Tag Archives: machine

UX Designer Invents Dog-and-Axe-Powered Machine to Perfectly Roast a Turkey

It takes a lot to make this jaded blogger laugh out loud at a YouTube video, but these two got me. UX designer Joseph Herscher, whom we last looked in on last year, has since populated his channel with two food-based contraptions to make his life easier. This turkey one almost made me spit coffee onto my screen:

Then there’s his method of getting sauce to the appropriate end of a bottle, with a little bonus feature:

I wish he and Simone Giertz were next door neighbors.


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How to Scribe Wood to Stone, Build a Space-Efficient Exercise Machine, Build 62 Frames in Two Days & More

Homemade Gym in a Cabinet

Izzy Swan builds a space-efficient exercise machine, and discusses changing your mind about the design midway through a project:

62 Frames

Talk about production work. Jimmy DiResta’s got a rush job on his hands, and needs to make 62 glass-faced shou sugi ban frames for an art show–in just two days:

Condensed 20″ Bandsaw Build

Matthias Wandel compresses all seven build videos in his recent bandsaw series into one, for those who want to see it all in one sitting:

Installing a Cyclone Dust Collector

Jay Bates has been out of commission for a couple of months following a surgery. His ailment was respiration-related, so here he’s updating the dust collection in his shop starting with installing a Clear Vue cyclone system:

Cutting Board Care

A cutting board is one of the easiest things for a beginning woodworker to make and start selling. Here Steve Ramsey explains how to prep one for sale and maintain it over its lifetime:

How To Scribe Wood To Stone

Here’s a very interesting bit of problem solving from the Samurai Carpenter: How do you get a rectilinear surface, like the bottom of a post, to mate cleanly with an organic shape, like the craggy surface of a stone footing? The short answer is, special tools and hard work:


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How to Scribe Wood to Stone, Build a Space-Efficient Exercise Machine, Build 62 Frames in Two Days & More

Homemade Gym in a Cabinet

Izzy Swan builds a space-efficient exercise machine, and discusses changing your mind about the design midway through a project:

62 Frames

Talk about production work. Jimmy DiResta’s got a rush job on his hands, and needs to make 62 glass-faced shou sugi ban frames for an art show–in just two days:

Condensed 20″ Bandsaw Build

Matthias Wandel compresses all seven build videos in his recent bandsaw series into one, for those who want to see it all in one sitting:

Installing a Cyclone Dust Collector

Jay Bates has been out of commission for a couple of months following a surgery. His ailment was respiration-related, so here he’s updating the dust collection in his shop starting with installing a Clear Vue cyclone system:

Cutting Board Care

A cutting board is one of the easiest things for a beginning woodworker to make and start selling. Here Steve Ramsey explains how to prep one for sale and maintain it over its lifetime:

How To Scribe Wood To Stone

Here’s a very interesting bit of problem solving from the Samurai Carpenter: How do you get a rectilinear surface, like the bottom of a post, to mate cleanly with an organic shape, like the craggy surface of a stone footing? The short answer is, special tools and hard work:


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How to Scribe Wood to Stone, Build a Space-Efficient Exercise Machine, Build 62 Frames in Two Days & More

Homemade Gym in a Cabinet

Izzy Swan builds a space-efficient exercise machine, and discusses changing your mind about the design midway through a project:

62 Frames

Talk about production work. Jimmy DiResta’s got a rush job on his hands, and needs to make 62 glass-faced shou sugi ban frames for an art show–in just two days:

Condensed 20″ Bandsaw Build

Matthias Wandel compresses all seven build videos in his recent bandsaw series into one, for those who want to see it all in one sitting:

Installing a Cyclone Dust Collector

Jay Bates has been out of commission for a couple of months following a surgery. His ailment was respiration-related, so here he’s updating the dust collection in his shop starting with installing a Clear Vue cyclone system:

Cutting Board Care

A cutting board is one of the easiest things for a beginning woodworker to make and start selling. Here Steve Ramsey explains how to prep one for sale and maintain it over its lifetime:

How To Scribe Wood To Stone

Here’s a very interesting bit of problem solving from the Samurai Carpenter: How do you get a rectilinear surface, like the bottom of a post, to mate cleanly with an organic shape, like the craggy surface of a stone footing? The short answer is, special tools and hard work:


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Watch This Massive Machine Remove and Transplant an Entire Tree Without Killing It

I had no idea that it was possible to transplant trees. Then again I don’t have any experience working with nursery distribution centers, and a company called Dutchman Industries does, having been spun off from one in the early 1970s.

