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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Imagine you're a Formula One driver doing 240 m.p.h. when a bug slams into your helmet's visor. By chance the smear is directly in front of the pupil of your dominant eye, and this obstruction of your vision is enough to cost you the race (and maybe much more). That's why F1 helmets have four layers of transparent tear-off strips over their visors. The drivers rip them off and let the wind take them, their act of littering forgiven in the name of chasing millions of dollars worth of glory.

In addition to the pull-off strips, there is an impressive investment of design and materials science in the modern-day F1 helmet. First off they're freakishly light, weighing just 1250 grams (under three pounds). This is to avoid burdening the driver with an extra-heavy head as they can experience as much as five G's while cornering and braking.

Despite the low weight, there's an insane amount of material in them—according to F1 Technical and Formula1.com, some 17 layers that can include carbon fiber, titanium, aluminum, magnesium, epoxy resin, polyethylene, polycarbonate, Kevlar, Nomex for fire resistance, and a secret blend of herbs and spices that manufacturers are secretive about.

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Small vents are designed to allow airflow into the helmet. As it's the driver's only source of fresh air, there are filters in place to keep out brake dust, splashes of motor oil and the like.

The rest of the helmet, though, is designed to channel air around it, making it as aerodynamic as possible. F1 cars are traveling at such speeds that an overly wind-resistant design would snap the driver's head backwards.

Alongside the chin-mounted comms microphone you'd expect is something more surprising: An in-helmet drinking straw that leads to the driver's beverage of choice. A handy button on the steering wheel lets the liquid start flowing.

On top of all this the helmet is of course designed to provide protection, and this functionality is updated as the designers learn more. For example, at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Brazil's Felipe Massa was knocked out by a suspension spring that flew off of another driver's car. Watch it in CG:


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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (3)

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Last week I upgraded my cracked-screen iPhone 4S... with a 5S. I think the iPhone 6 is pretty, but it's simply too big for me. I tried one out in the store and decided I don't want to double-tap the home button every time I need to reach the top of the screen.

But I am clearly in the minority, as everyone else in the world seems to want a bigger phone. People are willing to put up with the wider, less-convenient-to-carry form factor for the improved UX. So here's my question: Do you think folks would put up with not only a wider, but a thicker form factor—if it meant they could fully charge their phone in less than one minute?

That sub-one-minute mark is what Israeli tech company StoreDot is working on. If you're wondering about the company's strange name, their technology is based on using biorganic nanocrystals that they call "Nanodots" that can store charges. These dots can also do other fancy tricks like serve as flash memory and even compreise display elements, due to their "inherent luminescence in red, green and blue visible spectral regions."

But it's the battery application that's currently generating a wave of buzz. "While the prototype is currently far too bulky for a mobile phone," Reuters reports, "the company believes it will be ready by 2016 to market a slim battery that can absorb and deliver a day's power for a smartphone in just 30 seconds."

It looks unlikely that this Wonderbattery will show up in the iPhone 7; the company has reportedly received financial backing from "a leading mobile phone maker [in Asia]." So it sounds like either Samsung or HTC will have a competitive edge, at least where juice is concerned.

Posted by core jr  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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If you missed last week's Open House/Info Session at the MFA in Products of Design at SVA, the videos have been posted online. Allan Chochinov, Chair of the program, says that "We've divided up the videos into three parts—a State-of-Design talk followed by a deep review of the mission and pedagogy; a detailed overview of the curriculum along with several faculty discussing their courses; and two student panel discussions, one with current students, and one with graduates of the program." Below is the first video (the audio gets way better after the first half-minute), but you can find all three plus snapshots of the event right here:

Also, if you're checking out their grad school, the Products of Design site has a list of how their program is unique, and why you should apply there: "14 THINGS THAT MATTER: What distinguishes the MFA in Products of Design?" And, a reminder that applications are due February 1st, so get those portfolios tuned up!

