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Unusual Transportation Design: An Amphibious Motorcycle (and Sibling Vehicles)


This may be one of the coolest vehicles I've ever seen. The BiSki, which looks like a fat motorcycle, can transition to water and turn into a jet-ski, nearly seamlessly:

Designed by Michigan-based Gibbs Sports Amphibians, the BiSki can do 80 m.p.h. on land and 37 m.p.h. in the drink. Should you need to go slightly faster, the BiSki has a sibling, the TriSki, which is good for 85/45 m.p.h. on land/water:

And if you need more stability on land, there's the QuadSki, seen here in police livery for land/water patrol applications:

While both the BiSki and TriSki are prototypes, GSA's website lists service agents for the QuadSki, which is apparently in production.

Will the Steel Tariffs Lead Us Towards Alternative, More Sustainable Building Materials?


Most new construction in cities starts with steel. It remains to be seen if the upcoming steel tariffs will negatively impact the sector in terms of cost, but if it does, one side benefit might be renewed interest in a more sustainable alternative: Modular wood construction.

"The only way to make construction more sustainable is by building with wood on a global scale," writes Metsä Wood, a supplier of engineered wood for construction and industrial applications. "The world needs a Plan B. Wood is a carbon-storing, renewable and strong construction material, yet it accounts only for a very small fraction of global construction."

The company hopes to change that with their Open Source Wood Initiative, which invites architects and engineers to contribute their know-how for creating modular wood components. The information will then be freely disseminated. The need for this type of program illustrates an interesting difference between the education of industrial designers and architects: At ID school we learn how to work with wood, plastic, metal and more, yet architects are schooled primarily on the properties of steel and concrete. Armed with only that knowledge, freshly-minted architects have little incentive to experiment with engineered wood and indeed, would have little say on the matter as a new hire at a firm with an established way of doing things.

Thus far the OSWI appears to be in the solicitation phase; I could find no database of published solutions on their website. But a graduate studio at MIT's Department of Architecture has just announced their participation, so hopefully others will be encouraged to follow suit.

"At a moment when many coastal U.S. cities face the challenges of urbanization, innovating and so testing ideas for green urban hybrid housing is more essential than ever," says MIT Architecture Professor Andrew Scott. "Our MTMR [Mass Timber Mid Rise] studio explores new models of mid-rise affordable housing utilizing mass-timber technologies and Metsä Wood's Open Source Wood initiative provides us valuable insight into wood construction and prefabrication technologies."

You can learn more about the Open Source Wood Initiative here.

Design Job: Develop World-Changing ID Solutions in Healthcare, Consumer Electronics & More as an ID'er at Native Design


Native We invent category defining user experiences, products and services for the world’s most interesting brands. Established in 1997 by Morten Warren, we are a highly selective studio built on a singular commitment to excellence. We are independent and march to the beat of our own drum.

View the full design job here

Behind the Scenes: The Tons of Craftwork That Went Into Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs"


The reason movies are shot in places like New York, Tokyo or Hong Kong is obvious: Our built-up urban environments provide visually dense palettes that make great labor-free backdrops.

Wes Anderson's "Isle of Dogs," however, took the opposite approach in terms of labor/backdrops. The stop-motion animated film is as much a testament to craftsmanship as it is a storytelling adventure, featuring some 240 hand-built micro sets. The 35-foot-long set for the laboratory alone contained "600 practical fixtures, every one of which was dimmable and controlled," cinematographer Tristan Oliver told IndieWire.

A team of graphic designers had to further populate those sets with over 1,000 pieces of graphics, from signage to posters to Post-It notes to computer punch cards to saké bottle labels and newspapers, with both English and Japanese typography.

And then, of course, there were the actual puppets themselves: Seventy artists created 500 dogs and a further 500 humans, all handmade, with the main characters being created in multiple sizes depending on how they were to be shot. The dog fur isn't synthetic, but was created using Alpaca and Merino wool, skinning a metal armature and mechanical head that allowed for a range of expressions.

