What are Rapid Prototyping Machines

Rapid prototyping is quite a recent invention. The first machine hit the markets in the late 1980s. The early rapid prototyping process derived its name from the activities and the purpose for which the earlier machines were utilized.

What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping refers to physical objects that are automatically constructed with the aid of additive manufacturing technology. In its earlier days, was applied to production of models and prototype parts. But nowadays, with the advancement in technology, rapid prototyping is used widely for many applications that include manufacturing production-quality parts. The manufacturing of these quality parts however, are very small in numbers. Apart from industrial applications, it is also used in sculpting. The application of rapid prototyping in sculpting is to generate fine arts exhibitions.

Rapid prototyping as mentioned earlier, involves the use of additive manufacturing technology, which actually takes the virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software (AMS). These designs are further transformed into thin, virtual, horizontal cross sections, and then the process of creating successive layers continues till the model is complete. On completion of the model, one may find that the virtual model is almost same as the physical model. Over here, a process called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) takes place, wherein the final product is same as the image created. Once the layers which correspond to the virtual cross section from CAD are formed, they are either joined or fused automatically to yield the final shape. Additive fabrication has the benefit of creating any shape or geometric feature.

Working of Rapid Prototyping Machines
CAD software and the rapid prototyping machine are connected with a data interface that is called the STL file format. This STL file format enables the approximation of a shape

Speech Rate Conversion Technology

The world is moving at a faster pace. Transportation is faster, communication is faster, and so on. Some even feel that people are speaking faster. This makes it hard for some of us to keep pace. The Science and Technical Research Laboratories of Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, has developed a device that they feel will help (at least with how fast people seem to be talking). They’ve created a speech rate conversion technology that is designed to be used in a couple of different ways.

Have you ever listened to a recording played at a fast speed? This is commonly done in video or audio editing to search through a large volume of material in a short time. Normally, when speech is sped up, the pitch is also changed, causing the recorded voices to sound like the chipmunk characters that some of us listened to, or watched, as children. Even when the pitch is shifted to restore it to its original level, it is often difficult to understand the individual words. The system designed by Japan’s STRL has changed that.

Their new technology maintains the original timber and pitch of the speech, while playing it back at a faster rate. The playback rate is varied adaptively, which allows listeners to comprehend what is being said even at speeds that are five times the normal rate.

This system also benefits elderly listeners by slowing down radio broadcasts or the audio in television programs. It is common for older people to have some degree of hearing impairment, for various reasons. This disability might include a difficulty in perceiving specific frequencies, a weaker cognitive capacity, or a problem understanding speech with a large amount of background noise. It has also been found that with age comes a decreased ability to

Handheld PC

Hand held PC is a computer that can be held in hand and to be held in hand a PC has to be small enough. Therefore it can be concluded that a Handheld PC is a small computer that is portable, lightweight and designed in such a way that it can handle your day-to-day schedule. If we look at the handheld PCs that are in the market now, it can be seen that they have features like the calendar and address book and these PCs actually function like Personal Information Manager (PIM). In fact Handheld PCs are also commonly known as personal Digital Assistant. Due to the lightweight and small size they are also known as Palmtops.

What will the Handheld PC do for me if I have one?

If you own a handheld PC, it can store all your important information and manage them and can also execute application software. It performs tasks such as storing information about your contacts, making a list of things that has to be done, maintaining your appointments and also giving you reminders regarding each of them. It also takes notes and performs calculations.

Handheld PCs have the ability to run special and specific software applications like Windows Mobile devices, which are available with smaller versions of Word, Excel, Internet Explorer and Outlook like mainstream computers includes e-mail and PIM functions, apart from Windows Media Player and voice memo recording.You can also run various software that can include games, multimedia, expense, diet and exercise, travel, medical, time and billing, and reference.

How does the Handheld PC work?

Unlike usual desktop and laptops, handheld PCs or palmtops are strengthened by the presence of microprocessors which coordinates between all the functions as per the programmed instructions. These PCs use smaller and cheaper microprocessors. Although

Touchscreen Technology

A touchscreen is a device which allows users to control a personal computer by simply touching the display screen. This type of input is suitable for a large number of computing applications. Most PC systems use a touchscreen as easily as other input devices, such as trackballs or touchpads.

