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Animal powered appliances?

Published 27 August 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: electric, dog, battery

Turnspit dogs ran in wheels to rotate cooking spits over fires. Notice the cat doing bugger all to help mankind… Typical…

Yesterday in the UK was National Dogs Day - a nation of animal lovers we’re happy to canonise our pets alongside fruits and children’s authors - but something that caught my attention was the history of the turnspit dog.

This working dog, recorded as having a similar body shape to a basset hound with the head of a pit bull, was popular in England and, to a lesser extent, America, from 16th century to the end of the 19th, and spent its days walking in a purpose-built wheel that drove a spit over a kitchen fire - you can read more about them here.

This got me thinking, first about the Flintstones, and then about a more modern approach, for which there might be more in it than a spit roast chicken.

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Details for AMUG 2016 ST Louis announced

Published 27 August 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, events, amug

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group has announced its next AMUG Education and Training Conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, on 3 - 7 April 2016.

A key event for professionals working with 3D printing, last year’s event provided attendees with an incredible opportunity to network and learn from the best in what is a fast growing industry.

“Many people confuse the AMUG Conference with a trade show,” said AMUG president Mark Barfoot. “It is not a tradeshow; it is an educational conference focused on training and advancing applications throughout the industry.

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Brilliant barbecue design for home and away

Published 26 August 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, food, bahí&güell

bahí&güell’s Caliu barbecue features an innovative coal lighting system to produce even heat ever time

Caliu is a table-top barbecue designed for your garden or on your terrace, with a style based on simplicity and user-friendliness from storing it away, transporting it, lighting the coals to cooking over them.

Designed and made in the Girona region of Spain by Catalonian designers bahí&güell, the barbecues’ large rectangular cooking surface makes the best use of whatever space is available. With an attractive pack-away design it benefits from few parts, all non-moving, and that are ready-assembled; resulting in a sturdy long-lasting product.

Having set the brief of improving the overall experience of barbecuing with family and friends the designers realised that the key was to facilitate a process to light the charcoal and then to share the cooking process by putting the barbecue in the middle of the table for everybody to cook and enjoy at the same time with no problems.

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The motion-powered running light that goes against planned obsolescence

Published 24 August 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: sustainability, eco, tom lawton, lighting, running

The small. battery-less, clip-on light makes runners visible to potential hazards

There’s a giant selection of running gear out there for the dedicated pavement pounder willing to get up at 5am to fit in those extra miles, yet few of the products are designed to last a lifetime.

The Million Mile Light is a lightweight, ultra bright, clip-on safety light for runners that’s powered by the user’s own motion, meaning no batteries or recharging required, and its designed to be resilient.

“We don’t like planned obsolescence but we do like planned endurance,” explains Tom Lawton, the product’s inventor, also know as ‘that man off the telly’ and ‘him from DEVELOP3D LIVE’. “We think you should be able to run the world without costing the earth and the Million Mile Light is powered by you, to keep you safe - so you can shine bright and run the night.”

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