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Mechanical Engineering. 2012;134(10):30-35. doi:10.1115/1.2012-JAN-1.
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This article reviews new 3D printing capabilities for computer-aided design (CAD) engineers. As additive manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing and rapid prototyping become increasingly capable, traditional barriers of resources and skill for manufacturing are all but vanishing. Three-dimensional printers are giving designers unprecedented control over the shape and composition of matter. High-end 3D printers today can combine multiple materials into arbitrary patterns at a resolution close to 10 mm, leading to the ability to create geometry with fidelity and complexity that rivals that of the natural world. The growing accessibility of personal manufacturing tools, such as 3D printers, is democratizing design and enabling new types of designers. The combination of new geometric representations, new design paradigms, and new interfaces leads to new challenges and opportunities in the CAD field as never before. Good design tools are often the hidden enabler of technological innovation; however, balancing the existing performance engine with a new paradigm shift is a difficult but not an impossible task.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2012;134(10):36-41. doi:10.1115/1.2012-OCT-2.
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This article discusses the preparation, planning, and execution efforts of Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum staff and other teams involved in getting the Space Shuttle Orbiter Enterprise to new pavilion. Getting the Intrepid ready and ensuring the Enterprise would be safely transported posed an enormous task that involved more than a year of planning, hundreds of people, thousands of hours of effort, and a list of government agencies, companies, and contractors. The addition of the Enterprise and the opening of the Space Shuttle Pavilion on July 19 are an expansion of Intrepid’s space connection. Enterprise’s journey to the Intrepid began in December 2008 when NASA was considering where to place the orbiters after the space shuttle program ended. All that were involved in the preparation, planning, and execution of Enterprise’s trip to the Intrepid could see that their challenging work, expertise, and dedication to the task contributed to a perfect, three-wire carrier landing.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2012;134(10):42-45. doi:10.1115/1.2012-OCT-3.
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This article discusses ASME/Autodesk Sustainable Design Survey results and suggestions. The survey reveals that more engineers than ever before report working on an increasingly diverse range of sustainability projects. Companies are also showing growing interest in using recycled and renewable materials, and minimizing toxic and other substances of concern. The survey asked engineers to pick the two most important sustainable practices. However, several engineers used the survey to complain about government regulations. Suggestions provided by engineers and experts ranged from offering more college and on-the-job training courses in sustainability to sharing best practices and showcasing successful designs. Several engineers wanted a set of standards—definitions and measurements—to design against. The survey suggests that sustainable practices involve a change in mindset that is difficult to implement. Innovation always contains a certain element of risk, and minimizing risk is always at the forefront in business practice.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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