While Bill Murray famously fell asleep during a cast-and-crew panel for the movie, it's unlikely the 27 animators got much sleep at all during the production: Producing 7.5 seconds of footage reportedly took one week, while one particularly complicated scene involving a character making sushi took six months!

Take a look at how the animators worked their magic:

How to Create the Perfect Core77 Design Awards Entry


Receiving an Honor in the Core77 Design Awards takes a little more than just an exceptional design project- it requires turning that exceptional project into an entry that will grab the jury's attention. With Regular pricing coming to a close on March 8th, there is still plenty of time to submit your best work in a way that thoroughly impresses the jury and helps you stand out from your competition.

View the full content here

A Steam-Free Way to Bend Wood: The Hot Pipe Method


Scotty Lewis describes bending wood as "one of the most exciting and magical things a woodworker will ever experience," and the lure is easy to see: The ability to shape Mother Nature's product to our design indicates a mastery of material and allows for unusual shapes. We've looked at plenty of ways to bend wood before

View the full content here

Nicholas Baker Describes Sketching in Virtual Reality and Life After Design School

Photo via Grace Ann Leadbeater

When he's not designing products for an array of freelance clients, industrial designer Nicholas Baker spends time engaging his 42K+ Instagram followers through daily posts and a weekly live sketching show called Late Nite Nick. On top of maintaining a growing social media presence, Baker recently launched bend mirror, the first experiment to come out of his new brand, almost object. His latest endeavor is minor details, a design-centric podcast he co-hosts with his friend and fellow industrial designer James Connors.

Experimentation is a clear theme in Baker's work thus far. Take a minute to scroll through his Instagram, and you'll notice everything from Air Max inspired chairs to a series of pet toys called "Food Animals." Two things are for certain: Baker is not afraid to put himself out there, and he's certainly not afraid to test-drive new mediums. In this interview, the designer explains his fascination with virtual reality sketching, the thinking behind almost object and his advice for young designers approaching the real world:

C77: Can you tell us a little about your design background?

NB: I graduated from SCAD in 2015 then moved to Dallas, Texas to work for a pet company called Petmate. I was at Petmate for two and a half years, and during my time there I designed all kinds of products, including dog and cat toys for brands like Chuckit, JW, Dogzilla and Jackson Galaxy.

After graduating, I decided I was going to apply to everything everywhere and just go where the job was, and that happened to be Texas. When you're just coming out of school, your first job is a huge learning lesson. I learned that your job is a big part of your life but that the lifestyle of where you live is a huge part as well. Texas is a great state, but I don't think it was the right state for me. I've always loved New York—I actually interned here a few years ago and wanted to come back—so I decided to quit my job and move here cold turkey. Going from a full time job to freelance is definitely scary, but I was confident that I could make it work. The Instagram thing helped my confidence too.

How long have you been posting your sketch videos on Instagram?

I've had my Instagram for several years, but in January 2017 I decided to start posting everyday. I don't know if it was a New Year's resolution or what—it was just something I decided to do.

Well, you stuck with it unlike most New Year's resolutions.

Exactly. That's my problem with New Year's resolutions—calling something a New Year's resolution already infers you aren't going to go through with it. Posting more on Instagram was really something I started doing to keep myself motivated and to keep challenging myself to make something everyday. It didn't have to be a sketch or a 3D model, but of course since I am a designer, my feed tended to sway towards design. So that's what it's turned into, and it's grown quite a bit.

"I've never been one to shy away from something just because it's scary or hard. If it fails, it fails."

You also do a weekly Instagram live show on Wednesdays, Late Nite Nick, where you sketch live and answer questions from your audience during the process. What lead you to give this medium a try?

I realized Instagram's new live feature could be a good medium to experiment with live sketching, so I just decided to try it. It's a little more nerve-wracking and challenging than normally posting on Instagram, but I've never been one to shy away from something just because it's scary or hard. If it fails, it fails. 

