To the uninitiated, a CNC mill might sound like a complicated, intimidating and excessively expensive machine to own and operate. And that might have been true twenty years ago. But now we live in an age where the prices are coming down and the interfaces are becoming ever-easier to use—something like what the original Mac did for desktop publishing. So if you're an independent designer or small business owner looking to prototype or produce your own stuff, now is the time to look into a CNC mill. And we're excited to bring you this new series on how to use one.
With regular video updates, we'll walk you through a basic but powerful 3-axis machine and show you everything you need to know in order to operate one, starting with a group of introductory videos and then diving into a step-by-step project. And in order to be as inclusive as possible, we've opted to take a "...For Dummies" approach—so whether you're a traditional shop vet or have never used a power tool in your life, we believe that you, too can use a CNC mill by understanding certain principles and systematically learning to use some basic software.
The first question you would-be CNC millers might have is, which machine should I look at? There are several different affordable desktop CNC mills on the market, and we decided to go with ShopBot, for a variety of important reasons:
Next up we'll give you an overview of the machine, then show you how to set it up.
Posted by Coroflot
| 1 Oct 2014
When a book about design covers so much territory, it's important to understand what motivated its creation and what needs it satisfies. Designing Here/Now offers everyone from the casual dabbler to the seasoned design professional a closer look at what moves design forward, right now. More than a mere collection of honorees from the Core77 Design Awards, this anthology reveals why intention is just as important as material results in design. We interviewed Allan Chochinov, Chief Editor of Core77, and asked him to explain the significance of the essential new volume for the design community and future design trends. Get your copy of Designing Here/Now at Hand Eye Supply, Thames & Hudson, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
From Designing Here/Now, "audioJar" by Sarah Pease, Rhode Island School of Design, DIY - Notable 2012
Why is Designing Here/Now an important book?
Allan Chochinov: This is an important book for a lot of reasons, but let me argue for three:
First, as digital and screens continue to dematerialize information and separate content from form, books have taken on new meaning, new gravity, and can increasingly be seen as a kind of treat. People love books, and though a lot of what Core77 does is on the Internet, our beating heart is in physical things. (Hand Eye Supply, Conferences, bikes, shoes, etc.) This book means a great deal to us, and with it we are proud to have created a tangible (and weighty!) artifact.
The second reason is about the value of time capsuling and creating a permanent record. We see Designing Here/Now as a testament to design enterprise and excellence, but we also see it as an historical record—one that features projects, designers, jury members, design firms, and educational institutions that are critical of the moment we are now living in. The book draws a line in the sand and says, "Design has a long history, but it's also experiencing an amazing moment right now. And here is a group of work that evidences its wonder, its rigor, and its impact."
The third reason (and we're biased here) is that the book was produced by two of the most esteemed design and publishing groups in the world. Thames and Hudson is an incredible publisher with fantastic and essential titles, and Project Projects is the premier design firm for producing cultural printed artifacts. We have great partners, and we're grateful for their contributions.
From Designing Here/Now, "Zoku Character Kit" by Propeller, Inc., Zoku, LLC, Consumer Products - Notable 2012, Team credits - Ken Zorovich, Yos Kumthampinij and John Earle.
Posted by Sam Dunne
| 1 Oct 2014
More from the Passionswege: Young Portuguese design duo Pedrita Studio were paired up with central Vienna glass workshop Karl Stiefelmeyer Glaserei to share skills and explore some new avenues.
Designers Rita Joao and Pedro Ferreira were inspired by the detailed craftsmanship that the workshop staff gave to huge sheets of mirror and glass, wondering if these skills could be turned to small scale objects. Rita and Pedro set out designing a range of table top objects that could be made simply from the huge array of glass types and mirrors in stock at the shop. The designers incorporated colourful felts—the material used extensively in glass handling for protection—giving some lovely contrast to the pieces.
