RAPID prototyping, INTEGRATED circuits, PRINTED circuits, ELECTRIC capacity, and COPPER
DON'T GET ME WRONG—I LOVE PRINTED CIRCUIT BOARDS. PCBs are, of course, essential in mass-produced products. Even for hobbyists, a small run assures almost perfectly repeatable circuits. And PCBs with a good ground plane are essential for high-frequency circuits operating at more than a few megahertz. A ground plane is a large area of copper that's used as a low-inductance electrical return path from components to a circuit's power supply. It prevents parasitic capacitance from smearing high-frequency signals into noise, and the absence of a ground plane is why you can't build a high-frequency circuit using a breadboard and expect it to work well, or at all. • But rapid prototyping with PCBs has drawbacks compared with the speed and ease of building a circuit on a breadboard. You can quickly make your own PCBs—as long as you don't mind the mess and some stained clothing and are willing to drill your own through holes. Or you can send your PCB layout to be made by a commercial service, but this takes several days at least and is more expensive. • So I began thinking about practical alternatives for high-frequency circuits that can provide maker-friendly prototypes that are fast to build, and easy to probe and alter. In this article, I'll be presenting one key idea; some follow-on strategies will appear on the IEEE Spectrum website in the coming weeks. I should say that I make no claims of originality: Indeed I employ some oft-forgotten, decades-old techniques, but they turn out to be surprisingly useful in an age of surface-mount components operating at gigahertz frequencies. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
RAPID prototyping, HIGH technology, MICROSOFT .NET Gadgeteer, HOUSEHOLD electronics, and DIGITAL technology
WE LIVE IN A HIGH-TECH WORLD, SURROUNDED BY NEW gadgets like smartphones and Internet TVs, along with other consumer products that were unheard of a decade or two ago. It's not surprising that we often overlook more established electronic devices. Take, for example, the humble alarm clock. Despite digital convergence, many of us still like a dedicated device that lets us know what time it is if we wake in the night and summons us to action in the morning. Sadly, alarm clocks appear to have fallen behind our other home electronics in their sophistication. So I decided to build a better one. · For this I used Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, a platform I helped develop as part of my day job in the Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. Our work includes the SenseCam used at the heart of Gordon Bell's MyLifeBits project [see "Total Recall," IEEE Spectrum, November 2005]. As one of the few groups at Microsoft Research that creates new hardware, we designed Gadgeteer as a rapid prototyping system for our own needs. But we saw so much interest from others that we released it to the general public as an open-source platform in 2011. Several manufacturers now supply Gadgeteer hardware that works in conjunction with free-to-download software. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
RAPID prototyping, MANUFACTURING processes, AUTOMATION, COMPUTER integrated manufacturing systems, PRODUCTION engineering, COMPUTER-aided design, COMPUTER systems, and INK-jet printers
The article discusses the three different technologies required for creating hybrid, multimaterial home fabbers. Fabbers are machines that rapidly create useful items on demand from computer generated design specifications. The technologies needed for the realization of fabbers are from solid-freeform fabrication called fused deposition modeling (FDM), from direct-writing technologies called pen writing and inkjet printing. FDM directly deposits materials in a continuous stream on a base. Pen-based machines are used to fabricate circuits using several passive and electronic materials at low temperatures. Inkjets are the cheapest systems and is the fastest-growing segment of the rapid prototyping market.
RAPID prototyping, COMPUTER software, PRINTING, COMPUTER printers, and THREE-dimensional printing
The promise of 3-D printing is tantalizing: You envision something, draw it with the right software, and then print it in three dimensions?regardless of how many parts it has, how they interlock, or whether they will even be accessible once your creation is completed. With this strategy, anyone can make almost anything. Someday, lots of stuff will be manufactured this way, on demand. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
TECHNOLOGICAL innovations, BIOMEDICAL engineering, BIOENGINEERING, BIOMEDICAL materials, and THREE-dimensional printing
Tatiana Rypinski is maybe two bites into her salad when she realizes it?s time for her next meeting. She gets to her feet and heads to the Biomedical Engineering Design Studio, a hybrid of prototyping space, wet lab, and machine shop at the Johns Hopkins University?s Homewood campus, in Baltimore. Rypinski and a few of her colleagues gather near some worktables with power outlets dangling from the ceiling. A tool cart is in one corner, a microscope in another. Two 3-D printers sit idle along a wall. The students have agreed to meet me here to discuss their work on a project whose goal is not just inspired by science fiction?it actually comes straight out of "Star Trek." They want to build a medical tricorder. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Focuses on accelerated digital signal processing design (DSP) algorithms which makes use of high-level algorithm simulation and rapid prototyping. Tools for faster DSP development; Strengths and weaknesses of tools for evaluating the implementation aspects of alternative algorithm design; DSP's code generation and rapid prototyping. INSET: The rapid prototyping application-specific signal processors...
