STL meshes. Radial, Spiral and Offset Curve strategies are supported and these will generate either 3-Axis or full 5-Axis toolpaths.

Simulation

Dynamic sectioning is now supported which is useful for seeing the cross sectional detail on fully or partially machining components such as the example in the image. Improved zooming now allows instant zoom out without the need to recalculate the stock model. Finally, stock transfer in now supported for Mill/Turn machines with dual spindle capability.

For more information, visit: www.moduleworks.com or www.emo-hannover.de

There are as many ways to interpret 9/11 as there are people who experienced that horrible day, whether up close or at a distance. One man’s preference is documenting Ground Zero, in painstaking detail, before the attack, after the twin towers had fallen, and today, now that the site is being rebuilt.

David Munson’s amazingly detailed three-part model “WTC Triptych” is on display now at the New York City Fire Museum in Manhattan’s Soho district. With each model measuring 17 inches x 17 inches, it was created on a Z Corporation 3D printer, which creates physical objects from 3D data (much as a document printer creates business letters from word-processing files).

“There are many wonderful writings, photos and artwork that interpret 9/11,” said Munson. “I think it’s also important to document the totality of it as objectively, realistically and completely as possible, with a minimum of poetic license and a devotion to detail, on a scale the average person can absorb. These are my strengths, and this is my small contribution to ensuring people never forget.”

Munson, with a background in producing construction documents, owns the Munson3D architectural visualization company, and is a specialist in precise, complex representation. He drew from numerous data sources to create “WTC Triptych,” including 2D satellite imagery, Google Earth, photographs (personal and downloaded from the Internet), publicly available 3D models and Wikipedia, among others. He used Autodesk 3dsMax Design computer-aided design software as well as AutoCAD, Google SketchUp and Adobe Photoshop as auxiliary programs.

“The data was not from one particular source but was cross-checked against multiple sources,” he said. “So I could cross-check a graphics source with skyscraperpage.com, for example, or simply go to Wikipedia to find the numerical height of a building. Also, 3dsMax Design let me extract 3D information from flat photographs as long as there were enough 'known' points. So, I used photos for more than just applying textures on the models. There is no simple way to describe this process other than to say it is very precise for the scale.”

Though extremely labor intensive, gathering the data was only the beginning. The data was then used to create an accurate physical representation. “There is only one way to do it,” said Munson. “I needed the ZPrinter®, which not only accommodates large sizes but, because of its unique color capability, is the only way to accurately reproduce the highly detailed texture mapping used in these computer models. This process creates a whole new medium for city planning, and I hope this exhibit illustrates its potential value to a larger audience.”

threeRivers 3D, Inc., a manufacturer of standard and custom 3D imaging systems, announces the launch and immediate availability of the LC-2-MACRO. The LC-2-MACRO is optimized for 3D scanning small parts such as dental molds, hearing aid impressions, jewelry and other highly detailed parts.

"The addition of this scanner to our product line provides our customers with even more flexibility," commented threeRivers 3D President & CEO Mike Formica. "It was developed in direct response to their request for an affordable 3D scanner specifically engineered for small parts scanning."

The LC-2-MACRO has a working volume of 4” x 3” x 3” and a point spacing of 80um enabling it to capture even the finest details. Sharing the same state-of-the-art high-speed architecture as the LC-2, the –MACRO version has a scan time of 5 seconds for a single view, a resolution of 1.2 Million points and includes an automated rotary turntable for fast, easy 360 degree scanning.

Features and options of the LC-2-MACRO include:

*High Performance – captures 3D data in less than 5 seconds at a resolution of 1280x960 per individual scan; the optional rotary turntable automates full 360° capture;
*Easy to use – an Ethernet interface makes the scanner simple to setup and configure and provides fast, reliable data transfer;
*Robust – all LC-2 series scanners are laser based and are nearly immune to ambient lighting changes making them ideal for production environments;
*Portable – weighing less than 5 lbs, this compact system easily fits on a desktop or can be integrated into a process line; its light weight, small form factor and tripod mount make it ideal for remote scanning jobs;
*Flexible –custom configurations and form factors are readily available; full turnkey systems are offered including multiple scanner and multiple automated turntable support.

“In addition to the standard LC-2-MACRO scanner, we can also offer a SUPER-MACRO version with 2- to 4-times the resolution on a custom basis,” added Formica. “Our unique architecture enables us to configure any scanner to specifically meet the needs of that application.”

For more information, visit: www.3rivers3d.com

Mydea Technologies, the eight-year old Orlando company headed by former Disney Imagineer Michael Siemer, is playing a leading role in the Additive Manufacturing industry. Additive Manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, is an important new field that seems more science fiction than fact as it generates exciting, new opportunities in industry.

