A Short Introduction to the Revolutionary 3D Printing Technology

One of the most remarkable technologies to have been developed in recent years has to be that of 3D printing. This technology enables you to use a specialized printer to create the things you design on a computer with the help of certain materials. If you are planning to use this technology, it helps to know a bit about it like the working of the technology, salient features, scanners and 3D modelling applications, how to print etc.

How Does This Technology Work?

In order to 3D print something, you need to create the concept art of the object first. A virtual design has to be created in the form of a specialized file such as CAD. CAD files can be created with the help of a 3D scanner if you are planning on cloning a specific object. A 3D modeling application will also suffice if you want to create the design on your computer.

3D Scanners: These specialized scanners can make use of various technologies in order to create a 3D model. Some examples include volumetric sacking and structured light among others. 3D scanners are an important part of 3D printing technology but they can be rather expensive but cheap DIY kits are also available.

3D Modeling Applications: Like scanners, you can find a range of these applications. Professional grade applications are quite costly. On the other hand, free or cheap applications are also available for beginners to create concept art with. Some applications even come with tutorials to help you get started.

Printing the Model

Once you have readied the model, you need to work on it further to get it ready for 3D printing. In order to prepare the model, a process known as slicing is used. In it, the model is sliced into numerous horizontal layers. In order to do so, you need a specialized software. Some modeling applications have this function built into them. In some cases, you may have to use a specific slicing tool that is compatible with the 3D printer. Once completed, the actual printing process can be started. The time required for the printing to be completed depends on the printer you are using, the materials you are working with and the complexity of the structure.

3D printing technology has certainly progressed far. However, it still has a long way to go till it becomes a part of homes like regular 2D printers.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9487454

Tips on Making Distributed Agile Teams Successful

Tips on Making Distributed Agile Successful

Purists and Scrum hipsters will argue that dispersed teams are a taboo in Agile communities of practice. However, in reality there are many instances where an organization has to outsource due to lack of local skill set or other reasons. Being prepared for what to expect and how to approach and prepare for the facilitation of distributed teams can go a long way in ensuring the success of the Agile initiative.

1. Decide on how to distribute

  • Teams work differently in their remote locations, but the whole team officially syncs up at least once a day, but also ad-hoc as situations call for it;
  • ach team in each location has all the necessary skills to execute on the committed sprint backlog;
  • Individuals in different cities must be encouraged to work as one team as opposed to one team in country A and another in country B;

2. Create stickiness or coherence

  • We want teams that will stick together which requires a clear vision;
  • We therefore acknowledge that cultures in our team differ – we should encourage collaboration and relationship nurturing early on in the project for sub-cultures to form;
  • Work actively to strengthen tactical as well as team structures;
  • Build trust through early communication of progress

3. You’re going to have to change how you communicate

  • In the Cinderella Project (a perfect project) a team would come together from their disparate locations to meet, socialize and form cohesion;
  • We encourage teams to stay together for at least an iteration;
  • Learn the lay of the land
  • Become familiar with the ‘flavour of Agile’ being used (e.g. all teams estimate, collaborate, execute and communicate differently – get to know these traits – it’s going to make or break your Agile initiative!)
  • Organize quarterly visits for either the whole team or have people cross pollinate through travelling between locations
  • Invest in the concept of having team ambassadors, people that ensure good working relationships
  • A Wiki culture, or information sharing philosophy is going to be very important, more so than with co-located teams
  • You are going to need more meat on that product backlog to physical counter the absence of key people
  • Horizontal communication must be encouraged and drive
  • Distance isn’t such a problem, time zones are!

When transitioning to a distributed team, err on the side of over-communicating.

4. Additions you’d need to accommodate in the framework you are using:

  • Meetings will require slack time, people are going to catch up (and rightfully so) whether you like it or not;
  • Share news as it happens about the project, good and bad
  • Honour basic meeting etiquette:
  • One conversation at a time
  • Everyone must know who is speaking
  • Keep to the time-boxes
  • Facilitator to set up technology, conference bridge etc. in advance of meeting, and test the connections
  • Ensures everyone has the right dial-in information

5. Technology

  • You’ll have to ensure your technology supports your dispersed nature
  • Use Agile Lifecycle Management tools like Jira, VersionOne etc
  • Use proper high quality video and voice tools to video-conference successfully and to bridge the distance gap
  • Online whiteboards for design sessions will aid collaboration
  • An online Retrospective tool that will ensure the opportunity to improve isn’t lost
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9479201

Getting The Perfect Drone For Your Child

Drones make very popular gifts for children and with so many models available for kids, you will find one that your child will love flying. Drones are generally safe for children and you therefore have nothing to worry about. You can actually improve your family time when you get a drone for your kids complete with a camera to capture those moments in the park or around the house or garden.

