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  • TU/e and BAM Infra Get to Work on 3D Printed Concrete Bicycle Bridge

    About a year ago, the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) introduced a gigantic 3D printer capable of 3D printing concrete. Now, the university has used that 3D printer to begin printing a new concrete pedestrian and bike bridge in collaboration with Netherlands company BAM Infra.

    TU/e is calling the bridge the world’s first to be 3D printed from reinforced and prestressed concrete. We actually have seen a 3D printed concrete bridge before; in December, the city of Madrid proudly unveiled what the government proclaimed to be the first bridge of its kind. However, TU/e’s bridge was designed with a special process developed in a research group led by Professor Theo Salet so that each layer is reinforced with steel cables.

    “This is exciting to do,” said Salet. “[And] stressful because the work you do is being put into practice for the first time. It must be safe. A lot has been done to investigate how the material behaves and how it will behave if it forms a real construction. So this step, from the laboratory to something that is used in practice, is very beautiful, but also stressful.”

    TU/e’s new bridge already looks impressive, and the 3D printing process has just started. When completed, the bridge will be placed in the village of Gemert. In recent months, scale models of the bridge have been constructed and tested for safety, by placing loads of up to 2,000 kg on them. After the scale models performed satisfactorily in the safety tests, the 3D printing was begun; the bridge will be printed in parts which will then be glued together.

    “If you pour normal concrete, it runs away on all sides. That is the intention, so that it spreads well in the mold,” Salet explained. “But this is very special material. If I lay it down, it stays in place. Compare it with toothpaste or mayonnaise. It does not lose form.”

    What the bridge is expected to look like [Image: BAM Infra]

    That means that there’s very little, if any, waste, making the 3D printing process an advantage both financially and ecologically. Concrete production generates a lot of carbon dioxide, so the less that needs to be used, the better.

    “We are committed to the future,” said Marinus Schimmel, Director of BAM Infra Netherlands. “We are constantly looking for a newer, smarter approach to solving infrastructural problems and thus make an important contribution to improving the mobility and the sustainability of our society. Innovation plays a crucial role. With 3D printing we have no auxiliary materials such as formwork required. This produces significantly less waste and we need to use less scarce resources. Also, this approach has a positive effect on the amount of CO2 emitted during the production of the bridge.”

    There are other advantages to 3D printing structures such as bridges, as well – there’s much more design freedom, for example, than is available with traditional construction methods, meaning that bridges of unusual architecture can be created. The Netherlands has expressed prior interest in 3D printing for bridges, though other projects seem to have stalled, keeping this new structure a first in the country.

    “Thanks to the use of robots, each design repeatedly realized in a unique manner with the same effort,” Salet said of this project. “An important additional advantage is that all the information collected in the design now can be passed directly to the execution. This is an important development in the field of Building Information Management (BIM), because the closer together the parties in the chain. It is ultimately the end user who benefits from this in the form of higher quality and customization.“

    BAM Infra image of the vision for the completed bridge

    According to TU/e, the institution was only the third in the world to begin experimenting with 3D printed concrete, after institutions in the United States and China. The university began developing its giant concrete 3D printer in late 2015, as part of a large-scale research project into 3D printing with concrete. The 3D printed bridge is only the beginning – the research team wants to build structures such as houses with integrated smart components like sensors and more. The project, appropriately dubbed 3D Concrete Printing, is expected to last for several years.

    The 3D printed bridge, meanwhile, is expected to be ready in two months and will form part of a roundabout at the Handelseweg Boekelseweg (N605) and the Peeldijk (N272); it is expected to be placed in September 2017 in the Lady Lane Gemert on Peelse Loop. In addition to TU/e, BAM notes BAM Infra work with the following partners: Province of North Brabant, City Gemert-Bakel, Saint-Gobain Weber Beamix BV, Dywidag-Systems International BV, Verhoeven Joinery, NV Bekaert SA, and Witteveen en Bos.

    Deputy Christophe van der Maat said, “We challenge from contractors for the construction of new infrastructure for us to pay more attention to sustainability and innovation. By using new materials or by using new technologies. Here we see that the construction industry tackles this challenge with both hands and then you can just give it launched a world first.”

    You can see the bridge being 3D printed below in this (Dutch-language) video:

    Discuss in the 3D Printed Bridge forum at 3DPB.com.

