DPSS Micromachining Puts Shine on Industrial Molds

Modular diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers make it easy to tailor laser sources to micromachining applications, such as steel and ceramic molds. Lasers are now used to micromachine virtually every type of material, including metals, plastics, glass, and ceramics. Micromachining is a highly diverse market that uses flash-pumped, diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS), and excimer lasers. Excimer lasers provide more average power at shorter wavelengths, enabling more precise micromachining, but as DPSS lasers have added increased average output power to their lower acquisition and operation costs, small footprint, improved mode operation, and high-repetition pulse rate, DPSS systems are grabbing a larger share of the micromachining market.

Posted in: Articles, Features, ptb catchall, Photonics, Lasers, Machining processes, Manufacturing equipment and machinery, Industrial vehicles and equipment


Kim Ballard, Computer Engineer, Electrical Design Branch

NASA's Kennedy Space Center, FL Engineers at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) developed the Laser Scaling and Measurement Device for Photographic Images – a camera attachment that uses laser technology – to assist scientists in determining the exact scale of any damages to the Space Shuttle’s external tank when viewing photographs of the spacecraft on its launch pad. This NASA-developed camera accessory also is being used to "shoot" photos that can precisely measure details of crime scenes. When a picture is taken with the instrument, the image is loaded onto a computer and items are then viewable and measurable on the computer screen. Kim Ballard designed the Microsoft-Word compatible software for the device.

Posted in: Who's Who


Custom-Built Machining Centers Create Telescope Mirrors

Custom horizontal machining centers Mitsui Seiki USA Franklin Lakes, NJ 201-337-1300 www.mitsuiseiki.com

Posted in: Application Briefs, Mechanical Components


PLM Software Enables NASA to Manage Collaborative Environment

ProductCenter™ product lifecycle management (PLM) software SofTech Tewksbury, MA 978-640-6222 www.softech.com

Posted in: Application Briefs, Software


Motion Control Research Center Develops Speed Control System for SRM Drives

The Center for Rapid Transit Systems at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) is an internationally recognized drive systems and motion control research group with expertise in the design, simulation, and control of switched reluctance motor (SRM) drives and power converter topologies.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Computer simulation, Vehicle drive systems


“Pinball Wizards” Bank on Motion/Stress Analysis Software to Redesign Game

Stern Pinball of Melrose Park, IL, is the only manufacturer of coin-operated pinball machines in the world. Today, Stern’s pinball games are designed using sophisticated computer simulation software.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Motion Control, Computer simulation, Design processes, Computer software and hardware


Pro/ENGINEER® Wildfire™ 3.0 CAD/CAM/CAE

PTC, Needham, MA, has introduced Pro/ENGINEER® Wildfire™ 3.0 CAD/CAM/CAE software that features 3D design and modeling, simulation and analysis, tooling design, and the ability to share digital product data among enterprise team members. It is compatible with a range of CAD tools and industry-standard data formats, and includes embedded Web services, which provide immediate access to the Internet or Intranets for real-time conferencing, a library of Pro/E models, and PTC's Windchill(tm) collaboration solution. Pro/E Wildfire 3.0 features expanded capabilities for assembly, sheet metal design, manufacturing, sketching, and drawing, and supports Windows XP 64-bit systems. The software includes 3D Drawings, which are solid models that include and display the necessary annotations, but also provide access to the underlying database for specialized queries. The 3D drawings allow users to capture knowledge from design, manufacturing, assembly, inspection, and testing environments.

Posted in: Products


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