Head in the cloud

Posted Leave a commentPosted in CAD/CAM/FMEA

I love the cloud. My Word files and Excel spreadsheets are stored there, and my wife uploads cute pictures of the grandkids to the cloud. No more worries about backing up the computer or about what will happen to our life’s data should it burst into flames. Best of all, I can access all my […]

FEA Aids Deepwater Horizon Failure Forensics: DNV uses Abaqus finite element analysis to study blowout scenarios

Posted Leave a commentPosted in CAD/CAM/FMEA, Energy

On the evening of April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon suffered a blowout while drilling in the Macondo Prospect, an area in the Gulf of Mexico 40 miles off the southeast coast of Louisiana. The platform caught fire; two days later, it sank. Numerous attempts were made to seal the well, but oil continued to spew […]

First 510(k) Clearance for Customized 3D-Printed Polymeric Cranial Implants

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Medical and Dental, Rapid Prototyping

Oxford Performance Materials (OPM), South Windsor, Conn., made medical history in February when they received the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for their polymer laser-sintered OsteoFab Patient-Specific Cranial Device (OPSCD). The customizable implant is designed to restore voids in the skull caused by trauma or disease. Manufactured in a matter of hours […]

Where’s Your Hammer: Using Lean and Six Sigma to pick more than low-hanging fruit

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Quality and Metrology, Shops, People and Places

Maybe you want to implement a quality system. You buy a book or talk to a consultant but immediately run into a mountain of strange terminology. Kaizen Events and Six Sigma. DMAIC Methods and 5S. You thought Value Stream Mapping was a cheaper way to drive somewhere, and the closest you’ve come to Lean is […]

Riding the carousel: Rotomolded spas offer high-end quality at an affordable price.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Consumer Products

Rotational molding was invented in the mid-1800s as a means of producing hollow objects with consistent wall thicknesses. Since then, the process has been used to make everything from playground equipment to artillery shells. Today’s molds are filled with polyethylene powder the consistency of granulated sugar (the stuff plastic soda bottles are made of), then […]

Red Hot

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Energy, Equipment and Tooling, Fabricating

Electricity is expensive on Vancouver Island. This was a large part of the reason why Pacific Energy Fireplace Products Ltd. had long steered clear of CO2 lasers, opting instead to stick with its tried and true CNC turret punches. Yet fabricators have been successful with lasers for over three decades. Compared to punching, laser cutters […]

Mini Mills

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Nineteen minutes into the second period and the University of Ottawa’s women’s hockey team, the Gee-Gees, trails by one. Out of nowhere, the Montreal Carabins’ left wing bruiser Helga Lefèvre smashes Gee-Gees centre Holly McDuff into the boards, fracturing her cheekbone and leaving a ragged gash above Holly’s hairline. Blood turns the blue line red, […]

5 X 5

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Equipment and Tooling, Machining

Tooling up a vertical machining centre is easy. Just bolt a pair of 6 in. machinist vises on the table and call ‘er done. And while this path-of-least-resistance approach may be limited, it’s also fast, easy and cheap. Unfortunately for the owners of five axis vertical machining centres, machinist vises don’t cut the mustard. Five […]