Dutchman specializes in the mechanization of the field operations required by tree nurseries, and apparently every once in a while there’s a need to relocate living trees. Thus they invented the Dutchman Tree Spade. Here’s what their dinosaur-sized 100″ model can do. (We’ve cued the video up to the appropriate moment, but warning—turn down your speakers!)

First off, that is freaking amazing. Secondly, to whomever edited this video: European club music? Is that what resonates with the arborist demographic? Also, are you the same guy who sets the volume level of NYC ambulances?


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Watch This Massive Machine Remove and Transplant an Entire Tree Without Killing It

I had no idea that it was possible to transplant trees. Then again I don’t have any experience working with nursery distribution centers, and a company called Dutchman Industries does, having been spun off from one in the early 1970s.

Dutchman specializes in the mechanization of the field operations required by tree nurseries, and apparently every once in a while there’s a need to relocate living trees. Thus they invented the Dutchman Tree Spade. Here’s what their dinosaur-sized 100″ model can do. (We’ve cued the video up to the appropriate moment, but warning—turn down your speakers!)

First off, that is freaking amazing. Secondly, to whomever edited this video: European club music? Is that what resonates with the arborist demographic? Also, are you the same guy who sets the volume level of NYC ambulances?


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Watch This Massive Machine Remove and Transplant an Entire Tree Without Killing It

I had no idea that it was possible to transplant trees. Then again I don’t have any experience working with nursery distribution centers, and a company called Dutchman Industries does, having been spun off from one in the early 1970s.

Dutchman specializes in the mechanization of the field operations required by tree nurseries, and apparently every once in a while there’s a need to relocate living trees. Thus they invented the Dutchman Tree Spade. Here’s what their dinosaur-sized 100″ model can do. (We’ve cued the video up to the appropriate moment, but warning—turn down your speakers!)

First off, that is freaking amazing. Secondly, to whomever edited this video: European club music? Is that what resonates with the arborist demographic? Also, are you the same guy who sets the volume level of NYC ambulances?


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Best of Both Worlds: A Digital Fabrication Machine That Allows You to Combine CNC with Hand Work

Imagine that you’ve got a piece of material you’d like to put a rounded edge on, but you’re not sure of the exact radius. You can stick it into a CNC machine and program the toolpath, or run it across a router table; both of these take time to set up, and might require several bit changes before you get a radius you deem pleasing. But in a fraction of the time, you could easily “break the edge”* with a block plane, eyeballing it between strokes to get the desired result.

That idea—that machines are better and quicker at some tasks, while human hands and eyes are better for others—has driven researchers at the UK’s Lancaster University to create a machine they call ReForm.

ReForm’s first trick is that it’s both additive and subtractive: The material it works is clay, and there’s a milling head to carve it away as well as an extrusion nozzle to lay it down. Operating off of your 3D file, ReForm spits and carves until your object is formed.

The second trick is that the operator can then pull the object out, make adjustments to it by hand—squeezing, shaping and trimming it manually—then throw it back into the machine. At that point a 3D scanner records the changes, and software then updates your 3D file to match!

The third trick is that it allows you to step back in time, essentially giving you “Command-Z” in real life. For example, let’s say you pull your object out of the machine, remove some material to make it thinner, but decide you’ve gone too far and ruined the design. You simply throw it back into the machine, instruct it to back up a few steps, and it re-forms your part exactly the way you had it before. Try doing that with a subtractive machine.

ReForm’s back-and-forth approach can not only save the user a lot of programming/computer modeling time, but also inject that human touch into the shaping of an object that’s all-too-absent these days. As the researchers put it, “It enables the design process to be continuous and evolutionary…. The process runs in a closed loop with the user and machine taking turns, enabling rapid adjustments to be made.”

Dr Jason Alexander, a lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and project lead, said: “Before you had to be an expert in computer aided design. ReForm means you no longer have to be a technical expert to design objects for 3D printing. People can get hands-on and iteratively and inexpensively design objects in a much more efficient way.

“We will find that people will be able to create artefacts for 3D printing that are a lot more creative and fit for purpose.”

