Originally Published MPMN
Originally Published MPMN July 2003
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The Engineering Staff of Intuitive Surgical
|The following engineers from Intuitive Surgical contributed to this article (clockwise): Stacey Chang, Bruce Baker, Andy Ramans, Steve Blumenkranz,
Roman Devengenzo, Art Gwerder, and Tom Cooper. Not pictured: Maggie Nixon, Chris Anderson, Joe Orban, and Randy Goldberg.
Online Conversion (www.onlineconversion.com)
covers every imaginable unit-to-unit conversion. I don't bother with printed charts anymore. This is more convenient and simple to use.
MatWeb (www.matweb.com) is a thorough database on material properties for just about everything. It's very useful for finding and comparing material properties that, otherwise, would take several sources.
Century Spring (www.centuryspring.com) has a tremendous stock of all kinds of springs. A catalog search allows you to specify the physical dimensions of springs or their functional requirements.
Find Chips (www.findchips.com/ avail) is a good resource for searching multiple distributors of electronics components . . . and it's free! The search engine gets the search results directly from the distributors, and provides links to those sites.
Vishay Strain Gage Technology (www.vishay.com/brands/measurements_group/guide/index.htm) has extensive theoretical information that allows you to determine the best sensor for your application. It also has practical technical papers that assist in areas such as bonding techniques and data acquisition methods.
The Goal of Engineers Edge (www.engineersedge.com) is to be a "total solutions design, engineering, and manufacturing resource." There are good references for hardware data, material properties, design equations, and even some Web-based design calculators. I've used this site a lot for application and theoretical information.
Stock Drive Products (www.sdpsi.com) is great for specifying gears and general drive components. Plus the site has 3-D CAD models that can be downloaded for free in several different formats.
Engineering Toolbox (www.engineerstoolbox.com/index.html) is a browser-based application. It allows engineers to do real-time calculations such as beam design, column design, spring design, pressure vessels, interference fits, spring mass systems, and so forth. The Java-based software has a great user interface that supplies both numerical and graphic outputs. The interface allows the user to quickly run through what-if scenarios for various technical problems.
McMaster Carr (www.mcmaster.com) is a distributor of pretty much anything you need for your facility. Even with an offering of more than 400,000 items, the Web site is very easy to navigate and use. The search engine usually hits very close to the intended products, and the ordering process is fairly straightforward. The entire transaction can be completed on-line, and the order tracking process is easy.
Two reference sites (fonsg3.let.uva. nl/Service/Statistics.html and www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/uss/index.html) provide an overview of statistical tests and explain the usefulness of each analysis. You can also perform analyses. Both sites are fairly basic but effective. The second site also provides additional statistical information, including some tables, for those who don't have access to any.
How Stuff Works (www.howstuffworks.com/index.htm) is a general information Web site that will provide fundamental knowledge on how just about anything works. You can explore topics more deeply.
Steven Henderson's Web site (www.shender4.com) is an engineering site I use a fair amount. It contains several different conversion calculators as well as commonly needed reference information about stuff like threads and metal finishes.
And what about Yahoo Maps (maps. yahoo.com/)? Who doesn't use this when you have to go from here to there?
Intuitive Surgical (Sunnyvale, CA; www.intusurg.com) develops products and technologies designed to provide surgeons with the flexibility of traditional open surgery while operating through tiny ports. These technologies may aid in reducing trauma, postoperative pain, and surgical complications for patients. The firm has developed and commercialized the Da Vinci Surgical System.--Laura Angela Bagnetto
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