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    Though first released in the '90s, Leatherman's useful Wave multitool is still their bestseller. In this look inside their Oregon factory, we get to see how each of the components is individually manufactured, and the nifty little jigs and fixtures that are used to assemble them into the end product. 

    The video contains a fair amount of Leatherman company backstory that you may already be familiar with from this post, but it's worth the watch for all of the hot industrial action:



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    2012 marked the release of Tom Sachs' first collaboration with NikeCraft—the Mars Yard Shoe. After realizing, through extensive wear testing, that the Vectran used on the toe box gave out under stress, Sachs followed up with NikeCraft to create the updated Mars Yard 2.0 sneaker, which released in 2017 (see this interview for more details):

    Now, 2018 is bringing us a Sachs x NikeCraft collaboration that acts as an extension of the Mars Yard: the Mars Yard Overshoe. If you've ever wanted to stay warm in the winter while also feeling like you have the option to travel to space if called upon, this is your shoe:

    Essentially, the Mars Yard Overshoe is the Mars Yard sneaker wrapped in Dyneema, secured with heavy-duty straps and protected with a sturdy midsole, "toe bumper" and outsole. They're like extreme winter boots with the added bonus of rolling down the top to give your feet some fresh air while in more cozy indoor settings. As a native New Yorker, I can speak to how important the ability to let your feet breathe in the winter is, as we're constantly switching between the cold outdoors and the very heated subway. Sachs is based in New York City and designed these with the location in mind, so the transitional nature of the design is fitting.

    As the fashion cycle moves faster and faster, so does the collaboration process. While many sneaker collaborations end up becoming lazy and played out to keep feeding the hungry machine that is present-day sneaker culture (I won't name names here), that is not the case with Sachs' NikeCraft collaboration, as Sachs has been working on the Mars Yard Overshoe since 2007. So, even though the hype will likely build up high around these as they did with the Mars Yard and 2.0, its comforting to know that Sachs has stayed true to his design aesthetic and extensive materials testing process while also pushing the boundaries of what Nike's material lab and vast footwear design archive have to offer. 

    TLDR: It's nice to know collaborations with big corporations can still be 50/50...

    We're into these stools too.

    No clear release date (outside of London where they released over the weekend) is available yet, but when they do release, my main questions will be: will people inclined to protect their prized sneakers end up putting a protective cover over the already protective Mars Yard Overshoe? I'll be sure to update this article with documentation if I see anything noteworthy.


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    The Situation

    I now live on my girlfriend's rural farm populated by over 150 birds. Chickens, ducks, geese, fowl, turkeys.

    The Antagonists

    This is one of my dogs, Kit. He is a Shiba Inu. Cute, sure, but he's still a dog, and dogs are natural-born killers.

    This is a Guinea Fowl. There are several dozen of them on the property. Guinea Fowl are foolishly brave, ornery, and prone to short, height-limited bouts of flight, though they spend most of their time on the ground.

    The Built Environment

    To prevent Kit and his sister Betsy from attacking the birds on the farm, I had 300 feet of fence laid to create a massive enclosed dog run, attached to the house I'm situated in.

    The fencing is welded wire. I opted for five-foot-tall, which is impossible for a Shiba Inu to jump over. The posts are pressure-treated 4x4s dug below the frost line and anchored with concrete. They are spaced 10 feet apart and the wire has been stretched, making the fence plenty sturdy. The dogs cannot get through this fence.

    The wire is too narrow for a bird to roost on. The tops of the 4x4s have been cut at a 45-degree angle to prevent standing water from sitting atop them after a storm. Conveniently, the angle also makes it unappealing for birds seeking to roost.

    The Problem

    Shortly after the fence was constructed, Kit returned to the house with a freshly killed Guinea Fowl in his mouth. It was a grisly scene, as he had begun eating the poor bird. The photo below is a considerably more sanitary version of what I saw.

    I could not figure out how the Fowl had gotten into the enclosure; though they roost in trees at night, I'd never seen one fly up and over the fence to land on the other side. They simply don't do it, and there is no place for them to roost on the fence itself.

    Several days later, another Fowl was found inside the enclosure. I managed to distract my dogs and get them inside the house before the bird was killed, then investigated. The Fowl was desperately trying to get out by running around the perimeter, but was not inclined to take flight. I reasoned it must have been roosting somewhere along the fence and fallen into the enclosure.

