You’ll Go Ape for this Radio!

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Get your music on with the Monkey Radio! This portable radio clings and swings from just about anywhere so you can take your tunes everywhere you go. Its clever spring steel strap can wrap around handlebars, a tree, or even your wrist and it doubles as an FM antenna! Old timers will remember this steel mechanism from the toy friendship bands and watches we had as kids. Reviving that wonderful interaction with a rather fun looking design, this radio takes you to the days of AM/FM to belt out retro tunes! Nothing good on the radio? Switch over to Bluetooth and stream your favorite playlist instead!

Technical Features:
-FM radio
-Wireless radio speaker 3W
-BT 4.0
-Waterproof
-IP Rating IP56
-Rechargeable lithium-ion battery 600 mAh
-Micro-USB connector for charging

Designer: Rudolph Schelling Webermann/DING3000 for Palomar

BUY IT HERE: $69.00

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Your Desktop Design Factory!

Most people are consumers. But there is a small section of us that proudly call ourselves creators. We desire to build beautiful things, not just own them.

Roughly 5 years ago, the maker revolution began with desktop 3D printing. While 3D printing is great, as a designer, it’s more of a mock-up tool, more fit for prototyping than actual production. We designers rely on other procedures for quality production. Like CNC Machining, Injection Molding, Laser Cutting, and Vacuum Forming. There’s a long way to go for most of these procedures before they shift from large-scale industries to households, but Vaquform has done something pretty spectacular. This desktop mounted vacuum forming machine only downsizes without compromising on quality.

More rapid than rapid prototyping, vacuum forming is one of the industry’s most important processes. A lot of plastic packaging for products (blister packs, for example) relies on this technique. Vacuum forming is also used to make products in itself. 3D signboards, food trays, ice-trays, toys, masks, coffee cups/lids, and planting pots to name a few. Depending on the material used, vacuum formed parts can be made transparent, colored, impact-resistant, and food-grade just by using the same setup but switching plastic sheets. Vacuum forming is also known to use only sheet materials, making products incredibly lightweight and cheap.

Vaquform fits an entire industry onto your desktop. Occupying just 1.5 sq.ft. of space, this thing can sit on your desk, taking up as much space as your inkjet printer. It works with a 9in X 12in forming area, allowing you to form not just singular big parts, but also multiple tiny parts together. Vaquform is designed to work with multiple types of plastic sheets, allowing you to set heating presets based on material. An infrared probe senses the heat of the plastic and activates the vacuum only when needed, saving on resources like electricity. Vacuum forming is incredibly fast, and with Vaquform’s hybrid vacuum machine, you can virtually make one round of prototypes every 5 minutes!

Vaquform is a great product (and soon to become a common household item) for makers and DIY enthusiasts. If you already own a 3D printer or have access to printing or CNC machining, the Vaquform really helps ramp up product development. Competitively priced at virtually a fraction of the cost of a 3D printer (Ultimaker), the Vaquform is definitely the paving the path for a domestic design industry. What’s next, a desktop injection molding machine?!

Designer: John Tan

BUY IT HERE: $645.00 $899.00

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Tricycle for the tourist-y kind

Here’s a transport category that doesn’t exist yet but most definitely should. Tourist transportation! People with the wanderlust in them usually love the idea of exploring new places on their own, rather than relying on a cab or a tourist vehicle. The Solectrike in that sense is perfect for casual sightseeing. The community cycle can be borrowed from any of the Solectrike hubs across the city. The trike comes in two parts that become a tricycle when joined, allowing you to ride around the city in style, absorbing the view in a completely open way. The trike can be split back into two components, the bike, and the trolley. The bike can then be locked to any standard bike stand, while the tourist can wheel around the trolley that comes with its own compartment for your money, camera, passport and whatnot! So much better than taking an Uber to sightsee!

The Solectrike is a Red Dot Design Award winner for the year 2016.

Designer: Liu Chen

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Augmented Awesomeness!

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I heard a very profound quote about the AR/VR future the other day. It was about how AR surpasses VR in possibilities, because of its ability to superimpose virtual on top of real. AR, the quote implied, is the work, while VR is the vacation. While most large companies like Magic Leap haven’t really begun retailing (or even releasing) their technologies, there are other companies in the mix giving AR a shot. Daqri’s smart glasses that debuted at CES last year look like the granddaddy of the 3D specs you wear at the movies. The flat glass on the front, and the signature lens style makes them look familiar, yet much more powerful. Image capturing and depth sensing cameras sit right above the lenses, while most of the tech (batteries included) houses itself in a pocketable pack that is connected to the smart glasses. That’s rather impressive, considering how the competition really hasn’t tackled the portability factor efficiently yet.

Plus, I’m really liking how the aesthetic detail on the side, namely the black strip, converts into a functional detail, expanding outwards to allow for size adjustment. Neat!

Designer: DAQRI

BUY IT HERE: $4995.00

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Half a Motorcycle, Twice the Fun

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If you thought this looked like motorcycle chopped in half you wouldn’t be far off! The KTM Unicycle is an all-electric, one-wheeled wonder that utilizes current gyroscopic tech to stay balanced. It really does look like half a normal KTM with its signature bright orange bodywork, thick sportbike tire, lights and handlebars. More nimble than a Segway (and made with less material), you can scoot around, dodge pedestrians, cars and other obstacles like a pro!

Designer: Ricardo Gutiérrez Bustos

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