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Essentials for the mobile generation

Published 20 July 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, industrial design, innovation, macbook, services, mobile working

As more and more of us work from home, from Starbucks, the greasy spoon around the corner from the office (to get some peace) or from economy class lounge (biz class is for the over paid, under worked), then we all will resonate with the simple fact that squeezing your laptop into the present space is a royalpaininthearse. I doubt we’ll see them at D3D’s service stations* of choice soon, but its clever thinking (note, I’m not using the I word).

According to designer Robin Carpenter JUST is made of an inner metal frame construction defining the form which is upholstered for comfort. The chair is covered with a washable textile and the stand allows 360 horizontal rotation. His IRO lamp is pretty slick too.

*Oxford M40 and M6 Toll - covered outdoors areas, good coffee and a 3G signal

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Tormach brings mill/turn

Published 15 July 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: prototype, cam, cnc, milling, turning, millturn, tormach

I don’t know how familiar these guys are to our readers, but Tormach has some pretty nifty prototyping kit. they’ve got a range of CNC machines aimed at the higher-end hobbiest, prototyping market and the costs are pretty slick too. This month, they’ve launched an add-on for their CNC milling machines that gives you lathe or turning capability; for an extra $1150.

It seems that the Duality Lathe component is retrofitted to an existing PCNC 1100 mill, so you can effectively mill/turn in a single step - and it can be used in a manual fashion for those that love dialling in the numbers by hand.

I’m not too sure if these things are avialable in Europe, with the voltage difference, but they should be. Got to be a better bet that a 15 year old Bridgeport

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Big Brother is watching you!

Published 11 July 2008

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: solidworks, industrial design, bicycle, strida

This post is not to do with product development technology per se, but a press release I found in my inbox this morning really quite disturbed me. Spector 360 Corporate Monitoring software uncovers Internet abuse, lost productivity, data leaks and other inappropriate activities, so says the marketing spiel. In other words it spies on employees.

It can tell which employees are spending the most time surfing the Internet, which employees are chatting the most, who is typing the most keystrokes, who is downloading music and other large files, who is taking the longest breaks, and who is leaving work early. Who knows, soon it might be able to tell who is doing the least Boolean operations per hour.

Now call me traditional, and maybe a bit naive, but what happened to good old fashioned management? What about engaging with employees on a day to day basis to encourage, and motivate and get the most out of them, rather than beating them with an Orwellian type stick if they take their hands off the keyboard for more than five minutes. It worries me.

If I was an employee at a company that utilised such technology I know I’d have real trouble relaxing, knowing that I was being seen as a mere statistic as my every action is recorded, logged and analysed by a faceless manager who lives in a box. And when I’m not relaxed the quality of my work suffers.

But never mind, eh, as long as I’m churning out my 40 words per minute I should be able to keep the Thought Police at bay - for a while, at least, until they realise I’m not actually writing about product development technology after all, and then it’s Room 101 for me and my thoughtcrimes. Bad citizen!

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Back in the Fold - the Strida returns

Published 05 July 2008

Posted by Martyn Day

Article tagged with:

I’m excited as there is a new version of my favourite folding bike on sale. The Strida is the brain-child of UK industrial designer, Mark Sanders. I regularly shove it my Strida into the passenger seat of my car and take it away with me. Yes, it looks odd and nobody ever seems to have ever seen one before but I wholeheartedly endorse one of these bikes if you are looking for a foldable bike. This clip is an interview with Mark, where he explains his design concepts and process. About half-way through you see that now Mark uses SolidWorks to design and reduce the number of prototypes, but sketching and ‘feel’ are bedrocks for his process.

www.strida.com

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