    On a subsequent morning I solved the mystery. By the time I grabbed my phone to take a picture it was too late, but I spotted several Guinea Fowl roosting on top of the gate, which is flat. Previously the two Fowl must've fallen into the enclosure and were stymied as to how to escape it.

    The Solution

    I needed to add an anti-roosting feature to the gate. Commercial solutions exist and they mostly involve spiky wires. But most folks around here, including my girlfriend, prefer to build their own solutions to local problems, using whatever's at hand. I decided to take a page out of her book and not spend any money.

    I located a scrap of pressure-treated 2x6 in an empty stall up at the stables. Actually I had to get through a wasp nest to retrieve it but that's another story. I used my favorite saw, this 15-inch Shark…

    …to cut the 2x6 to length. I then sawed a bunch of V's into it.

    My idea was to find and cut a second 2x6 to do the same thing, but then I realized I could use the waste from the first board to create a second spiky board. 

    So I stuck the scraps back into the first board, then clamped it to a 2x4 that I cut to length. This spaced the scrap triangles out perfectly...

    ...then I just screwed them in from the bottom.

    Then it was just a matter of screwing these to the tops of the two gate doors. (If you're wondering why the gate is so wide, it's because I need to be able to get the riding mower through it, which has a 54-inch deck.)

    All of the screws involved are GRK fasteners meant for outdoor use, so I don't expect them to rust.

    The wood, pressure-treated though it is, may eventually need to be replaced after a number of years. But this was quick to create, and I didn't spend a dime (I already had the fasteners).

    So far no Guineas have attempted to roost on the gate. With any luck this problem has been solved.



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    At some point in your life, everyone you know is alive. But eventually you'll have a birthday party with one less attendee, as you start losing friends or family members to cancer, car accidents or old age. There are plenty of things in this world that want to kill you. So the notion that you'd risk your life for something as stupid as social media likes is disturbing. Yet more and more people are doing it--and paying the price.

    A study undertaken by the National Institutes of Health's U.S. National Library of Medicine has discovered that accidental selfie deaths--"selficides," if you like--is on the rise. People attempting to capture the perfect Instagram selfie are drowning, falling off of cliffs, being struck by moving trains, accidentally shooting themselves, burning to death, being electrocuted, being mauled by dangerous animals and in at least one instance, being blown up by a car bomb.

    In 2011, the first year that selfie-based deaths were reported in the media, there were three selficides. Last year there were 93. From 2011 to 2017 there were a total of 259. A 2016 study called "Predicting selfie-posting behavior on social networking sites: An extension of theory of planned behavior" found that women are more likely than men to take selfies. But unsurprisingly, the NIH study discovered that about 75% of selficides happen to men, as they tend to engage in more risky behavior. Furthermore, the problem is concentrated among the young.

    Selficides by age category

    If 259 deaths doesn't sound like a lot--and that's a worldwide figure--consider that those are only the ones that are chalked up to selfies. It's safe to say family members might prefer to report that their loved one passed away in a car accident, omitting the bit where they were leaning out of the window with a smartphone. "Although our study has enlisted the largest number of selfie deaths and incidents [to] date," the NIH study reads, "this is just the tip of [the] iceberg. Many cases are not reported. The limitation of our study was that we included news reports only in [the] English language."

    The sad conclusion of the study:

    "No selfie zones" areas should be declared across tourist areas especially places such as water bodies, mountain peaks, and over tall buildings to decrease the incidence of selfie-related deaths.

    A Darwinist might say we could harness the phenomenon of selficides to address our overpopulation problem. A Darwinist might say we ought leave unicycles, selfie sticks and free WiFi transponders on tall cliffs that overlook crocodile-filled ravines.


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    As I mentioned in our post on ID student dorm rooms, your dorm should look vastly different than that of other majors', as you should be hacking the heck out of that space, given your education and facilities access.

    Two areas where standard dorm rooms always fall short is light and power. While all dorms provide desks, few provide task lighting for said desks, and you can never have enough power outlets. So this Makers Light, Shelf & Power Box by Instructables user TechKiwiGadgets would be the perfect thing to build for your room.