How Touchscreens Work
A touchscreen has 3 main components: a touch sensor, a controller, and a software driver. To make a complete touch input system, a touchscreen is combined with a display and a PC or other device.

1. Touchscreen Sensor
This is a glass plate having a touch responsive surface. The sensor is positioned over a display screen, so that the responsive area of the plate covers the maximum viewable area of the video screen. There are a number of touch sensor technologies available in the market today, each using a different approach to detect touch input. The sensor has an electric current or signal passing through it and touching the screen causes a change in the voltage or signal. This voltage or signal change is used to find out the location of the touch to the screen.

2. Controller
The controller used in a touchscreen is a small PC card that interconnects between the touch sensor and the PC. The controller takes data from the touch sensor and converts it into information that PC can understand. For integrated monitors, the controller is usually installed inside the monitor, or is placed in a plastic case for external touch add-ons/overlays. The controller is useful to determine what type of interface/connection you will need on the PC. Integrated touch monitors are provided with an extra cable connection on the back for the touchscreen. Controllers are available by connecting to a Serial/COM port (PC) or to a USB port (PC

Plasma: Basics, Applications, and Diagnostics

The three states of matter include solids, liquids, and gases. However, plasma, as we all know, is the fourth state of matter, in which matter exists as electrons and ions. So it is an electrified gas with both positive ions and negative electrons moving freely. This usually happens when a gas is given more energy and the negatively charged electrons, which are held by the pull of the nucleus, break free.

In a more focused way, plasma can be defined as a partially ionized gas, a mixture of electrons, atomic ions, molecular ions, neutral atoms, and molecules in the ground and excited states. The negative and positive charges compensate each other, and thus, most of them are electrically neutral. This is known as the property of quasi-neutrality. The presence of the charged particles in the plasma causes it to have a high electrical conductivity.

The motion of the particles in the plasma can cause local concentrations of positive and negative electric charges. These charge concentrations create long-ranged Coulombic field that affect the motion of charged particles far away from the charge concentrations. Thus, elements affect each other, even at large separations, giving plasma its characteristic collective behavior. In a more rigorous way, plasma can be defined as a quasi-neutral gas of charged and neutral particles characterized by a collective behavior.

In a plasma, both ions and electrons are free to move about, while in a gas they are bonded to the atom. This happens when we heat and energize the gas to much higher temperatures; and when the temperature is brought down the electrons and ions bond back to form individual atoms.

(Energy in) (Energy out)
Gas—–> Plasma —-> Gas

Plasma state has more energy content than the solid, liquid, and gaseous states, hence, it is known as the

Radio Frequency Smart Sensors

A RF Smart Monitor System is designed to allow the user to remotely collect machine vibration and temperature data without the need for cabling. This system, which is designed to monitor a wide variety of machine components, consists of following things:

1. Battery-powered sensors, which are placed on machine components and collect/process vibration and temperature data.
2. One or more RF Transceivers, each of which are able to remotely communicate with up to 64 sensors via radio.
3. RBMware 4.20 or later to create the database and analyze the Smart Sensor data.
4. A CSI Model 2120 or Handheld Personal Computer (HPC) to communicate with RBMware and the RF Transceiver.

This system is designed to smoothly integrate with RBMware 4.20 or later. Databases and routes are created in RBMware and downloaded to the 2120 or HPC. Four measurement points (vibration, PeakVue, temperature, and battery life) are generated with each sensor created in RBMware. Once a route has been created, the user downloads this information into a 2120 or HPC. The user then connects the 2120 or HPC to the RF Transceiver and requests data from the remotely-located sensors specified in the route. The transceiver then transmits a message to the selected sensors directing them to collect and process the data based on analysis parameters established in RBMware. When complete, each sensor remotely transmits vibration, PeakVue, temperature, and battery life data back to the 2120 or HPC via the transceiver. The collected data is then downloaded to RBMware for trending and analysis.

