Mechatronics Zone Blog

Are We at the Electrification Tipping Point Yet?

By Charles Murray | August 9, 2017

Tesla Inc.’s recent Model 3 rollout is generating media excitement about the future of electric cars, but much of the auto industry doesn’t appear to be buying in yet.

At last week’s Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, many automotive engineers and executives from around the industry were still skeptical about the near-term prospects for electric cars.

4 Reasons Manufacturing Jobs Are Returning to the USA

By Megan Ray Nichols | August 8, 2017

ARMTechCon logoARM Technology Drives the Future. Join 4,000+ embedded systems specialists for three days of ARM® ecosystem immersion you can’t find anywhere else.  ARM TechCon  . Oct.

Proto Labs adds HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology to portfolio of 3D printing services

By PlasticsToday Staff | August 8, 2017

Rapid manufacturing company Proto Labs (Maple Plain, MN) has announced the addition of HP’s Multi Jet Fusion to its suite of 3D printing technologies. The production-grade technology builds fully functional plastic prototypes and production parts faster and cheaper than current 3D printing techniques, according to HP.

Nanoparticles Improve Development of Polymer Composites

By Elizabeth Montalbano | August 8, 2017

Researchers at the Department of Energy (DoE) have discovered a surprising way to improve the properties of polymers by blending nanoparticles with polymer materials.

HP's Latest Enterprise VR Workstation Is a Backpack

By Chris Wiltz | August 7, 2017

As VR (virtual reality) looks to transform itself into an increasingly more mobile (aka convenient) experience HP has debuted a novel solution to the wires and tethers associated with VR today – a backpack.

Using Software to Model a Battery’s Lifetime Performance

By Jim McDowall | August 7, 2017

As the market for energy storage systems expands, microgrids in remote communities have become an attractive opportunity for the deployment of renewable generation with storage. Because these communities generally rely on diesel generation, and often have logistical challenges for fuel delivery, fuel savings is a fundamental objective.

DIY Laser Tag with a Pulse Laster Target and Display

By William Grill | August 4, 2017

Sometimes driving my cat crazy with a laser pointer just doesn't cut it. On occasion it would be nice to pre-occupy myself with delusions of adventure and a dynamic outdoor activity.

The project uses a modified squirt gun with a pulse modulated laser and a receiver target detector and display. The assemblies are based on both Microchip 12F509 and an Arduino-based Pro Mini controller. The project works as a stationary target game, but some enterprising individual could easily adapt it to create their own home version of laser tag.

Skills gap: You don't need a BA to get a well-paying job

By Clare Goldsberry | August 4, 2017

Young workerAfter being told for decades that you need a BA to succeed, people are starting to see the writing on the wall and the result is that college enrollment has declined for five consecutive years. It is no longer an “automatic choice” for seniors graduating from high school, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Laser Metal Deposition with Wire Process Used for Additive Manufacturing of Large Titanium Components

By Tracey Schelmetic | August 3, 2017

While additive manufacturing (AM) processes have come a long way in producing a variety of shapes and sizes in printed components using an array of materials, an ideal process for producing large monolithic titanium components with user-customized control has remained a challenge. This means the aerospace industry has been lacking an optimized AM process for plate material for components such as wing spars, bulkheads, and frames.

Managing Identities and Data Security Vital for Industrial IoT

By Al Presher | August 3, 2017

Cybersecurity risks for industrial control systems are continuing to increase from threats via industrial espionage, to actual physical damage and financial loss due to downtime.  A key trend moving ahead is new technology addressing critical areas including asset and material tracking, enhanced HMI authentication and stronger VPN credentials.