Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
- Model Machine
- Designer: Bernhard Ranner
- Location: University for Applied Arts, Vienna
- Category: Equipment
- Award: Student Runner-Up
In addition to sketches and renderings, designers often need to have "real" models to judge the ergonomics, haptics and functionality of their work. Larger companies tend to be the only ones that can afford to have a full-fledged model shop. Model Machine fills this void for the smaller offices and startups.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
Actually I read the mail in the middle of the night—still in the office working... I'm currently working at EOOS on the Bill an Melinda Gates Foundation funded project "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge." We'll go to Seattle with our Mockup in a few days and present our design for a sanitation solution in developing countries.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Last year, 100% of my time went into the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. If we win the challenge and get funding for the next project phase, it doesn't look so good for the model machine, but if not, I'll approach to some potential industry partners and see if I can convince one of them to develop this product.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
Oh so many... for instance: in the final model building phase while CNC-milling the parts for the scale model, the machine stopped working. Turned out the stepper motor controller of my CNC machine died. On the weekend. In the night. No chance to get replacement parts. I was terrified. In a brave McGyver-ish stunt I hacked together a controller from a discarded Xerox machine that actually worked better than the original controller.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
At some point when the function-principles were figured out I thought that I should now start to actually "design" the machine. It took me several unsuccessful approaches to realize that it already had quite a strong design language and would better be left the way it was.