    [Sources: TU/e, BAM Infra, NOS, NL Times]

     

    From 3dprint Monday, June 19, 2017
  • Psychic Hotline Confirms Motive Behind Theft of Polar 3D Printers

    polar3dWhen a terrible crime is committed, one of the first questions asked is “Why?”You may recall the story of the highly selective thieves who smashed their way into the Polar 3D headquarters in Cincinnati in August, stealing 22 printers in six minutes.

    In the aftermath of the crime, Steve Kayser of Polar 3D wanted answers. What was the thieves’ motive? What did they have against MakerBots, which were left callously on the shelves while the less expensive Polar 3D printers were taken? Kayser turned to the most reliable resource for crime-solving: a psychic hotline.

    psychicNaturally, the psychic operating the hotline knew exactly who Kayser was, and why he was calling. Within seconds, he delivered the shocking motive behind the crime, but advised that the truth may be difficult to handle, especially for the beleaguered MakerBots.

    “The Polar 3D Printer is half the size of the MakerBot, prints four times the build volume, and costs 75% less than the MakerBot,” the psychic said. “They can’t handle the truth!”

    Kayser wondered if it went deeper than that. Crime is often a response to frustration and disenchantment, and he deduced that the thieves were lashing out in anger over the inferiority of their MakerBot printers. Rather than demand the thieves be found and locked up, however, he decided that the best course of action was to address the problem at its source, and to give would-be criminals a healthier, more lawful option to deal with their anger.

    “This call resulted in two historic firsts for the 3D Desktop printing industry,” Kayser explained to 3DPrint.com:

    The thieves and their real intentions were revealed. The results of the call led to an outreach program for the frustrated criminals that allowed them to be reformed and rapidly reintroduced successfully into the 3D Desktop Printer Community.

    If MakerBots led to crime, then why not get them off the streets? Much like a gun trade-in program, he created a MakerBot extruder trade-in program. Of course, the psychic picked up on that idea right away, too, and described the program in astonishing detail.

    “Trade in a MakerBot extruder and get a $100 dollar coupon for a new, sleek Polar 3D printer for less than the cost of a cell phone?” the psychic ventured.

    maxresdefault

    Shocked, Kayser confirmed that that was exactly what he had been thinking, and set the new program in place immediately. Even the career criminals with more than one MakerBot extruder can be helped by the rehabilitation effort. A $100 coupon will be issued for each extruder that is traded in by December 31, although only one coupon can be used per printer. The coupon takes the price of a new Polar 3D printer from $799 to $699, and, since education is a critical part of crime prevention, schools, students and educators can purchase additional printers for $499 each.

    While the thieves may not have been identified, Kayser, for his part, was extremely satisfied with his psychic crime-solving experience. With the motive behind the crime confirmed, he could now move forward to prevent it from happening again.polar

    He added:

    “The results of the call led to an outreach program for the frustrated criminals that allowed them to be reformed and rapidly reintroduced successfully into the 3D Desktop Printer Community.”

    Be sure to listen to the entire phone call for the full experience of this psychic delivering on the news.  Let’s hear your thoughts on this theft in the Polar 3D Forum thread on 3DPB.com.

    (Also please note this is all in the spirit of good fun; most 3D printing business decisions do not rely on the psychic hotline!) (That we know of.)

    From 3dprint Friday, November 6, 2015
  • Inspire Young Minds

    This not-for-profit organization was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen. The organization’s vision is to create a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people can dream of becoming science and technology heroes.
    FIRST Robotic Challenge (FRC) challenges teams of young minds and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. FIRST redefines winning for these students because they are rewarded for excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, gracious professionalism and maturity, and the ability to overcome obstacles. Scoring the most points is secondary.
    FIRST also offers the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), a more affordable and accessible program for high school students, the FIRST Lego League (FLL) for 9 to 14-year-olds and the Junior FIRST Lego League (FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Teams from the FRC, FTC and FLL programs will be at the booth demonstrating their robots.

    From automationworld Sunday, November 18, 2012
  • Osram Opto Semiconductors Introduces Integrated Optical Sensor for Wristband Heart Monitors

    The SFH 7051 from Osram Opto Semiconductors is an integrated optical sensor specially designed for heart rate monitoring. This component is used in fitness trackers, smart watches and other wearables. The new sensor consumes very little power, maximizing battery life and reliability.