You've recently started experimenting with sketching in VR. How did you get started with this and what is the process like?

Everything I've tried so far is it's something I've done because I love design and love experimenting with new mediums. Similar to how I tried Instagram's a live feature when it came out, VR is a new medium that I also wanted to get into.

This past summer Oculus had a sale, so it was a nice, cheap impulse buy. I had just built a new PC, so I could easily incorporate it into my workflow. I went to Best Buy, which was like the only place in Texas where you can test the Oculus Rift, and experiencing it for the first time really flipped that switch. I realized it's not a gimmick like 3D movies and that I believe we're headed towards a virtual world. So I bought it and just started playing with it.

Was using your whole body to sketch difficult at first?

The way the current hardware works is that you have the headset and you also have two controllers. So you're visually there, but you're also tactilely there. You have your hands and you can touch things and move things around, which is super immersive. It's natural compared to CAD software, which is difficult and has a high learning curve. Virtual reality sketching is much more intuitive because it's just like taking a Sharpie and writing in the air—if a Sharpie magically worked in the air, that's how it would be. And you're standing in a blank space—kind of like Keyshot where it's a lighting studio, but it's all white and seamless.

Do you think being in this totally different world eliminates distraction?

You can definitely get in the flow when working in VR. You become very focused because all of the distractions from the physical world are blocked out. I turn music on because the Oculus Rift has headphones, so it really is your own little world.

How do you see VR sketching being integrated into the design process?

That's the million dollar question, and I'm not exactly sure yet. So far I think that very organic and surface heavy forms are way easier to realize in virtual reality than on paper or in CAD. In particular, I'm thinking of automotive design and footwear design, which have very fluid forms. It's difficult to CAD those objects, where in virtual reality you can easily sketch them out and make them look realistic in a very short period of time. 

Then in the traditional process, especially in school, you take a sketch and then you do a blue foam model and evaluate that before making a final prototype. I think that VR can replace blue foam models in a way and really bridge the gap between sketching and CAD. A lot of times I'll sketch a doodle out on paper and then go straight into VR to better understand the form.

So it kind of falls between the 2D and 3D worlds?

Right, exactly. VR sketching is definitely still sketching. It's technically a 3D model when you export it, but it's more like a reference since you can't manufacture that 3D model. Because VR is so intuitive and immersive (you're actually there and you're able to manipulate things in 3D space), it makes your ideas flow a lot better, especially at the very birthplace of an idea. I'm not exactly sure how to articulate that, but it's very fluid in the way that your subconscious is directly connected with a physical object. I can just move my hand, and the object almost forms itself in a way. So I've used it a little bit just to ideate.

On top of experimenting with VR, you've also started your own brand called almost object. What has that process been like?

About a year and a half ago I decided to create a product from start to finish all by myself—from design to manufacturing to actually shipping the product. I started out designing a bottle opener. I went through sketching and the whole nine yards for that—working with sourcing over in China through AliBaba and getting samples and everything. 

"I struggle with the fact that many designers are just creating another shape with a new trendy material. Why can't we make things that question what objects are?"

I learned that your source actually does matter a lot. The communication with the manufacturer I used was so utterly slow that by the time I was ready to manufacture, I hated the design. I feel like that happens—you design something and then a year later you're like, "this thing is the worst design I've ever done." So I decided to cut it.

I wanted to create something that would push the edge of what a product could be. I didn't have a full length mirror in my apartment at the time, so I could never see how well my shoes matched my outfit. I had this idea to create the bend mirror—a stainless steel mirror with perforations on it so that you can bend it to be a customized mirror or shelf or bookend or whatever you want. It has a mirror finish, but it doesn't have to be a mirror at all. It's an unfinished object, or an almost object.

I struggle with the fact that many designers are just creating another shape with a new trendy material like, " We just created another bottle opener that's made out of brass."