Posted by Kat Bauman  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (2)

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It's easy to hate those lists of obviously untested "lifehacks" and bluetooth-strapped "innovations," but if you do nothing to combat them aren't you effectively condoning them? The Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon stands up to the tide of bad concepts and needlessly tech-infused bullshit. Organized by Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Sam Lavigne, this year's hackathon produced some truly inventive and horrific creations. Here are some of my favorite innovative stupid hacks (possibly NSFW after the jump):

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Tweet Your Food automatically updates Twitter with every bite you take. Now you can plug in and go to town, secure in the knowledge that your meals are finally keeping up with your information age lifestyle.

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iPad On A Face is what it sounds like. This "artisanal, handmade, and Certified Organic" invention hacks the necessity of dropping grands and grands on a telepresence robot, by projecting your face digitally via an iPad. The iPad On A Face is mounted with an exclusive "holsterhat" to a human host, and your live projected presence is ready to go!

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Posted by Coroflot  |  24 Nov 2014

Work for Johnson & Johnson!

With annual sales of $11 billion, the Johnson & Johnson Global Surgery Group is the world's largest, most innovative surgical company. The strength of the Global Surgery Group is illustrated by the fact that more than 80% of their sales come from businesses with #1 or #2 global market share positions. The Industrial Design|Human Factors team provides user-centered design leadership to business partners across several businesses within the J&J Global Surgery Group. How would you like to join this powerhouse brand as an Industrial Designer?

The best candidate for this job will embrace the various roles this position requires, using traditional sketching, digital tools, CAD models, and physical mock-ups to communicate unique ideas and product concepts. They'll also be a problem solver with a keen understanding of how things work who is self-directed and organized. If this sounds like you, Apply Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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It was on the photography-based PetaPixel website that I first heard of what are called cinemagraphs. While cinemagraphs are uploaded as GIFs, in essence a cinemagraph is to a standard GIF what color footage is to black-and-white. With a cinemagraph, a photographer uses photo compositing techniques to animate only selective elements of a photograph, while the rest of it remains still.

In the hands of a master photographer like Julien Douvier, who produced the three shots below, the effect is simply stunning.

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Posted by Carly Ayres  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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When Poltrona Frau turned one hundred in 2012, the Italian furniture maker decided it was time to rethink its classic armchair, which had been around since the very beginning. An overstuffed wing chair with a built-in ashtray for the gentleman who likes to smoke at home—clearly it was time for a revamp. So the CEO reached out to 12 designers to take part in a competition for the "centenary armchair"—one that not only brought new life to Poltrona Frau's classic, but that also predicted the future of the armchair in the home.

The winning design was by Satyendra Pakhalé, an Amsterdam-based industrial designer originally from India (who answered our Core77 Questionnaire last spring). Pakahalé envisions a future where work and life intersect more than ever. "The concept was inspired from contemporary life in an increasingly connected world where the boundaries between the domestic space and the workplace are further blurred," Pakhalé says. "The resulting collection is a synthesis between the contemporary and the traditional; between the needs of an evolving society and the excellence of Poltrona Frau's craftsmanship in processing leather and hide."

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In addition to the new armchair, the Assaya collection includes a table, a lap tray and a pouf. The idea, Pakhalé says, is for the armchair to provide "a flexible way of living and working, where one could use it as a writing desk and also as a place to relax." The lap tray is provided for the use of digital devices, while the pouf and side table can be used in formal or informal settings for work and leisure.

The project began with a trip taken by Pakhalé to the Poltrona Frau factory in Tolentino, Italy. "I was curious, keen to grasp, assess and evaluate in my own manner the legendary heritage of Poltrona Frau," Pakhalé says. The designer drew upon the company's extensive leather production facilities and craftsmen in the design of Assaya, which is constructed in hide and leather all sourced from Italian and Swedish tanning factories owned by Poltrona Frau.

SatyendraPakhale-AssayaChair-3.jpgPoltrona Frau's original armchair, with its built-in ashtray

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (2)

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We've periodically covered Big Ass Fans (here and here), the Kentucky-based company that shrewdly changed their name from High Volume Low Speed Fan Company. Due to their no-nonsense marketing approach, the efficient, sturdy design of their product and periodic design refreshes, they've grown into something like the Dyson of overhead air movement systems. And now they've moved into a new product category, with another line of overhead-mounted objects: Big Ass Lights.