This system’s advantage is its wireless remote access capability, which is accomplished via a robust form of radio communications known as spread spectrum. This digital modulation technique has been widely used due to its immunity to interference. Spread spectrum systems are also very unlikely to cause

Spinach Computing

Green Machines

That lightning-like response―a hundred times faster than a silicon solar cell―may signal a bright future for plant-based electronics, says ORNL physicist Elias Greenbaum. In 1985, Greenbaum invented a way (now patented) to precipitate platinum onto the photosynthetic membranes from spinach, thus turning them into tiny electrical switches. These ‘platinized chloroplasts’, Greenbaum believes, could become the building blocks of artificial retinas for robotic vision systems, or even of speed-of-light optical computers.

Robert Birge, director of the Center for Molecular Electronics at Syracuse University, says Greenbaum’s membranes have ‘significant potential’ for artificial vision. “They’re very efficient,” he says. “They produce a highly characteristic electrical signal, and the response times are excellent―faster than the human retina.”

In fact, Birge―developer of a way to use proteins for data storage―foresees a veritable green wave of bioelectronics within a decade or so. Already, he says, Mitsubishi is close to introducing an optical disk based on light-sensitive biological pigments.

According to Birge, nature’s electronics are not just faster than silicon electronics, they’re also potentially cheaper and―as you might expect―far easier on the environment. The reason for their advantages, he says, is this: They have a billion-year head start over silicon semiconductors. “Five to seven years ago,” Birge notes, “people assumed that these biological molecules could not possibly be as efficient as the molecules people design from scratch in the laboratory. They also assumed that these molecules would be easily damaged by light or heat. What Eli has shown is that quite the opposite is true.”

Spinach Protein Finds New Use
Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have found a new use for spinach―electronic components.

The scientists say that a protein in spinach has the ability to convert photons from the Sun into electrical energy. When spinach proteins are arranged in an ordered fashion

Computer Technology Topics

The 21st century is the age of computer technology and it has brought about a fundamental change in every facet of our life. It has largely influenced the way we communicate and the way information exchange is facilitated in today’s world. An emergent phenomenon, that is a byproduct of advances in computer networking technology, is the Internet. It has truly transformed the world into a global village, with every part of the world linked to its vast network. This happened out of the evolution of the field of information technology (IT).

Topics About Computer Technology

If you are planning to pursue a career in information technology. You have a lot to learn. This is a compendium of many computer related topics, that will provide you with an idea about the things you need to know, as you become a part of the large community of technologists.

It involves information about the history of computers, as well as topics on new technologies. It’s singularly impossible to cover each and every topic related to these fields, in one article. That’s why, I have provided links to detailed articles, on various technological trends.

History Topics
Programmable computers have been in development since the 1930s. Within seven to eight decades, they have evolved from the early vacuum tube based four-story machines, to the laptops and supercomputers of today. The development of operating systems and establishment of software development industries, combined with advances in semiconductor physics, have led to the portable PC revolution we see today. If you are researching their history, here are some interesting topics to read.

– When was the First Computer Made
– History of Computers
– Who Made the First Computer
– Intel Microprocessor History
– History of Microprocessors
– History of Macintosh Computers
– Computer History: Full Timeline

Importance of Information Technology

Information technology pertains to the study, design, and development of computer systems (hardware and software) and networks, which are used for obtaining, processing, and distributing data. This field has been growing at a very fast pace over the last few years, and according to experts, this growth is expected to remain stable. Millions of jobs have been created by IT, and hence, today, it is essential for everyone to understand what information technology is, and how it plays a vital role in every aspect of modern-day life.

Why is Information Technology Important in Business?

Information technology today is essential in ensuring the smooth functioning of all the departments in a company, such as the human resource department, finance department, manufacturing department and in security related purposes.

Many different businesses require specialized software-packages for satisfying their operational as well as functional needs. The major companies sign deals with the software manufacturing companies to purchase their products along with their yearly updates. Some even get specific software designed according to their individual needs.

The manufacturing and production companies, such as those in the automobile sector, use IT and software products to get rid of any sort of errors or mistakes, in the proper functioning of the tools used for designing and manufacturing purposes. Further, thanks to the developments in the information technology sector, these companies are able to keep themselves aware of the changes in the global markets.

The software applications and the hardware devices are known to be the main elements required for the use of information technology. The web browsers, the operating systems, ERP’s and special purpose applications are the software which are used in information technology.

