How to choose the best online CNC machine shop
Sourcing professionals, engineers, and designers alike need to have parts produced through technologies like CNC machining, turning, and milling. In development, the requirements may be loose to get a product validated. And in production, the expectation is that parts are made consistently, on time, and to specifications. But it is sometimes difficult to navigate through all the Internet searches and buzzwords to determine the best fit for your needs. Greg Paulsen from Xometry provides a useful guide on what to look for when selecting a machine shop.
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Hinge Selection Guide online app
The super-helpful Hinge Selection Guide online app from Reell Precision Manufacturing introduces a user-friendly resource to pinpoint ideal hinge and torque insert product solutions matching application requirements. This easily accessible tool opens an interactive window to designate an application's parameters, calculate the torque and rotational angle required for the hinge or torque insert, and ultimately identify the Reell products best suited for the job. The tool also enables users to access Reell's standard catalog products.
Click here to learn more.
How to choose an anti-backlash lead screw nut
Lead screws are the norm for today's linear motion applications, but despite their advantages over competing technologies (i.e., affordability, precision, the ability to design with freedom, reduced maintenance, etc.), lead screw systems do have a certain amount of "play." An important design consideration for utilizing a lead screw is the amount of backlash your system can tolerate and still achieve its goal. The big question is: Which lead screw nut will help you in the battle against backlash? By Christopher Nook, Helix Linear Technologies
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First semi-transparent polyamide good for car interior lighting
The BASF product Ultramid Vision has been used in a car interior for the first time. The semi-crystalline polyamide is employed in the window regulator module of a German automobile manufacturer. Compared to opaque standard polyamides, Ultramid Vision displays very high light transmission with low light scattering, which makes it a perfect choice for use with the illuminated symbols on the window regulators and for setting the exterior mirrors. The requirement was to allow as much light to pass through as possible, with high color fidelity.
Spinning flare nuts eliminate loose fasteners in thin metal sheet applications
PEM SFN spinning flare nuts from Penn-Engineering become permanently captivated upon installation in thin metal sheets and, when paired with a self-clinching stud or other fixed externally threaded hardware, can eliminate all loose fasteners (including flange nuts) in attachment applications. These one-piece, flanged hex nuts additionally will spin freely in a sheet enabling quick attachment to mating hardware. Their use ultimately promotes savings in assembly time and costs.
New 3M metal bonding adhesive
3M Scotch-Weld Metal Bonder Acrylic Adhesive DP8407NS delivers strength, corrosion resistance, and reliable performance for bonding metal without extensive surface prep. This high-strength, fast-curing structural adhesive offers high peel and durability, and maintains its strength at temps as low as -40 F. With the ability to bond active metals like steel, copper, brass, and bronze, 3M's Metal Bonder is ideal for a wide range of assemblies in metal fabrication, transportation, specialty vehicle, architectural panels, appliances, and office furniture. It bonds plastics and composites for multi-material bonding and is also well suited for bonding metals prior to powder coating and paint processes.
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Using CAD-CAM-CNC to produce aerospace parts
DMG MORI manufactures a wide variety of conventional chip-cutting and ultrasonic machining centers for OEMs and production job shops serving the aerospace industry. On two recent applications, DMG MORI turned to long-time business partner Siemens for assistance. By offering a total package of CAD-CAM-CNC hardware, software, and engineering services, Siemens was able to help this machine builder substantially improve every aspect of part production for a reverse thrust component for a jet engine and an aerospace impeller fan.
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SOLIDWORKS 2020 is here! TriMech recaps launch and runs through best new features
SOLIDWORKS hosted a live streaming event Sept. 18 to introduce the world to SOLIDWORKS 2020. Even if you missed it, you're in luck. The incredibly knowledgeable people over at SOLIDWORKS specialist TriMech have put together a comprehensive rundown of what the new product offers, including a video highlights reel, "Top 10 New Features" infographics, and a prep guide to learn about licensing and such. Learn about all the new "almost magic" tools and enhancements.
Read the TriMech recap blog.
Springs made of high-performance, engineered plastic provide tons of options
Lee Spring's LeeP plastic composite compression springs molded from Ultem resins provide critical advantages over traditional metal alloy springs. They feature high strength-to-weight ratio, no magnetic interference, high corrosion resistance, and dielectric insulation for non-conductive applications. They are stocked in a variety of standard sizes, each available in a "rainbow" of strengths formulated from different Ultem resins. They were designed to meet a wide range of spring applications where non-corroding, non-metallic, inert materials are preferred including medical, aerospace, marine, food prep, pharmaceutical, communications, and more.
Etched and formed micro metal parts
Tech-Etch combines photochemical etching with precision metal bending to create extremely small formed features in thin metal parts. State-of-the-art techniques are used to form features down to .003" in a wide variety of metals. Parts range in thickness from .0005" and up. The result is that engineers get the freedom to design features in thin metal parts with few limitations. While providing quick turnaround and low tooling costs, photo etching produces burr-free parts with intricate and complex shapes. Prototypes can be delivered in five days.
