The Blog

Latest

A recent video from my favorite YouTube channel (Numberphile – see the video below) started me thinking about modeling the Platonic Solids in SOLIDWORKS again.  I have seen demonstrations of several techniques, including Phil Sluder’s excellent “Soccer Ball” presentation, but never a comprehensive list of useful and instructive models.  I also wanted to create an opportunity for…

Continue Reading →

If you’ve ever used Excel to present data with ‘holes’ in it, you might have been frustrated by the options for how those holes should be represented on a chart. Here’s a short summary of one way to make the holes show up as missing data points rather than ‘0’, which might be confusing, inaccurate,…

Continue Reading →

Belleville Springs (aka “Belleville Washers”, “Spring Washers”, or “Disk Springs”) are wonderfully useful mechanical devices, but with one minor drawback – their properties are difficult to calculate – until now!  Almen and Laszlo were the first to develop a workable calculation method, but it can only loosely be described as “workable.”  (This is the method…

Continue Reading →

Happy 4th of July Everybody! When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to calculate the Darcy-Weisbach friction factor… engineer’s often throw up their hands, go back to their old college textbooks, and say “about .02!” [Which normally isn’t off by more than a factor of 2 in either direction.] If you want…

Continue Reading →

A client recently requested a repeatable positioning device for a bio-medical system.  Normally, this is a ‘turn the crank’ design, where the biggest challenge is sorting through previously-used kinematic configurations and applying the most appropriate one.  This project was more interesting though.  First of all, the environment precluded the use of springs, pins, and metal…

Continue Reading →