Posts Tagged 'cardboard'

Laser Cut Lexus

Laser cutting has been around for a while as a manufacturing technique for a range of materials, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything as impressive as this created using that method. Especially out of cardboard!

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With a somewhat tongue-in-cheek approach on the quest for the ultimate eco-friendly car Lexus have produced 1,700 sheets of intricately laser-cut cardboard.

The resulting model is a 1:1 scale version their new IS model as a “celebration of the human craftsmanship skills that go into every car they make”.

carboard lexus2

The model was produced in the UK by Laser Cut Works and Scales & Models who converted a 3D computer model into numbered cardboard slices and then assembled the entire model by hand.  The glue used for each 10mm layer took 10 minutes to set after every application.  That’s a lot of time waiting for glue to dry!

Turning a mundane material into a beautiful sculpture

Oh, and did I mention the car actually works too! Well, sort of.  There are actual working doors, a working steering wheel, and with the help of a concealed steel frame the model can actually be “driven” with an electric motor.

carboard lexus4

carboard lexus3

The level of detail is extremely impressive, from the cup holders in the centre console to the interior air vents.

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Amazing stuff!  Watch the making of it here.

Via designboom.


Rip & Tatter

When I originally stumbled across this it reminded me so much of a post I wrote last year that I couldn’t resist giving it a mention.  It’s a wonderfully charming twist on the hammer-forged DIY furniture, aimed both at children (for the whimsical playfulness) and adults (for the eco recyclable touch).

Rip + Tatter is a creation from Peter Oyler, sculpted out (in huge great tearing handfuls, I’d imagine) from industrial grade cardboard.  Great fun, and a great sustainable product.

Via my daily nip of sustainable lifestyle.


As a keen cyclist I’m always interested in new products and equipment, however futuristic or conceptual they may be, but this one caught my eye as it’s all about doing something now. Anirudha Rao has developed Kranium – a lightweight and bespoke solution for cycle helmets.

From the mid-range of the helmet market upwards they all become about styling towards aerodynamics and weight reduction. I mean mine’s not heavy, but let’s face it I’m not an Olympic sprinter where those few grams could make a difference. Aside from the odd stint of off-roading I use mine on the commute. Stats reckon that cycling through a busy city averages a speed of around 12mph, which I can indeed vouch for (my 9.5miles takes 42minutes), and so for me (and no doubt many others) safety is becoming more paramount than streamlining.

Your typical cycle helmet is an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core with a thin moulded microshell overlay and we just presume that this is the best material to protect us. I mean, you could spend £100s on a super elite helmet and it would still be mainly EPS (though with increasing amounts of carbon fibre). Recent research however, is beginning to suggest that cardboard assembled in the correct way could offer similar, if not improved, protection. This is largely because EPS tends to distribute impact energy in an attempt to dissipate it, whereas Rao’s design gives the cardboard a crumple zone to attempt to absorb the energy before it reaches your head.

When tested at Imperial College (against BS EN1078 since you asked) it was found that this cardboard arrangement absorbs four times the impact energy than that its traditional EPS counterpart, an impressive feat indeed. Kranium is also really promoting the fact that during testing it can withstand consecutive impacts, though should this reach market I believe that it will fall in line with current helmet guidelines of changing your helmet after a sinlge impact. Testing has very specific and fixed conditions, whereas out in the real world any number of factors can affect results, no doubt erring on the side of caution, as EPS helmets do, is something you simply must do when it comes to safety.

Comfort is a huge factor in people wearing cycle helmets. Head size and shape varies greatly throughout the population yet the majority of helmets merely come in standardised small, medium or large. Whilst Kranium could do this too, why not exploit one the advantages of its manufacturing method.  A fairly simple (and nowadays none too expensive either) 3D head scan could pinpoint coordinates for the laser cut cardboard template giving you a perfect made to measure fit for your ride.  The data could easily be stored on file allowing repeat helmets to be ordered for a fraction of the cost in the future.  Investing in a bespoke product that you’ll use and use again, great idea.

Kranium finished in a blue and red shell option

and in the beautiful white vented option

Obviously a few developments will still be needed to get this product to market. Just looking out the window this evening a wet weather option is a definite must so the cardboard doesn’t degrade, perhaps laminating or wax coating the cardboard is an option.  Should it make it I would really be tempted by the white version above.

One immediate application I can see for this is not necessarily in the bespoke market though, but alongside London’s recently introduced “Boris Bikes”. Following a recent call for helmets to be provided this could provide the mayor with an opportunity of a cost effective and eco-friendly solution.

And you can see how easily it goes together with a neat little clip on Vimeo here.

Images courtesy of Design Boom.

100% Design

I had the chance to go down to Earl’s Court on Friday and check out 100% Design.  Plenty of inspiring and creative work, from recent graduates and independent designers to larger established companies.

