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Industrial Design News

Have You Seen These Packaging Automation Advances?

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 18:15
News about robotics, Industry 5.0, hygienic transport, and more, helped packaging production engineers stay sharp this past year.

Will Automation Save the Family Farm?

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 18:15
Automation tools such as motion control and robotics have helped farmers overcome a world of pressures, from labor costs to the length of sunlight.

Growth Arrives for Engineering Salaries

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 18:00
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released new data on engineering salaries and job prospects for the coming decade. It's good news.

Asus Unveils Bizarre Laptop With a Screen That Folds in Half

Core 77 - Tue, 2022-01-18 14:40

Asus has unveiled a peculiar object that they're calling the "world's first foldable OLED laptop." While all laptops fold, it's the screen that folds in their Zenbook 17 Fold OLED. Folded, it's the size of a 12.5" laptop. Unfurled, it's a 17.3" screen.

The Bluetooth keyboard can be placed atop one half of the screen for compact use…

…or the screen can be opened to its full width and placed opposite the keyboard.


The company says the versatile device can be used as a laptop, PC, tablet or "book."

Additionally, the lower part of the screen itself can be used as a keyboard…

…or you can use it with the Bluetooth keyboard in this bizarre "Extend" mode.

I'm pretty skeptical of the durability of folding screens. For their part, Asus says they've tested the Zenbook for 30,000 cycles. I also wonder what the bottom of the keyboard is lined with, to ensure it doesn't scratch the screen or pick up crumbs that get sandwiched between the keyboard and screen.

At press time, no price or release date was announced, but the machine's tech specs are here.


Great Product Design Student Work: The Stair Cubby, for Storage on Staircases

Core 77 - Tue, 2022-01-18 14:40

Something I saw a lot of in NYC was people using staircases for storage. Landlords and Fire Marshals don't care for the practice, but particularly if you lived on the top story of a walk-up, that last flight of stairs became a de facto free extra closet.

NYC isn't alone in this practice. Bronwen Rees and Bryony Wood, both product design students at the UK's Nottingham Trent University, seized on the stairs as fertile storage territory for a class assignment for Umbra. The brief was to design storage furniture "aimed at young professionals living in small, rented homes." Students were asked to "Consider mass manufacture, packaging and Umbra's style."

Rees and Wood subsequently designed this Stair Cubby:

"An open access cubby that fits over two steps for everyday storage. It can hold up to five pairs of shoes, books or other [knick-knacks] and comes flatpacked."

The duo designed the unit, which ships flatpacked, to be assembled with no tools. Tabs, slots and pegs are all cut from the same piece of plywood. An adjustable panel on the back slides up and down to accommodate staircases of different dimensions. Taking manufacture into consideration, the unit is designed to have all its pieces cut from 1/3 sheet of 4x8 plywood with minimal waste, so one sheet yields three units.

Rees and Wood also mocked up the packaging…

…as well as experimenting with Umbra's colorways used by retailer John Lewis & Partners:

Ultimately the pair "decided the wood worked best with a simple white."

Nice work, Rees and Wood!


French Product Designer's Experimental Garden Table/Watering Can

Core 77 - Tue, 2022-01-18 14:40

In seeking to "Recherche autour des expressions françaises," French product designer Lucas Lorigeon devised this unusual outdoor object:

To explain the application:

I do wonder: Are the cigarette butts meant to be dropped down the spout? That's undoubtedly a fire-safe way to go, but cleaning it out would get pretty gross.

Can't Roll a Joint? The Otto Automatically Grinds, Fills and Rolls Your Favorite Herb

Core 77 - Tue, 2022-01-18 14:40

For the unpracticed, rolling cigarettes or joints isn't easy. A device called Otto is designed to ease the latter. It's essentially a push-button automatic grinder that you fill with weed, then place atop a transparent jig with a conical interior. That's where you place your pre-rolled cone, and Otto fills it as precisely as a cigarette, if the video's to be believed:




I like that every bit of weed goes into the cone, and not all over your tray or table.

The Otto is made by a company called Banana Bros. and retails for $150.


Opsys Solid-State Lidar Promises ADAS Vision Solutions

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 09:23
Long range combined with high resolution and all-weather functionality will boost lidar ADAS utility.

Preparing Your Manufacturing Business for Natural Disasters

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 09:17
With deadly tornadoes top of mind this week, here's a refresher on disaster preparedness, and how medical device companies have weathered past disasters.

