Friday, October 21, 2005

Magnetic Nanoparticles Assembled into Long Chains

Chains of 1 million magnetic nanoparticles have been assembled and disassembled in a solution of suspended particles in a controlled way, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report. Such particles and structures, once their properties are more fully understood and can be manipulated reliably, may be useful in applications such as medical imaging and information storage.

Nanoparticle chains

The NIST work, scheduled to be featured on the cover of an upcoming issue of Langmuir (an American Chemical Society journal), is the first to demonstrate the formation and control of centimeter-long chains of magnetic nanoparticles of a consistent size and quality in a solution. The researchers spent several years learning how to make cobalt particles with controllable size and shape, and they hope to use this knowledge to eventually “build” useful structures.

NIST Tech Beat - Oct. 20, 2005

Future Factories

Design works by Lionel Theodore Dean.


"Using rapid prototyping techniques, it costs the same to produce similar parts as identical ones, so why produce two products the same?

Envisage a future with 'living' consumer products, forms that grow, change, and mutate on screen.

At any given moment a product may be frozen creating a unique design, digitally manufactured and delivered to the door."


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Laser Scanning Keeps Old Military Equipment in Service

Military hardware is aging fast. In some cases, it's older than the soldiers who use it. Spare parts are required to keep this equipment running, but many of the companies that supplied them have long left the business, and drawings and documentation may no longer exist. Reverse-engineering firms have stepped in to re-create the parts using the latest computerized numerical control machinery, and laser scanning systems offer them performance benefits.
Reverse-engineering firm Radian Milparts of Eastlake, Ohio, turned to laser scanning. Using the ModelMaker laser scanner from system integrator Nvision Inc. of Southlake, Texas, along with a coordinate measuring machine, an operator at Radian Milparts can switch from scanning contours to capturing individual points with the push of a button.
Laser scanning systems work by projecting a line of laser light onto a surface to be measured while a camera continuously triangulates the changing distance and profile of the line as it sweeps over the object. A computer translates the video image of the line into 3-D coordinates, providing real-time data renderings that offer the operator immediate feedback on areas that might have been missed.

In the reverse-engineering application, a technician moves the scanner around the object in a manner similar to spray painting. The data is sent to software to convert the point cloud into a surface model that can be imported into computer-aided design software.
ModelMaker's head, which is manufactured by 3D Scanners Ltd. in London, incorporates an eye-safe laser that produces a red stripe of light, similar to that used in supermarket scanners. The camera measures 760 points in a line at 30 stripes per second, resulting in a measuring rate of approximately 23,000 points per second.

Laser Scanning Keeps Old Military Equipment in Service - September, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Shoes With The Perfect Fit

NYC design firm Firstborn has invented an computerized foot analyzer to automate sizing your feet for perfect shoes.
The machine was designed for Fila Adatto line of customized shoes.

The automated sales person measures your foot and creates a 3D map.

The machine analyzes the results of the measurements and designs a perfect shoe for your foot. A stock of shoe parts are kept at the store so a human cobbler can build your perfect pair in a few minutes.

via wmmna

3D Computer Interface

Pioneer has demonstrated a 3D computer interface.
You move your finger in the air to make and modify a seemingly floating object.

A sensor monitors the postion of the finger in space. A projector of 15 LCD elements generates the floating inage.

No special glasses or lenses are needed to see the image.

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