When starting a 3D print lab, material choices matter

With additive manufacturing technology reducing in size and simplicity, your home garage could one day be the machine shop of tomorrow. We’re talking a micro factory! A 3D print lab where the mad scientist in you now has full spectrum dominance on every level, from design to production, in the comfort of your own home or small office. You’ll have total engineering and manufacturing synchronicity at your fingertips. Read more

Project spotlight: Hybrid Air Vehicles

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft with helicopters and "lighter-than-air" technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport. The Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfill a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights. I talked to Mike Durham, Technical Director, about their vehicle and the development process. Read more

Designing the perfect 3D printing curriculum

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you have at least a passing interest in 3D printing. I’m also willing to bet that you’d like to get better at it. But what kind of programs and information are out there to help you brush up your skills? Stick with me and I’ll not only set the scene for why it may be important for you to begin investigating a personal formal, informal, or combined learning program, I’ll also give you a leg up on the type of programs and content that's out there to help you. Read more

CAD training in a Twitch generation

There never seems to be enough CAD training to go around. As the complexity and availability of 3D tools proliferates, so does the demand for training. It's a problem for everyone: students new to the tools, veterans looking to increase the breadth and depth of their knowledge, and employers striving towards workforce efficiency. Yet few employers and even fewer individuals can afford the time and expense commonly associated with CAD training. Where does it end? Read more

Culture eats strategy AND technology for breakfast

We all understand the importance of collaboration. We know, at least intuitively, that by collaborating people can accomplish more than they could as separate individuals. Yet, product companies that try to achieve effective team collaboration often find that collaboration, like corporate brand, is not well-defined and frequently discounted as too touchy-feely for structured engineering work. Read more

Capturing wind power with unconventional methods

Ben Glass, Altaeros CEO, is the inventor of the Buoyant Airborne Turbine system (BAT), which he developed at MIT as a student in the aerospace engineering department. After his stint at SpaceX, and time spent at MIT’s Gas Turbine Lab, Glass began developing the concept of lifting a wind turbine with an inflatable shell. The tower-less design significantly reduces the time and logistical cost of installation. At the same time it allows the turbine to harness a stronger, more consistent, wind resource that is out of reach of conventional wind turbines. I had the opportunity to talk to him and ask about his invention. Read more