    It's simple to make, useful and easily customizable; it wouldn't take much imagination to add a headphones holder, storage for drawing implements or cable management. Depending on what equipment your school's ID shop offers, you could make the components for this out of wood, plastic or metal using conventional tools, or you could get fancier if your shop has a CNC mill, 3D printer and/or laser cutter.

    If you decide to tackle this, please share a photo in the comments.


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    Released in 1983 as the Famicom in Japan and in 1985 as the NES in America, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the best-selling game console of the era. The beloved console's physical design was clearly a product of the '80s:

    Gothenburg-based designer Love Hultén, whose excellent work we previously looked at here, has created "a conceptual tribute and a delicate homage" to the NES with his Pyua:

    On the inside you'll find the heart of the console, the Nt mini pcb - manufactured by praised Seattle based company Analogue. The Nt mini handles both NES and Famicom cartridges, and it does so without any degradation or input lag. Performance is flawless, not just in terms of frame rate and speed, but in color replication and audio as well. And yes, it upscales to 1080p for your HDMI monitor. Nt mini uses FPGA to replicate and truly enhance the 8-bit experience.
    Pyua is accompanied by two NES controllers. These are both original AND wireless, a solution created by 8bitdo. The controllers, along with your top 20 favorite game cartridges, are stored in the additional wood casing.
    The Pyua exterior, handcrafted from ash wood, goes back to the origin with a Famicom styled finish composed by off-white and red. Insert your precious cartridge and enfold using the glass dome. Turn the power on, and the sacred spotlight is assured.

    What's not shown in the photos is rather nifty--check out how the cartridges and controller release from the storage case:



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    My first job was in Black & Decker's industrial division, specifically the "Advanced Concepts Group." Our job was to design new tools that represented new directions for the company. This was in 1980. Black & Decker's first cutoff saw and first big plumber's drill came out of that group while I was there (I had nothing to do with either project).

    There was, and probably still is, a huge disconnect over what was taught in Engineering School and what you actually needed to know to hold down a job at a manufacturing company. I had just graduated and was young and green. I was assigned the task of designing a vacuum attachment for a masonry drill bit. We currently stock the Festool equivalent of these drills, but in those days they were big, noisy, and messy. It was either Hilti or Bosch that had just introduced a vacuum cleaner attachment for the rather large drill bits that the drills used, and Black & Decker was not going to be left behind.

    The problem was, the competitor's design was patented. I needed to understand the patent (which I could do) and come up with a better, non-infringing alternative (not so easy). The result wasn't guaranteed to hit the market, but the engineering department needed to be prepared if the existing product took off and marketing wanted a quick response.

    I don't remember the details of the project, but I know it never saw the light of day. It was a big deal for me personally since it was the first time something I drew up became a prototype. The project was canceled just when I got the prototypes but before we ever found out if the prototype worked. (I think it would have worked but have been pretty clunky.)

    In any case, this was long before 3D printing and CAD, so with guidance I drew out a design that was given to a patternmaker for making a mold to be test cast in aluminum.

    Pattern making! In the factory where I worked, Black & Decker maintained two large machine shops and a small pattern shop. Unlike the machine shops, the patternmaking shop was mostly precision woodworking. This was the only time in my life where I saw woodworking as a science. When you make furniture, things are mostly square. Cabinetmakers have to account for wood movement, but as long as the piece doesn't split apart, the actual measurement isn't that precise. Patternmakers have to work to extreme levels of precision. The patterns need to take wood movement into account and generally create molds that can come apart and be precisely reassembled. The skill level needed was huge. My little nozzle that was designed by a green engineer needed to be re-engineered and sculpted in wood and wax by a highly experienced and trained patternmaker. Because it was a small project, the job was outsourced to a trusted third party whom I never met. If I remember correctly, his name was Herman Egan. I was told he was top notch and perfect for this sort of small, tricky project. I designed the nozzle but had nothing to do with the pattern design or figuring out how to make it.

    The project was canceled, and when I left B&D the patterns came with me. They are a work of art.

    Let me see if I can explain how this all works succinctly enough so you make it to the end of the page.

    This is what we are trying to make. It needs some machining, but what you have is an aluminum nozzle that is hollow in the inside and also has an undercut on the outside of the nozzle so that the air flow is smooth. If this prototype were to go to real production, it would be a plastic die-cast piece. These days, using a CNC milling machine we could easily machine a prototype out of a solid block, or 3D print it out of plastic. In 1980 machining the complex curves was nearly impossible to manually machine so the decision was made to cast the prototype.