The good thing about kids is that they are fast learners and it will take a short moment for them to learn how to safely control the drones. It is however still important that you supervise the kids as they enjoy the flying. When you are out looking for the best drones for kids, you will realize that quality increases with price. But there are so many sturdy and cheap drones you can get for your kids. With the right selection, you will be able to purchase a drone that is easy to fly, easy to maintain and one that is durable for that matter.

Consider the minimum flying age

The truth is that drones are not suitable for kids of any given age. Drone manufacturers do give age recommendations when it comes to the mini drones with eight years being the cut for most. You can however also use child maturity to determine what age is perfect for them to own and fly a drone. Whereas age of 10 may look suitable enough, children who are familiar with robotics and such may be able to fly the drones at younger ages. The age should also guide to the drone features that are relevant. For instance, kids over age of 12 will most likely find action camera drones more appealing than those without.

Check speed and size

These are the two elements that play a role in drone accidents. When choosing drones for kids, it is safer that you go for the model made of ABS plastic that is lightweight and durable. This kind of a drone eliminates the damage that could be caused by a much heavier or larger drone, especially when a child is just learning to fly. Small toy drones are basically harmless. Lower yaw rate are also best for kids. Propeller rotating speeds should be selected accordingly to minimize dangers when children are learning to fly. Slow flying drones are safer for kids, but you can always upgrade the size and speed according to the age and skill achieved.

Think about flying environment

You can either get an indoor or an outdoor drone for your child or one that can be flown in both environments. Indoor drones have stable hovers and very responsive commands whereas outdoor drones should at least be wind resistant and feature motor power to keep hover stable. Before buying, ensure that you have enough space to fly it, whether indoors or outdoors. The last thing you want is to have your kids fly the drones in your neighbor’s space which can be privacy invasion.

Drones for kids can keep them busy and excited as long as you choose a safe and secure model. Find out all about the drone before buying so you are sure it is the best for the child.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9509404

Appointment Scheduling Software – The Benefits And Choosing The Best

Appointment scheduling software helps in managing appointments. This is very important for businesses, including those that are in the service industry because customers and clients are always looking for convenience and do not like waiting in line. With proper appointment scheduling, you are able to see customers and attend to their needs without wasting their time and having large numbers waiting to be served giving you a hard time managing everyone easily.

Scheduling software makes it possible for the clients to book appointments online from wherever they are. Some of the platforms are very good in that they make it possible for you as a business to process prepayments and deposits online. With such an important tool, you are able to handle and serve customers satisfactorily and everyone is happy at the end of the day. With such software, you do not need to get a person to answer calls and schedule appointments.

Some of the businesses that can benefit most from the appointment scheduling software include gyms, medical offices, spas and salons. Professional consultants and photographers will also find such a system helpful in tracking appointments.

The benefits

· Manages wait lists so there is better customer handling

· Offers customers flexibility of booking appointments online without a need to call or visit for the same

· Sends automated mobile notifications to serve as reminders for the scheduled appointment

· Supports online payments offering lots of convenience for business and customers

· Integrates calendars and important business systems that matter

· Reduces costs because no person will be needed to attend to calls and schedule the appointments

· Saves time for both business and the customers

· Customers can easily schedule appointments at any given time; the system remains accessible round the clock

Getting the best

With so many benefits, you definitely will want to consider appointment software. To have the best experience as a business and to give the best to your customers too, there are things you must consider in the system.

Ease of use – Software you choose should be user friendly. Even a customer with no computer skills should have an easy time booking the appointment using the system. Try it out before settling for it.

Customization – Is it possible for you to customize the system? A system that gives you this ability is best because then you can make it work in the manner you want. You should be able to change layout to meet your brand, integrate it with business and also control access. The more control you have, the better the system will be.

Size and price – Scheduling appointment software that grows with business is most beneficial. You should be able to only pay for the size you need for the business, then you can upgrade as the demand for more space and functionalities grows.