And it's millennial pink.

And it's millennial pink, right. But why can't we make things that question what objects are? Essentially the almost object manifesto is: Let's push objects to the limit, and let's question what every object is.

It's definitely not a sustainable business model right now, but that's not the point. It's my hobby. I just want to make great products that are really interesting and that people can buy. If I wanted to turn a profit, I could sell the bend mirror for 200 bucks, but I have them priced way lower. Because yeah, you can make a brass bottle opener that costs 200 bucks, but why?

Do you have any advice for young designers who are about to graduate or have just graduated and are looking for a job?

Apply to everything, everywhere. I think some people get stuck on finding the perfect job right out of school. It's amazing if you can do that, but if you don't, you still have to start somewhere. You have to climb the ladder. If you get a job designing toilet brushes, that's still a good place to start. You'll learn a lot, and then in two years you can move on.

Then once you start working in the industry, I don't think you should give up your side projects. That's been crucial in my career so far. I started working at this pet company, and I love dogs and cats, but my personal passion is housewares and furniture. I didn't give that up when I started working for the pet company. I'd make dog toys during the day, and then I'd come home and sketch chairs. Just keep building your design skills in your free time, and don't lose the passion for it.


For more design advice, news and debates listen to the minor details podcast here.

Urban Design Observations, San Francisco Edition: Street Furniture


The hills in this godforsaken city are insane. I'm used to walking long distances in Manhattan, but the constant up-and-down in Bernal Heights is nutty. This is a city where you want to make sure your parking brake is tip-top and where pedestrians never want to drop anything spherical.

I saw this one-person bench outside of a residence. It appears to be DIY rather than city-sanctioned.

I tried to shoot the photo to give you an idea of the slope it's built on. The 2x4 rim encircling the tree is level and the sidewalk slopes down to the right.

I imagine the builder had to go back and forth to the miter saw in order to get the angle of the feet right on the vertical members of the back support. All of the other pieces are cut at 90 degrees.

I appreciate that they took the time to chamfer the corners of the frontmost board for the seat. They also made the topmost cross piece of the backrest wider than the rest, then chamfered the corners. It's a small detail that doesn't really improve the function of the bench, but shows that they were trying to inject a little flair.

This is a bench outside of a coffee shop, obviously custom-built.

It occurs to me that custom furniture builders can probably do better in SF than in NYC. In New York most streets are close to level, so stores can buy off-the-shelf benches. Not so here.

I also came across this "Public Parklet."

You might not find it special, but I'm impressed that the municipal government here was willing to sacrifice street parking spaces to install this. Anything that infringes on street parking in NYC typically meets stiff resistance.

I only passed this very early in the morning on the way to the convention center, so there was no chance to see if people actually use it during the day.

The plants probably make it look nice when it isn't winter and the plants are maintained.

One thing I don't like about this design, is that it has you sitting right next to bypassing traffic. There's only a board between your spine and moving cars. In NYC you hear about cars jumping the curb on a regular-enough basis that I wouldn't be comfortable sitting in one of these. Particularly when you see motorists staring at their phones while driving past you.

Note the hoop mounted to the ground for locking bicycles to.

I've got to say that SF's bike racks look way better than New York's.

Stadium Super Trucks Racing is Super Fun to Watch


Competition isn't fun to watch when the team that spends the most money wins. You see this in everything from professional sports to motorsports. Frustrated with that outcome in NASCAR, racing legend Robby Gordon quit the sport in 2012, vowing to start a new form of racing based on skill, not budgets.

The next year Gordon started Stadium Super Trucks, a merit-based racing series where everyone gets the exact same vehicle type: A pick-up-style truck with a three-speed transmission driven by a Chevy V8 good for 600 horsepower. With each vehicle weighing 2,900 pounds, the trucks top out around 140 miles per hour.