Mydea recently acquired the MakerBot, a sophisticated one-of-a-kind printer designed by RepRap, an open source community project that allowed contributions from many different participating companies and scientists.

The MakerBot, Mydea’s seventh in-house 3D printing machine, is essentially a digital ink jet printer conceptually similar to those on the desktops of many U.S. homes. However, the MakerBot’s “ink” is a melted plastic compound that hardens as it cools. By printing successive layers, the MakerBot gradually creates a 3D prototype.

The MakerBot was recently featured on the Colbert Report, a popular Comedy Central show with host Stephen Colbert. As the show aired, the MakerBot created a three-dimensional model of Colbert’s face.

“The impact on different business segments with additive manufacturing is enormous,” Siemer said. “It’s beginning to significantly impact production for medical, aerospace, arts and jewelry, and several other industries,” he said.

Siemer said MakerBot has some advantaged over other 3D printers.

“The MakerBot is portable, fully customizable, and it can print in glow-in-the-dark colors that are easier to identify within a prototype component,” said Siemer. “We can bring the MakerBot to client company offices, trade shows and conferences to show off its capabilities firsthand,” Siemer said.

Mydea Technologies specializes in the rapid manufacture of prototype components for a wide range of technology enterprises.

Mydea is a client of the UCF Business Incubation Program at Central Florida Research Park in east Orange County.

For more information, visit: www.mydeatechnologies.com

Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:29

A1 Technologies Gears up for TCT 2011

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A1 Technologies will once again be exhibiting at TCT Live 2011, which will be taking place at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Running from 27th September – 29th September TCT Live will be staged concurrently with other related exhibitions including Interplas, MM Live, Nano Live and MEMS Live, to maximize visitor experience.

A1 Technologies is currently gearing up to maximize this significant opportunity with the aim of introducing a host of new visitors from a wide range of disciplines to the exciting capabilities of low cost, accessible and integrated 3D digital technologies for designing and making.

Time and again, the A1 Technologies team has seen the tremendous benefits of placing these technologies in the hands of the uninitiated — and has been rewarded with sheer enthusiasm and excitement as the concepts take hold — not to mention increasing sales. Five year olds through to 85 year olds, individuals, teachers and corporate engineers are all similarly blown away by the innovative, intuitive and easy-to-use 3D digital technology supplied by A1 at accessible, ultra-low prices.

TCT offers an excellent platform for A1 to actively demonstrate the advantages of its complete — and integrated — portfolio of 3D digital technologies for every stage of the design, engineering and production life-cycle. The full product range is capable of meeting the design + make needs of industrial users, hobbyists and creative designers as capably as it fulfills applications in all educational environments. All visitors to the A1 stand (F24) will be invited to experience the products — first hand — for themselves.

The A1 Product Range

The comprehensive suite of 3D technologies that will be exhibited at TCT Live 2011 comprises:

• StudioMill — a 5-axis CNC machine complete with software and a range of tools.

• BfB 3000 — a pre-built 3D printer with 4 kg of print material and conversion software for the printer, which will also check and repair .stl files.

• BfB RapMan — a self-assembly 3D printer kit.

• Chameleon — a creative haptically-enabled 3D design package.

• DAVID laserscanner — a 3D laser scanner.

Bringing together such an agile range of 3D technologies — at such affordable prices — truly sets A1 Technologies apart in this field. The team at A1 works tirelessly to open up the 3D digital world to education, individual creatives and industry alike — with the dedicated aim of making these technologies fully accessible to all.

Event Information:

TCT 2011
27th – 29th September 2011
NEC, Birmingham UK
Stand F24

For more information, visit: www.a1-tech.co.uk or www.tctmagazine.com/x/tct-live/tctlive.html

Tuesday, 30 August 2011 09:40

Metal Powder Conference Seeks Technical Papers

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The program committee for the 2012 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials (PowderMet2012) has issued a “Call for Papers & Posters” covering the latest developments in powder metallurgy (PM) materials, processes, and applications. Sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) in cooperation with APMI International, the conference will be held in Nashville, Tennessee, June 10–13, 2012, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

Technical program co-chairmen Ian Donaldson, Director, R&D N.A. & Materials Engineering, GKN Sinter Metals, and Nicholas T. Mares, VP of Marketing and Tech Service, Asbury Graphite Mills, Inc., request abstracts of 100–150 words, covering any aspect of PM and particulate materials technology. In addition, several key topics have been identified for in-depth discussion within the special interest programs, such as spark plasma sintering (SPS) and associated processing technologies; delubrication science, problems, and development; magnesium powders & composites: technologies & applications; status of sintering theory as applied to metals; and dual-phase alloys—high strength and ductility.

The program committee requests that abstracts be submitted by October 5, 2011. Visit Conferences & Exhibits at www.mpif.org to submit abstracts online. Contact Sandy Leatherman at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for answers to questions about the conference technical program.

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