Electrolux did well to get a spot near the entrance, and giving out a decent bag early on (the staple of any good exhibition stand) meant that most attendees were walking round advertising Electrolux throughout the afternoon!  The Electrolux Design Lab was most impressive, in particular showing off Kitchen Hideaway, Kitchen Elements and the eventual winning concept The Snail.

100% Materials offered a fantastic talk from two recent Central Saint Martins masters graduates.  Monica Sogn first showed an exploration into ‘Making nutrition a tangible matter’, followed by Chiara Onida showing off the beautifully exquisite ‘musical’ carafes and wine glasses.

One of the most impressive feature installs was Roca‘s “The Wave”.  A 15m kinetic light installation that consisted of 40 motor controlled hanging rods with integrated LEDs all set to move and simulate ripples and waves.

Ciclotte offered a refreshing product design take on the traditional exercise bike.

My favourtite stand (and quite a few others’ too) was the completely original and amazing cardboard installation from Creative Trust.

Cell Lighting displayed the extraordinary Lighting Kaleidoscope, a pixel-esque grid of LEDs which attracted plenty of worthy attention.

Spam Ghetto gave us a unique and interesting spam-based generative wallpaper.

Lots of shades and lamps were dotted throughout the exhibition too, however, the stand out piece of lighting for me was Lasvit‘s Bubbles in Space.  It just looks incredible, and the 320 separate components can be scaled right up to a 4m diameter version that’s available!

Plenty of international graduate work on show too, with 100% Norway, 100% France (namely Elise Fouin) and 100% Italy amongst others all having solid representation.

Running down the centre of the exhibtion were some of the more playful opportunities.  Grohe hijacked JAM’s T2 three-way table to play table tennis with their new shower heads, Blueprint‘s Claystation allowed budding interior designers to create their own “three-dimensional room-set, complete with staircase, doors and windows” from one “ingenious piece of paper engineering”, as well as a custom cardboard chair design.

Other notable mentions include many of the products from Myyour, almost everything in the Hidden Art Design Store and Object Design‘s ergonomic chair rig and 3D CNC machine demonstrations.

Due to 100% Design’s no photo policy most of the pictures here have been borrowed from their Flickr stream.

eBay Think Outside The Box

eBay has recently announced the launch of a recycled and reusable box for sellers to use when shipping items out to buyers.  Fairly obvious I know, but this is a really good idea.

It ticks all the boxes (pun not intended) for use of a sustainable, and FSC approved, product material whilst also mentioning the fashionable and practical buzzwords like “recycle” and “reuse”. To be honest re-anything gets positive attention at the moment. Having said all that though, the box is actually so much more, the product design goes deeper into the customer experience by tracking the box and telling the story of its journey. And we all like stories, don’t we?

The box itself is the result of this year’s Innovation Expo in which eBay provides an environment to encourage “prototypes for new products and breakthrough innovations”.

San Francisco based design studio Office designed the box with a friendly and encouraging feel to it. Just looking at it makes you want to use it, and, although recycled, I’ll bet a similar thought process went into the final finish of the card too. I’m on the waiting list for one of the initial 100,000 pilot boxes to be sent out in October so if I’m one of the lucky ones I’ll be able to comment on that in a few weeks.  If each box is used only five times then the scheme will save around 4000 trees, 2.4m gallons of water and enough electricity to power 49 homes for a year!

The pilot boxes will be available in three traditional sizes of small, medium and large, sign up with the eBay Green Team if you want to be in with a shout too.

Whilst engaging graphics adorn the box, there is function to the decoration too. Space created allows shippers to write messages and comments for the buyer, and over time as and when you reuse the box to send onto another buyer the messages build up, a timeline and geographical tail becomes mapped out.

In an entirely geeky way, and given some of the more bizarre items available on eBay, a well used box’s information mapping may be more interesting than the contents! Insightfully, and pre-empting this geekiness in more than just myself, eBay will allow you to track numbered boxes online to see which have travelled the furthest, or most frequently, giving an idea of the box’s lifetime.

Now I’m by no means a Power Seller, but I do sell the odd few items on eBay, and I’d definitely use this product given a chance. I have a drawer stuffed full of old jiffy envelopes and bubble wrap which tends to get used, but it’s hardly an elegant or efficient solution.

I often end up using much more tape than necessary, and perhaps compromise on the size, plus it’s so impersonal. This new box assists you in providing an improved service to your customers, whilst offering handy tips on how to re-use other materials for packing and minimising the use of tape. Oh, they know me so well!

Let’s not forget, as well as doing their bit for the environment (and given an estimated 90million users worldwide last year this could be quite a fair bit) and improving their green credentials, eBay stand to gain something else from this product too. It’s a form of branding and advertising, and over time a form of re-branding and re-advertising on a global scale as boxes move on and around the world.  eBay graphics surging through our postal systems and being packed and stacked into FedEx trucks will add a whole new dimension for them.

So I guess it’s win-win. The environment is better off and so is eBay, and to a degree I guess we, the buyers and sellers, will be too. Better make that win-win-win then.

Nod to Creative Review for the original spot on this.

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