So here we see how selling directly to customers can help a company develop new products: Direct feedback, which would likely get lost or mangled if filtered through a distributor middleman. By interacting directly with customers and visiting their facilities, the company is in a position to overhear their needs—and gripes. "One we heard over and over again: employers' once-bright lights now glowed a dim yellow, making it difficult for workers to do their jobs and forcing maintenance teams to constantly replace bulbs," the company writes. "Those inefficient bulbs also kept energy costs high."

Seeing an opportunity, they then hired new talent, adding lighting experts to their stable of engineers. The resultant design of their LED-sporting Big Ass Light isn't actually that physically big—the smaller model's a little over three feet in length, and the larger model just under four—but the company reckons they've created "The last light you'll buy," as it's energy-efficient, well-designed and durable.

The main body of the light is an aluminum extrusion, finned to serve as a heat sink:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (3)

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I'm cheap, so I save all hardware and fasteners that aren't bent out of shape or stripped. As I disassemble one DIY project and prepare to move on to the next, all of the old screws and such go into the sad "system" you see below, a collection of plastic containers. When they're full I dump them out onto a tray and sort more precisely.

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It's a lame system, I know. And I became aware of just how lame when I saw this killer idea from "Wulf" over on the Craftster community:

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At the shop where I work we just toss loose screws, bolts, nails and other bits and pieces of hardware from the workbenches and the floor into a bucket and, every couple of years when the bucket gets too full, somebody has to dump the whole mess out and sort everything back to where it belongs. When that job fell to me this Spring, I decided there had to be a better solution. So I designed a bin that would help to at least divide things by type to make the final sorting easier. Though built for an industrial situation, it would work equally well in the home craft room for jewellery findings, sewing notions, etc.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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I once got stabbed in the head with a wooden knife. It was an accident that occurred during a martial arts training exercise. I'd heard that head wounds bleed badly, but as I waited for the taxi to take me to the hospital (an ambulance is not what you take in NYC if speed is a priority) I was shocked at the amount of blood that came out of my head.

While head wounds are bad, severing a femoral or carotid artery is way worse in terms of blood loss. If you slice one of these open and can't stop the bleeding, that's basically the last selfie you'll ever take. But now a tiny biotech company in Brooklyn can change that equation, having developed a product that stops bleeding, whether pinprick or grievous wound, almost instantly.

Called VetiGel, the material is a plant-based polymer. It requires no training to use and can be loaded into an ordinary plastic syringe; rather than needing to learn how to prepare a field dressing, someone providing aid can simply aim and squirt it like toothpaste onto a brush. Watch how it works in this video:

The leftover material, by the way, can be safely resorbed into the body or removed.

As for why it's called VetiGel, the material is first being marketed towards veterinarians, with approval for human use planned for further down the line.

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Should the product pass human trials and prove affordable enough to manufacture, it could be a real game changer: Simple syringes loaded up with the stuff and placed into every ambulance, soldier's pack and first aid kit around the world could mean the difference between life and death for countless people, particularly those for whom a hospital is more than a cab ride away.

Posted by Sam Dunne  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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During the holiday season, there's something about being a creative industry professional that makes you a prime target for delegation of certain tasks requiring an appreciation for the visual and delicate hand-eye coordination. But every year it's the same humiliation, OCD irritability and disappointment of small children everywhere when we reach the annual realization that sick Adobe technique, awesome CAD modelling skills or even decades of workshop experience doesn't always translate to graceful arrangement of tinsel or prim and proper present wrapping.

Icing biscuits—of course a prime and reoccurring example of this phenomenon of holiday ham-fistedness (what is it about coloured liquid sugar that can look so appalling despite being spread with the upmost care!)—has fallen into the sights of home-making bloggers and entrepreneurs this year with (an industry already well into it's cycle) videos and new products aimed at the icing-incompetent.