Although Stiefelmeyer have yet to make any moves to produce the objects, they did allow the designers to set up a showroom in a disused office room at the front of the shop to display the wares.
Posted by Moa Dickmark
| 1 Oct 2014
Founded by Ian Hall, Arkitrek works to the create socially and environmentally sustainable buildings in Malaysia. I have been following them for several years now, just looking for a reason to contact them other than to just say "Hi! I like what you do. Keep up the good work," and now I have one, so here we go.
Core77: Can you give us a short outline to what Arkitrek is about?
Ian Hall: We are architects and we're motivated use design to solve environmental problems. Problems, like resource consumption, pollution and energy use. To solve these problems usually involves working with people, so we are highly socially minded in the way that we work, but I'm a nature lover foremost and love of wild places and nature is what inspires me
What lead you to start Arkitrek?
Haha. Long story...
One thing led to another. I always knew that I did not want to follow a 'conventional' architecture career. After completing my Part III and getting solid commercial experience, I decided to look for alternatives and I joined an expedition with Raleigh International to Borneo. They asked me to lead a team of young volunteers to do a feasibility study for a jungle research station in Borneo. That was a dream job. I swapped designing shiny urban hotels and started work on primitive huts in the jungle. I joke that 'the people I worked with were primitive too': gap year students mostly. The Raleigh ethos is empowering young people by giving them responsibility for delivering project work in challenging places. After some initial resistance, I embraced this philosophy.
After my Raleigh expedition in 2004, I volunteered to work for The Sabah Foundation, Raleigh's local partner in Sabah, Borneo. The Sabah Foundation manages three rainforest conservation areas and I went on to volunteer for them as an architect, designing jungle camps, staff quarters and research facilities on and off for two years.
I funded this with contract work in London. Six months in London would fund four months in Sabah. During this time, I met the people who would become my first paying clients in Sabah. That's how Arkitrek started.
The name, Arkitrek, was coined by my mate Andy Lo. Andy is a Londoner whose parents are from Sabah. We worked together in London and he came out to visit his family in Sabah and then joined me for a month long design and trekking stint in Sabah's Maliau Basin Conservation Area.
I worked in the most awesome and wild and beautiful places.
What was the main foundation when you started Arkitrek?
During that time with Sabah Foundation I was very concerned with two questions:
1. Should we build anything here? [in this wild and beautiful place]
2. If we do build, what kind of building is appropriate?
A little later, when I was no longer supported by high paying London contract work a third question came into play...
3. How can I keep saying yes to designing small buildings in beautiful places for worthy clients, who can't pay professional fees?
I think that my 'ground pillars' are those three questions.
This is a fascinating idea that was developed by a research group at Japan's Keio University. By applying optical camouflage technology and using recursive reflectors, which "[reflect] light back in the direction of incidence," the researchers were essentially able to render the back of a Toyota Prius invisible, at least from the driver's point of view. Take a look:
What we found fascinating is their proposal that this could be applied to all 360 degrees. And aside from average motorists trying to back passenger cars into parking spaces, imagine what a boon this would be to folks driving delivery trucks, tractor-trailers, construction machinery and other bulky, blind-spot-laden vehicles.
Unfortunately, the technology may never come to pass. The concept was put forth in 2011, and there's been no word on an update since the video above was released in 2012. But tell me this thing wouldn't get Kickstarted in a heartbeat.
Via DigInfo TV
Posted by Sam Dunne
| 30 Sep 2014
'Design Week' season is very much upon us here in Europe. As things wrap in London, we've jetted over to the slightly more sedate and astonishingly grandiose (seriously, Paris ain't got nothing) Vienna—capital of Austria—to hit the trail of Vienna Design Week, running from September 26 to October 5.
We're delighted to see the return of the awesome 'Passionswege' platform—the program in which the city's design department pair traditional manufacturing companies still surviving in the region with emerging international design talent, the partnerships sharing skills and often creating some truly inspiring objects and interventions.