The truck form factor means the vehicles have absurdly high centers of gravity. Add to this bouncy shocks, obstacles on the course and jump ramps that the trucks hit at 70 miles per hour, and you have a racing series that is surprisingly entertaining to watch. I know you animals want to see the crashes, so here you go:

Design Job: Mystery Company Seeks Talented Graphic Designer to Assist an Author/Public Figure. No Resume Needed, Just Send a Portfolio.


We are searching for a freelance talented branding, graphic, and packaging designer to assist with a number of projects for an author/public figure. Those interested should be organized and a self-starter capable of strategizing, conceptualizing, designing and producing print, packaging and digital projects from project initiation to completion.

View the full design job here

Sketch Tutorial: Michael DiTullo Takes a Pass at USPS Delivery Truck Prototype


For several years now, the U.S. Postal Service has been running their Next Generation Delivery Vehicle initiative in a bid to replace their aging fleet. Six manufacturers were chosen to submit roughly 50 prototypes (total, not each) and the USPS is now quietly testing all of them, in actual use, in Arizona, Michigan and Virginia.

Autoblogspotted one of the prototypes created by Turkish manufacturer Karsan:

The thing is butt-ugly, and industrial designer Michael DiTullo couldn't help himself--for his sketch tutorial this week, he tackled the hapless design to see if it could be tweaked.

Writes DiTullo:

Usually I take a sketch or design that a viewer submits and do an overlay or two for my Tutorial Tuesday series. Today I decided to do something a little different. I recently saw that the US Postal Services asked a few American companies to submit prototypes for a new mail truck. It reminded me of a very similar project the UK did which had very different results. The UK proposal was quite stunning from a design perspective. I wanted to see if I could take the same hard points and package from one of the US proposals and make some design improvements that would make it feel friendly and a part of the 21st century. The US postal service tends to use a model for a decade or more, so let's develop a design that has some aesthetic longevity and would be visually pleasant driving around every neighborhood in the U.S.
My apologies to the original designers, I'm sure there were many design constraints and parameters that led to the current prototype.

Experimental Google Tool Lets You Search Art by Palette


This is pretty wicked: Google's Arts & Culture Experiments team has created Art Palette, a free, online tool that lets you plug in a palette--or upload an image--and it then shows you every piece of artwork in their massive database that has a similar palette.

To test it out I selected several pieces of fine art, then uploaded them. I started off with "The Great Wave off Kanagawa:"



Then moved on to a screencap of the Core77 homepage:



Then this still from the Netflix series "Altered Carbon:"



And finally, a bootleg overseas movie poster from the last "Fast & Furious" movie:



From web to interior design, color schemes play a fundamental role in creating cohesive user experiences, establishing brand identities and communicating moods or emotions. So we thought – why not investigate color palettes in art?
Art Palette works as a search engine that finds artworks based on your chosen color palette. Using this tool, you can explore how the same five colors from Van Gogh's Irises can be related to a 16th century Iranian folio or Monet's water lilies.
Art Palette can help creative experts in art, design and beyond to make informed choices regarding color palettes, understanding the context and history behind each one.

The tool is pretty addictive, and beyond my silly trials could actually be useful to some of you in your work. Try it out here.

Tools & Craft #90: Regional Tool Names


It's the early part of the 19th century and you are a traveling salesman selling hammers and other striking tools. You are traveling by horse, carriage, sometimes even by those new fangled canals, and your packs are loaded with sample hammer heads. Being from a major industrial center with water powered trip hammers that forge inexpensively, at high quality, and at high volume, you are pretty confident you will be riding back home with lots of orders.

You stop at the local iron monger and show him your wares. He listens politely, handles the hammers and just when you are about to close the deal he politely says "Those are fine hammers Mr. Smith, but around these parts we use a different tool. Ours is a little more expensive, but the peen is near the bottom of the head, not the top". And he politely hands you back your samples.