In a lengthy video tutorial, Amber of SweetAmbs—YouTube cookie decoration sorceress—gives an highly informative if insanely detail breakdown of the process to iced cookie perfection. It seems we've been destined to failure with attempts to spread on the sugar coating—only a piping technique will suffice, not forgetting a dry time of 8 hours for the base layer. Jokes aside, you got to give her credit for her use of a scribe manipulating the sugar to form the delicate patterns.

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Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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As a professional organizer, I often recommend that gift-givers consider consumables—things that will get used up, and won't become clutter. There are many ways to design a normally mundane item so that it becomes an interesting gift (whether a stocking stuffer or more), and to design a commonly gifted item so it stands out in the crowd.

Idea #1: Take a common product and make it a work of art, such as this toothbrush from Bogobrush.

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Idea #2: Get creative with the holiday offerings. Many companies offer special products for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. But not many have an offering for Burns Day, as L. A. Burdick does with its limited edition Scotch whisky chocolates.

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Idea #3: Combine items in interesting ways. For example, Hen & Hammock sells seed combinations: four kinds of chills, four purple vegetables, four Christmas dinner vegetables, etc.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (4)

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When children fall victim to a gunman, that generates press interest. But the media being what it is, eleven children dying because of a toy does not get much ink. Eleven is the number of children that died "toy-related deaths" in North America in 2012, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That number may not sound high to you, but it's still eleven families having eleven funerals with eleven small coffins. The number ought to be zero. And the same year, by the way, there were an estimated 265,000 trips to the emergency room following toy-related injuries.

Choking, strangulation, electrocution, falling, slicing, piercing, these are all things that can happen to a child in the average home filled with average grown-up things. Toy design, at least, should avoid replicating these hazards, yet the field still occasionally falls short. In the past twelve months the CPSC has recalled some 17 toy designs totaling just under five million units. But "Recalls are reactive, not proactive," writes W.A.T.C.H. (World Against Toys Causing Harm), a watchdog organization dedicated to calling out dangerous toys.

"Safe design and manufacture," the organization reckons, is the "first line of defense."

Consumers have a right to expect the toys they select for their children are designed with safety as a priority. While proper labeling, regulations and recalls are important for toy safety, toy manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure safe products reach the marketplace.
Some toys that are in compliance with current industry or regulatory standards have proven to be hazardous, proving the inadequacy of existing standards. It is unbelievable that toys with parts that can detach and become lodged in a child's throat are often not considered "small parts" by the industry...

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Posted by core jr  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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A "product" today is rarely just physical, but consumers' expectations for meaningful product experiences are greater than ever. The challenge for designers is to bring empathy and sensitivity to their work, regardless of the tools and technologies at their disposal.

By Sohrab Vossoughi, President & Founder, Ziba

Last month marked Ziba's 30th anniversary as an innovation and design agency, and besides giving us a reason to celebrate, this milestone is also a perfect opportunity to look into the past as well as the future. Ziba today is a far different company than the one I founded in 1984 in a bedroom in Beaverton, Oregon. We're a larger organization now, of course, but also a far more multidisciplinary and collaborative one. It's a shift that reflects the product design field as a whole.

To help quantify this shift, we recently hosted a panel conversation between three of the most forward-thinking designers and educators in the country. "The Future of Product Design" asked these panelists—Allan Chochinov of the School of Visual Arts and Core77, Aura Oslapas of A+O, and John Jay of Wieden + Kennedy, plus myself—to evaluate how product design has changed since we first entered the field, and to make some predictions about where it's headed.

All four of us have been working designers since the '80s or '90s, and we've all seen dramatic changes in the tools that people use to turn concepts into products. And while our opinions diverged in some ways, we all agreed that the tools matter far less than the intention and empathy behind them. It's true that software like Adobe Creative Suite and various 3D CAD and rendering packages have gotten much more powerful and easier to use, empowering millions of people to take on design tasks once reserved for professionals. The real expertise of product designers, though, isn't in their mastery of computers, but their ability to identify needs, create meaning and form a thoughtful point of view on what a design should do... and why.

