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Better Butter Dispensing

Mon, 2018-07-16 23:15

I'm skeptical of kitchen gadgets in general, but this one seems genuinely useful, at least if you're a frequent consumer of butter. Most of us store butter in a butter dish, and cut slices off of it with a knife. If you refrigerate your butter (a Northeastern America thing? I recently learned of Midwestern and Southern households that leave it out all day and night), cutting it yields inconsistent results. Enter the Butter Twist, which is both the storage vessel and the means of precise dispensing:

The Butter Twist has been successfully Kickstarted and should start shipping later this year.

Tools & Craft #100: The Finest Water Fountain in New York City

Mon, 2018-07-16 23:15

I'm a big fan of pastrami, and I go to Katz's to get it. Katz's has been on Ludlow Street since 1888, and aside from superb pastrami, and what must be the largest restaurant seating capacity in New York City, they have the single coolest water fountain I have ever seen.

A genuine Art Deco relic, the three shelves store I-don't-know-how-many hundred glasses. With three spigots, that's a lot of glasses of water real fast. And it's beautiful and elegant to look at. And the water is cold and we all know water tastes better when it's in a glass.

I tried really hard to figure out a connection to woodworking but I failed. However, great design is great design in any medium, and I know I learned something useful from seeing this great fountain; I just don't know exactly what.


This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.

Brilliant Design for a Gas Can: The SureCan

Mon, 2018-07-16 23:15

Now relocated to farm country, I recently needed to gas up a lawn tractor. I went to Lowes to purchase a gas can. I grabbed the standard $20 one, which looks like this:

But next to it I spotted another gas can, listed for an absurd $50, that looked like this:

I couldn't understand why this one cost more than double, and set the other can down to take a closer look. A sticker on the side demonstrated how to use it, and it did indeed appear innovatively designed. Since Lowes has a pretty liberal return policy, I left the $20 can on the shelf and purchased the $50 one to try it out.

After a trip to the gas station I returned to the farm and learned that the SureCan, as it's called, works amazingly well. Here's what it looks like in action:

Using it was incredibly easy, and I won't be taking it back. Hoisting and aiming the thing was simple, and the trigger works perfectly, allowing you to dispense with precision.

I looked into it and the SureCan was invented by general contractor and cabinetmaker Brad Ouderkirk, who "spent a lot of his time filling gas powered machines and constantly spilling all over his expensive equipment." Ouderkirk spent four years designing the SureCan, building his own prototypes out of wood and plastic. Here's a closer look at the design, development of and need for the SureCan:

One of our favorite types of stories is when someone looks at an established, tried-and-true object that everyone takes for granted, then figures out how to improve it. Congratulations to Ouderkirk for not only designing it, but successfully bringing it to market.

Reader Submitted: Eco-Conscious Manual Toothbrushes with Clip-On Brushes

Sun, 2018-07-15 22:13

HILT is a manual toothbrush service that empowers its users to reduce their plastic waste by providing handles manufactured from a selection of longer lasting, recycled or degradable materials. An accompanying subscription service provides the users with bristle heads, these bristle heads are designed to manufactured using the minimum amount of plastic. However, users are also encouraged to return their old bristle heads to be recycled. HILT encourages users to stick with the service and keep recycling their old bristle heads through a points system that grants rewards and discounts on HILT products.

A simple toothbrush may not seem like a lot of plastic, but after accounting for manufacturing waste, plastic packaging and the sheer number being thrown away, the figures become staggering. Through the HILT website and app, users can track not only their plastic reduction, CO2 reduction and amount recycled, but also that of the entire HILT community, so together, they can see the difference they are making.

HILT Toothbrush Handle RangeHILT Handle & Accompanying PackagingBamboo HILT HandleRecycled Synthetic Tortoise Shell Hilt HandleRecycled Toothbrushes HILT HandleStainless Steel Hilt HandleTitanium Alloy HILT HandleHILT Bristles & Freepost Return PackagingHILT UserDesign Process SummeryView the full project here

The Pink Coffin Pool Floatie 2018 Deserves 

Sun, 2018-07-15 22:13

Designers Andrew Greenbaum and Ian Felton of Pom Pom just served 2018 exactly what it deserves—a pink inflatable coffin. We caught wind of the satirical twist on the designer pool floatie trend yesterday morning, and put it to the Instagram poll test, which revealed many people are interested in the product.

Well, good news: the pink coffin is now on Kickstarter

It ain't cheap at $120 a pop, but rest assured, your crippling social anxiety and sunscreen reliant skin will thank you. The materials used for the float are broad spectrum UV proof—practical for both myself and my fellow redheads. 

If you're concerned this is a campaign that won't deliver, don't be. Greenbaum and Felton reassure that, "At the end of the day...it's an inflatable pink coffin. You can trust us."

