Backtalk 10/06/2011

Oct. 6, 2011
The fourth annual Nanoline Contest, sponsored by Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa., is underway. The contest challenges middle-school, high-school

If you’ve got game, bring it on
The fourth annual Nanoline Contest, sponsored by Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa., is underway. The contest challenges middle-school, high-school, and technicalschool students to design an original control system using the company’s Nanoline controller. The winning team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the Hannover Fair in Germany next spring. An intelligent and compact controller that automates basic tasks, Nanoline is programmed with the intuitive nanoNavigator software. Phoenix Contact supplies participating teams with the Nanoline controller, nanoNavigator software, and technical support.

“In previous years, the project had to fit into one of several specific categories.But this year, we’ve eliminated the categories. There are no limits, so be creative and have fun,” said Jack Nehlig, president of Phoenix Contact USA. “We designed this contest to promote math and science education, but the participants get much more out of it. It teaches teamwork, presentation skills, creative problem-solving and much more. And the winning team gets a bonus lesson in European culture as well.”

For more details or to register, contact Patty Marrero at (717) 944-1300, ext. 3022; e-mail [email protected], or visit

“Modular” 3D printed shoes
Imagine designing a shoe and having it ready to wear in less than 24 hr. Thanks to the Objet Inc., Billerica, Mass., it is a reality.

The “Rapidprototypedshoe” from avant-garde shoe designer Marloes ten Bhömer will be part of an exhibition entitled Power of Making at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The shoe is modularly designed and manufactured so it can be dismantled and reassembled to replace parts.

The shoes were created using Objet’s Connex 3D Printer – a multimaterial 3D printing technology that combines rubberlike and rigid materials.

“My work is very much about liberating design — I use new materials and methods because this helps to break away from conventional approaches,” Marloes ten Bhömer explains. “The rapid-prototyping process stimulated the idea for this shoe, as the name suggests. I explored the technology and saw that rapid prototyping — adding material in layers rather than traditional shoe-manufacturing methods — could help me create something entirely new within just a few hours.

“The shoe is printed as a single entity so the parts come off the printer already assembled, and you can still take the shoe apart later on. It is inspiring and opens up the possibility of interchangeable heels and creating customized designs. Also, the possibility of repairs allows for a more-realistic product and changes the idea of rapid prototyping into rapid manufacturing.”

© 2011 Penton Media, Inc.

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