IT plays an important role in easily solving the mathematical problems especially in engineering and in the project management system. It has great

Impact of Information Technology on Business

Information technology is a wide field, and has enabled organizations across the world to work in an efficient manner. It plays a very important role in effective management and running of a business. The use of IT in organizations is inevitable, be it any type of company like manufacturing or medicinal sector. It has contributed largely to the process advancements in organizations. In this write-up, you will understand the impact of information technology on business.

Basic Elements

Software and Applications

Software is an important part of IT, which relates to computer applications that enable a company to generate, store, program, and retrieve data as and when needed. There are many software developed for different purposes. All operations in the business sector are carried out by software that are assigned for executing specific tasks. Without these computer applications, the trade wouldn’t have been able to carry out their functions in a proper and efficient manner. Operating systems, ERPs, special purpose applications, and web browsers are some examples of different software.

There are some software, which are exclusively built to contribute to the proper collaborative working of all sections of the businesses, which are known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). These are complex applications, which enable people to efficiently manage all functions and operations of all processes.

Hardware Devices

These are various computer equipment that house the software. Devices like microcomputers, mid-size servers, and huge mainframe systems are some examples of hardware. Businesses have to maintain a huge collection of important data. For this purpose, they employ these devices, which are responsible for storing confidential company data and retrieving it back when required. Other hardware devices include network devices that are used for providing Internet access to work and communicate expeditiously. There are even devices, which enable manufacturing tools and equipment to

What is Information Technology

The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) defines Information Technology as “the study, design, development, implementation, support, or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.”

Information, meaning processed form of raw data, is something which is valued very highly in today’s world. A person possessing the right kind of information and using it at the right time, can surely work wonders. From the credit card numbers which we use for shopping, to the confidential bank account details, everything is stored in the form of binary digits in computers. These details can be used or misused depending on what kind of people have authorized or unauthorized access to it. With the help of IT and our increasing dependency on machines, our life has become far easier, but we are more vulnerable now than before.

What is Information Technology?

The term ‘information technology’ (IT) evolved in the 1970s and if we consider a medium or large company providing goods or services, its IT department will be responsible for storing, protecting, processing, retrieving, and transmitting the information. IT is a wide and varied sector, and is represented in some form in almost all the industries. It is a blend of computers and communication technology where IT professionals perform a variety of duties, ranging from development and installation of applications, to designing complex computer networks and databases. The IT industry consists of computers, communication mediums, peripherals, electronics-related organizations, software, and services. Usage of IT for the completion of tasks in any organization, speeds up the processing and information mobility, and also improves the reliability and integrity of information.


Computers: Computers are very important in order to store and process data. Depending on the size, cost, and processing ability, computers are divided into four categories. They are mainframes,

How has Computer Technology Affected our Lives?

Using a computer to write about computers is like searching for ‘Google’ on Google! Computer technology is so much a part of our lives, that we cannot imagine living without it. Computers serve as efficient data storage systems and excellent information processors. They can store, organize, and manage huge amounts of data. Moreover, they operate at incomparable speeds, thus saving human time and effort to a large extent. True, they are an integral part of our lives. It is said that inventions change the way we live. Computer technology is a classic example of this adage. It has indeed changed our way of living.

Computer technology that is in daily use today finds its roots in the oldest computing systems like Abacus and slide rules. The evolution of computers can be traced back to calculators and punched cards, which were some of the earliest computing devices. Analog computing devices evolved into digital information processors and from then on, there was no looking back! For a closer look at the major events in the computer history, you must go through the full timeline of computers.

For many years after 1960, when the third generation computers were created, desktops remained to be popular for personal and business use. Research in this field continued, giving rise to the development of laptops, palmtops, miniature tablet PCs, and PDAs. As we see today, they serve as ‘personal digital assistants’ in the literal sense of the term. Their small size endows them with portability, thus adding to user convenience. As they can be operated on batteries, they provide computer users with mobile computing capabilities. How has this affected our lives? Well, we can remain connected to the world at all times. Work is no more location-dependent.