Out of the themes that emerged from the discussion, five were especially pronounced, and worth exploring in greater detail—not just as a way of taking stock of past achievements, but of anticipating where product design could go in the next 30 years.

1. The product is rarely just physical anymore.

The term "product" was once reserved for physical objects, but since the late '80s it's been used to describe software, websites and other digital offerings. More recently, we've started calling almost anything that brings value to consumers a product, from apps and financial investments to banking and car-sharing services. Part of this is an attempt to make something abstract feel more substantial. But it also reflects a fundamental shift in perceptions. The growing preference among younger consumers for services instead of products—using Zipcar instead of buying a car, for example—is well established. The growing flexibility of the word "product" points to the fact that, in many cases, what we value today is not the object, but the experience that the object provides.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  20 Nov 2014  |  Comments (4)

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There was no time to stop before the tall man slammed into me. I was slowly carrying two fifteen-pound, nine-foot-long tubes of photographic backdrops from the supply house to my studio (it looked like I had a huge double bazooka on my shoulder). The man came barreling around the corner, nose buried in the smartphone he was typing in, and slammed directly into the end of the rolls with his chest. To my surprise, he yelled at me.

After five blocks of hauling these rolls I was in no mood, and I yelled back that he should watch where the heck he's going instead of staring into his hecking phone (maybe I didn't use "heck"). He screamed "Well I'm WORKING!" and stormed off while rubbing his chest dramatically.

So yeah, walking and texting can be hazardous to your health on the sidewalks of Manhattan. And now The Atlantic reports that Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, the Chief of Spine Surgery at the New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine facility, finds that just standing and texting is bad for you, too. "Billions of people are using cell phone devices on the planet, essentially in poor posture," he writes in a paper called "Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head," presented in Surgical Technology International [PDF]. Surprisingly Dr. Hansraj's research, which is intended to inform cervical spine surgeons of proper neck position during cervical reconstructions, discovered that one can increase the load weight of one's head on the spine by a factor of six, simply by tilting it down to text.

The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. An adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position. As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees.

So what does this mean to the user? There are two areas of effect related to posture. For the first area, a fascinating combination of biochemical and emotional results, Dr. Hansraj cites a study performed by body language researcher Amy J.C. Cuddy (more on her below):

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (1)

StudioMobile-JFB_HERO.jpgPhotos by Matteo de Mayda

Architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto of StudioMobile in Treviso, Italy, have created what has been dubbed a "floating agricultural greenhouse" that produces food, almost miraculously, without consuming land, fresh water or energy.

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Built with simple technologies and with low cost and recycled materials, the "Jellyfish Barge" has been conceived for communities vulnerable to water and food scarcity. The structure reportedly harvests up to 150 liters of fresh water per day from the seven solar stills arranged along its edge, the design employs a technologically simple hydroponics system—which can also draw 15% of its needs from sea water to ensure greater water efficiency.

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Posted by Ray  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Well, here's a rather fun self-proclaimed "stupid pet project"—a literal brief if there ever was one—by SVA IXD student Max Kessler. As a kind of analog random number generator, "Coin Flip" is rather more purposeful than this brilliant gizmo, and the drinking-bird-meets-desktop-trebuchet invariably offers a more delightful user experience than, say, a web app. "The programming and robotics were build with an Arduino One, photocell, and Jameco 12V DC Motor," Kessler writes. "All the prototyping was built with MDF."

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Meanwhile, as a tangible example of interaction design, the project is about as straightforward as it gets when it comes to learning by doing:

In my project, a few challenges I faced were the physics of the spring vs. motor strength and the material strength in relation to that determined motor power. A personal success in the project was my commitment and effort in prototyping and iteration.

Sure, it's a lot of custom-cut acrylic for an admittedly frivolous diversion, but what else were you going to use it for?

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Rounding edges over is a common part of many a woodworking project. But the bearing-guided roundover bits you'd use in a router are not suited to a CNC mill. Instead you'll want to use what's called a point cutting roundover bit, which we'll show you in the video below.

And in addition to the edge-rounding functionality, with a point cutting roundover bit in the ShopBot, you can achieve some cool effects with lettering, like this:

0pointcuttingroundover-002.jpgImage courtesy of Joe Crumley / Norman Sign Co.

