Posted by Hand-Eye Supply
| 17 Dec 2014
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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.
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.
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:
There are makers with video cameras like Matthias Wandel, who can show us things like his crazy motorized scaffold being built. Then there's makers with video cameras and stop-motion skills, like Frank Howarth, who introduce creative animation into building projects, giving wood and materials a life of its own. The next level of complexity comes from Ryan Higley, a digital artist and "instructional technologist" for Colorado State University, who turned a larger-scale building project into the GIF above and the video below.
Unlike Wandel and Howarth, Higley didn't build this project himself—his background is in design, animation and education, not making—but what he lacks in shop skills, he gains in Adobe After Effects knowledge. Thus when he and his wife recently commissioned their basement to be refinished, Higley turned the entire project into a crazy 60-second animation that would have been impossible to capture in-camera:
Posted by Coroflot
| 17 Dec 2014
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In our series on Beetle Kill Pine, we showed you how some designers are trying to find useful functions for undesireable, fungus-damaged wood. Another tree with fungal woes is Pecky Cypress, whose innards are scarred by rotted-out voids, making its gap-laden boards unsuitable for say, smooth tabletops.
Instructables Community Manager Mike Warren, a/k/a/ Michaelsaurus, has a workaround: He fills the voids with resins, a technique you've probably seen before. But Warren doesn't use any old resin—he adds photoluminescent powder to the mix, producing a filler that "charges up in sunlight and emits a cool blue glow when in partial or complete darkness."
The full Instructable is here, but peep Warren's cool video first:
It's a sad fact, but true, that most of us industrial designers know the feeling of working on something that we don't care about. I myself have worked on many projects that I felt were inferior or even unneccessary, because I was part of The Machine, the one where the Design Group was beholden to Marketing. And for those of us that don't blossom into Marc Newsons, Jony Ives and Karim Rashids, we don't get much say in the process, and must continue to serve our cog-like function by slowly rotating in place.
I think that's why I found this Jerry Seinfeld clip so satisfying to watch. (Part of it is the awkward silence early on, while the audience tries to figure out if he's making fun of them or not.) He's giving an acceptance speech for winning an honorary CLIO Award earlier this year, and while on the surface he's skewering the advertising industry, he may as well be speaking to the thousands of companies pushing out unneccessary product:
Posted by Hand-Eye Supply
| 16 Dec 2014
Tough editors and refined designers can be hard to shop for, but we made it easy. Get your favorite typography-lover an extra glam Clampersand! These colorful clamps are the new super limited edition of coretoonist Tony Ruth's original. They are cast in the Batavia foundry in Chicago, IL, and powder coated five lovely colors in Portland, OR. They're beautiful and whimsical, and they work just about anywhere. Use them as book ends, as a centerpiece in your desk landscape, or to create visual puns around the house and shop. $65 at Hand-Eye Supply.
A good old-school photographer, one raised on film, will always try to get the shot right "in-camera." In contrast, young bucks raised on digital are more willing to rattle off an imperfect burst, pick the most passable shot and then spend hours retouching the errors on a computer.
The reason for the disparity is no secret: Film is absurdly difficult to re-touch by hand. One manual film retouching option was to use an airbrush, with its attendant compressor and requisite masking. Another method, which perhaps required even greater manual dexterity, was to go over the negatives with a retouching pencil or a dye brush. And according to U.S. Patent #2,422,174, retouching via pencil "is done by highly skilled operators who work over the blemish spots [by making] a plurality of microscopic, overlapping check marks or loops which must be so small and so uniform that they will not become apparent on an enlarged print from the negative."
To make this task easier, an inventor named Harry LeRoy Adams filed the above patent in 1946 for his Photographic Retouching Device.
The principal object of this invention is to provide a means for automatically forming these small, microscopic check marks so that retouching will require less skill and less time. [It] will produce retouching marks much more uniformly than can possibly be produced by hand....
While it still required a human operator with a steady hand to hold a pencil or brush down and apply pressure, the device's function was pretty clever. The operator placed a negative—we're talking 4x5, 5x7 or 8x10, not that newfangled 35mm stuff—onto the bed of the machine, between the two donut-shaped "ring plates" you see in the photo. Whichever part of the negative was within the circle was illuminated from below by the device's built-in illumination, which could be cranked up or down. The negative could be scrutinized using the magnifying glass.