Windows Vista and 3D publishing
Right Hemisphere, a provider of product communication and collaboration systems, announced it has been chosen by Microsoft Corp. as one of 10 companies to go to market with Windows Vista operating system. Microsoft selected Right Hemisphere to showcase some of the more unique capabilities of Windows Vista and Right Hemisphere’s 2D and 3D authoring and publishing solutions.
Windows Vista promises to deliver innovations in organizing and finding information; security; and reliability so users can find, use, and share text and 3D data easily. Right Hemisphere has been working to ensure that XAML file exporting and XPS file publishing will be supported in both its enterprise and client software offerings soon after Vista is generally available. Right Hemisphere’s Deep Exploration™ and Deep Publish™ client applications will support XAML 3D content in their next releases, which are expected to be available this month.
With support already available for more than 120 2D and 3D formats, Deep Exploration will enable a range of CAD and other 3D data formats to be translated and published in the XAML format and as secure 3D XPS files for sharing and collaboration. With the enhanced data security and search features of Windows Vista, this 3D content will also be protected and easily tagged and found throughout large enterprises and their extended supply chains. The software enables users to publish, view, interact with, and import 2D and 3D graphics directly into Microsoft Office applications— such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—as well as Adobe® Acrobat®.
With Deep Server, customers will also be able to automate the process of creating XAML and XPS files on a larger scale. “Nothing speaks quite as loudly to the proliferation and democratization of 3D as Microsoft releasing a rich, 3D operating system like Windows Vista,” said Michael Lynch, CEO at Right Hemisphere. “We are excited to see a whole new look and feel with Windows Vista that takes 3D content into full consideration.”
Automated workflow software eases 3D-Scan-to-CAD process
It can take hours to clean up scanned 3D data, reducing the amount of time spent on the design process. Roland ASD has partnered with Solidworks to help solve this problem. Roland’s new LPX-60 reverse engineering system improves the 3D-scan-to-CAD process.
The LPX-60 generates detailed models with a 0.008 in. resolution. It automatically scans, aligns, merges planes, fills holes, and decimates 3D models. It then exports complex organic shapes in point cloud, STL, PIX, and 3DM data formats. “Roland’s automated workflow can save two to five hours per scanned object,” said Pedro Gonzalez, 3D application engineer, Roland ASD.
The LPX-60 joins the upgraded Roland LPX-600 3D laser scanner, which also exports complex organic shapes in point cloud, STL, PIX, and 3DM data formats. They scan objects to 16 in. tall and 10 in. in diameter and 12 in. tall and 8 in. in diameter, respectively. Both are suitable for consumer products, packaging, jewelry, and biomedical applications. “These scanners create excellent reference geometry for SolidWorks users,” said Efrat Ravid, solution partner program manager, SolidWorks Corp.
“Combined with SolidWorks Office 2007 Premium’s ability to import and work with scan data boosts productivity for our customers.” The Premium package has over 200 new features, including a Mesh Prep Wizard and Surface Wizard to quickly work with scan data.
Roland Advanced Solutions Division
Find the right manufacturer
One way to influence the cost of your product is to design, deliver and track efficiently. Another way is to get to market faster. It’s the getting to market faster that delays many engineers. MFG.com offers a way to help. Through this Internet portal, engineers can match project requirements to a job shop’s capability, capacity, and quality. From prototypes to million-piece runs, the portal helps you source any custom manufactured part or service locally or around the globe. All an engineer needs to do is create an RFQ and send it to the MFG.com community. Software within the site matches the RFQ to members of its supplier list according to the RFQ specifications. The engineer can choose among the selection who to contact for quotes. MFG.com is a free online supplier relationship management tool. There are opportunities to rate suppliers. Electronic Non-Disclosure Agreements protect intellectual property.
Wireless: Easy mobile memory extraction
With mobile products, thin is in. Molex will help engineers develop smaller products with its new series of compact microSD memory card connectors that also have a brake feature for smooth card extraction. These connectors fit cell phones and other mobile devices that use removable flash memory to store data such as text, photos, games, video and audio. They use 70% less space than other miniSD products in the market,… “which,” said Bill Kysiak, product manager for Molex, “allows for thinner and smaller designs.”
For mobile device makers, an additional benefit of these connectors is the smooth card extraction. They are available as normal and reverse-mount connectors in a push-push design that eases external card extraction from the side of a mobile device. Brake tabs help slow the speed of the card during ejection. Other features include a detect switch to identify card insertion and inner or outer solder tabs to suit various design needs.
The smallest of these versions offers a height of 1.80 mm (0.071 in.) and a depth of 15.50 mm (0.610 in.). The push-push versions also include four PCB ground tabs for secure board retention and polarization to ensure correct card insertion. A hinge-type version is also available for cards mounted inside the unit to enable the card to be inserted from the top angle. This hinge design holds the card in the metal lid and includes a spring function to ensure easy extraction. The durable metal lid stays securely fastened to the connector even after multiple cycles and provides an audible click and positive lock to ensure good electrical contact. Also the shell has no sharp edges or corners and includes probe holes for electrical testing.
These microSD card connectors are rated at 0.5 A and include metal shielding for ESD protection. The 8-circuit connectors include gold-plated terminals and high-temperature housings and come in embossed tape packaging for robotic pick-and-place. When used with adapters, they are fully compatible with systems that support SD and miniSD.
2.4 GHz wireless sensor nodes are six times faster
The latest version of Agile-Link® wireless nodes, from MicroStrain Inc., feature real-time streaming rates up to 4 kHz. This sample rate increase opens new application opportunities for wireless sensor networks. The Agile-Link nodes that support high-speed streaming rates are: G-Link® wireless triaxial accelerometer node, V-Link® wireless voltage node, and SG-Link® wireless strain gauge node. These nodes offer flexibility with low-duty cycle mode and stand alone data-logging. Applications include condition based monitoring of machinery for predictive ma
intenance, impact and crash testing, measuring torque, strain and load on rotating equipment, and vibration monitoring and modal analysis.
