What’s more hydrophobic than a cat? The superhydrophobic materials GE Global Research is developing to keep ice off big machines like wind turbines. When water hits the surface of a superhydrophobic material it bounces right off, like it’s doing on this cat’s head. See more hydrophobic action in this video of water droplets filmed with a high speed camera.
To celebrate how 3D printing is changing the way the world works, we’re giving it its own holiday: 3D Printing Day. To mark the occasion, GE teamed up with designers to create different prototypes for printable gifts. Check out the list at 3Dprintmygift.tumblr.com and on December 3rd, tweet using the hashtag #3DPrintMyGift for a chance to have your own customized gift printed and shipped to you.
In the 1950s, William H. Sahloff, who ran GE’s housewares division at the time, saw a need to be filled in the American kitchen: the perfect slicing utensil. Sahloff - who had previously conceived of inventions like the electric can opener and the electric toothbrush - brought his idea for an electric carving knife to GE engineers, who spent five years perfecting the invention. After the innovation debuted in the mid-1960s, sliced turkey never looked the same again in many American households.
GE Evolution series locomotives are powerful enough to pull 170 Boeing 747 jetliners, but are also more fuel efficient than other North American locomotives. But these powerhouses aren’t just cool; we think they look pretty cool, too. We commissioned designer Matthew Hawkins to make a papercraft version. Now with a few cuts and some folds, we can all put this badass machine right on our desks.
Before Kurt Vonnegut wrote Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions, he worked in Schenectady, N.Y., chronicling the happenings at GE Global Research. His brother, Bernard, who was a scientist working for GE, got Kurt the job. It was Bernard’s colleague, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Irving Langmuir who gave Vonnegut the idea for Ice-Nine. The fictional form of ice that stays solid at room temperature appears in Kurt’s fourth novel, Cat’s Cradle.
Hot off the 3-D printer is this jet engine bracket, which is one of the ten finalists in GE’s 3-D Printing Design Quest challenge. GE called on the maker community to design stronger but lighter brackets and received over 700 entries from all over the world. The ten finalists will undergo mechanical tests at GE Global Research in upstate New York.
Elihu Thomson, chief engineer of General Electric in the 1890s, looks through a telescope at his observatory in Swampscott, Mass.
In 1892 Thomson merged his company, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, with General Electric. He was an early pioneer of electrical engineering but made contributions to many other fields including the design of x-ray tubes. In the 1920s he served as acting president of MIT, where he was remembered by his successor as “one of the first in America to recognize the importance of research, both fundamental and practical, to our industrial progress.”
h/t to SciNerds for bringing this photo to our attention.