    The SFH 7051 consists of a large-format photodiode and three green LEDs with a wavelength of 530 nanometers (nm). It is used for monitoring heart rate by measuring the volume of blood passing through blood vessels. It works by shining light on the surface of the skin. Different amounts of this light are absorbed by blood and the surrounding tissue. The light not absorbed is reflected to the detector. With its green emission spectrum, the SFH 7051 is ideal for measuring pulse rate at the wrist.

    High-efficiency chips for low power consumption

    The green emitter chips of the SFH 7051 are based on the latest high-efficiency UX:3 chip technology from Osram Opto Semiconductors. The sensor uses three of these chips so that they can be operated at the optimum current of 20 milliamperes (mA). At this operating current, the efficiency of the emitters is particularly high. Overall, the SFH 7051 produces an optical output of 3 x 3.4 milliwatts (mW) at a current of 20 mA and a voltage of 3.2 V. The low power consumption of the component enables long battery life in the device, increasing reliability. With an area of only 1.7 mm2, the photodiode is small enough to enable the sensor to be compact, but sensitive enough to provide the required signal quality. Its low capacitance of only 11 picofarads ensures short switching times and high measurement frequency.

    Related StoriesDaintree, OSRAM Collaborate on Development of Wirelessly Controlled LED FixturesCardio2Tech Develops Strapless Heart Rate Monitor for Continuous Heart Rate MonitoringStudy Suggests More Heart-Failure Cases Could be Helped by Pacemakers

    Enlarging the portfolio for medical self-monitoring

    The SFH 7051 is the second integrated optical sensor from Osram for fitness tracking applications. In 2014, the company launched the SFH 7050, a multifunction sensor for measuring heart rate and the oxygen content of blood. “We are keeping a very close watch on the trend for heart rate monitoring in the wearables and medical markets,” said Christoph Goeltner, Product Marketing Manager at Osram Opto Semiconductors. “Wearables are electronic devices that are worn on the body, such as smart watches and fitness wristbands. The SFH 7051 meets our customers’ need for a separate solution, specifically for heart rate monitoring.” Users now have a choice between the multifunction SFH 7050 and the SFH 7051, which is optimized for pulse rate monitoring. The housing dimensions of the two sensors are identical.

    From azosensors Monday, May 11, 2015
  • Averna DP-360 DOCSIS Protocol Analyzer Now Supports 16×4 Channel Bonding

    Averna, an industry-leading developer of test solutions and services for communications and electronics device-makers worldwide, announces a new software release for the DP-360 DOCSIS Protocol Analyzer, featuring support for 16×4 channel bonding.

     

    Averna’s DP-360 is the industry standard for functional DOCSIS and EuroDOCSIS network analysis, providing exceptional visibility into all layers of the network. Multiple system operators (MSOs), chipset manufacturers, product developers and certification bodies use the DP-360 to quickly find and correct trouble spots.

     

    New DP-360 Release Highlights

    ·      Supports up to 16 single or bonded downstream channels for testing 16×4 configuration

    ·      Upstream gain control, MER reading and power reading available in the remote API for automated power adjustment

    ·      Automatic detection of modulation type (64-QAM or 256-QAM) and DOCSIS on downstream channels and lock on 4 upstream frequencies for faster setup and analysis

    ·      Support for DOCSIS 3.0 Energy Management messages (EM-REQ & EM-RSP)

     

    DP-360 clients also have access to Averna’s new DOCSIS 3.1 Early Adopter Program, which offers MSOs and equipment vendors a smooth and cost-effective transition to Averna’s next-generation solution for testing their cable equipment based on the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard. Contact us for more details.

     

    “Our DOCSIS 3.1 Early Adopter Program covers current D3.0 as well as upcoming D3.1 testing needs and is specifically designed to make the technology switch as easy and cost effective as possible for our clients and partners,” commented Alex Pelland, Director of Broadband Test Strategy for Averna. “The DP-360 is the most advanced DOCSIS protocol analyzer available today and, with our forward-looking transition program, it will provide a substantial return on investment for years to come.”

     

    >>For more information on this product, click here

     

    From automationworld Thursday, December 12, 2013