Vote for NASA Tech Briefs' 19th Annual Readers' Choice Awards

Each month, the editors of NASA Tech Briefs choose a Product of the Month - a new
product with exceptional technical merit and practical value for our design engineering readers.

Now is your chance to vote for the one product among those 12 Products of the Month
that you feel was the most significant product introduced to the engineering community in 2013.

The products receiving the three highest vote totals will be named NASA Tech Briefs'
Readers' Choice Products of the Year.

Voting deadline is January 24, 2014




The 2013 Nominees (vote for only one):

Autodesk (San Rafael, CA) introduced Autodesk Fusion 360 cloud-based 3D CAD modeling software that allows users to create 3D product designs and collaborate with others in the cloud. The cloud technology offers access from virtually any mobile device or Web browser. It also supports an open design environment, allowing designers to incorporate and modify CAD data from virtually any source. The tool connects to large-scale mockup, simulation, PLM, and rendering capabilities. It provides guidance to novice users to speed the learning curve, and the ability to turn off guidance and access deeper functionality for design experts.

Dassault Syst�mes (Paris, France) introduced the SolidWorks� 2014 3D software portfolio that consists of 3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, and electrical design. Enhancements and workflow improvements include new Style Spline functionality, automatic Sketch Picture scaling, and Conic Fillet controls to create complex surfaces and organic shapes; and new sheet metal features for faster creation of sheet metal geometry and improved data output for manufacturing.

HBM (Marlborough, MA) introduced the GEN3i portable data recorder, part of the Genesis High Speed line of data recorders. They are designed for laboratory, power test stands, and destructive material testing applications, as well as for generators, turbines, and engines. The recorder transfers data directly to the storage medium at speeds as high as 200 MB/s (one hundred million measured values per second). A user can employ 18 channels at 2 MS/s, producing 4 MB/s per channel. The 18 channels will produce 72 MB/s continuously until the 480-GB solid- state disk (SSD) is loaded. Users can select from 21 different data acquisition cards.

Interpower Corp. (Oskaloosa, IA) introduced the 85521711 International Power Source (IPS), a source of AC power at various operating voltages and frequencies found around the world, which is important for testing any products that are exported. The IPS provides testing of AC electrical equipment at common operating voltages and frequencies of 110-240VAC/50-60Hz. It provides seven of the most common country-specific AC receptacles, ensuring that equipment under test utilizes the proper AC plug.�The unit can also be used to simulate brownouts, or drops in voltage in an electrical system.

Keithley Instruments (Cleveland, OH) introduced the Model 2450 SourceMeter® SMU instrument, the first benchtop source measure unit (SMU) instrument with a capacitive touchscreen graphical user interface. The instrument is based on the company's Touch, Test, Invent design philosophy that lets users interact with the instruments via the touchscreen and icon-based control. The instrument combines the functionality of a power supply, a true current source, 6-1/2-digit multimeter, electronic load, and trigger controller.

Lantronix (Irvine, CA) introduced the Lantronix� xSenso Controller with analog and relay outputs that control industrial processes and equipment based on the sensor readings and predefined thresholds. The controller is a compact, DIN-rail or wall-mount solution that enables analog sensors (voltage or current) to transparently send real-time data to any node on the Internet or to a cloud-based application.� It can take action when a condition is met, triggering its internal relays or outputting voltage or current to control an event in real time.�

MakerBot, Brooklyn, NY, introduced the MakerBot Digitizer® Desktop 3D Scanner for creating 3D models. The scanner takes a real-life object, scans it using a camera and two lasers, and creates a 3D digital file, without the need for design or 3D software experience. It can be used in an office, manufacturing space, or workshop, and connects to a laptop or computer. The scanner creates clean, watertight 3D models with two clicks, and generates a 3D digital design file in minutes. The scanner can digitize physical objects up to 8" in diameter and 8" tall, and weighing up to 6.6 pounds.

Mcor Technologies (Dunleer, Ireland) introduced the IRIS color 3D printer that prints in more than one million hues simultaneously, creating photorealistic physical objects from 3D data. The IRIS delivers True Colour, printing different hues simultaneously, including pure black. The machine's build material is standard Letter/A4 size paper, either new or used. The IRIS's patented 3D color ink permeates the entire part, not just the surface, resulting in printabilty on all surfaces, including undercuts and sidewalls. When pages are cut and bound together, the model is tough, durable, and stable, with no infiltration required.

Microchip Technology (Chandler, AZ) introduced BodyCom technology, which provides designers with the world's first framework for using the human body as a secure communication channel.� BodyCom technology is activated by capacitively coupling to the human body.� The system then begins communicating bidirectionally between a centralized controller and one or more wireless units. The technology eliminates the need for a wireless transceiver or high-power inductive fields, and uses a low-frequency framework with a common microcontroller and standard AFE frequencies.�

PennEngineering� (Danboro, PA) introduced PEM� SpotFast� self-clinching fasteners that enable two sheets to be joined permanently in a flush-attachment connection without protrusions on either side. These alternatives to riveting or spot welding provide a means to attach two metal sheets too thin to weld, fasten sheets of unequal thicknesses, join dissimilar metals, attach ultra-thin metal sections, or join metal sheets to PCB or plastic panels. The product family includes steel fasteners, precipitation-hardened stainless steel fasteners, steel fasteners with supplied wave washer, and steel fasteners featuring two separate joining profiles.

Pico Technology (Tyler, TX) introduced the PicoScope 5000 Series flexible-resolution oscilloscopes that use reconfigurable ADC technology to offer a choice of resolutions from 8 to 16 bits in a single product. Multiple high-resolution ADCs can be applied to the input channels in different series and parallel combinations to boost either the sampling rate or the resolution. In series mode, the ADCs are interleaved to provide 1 GS/s at 8 bits; in parallel mode, multiple ADCs are sampled in phase on each channel to increase the resolution and dynamic performance.

Silicon Designs (Kirkland, WA) introduced the Model 3330 G-Logger USB-powered portable data acquisition system with FFT analysis. The three-channel unit is designed to optimize the low-noise characteristics of triaxial MEMS variable capacitance accelerometer modules with analog output and 8-32 VDC excitation. It offers 16-bit data acquisition with data rates of 1 to 10k samples per second and per axis through each of its available input channels. The user interface is built on an NI LabVIEW� platform.


Thanks for voting in the 2013 Readers' Choice Awards.