Top 10 Design Engineering Stories of 2016
Canadian innovation, material science and next-gen technology dominated this year's headlines for Design Engineering readers.
Since 2010, Design Engineering magazine has tallied up the most popular engineering news stories, based on website traffic, for the year. As in previous years, our audience voted with their click-throughs. The following are the top 10 stories detailing how engineers around the world changed the present and shaped the future in 2016.
10. Boeing designs autonomous underwater vehicle
Boeing has designed and operated manned and unmanned deep sea systems since the 1960s. The Echo Voyager is one of newest designs and joins the 32-foot Echo Seeker and the 18-foot Echo Ranger.
9. New 3D printing process creates parts from “liquid rust”
3D printing has become such a hot topic in 2016 and a team of Northwestern Engineers created a new way to print three-dimensional metallic objects using a wide array of metal powders and even oxides like rust.
8. Elio Motors taps Linamar to manufacture the Elio engine
Elio Motors launched its three-wheeled vehicle that will get up to 84 mpg with a targeted base price of $6,800 and partnered with Canadian auto parts-manufacturer Linamar to help produce the vehicle line.
7. Graphene coating designed to keep wings ice-free
Researchers at Rice University have created a thin coating composed of graphene nanoribbons in epoxy that may prove an efficient and environmentally friendly way to de-ice aircraft, wind turbines, transmission lines and other surfaces in real-time.
6. NASA begins constructing the world’s largest rocket
The SLS rocket was designed to support missions to the moon starting in 2018 as well as house large hardware like landers, habitats and supplies needed to travel extensive distances to explore places like Mars and other deep space destinations.
5. Mechanical Engineering Labour Forecast
There are many factors that will affect the mechanical engineering employment landscape for the coming decade. The Engineers Canada’s 2015 Labour Market Report shows the key employment statistics for this industry and highlights upcoming trends.
The Defence Research and Development Canada caused a stir when it released images of its latest weapon prototype – the Soldier Integrated Precision Effects Systems (SIPES) project. Yet for all the hype, SIPES is pure R&D, meant only to showcase advanced technologies and non-traditional capabilities that may inform future generations of weapon development.
3. CAD Report: What Xdesign Means for Solidworks Users
Officially announced at Solidworks World 2016, Solidworks Xdesign is a browser-based 3D parametric design package. Eventually, Dassault wants Xdesign to have all the functions of a desktop Solidworks, something they admit will take several years to accomplish. In fact, they don’t expect Xdesign to ship until next year.
2. Volkswagen launches new SUV design to curb U.S. sales woes
After a tumultuous year with the emission scandal and plummeting sales figures, German-based Volkswagen has designed a new SUV with a feature that automatically controls braking to each wheel as the seven-seater descends on slippery off-road terrain that the automaker hopes will curb the company’s sales woes in the United States.
1. Canadian researchers develop first interactive bending smartphone
Researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab have designed a flexible smartphone, named ReFlex, that combines multitouch with bend input. This allows for users to receive tactile feedback when interacting with apps through bending gestures.
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