In his 1957 book Parkinson's Law, and Other Studies in Administration, the naval historian and author C. Northcote Parkinson writes of a fictional committee meeting during which, after a two-and-a-halfminute nondiscussion on whether to build a nuclear reactor worth US $10 million, the members spend 45 minutes discussing the power plant's bike shed, worth $2,350. From this he coined Parkinson's Law of Triviality: "Time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved." Using Parkinson's example, the programmer Poul-Henning Kamp popularized the term bikeshedding: frequent, detailed discussions on a minor issue conducted while major issues are being ignored or postponed. The functional opposite of bikeshedding is trystorming, which refers to rapidly and repeatedly prototyping or implementing new products and processes. In a bikeshedding culture, ideas get only a short discussion before being put off "for further study." In a trystorming culture, that same idea would be immediately prototyped, modeled, simulated, mocked up, or implemented, and examined to see what works and what doesn't. The trystorming motto is "Fail early, fail fast, fail often." [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
MUSICAL instruments, ELECTRIC circuits, DETECTORS, SYNTHESIZER (Musical instrument), and MUSIC equipment & supplies
The Ototo board is an invention for musical innovators; it is to would-be creators of playable instruments what a prototyping board is to circuit builders. The board makes it easy to connect both everyday objects and a wide range of analog sensors to a music synthesizer. Any vaguely conductive surface (metallic duct tape, the skin of a fruit, and so forth) becomes a touch sensor once wired to one of 12 large pads on the board, which correspond to one octave of notes. Additional sensors can be plugged into any one of the four headers, which provide 5 volts, a ground, and a voltage-sensing input. The inputs from these can alter the pitch, amplitude, and timbre of sounds. There's a built-in speaker, and a stereo headphone jack can send sounds to an amplifier. · But the most powerful feature of the Ototo–what really elevates it from toy to tool–is that when you connect it to a computer via the board's Micro?USB port, it functions as a musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) controller. This means it translates both key touches and analog sensor values into a stream of commands for software instruments. MIDI is the universal language of digital musical instruments, and it was this feature I was most eager to explore. In particular, I was wondering whether it could help me play a beautiful violin romance by Antonin Dvorak, even though I've never had a lesson. · Yuri Suzuki and Mark McKeague, the creators of the Ototo (which was developed along with Naomi Elliott and Joseph Pleass), are cofounders of the London design firm Dentaku, and the board reflects their artistic interest in encouraging people to interact with sound and music in new ways. The video that they and their friends made to demonstrate the first prototypes of the Ototo early last year showed instruments made from cardboard, vegetables, and bowls of water. It's cool stuff, if not practical for serious music making. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
Focuses on solid-freeform fabrication (SFF). Analogy between printing and manufacturing; How a computer is used in the manufacturing process; Capabilities and costs of SFF processes; Benefits of solid freeform fabrication; Information on some SFF methods; Medical and prosthetic applications. INSET: NIST's support of rapid prototyping, by Kevin K. Jurrens.
Discusses the advantage of using digital prototypes and virtual reality (VR) for automobile manufacturer. Goals of car makers in using digital technology; Stages of car design that make use of VR technology; Action taken by car makers to shorten the process and cut costs. INSETS: Virtual designs get cars to market faster, by Roger Frampton.;A (global) digital prototyping..
LABORATORIES, OCCUPATIONS, RESEARCH & development, and NATIONAL security
The article offers information on career opportunities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory. The laboratory, which is one of 10 Department of Defense Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, is involved in developing advanced technology for national security. They focus on creating and prototyping new capabilities and technologies. The laboratory's attractive features include its collaborative, and multi-disciplinary environment . They encourage U.S. citizens who are willing to do challenging development and research to apply.
RAPID prototyping, THREE-dimensional printing, and 3-D printers
In 2008, perennial tinkerer Bre Pettis was toiling away in a warehouse-turned-hacker-space in New York City when he ran into a wall. He and a few friends were participating in the RepRap project, which aims to build a self-replicating device capable of printing all the components needed to duplicate itself. But Pettis and his friends couldn't make it work with the tools they had on hand. [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]
INDUSTRIAL engineers, RAPID prototyping, THREE-dimensional printing, and 3-D printers
Being in the 3-D printing business brings some conveniences?like fewer trips to the hardware store. "If we need an adapter for a vacuum hose, we don't buy it," says Ben Wilkinson-Raemer, an industrial engineer with the start-up Shapeways. "We print it." [ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]