The nodes support simultaneous streaming of real-time, high-speed data from up to 16 nodes. They use the IEEE 802.15.4 radio standard. The wireless communications range is 70 meters line-of-sight with standard antennas or 300 meters line-of-sight with high-gain antennas. Real-time streaming rates up to 4 kHz. Data-logging sample rates up to 2048 Hz. A 2 MB Flash memory stores up to 1,000,000 data points. The nodes use an energy saving internal lithium ion rechargeable battery.
Medical: Bench-top bioreactors build therapeutic proteins
When Broadley-James decided to produce a line of glass, bench-top bioreactors that were compact and different from their competitors, it designed them to be compatible with its current BioNet Bioreactor Control System. This system is typically used for general R&D work as well as process development in the Life Sciences Industries. Biopharmaceutical companies use these small bioreactors to create novel proteins that contain essential therapeutic properties.
The 3-liter, glass bioreactor
contains a Maxon motor mounted in an aluminum housing located on top of
the bioreactor. It is detachable so the bioreactor can be autoclaved in
a steam chamber. The connector on top of the housing attaches to the
cable from the Maxon controller card.
This design called for a small brushless motor that could drive the bioreactor’s agitators, mostly for cell culture and microbial fermentation. Agitation must be closely controlled and monitored for the bioreactor to yield reproducible results. The company preferred low maintenance and long-lived brushless motors. They had to be compact, deliver high torque over a wide speed range, and small enough to fit into a removable custom housing on top of the bioreactor. When the device undergoes an autoclave procedure, the entire motor and housing assembly must be detached.
The finished system also had to include a precision encoder for monitoring the bioreactor ís agitation rate. The Maxon 40-mm brushless motor fit the need, exactly. These brushless motors with built-in precision encoders let Broadley-James precisely measure the agitator shaft speed and control the agitation over a wide range of motor speeds.
The Maxon motor develops more
than sufficient torque for its small size. It delivers about 200 W
continuously, at the maximum speed of 12,000 rpm. Maximum continuous
torque is 265 mNm, depending on the winding.
According to Scott Broadley, “The motors are made to tight tolerances, and we had no problem quickly designing a housing that the motors fit into interchangeably.” Maxon’s brushless motors are electronically commutated, which minimizes electrical noise and yields the long life. High-energy neodymium magnets make the small motor extremely responsive, and the integrated encoder generates 3-channel signals for commutation and feedback to the control electronics.
Automotive: Advantech to co-sponsor automotive research lab
The eAutomation Group of Advantech will co-sponsor an automotive research lab administered by the Pennsylvania Transportation Institute at Penn State. This project will use campus-wide hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) capability to test vehicle power trains and controllers. It will also be used to teach the next generation of automotive engineers while initiating research into new vehicle technologies.
Through internet-enabled data-acquisition systems and local power-processing interfaces, vehicle subsystems distributed over the geographic area of the Penn State campus are coupled so that they interact in real-time just as they would in a vehicle. These subsystems include advanced fuel cells, novel batteries, ultracapacitors, flywheel energy storage systems, high-efficiency electric drive motors, advanced combustion engine test stands, and chassis dynamometers. The interconnected testing will let engineers quickly research vehicle hardware that is years away from integration, even in prototype vehicles.
HIL methods are the focus of a newly developed course to be taught for the first time in spring 2007 through the sponsorship of the Department of Energy. In addition to connecting six major vehicle laboratories at Penn State, industry and government partnerships are also developing the hardware interconnection network across the state and country, perhaps even across continents. A long-term goal of this project is the development of a versatile research and teaching system for testing hydrogen and hybrid vehicle systems.
Advantech’s products used in this program are the UNO-3072 (Celeron M 1 GHz front access fanless PC with 2xPCI and 1xPC card slot), UNO-3074 (Intel Pentium M embedded automation computer with 4xPCI and 1xPC card slot), PS-DC24-50 (50W DC 24V/2.3A output power supply), PCI-1716 (250 KS/s, 16 bit, 16-channel high-resolution card), PCL-10168 (SCSI-II 68-pin shielded cable), and PCLD-8710 (screw terminal boards).
Module heats automotive windshields
A windshield washer fluid heater module, from TT electronics IRC Wire and Film Technologies Division, in cooperation with AB Automotive Electronics, a division of TT electronics, provides vehicle design engineers with instant heating technology for automotive windshield washer applications.
The module combines IRC’s anodized aluminum substrate technology with a thick film resistive element to produce a tubular instant fluid heater. Unlike reservoir style washer fluid heating systems, the Anotherm® Windscreen Module does not use power until heated fluid is required, resulting in an energy-efficiency of more than 95%.
The heater warms fluid in about five seconds. “Due to the power limitations of most vehicles at 14.5Vdc, a preheat period of typically five seconds is required prior to the first fluid dispense. Our heater module can provide this heat due to the low thermal mass of the system,” said Wilson Hayworth, product manager. “It heats quickly and evenly, without boiling away additives such as methanol or ethanol. ”
The heating system will be available for model year 2009 platform releases. The module includes integrated controls and is packaged for use under the hood of a vehicle. Typical operation is 50A (maximum) at 14.5Vdc. The heated fluid effectively removes ice, tar, oil film and bugs from windshields.
TT electronics IRC Wire and Film Technologies Division http://www.irctt.com/tfs/anotherm_product_applications.aspx
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