The Shape of a Machine Screw

So the screw in my reading lamp fell out and disappeared. I propped it up but from time to time it would let loose and crash down on my face. A trip to the hardware store was clearly in order.  Replacing the screw was easier said than done.  There are so many types. Different threads, head styles, lengths, drives and other criteria.  So what was that screw?
 
The Simple Screw
The screw is one of the six classical simple machines. … Read more

STAR WARS MEETS MODERN PLASTIC RESEARCH

The desolate emptiness and darkness of space is interrupted only by the twinkling light of distant stars and galaxies as you scan the instrument panel before you. Suddenly, without warning, a laser cannon blast rips through the hull of your X-wing fighter! Not to worry. The fuselage employs a regenerative plastic composite that heals itself within seconds of impact. The dangers that occur in the life of the Jedi Knight are never-ending, including the hand you lost in a light sword battle with the Dark Lord. … Read more

3D Printing vs. CNC Machining of Plastic Parts

The process of 3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has now been developed for several materials including plastic and metal. This article will focus on 3D printing compared to CNC machining of plastic parts.
 
The 3D Printing process is an additive process during which layers of molten plastic are added until the part is completely formed.  These layers can often be noticed, and this can be an aesthetic issue. In evaluating whether or not this is the right approach the two key questions to be answered are:
1) What is the application?Read more

ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene

ABS: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) is a plastic that is a terpolymer, a polymer consisting of three different monomers. ABS is made by polymerizing styrene and acrylonitrile in the presence of polybutadiene.  Acrylonitrile is a synthetic monomer made up of propylene and ammonia while butadiene is a petroleum hydrocarbon, and the styrene monomer is made by the dehydrogeneration of ethyl benzene. Dehydrogenation is a chemical reaction that involves the removal of hydrogen from an organic molecule and is the reverse of hydrogenation. … Read more

History of the Screw

The screw is one of the six classical simple machines.1 It is a mechanism that changes rotational motion to linear motion and rotational force or torque to a linear force.  If looked at geometrically, a screw can be regarded as a narrow incline plane wrapped around a cylinder. The screw is one of the most common simple machines and consists of a cylindrical shaft with helical grooves or ridges around the outside called threads.   … Read more