First stop in Vienna this year, world -eknowned crystal manufacturer Lobmeyr—who took part in the Passionswege last year— invited the public to their showroom and workshop to see the fruits of their pairing with design duo BCXSY.
Editor: This design school story comes to us from Eddie L., who along with two fellow ID students had an eight-week assignment to design a commuter bike. The project started off with a bang....
Crashing your bike at night totally sucks. It sucks a little more when your laptop flies out of your bag during the crash and smashes into the pavement. And it sucks the most when that laptop turns out to be so badly damaged that the data on the hard drive is unrecoverable, and what was on the hard drive are the only existing CAD files for a project that you and two of your fellow design students have been slaving over.
Ironically we were designing a bike, so in that one calamitous moment both a real-world bicycle and the designs for what was supposed to be a sweet future bicycle both got trashed.
I'm not looking forward to winter, because the ex-manufacturing space I moved into last year is brutally cold and drafty. I spent last winter making futile attempts to caulk this and shrink-wrap that, only to achieve zero perceptible gains in thermal efficiency; the space is simply too deteriorated on all six sides for me to determine where I can best make a dent.
What I need is a focused plan, a way of determining where the largest heat leaks are so I can tackle those first. And I think I've found my solution in this awesome-looking Seek Thermal Smartphone Infrared Camera.
The tiny, three-inch, half-ounce, $199 device brings something close to military- or industrial-grade thermal imaging to the common man with the common paycheck. (A commercial infrared camera would run you four figures.) You plug it into the bottom of your smartphone and bang, you've got an image on your screen that can accurately display a range of temperatures from -40° Celsius (-40° Fahrenheit) up to 330° C (626° F).
Here's a demo of it in action from Android Police's David Ruddock, and you can skip the first 30 seconds of pitch-blackness:
We've seen drones used or proposed for package delivery, elaborate selfies, action sports capture, movie promotion, and even weather control. But a recent creative collaboration points to the possibility of a more domestic usage that we think could be the killer drone app of the future: How about floating lamps? Which is to say, just the lampshade and a light source, no stem, no cable, hovering in mid-air, able to follow you around the room if need be.
In the video below you'll see what it would look like, but before it becomes domesticated, there are just a few (completely solveable) technological hurdles to clear:
Noise. To cancel out the incessant whining of a hovering drone, a small on-board speaker could project a noise cancellation frequency.
Power. During the daytime, the drone could dock itself, perhaps to something attached to the ceiling, where it would recharge the batteries required for both the light and its own sustained flight. (Ideally the power would come from solar, so you're not wasting a bunch of coal-fired juice on an admittedly frivolous technology.)
User Interaction. Remote control, gesture control or voice activation could turn it on and off, adjust the brightness and hue, and ask the lamp to follow you around or focus light on a particular area.
At any rate, a floating lamp would give you one less thing to vacuum around, if replacing a floor lamp, and free up some table space if replacing a desk lamp.
Maybe it sounds silly but it looks beautiful in practice. Check out this sweet video created in a collaboration between performance group Cirque du Soleil, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and drone developer Verity Studios:
With the cheeky tagline "Our competitors are giants," the confident development team behind Chargerito introduces their new object. Billed as the world's smallest phone charger, the diminutive device is just 53mm × 33mm × 18mm (2.1" × 1.3" × 0.7"), featuring flip-out power prongs and your choice of a micro-USB or Apple Lightning plug. And it's an exercise in minimalism, with just barely enough meat to get your mitts onto.
Developers Alex Andon, Nick Velander and Drew Hauck set the Chargerito up through crowdfunding—Tilt, not Kickstarter, for a change—offering it at a pre-order price of $19 a pop (it's expected to retail for $39). The sharp-discount strategy worked, as they've exceeded their $50,000 target with $76,716 in backing. At press time there was just one day left to get in on the pre-order price, so if you want one, hurry!