    The way sand casting works is the patternmaker makes a positive object that is placed in a bed of wet sand and then removed, forming a cavity that is filled with molten metal. The metal shrinks a bit on cooling, so the pattern needs to be slightly larger than the final product to account for this shrinkage. If the object being made has holes, undercuts, or hollows after the main pattern is removed from the sand, the patternmaker will need to make and install cores (made of clay and sand) in the sand to keep the holes and hollows from filling with metal. The patternmaker is responsible for making the wooden pattern for the main object and the "core boxes" that are filled to form the cores. Mahogany is often used (especially on small patterns like these) because it is easy to carve, holds details, and is fairly dimensionally stable (and augmented with glued-up sections to make it even more dimensionally stable). While small, the pattern for this nozzle has two cores and a follow piece, making it a pretty complicated mold.

    The main nozzle is precision turned and glued together with the nozzle outlet that was turned and carved separately. The two spuds on the top of the main pattern are extra and and hold the two cores in place. The first step in casting the nozzle is to put the nozzle flat on a board with the undercut piece. The undercut piece was carefully carved and fitted to fit over the rear fin and rounded hose bottom. Sand gets poured over the entire object and rammed tight. Then the mold is turned over and the undercut piece is removed.

    Both the pattern and undercut pieces have little holes on the bottom so the foundry can screw in a rod and lift out the two parts. With the undercut piece removed, sand is pour unto the space created and over the bottom of the nozzle. The two halves of the mold are separated and the red main pattern is removed. What we have is now a negative imprint of the nozzle in the sand.

    While this is going on, a clay-based core material is forced into the two core boxes. The box coxes are also mahogany, glued up for stability. The two halves have registration pins drilled through from the bottom so they the halves align properly. The insides were turned and then a bit of wood glued in. The spiral channel then carved to make the shapes. In order to get a good stable glue joint, the grain of the built up piece is aligned with the outer material. In the pictures you can also see the layout and scribe lines used to do this accurately.

    The second core for the inside of the hose part is made the same way, with a glued up block and three registration pins. The core tapers in at the end so that is registers with the mold and that tapering suggests to me that the entire groove was carved by hand.

    Unfortunately I don't have any cores.

    By the way, the box in the back of the group picture is what I kept the pattern and parts in since 1981. I think I left the hot pot behind.

    Since the 1980's this type of patternmaking has been done less and less. Wooden patternmaking is largely a thing of the past. This project would be 3D printed directly from a CAD system. Sand casting is still done, but the patterns in many cases are CNC machined from plastics, styrofoam and other synthetic materials, not wood. The huge range of specialty patternmaking tools - such as long patternmaker's scribing gouges - are no long made. Scribing gouges differ from carving gouges in that carving gouges are shaped with an arbitrary "U" shaped curve. Scribing gouges were readily available in specific curvatures in with both the bevel on the outside (out-cannel) or on the inside (in-cannel).

    ___________________

    This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.


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    This interview is part of a series featuring the presenters participating in this year's Core77 Conference, "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" , a one-day event aimed to equip attendees with tangible skills and toolkits to help produce and promote their products or service

    Understanding how to remain positive and conversational while advocating for your work is a skill honed over many years of experience working with diverse clients and design teams. Throughout his career, Paul Sohi has worked on both sides of the table, beginning as as a designer and then transitioning into a design consultant. In his current role at Autodesk, Paul connects the dots between companies doing interesting work within the design space and Autodesk's wide variety of resources. Along with Joe Meersman from IBM, Paul will be leading a workshop at the 2018 Core77 Conference called "Debate Camp for Designers" where participants will get on their feet and learn how to approach common communication scenarios during the design process. Ahead of his workshop, we sat down with Paul to learn more about his unique design background and what he hopes people will learn from his upcoming workshop:

    How did you get your start in the design industry?

    My background's actually in architecture. I studied architecture in a university and then worked as an architect for six months. I was basically drawing toilets and decided that that's not what I want to do in life, so I quit and started my own company, which eventually led to Autodesk.

    My company was an industrial design studio that I started with a business partner, my friend, called 2052. We did industrial design with a focus on a lot of manufacturing technologies, so using them to produce and manufacture as well as design parts for printers or sometimes printers themselves. Eventually that led into broader industrial design territory, which put us on Autodesk's radar. Now here I am.

