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Virtual Prototyping: Visualizing the Next Generation of Products

The Department of Defense defines a virtual prototype as “A computer-based simulation of a system or subsystem with a degree of functional realism comparable to a physical prototype.” A virtual prototype is built from CAD drawings of separate assemblies that are gradually placed into the whole. Since the drawings of each subassembly are detailed and accurate, you can accurately assess their form (overall shape), fit (ease of as- sembly), and function (making sure it performs as specified). In addition to these traditional three Fs, the virtual prototype can be used for motion studies and studying interactions be- tween the machine and the humans who will use it. Once the design is complete, you can use the digital model to see whether parts interfere as you move them through their com- plete range of motion. In the past, design and analysis have been separate tasks, performed by different teams. With virtual prototyping, these functions are completely entwined.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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3D Printing and the Future of Manufacturing

3D printing is transforming the manufacturing industry in big ways. From realized design freedom to supply chain efficiencies, 3D printing is contributing largely to the recent upswing in reshoring manufacturing in North America. Read the latest white paper from Stratasys Service Bureaus to learn how 3D printing will continue to transform the industry in the coming years.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, White Papers

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Design and Analysis of Metal-to-Composite Nozzle Extension Joints

A design concept and subcomponent are identified that mitigate the stress associated with the coefficient-of-thermal mismatch. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Analysis, design, fabrication, and testing were performed to create a new joint design for potential use in attaching a domestically available carbon-carbon (C–C) nozzle extension to the turbine exhaust manifold of a J-2X engine. Various attachment methods were investigated for a C–C-to-metallic joint, including the use of higher-thermal-expansion ceramic matrix composites both mechanically attached and also integrally fabricated to the C–C nozzle extension. The goal was to determine the advantages and disadvantages of different material and joint systems in order to converge on a design for a domestic joint and nozzle extension design that resulted in all positive margins of safety.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Modeling Laser Ablation and Plume Chemistry in a Boron Nitride Nanotube Production Rig

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia The future of manned and unmanned spaceflight and exploration depends on economical access to space through multifunctional, lightweight materials. Boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) composites offer distinct advantages for enhanced survivability during long-term flights. A production technique has been developed to manufacture BNNTs that implements laser energy deposition on a boron sample in a pressurized test rig.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Damage-Free Finishing of Silicon X-Ray Optics Using Magnetic Field-Assisted Finishing

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Thin, segmented mirrors have been fabricated from monocrystalline silicon blocks. The material is economically viable, and is virtually free of internal stress because of its nearly perfect crystalline structure. The mirror surfaces will first be accurately figured and finished on thick silicon blocks, then sliced off at the desired thickness by wire electro-discharge machining. A finishing process has been conceived in which existing mirror-finishing processes are adapted to be capable of quickly and accurately figuring and finishing damage-free, segmented, monocrystalline silicon mirrors in a cost-efficient manner.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Smart Crucibles and Heat Pipes

Molybdenum and molybdenum alloys are the leading candidates for making the new heat pipe modules. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama Near-net-shape vacuum plasma spray (VPS) forming techniques were developed to produce advanced components with internal features such as smart heat pipes and crucibles. The initial results demonstrated the ability to incorporate features such as channels and a porous layer within the wall of a smart crucible.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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2-in-1 Motor Increases Range of Electric Cars

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have invented a 2-in-1 electric motor that increases the range of electric vehicles. The engine integrates the traditional electric motor with the air-conditioning compressor, typically two separate units. This novel, space-saving design allows the use of bigger batteries, which can increase the range of electric vehicles by an additional 15 to 20 percent.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Energy Efficiency, Energy, Transportation, Automotive, News

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