Looking for a gift for the tool user who has everything—and I mean everything—how about an Urushi Ratchet Handle? For a mere $2,000-$4,000 you can get one of the handful of these things made each year. Urushi is obtained from the sap of the lacquer tree and is so central
I stumbled across this unusual product on the website of a vendor that specializes in German hand tools. It was completely unfamiliar and I was surprised to discover that the original model was patented in 1950. How did I miss seeing these before? It didn't help that Fit Pliers are
Here in Part 2 of this series, pro industrial designer Eric Strebel shows you how to go beyond flat/straight shapes when working with FoamCore. Follow Strebel's tips to get a variety of different radii while keeping your piece clean-looking and professional:
As I've mentioned here before, when I was studying ID one of my (famous) design professors hated when people redesigned an existing object to be made from a different material. He'd surely hate this table, but I'd like to hear what you think. Australian company Elite Innovations is selling, in
If you haven't seen last night's premiere of "Game of Thrones," stop reading this. Mild spoilers ahead.
At the Bentley Crewe factory in England, a series of craftspeople with both hand skills and access to high-end production machinery turn out the elaborate wood panels that festoon the cars' interiors. Laser cutters, veneer presses and five-axis CNC mills with automatic tool changers are all put into service alongside
Here's an annual design/build competition for engineering students that design schools could take a cue from. Each year the American Society of Civil Engineers hosts a canoe race, with a catch: Students have to design and build the canoes out of concrete. While the competition is hosted in America,
Lamello just announced the Cabineo, a press-in fitting for connecting butt joints in CNC cut cabinet boxes. A plastic insert with an integral metal screw, it can be installed in the shop and used to assemble the boxes at remote locations. There's no need to ship separate fasteners or parts
There's been a lot of "buzz" around BuzziSpace and 13&9's award-winning BuzziPleat, aka giant ruffs that can be used as sound dampeners, lighting, and/or decoration. They look just like this... but are way more functional. Although pretty much anything would be—unless anyone can convince me otherwise, those neck things do not seem to serve a purpose.
Together with the Mutsy R&D team, Springtime recently developed the stroller collection for Mutsy, consisting of the EVO, EXO and IGO. All models are based on a shared visual identity, developed by Springtime. Mutsy is a leading Dutch juvenile products brand that has been around for decades and is known for its bold, robust appearance of its products. In this newly created visual identity, we translated the original brand values to a contemporary, more refined image, with a carefully defined ran
Roman concrete is something that has stymied materials scientists for ages. That the stuff is durable is obvious; the dome in the Pantheon has lasted for nearly 2,000 years and is of course unreinforced by rebar. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Jerry Miculek is a professional competition shooter who holds world records for speed and accuracy. To create the latest video for his well-trafficked YouTube channel (510,000-plus subscribers), he commissioned an impressive-looking replica of Captain America's shield. Miculek went with titanium since the "vibranium" it's made from in the comic books is of course fictional. Then he decided to test it out with live fire:
Business printing company MOO recently announced their latest project—printing business cards using paper made from recycled cotton t-shirts. Cotton paper is nothing new: As MOO Head of Product Design Toby Hextall describes, "cotton rag paper is one of the older forms of paper manufacturing, but it fell out of fashion
When Kvadrat announced their partnership with adidas for a pack of Stan Smiths, I figured they'd just be sneakers with beautiful fabric slapped on them. I was wrong. While we don't have any cool process images for you, and it doesn't appear any revolutionary techniques were used in manufacturing, we're
Using the names of materials as adjectives can be pejorative: "He gave a wooden performance," "These people are so plastic." But when your boss says s/he wants "concrete results," it implies rigor and success. Concrete can be an unforgiving material that requires careful design, but the reward is an object
Most of you reading this blog, and most of us writing it, know what it is to make things. And we've all seen tons of videos of other people making things. This one here, of an expert saddler/sellier crafting an alligator watch strap for Equus, stands out for being the
The bi-annual Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge asks emerging designers to develop new solutions for improving our environment through sustainable design. Each iteration of the challenge brings us closer to realizing the imperative to create a circular market standard. Presented by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in
Young designers starting a career tend to think big and often dream of creating the next cool sports car, cell phone or iconic piece of furniture. Not many, notes Sam O'Donahue, picture themselves designing cosmetics packaging or lipstick cases. O'Donahue, a Brit who earned an industrial design degree from
When certain demographics can't use your product, it's important to ask why. Nail color is an ancient tool for self expression and accessorizing, but the practice has fallen out of use with many Muslim fashionistas. This is because run of the mill nail polishes are seen as a barrier to
Caged Venetian (or Murano) glass lamps are a nearly timeless inspiration in lighting design. Their mix of metal restraint and trapped organic glass can range from sensual, to exquisitely detailed, to schlocky "Italian style" restaurant decor, and back again. (I have a conspiracy theory that those bad plastic pizza restaurant
Cardboard, like reclaimed wood, continues to provide inspiration for materials-minded designers. It's tough but soft, ubiquitous and underrated, and incredibly easy to source. Letting the material drive the object is a similarly tried and true source of both innovation and "innovation." The R16 Lamp project aims to join the shipping
Did anybody else love those dinosaur sponge pills, but wonder what would happen if you swallowed one? You can deliver on that slightly menacing magic with this new shapeshifting pasta invented by MIT's Tangible Media Group. Beyond whimsy, lead researcher Lining Yao, and supporting researcher Wen Wang, note that
Matcha is more than a good ice cream flavor, it's an ancient tea preparation that relies on several deftly created tools. Aside from the tea itself (a cult subject I'll leave to real gourmands) the most crucial element is the chasen, or bamboo whisk, used to froth the matcha powder
What would it take to make bamboo bicycles more exciting? Lance Rake thinks a wickery weave could change bike design for the better. Rake is an industrial designer and researcher at the University of Kansas who has been exploring bamboo materials for years. His aim is finding new structural options for the
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