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Top 5 Design Tools of the Week

Fri, 05/10/2013 - 10:16am
Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, PD&D

Nanotec StarterKit

The StarterKit from Nanotec Electronic provides users with a complete solution for choosing and commissioning the optimum drive. Various motor settings can easily be tested, and different operating modes such as open loop and closed loop can be compared.

The Plug & Drive motor included in the StarterKit and the PC or laptop are simply hooked up to the StarterKit board, and the bundled NanoPro software is then installed. The software automatically detects the motor type. Other features include:

  • 14 operating modes to test for the optimum drive configuration, such as Position, Reference Run, Interpolated Mode (for CAN Bus), Voltage Thresholds, Speeds with min/max values, Ramps, etc.
  • A closed loop assistant that gives support in setting the operating mode and for comparing the closed loop and open loop modes.

The StarterKit1-1 consists of an L Version (Nema 23) PD4-N5918 Plug & Drive motor, the ZIB2 board, a cable set, the USB/RS485 converter, software, and a detailed operating manual.

BeagleBone Black

The highly anticipated BeagleBone Black is a lower-cost, high-expansion focused BeagleBone featuring a Sitara AM335x Cortex A8 ARM processor from Texas Instruments.

BeagleBone Black is the newest member of the BeagleBoard family, taking popular features from the original BeagleBone, and adding additional features and performance with a faster processor, onboard HDMI, and double the memory.

Adafruit Bone Box

Pack up your Beagle Bone Black in this clear plastic case from Adafruit. Available as of May 2nd, the Bone Box will fit both the original Beagle Bone and has a slot for the HDMI port of a Beagle Bone Black.

The enclosure comes as 6 laser cut acrylic pieces, 4 plastic standoffs, 8 hex-nuts and 8 1/2" 4-40 screws. Assembly is easy, and requires only a Phillips screwdriver. Once assembled, the box has engraved ends with cut-outs for the DC power, Ethernet, microSD card, USB host and USB debug ports.

  • Made of clear acrylic sheet, 3 mm thick
  • Outer dimensions: 70 x 44 x 96 mm
  • Inside dimensions: 30 x 56 x 87 mm
  • Enclosure weight (without Beagle Bone): 85 grams

Did I mention the ends are even bone shaped?

MetaWatch

The majority of the battery life on my phone is drained by my constant checking of notifications, whether it be twitter, a text, or an email. I am always pulling out my phone. The MetaWatch fixes this issue, and lets your phone take a break (if even for a few minutes), as it brings all the notifications you would want, right on your wrist.

Specifications:

  • Compatibility: iOS6 and Android 3.0 and higher
  • Display: Polymer network LCD; 96x96. Fully reflective in direct sunlight
  • Lens: scratch-resistant mineral glass
  • I/O: 6 buttons; 3 axis accelerometer; & an ambient light sensor
  • MCU: Texas Instruments MSP430
  • Radio: Bluetooth 4.0; SPP; GATT, MAP
  • Battery: 5-7 days
  • Vibrating alerts
  • Open Source Platform for unlimited expansion

My personal favorite is the MetaWatch FRAME (shown here) made with stainless steel and genuine leather, it remains fashionable and could easily be worn by both men and women.

Go!SCAN 3D

The Go!SCAN 3D from Creaform provides simplified, quick, affordable, and reliable 3D scanning.

The scanner can be used for a variety of tasks including, reverse engineering, styling, design, analysis, and quality control. Outside of industrial applications, the Go!SCAN could also be used in the arts, for education, computer graphics, and in virtual reality.

  • Weight: 1.1 kg (2.4 lbs.)
  • Dimensions: 127 x 156 x 262 mm (5 x 6.2 x 10.3 in.)
  • Measurement Rate: 550,000 measures /sec.
  • Resolution: 0.500 mm (0.020 in.)
  • Accuracy: Up to 0.100 mm (0.004 in.)
  • Stand-Off Distance: 400 mm (15.75 in.)
  • Depth-of-field: 250 mm (10 in.)
  • Scanning Area: 380 x 380 mm (15 in. x 15 in.)

 

To submit a design tool for consideration, email me at Melissa.Fassbender@advantagemedia.com

 

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