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    After much hype and a swarm of pre-orders following CNC router Shaper Origin's introduction to the market in 2016, Shaper's sales team brought their shopping cart to a halt, giving time for them to fulfill pre-orders and produce more units. The Shaper Origin has recently been made available for pre-order again (and will apparently begin shipping January 2019), but we were able to get our hands on one of them prior to the re-launch so we could see for ourselves: how does a Shaper Origin compare to a large CNC gantry? 

    Years ago, industrial designer and Core77 contributor Randall Tyner built himself a 4'x4' CNC gantry machine—in a recent video for Core77, Tyner gives a balanced review of pros and cons regarding the Shaper Origin versus his heavy duty CNC. Who is the Shaper Origin best utilized by? What type of projects are best for Origin or best for a traditional CNC? 

    Check out the video to weigh in on whether a Shaper is a fit in your shop—and if it's calling your name, thankfully you no longer have to wait to pre-order.


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    If I miss one thing about New York City, it's being able to hop on a bicycle to run a quick errand. What I don't miss are city buses roaring past you, uncomfortably close, while you eyeball the gigantic rolling tires that could crush you like a tin can.

    In the Brazilian municipality of Cariacica, it's the law that bus drivers must allow 1.5 meters of space between the side of their bus and any cyclist. In order to impress the importance of this upon the drivers, the city has come up with a novel training method that the drivers must undergo:

    Now if only they could incorporate this for delivery truck drivers.



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    Last year we asked "How accurately can people draw famous logos from memory?" The results were dismal, with about 6% to 20% being able to accurately sketch the logos for Adidas, Apple, Burger King, Dominos, Foot Locker, Target and others.

    Now let's lower the bar. Forget drawing them--can you simply recognize them, picking the correct logo out of a lineup? You probably know the Target logo is red, but how many circles are in the bullseye? What's the color of the first letter in Google's logo? Which side of the Apple is the bite on?

    To measure consumer accuracy, marketing agency Siege Media tested 6,000 Americans of differing demographics, showing them real logos alongside altered ones. Here are the results:

    I'm guessing there was a vocational gap, as I want to think designers/artists would have had a higher accuracy rate. While that's speculation on my part, the study did show there was definitely a gender gap, with females more likely to choose the accurate logo:

    Unsurprisingly, there was an age gap:

    And sadly for Costco, their target market apparently has the most trouble getting it right:

    I'm not sure if the marketing agency who conducted this study is reading this, but I think they would've gotten a lot more traction if they'd released these as an online quiz, rather than just releasing the results.


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    The days of large-scale American manufacturing, with factories employing thousands of workers, are over. But what's truly sad is that the manufacturing jobs that are available here often can't find properly trained workers. 

    According to Deloitte's "The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing" report, produced in conjunction with the Manufacturing Institute, "Over the next decade 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled," but "the skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs being unfilled."

    "There is a talent shortage in U.S. manufacturing," the report states. Here are some of the stats:

    One of the training shortfalls is in the area of CNC machinery. To combat this, Florida-based CNCMachines.net, which sells used CNC machinery in the 'States, is offering a $2,000 scholarship to applicants enrolled in a CNC machinist, CNC operations, engineering or manufacturing certificate or degree program. (The chosen student's school will get $500.) 

    If you'd like to apply, get started here.


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    What happens to decommissioned school buses? With their utilitarian seating, they are unsuited for commercial bus use, dissuading fleets from acquiring them. Yet they still offer long wheelbases and plenty of hauling space. With such functionality, should the roadworthy among them be sitting idle in junkyards?

    The answer, for a subset of creative and handy people, is no. Here are some rather interesting ways to repurpose these orange behemoths:

    If you're interested in buying a decommissioned school bus, you'd probably be shocked to see that bids start at about $100 on this GovDeals auction site. Realistically, by the time the bidding closes the vehicles sell in the thousands, but depending on what your hacking plans and capabilities are, they still might be worth it.


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    Minimal Calendar for iPhone is a focused, beautiful, and clear calendar experience. Something less that can be more inspiring to use daily.With its design and features, we focused only on the basics, done smart and straightforward. Navigation, event creation, editing, and all functions are uncluttered, easy, and fast.

    View the full project here

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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 to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free here.

    Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where's the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

    Have you ever wanted an alternative to a plastic straw that looks like a vape? In all seriousness, though, this reusable metal straw kit has some clever add-ons that typical metal straws don't offer, including a case that you spin to dry the straw and a chewable silicon tip so no teeth get chipped.

