While Autodesk University has been a premiere event for the product design community for quite a few years now, there has historically been little to offer in the form of concept design, design sketching, and general creative inspiration outside of the CAD/CAM world. This year however, Autodesk launched their first-ever CAVE Conference with the goal of bringing some of the top creatives in the world of product design and other creative fields to share some of their insights on how they approach the design process, tricks they use to spearhead their creativity, and how they keep their already-exploding-with-creativity minds fresh with new ideas. Here we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite creativity-boosting insights from a few of the impressive speakers ranging from industrial design sketching masters Scott Robertson and Spencer Nugent to Coraline author Neil Gaiman and actor John Cleese.
Posts by Simon Martin
Well folks, if nothing stirs your curry more than some exciting CAM news, then this year’s Autodesk University in Las Vegas was for you! In case you missed the announcement from SolidSmack last week, Autodesk is moving forward with their Autodesk 360 collaborative cloud experience with the addition of CAM 360. We had a chance to sit down with Autodesk’s CAM Product Manager Anthony Graves to talk more about the announcement, how it benefits CAM users, and why now more than ever, collaborative CAM is an integral part of the product design process.
This week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist brings an entirely new face-smack of great music to help propel you through those laborious, tedious design tasks for the next few days. This week we’re pulling out some old folk favorites to coincide with the release of the Coen Brothers’ latest film Inside Llewyn Davis (yes, it’s good!). We’ll start off with Boots of Spanish Leather by the movie’s main inspiration Bob Dylan and work our way through some Joan Baez, Hamilton Camp, Phil Ochs, and others before wrapping up with Fred Neil.
File this under that ever-expanding ‘Why Didn’t I Think Of That?’ pile: Swedish travel and lifestyle photographer Jens Lennartsson was feeling like he wanted to get a little more attention from potential agency clients, so rather than going the traditional route and creating ‘the mother of all business cards’, he omitted the card altogether and went straight for a friggin’ action figure: the GI Jens.
Last month we reported on the opening weekend of the new Hatch Live tournament—a sort of Cut+Paste-like competition with the end goal of having a unique, manufacturable design. Well, after a month’s worth of tournament weekends, this past weekend saw the championship round between talented designers Wil Rodriguez-Joglar and Nelson Ayala as they battled out a unique and original lamp design in front of a live audience. With $4000 cash money, a ‘Designer in Residence’ exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and a personal portfolio review and brunch with former Editor-in-Chief of Surface Magazine Dan Rubenstein, the champion will most certainly have something to rightfully brag about for the next few months. We had a chance to catch up with the lucky champ to hear more about their experience after competing through the entire tournament, as well as advice for the next round of competitors in the next tournament.
We’ve seen quite the gamut of unique bicycle designs over the past year. From the 19th century velocipede re-imagined with today’s bicycle technologies to custom bicycle designs that utilize rapid manufacturing methods and everything in between, riders looking for a funkier ride have never had more options. The Sandwichbike from designer Basten Leijh is the latest funky bicycle design to hit the market and comes in the form of a flat-pack design a la IKEA—however don’t get your hopes up if Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice aren’t an included option.
It was only yesterday that we took a look at Autodesk’s Project Shapeshifter and explored how it is moving away from existing simple modeling apps and into more complex modeling aimed at the consumer market. Although 3D printer sales have surged (and will continue to do so), the bridge between concept and well-executed print is still a long one for most consumers: there’s a reason why we have four-year industrial design and mechanical engineering degrees. Yet this long divide presents a plethora of opportunities for new platforms to bring that division a little closer while keeping designs more exciting than the typical pre-made pencil-toppers, cups, and figurines. The Kinematics app from Nervous System is the latest platform that not only wants to bring 3D printing to the consumer market, but the self-assembling 4D printing experience as well. We took a look at the platform to see how quickly we could throw together our own little 4D jewelry collection.
If you’re a fan of the popular Automoblox toys, then this one’s for you. Architect Matteo Ragni organized a list of one-hundred designers and architects to design their own take on the wooden toy car as a part of his 100% ToBeUs initiative. The well-conceived initiative is focused on moving kids away from disposable toys and objects and to learn to better appreciate well-crafted objects. With a sponsorship from Alessi and 100 world-class designers and architects on board, there are most certainly some favorable designs in the mix. Here’s a few of our favorites.
This week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist brings an entirely new face-smack of great music to help propel you through those laborious, tedious design tasks for the next few days (although we hope you’ll take some time out this week to stuff your face with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie). This week we’re going to bring the tempo down a few notches with some songs inspired by Dude Lebowski. We’ll start off with Tumbling Tumbleweeds by the Sons of Pioneers and work our way through some Bob Dylan, The Monks, Captain Beefheart, Gipsy Kings, and others before wrapping up with the classic Standing On the Corner by the one and only Dean Martin.
Autodesk has been making headway with various announcements leading up to next week’s Autodesk University in Las Vegas. A little over a month ago we saw the release of their Project Miller preview, which is aimed at optimizing and validating designs before hitting that heavy ‘Print’ button to send a file off to a 3D printer. Their latest technology preview Project Shapeshifter comes in the form of a 3D modeler that allows new CAD users to develop complex geometry out of common primitive shapes with very little effort…essentially creating a generative modeling experience of sorts without having to dive head-first into Grasshopper. Let’s take a look at how quickly we can put together a vase and export the STL for a ceramic 3D print.