Here’s what the machine looks like in action:

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*For you non-designers, “breaking the edge” is fabricator lingo for removing the sharp corner where two surfaces meet (think of the front edge of your kitchen counter). The word “break” is used as in “a breaking wave,” not as in smashing something.


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Tonight at Curiosity Club: Portland as a Pop Machine

Homer Davenport, Mel Blanc, Matt Groening, Phil Knight, Dan Wieden, Jim Blashfield, Will Vinton—just a few cogs in Portland’s historic pop machine. The Rose City has a history of keeping a pulse on pop culture and often getting ahead of said pulse.

Anne Richardson and Carl Abbot know this machine well, and they’re certain it’s not rolling along by coincidence. There’s something special about this city, and they’re joining us Tuesday, May 17 at 6 PM PST to talk about Portland’s pop influence over the last few centuries.

Anne Richardson is the Director of the Oregon Cartoon Institute, where she explores the intersection of Oregon history and Oregon film history. She’s been widely published, and her next symposium is this October—a look at the influential artists that came out of Portland’s underground press in the ’60s and ’70s.

Carl Abbott is a historian and urban studies specialist. His 2011 book, Portland in Three Centuries, will serve as a pivot point for the talk as both he and Richardson consider Portland’s connection to pop culture.

See you at 6 PM Pacific Daylight Time. If you can’t make it, go to the Curiosity Club homepage for a live stream.


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Prince’s Complicated Relationship with Technology and a Rube Goldberg Machine That Models the Workings of Our Economy

Core77’s editors spend time combing through the news so you don’t have to. Here’s a weekly roundup of our favorite stories from the World Wide Web.

Prince’s Complicated Relationship with Technology

Prince felt a self-inflicted responsibility to protect his own creative capital for himself and the sake of all artists, and did so by dealing with his personal identity as well as music distribution in rebellious and unprecedented ways. All of these traits not only speak to his iconoclastic musical genius, but also his ability to act as “something of a hacker, upending the systems that predated him and fighting mightily to pioneer new ones…at his best Prince was technology, a musician who realized that making music was not his only responsibility, that his innovation had to extend to representation, distribution, transmission and pure system invention.”

—Allison Fonder, community manager

Congratulations! You’ve Been Fired

From cringe-worthy goodbye parties to underage, inexperienced bosses, Dan Lyons cites some unsavory shifts in how tech companies value their employees in this New York Times opinion piece. (All, of course in anticipation of the former Newsweek journalist’s memoir, released earlier this month.) The final takeaway? “Given the choice, I think I’d rather make furniture.”

—Carly Ayres, columnist, In the Details

Superstudio’s Radical Architecture

Last week’s T Magazine paid homage to Superstudio, the radical 1960’s architecture and design collective at the forefront of Italy’s “Anti-Design” movement. Lovers of dystopian mega-structures and gridded forms will definitely want to check out the slideshow, and for those wanting more, a retrospective of their work opened yesterday at Rome’s MAXXI Museum.

Rebecca Veit, columnist, Designing Women

The Rube Goldberg Machine That Mastered Keynesian Economics

“It solves the equations of Keynesian macro economics using water flowing through pipes and buckets,” said McRobie. “It’s not a metaphor. There are lots of metaphors about water and money. You’ve got income streams and cash flows and liquidity and siphoning off, and things like that. This is an analogy, an analog, an analog computer. ”

—Eric Ludlum, editorial director

Inside the House of Enigmatic Architect Ricardo Bofill

Better known for his epic housing projects, the Spanish architect’s most personal work is the conversion of a brutalist former cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona into what is now his house. Beyond the stunning imagery in this short film by Alberto Moya is Bofill’s moving, poetic narration and plea for experimental living: “This is a place where the traditional cannot be conceived,” he says. “It is organized by mental activities and psychological activities rather than the functions of a typical household. It creates an appropriate environment for different moods.”

—Alexandra Alexa, editorial assistant

A Business Primer in Sustainability

The eponymous fashion line Eileen Fisher has long been a leader in sustainability—both in their manufacturing practices and business operations. This article shows the major impact of shifting business models from “doing less bad” to working iteratively, however imperfectly, towards a comprehensive plan to holistically address the environmental and social effects of their business.

