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’ll be kickin’ up the funk a notch with a mixture of blues, jazz, and funk-inspired vibrations. We’ll start with a little Bibi Tanga and work our way through some Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and Ozomatli before wrapping up the funkadelic journey with Galactic. Prepare to enter Funk Speed.
Say you’re driving past your favorite office supply store, suddenly realize you’re out of extra large paper clips, slam on the brakes and hightail it across five lanes of traffic to enter the door, where you see… a mound of boxed 3D printers reaching the heights of the ceiling with gangly-looking, red-shirted staff singing a resonating chorus of angelic song. That will be happening by the end of June with a number of Staples office supply stores across the U.S. stocking The Cube® 3D printer from 3D Systems. It’s already available online, making Staples the first big box U.S. retailer to stock and ship 3D printers.
Say you’ve always wanted to build a Wi-Fi-controlled robot that spits carrot chunks at your pet rabbit. Impossible you say. How about a solar-powered, plant-watering device that remotely triggers a siren when a new episode of “Vikings” is on? Even though that’s completely practical for a number of reasons, the ability to do it may seem a far reach. Using various open hardware components, extended with Wi-Fi modules and shields makes it all easier, but nothing to this point has combined the luxury of Wi-Fi, programmable hardware, world-wide accessibility and the fun of making your own things. Spark Devices has launched a Kickstarter campaign doing just that. Launching May 2, they blew past their $10,000 funding goal in 75 minutes, pushing closer toward the $200,000 mark each day. WOW. We asked Zach Supalla, Founder and CEO of Spark Devices, more about the wee board and how it’s different from the rest.
I’ve built my share of laser cut catapults and trebuchets in my life, but an entire laser cut castle attack scene? If I could be so lucky. GrabCAD user Andrea Garuti made it happen with his ‘Castle under attack’ entry that won the SolidSmack Laser Cut Toy Design Challenge. Ponoko sponsored a free laser cut of the winning entry and we’re excited (and a bit jealous) to see the results.
Your choices for web-based collaboration are ever-growing towers of storage, sharing and data-viewing options that are turning into quite the trend in the 3D software space. Sunglass was one of the first on the scene with viewing CAD files in the browser and the widest support for 3D file formats, 3d software plugins, cloud-based apps and an API that links it all together. Now, they have new features, a new pricing model with versioning and data-management functionality that make the plugins more useful and the entire direction of this company (and this space) even more interesting.
The timber was cold. All around stood the frozen furbunny army of the first war, some caught mid-stride. Others caught, as if, warming their hands by the icy ashes of a darkened fire. Surely, no one would ever again underestimate what runs through the veins of these links.
Andrew Bell – A special treat this week. One of my favorite of favorite artists. Pages and pages of wonderful creatures with some paintings, plushes and sculpts as well.
History of Typography – Stop-motion goodness on the history of type from Roman type to Futura, Serif to Sans, with some explanation on their characteristics.
Ghost – The new blogging platform being funded through Kickstarter. Just a blogging platform. This is cool stuff folks. Check it out. Back it up.
Bag & Panniers – Mother’s day is coming up. Why not a nice tote, handlebar bag or pannier for their bicycle?
Laser vs balloon – What fun are lasers if you can use them to pop 100 black balloons then watch it happen in reverse?
Iconic Furniture – A short guide to iconic furniture of the last century. Nice, neat, but would like to see more in it.
Baku Parkour – Ryan Doyle teams up with Red Bull in this quest to find his own seven wonders of the world.
Iron Man remix – 1, 2, 3, kick it. A proper industrial mix of the three Iron Man movies by Mike Relm with visuals as good as the audio.
I don’t care what people say. There are not enough well-designed office chairs in this world. From stumps of wood and rubber balls to cockpit office consoles that come with a 5,000 page manual, we’ll always need some way of looking ultra-efficient and ultra-stylish while our butt and legs slowly blend into two slender columns of skin and bone. Doing that in comfort is of extreme importance and if you’re a fan of Herman Miller’s design aesthetic and love their cushy office chairs, you’re familiar with the beautiful Mirra office chair. I swore I was going to get one, delayed, but am spinning circles in my current, worn office chair at the site of the Mirra 2. Once again developed by Studio 7.5, introduced at the 2013 Salone Del Mobile Milano and a feature at the upcoming NeoCon 2013, the chair is a complete redesign, lighter and sleeker than ever before.
Two weeks ago, GrabCAD launched Workbench. It’s not the worn countertop in your Grandpa’s garage. Rather, it lives on the internet surrounded by the warmth of Amazon’s S3 secure server architecture. More specifically, Workbench is the revamped version of GrabCAD’s project collaboration platform that adds a new interface, viewing of all major CAD file formats, secure sharing of files, versioning, revision control and, low and behold, a pricing model. Yes, GrabCAD has forayed into the world of freemium business models with three tiers of pricing – Professional, Team and Enterprise. Team and Enterprise details and pricing are yet to come, but the free Professional level (currently in closed beta) allows unlimited projects, unlimited collaborators, unlimited storage and mobile access. Are your collaboration woes solved?
What would you do if you love lasers, 3d modeling and had an obsessive-compulsive knack for software development and uber-functional design? You would design and launch a 3D scanner that made all other 3D scanners look like shop-class throwbacks. We like the cost of DIY scanners and the resolution and scan area of some high-end scanners, but for quick, desktop, on-the-fly scanning of everyday objects, we’re simply in love with the Photon 3D Scanner from Matterform. As you may know, their Indiegogo campaign is nearing the final days and, having blown past the $81k goal, they’re prepping to provide 1,100+ backers a stylish new gadget for their desktop scanning needs.
I know a lot of people who would let out a blood-curdling scream if you told them a ‘Mantis’ was on their shoulder. Especially, if their shoulder was being pinned down by this massive beast. The Mantis Robot is the creation of designer Matt Denton. It’s no ordinary robot and he’s no ordinary designer. Matt runs Micromagic Systems, an animatronics studio in Winchester, Hampshire UK. If the Artisan’s Asylum made an impact with Project Hexapod, Matt just increased the cool factor 10 fold and added the possibility of hexapod combat.