Greenbaum and Felton are SCAD grads that began working together on side projects during their time in school. After graduation, Greenbaum worked as a custom lighting designer and office space interiors designer, and Felton worked as a high end custom furniture designer for private residential projects. 

Both designers still work on their own separate projects, but they're excited to collaborate once again with Pom Pom. "We really just wanted an outlet," says Felton. "An outlet for weird ideas—satire, comedy, and strangeness. We also wanted to design objects that could ultimately fall between the lines of commercial object and art—taken with a huge grain of Himalayan salt. We've got a lot more ideas for Pom Pom, so this is definitely not a one trick Pony."

So, there it is. Expect more from these guys in the future, but for now RIP in your pink inflatable coffins.

RUNVI: Smart Insoles that Track Performance & Help Reverse Bad Running Habits

Sun, 2018-07-15 22:13

Knee injuries, ankle injuries and straight-up laziness are three common excuses for living a lifestyle without running, but according to NWTN Co-Founder Daniel von Waldthausen, two of those three excuses can simply stem from running improperly our entire lives. While NWTN's smart insole, RUNVI, can't help in the laziness department, what it can potentially help with is injury prevention. 

The RUNVI system offers accurate technique and performance measurement in addition to real-time coaching and personalized dynamic training plans. The result is a full, personalized running profile for each user. "It's like having a personal run coach in your ear at all times," says Waldthausen. In fact, RUNVI is even more accurate than a real run coach when it comes to statistics, as it can analyze your movements and form straight from real-time data.

RUNVI sets itself apart from other fitness tracking apps like Nike+ with its advanced metrics, which include cadence, foot-strike pattern and symmetry. Foot strike pattern data is especially invaluable to have as a runner because it allows you to correct bad habits like heel-striking in real-time.

A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running injuries.

The system's accompanying app seems comprehensive and pleasant to use, but what's most interesting to us is the physical component of the system. Instead of bulky clip-on "wearable" hardware, the RUNVI team took things to the ground—where the actual running happens—and developed an insole packed with 30 advanced pressure sensors that continuously measure data. The CORE Lithium Ion and USB rechargeable battery pack is tiny, rechargeable and removable, and it's strategically located beneath the arch of the user's foot.

When you think tech-embedded insoles, the first word that comes to mind is bulk. Much to our surprise, RUNVI insoles actually weigh 100 Gramm (0.22 Lbs), which is almost the same as regular insoles. According to Waldthausen, we've become accustomed to thicker, cushier insoles that may be comfortable but actually end up making our feet work in ways they aren't intended to. RUNVI insoles were designed thinner to combat this, which in turn allows for some of that extra tech weight.

Rechargable battery - it looks huge in this photo, but in real life, it's very tiny.

Even so, Waldthausen notes that the design team's main challenge was designing pressure sensors and a battery pack thin enough to keep the insoles comfortable and light. A main battery feature to note is that insoles can be replaced while keeping the same CORE battery pack, so if you need replacements after wearing the fabric and sensors down, that is possible.

When asked about how the idea behind RUNVI differs from typical wearable fitness devices, Waldthausen immediately pointed out the personalized nature of the system. He noted the arbitrary nature of the 10,000 step-per-day goal we all have engrained in our minds because of the Fitbit model—why do we all have the same goal when we're individuals with custom fitness needs?

At press time, RUNVI has already received $108,065 on Kickstarter—much more than their $58,738 goal. There's less than one days left to pledge, so get on it if you're interested

Design Job: Transform Complex Data Into Indispensable Products as an Interaction Designer at Bloomberg

Sun, 2018-07-15 22:13

Bloomberg's UX, Product and Technology teams are committed to creating valuable and meaningful user experiences for our customers. We transform complex data and work processes into products that are indispensable to our users. Bloomberg is looking for an experienced Interaction Designer with experience designing complex transactional systems into intuitive and valuable products.

View the full design job here

This Joinery System Uses Magnets to Activate Screws Captured INSIDE Your Workpiece

Thu, 2018-07-12 19:14

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:

View the full content here

Getting Every Last Drop of Product Out of a Bottle, Part 2: The Zero Waste Cap

Thu, 2018-07-12 19:14

It's a little absurd that it's the 21st century, and we're still filling nearly-empty shampoo bottles with water and shaking them.

We looked at some design solutions to fully evacuate a bottle's contents here. An addition to this series is the helpful Zero Waste Cap:

Of course, we wouldn't need third-party objects like this if the original manufacturers would actually consider how their products are used.

CeramicSpeed's Bearing-Based Chainless Bicycle System

Thu, 2018-07-12 19:14

In conjunction with the University of Colorado's Mechanical Engineering Department, bicycle parts manufacturer CeramicSpeed has launched an ambitious initiative: To produce a bicycle with no chain nor derailleur.