    Love using metal filters but hate the resulting sludge? These ameuus micro filters help close the tiny gap regular filters leave, giving you the option to use finer coffee grounds with your AeroPress.

    The world really deserves a mug designed to help eat cereal on the go right now, and CrunchCup delivers. Do we think it's a beautiful design? No. Do we think it's useful? Hell yeah.

    Pour one out for getting stains on your shirt, because with the Stain Repelling Performance Shirt 2.0, stains aren't an option.

    Instant Archetypes by Superflux is a spiritual tool to help designers, technologists, researchers, and beyond explore their place within the world of business and entrepreneurship. Beyond their purpose as a strategy and planning tool, the cards feature beautiful illustrations by Amelie Barnathan. If you've always wanted to get into tarot cards but don't understand how they relate to your life, give these a go.

    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 industrial design process is not just ideating, prototyping, pitching and cashing in; after a production run has been funded, as with Peak Design's successful Kickstart of their Travel Backpack (which we wrote about here), the designers then have to visit the factory to oversee the production process. This is particularly crucial with new products, where designers must ensure that any kinks are being ironed out and quality needs are being met.

    It's rare that we get to see this process on video, but Peak Design has thankfully captured it. Below are some snaps, and at the bottom is the video, which is well worth a watch.

    Here's what happened after the Kickstarter money rolled in and it was time to deliver:



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    Would you like to join the Culture of Design at Eleven? We are a diverse family of thinkers. We create products, brands, and experiences as we peer through the lens of our "Powers of Perspective". Eleven is looking for team players whose

    View the full design job here

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    Growing Chairs break ground in Shanghai, in the old worker's neighborhood at Lujiazui Park located on Tongji University's campus. The installations represent organic growth of cities, free spirit within these spaces, and the neighborhood's urban regeneration demand.

    View the full project here

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    Imagine playing a game of Pictionary with other industrial designers, where every clue is an iconic product design. Something that you could render with a few lines and your teammates could instantly name the specific product. What would those products be?

    They'd probably be the products depicted in "Iconix: Exceptional Product Design," a forthcoming book by German industrial designer Wolfgang Joensson.

    Apple iPod
    Coca-Cola Bottle
    Iconix is a comprehensive collection of iconic product design objects, chronologically organized from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the present. In this richly illustrated book, Joensson shares his concept of the term iconicity to help the reader understand what makes these products stand out and why they are considered icons today.
    Bausch & Lomb Rayban Wayfarer
    BIC Lighter
    More than one hundred remarkable product designs from all areas, including household appliances, everyday objects, furniture, entertainment technology and office equipment, are presented in this collection. Charming vignettes accompany each product, with amusing insights and fun tidbits of information that discuss how design has been influenced by changes in technology, science, and society.
    Wester & Co. Pocketknife
    Fender Stratocaster
    Featuring the Coca-Cola bottle, the Wester & Co pocket knife, the Kitchen Aid mixer, the Le Creuset Dutch oven, the Weber grill, the Bic Cristal pen, the Rolodex address file, Kikkoman soy sauce bottles, the Kodak Instamatic, the Polaroid SX-70, the SONY Walkman, the Apple MacIntosh, the Dyson air-multiplier, and more.
    Alessi Anna G. Corkscrew
    K2 Phone Box
    Kodak Instamatic
    Rolodex Address File

    Produced by Skyhorse Publishing, the $20 book will be available on November 20th.


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    "In product design, the importance of building mockups and simple prototypes cannot be underestimated," writes industrial designer Eric Strebel. "The knowledge gained from the exercise, to touch, hold and use the object in real life, is legitimately worth the time invested."

    "Seeing what you learned from a mockup gives you a leg up in the development process before you get to CAD. It also helps you avoid pitfalls that can't be as easily identified in CAD."

    To that end, in this video Strebel creates a mockup of a variant of his backpack hanger design that will ultimately be fabricated in sheet metal. To simulate the sheet metal, he uses simple matboard. Here's his process:



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    Here's another "What if" from fanciful rendering firm NeoMam Studios, who this time asks: What if competing car brands came together to create a mash-up vehicle that incorporated both brands' styling cues? Here's their take on 6 Car Manufacturers' Collaboration Concepts:

    1. Bentley – Ferrari

    "British class and Italian passion combined would undoubtedly produce one of the coolest and most truly beautiful cars of all time. The double-breasted face of Bentley's grand tourer, the Continental GT, would temper the impulsive stallion of Ferrari's 812 Superfast, while maintaining the track-driven engineering and aerodynamics that makes Ferrari's road cars handle like a dream at top speeds. Of course, with Bentley being involved, the interior would have to be decked out like the 1st Class drawing room on the Titanic (pre-sinking), which is hardly a bad thing."