—Linyee Yuan, managing editor

Peter Zimmermann Floods Freiburg Museum With Glossy Pools of Resin

If you were drawn to the aquatic resin tables we’ve covered, Peter Zimmermann’s new installation might make you want to dive through your screen. The artist layered the floor of a Freiburg museum in 1,400 square feet of liquid-looking color and the result is breathtaking.

—Kat Bauman, contributing writer


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Innovative Bike Doubles As Washing Machine To Clean Your Clothes As You Exercise

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For anyone that loathes laundry but loves biking, the design students at Dalian Nationalities University in China have a compromise to make the chore more enjoyable. Their creation, aptly-called the Bike Washing Machine (or BiWa for short), combines the two activities into one stationary device. A washing machine drum is ingeniously integrated into the wheel of a bike that cleans your clothes as you pedal.

h/t: mymodernmet, inhabitots, huffingtonpost

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According to the students who created BiWa, the way it works is simple: “When you ride this bike, the pedaling motion causes the drum of the washing machine to rotate,” they write on Tuvie.

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At the same time, the extra electricity generated can be used to power the display screen or stored for future rides.

4


Design You Trust. Design, Culture & Society.

A Beer Vending Machine That’s Operated by Human Screaming

Last summer I was entertaining a no-nonsense Belgian acquaintance when we began eagerly discussing beer. He said IPAs were starting to gain traction in his hometown, and he’d liked the few he tried. I proudly pulled my ‘fridge open and offered him a Torpedo Extra IPA, my favorite; he took one swig and looked like he wanted to spit it out. “No,” he said, unapologetically wiping his mouth. “No, this is much too bitter.”

That we all have different tolerances for bitterness isn’t surprising. But one microbrewery, Quebec’s Farnham Ale & Lager, came up with a surprising way to reflect that at last year’s Quebec Beer Festival. They contracted local creative agency LG2, who devised a vending machine that dispenses beer when you scream into it. The louder you scream, the more bitter the beer it provides. I know it’s a Friday, but turn those speakers down before clicking on the vid:

I want to see a version of this for wine and opera singers. There’d be broken glass everywhere.

Anyways, I have to finish my story from above. The next day the Belgian gent returned and proudly presented me with a bottle of Belgian beer. I tried it, smiled, and secretly felt that it tasted like apple juice.


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Reverse Engineering, From a Drawing, an 18th-Century Frame Carving Machine

Is there anything worse than when people figure out how to do something clever, but no one bothers to write the process down? It drives me nuts that we’ll never really know how they built the Pyramids, for instance. I mean we know it was built by aliens, sure, but we don’t know how they did it.

A fellow named Kurt Nordwall, who works at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, also encountered something that no “How It’s Made” YouTube video exists of. Not pyramids, but something more recent: Elaborate 18th-Century frames housing the Dutch paintings in the MIA collection. As the resident framing technician, Nordwall spent a lot of time studying the elaborate woodwork, and became consumed with how these could have possibly been constructed prior to the Industrial Revolution.

A little research led him to this diagram of a frame-carving machine.

With no CG animation showing him how it worked, Nordwall began sketching, trying to figure out how it did what it did.

Eventually, and with grant backing from the Roberta Mann Innovation Award, Nordwall was able to construct a hand-powered machine that he can feed the raw frames into to produce different carvings. Check this out:

Next step: Getting Nordwall to Egypt.


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Seiko Epson Develops an In-Office Paper Recycling Machine

Japan’s Seiko Epson Corporation has developed something that beggars belief: An in-office paper recycling system that’s not much bigger than your break room’s coffee station. Called PaperLab, the system not only saves you the trouble of having to ship your paper off to be recycled (not to mention the attendant greenhouse emissions of transportation), it also means you no longer need to shred sensitive documents; the recycling process will sufficiently mangle your Madoff-like dealings.

Doesn’t Use Water to Recycle

Impressively, the system does not use water to recycle the paper. “Ordinarily it takes about a cup of water to make a single A4 sheet of paper,” the company writes. “Given that water is a precious global resource, Epson felt a dry process was needed.” They’ve thus developed what they call Dry Fiber Technology, a proprietary three-step process that somehow transforms waste paper into fibers, then binds it back together and forms it into sheets.