At this year's Eurobike show they unveiled Driven, a 13-speed "prototype" ("concept bike" would be more accurate, as the thing doesn't actually work) that uses bearings and a wicked-looking 13-ring cog that you don't want to slam your shin into:

Driven creates 49% less friction when compared to the market leading chain and derailleur drivetrain. A traditional chain and derailleur drivetrain contains eight points of sliding friction, which is generated from the articulation of the chain at these points. Driven impressively eliminates all eight points of sliding friction.

Naysayers and skeptics will say the cost, plus the additional weight of whatever housing system would be required to keep mud out, would nullify the efficiency of the design. And there's probably a very good reason that bicycle chains have persisted since their introduction in the late 1800s. But ultimately, innovation comes about by people and companies spending a lot of money to try out new things. So I'd say we learn what we can from this, and be grateful that it's not our money.

Plus I can't deny that if they get that pinion working, it'd be awfully cool to see in action.

Elon Musk's Tiny "Submarine" Turned Down During Thailand Cave Rescue Mission

Thu, 2018-07-12 19:14

Have you ever frantically designed a project over the weekend only for it to be shot down the following Monday? Well, Elon Musk and his team of SpaceX engineers feel you. In light of the flooded cave incident in Thailand, Musk put his team to work on Saturday designing a solution for the rescue mission in the form of a tiny submarine that could maneuver through the tight passages of the cave. On Saturday, Musk tweeted out the following details:

"Got more great feedback from Thailand. Primary path is basically a tiny, kid-size submarine using the liquid oxygen transfer tube of Falcon rocket as hull. Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely robust."

Once the rescue device was complete the next day, the team tested it for a few hours before Musk got on a plane to Thailand. However, by that point, around eight of the twelve boys had already been rescued. Thai officials team deemed Musk's submarine unnecessary, as the method they were already using proved to work just fine and the third and final rescue mission had already been planned. 

Image via ars.Image via ars.

In terms of specs, Musk responded to the following tweet saying that the tube is only 31 cm (around 1 foot) in diameter—a few cm smaller than the cave's reported tightest points. One of the main goals of the device was to ease panic for kids with no experience navigating through tight passages.

I've seen some reports that the narrowest part of the cave is roughly 72 cm by 38 cm (see attached diagram for instance). What is the diameter of the tube? If it's over 38 cm, wouldn't it get stuck in this spot? Or are these diagrams wrong? pic.twitter.com/ppO6wRJROb

— Timothy B. Lee (@binarybits) July 8, 2018 ">

Many people are praising Musk's humanitarian efforts, while others are skeptical of his motives, calling him out on Twitter for using the horrible situation as a PR stunt to gain global attention:

Why is Elon Musk trying to hijack the spotlight from the amazing Thai rescue team through his unsolicited insertion into the mission? If he really wanted to help he could easily have been more subtle, just like countless other international cave experts and divers. #tasteless

— Harshit Gupta (@hkrgupta) July 10, 2018 ">

I studied engineering. Anyone who's known to have a basic knowledge of geography and engineering know that Elon Musk's "Escape Pod Submarine" is not helpful at this present situation. Still he played along, trying to seek global attention. @elonmusk you're wrong! #ThaiCaveResue

— Vishnu Narayanan (@NarayananVI) July 10, 2018 ">

Either way, there are two morals here: One, timing is everything. And two, even Elon Musk and SpaceX—who freaking had the resources and manpower to bring a working mini submarine to life in only a day and a half and bring it halfway across the world—get rejected sometimes. Hopefully there won't be a need for a tiny rescue submarine in the future, but if there is, rest assured Batman—I mean Elon Musk—will be first to arrive on the scene.


Source: ars.

Reader Submitted: "The Planet" Envisions an Atmosphere of Confidence and Trust in the Workplace 

Thu, 2018-07-12 19:14

We made The Planet to manage open-plan offices and create a meeting room, lounge zone and working space. Imagine an ordinary office space with hundreds of people, buzzing around like bees. How can you focus on work in such an environment? Should you just shout over all co-workers while talking to your business partner?

View the full project here

Design Job: Action! Fox Broadcasting Company is Seeking an Art Director in LA

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX), a unit of 21st Century Fox, is home to some of the highest-rated and most acclaimed series on television. FOX has 208 FOX Affiliates, including 17 stations owned and operated by the Company, which which reach approximately 99.9% of all U.S. television households. FOX airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week, as well as major sports and Sunday morning news. Through the FOX NOW app, FOX viewers can watch full episodes of their favorite FOX shows on a variety of digital platforms, while enjoying enhanced interactive and social capabilities around those shows.

View the full design job here

The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment™ Returns Tomorrow Night in San Francisco

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

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 Vegas SEMA show and now in San Francisco, the Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment is an automotive design sketching competition and creative community party, where today's and tomorrow's motor industry elite battle for recognition as the Middlecott Sketchbattle Champion. Both design professionals and students are welcome, and this time around, Core77 is proud to be a sponsor!