This scenario is repeated all over England. A lesser salesman than you might go home defeated, but you are a smart cookie working for a fine up and coming firm. When you get back to the factory you tell your boss the problem, and give them sketches and samples of the different styles of hammers used around the country. The local high price was due to low volume local manufacturing, not the actual design. On your return trip your product is familiar to the local craftsman, at a much lower price, and you get the orders you were hoping for. Within a few years, in a process enabled by the network of English canals, and finished off by the railroad the centralized manufacture of all kinds of tools at low prices, with a myriad of styles matching local requirements, destroys the local trade of the local individual blacksmith. This nineteenth century "Walmartization" of production happened both in England and the US limited only by the cost of transportation. What we are left with today in the tool market is a huge number of different names for what is essentially the same tool.

Off the top of my head I can think of a bunch of names for cabinetmaker's hammers: Warrington, Exeter, London, Manchester, Bath Head or Center Peen, and Lancashire pattern just to name a few. There are differences in the styles, and the styles changed and evolved over the 19th and 20th centuries. The key point is that all the hammers do the same thing: One side is for driving nails, and the other side is for starting small nails. Cabinetmaker's hammers don't have claws for pulling nails because using a claw would dent the wood, but faster starting of small brads is an important feature for furniture making.

By the way - just a few names for carpenter's hammers: Kent pattern, Canterbury Claw, Scotch Joiner's, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and I could go on.

We can nickle and dime the exact designs, for example the main difference between London and Exeter pattern hammers is that the latter had some chamfers. Some catalogs also listed these two patterns as the same item. But the real reason for the huge variety of tools is the response of manufacturer to regional markets. Of course don't confuse the range of multi-named cabinetmaker's hammers with the thousands of other type of hammers used for other purposes. In a quest for hand tool efficiency each trade in many cases had their own group of hammers and other tools - each evolving to suit the needs of the specific trade. In addition a light hammer, similar to an upholsterer's hammer was made just for Gent's (straight claw) or Ladies (curved claw).

This marketing response to local tool requirements were also addressed by the English manufacturers on the international market.


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.

Steven M. Johnson's Bizarre Invention #204: New Baseball Field Designs

Design Job: Art and Cook Is Seeking a Senior Graphic Designer to Join Their Team in Brooklyn, NY


We are a unique housewares company searching for a talented graphic designer to join our rapidly growing team. As a senior Graphic designer you will work alongside our project managers to develop solutions based on market research and retail strategies. We are looking for a self-starter who is capable of

View the full design job here

Your Chance to Enter the Core77 Design Awards Ends TONIGHT at 9 PM EST


It's now or never—today is your very last day to enter a project into the 2018 Core77 Design Awards. Get to work on it now and make sure to have your project in before tonight, March 29th, at 9 PM EST!

View the full content here

Ergonomic, Retrofittable SuperStraps Make Any Backpack Easier to Carry


We've seen tons of different backpack designs over the years, many of them tailored towards a specific type of user. But the one thing they all have in common is that they carry things, which of course starts to wear you down over time.

Enter SuperStraps, which are designed to be retrofitted to any backpack. They're designed to spread the load over a greater area of your body, providing the sensation that you're carrying less weight around than you actually are. 

Here's how they work:

The product has definitely struck a chord with backers, no pun intended: At press time they had a whopping $370,994 pledged on an $18,000 goal, and there were still 29 days left to pledge.

What on Earth Do You Think This Japanese Warning Sign Means?


Warning signs use graphics to communicate, independent of language, a potential danger. Most of the time they're pretty clear: Don't touch this, you'll turn into a skull, this thing can explode. Other times the message is a little more mixed, as with this image Richard F., a friend of mine living in Japan, posted on social media:

If you can read Japanese, you are disqualified from this competition. For the rest of you: What do you think it means? And I'm assuming some of you will come up with caption suggestions.