Here's a quick look at the bit and where you can get some:

We'll show you the bit in action shortly.

Previously: Episode 06 - Desktop CNC Milling Productivity Tip: Cut a Grid Into Your Spoilboard // All Core77 ShopBot Series posts →

Posted by Tobias Berblinger  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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This is the second part of a two-part recap of the 2014 Good Design Awards; see Part 1 here.

While the historic design exhibition represented a museum-worthy look at decades worth of design, this year also saw the debut of the Good Design Japanese Furniture Selection. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, there has been a renewed conscientiousness about considering the value and infrastructure of day to day life and quality of living. The curation of the Japanese Furniture Selection was specifically oriented towards these considerations, and a "wish to convey values through designs that have a fundamental purpose through meaning beyond direction." Many of the designs had been made utilizing traditional craftsmanship such as Japanese woodworking as well as new technologies.

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The Kisaragi armchair was a candidate for the Grand Award. Japan has an abundance of cedar, which until now was too soft for furniture applications. The Hida Sangyo Co. developed an innovative technique for compressing cedar to render it strong enough to bear weight, and created this beautifully sculpted chair made from locally sourced and readily available materials.

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The Great Earthquake has negatively impacted the fishing and agricultural industries in the Tohoku region, which took the brunt of the damage and radioactive fallout. In order to support local farmers and fishermen, Tohoku Kaikon created the Tohoku Edible Journal, a publication that connects them with consumers. Alongside editorial articles and photography celebrating the subjects, subscribers receive actual food product from the Tohoku region with recipes and comprehensive information. The magazine has been a resounding success, garnering fans for the producers who interact with subscribers via the publication's Facebook page. The fans often visit the businesses and become long lasting supporters. There is hope for the magazine to expand to other regions.

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Posted by Tobias Berblinger  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Since 1957, the Good Design Award has taken place in Japan to evaluate, encourage and promote design in industry. The products and services awarded receive a "G-Mark," a note of distinction that apparently has high recognition among the Japanese public: the Japanese Institute of Design promotion states that 86% of the population is familiar and aware of the mark. Applying the G-Mark to products and services is a boon to smaller manufacturers to elevate their presence in the marketplace and serves to promote the work of industrial and product designers in Japan.

Despite its prominence in Japan, the G-Mark is not as well known internationally, particularly outside of Asia. This year the Japanese Institute of Design promotion made a concerted effort to invite international design press with representatives from publications like Design Bureau, Taiwan's uDesign, Yanko Design and of course Core77 among others. We were given access to the exhibit as well as interviews with jury members and the chairman of the 2014 Good Design Award, renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa.

The scope and scale of the Good Design Exhibition itself is quite immense, with 1,258 winners, covering fields including Furniture Design, Architecture, Automotive, Service Design and Design for Industrial Manufacturing. In addition to the G Mark Winners, the Good Design Exhibition includes G Mark co-sponsored awards programs from Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, which not only showcased the contemporary design scenes of the regions but emphasized the materials and techniques of small manufacturers that have been losing economic traction and international awareness due to large-scale mass production spurred on by cheap labor.

copperbike.jpgAbove and below: recipients of Thailand's Design Excellence Award.

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Tokyo Midtown, an immense mixed-use development space in Roppongi, was the main hub of this year's exhibition, with satellite exhibitions in Shibuya and Ginza.

Beyond the stringent criteria in the screening process, this year's annual theme was Kokochi (心地) which roughly translates to a "Quality of Comfort." Naoto Fukasawa describes Kokochi as a satisfying quality of interaction that is essential for design. According to Fukasawa, successful Kokochi in design builds a harmonious interaction between the users and technology. For him, Kokochi is an essential aspect of design that contemporary designers must strive for, in order to create relevant products and services. Additionally, Jury Member Gen Suzuki describes this sensation as a result of achieving a harmony or balance between all the facets of a design. Designs that best exemplified the theme were chosen for the Good Design Best 100 Special Exhibition.

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