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hipstomp / Rain Noe

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With all of the hullabaloo over the new lightsaber design, fans may have missed another important detail in the trailer for the new Star Wars movie. First off, most of us know the Millenium Falcon has a round radar dish, as shown above.

Fans may also recall that in Return of the Jedi, Han Solo lends the Millenium Falcon to Lando Calrissian. (Han is busy down on Endor, trying to disable the Death Star's shield.) Lando drives the Falcon into a shaft on the Death Star—and hits a pipe, knocking the radar dish off, as seen in this clip:

Core77 has obtained an exclusive, unreleased script excerpt that details the aftermath of that incident, and it just so happens to tie into the new trailer. Please see below.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Owners of the Knee Defender may be able to purchase a companion device next year, albeit one from a different company. Said company, Soaragami, is a start-up looking to tackle "the problem of fighting for armrests" with their eponymous product.

The idea for the Soarigami came from being stuck in a very uncomfortable airplane seat. Sick of fighting for armrest space with strangers, our co-founder sketched a design that would ultimately become the Soarigami on, you guessed it, a cocktail napkin.

The services of California-based design firm Focus Product Design were enlisted, and the result is a foldable divider—gussied up to look like an old-school airmail letter, which I think is a bit too on-the-nose—that a passenger can unfurl and perch on the armrest. And for their part, the Soaragami founders don't see it as having the built-in confrontational nature of a Knee Defender: "Make a friend, share fair, and let's unfold savvier skies," they write of the product. (Your cynical correspondent doesn't think fellow passengers would react positively to anything that they perceive as intruding on their personal space, but I hope I'm wrong.)

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One thing that Soaragami has for sure, that the Knee Defender doesn't, is a catchy, accompanying pop anthem:

The Soaragami is expected to go on sale next year at $30 a pop.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The U.S. Army announced that starting today, a batch of decommissioned Humvees are going to be auctioned off to the general public for the very first time. Here's the listing for the first 26 units, all currently parked in Utah and all with starting prices of $10,000. "This item is offered for Off-Road Use Only," the listing states, meaning it will not be possible to apply for license plates for the vehicles. "No further demilitarization is required. The HMMWV is available for pick up as shown."

In a weird twist on this, a plumber in Galveston County, Texas, named Mark O. was puzzled when his phone started ringing off of the hook—and people began making "really ugly" threats. He was stunned to find that his company's old Ford F-250, which he'd traded in at a Houston dealership last year, had been converted to a mobile anti-aircraft platform by an Islamist extremist group and was being used to wage jihad in Syria. His company's decal—and the company's phone number—was still on the side of the truck, plainly visible in a photo the terrorist group Tweeted of their exploits.

Despite Mark the Plumber having zero connection to terrorism—the dealership claims they sold his truck at auction, and no one has any idea how it came to arrive in Syria—the threats have been pouring in. "We have a secretary here, she's scared to death. We all have families. We don't want no problems," Mark told a local news organization. And Galveston County's The Daily News spells his thoughts out: "I just want it to go away, to tell you the truth."

Moral of the story: If you're trading in a vehicle that can support an anti-aircraft gun, take your company's logo off of it first.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)

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What a five-axis CNC mill can do fascinates me as much as what a craftsman from Brescia can. And at their production facility in Gardone Val Trompia, firearms manufacturer Beretta has both, working in tandem to create their high-quality firearms. To show this to the world—with characteristic Italian flair—the company hired commercial firm Studio Ancarani to produce this eye-opening film, which is nothing short of glorious manufacturing porn:

The Gardone Val Trompia factory, by the way, is humungous—110,000 square meters (1.2 million square feet)—and cranks out some 1,500 weapons per day. Says Beretta:

The production departments feature fully automated work centres and highly qualified craftsmen, a prerequisite for achieving the degree of precision and high quality contemplated by its design projects. The design department has advanced systems for calculating pressure by using the finite elements method. The laboratories are equipped for research in impulsive-dynamics applied to the weapon-ammunition system, for metallographic analyses and fatigue tests.

Even more staggering is how long Beretta has been there: They began working in Gardone Val Trompia in the 1500s.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Derby the dog could be considered unlucky, born as he was with stunted, non-functioning front legs that lack paws. But one piece of luck is that Derby was temporarily fostered by Tara Anderson, who just happens to be the Director of Product Management at 3D Systems, the South-Carolina-based 3D printing company. By working with company designers Kevin Atkins and Dave DiPinto and animal orthotist Derrick Campana, Anderson was able to harness 3DS' resources to create prosthetics for Derby. Check out the results:

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