    You studied architecture and not industrial design, what was that learning curve like for you?

    A lot of it was transferrable. I mean, you learn design thinking in architecture school, but it's different. I've actually found that it's been really helpful 'cause I am in the room with other industrial designers, but I have a slightly different perspective than everybody else because I don't have that kind of formal training. The stuff that was the most challenging and is still a challenge today is sketching because we really only learned how to do basic perspective sketches in school.

    Sohi's work with Braille Skateboarding

    When Autodesk approached you about your company, did you automatically know it would be a good fit?

    It took a long time to decide if I really wanted to make the jump because when you run your own company, you have all the autonomy you want. The reason I decided to make the change was because I've always wanted to do stuff that has impact, and there's only so much impact I can have on my own. Working for a company the size of Autodesk allows me to have a much bigger impact because I've got a company of this size behind me. 

    What was your initial job within Autodesk?

    I came in as a fusion specialist, so I was doing industrial design but mostly focusing on education and training. I worked with other startups to teach them how to use CAD—sometimes at its most foundational level—and then do some consulting and help them with workshops. Now, I run a program where we partner with companies and help them deliver a product. It's consulting but it's story-driven consulting. Essentially, we're not charging anything—we just want to bring something cool into the world with the company.

    Do you have a hand in seeking out the companies you work with?

    It's half and half. There are companies that we would love to work with, so we just reach out and say, "Hey, do you want to do something together?" And then I also do a lot of public speaking. The whole point of the program is to work on large-impact projects, so that tends to create a virtual circle where people see the program and they want to reach out with something they want to work on.

    What do you usually look for in companies that you choose to work with?

    Scale is not important to us. Ambition and desire are what's important. So, trying to do something that no one else has tried before or a humanitarian-driven endeavor or something that has a really, really, really high and significant cofactor that's so awesome we can't pass it up. Our team is in a very privileged position in that respect.

    Prosthetic leg with Reha Wellmer Technik

    What are some of your favorite projects or companies that you've worked with so far? I know, it's hard to pick favorites.

    My all-time favorite still has to be the prosthetic leg that I made with Reha Wellmer Technik. It's just been impossible to top that. Most recently, though, we got to build skate tracks with Braille Skateboarding. On a personal level, I've been watching their videos for four, five years, so to get to work with them was really awesome. I had to try and keep my fanboyism at bay. Also when we worked with MegaBots, they were setting out to build the first-ever piloted robot fighting league, so it's like BattleBots except you sit inside the robot while it's fighting.

    Can you explain the workshop that you and Joe Meersman are going be leading at the 2018 Core77 Conference?

    The focus of our workshop is to help designers through the bidding process as well as with general communication, especially when it comes to working with clients. Some of the most common confrontations that you'll deal with for the rest of your career as a creative are communicating your overall ideas, working with people who don't really get why you're involved in a project and internal conflict when you're trying to progress an idea along. Joe and I both have a ton of experience working with customers as well as working internally and managing teams of people. We've seen a lot of miscommunication, and we've also both been guilty of it. So, we'll be pulling from our body of experience for the workshop.

    What general advice do you have for designers who are going through these types of communication struggles?

    My answer is not necessarily a friendly one... As designers, we're supposed to empathize—our job is essentially physical manifestations of empathy, if you want to be really extreme about it—but we all tend to fall down during meetings because we take critique personally. We have to separate ourselves from our work. Empathizing doesn't just end with the product, but with the client too. We all tend to forget that, and again, I'm totally guilty of it too, but remembering that the person that you're talking to is not being unreasonable for the sake of being unreasonable is important.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    You want to start a creative business. Now What? Come to our 2018 Core77 Conference to learn more about launching & growing a product line or design studio of your own on October 25th in Brooklyn!

    Buy "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" Tickets here.


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    Norway's Sapa, owned by Norsk Hydro, is one of the world's leading aluminum extrusion suppliers. In this look at their facility in Oslo, you'll learn about the entire extrusion process, from mixing up the delicious blend of alloys, to casting them into "logs," to forcing the billets through different types of dies. You'll learn about direct extrusion versus indirect extrusion, and why one process may be preferred over the other depending on your application. You'll also see the quenching and stretching steps performed after extrusion, and you'll get a brief look at their in-house die making capabilities.


