Freelance Writing

My writing is in demand because I make complex topics easy to understand. My expertise in advanced manufacturing means you can rely on me to get the facts right. I contribute to publications ranging from popular web articles to academic papers and industrial reports.

Simplifying complexity

Dr Muelaner makes advanced topics easy to understand and grabs our reader’s attention with cutting-edge engineering news.

If you want to me to write for you then please get in touch.

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Recent articles

A man measuring the height of an elephan with a speach caption "The elephant fits in the room" despite having missed the elephant's head - illustrating the idea of intrinsic uncertainty

Intrinsic Uncertainty: The Elephant in the Room

It’s often assumed that confidence in a measurement equates to confidence a product conforms. However, we can only measure at discrete points on a surface, while GD&T relates to the entire surface. We don’t know what is happening on the surface between the measured points. This is known as the intrinsic uncertainty of the measurand.…

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Low-Cost Recycled Composites for Automotive

Composites offer significant advantages where high strength and low weight are required. These materials are, unfortunately, also very difficult to recycle. Composites consist of fiber reinforcement embedded within a polymer matrix. The polymer may be a thermoset, such as epoxy, or a thermoplastic, such as polyester. Separating the fibers from the matrix is a huge…

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CAD image of large CMM machine with Etalon Multiline lasers projected along axes and diagonals

Etalon Multiline Enables Self-calibrating Machine Tools

Achieving right-first-time manufacturing requires regular calibration and verification of production machinery. On-machine measurement makes this even more important. Achieving rapid, automated and fully traceable calibration of machine tools is a priority for high-value manufacturing. The Etalon Multiline system gives this capability. To carry out a calibration, the machine must only move its spindle or probe…

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Two dice, representing random number generators, show with a normal distribution histogram

Why simulation is the future of uncertainty evaluation

In this article, I show that the conventional method for calculating uncertainty is not always reliable. In fact, it is generally only exact when the measurement can be represented by a simple linear equation and the input uncertainties are all normally distributed. Whenever the measurement is more complex, there will be errors in the way…

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4-bar linkage drawn in multiple positions allowing SolidWorks CAD's geometric constraint solver to synthesize the mechanism required

Using CAD to Synthesize Mechanisms

When I’m designing a linkage mechanism I often have some particular motion that I need to achieve. In this article I explain the first step in this process, defining the joint positions and linkage lengths required to produce a particular motion. I have found that the constraint-based sketcher within SolidWorks provides an ideal tool for…

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VDA-5: Combining Uncertainty Evaluation with Gage Studies

VDA-5: Combining Uncertainty Evaluation with Gage Studies

The VDA-5 standard is a big step forward for the evaluation of industrial measurements. It combines the practicality of gage studies with a rigorous uncertainty evaluation approach. This is definitely heading in the right direction, although the methods it uses can still miss some important sources of uncertainty, as I will show towards the end…

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Manufacturing a Carbon Revolution

There has been huge excitement in recent years about new forms of carbon such as graphene, carbon nanotubes and Buckminsterfullerene (buckyballs). This article looks at the new forms of carbon, such as nanotubes and graphene, and considers whether we may be on the verge of a carbon revolution. Read the full article, published on engineering.com…

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An instrument going from ‘Big Science’ to large-scale manufacturing

Frequency Scanning Interferometry (FSI) was invented to measure movements of the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Now a team at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory are developing a practical FSI based instrument for large-scale manufacturing. This may enable the next generation of aircraft with natural laminar flow wings and part-to-part interchangeable assembly. Read…

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How Gage Studies Can Get it Wrong

A gage study involves real measurements of a calibrated reference, so many people feel it is a completely reliable metric for instrument capability. However, in this article, I use real examples to show how a gage study can get things wrong and how uncertainty evaluation can give a better understanding of variation and bias in…

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Sensitivity Coefficients in Uncertainty Budgets

This article follows on my previous introductions to uncertainty and uncertainty budgets. It goes into more detail about some of the more tricky aspects of uncertainty budgets. I first explain what sensitivity coefficients are and then use examples to show exactly how sensitivity coefficients can be calculated and used within an uncertainty budget. Read the full article published…

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Gage Studies and Gage R&R on engineering.com

If you’ve ever been involved with an industrial measurement process, chances are you’ve come across Gage studies and in particular Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (Gage R&R). These tests are used to determine the accuracy of measurements. In this article I provide an overview of these studies and how they relate to other methods such as uncertainty…

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Calculating Your Uncertainty Budget… on engineering.com

This is a detailed article explaining how you can calculate an uncertainty budget. It follows my previous introduction to Metrology and Quality in Manufacturing. My previous article introduced the idea that all measurements have uncertainty. This uncertainty stems from different sources, including repeatability, calibration and the environment. To find the uncertainty of a measurement result, we…

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