Injection Molding: 9 tips for designing multipart assemblies
Finding creative solutions to multipart assemblies can be tricky, but fortunately there are many different ways to approach product designs that involve multiple components. To keep things cost effective and efficient, simplify your design, don't make what you can buy off the shelf, explore all of your manufacturing options, and understand the rules of each part of the process. But like most design challenges, it's not as easy as it sounds. Great info from Protolabs.
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igus ball transfer units ease move of high loads
igus has introduced new ball transfer units that allow lubrication-free and smooth transport with a dramatic increase in load-bearing capacity. Ball tables are used if delicate or heavy goods are to be transported in different directions. The ball transfer units from igus are manufactured with the high-performance plastic xirodur B180, which absorbs loads up to 500 N (112 lb). The ball transfer units are lubrication and maintenance free. They also include stainless steel balls inside the roller to allow for smooth running. Based in Germany, igus runs its North American operations out of Providence, RI.
Replace traditional fasteners: 50+ retaining ring applications
The benefits of a Rotor Clip Retaining Ring are simple: The ring is made from less material than traditional fasteners, eliminating machined shoulders, threads, cover plates, and heat-formed studs -- so you save. Using a retaining ring to fasten your assembly instead of a traditional fastener not only reduces your costs, but also saves the environment. Fewer parts and less material means cost savings for you and less waste for the planet. This quality part offers lot traceability. Want to know what you can do with a Rotor Clip Retaining Ring?
View more than 50 application examples.
Onshape includes PennEngineering PEM hardware
Onshape, a next-gen cloud CAD and data management platform that speeds up product development, has partnered with PennEngineering, a global leader in the fastening industry, to include PEM hardware as a built-in standard for its 3D CAD models. Onshape will initially include PEM brand self-clinching nuts and self-clinching standoffs, and plans to add additional PennEngineering products to its Standard Content library in the future. PEM fasteners are typically used when a component must be readily replaced and where loose nuts and hardware aren't accessible during the final assembly process. By embedding a threaded nut into a piece of metal mechanically, it saves time and reduces post-manufacturing assembly processes. This efficiency is especially important when producing large quantities of parts.
Problem-Solving Tips: Screw tightening control methods
Although the main role of screws (bolts) is fastening objects using the axial force generated from tightening in actual work, there are many people who control the torque by tightening with a torque wrench, because it is difficult to directly monitor the axial force, and so guarantee the axial force that way. However, there are other methods of control for tightening screws (bolts), such as using "elastic region tightening" and "plastic region tightening."
Read this NBK technical blog.
In a first for recycling, Coke bottle is made from ocean plastic found in beach cleanups
The Coca-Cola Company has just unveiled its first-ever sample bottles made using recovered and recycled marine plastics, demonstrating that, one day, even ocean debris could be used in recycled packaging for food or drinks.
Through a partnership between Ioniqa Technologies, Indorama Ventures, Mares Circulares (Circular Seas), and The Coca-Cola Company, about 300 sample bottles were made using 25 percent recycled marine plastic retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea and beaches.
The bottles were designed and developed to show the transformational potential of revolutionary enhanced recycling technologies, which can recycle previously used plastics of any quality back to high-quality plastic that can be used for food or beverage packaging. The sample bottle is the first-ever plastic bottle made using marine plastic that has been successfully recycled for food and drink packaging.
Enhanced recycling technologies use innovative processes that break down the components of plastic and strip out impurities in lower grade recyclables so they can be rebuilt as good as new. This means that lower grade plastics often destined for incineration or landfill can now be given a new life. It also means more materials are available to make recycled content, reducing the amount of virgin PET needed from fossil fuels, and resulting in a lower carbon footprint.
The marine plastic bottle has been developed as a proof of concept for what the technology may achieve in time. In the immediate term, enhanced recycling will be introduced at commercial scale using waste from existing recyclers, including previously unrecyclable plastics and lower quality recyclables. From 2020, Coca-Cola plans to roll out this enhanced recycled content in some of its bottles.
The marine plastic contained in the bottles was collected and recovered by volunteers who participated in 84 beach cleanups in Spain and Portugal and fishermen in 12 ports across the Mediterranean Sea, as part of the Mares Circulares or "Circular Seas" project. Mares Circulares, partially funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, is a collaboration between the Coca-Cola system in Iberia; Spain's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and the Environment; and three leading non-profit organizations: Chelonia Association, Ecomar Foundation, and Vertidos Cero Association.
In January 2019, Coca-Cola extended a loan to Ioniqa Technologies in the Netherlands to help scale its proprietary enhanced recycling technology. The marine litter collected through Mares Circulares was recycled by Ioniqa Technologies, using enhanced recycling processes, back into the building blocks needed to make food-grade PET.
Indorama Ventures, one of Coca-Cola's suppliers of PET plastic and packaging solutions, subsequently converted this material into the PET plastic required to make the first Coca-Cola bottle -- and the world's first drinking bottle -- made with marine plastics.
Coca-cola did not comment on the cost associated with producing the recycled bottles compared to using regular production methods.
Source: The Coca-Cola Company
Published October 2019
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