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    Most of you who use bandsaws know you can always increase the height capacity by adding a riser block. But a fellow named Ron Sutton over at the Homemade Tools forum wanted more width.

    "I've converted a 14 inch bandsaw to 28 inches," Sutton writes, "so that I can now cut a 4x8 in half, that is, rip it down the middle."

    I have no idea if it's advisable to have a bandsaw blade bending both ways like that, and a reader of Sutton's post wrote the following query: "That is very clever Ron. I like how you placed the rollers. Do you find any problems with vibration, alignment or flex?"

    Sutton never responded--I hope nothing's happened to the guy!



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    Scribit is a vertical plotter that you hang, using wire, from two nails placed in your wall. After telling the device (via smartphone or computer) what the precise distance is between the nails, it can now draw on your wall, from files that you feed it, with accuracy.

    The thing distinguishing Scribit from other vertical plotters is the proprietary ink and an internal erasing mechanism. This allows it to erase what it's drawn, and the MIT-based developers envision it being used to turn walls into large-scale, refreshable "screens:"

    Scribit was successfully crowdfunded earlier this year, and you can still pre-order one here. They aim to begin shipping the first models in January of 2019.


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    Once upon a time, a standard assignment for first-year industrial design students was to design and build something out of cardboard that would protect an egg inside from being dropped off of a roof. ID professors: Surely an update is needed--how about asking students to design something that can cleanly open eggs instead? Like this:


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    Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America's leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin through to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free HERE.

    A roundup of Kickstarter projects currently crowdfunding for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

    The Splitter

    Designed for cooking in the outdoors, THE SPLITTER is a titanium multi-utensil made of two separate titanium utensils—a spatula and a spork. When joined together, the two very different utensils turn into a set of tongs.

    Moon Phase Chronograph

    A collection of very intricate design details make up squarestreet's Moon Phase Chronograph watch, including a tiny maze that allows you to tell time in a more unique way, a dual layer dial, a horned case shape and engraved line work.

    BEERMKR

    You can easily make craft beer at home with the BEERMKR: All-in-one craft beer brewing machine. Need we say more?

    DUO Record Player and Bluetooth Speaker

    Have you always wanted a traditional record player but are afraid they're too one-dimensional? DUO is a record player that also features a detachable bluetooth speaker. Its setup allows you to play records and stream music all using one device, so your music-listening abilities aren't limited in the slightest. 

    MacroMAKEiT: Affordable Large Scale 3D Printer

    MacroMAKEiT is a large-format 3D printer with a 2x4 foot print bed. The final product will be shipped as a kit, to be assembled on site. With a price point of just under $8,000, it's more expensive than small 3D printers, but sometimes you just need to go big!

    Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.


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    The form factor of early cars began with the technology; an internal combustion engine and drivetrain were the core, with wooden and metal components awkwardly wrapped around them to create something we could ride in. The early forms mimicked horse carriages, because no one had any idea what a "car" should look like. Then, over the years, the car's design evolved.

    The design of mecha robots, on the other hand, is starting the other way 'round, beginning with the finished form. We all have a rough idea of what mecha robots should look like, due to decades of anime and sci-fi movies.

    Thus South Korean tech firm Hankook Mirae Technology is developing a mecha robot designed not by engineers, but by Hollywood concept designer Vitaly Bulgarov, whose credits include Ghost in the Shell as well as the latest Transformer,Robocop and Terminator movies.

    Which is not to say that engineers are not involved. To the contrary, HMT has spend some $200 million on engineering and development, figuring out how to make Bulgarov's design actually work. Here Jonathan Buckley, a correspondent for Autoblog's Translogic section, which covers transportation technology, gets to take the wheel--er, joysticks--of HMT's Method-2 robot:



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    Bollinger Motors blew us away with their B1 Electric Sport Utility Truck, a vehicle that was designed "as though we had just landed on the planet and didn't know what trucks were," in the words of Robert Bollinger. We subsequently got to interview Bollinger, following his path from Carnegie Mellon industrial design student to car company founder, and learned how his experience working on a farm taught him that regular trucks have plenty of design flaws.

    While Bollinger's B1 was groundbreaking enough, he's not resting on his laurels; Bollinger Motors is already working on the B2, a pickup truck version of the B1 that offers even more cargo capacity.

