I fully admit that having a sketchbook with a magnetic spine, and pages that are edged with a stripe of magnetic ink, is overkill. But when you see how easily Rekonect's "new generation of notebooks" works, it is hard not to instantly want one: The faux-leather-wrapped tomes come with
Scribit is a vertical plotter that you hang, using wire, from two nails placed in your wall. After telling the device (via smartphone or computer) what the precise distance is between the nails, it can now draw on your wall, from files that you feed it, with accuracy. The thing
When there's a natural disaster and our government is paying attention, we send scores of physically-fit, militarily-trained young men and women to the site to render assistance. This is a logistically massive task. For starters, all of those men and women need a place to sleep in between shifts. Tents
Halloween Costume Idea: Han Solo in Trapped in Carbonite If you get started now, you'll have a month to DIY this Earlier this year, Solo: A Star Wars Story became the franchise's first bomb. (It took in $400 million at the worldwide box office, but reportedly needed to make $500
The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment (MSBE) is an automotive design sketching competition and party, where today's and tomorrow's motor industry elite battle for recognition as the Middlecott Sketchbattle Champion. The recent San Francisco edition of the Sketchbattle consisted of two rounds of design sketching, lasting around 30-45 minutes each. Following the
Lockpicks are thin pieces of metal that professionals use to jiggle the pins into place. I've got a buddy who's a locksmith, I've watched him do it and it takes some finesse. The following tinkerer, however, wondered if you could use an electric toothbrush to do the random jiggling for
A trommel, also called a rotary screen, is used to separate materials. As the barrel spins, smaller materials are sifted through the screen while the bigger stuff stays in the middle. This fellow on YouTube needed a way to separate rocks from dirt. Using "a 1/4 HP motor [purchased] on
Here's one of those channels that makes you thankful YouTube exists. The anonymous craftsman behind Easy HomeMade Projects shows you how to DIY all manner of unlikely objects, the most impressive of which are in the small power tool space. Wanna see something crazy? Check out his small-scale DIY miter
This week industrial designer Eric Strebel's got a sketching video up. "I recently visited Norfolk, Virginia and was inspired by all the military hardware on display in the area," he writes. "You can see some of the amazing ships in the beginning of the video. This got me to thinking
Here's another Japanese design that skirts the line between "Good gosh that's clever" and "Do we really need this?" By utilizing thin, perfectly-cylindrical leads, mechanical pencils obviate the need for sharpening. But if you were to zoom in on the tip, you'd see that even the narrowest lead can alternate
This incredible clip of high-speed laser engraving is gaining steam on Reddit: Of course there's no attribution, so I can't credit the company nor machine. But poking around on YouTube turns up similar videos from another high speed laser engraver, by a company called Z-Tech Lasers, and these
Disney Research has come up with a design/fabrication aid sexily named "Mechanical Characterization of Structured Sheet Materials." What they've done is create a variety of lattices based on different isohedral (i.e. tiled) patterns... ...and observed the differences in each pattern's range of movement when stretched. They then came up with
There is the "jotting something down" version of sketching, where you grab the nearest mark-making object and scrap of paper to capture an idea; some gewgaw drawn in lipstick on the back of a receipt. Then there is the prepared type of sketching you do in the studio, where many
We started this design series taking a look at iterative design with bikes, and now we're ready to shift gears (hah!) to tackle an increasingly popular and more radical form of transportation: the skateboard. There's a long history of 3D printed skateboards online, from the daredevils at Braille Skateboarding who will skate absolutely anything to the early board designs on Thingiverse, but it wasn't until we joined Frog's skateboard challenge that I committed to designing a functional 3D printed
"The ease of being able to upload a part," says Josh Haldeman, an industrial designer for protective gear company Bullard, "and instantly know what it's going to cost me is phenomenal." Haldeman is referring to the instant online quoting process for Xometry, a company that connects manufacturers and fabricators with
This is the craziest joinery system I've ever seen. Lamello's Invis system of knockdown fasteners consists of male and female parts that are sunk into your workpieces-to-be-joined. Once the pieces are lined up, a magnet inside of a plastic box is then attached to your drill. You spin the drill near the fasteners, and the screw in the male part starts turning. Here's a demo of a guy using it to attach stair treads:
The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment is back, and this time the Fight Club of Design is taking over San Francisco's Automated Vehicles Symposium to bring you a night of hardcore live automotive sketching. Currently held four times a year during the Detroit Auto Show, the Los Angeles Auto Show the Las
Of the many structures, Leonardo da Vinci designed, perhaps none made more ingenious use of materials than his practical design for an easy-to-assemble, self-supporting bridge. Here's a father and son demonstrating its construction in their backyard, without using a single tool:
Dremel's forthcoming DigiLab laser cutter, announced at last year's Maker Faire, is scheduled to drop any day now. The release date was slated for Summer 2018, and since it's now summer we just checked their website. They've not updated it with a hard release date, but we do see that
I've got a thing for tool storage, which directly reflects my organizational failings in other areas of my life: I have no hope I'll ever be able to tame my desk, kitchen, refrigerator, bathroom, bedroom, or closet like those neat photos I see in the design magazines--my own are simply too idiosyncratic--but I still have hope in the tool department.