Date security – The system should have measures to ensure that client data remains secure to meet professional standards of the industry you are in. You also deserve to get technical support at any given time for the system that you settle for in the end.

When you have an appointment scheduling software, customer handling is made easy and convenient. Choose a system that meets with every business need you have to get best value.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9521099

5 Common Problems With Fiber Optic Cables

fiber-optic-cableMost fiber optic cables are designed professionally and are meant to work effectively for a long time. While this is the case it doesn’t mean that the units don’t develop problems. Just like any other units, the cables develop problems and it’s up to you to identify and fix them. To help you out here are some of the most common fiber optic fiber problems:

External damage

Common external damages are splits and scratches on the units. The units are highly sensitive; therefore, even the most minor damages have the ability to prevent effective transfer of signals. If you have noticed some defects on your units you should replace them as early as possible.

The optic cable is too long

Optic fibers come in different sizes and lengths and it’s up to you to choose the one that is ideal for your application. In some cases, people install units that are too long than needed. A cable that is too long is at the risk of winding around itself. A long unit is also at the risk of bending or twisting. These actions often result in permanent damage to the optic fibers and its components. To avoid installing the wrong size of cable you should take your time to use a measuring tape and measure the distance that you are looking to cover.

Improperly installed connectors

Connectors join two or more cables and play a vital role in determining the effectiveness of the optic cables. It’s common for some contractors to improperly install the cables resulting to cable problems. To fix the problems you should hire an experienced contractor to install the cables properly.

Stretching

It’s a mistake to have optic cables that are too long. It’s also a mistake to have cables that are too short as they are prone to stretching. As mentioned, the cables are very sensitive and even a minor damage can prevent the cables from working properly. To prevent the cables from stretching you should ensure that you install them at the right place. You should also avoid pulling the cable jacket during installation. The best way of going about it is using grips at the connectors.

Old age

Just like anything else under the sun fiber optic cables get old. Old cables are not only ineffective in their working, they also tend to develop problems every now and then. When your cables are old, the best way of fixing them is replacing them.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9541885

Importance of Having Mobile Apps for Small Businesses

The world has gone Mobile. The number of smart phone users globally has grown exponentially over the past 5 years. The number of Android & iOS devices sold globally has crossed a billion mark each. Hence, it is no longer sufficient to have only a website for your business. Any business, small or large must have a mobile app. Let us look at some of the most important reasons why you should opt for a mobile app for your business:

1. Branding – A mobile application is the best way to create brand awareness for your business. You can use your logo, your business’s tag line or a message that you would like your customers to connect with your business to create a brand recall. Every time a customer who has downloaded your mobile apps sees your logo in the form of the mobile app icon on their screen, they will recall you.

2. Increased Reach – Because of the sheer penetration of mobile phones and other mobile devices like tablets and the improved Internet connectivity in most parts of the world, the number of people you can reach through a app has increased tremendously. It is easier for your existing as well as potential customers to find out the right information about your products or services through your mobile app.

3. Create Customer Database & Profile – It is easier to collect customer data in terms of phone number and email id through a mobile apps. You can also allow your app users to login via their social media accounts like Facebook or Google. This will give you access to other valuable data like their areas of interest, their lifestyle choice, their shopping preferences, etc. This data can then be used by your marketing team to send out the right communication.

4. Increased Engagement – By building the right features in your app you can utilize it as a powerful way to increase engagement with your existing and potential customers. You can include features like social sharing and a help desk (for sales and service queries) in the app to improve direct communication with your customers. This will in turn help your business to connect closely with your customers.

5. Push Notifications – This is one of the biggest advantages of having a mobile apps. You can ask your Mobile App Development Solution provider to integrate a push notification feature in your app which will help you with your on-the-go marketing. Through this feature, you can send bulk messages to all the app users or specific messages to a sub-set of your app users based on the message. You can also communicate about the latest offers or discounts you are offering to your customers regularly through push notifications. Best of all, it doesn’t cost you a penny to send out these messages, unlike SMS or Email marketing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9542932

Breakthrough Battery Charging Technologies

573af00ec7a35Battery chargers are devices that feed electric currents into rechargeable batteries to renew their energy. Protocols for charging depend of the type of battery being used and its size. Some batteries are programmed to tolerate overcharging while being connected to a constant current source. Such kinds may need manual disconnection when the battery is recharged or they may cut-off at a fixed time through a timer. Those types that cannot withstand overcharging may have in-built voltage and temperature sensing circuits to cut off when fully charged.

