Re: printing complex machines

Paul Hillman

Couldn't a coupler be developed that had a miniature, internal micro-magnet (or something), that could be opened using a handheld light-emitter wand (or something) ? It could operate like a prototype coupler, staying open until coupled, then be released / activated for uncoupling.

There'd be no more uncoupling ramps or magnets, or wiring. Cars could be uncoupled anywhere and without any touching of them.

I've been thinking about this for quite awhile but haven't done any research into it's possibilities. All of the modern micro-chips and MEMS seem to be able to make this happen, even for possibly "only pennies" ??? I wonder if KADEE, or others, are working on this? It would be a MAJOR revolution in the coupler industry, and their usage.

Paul Hillman

----- Original Message -----
From: carbonblack1<mailto:radepierre@...>
To: STMFC@...<mailto:STMFC@...>
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 2:03 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: printing complex machines

Although this is off-topic, and the thread should not go much further, it is none-the-less quite interesting.
MEMS technology is the foundation of the device featured in the link offered by Mr. O'Connor.
Could technology such as this show up in model railway products ?
Perhaps... but I would not go looking for it just yet from your favorite R-T-R manufacturers. :-)
MEMS are not really new either. We were deploying them at Lucent Tech well over ten years ago in complex all-otical switching system products.

But, for those curious folks, here are a couple links regarding MEMS.<><><>

Ron dePierre

--- In STMFC@...<>, timboconnor@... wrote:
> I can't think of any particular model application for this off the top of my head, but
> it looks pretty interesting ... It's kinda fascinating that they can produce up-and-down
> motion without any gears, wheels, cams, or other traditional 'mechanism' .
> Tim O'Connor

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