Threaded connections, such as bolts and nuts, are used in a wide variety of applications, ranging from plastic toys to massive bridges. The one similarity that ties them together is that these connections need to stay together when we want them to, but also come apart when needed. For example, the valve covers on an engine have to stay in place while driving, but we also need them to be removable, so we can service the engine components.
Shapeways, the 3D printing service and marketplace known for their reliable on-demand printing in a variety of materials, recently announced their first in-house line, Spring & Wonder. The collection features a variety of customizable jewelry that leaves customers in charge of the size, shape and message written on their pieces.
Trump just announced plans to create a military presence in space effective immediately: Based on the very minimal information we have been given, your brief is simple: Go forth and design a logo for "Space Force". The logo has to be as good as the Air Force logo, but different.
Kickstarter has taken note of Oscar Lhermitte's clever "Quickstarter" model, recognizing it's positive message of showing that designers can learn just as much thinking on a smaller scale as they can thinking on a larger one. The crowdfunding platform just announced a landing page within their site called Quickstarter that
Advanced Design Sketching (ADS) is getting ready to host their second SQ1CON in Chicago this July 13 and 14 after a successful inaugural event last year. What began as industrial designer Hector Silva's pipe dream in grad school, ADS has now evolved into a multifaceted non-profit that puts on sketching
Dating all the way back to Neolithic times, the mortise and tenon is the oldest wood joint known to mankind. While the specific provenance of the joint is unknown, I'm willing to bet the inventor wasn't a virgin. In the thousands of years since, craftspeople have developed an almost absurd variety of joints, some of which you learned in the ID shop at school, some of which you've never heard of, and that one that you can always see in your head but have forgotten the name of.
I hate the imperial measurement system, and can confidently say that anyone who doesn't recognize the superiority of metric is a freaking idiot. How nice it must be for you Aussies, Germans and Koreans to drill an 8mm hole, realize you need it a smidgen bigger, and yell down the ladder for a 9mm bit. Versus us Yankees drilling a 7/32 hole, then having to do an equation in your head to calculate if you need a 3/16 or a 1/4.
Last week industrial designer Eric Strebel demonstrated digital vs. analog rendering. This week he drills down into the latter: "[This video] talks in detail about the rendering process," Strebel writes, "the set up of the lighting, why chrome is easy if you add blue, how a simple isometric view needs
When building a contraption or shop jig that incorporates a frequently-rotated part, it can be useful to integrate bearings. Those of you with access to 3D printers can readily whip up a gewgaw to do so… …but those without must rely on more brutish and unreliable methods, like a pressure
If you've seen our excellent series on different species of wood, by looking at boards you can identify the ones most commonly used in furniture and homebuilding. But do you know what an actual Poplar, Walnut or Zebrawood tree looks like? Could you actually draw one if you were playing
To celebrate this year's NYCxDesign, MakerBot hand-picked 17 New York City designers and put them to the test of designing and prototyping an object to improve daily life. The 13 individual designers and 2 design duos were each given a MakerBot Replicator and a few rolls of filament to
Beyond having accurate perspective, choosing the right perspective angle can make or break a sketch. In this video I'l show you how you can use perspective to give a convincing sense of scale to the object you are designing. As always, if you have any questions or comments on
Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design, once drew up this nifty chart showing how from factors evolved into the early 20th century: We know it's hard to see, so let's blow it up a bit: What I wouldn't give to see him still alive and completing the chart up
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