Event Details:

The San Francisco Sketchbattle will consist of two rounds of design sketching lasting around 30-45 minutes each. Following each round, a panel of top tier professional designers will judge the sketches to determine who goes through to the next round. This year, the judging panel even includes Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO and Co-Founder of ZOOX

An intense scene from the 2017 Sketchbattle at SEMA

The sketching competition will take place during an evening cocktail reception with the Automated Vehicles Symposium on Tuesday, July 10th from 5:00-8:00PM. 0ver 2,000 executives and design professionals will be attending to watch the live sketching. The contestants are a mix of 50% professionals and 50% students.

0ver 2,000 executives and design professionals will be attending to watch the live sketching, so this is a great opportunity to mingle with design employers and business contacts. Many of the contestants from previous Sketchbattle events have gained internships or jobs as a result of exposure from the Sketchbattles.

The overall winner will receive $1000 cash prize, a Champion Title Belt, a Brazen Sports watch and media exposure.

The Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment is organized by designer Brook Banham of Middlecott Design and and Frank Schwartz, founder of Advanced Automotive Consulting Services.

Read Michael DiTullo's report from the 2017 Sketchbattle at SEMA here!

Product Designer Shunji Yamanaka's Electric Scooter with Follow Functionality

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

Not very long ago, human beings' main form of transportation was an eco-friendly one: The horse. It ran on grass, and its "emissions" fertilized future patches of grass, creating a circular fuel system.

Japanese product designer Shunji Yamanaka points out another benefit of horse-based transportation: Companionship. "In the past, [horses were] a partner of people and also a vehicle." In an admittedly strange bid to recreate this relationship, Yamanaka has developed an electric scooter, the CanguRo, that he envisions as both transportation and a partner. "As a partner robot, it never leaves the side of its master," he writes. "It transforms into a vehicle that augments its master's physical functions—motional and sensory—and travels with the master as one."

It's an interesting concept, but I think it would be more useful if it could carry lots of things, like a pack mule. I'd like to see a design outfitted with storage/hauling platforms or compartments.

The CanguRo was developed in collaboration between Yamanaka and fuRo, Japan's Future Robot Technology Research Center.

Design Job: Hybrid Is Looking for an Experienced Graphic Designer to Initiate, Develop and Manage Creative Design Projects for Big-Name Clients. 

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

Hybrid is a graphic design studio based in San Francisco. Our focus is on creating wonderfully engaging design–which includes: branding, identities, campaign development and strategy, publication design and production, retail and environmental, advertising, digital/websites, and packaging for clients like Nike, Apple, MOMA, Google, TED, Lego, Levis, Lucasfilm, Steelcase, United Nations

View the full design job here

Best Shop Tour Ever (Conducted by Lego Train)

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

Have you ever not been able to find some piece of material or tool in your shop, then given up and re-purchased it? You could fix this problem by following YouTuber and Lego enthusiast BANANENBUURMAN's example. He's combined a Lego train with tracks from TrixBrix and a 360 camera, meaning he can easily survey the upstairs of his grandfather's shop without having to crawl around up there:

After USPS Uses Wrong Statue of Liberty Image on Stamp, Sculptor Awarded $3.5 Million for Copyright Infringement

Wed, 2018-07-11 19:01

If you've ever seen the Statue of Liberty in New York versus the replica in Las Vegas, there is one glaring difference that any artist, designer or fabricator is bound to notice:

The replica, at right, has a conspicuous and continuous seam running across the breast. Lady Liberty's torso below that seam is bisected by a vertical seam.

A more subtle difference can be seen at the base of the centermost protrusion in Lady Liberty's corona radiata (original at left, replica at right):

That little rectangle shows up on the U.S. Postal Service's 2010 stamp featuring the Statue of Liberty. Which means, whoops, whoever selected that image for the stamp actually chose an image of the replica.

As PetaPixel explains:

The Post Office had used Getty Images to find a suitable photo of the Statue of Liberty, and they settled on the photo by photographer Raimund Linke, not seeing that the keywords on the page clearly stated that the photo shows the replica in Vegas.

No one noticed until 2011. Eventually word reached Robert Davidson, the Las-Vegas-based sculptor who created the replica. This being America, by 2013 he had lawyered up and sued the USPS for copyright infringement. Then, according to AP News:

Postal Service attorneys argued Davidson's design was too similar for him to claim copyright.Federal Judge Eric Bruggink sided with Davidson last week and agreed his work was an original design with a more modern, feminine and contemporary face. He ordered the Postal Service to pay $3.5 million to the artist — a slice of the $70 million the service made in profit from the stamp.

News of the lawsuit's success broke, fittingly, last week on July 4th.