    Bollinger Motors is proud to introduce the all-electric B2 Pickup Truck. Sharing the same DNA as the B1, both sport dual motors, all-wheel drive, hydro-pneumatic suspension, in-wheel portal gear hubs, 120 kWh battery pack, large front trunk space, and patented pass-through door for transporting long items.
    Incorporating even more cargo options was a priority for the B2. The Bollinger Motors Pickup's bed is 4' 1" wide by 5' 9" long. With the internal cab tailgate down, the Bollinger Motors Pickup can carry full 4' x 8' sheets of plywood. The rear glass also opens up like the B1, allowing storage to the top of the cab, accommodating 72 sheets of 1/2" plywood.
    Like the B1, the B2 will also be a Class 3 work truck (10,001 gross vehicle weight rating) with a hauling capacity of 5000 lbs. Designed to be an incredibly versatile, tough truck, the Bollinger Motors B2 Pickup will haul a significant load. Full specs are listed below for both the B1 and B2.
    The renderings of our new B2 are based on the CAD data we'll use to prototype in early 2019. The fully working 4-door B1 and B2 test vehicles will then be put through their paces. We'll collect that data to further engineer our pre-production prototypes.

    I think the feature where you can open the back of the cab to increase capacity is particularly brilliant, not to mention the full pass-through seen on the B1.

    As of yet, there's no word on price.


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    Here's a video many of you will be interested to see: Industrial designer Eric Strebel goes over his carefully selected arsenal of tools used in modelmaking. "I break down the tools I use into various categories," Strebel writes, "and cover the useful and not so useful tools for modeling with cardboard." From conventional cutters to dental tools, from worksurfaces to measuring and layout implements, from adhesives to tapes, he covers it all:


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    I fully admit that having a sketchbook with a magnetic spine, and pages that are edged with a stripe of magnetic ink, is overkill. But when you see how easily Rekonect's "new generation of notebooks" works, it is hard not to instantly want one:

    The faux-leather-wrapped tomes come with a Moleskine-like elastic band. Branded as notebooks, at 5.5" x 8.125" they're admittedly a bit small for a proper sketchbook.

    The pages can be had in blank, dotted, lined or graphed. And of course, being so easily removable, you can mix and match.

    A side bonus is that if your writing implement is made of metal, that'll stick to the spine too.

    The real downside is cost. A 55-page notebook will set you back $30, with 55-page refill packs available at $9 a pop.


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    Drilling into sheetrock or concrete produces a lot of fine dust. Most of us drilling a single hole to add an anchor will clean up with a dustbuster and call it a day. But for a professional tradesperson drilling dozens or hundreds of holes in a client's space, the dust produced would be unacceptable.

    To capture this dust at the point of creation, Festool offers a Drill Dust Collection Nozzle:

    For overhead applications, no more dust in the face

    This clever device exploits the suction power of a vacuum to not only extract all of the dust produced, but to hold itself in place as well, allowing you to keep both hands on your hammer drill:

    Milwaukee and Bosch have similar products that run $50 and $60, respectively. Festool's is uncharacteristically cheaper at $23, and I just ordered one. Partially out of curiosity and partially because I've got some concrete drilling in my future; the house I'm now living in has thick, energy-efficient concrete walls. I'll report back on whether or not the device is effective and was worth the money.

    (By the bye, I'm also looking into picking up a corded hammer drill, and Bosch's 8-amp 11255VSR Bulldog is looking good to me, for both price and reviews. If any of you have any reliable hammer drill recommendations, I'm all ears (as long as it's corded; I can't afford the cordless ones).)



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    Does Kanye West read Coroflot? Last week during a visit to the Oval Office, West suggested to President Trump that Air Force One should be replaced by an "iPlane 1," which West said would be developed by Apple. West presumably meant it theoretically, but he brought a rendering with him on his phone, which he showed to the President:

    No, West didn't commission that image. He somehow encountered and lifted industrial designer Shabtai Hirshberg's "Redesign of a Commercial Aircraft" project, which Hirshberg posted to Coroflot (and, admittedly, elsewhere) in May of 2012. The project was Hirshberg's Master's thesis while studying at CCS.

    I really want to insist that Kanye reads Coroflot, but I can't prove it.


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