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Space: Japanese engineering firm planning on an elevator to the stars

Published 22 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: engineering, japan, space, space elevator, graphene, obayashi, nanotubes, carbon, mental

The space elevator has been much talked about, but now Japanese engineering giant is setting out to build one by 2050

By 2050 we should all be able to hop into a lift and journey up into space at a fraction of the cost of rockets, according to Japanese construction giant Obayashi.

The space elevator has often been touted in science fiction, but with the development of carbon nanotube technology and graphene in recent years, the challenges faced by its construction are now practical rather than theoretical, which is why Obayashi thinks it can succeed.

When built, its elevator it will reach 96,000 kilometres into space, using robotic cars powered by magnetic linear motors to ferry people and cargo to a newly-built space station, taking seven days to get there.

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Disney’s MakerFaire input more than a movie promo, it’s powering next generation of STEM

Published 22 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, engineering, makers, marvel, stem, big hero 6, disney, makerfaire, new york

There’s more to Disney’s involvement with MakerFaire than a giant, inflatable Baymax

The keen-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the centrepiece of the global MakerFaire is now a Disney branded event, but why, you might ask, is the House of Mouse so eager to be involved?

Big Hero 6, the studio’s next big animation about a boy who is obsessed with modern day digital design and manufacturing of robots, would appear to be the reason, but there’s much more at play.

Having bagged Pixar’s digital R&D department back in the day, Disney Research was founded on the same principles in 2008, looking into new technologies - and it stretches far further than some notions around 3D printing novelty action figures.

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Testing: How the new iPhone 6 stands up to third-party product testing

Published 22 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: apple, iphone, materials, testing

Dropping your brand new iPhone 6 could end in tears

Here in Blighty we’ve been shelling out £4.6 billion over the last two years on repairs to our hand held devices, which begs the question: just how badly designed are they?

In that time the DEVELOP3D collective device murder number is approaching double figures, so we feel your pain, but with designs getting increasingly thinner, with a greater prone ‘face’ area, how does the next generation design hold up?

Apple’s latest iPhones, the 6 and 6 Plus, were put through comprehensive tests over the weekend as part of SquareTrade’s regular Breakability Index, replicating common scenarios in which phones are damaged by owners.

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The Weekender: A space to get hands on among the pomp of London Design Festival

Published 19 September 2014

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: london, craft, london design festival, formlabs, maker, the saturday market project, bare conductive

Our favourite find of London Design Festival

London Design Festival draws mixed emotions from me - part of me is overawed and excited at the scale of the event on my doorstep, the other resigned after 30 minutes of seeing nothing but new chairs.

Don’t get me wrong - I like furniture - but to encapsulate design as simply ‘overpriced domestic furnishings’ is a bit soft: London has a lot more to offer.

So I was delighted to stumble across The Saturday Market project on Leonard Street, where among various homeward designs (which were lovely) were bits about making things; not in a twee, crafty way, but solidly, with a hint of industrialism.

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