Over the decades, smart phones and other devices have become technologically advanced with each passing year but power limitations are severely restrictive. The battery hasn’t witnessed the kind of advance that other devices have. But all that may be changing now.

It is only now that big technology companies such as those making electric vehicles are becoming aware of the limitations of lithium-ion batteries. The maximum recharge duration of the best Smartphone is limited to less than 60 hours while operating systems are becoming more and more power efficient. Universities around the world are making huge investments into a plethora of studies, research and discoveries. However, in spite of the many developments that have taken place especially in the last two decades, the ‘perfect replacement’ has not yet been achieved. Manufacturing techniques cost huge amounts and any additional changes come with huge costs.

But we may see huge changes as early as 2017 with superfast 30-second recharging and over-the-air charging likely to start trending.

Some of the path-breaking discoveries and technologies could be those that we are reading about already.

• Lithium-air breathing batteries – this mean oxygen is the oxidizer resulting in batteries costing nearly a fifth of the price and weighing a fifth less than lithium-ion making phones, cars and other devices last longer. Dallas University is still pursuing this discovery and it may take at least five years to come to market.

• Bioo plant charger – as the name suggests, this harnesses photosynthesis to charge a device. Already available in the market, the ‘plant pot’ reacts with organic matter and water using organic materials and generates enough power for charging devices. This is a huge step forward as it provides green energy and allows energy from forests to be harnessed; in addition, it can add up to a greener planet.

• Gold nanowire batteries – a thousand times thinner than human hair, this technology provides a breakthrough for future batteries that can withstand plenty of recharging and not die. Researchers at the University of California have used gold nanowires in a gel electrolyte that have withstood 200,000 recharges in three months and have not broken down at all.

• Magnesium batteries – a breakthrough in harnessing the mineral magnesium for batteries has been achieved by some scientists. This allows for smaller densely packed battery units that in the long run could make cheaper batteries not dependent on lithium-ion. However, this is still in the development stage.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9545782

4 Myths About Fiber Optic Cables

While fiber optic cables have been around for a long time, most people don’t fully understand them. Due to this, there are plenty of myths surrounding them. Some of the most common myths include:

The optic fibers are expensive

Years ago, the fibers used to be expensive. They were more expensive than copper. This is no longer the case. Nowadays, due to the drop in the manufacturing costs and ease of terminations, fiber optics are now less expensive than most of the copper installations. In addition to the cables being cheap, they are also easy to maintain.

The cables are difficult to terminate

Just as the fiber cables were expensive a few years ago, they were also difficult to terminate. The cables were fragile, they required you to limit the amount of exposed glass, and the glass shards were dangerous thus you had to take great care of yourself. With advances in technology, this is no longer the case. Nowadays terminating the fibers with SSF is very easy. In fact, you can do it with just a little training.

The fiber optic is impossible to hack

Fiber optic cables are often used in computer connections. One of the most sensitive issues with computer connections is the ability of other people to get access to your information through hacking. The cables use light that stays within the cables which makes it difficult for hackers to access your data. While this is the case, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for hackers to access your information. All the hackers need to do is to have a network tap and a physical access to your cable. Due to this risk, you should take the safety of your computers seriously to prevent people from getting into your network. You should also encrypt any data that you want to be kept private.

Optic fiber infrastructure is different from that in copper

In most cases, fiber optics are compared to copper. Since they are competitors, many people feel that their infrastructure is different. This isn’t the case. Most of the parts and pieces of the two are similar. The wall boxes, patch cables, wall plates, and in-wall components are the same. The layout of the two networks is also similar.

Conclusion

If you didn’t know some inside details about optic cables now you know. For the units to give you ideal results you need to buy them from a reputable store.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9553585

Important Tips To Improve Photogrammetry Scanning Quality

Photogrammetry can simply be defined as the measurement of photographs. It is a process that largely depends on camera positioning around the given subject and light control to create high resolution details of skin and clothing. The scanning can be used for capturing data for various projects including face replacements and CG characters. With so many variables to control, photogrammetry scanning can be overwhelming. There is just too much trial and errors involved to achieve best practices but with a few helpful tips, it is very possible to achieve accuracy and top quality with the process.

Tip 1 – Think about overlapping coverage. When building your setup, you should use as many cameras as possible so you are able to reduce or minimize manual cleanup later. Enough coverage translates into very decent recreation and you will also rarely miss any information when you use enough cameras so manual cleanup is very minimal.