Automated Case Packer Can Increase Throughput, Reduce Labor

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 09:14
A new robotic top-load case packer can fill up to 20 cases per minute.

Getting Added Horsepower Out of Raspberry Pi

Design News - Tue, 2022-01-18 05:27
The free Design News Continuing Education Course explores ways to successfully use Raspberry Pi Pico for embedded applications.

Smart Packaging Now Powered Wirelessly

Design News - Mon, 2022-01-17 18:48
Powercast’s power-over-distance technology shown at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) sparks imaginative packaging possibilities.

Bago: A Hilarious Object Designed to Keep Bags Upright on the Floor of a Car

Core 77 - Mon, 2022-01-17 13:00

I don't deny that this object is clever (for what it is), but I'm stunned that people would purchase one for the $22 asking price. Bago seems like a simple thing to rig up. It's basically an adjustable strap and a small A-clamp. You throw one end into the glovebox, then attach the clamp to a bag on the floormat, holding it upright:

This seems like one of those quirky only-in-Japan objects. Instead it was invented--and successfully crowdfunded, on both IndieGogo and Kickstarter--by a guy named Dan Stevenson, who hails from Atlanta. Congrats to Stevenson. To the rest of you, here's proof that if you have the idea for a simple and even narrowly useful object, there's probably a market out there for you.


The RazorScribe, an Adjustable, Precision Offset Scribe Tool

Core 77 - Mon, 2022-01-17 13:00

The RazorScribe is a small finishing tool invented by Dave Brallier, a general contractor who works on high-end homes, where the clients expect their expensive materials to mate precisely.

"The first prototype of the RazorScribe® was born out of sheer necessity. While installing a bank of custom curly maple panelling onto light-colored limestone, Dave realized even the smallest gap would be painfully obvious. An inaccurate pencil scribe line just wouldn't do. His epiphany was to epoxy a razorblade to a block of wood, allowing him to cut through the veneer, leaving a clear, precise scribe mark."

Using this technique Brallier continued making new, custom scribes for each project, but after seven years, struck upon an idea for a permanent product. Pocket-sized and adjustable, it contains a razor that can be easily and quickly set at 1/16" increments up to 1/2".


The video, and the results with the cabinet toekicks in the demonstration, demonstrate the utility and cleverness of the tool:


Trevipark: An Underground Automatic Parking System

Core 77 - Mon, 2022-01-17 13:00

As underground engineering consultancies go, Italy's Trevi Group is no joke; they're the folks that were hired to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the 'aughts.

And back in the '90s (if you couldn't tell by the quality of the images below), they were tasked with designing a more efficient underground parking system in Cesena, Italy. Your average underground parking garage takes up a lot of space that cars cannot be parked within; you need lanes and ramps for access, and that takes up room and requires a lot of concrete. To solve this, Trevi instead devised a concrete cylinder, nine stories deep, with each level able to store 12 cars in a clock-like array.


The cars are deposited and served up by an automated lift-and-trolley system:

Today there are 16 Treviparks, as they're known, in Europe and Scandinavia. "Trevipark can be located in courtyards and garden areas with entrances at floor level or underground," the company writes, "without compromising the environment of the area concerned. The reduced sizes of the entry-and-exit bays make Trevipark environmental impact negligible."

"Internal safety of the car is assured by the anti-intrusion, fire-fighting, anti-flood and ventilation systems that are computer-controlled. In turn, the computer is connected to the Trevipark's control centre operating 24 hours a day."

Balenciaga's "Tool Bracelet"

Core 77 - Mon, 2022-01-17 13:00

In the market for some jewelry? Here's Balenciaga's Tool Bracelet:

Yep, it's a hose clamp. Just one that's made from brass with a silver finish. The list price is $950, but it's currently marked down to $659.

The images clearly show "Made in France," but the product copy on Balenciaga's site says it made in Italy. With that kind of markup over the BOM and designer's fees, you'd think they'd take the time to double-check the copy.

Ideas I'd pitch at the next product meeting:

- Platinum zip-ties

- Swarovski-crystal-encrusted 0-rings

- Gigantic nylon-insert lock nut bracelet

Any other ideas, please list them in the comments!

The Robot’s Got the Cookies Handled

Design News - Mon, 2022-01-17 09:46
This motion control system puts the robot in charge of baking cookies and moving them down the line.