Operating systems are a vital component of

Information Infrastructure Design in IT

As life progresses, new information emerges, in turn leading to further progress of mankind. Information remains to be like a limitless ocean. It is infinite and extends till eternity. Information technology (IT) involves the management of information on computer-based information systems. IT deals with the use of computers to store, process, and retrieve information. The construction and design of a safe, reliable, and an always-available information infrastructure is an important constituent of information systems.

Information Infrastructure
It is the collection of communication networks and the software associated with it. It refers to networks and software, which support interaction among people and organizations or the currently available networks and the prospective facilities that they will make available. It includes the Internet, the telecommunication networks, and the embedded systems as also computers.

Internet that is regarded as the network of networks is the information infrastructure of today. It is a collection of interconnected computer networks that transmit data in the form of packets using the Internet Protocol. Each of the networks carries information and services like mail and file transfer. World wide web, a collection of documents and other resources, is a service offered by the Internet.

Information infrastructure design is concerned with issues like privacy, security, translation, right to information, and most importantly, software and hardware compatibilities. Let us look at each of them.

Privacy: Privacy of information is related to the collection of personal information. Many a time, we are asked to furnish our personal details on the web. It might be in case of an online transaction or in the process of a registration. Such information collected over the web has to be kept private and confidential. People should feel safe while letting out such information. For this purpose, it is important to include information privacy

Alexander Graham Bell Biography

Alexander Graham Bell was a noteworthy scientist, innovator and inventor. Along with his invention of the telephone, he has made a valuable contribution to the field of hydrofoils and aeronautics. This article gives an overview of his illustrious work and the inspiring journey of his life.
Born on March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland, Alexander showed a flair for art, poetry, and music since his childhood years. He was a student of the Royal High School, from which he dropped out. However, he continued pursuing his interest in science. At the age of ten, Alexander adopted ‘Graham’ as his middle name.
Since an early age, Alexander was experimental. At the age of twelve, he came up with a dehusking machine that used nailbrushes and rotating paddles. This was Bell’s first invention.
Elocution skills ran in Bell’s family. His father and grandfather were elocutionists. Alexander took keen interest in his father’s work related to the fields of elocution and visible speech. He soon became a part of his father’s demonstrations of deciphering symbols in different languages.
Alexander Bell received great encouragement from his father to continue with his experiments on speech. He deduced that if vowel sounds could be produced through electrical means, so could consonants and articulate speech.
In 1865, the Bell family moved to London after which Alexander focused on his experiments with electricity. He also helped his father with Visible Speech demonstrations. Alexander soon began to work at the Hull’s private school for the deaf, where he taught two students.
In 1870, the Bells moved to Ontario and started staying with Reverend Thomas Henderson, their family friend. They later purchased a property and began to stay in their own house. Alexander set up a small workshop near his new residence to continue with his experiments on human voice.
Alexander Bell was instrumental in translating

Famous American Scientists

The land of America has produced many inventors and scientists. The period between 19th and 20th century was that of speedy growth for scientific development. However, the foundation for development was laid prior to this period. The great scientists from America worked in various fields of science to make path-breaking discoveries and inventions. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Alva Edison, George Washington Carver, Barbara McClintock, and many others brought glory to America by making valuable contributions in this field.

Scientists and Inventors from America

Short profiles of famous American scientists are presented in this article. The following content about renowned American scientists for kids should prove to be informative.

Benjamin Franklin
Born on 17th January, 1706, Benjamin Franklin mainly worked in the field of physics. His notable inventions include the bifocal lens, lightning rod, carriage odometer, Franklin Stove, and glass harmonica. One of the specialties of Franklin’s work was that he never patented the inventions. The principle of ‘conservation of charge’ was first discovered by Franklin. Electrical fluid, as it was referred to in those days, was classified in two categories i.e., vitreous and resinous. Franklin had claimed that these weren’t two different types but the same entity under different pressures.

Thomas Edison
He was not only one of the famous American inventors, but also was a successful businessman. Born on 11th February, 1847, Thomas Alva Edison came from Milan, Ohio. The electric bulb is one of his most notable inventions. Other inventions include the motion picture camera and phonograph. Improvements made in the incandescent light by Edison laid the foundation for inventing electric bulb. A system for distribution of electricity was patented by Edison in 1880. He earned large profits by first patenting the inventions, and then setting up mass production systems.

George Washington Carver
He was one of the