Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tech Tip Tuesday

In my line of work, one often comes upon some unusual engineering wildlife. I think you'd better check out the post quickly as I'm not sure how long the link to the first image will be working:


The Alumabeaver (Castor Aluminus) is a diurnal mammal; the third largest rodent in the world. The Alumabeaver is characterized by its large flat tail, webbed paws, soft silver fur and tungsten carbide teeth.

Their habitat includes highly industrialized areas and they are particularly fond of machining and manufacturing facilities where their largest food source is to be found.
While seldom seen in the wild, these elusive creatures are often known to be in the presence of bad machinists and mechanical design engineers. Their presence can be noted by their tell-tale tooth marks found in aluminum along with chips and shavings. These tooth marks are often mistaken for those of the Bronze Muskrat (Ondatra Zibethicus Brundusinium) and strongly resemble very irregular marks made by end-mills, drill bits and files, but with unusual chatter and inconsistent lay marks. Their presence may also be given away by wet tracks of Tap Magic on floors in the region where shavings used to construct their lodges are found.

Alumabeaver Tracks

They tend to be solitary animals and their lodges (constructed mainly of shavings, cardboard and small diameter billets that have been gnawed off) are often found adjacent to work benches and built against the side of milling machines. They are not as industrious as their woodland cousins and often do not come out of their lodges unless bad manufacturing or shoddy design is to be found. Their diet consists typically of 6061-T6 and 7075 alloy billets but when food is scarce, they are known to consume 2024 angle.

Alumabeaver Skeleton

While their lustrous silver pelt and tungsten carbide teeth are both very desirable commodities, they are difficult to trap and attempts to do so near their lodges often result in severe cuts to those who try to capture them.

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