A Roof Window That Transforms Into a Balcony in Seconds


In "Great Design Solutions for Maximizing the Functionality of a Pitched-Roof Space," we looked at some nifty design tricks for those living in attic spaces. Here's another one that adds something the previous tricks didn't: Fresh air and an observation platform.

GIF via 99%

That's the Cabrio Balcony window, manufactured by Velux. If you're willing to cut a roughly 40" x 100" hole into your roof, you can install one of these, making it easy for you to survey your property and/or tell those kids to get off of your lawn.

Not shown in the video is that the window also features a ventilation option where you click it open just a crack, and an internal filter allows air to flow into the room without letting in any dust.

Also I should point out: Sadly, that rock music you hear in the video is not the video's soundtrack. Every time you approach the window, that music begins automatically playing and does not subside until you close the window. Trade-offs, folks.

CFRTP is Able to Transition Carbon Fiber from Industrial to High-End Consumer Applications


The word "premium' continues to define new markets for consumer brands in everything from cars to appliances. It's a term that is also heavily reliant on materials to bring these sensory and performance stories to life.

Haier, a world-leading brand of major household appliances, has launched a state-of-the-art air conditioner under its high-end Casarte brand, which utilizes novel continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composites (CFRTPs) from Covestro. Providing a new aesthetic and advanced properties such as lightweight, and strength, the product continues the advancement of carbon fiber in its move from industrial and aerospace applications into high-end consumer facing products, borrowing properties from these industries to create and reinforce the notion of 'premium' for consumers.

A Plastic with a Metallic Effect

CFRTP composites are made from ultrathin, unidirectional (UD) carbon fibre tapes that are laminated together at specific angles to form sheets that can be customized to specific performance criteria. Think of it as a ply structure with a resulting thin, stiff sandwich providing lightweight yet very strong sheets with the processing flexiblity of a thermoplastic material. It deviates from traditional herringbone carbon fiber patterns with its unidirectional carbon surface pattern, lending the air conditioner a luxurious metallic effect with a totally new visual language for the material. On another sensory note it also produces the sound of metal rather than plastic when it is knocked.

"Not only does this mark a pivotal step into consumer home appliances for CFRTP composites, but it brings a new premium material and exciting new design opportunities within the reach of designers," says David Hartmann, one of the co-CEOs of Covestro CFRTP, together with Michael Schmidt.

A New Take on Premium

Traditionally composites have been known to be prohibitively costly and often difficult to work with. CFRTP changes all of this, offering a modern, cost effective and easy-to-form thermoplastic composite material that opens the path to completely new applications and user experiences.

For the Casarte design team, it means that for the first time they were able to specify a high-performance composite material with unique aesthetics in their range of premium air conditioners. "Up until now, we have been quite limited in terms of material selection, typically relying on metal to provide the performance and aesthetics that we require," says Shao Qingru, one of the CMF designers in the Casarte design team.

In describing the depth and richness that Qingru sees in the surface texture of Covestro CFRTP, she points at a very tangible benefit of the material. "CFRTP is a very attractive material for us in that it has a natural, unidirectional surface pattern right from the start, unlike metals such as aluminum that requires some combination of finishing processes like sandblasting, brushing and anodizing before it is ready to go into the product. For CFRTP, the finish is all natural and has a beauty to itself."

"Based on thermoplastics, CFRTP composites can be shaped with existing thermoforming tools at high yield rates and short cycle times. They are compatible with a wide range of coatings and decoration processes for designing unique surfaces, logos and other signature details. Laser-etched patterns transfer easily from steel molds," says Michael Schmidt.

Smart Air conditioning system

The Casarte air conditioner features intelligent recognition and air zoning. It comes with sensors that can detect the location of people in a room and perceive temperatures in humans so it can intelligently control the airflow and temperature in different zones based on the needs of people.

About Covestro:

With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 billion, Covestro is among the world's largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,200 people at the end of 2017.

Find more information at www.covestro.com and www.cfrtp.covestro.com.

Follow Covestro on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CovestroGroup

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