The video tutorial section provides a brief overview of design engineering technologies. Topics include optical sensing, motion control, product marking, cabling, rapid prototyping, and many others. Most videos are five minutes or less and are hosted by Machine Design editors.

CMU Darpa challenge winner

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University fielded the winning entry in last year’s Darpa Grand Challenge. Machine Design editor Leland Teschler interviewed team members about their prize-winning design.


New developments in long-distance laser sensors

Contrinex Inc. application guru Ed Leese discusses how to apply thru-beam laser sensors that can work at long distances. Running time, 11:31.


Dimension machines

See Paul Carlson from Dimension Inc. — a business unit of Stratasys — explain how the company’s 3D printers work. Dimension machines target office use and thus run quietly and without fumes. The 3D printers use what’s called fused deposition modeling. Basically, the machines feed ABS plastic in filament form into the head, which heats the material and then extrudes the plastic layer-by-layer, building the model from the ground up. Carlson also explains when color can be matched exactly, and shows examples of built parts. Finally, he explains the different support materials. The video runs about 3 ½ min.


Safety Switches and Guards

Tom Bertellotti from Tapeswitch Corp. discusses options for adding ribbons and safety switches, safety controllers, and signal mats in various industrial settings. Run time, 4:57.


Understanding optical encoders

Optical linear encoders can provide a high-resolution feedback signal and can work in dirty industrial environments. This short video by Mechatronic Component Solutions Inc.’s Joe Slovak describes where these encoders make more sense than magnetic encoders and how to get good signals when installing these devices.


Cantilever vs. H-frame gantries

Phil Griffen from Techno Inc. discusses the differences between using cantilever and H-frame gantries to realize X-Y movements, with an emphasis on the speeds, accuracies, and loading parameters that are important in each kind of application. Running time, 5:11.


FDM builds functional parts and tools

Darin Everett from Stratasys Inc. explains how additive fabrication is being used in rapid prototyping and direct digital manufacturing (DDM). He says DDM makes end-use parts such as instrument housings for motorcycles, as well as fabrication and assembly tools like jigs and fixtures. Everett also shows available materials and colors. He says ABS is the most widely used material on higher-end FDM machines and he discusses a new blend of ABS. Everett also talks about the tolerances the machines can hold with different size parts. Running time is about 5 min.


Magnetic Encoding Technology

Magnetic encoders are known for their ability to work in tough environments. In this short video, SIKO Products Inc. President Darrel Davey describes how MagLine incremental systems work. They include a magnetic band attached to the measurement surface, a sensor, and a signal translation module that feeds to a controller. The band is manufactured with evenly-spaced north and south magnetic poles along its length. As the powered sensor moves along the path of the band, it outputs a number of pulses between each pole. These sensors can operate in both absolute and incremental modes.


Working with pneumatic and electromechanical actuators

Randy Stinson and Kevin Gingerich from Bosch Rexroth Corp. discuss when to use pneumatics vs linear electromechanical actuators and factors that enter into applying these motion components. Running time, 6:29.


Picking pneumatic actuators

Festo Corp.’s Mike Flaherty discusses the issues that arise when applying pneumatic actuators to automation equipment, along with a few tips for selecting this type of equipment. Running time, 6:56.


Honeywell’s Hovering UAV

This little hovering UAV designed by engineers at Honeywell Defense & Aerospace sounds like a leaf blower. But it is actually a key development for Darpa that lets troops see around street corners and over obstacles. Machine Design Editor Leland Teschler interviews members of the design team who describe their thought process in devising the innovative craft.