    2. BMW – Lamborghini

    "With a BMW – Lamborghini mix one would probably expect to take more of the edgier features from the latter, like the Aventador's rear wheel cooling ducts, the air scoop inlaid into the bonnet and the characteristic chiselled jaw-line. Not that BMW wouldn't bring plenty to the party though, with their classic "kidney" grille being a welcome addition and we have no doubt that, with the Bavarian firm's eye for precision engineering, the drive would be smoother than a fine, aged single malt."

    3. Dodge – Chevrolet

    "The engine roar from these two major American powerhouses joining forces would make roads shake and lesser cars go weak at the struts. Ostensibly a cross between a Viper and a Corvette, we'd have to presume that the engine of choice would be the former's 8.4L V10, though it would be housed behind Chevy's bonnet and grille design, making this new beast the true face of snarling American muscle cars."

    4. Volkswagen – Ford

    "Back in June 2018, Volkswagen and Ford announced that they are working towards building a strategic alliance which could see them co-produce vehicles together. Latest reports confirm that the collaboration will be centered on light commercial vehicles. But what if they decided to collaborate on a VW + Ford compact car? That got us thinking about crossing two compact classics, the Golf and the Fiesta. We'd take the more rounded, hatchback rear of the Fiesta, though we'd stick to the Golf's sportier roots by throwing in a rear spoiler."

    5. Nissan – Porsche

    "This engineering partnership would have the whole world licking its lips in hungry anticipation. While Nissan has its own experience of creating sporty cars through the Skyline and the Porsche-esque 350Z, Porsche itself has undoubtedly been a true master of the field for decades. Expect to see plenty of those iconic Carrera curves though with a more substantial body. The only other major question is, with Nissan being the largest EV maker in the world, would this be the first Porsche Electric?"

    6. Smart – Range Rover

    "Smart cars are perfect for nipping around, and finding parking in, congested cities but we all know their major downside, they look about as sturdy as a lawn chair made of matchsticks. Well the best way to solve that major image crisis would be to partner up with a marque whose very name has become a by-word for rugged, off-road indestructibility. The linkup would see the little two-seater get a full makeover, with that large Range grille, imposing face and tyres that could actually allow it to mount a kerb."

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    Next year will be the Centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus' founding. And 2019 will also be the year that "The New Bauhaus," an upcoming documentary covering the Bauhaus' spread to America, will debut.

    László Moholy-Nagy was a Bauhaus professor from 1923 to 1928, after which he started his own design studio in Berlin. Capable of industrial design, sculpture, photography, typography, painting and printmaking, Moholy-Nagy might have had a long career in Germany. But as the Nazis came to power Moholy-Nagy, a Hungarian Jew, fled first to the Netherlands, then the UK.

    In London Maholy-Nagy and Walter Gropius hoped to started a UK-based Bauhaus, but could not secure funding. But by 1937 Moholy-Nagy made his way to Chicago to form the New Bauhaus in America, which is now known as the IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) Institute of Design.

    Thankfully, architect/director Alysa Nahmias, producer Petter Ringbom and their crew have captured Moholy-Nagy's story--and have successfully Kickstarted enough funds to complete the production. There are still three days left in the campaign if you'd like to contribute, and the film should be released around December of next year.



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    Dutch Design Week is the largest design event in Northern Europe and presents work and concepts from more than 2,600 designers to more than 335,000 visitors from home and abroad.

    This year's event took place from 20–28 October 2018 with the annual theme "If not us, then who?" the Dutch Design Week is addressing its role and responsibility of design(ers) in creating our future world.

    We covered the main exhibitions from all over town in this gallery including material experiments, a few installations and product concepts. We'll follow up with a closer look on three major exhibitions.