Can Produce Multiple Types of Paper

As for what size sheets, and how thick, the end user has a lot of options:

Users can produce a variety of types of paper to meet their needs, from A4 and A3 office paper of various thicknesses to paper for business cards, color paper and even scented paper.

Works Fast

The company claims that once you insert the waste paper and hit “Start,” a fresh sheet pops out just three minutes later. “The system can produce about 14 A4 sheets per minute and 6,720 sheets in an eight-hour day.” To produce nearly 7,000 sheets in a single 9am-5pm period is impressive. And by our math, all you need to do is have one intern work the machine from 5pm to 1am, and a second intern do 1am to 9am, and you can produce 20,160 sheets every 24 hours!

So is This Real, or Vaporware?

You’ll notice the company’s video of the PaperLab shows its implications more than actual operations…

…but they’ll be demonstrating the machine in action next week at the 2015 Eco-Products Show in Tokyo.

The PaperLab is scheduled to go into production in 2016, and it appears that initially, Japan will be the only market. “Sales in other regions [will] be decided at a later date,” is all the company will say. Looks like your current batch of interns has dodged a graveyard-shift bullet.


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This Terrifying Mobile Tree-Harvesting Machine is Like a Robot Koala Bear with Chainsaw Limbs

Earlier we saw that loading logs into containers is still a primitive process. But thanks to Finnish forest machinery company Ponsse, the process of creating those logs is super high-tech.

Ponsse’s Scorpion King is an eight-wheeled monster designed to “endure tropical heat and arctic cold, travel without destroying the terrain and briskly climb the steepest slopes.” That’s because it’s designed to get to and cut down trees down in tricky areas. And Ponsse has developed a “cut-to-length” method whereby the trees are stripped of their branches and cut into logs of precise length on the spot.

To achieve this, they designed a fairly terrifying saw-wielding robot koala bear suspended from the end of a massive boom arm. Watch as it outstretches its greedy little arms, eagerly embracing and mutilating one arboreal victim after another:

Ponsse’s official product video for the machine, below, gives you a better idea of the design work that went into it. The hydraulically-balanced cabin self-levels, and the articulated chassis can handle challenging terrain. Especially cool are the in-cabin shots, where you can clearly see how well the machine has been designed for panoramic visibility and see the digital readouts used by the operator. It’s also amusing that, from the operator’s perspective, it kind of looks like the koala bear is defecating, well, logs:


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Glowforge: Democratizing Laser Cutting with an Inexpensive, Easy to Use Machine

For many would-be makers, there are barriers aplenty that can keep one from realizing one’s dreams. One of the first barriers is not having access to the right tools—the welding rig, 3D printer, laser cutter etc. that you need for your project—or the know-how to work one. But thankfully companies like Glowforge are ready to step in and become barrier removers, by designing better, cheaper tools that are easier to use than their forebears.

Glowforge is currently democratizing laser cutting by designing an affordable, easy-to-use laser cutter/printer that takes clever advantage of software. By integrating affordable smartphone cameras linked to software, their machine enables you to do things like draw directly on your part and have the laser trace-cut it (once you’ve removed your hand, naturally). The hassles of part alignment are all done on the screen of your smart device, rather than on the physical bed of the machine, giving you a WYSIWYG interface that reduces errors. And they reckon that their eponymous machine can rival a $ 10,000-plus laser cutter, but for just under two grand.

Personalized hardwood skin for Macbook Pro / Print Time: 19min / Material Cost: $ 9.00
Plywood iPhone stand / Print Time: 42min / Material Cost: $ 12.00
Walnut veneer Macbook keyboard caps / Print Time: 33min / Material Cost: $ 12.00
Stacked contrasting pen holder / Print Time: 29min / Material Cost: $ 8.00
Engraved glass spice jars / Print Time: 9min / Material Cost: $ 10.00
Kip leather custom satchel / Print Time: 133min / Material Cost: $ 58.00

Take a look at some of the things they’ve produced:

Check out how easy this looks to use:

Here’s a more in-depth video, for those of you interested in the technology behind it, and some of the early successes that drove company founder Dan Shapiro to develop the machine:

For the next 26 days, they’re taking pre-orders for the machine at an astonishing 50% off (i.e. the $ 4,000 model is going for $ 1,995), with shipping scheduled for December of this year. Demand is apparently strong: In the four days since the sale began, they’d racked up $ 3,052,002 in sales!


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