Tip 2 – Put in measures to minimize distortions. When there are distortions, it is given that your system will have issues aligning the images. The fact is that most Photogrammetry systems come with a lens that helps reduce images, but it is always a much better choice to try and minimize it in-camera. Use tools that match with the camera format that you are using to get the best results every time.

Tip 3 – Mask out the background to dramatically improve overall quality of generated mesh and post processing time. It is a process that can be time consuming, especially when you need to go through every single picture but it pays off in the end. If manual masking is something you would rather avoid, then you can use systems that offer automatic masking feature to achieve a clean background. It also helps to tie cables together and eliminating any junk from the frame, especially when using a camera rig.

Tip 4 – Focus on more resolution when operating. You can use as much as necessary from your sensor because the more the resolution you can achieve then the more detailed your mesh is going to be. Try every way not to waste a single pixel if you can actually use it for quality benefits.

Tip 5 – Remember that lighting remains key in all kinds of photography. To increase depth of filed and eliminate photo noise, keep your aperture small and ISO as low as you can. But because doing so will definitely decrease amount of light that you get to work with, ensure that you have other light sources to substitute. Consider using flashes over continuous lighting that are less efficient, less color accurate and expensive for that matter. Flashes keep talent comfortable and enough lit unlike continuous lights that can produce heat leaving enclosed rig hot.

Tip 6 – Pay attention to photo orientation. It is factor that plays a huge role in accuracy of projects and it needs to be accurate for every camera position. Increase number of well-positioned points to improve orientation quality. These points should take up a greater percentage of photograph area.

Photogrammetry is among the services that you can enjoy from 3D scanning experts. Choose a service provider you can trust to deliver quality to your photo project, however demanding it could be.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9564478

6 Top Areas of 3D Scanning Benefits

3D scanning process has proved to be very beneficial in capturing the exact measurements and shape of any given object. It is a technology that has eased production processes in all fields and more people are now embracing the benefits of this sought of scanning where total accuracy of details on an object is needed. It is a process that has actually reduced manufacturing costs and yet offers higher quality parts in the end. Below are some of the top areas the 3D scanning benefits.

1. Prototype

This process can be applied to prototype phase in different kinds of ways, but the major use is to reduce design cycles needed in the prototyping. When 3D scans are used in designing a part, the accurate data makes it possible to utilize precise measurements of the physical product reducing the process by a huge percentage. The scanning is also combined with prototyping so that physical objects are scaled accurately.

2. Design

It is among the areas that have greatly benefited from 3D scanning. They scans are applied starting with physical object and then using this to create a CAD model. Mating parts are also scanned and then incorporated into a given design so the end result is better fitting parts that are consistent. This process is known as reverse engineering or modeling and when utilized, new designs are improved and incorporated for engineering optimization of manufactured part.

3. Production

In production, the scanning is used to capture tooling or parts changes which occur in the production phase. Usually hand tuning is needed in tooling to get the desired finish and look of a given part. When 3D comes into the picture, the optimizations and hand modifications are easy to transfer from tool to tool so all parts manufactured match after the production ends. The scans also help in analyzing and characterizing tool wear during the production; this is very helpful in correcting tool failure or eliminating the same before it is too late. It is actually very possible to recreate optimized part using a 3D scan.

4. Engineering

3D scan data makes it possible for physical objects to be translated into the engineering phase of projects directly. The data offer flexibility in performing FEA, CAE, CFD and other analysis that is necessary in the engineering area on objects manufactured and physically modified. The process offers a simple way of achieving accuracy.

5. Quality control

Using 3D scanning, it has become possible to analyze built condition of parts after manufacturing. This non-contact technology offers a quick way of inspecting overalls size and shape of the parts and detecting issues that could affect performance of the parts. When combined with statistical analysis software, 3D scanning helps maintain and predict the quality of parts in the manufacturing phase.

6. Distribution

It might sound unrealistic, but 3D scanning comes handy in vision systems used in distribution and shipping centers to sort and track packages. The scanning certifies the integrity of products before and after shipping. It is also used to increase packing density and creating support structures and casing.

Lidar scanning systems are some of the systems used in 3D scans to create offer precise digital copies of props, cars, aircraft and even buildings. There is just so much that can be enjoyed using the systems.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9564472