    If not us, then who?
    This year's theme focuses on the impact and responsibility of design(ers) in defining how our future world will look like.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    Making and Metal
    The national Crafts Council organization is sharing results of a five day masterclass where eight curious designers collaborated with experienced metalworkers. These metal/wood experiments are by Nane-Sophie Bergmann.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    Making and Metal
    The national Crafts Council organization is sharing results of a five day masterclass where eight curious designers collaborated with experienced metalworkers. These metal/wood experiments are by Nane-Sophie Bergmann.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    What Matter_s
    Ten design studios and ten material researchers from southern Sweden have been collaborating at the intersection of art and science during six months.
    Designer Anny Wang and architect Tim Söderström have been working with the NanoLund company. They were impressed with the (invisible) nanowire structures mimicked them into something visible, a heating element to regulate room temperature.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    What Matter_s
    Ten design studios and ten material researchers from southern Sweden have been collaborating at the intersection of art and science during six months.
    Industrial designer Petra Lilja collaborated with bioscientist Ramune Kukaite and developed bioplastic recipies based on wheat-derived gluten. This material exploration titled "Gleather Glubber" demonstrates a wide range of shapes, colors and textures for future design applications.
    Photo credit: Photo by Marina Jackler
    VEEM
    This year, the Dutch Invertuals were invited as curator to transform the parking garage of the VEEM building into an impressive exhibition. Endless flows of visitors used the glowing car ramps to move between floors.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    This Is Urine
    Sinae Kim (Central Saint Martins) is demonstrating her Urine Ware, a collection of decorative vessels glazed with urine-based minerals. Her project demonstrates the potential use of 2,8 billion gallons of human urine which is currently unused/wasted per day on a global scale. The shape of the vessels is inspired by the human bladder.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    This Is Urine
    Sinae Kim (Central Saint Martins) is demonstrating her Urine Ware, a collection of decorative vessels glazed with urine-based minerals. Her project demonstrates the potential use of 2,8 billion gallons of human urine which is currently unused/wasted per day on a global scale. The shape of the vessels is inspired by the human bladder.
    Photo credit: Photo by Aart van Bezooijen
    This Is Not A Vase
    Robert Hahn (Burg Giebichenstein University Halle) takes an artistic approach to the industrial extrusion technology. Unlike creating perfect/straight profiles, his objects (not vases) are formed using the pasty behavior of various clays.
    Photo credit: Photo by Robert Haslbeck
    150 Wooden Shoes
    Max Stalter (Burg Giebichenstein University Halle) has been exploring the symbolic power of the wooden shoe. He manipulated various wooden shoes to reflect contextual issues such as climate change, personal identity, political views, social status and advertising, or better said: "branding".
    Photo credit: Photo by Robert Haslbeck
    View the full gallery here

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    It's a pretty weird toy, if you think about it: An ink-filled, oversized billiards ball that predicts the future when you shake it. But as with a lot of successful product designs--and make no mistake, the Magic 8 Ball is successful, with over one million units still sold each year--it went through several iterations before its current form was realized.

    In the 1940s a woman named Mary Carter was earning a living as a clairvoyant in Cincinnati. She came up with an object that she'd use with her clients, a container that held a small chalk slate. It's not clear how she managed it, but she would reportedly shake the container, then open it to reveal the answer to a client's question written on the slate.

    Mary's son Albert saw commercial potential. He advanced the design into something anyone could operate: A simple cylinder filled with molasses, and two dice with answers written on each face. Both ends of the cylinders were transparent. When it was shaken and up-ended, one of the dice would drift to the top, revealing a random face/answer. Carter called it the Syco-Seer.

    Albert brought the idea to a local merchant, Max Levinson. Levinson was enthused by the product and contacted his brother-in-law Abe Bookman, a graduate of the Ohio Mechanics Institute, to figure out how they could mass-produce them. Somewhere during this process Albert died, leaving Bookman and Levinson to patent subsequent designs of the object.

    Bookman first reduced the number of windows to one and changed the product name to the Syco-Slate. Molasses was swapped out for inky water. 

    He then struck upon the idea of changing the overall shape to that of a crystal ball. In 1950 this attracted the attention of a Chicago-based company called Brunswick Billiards, who were seeking a unique promotional item for the company. They contacted Bookman, who produced an 8 ball variant. The design was so successful that after the Brunswick contract was up, Bookman continued producing the design as an 8 ball.

    The product was a big hit with children, and the Magic 8 ball went from novelty store to toy store. Today it's owned by Mattel, and it's just been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

    Fun Fact: Of the 20 possible answers provided by a Magic 8 Ball, ten are affirmative, five are negative and five are those lame non-committal answers.



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    Monets, Munchs and Mondrians: The Art Institute of Chicago has photographed over 50,000 artworks in their collection and made all of them freely available online, in high definition.

