Manufacturing & Prototyping

Fiber Optic Cleaning Tools

MicroCare Corporation (New Britain, CT) has introduced the newest additions to its STICKLERS® family of fiber optic cleaning tools. Sticklers® CleanClicker™ push-to-clean tools contain more than 750 cleaning “clicks” and can clean both male jumpers and female ports. CleanClicker™ tools are available in three sizes: for the 2.5mm configurations, the 1.2mm configurations, and the fast-growing MTP/MPO design often used in data centers, central offices and cable TV head ends. Pressure applied to the end-face is reduced, which minimizes the chance of scratching the end-face or damaging the connector.

Posted in: Products, Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Photonics


All-Organic Electroactive Device Fabricated with Single- Wall Carbon Nanotube Film Electrode

These devices have applications as electromechanical sensors, sonar, medical and optical devices, artificial muscles, and noise control. Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia A novel, all-organic electroactive device system has been fabricated with a single-wall carbon nanotube (SWCNT) film used as an alternative electrode. This system was fabricated with LaRC-Electro Active Polymer (LaRC-EAP) active layer and the SWCNT films by pressing at 600, 3,000, and 6,000 psi (≈4.1, 20.7, and 41.4 MPa, respectively). Silicone elastomer plates (3-mm thick) were used on the press plate surfaces for better contact adhesion between the SWCNT film and the actuating layer. This polymeric electroactive device layered with the SWCNT-FE (SWCNT-Film Electrode) can serve as an actuator. The density (or modulus) of the SWCNT-FE can be controlled by adjusting the fabrication pressure. It is anticipated that less dense SWCNT-FE can provide less constrain displacement of the polymeric actuating layer by matching the modulus.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Purifying Hydrogen for a Life Support Process

An advanced hydrogen purification technology is proposed to purify hydrogen of acetylene, carbon monoxide, and other gases to enable utilization of the hydrogen for oxygen recovery. Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama NASA’s endeavor to further enable long-duration manned space exploration requires further closure of the oxygen loop of the life support system that is currently realized aboard the International Space Station. Currently, oxygen is recovered from crew-generated carbon dioxide via the use of a Sabatier carbon dioxide reduction system coupled with water electrolysis. Water is electrolyzed to form oxygen for crew consumption, as well as hydrogen. The hydrogen is reacted with carbon dioxide, forming water and waste methane gas. Since hydrogen is lost from the desired closed-loop system in the form of methane, there is insufficient hydrogen available to fully react all of the carbon dioxide, resulting in a net loss of oxygen from the loop. In order to further close the oxygen loop, NASA has been developing an advanced plasma pyrolysis technology that further reduces the waste methane to higher hydrocarbons in order to better utilize the hydrogen for oxygen recovery.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Low-Pressure Casting of Bulk Metallic Glasses for Gears and Other Applications

Applications include the automotive, aeronautics, aerospace, robotics, commercial, and military/defense industries. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California With the correct selection of composition, some bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) have been demonstrated that have excellent combinations of hardness, fracture toughness, and wear resistance so that their use in gears and gearboxes is a potentially commercially viable application. For BMGs to be used as a low-cost alternative to steel gears, rapid fabrication strategies are needed to cast the BMGs into net-shaped gears that require little or no post-casting machining prior to use. Die casting, suction casting, and other cold-mold casting techniques have been widely demonstrated for BMGs in the past, but the unique nature of gears precludes traditional techniques from being used in an optimal way.

Posted in: Briefs, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Medical 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing: Going From Why to How

3D printing has been utilized in the medical industry for over 20 years. In recent years, the number of applications, utilization, and utility have increased exponentially. This increase has been driven by two key factors: (1) crossing the chasm from “how to print” to “why adopt 3D printing and additive manufacturing”, and (2) the dramatically increased selection of technologies and materials that meet the needs of medical professionals.

Posted in: Webinars, On-Demand Webinars, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical


Products of Tomorrow: June 2015

The technologies NASA develops don’t just blast off into space. They also improve our lives here on Earth. Life-saving search-and-rescue tools, implantable medical devices, advances in commercial aircraft safety, increased accuracy in weather forecasting, and the miniature cameras in our cellphones are just some of the examples of NASA-developed technology used in products today.

Posted in: Articles, Products, Aerospace, Manufacturing & Prototyping


Explosion-Proof Encoder

BEI Sensors (Goleta, CA) announced the Model LP35 explosion-proof and flameproof, low-profile, hollow shaft encoder that features a 2.01" profile and is designed to meet UL, ATEX, and IECEx standards for operation directly in Division 1, Zone 1 environments such as oil and gas. The encoder features a standard removable terminal box, and eliminates the need for an additional intrinsic safety barrier. It is designed for oil and gas applications such as top drives, which have little space to install speed-sensing devices like encoders. The vibration-resistant encoder is built to withstand up to 250G for operation in harsh drilling applications, and operates in temperatures up to 85 °C (185 °F). The encoder’s terminal box configuration allows the unit to be pre-wired. For Free Info Visit

Posted in: Products, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Motion Control


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