    In addition to paintings and drawings, there are shots of architectural interiors and exteriors, floorplans, sculptures, writings, objects, draftings and sketches. At press time the site was a little buggy, with some of the images failing to load; but with some 52,446 works and counting to choose from, you're bound to find, for free, something you'd have paid good money to have a print of. Dive in here.

    via Kottke


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    The branch of industrial design I spent the most time working in was called "structural package design," i.e. bottles. Our SPD department was small compared to Graphics and Marketing, which is typical for most corporate I.D. gigs, and that was partially a function of how bottles were sold prior to the emergence of online shopping.

    Just the five of us in SPD designed all of the bottles sold around the world by the global corporation that employed us. All of our consumer products, whether sold in Thailand, Peru or North America, were sold on store shelves. Consumers looked at our bottles, and looked at our competitors' bottles standing next to them, and made a decision on which to purchase.

    So we didn't design our bottles in a vacuum. Marketing reviewed everything for "shelf presence"--when designing a vessel to hold 500mL of product, could we make it taller and wider than a competitor's 500mL bottle? Could we provide enough label area for Graphics to create an eye-catching display? This is why, if you look at most consumer product bottles today, they are usually wider than they are deep--even where a cylindrical shape would make better ergonomic sense. (Note that this does not apply to carbonated beverages and aerosols, which are always in bottles with circular cross-sections for the same reason airplane fuselages are: To evenly distribute pressurization.)

    The labeling is always, obviously, on the wider faces of the bottle. Which presents a problem for end users: Face labels really don't make sense for storage. 

    Look inside your medicine cabinet, pantry or garage. How are your bottles stored? Do you store them like this…

    …so that you can see what each product is? Probably not. Imagine storing your books in this way; it would be ridiculous. You probably instinctively turn your wide-and-shallow bottles sideways for greater space efficiency. And unless you have memorized each bottle's color and profile, you fish through them to find the one that you want.

    Ideally bottles would be labeled like books, on their "spines" or handle sides so that they could be stored more space-efficiently.

    In situations with standalone bottles, like with dishwashing soap or liquid soap hand pumps, I think most people instinctively place them face-out, presenting the label. Go into anyone's bathroom and if they've got a liquid soap hand pump, I bet it's placed face-out--even though this needlessly eats up a disproportionate amount of real estate on the sink.

    In other words:

    Bottles were traditionally sold on store shelves. And that shopping modality drove the design--which is not the best design for actual consumer convenience, but the best design to get you to buy them off of a store shelf.

    But as we shall see in the next entry, this is beginning to change.


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    Exciting opportunity for a newly created role to lead the reimagination of our World of Coke museum and expand the retail prescence of our brand locally, nationally,and potentially internationally. Projects include the creative design and production of new exhibits and shopping experiences, including audio-visual media, permanent and temporary exhibits/fixtures, way-finding signage and consumer messaging, artwork, and interactive applications. Function Specific Activities

    View the full design job here

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    "Shelf presence" has driven the design of bottles for decades. That's because consumer product bottles were traditionally sold on store shelves, as discussed in the previous entry on this topic. But now that online shopping is growing exponentially, bottle designs are changing to meet the very different needs of e-commerce.

    Once shelf presence is removed from the equation, designers can now focus more on efficiency, as seen with Proctor & Gamble's new Tide Eco-Box for e-commerce. Since consumers aren't picking these off of a store shelf but have ordered them online, all the packaging needs to do is store the maximum amount of liquid using the smallest amount of packaging materials that will get the contents there safely, and be functional in the end user's laundry routine.

    "Products sold online typically need to be packaged with a second or third layer of packaging like cardboard boxing and bubble wrap that's then discarded by the consumer. To address this, P&G designed the Tide Eco-Box to ship as efficiently as possible on its journey from a manufacturing site to a retailer's warehouse to a consumer's front door."
    "The Tide Eco-Box arrives on a shopper's doorstep in a sealed, shipping-safe cardboard box. Inside the box is a sealed bag of ultra-compacted Tide liquid laundry detergent. To use, a perforated cardboard flap is peeled off to reveal a dosing cup and a new "no-drip" twist tap. To make dosing simpler on flat surfaces, the box includes a pull-out stand to raise the height of the box so the cup fits easily beneath the tap."

    I guess it's good that I got in the work experience I did with structural package design prior to this development. If all of my former employer's products were sold this way, I estimate that me and at least two other guys in the department would not have had jobs. Designing a cardboard box, and using what's probably an off-the-shelf Doi pack inside, would not have required the manpower of what was already a small team of designers.

    h/t Gizmodo


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