Unless you are a landscape architect, you may not realize that clients can order shrubs from nurseries by diameter. Let's say a client orders a dozen 65-centimeter shrubs. Since shrubs tend to grow as they like, with no two alike, it would provide a headache for the nursery to go out and measure what's in the field, or painstakingly trim each one to size.

Hence Italy's Orlandi Group exists. They create specialized machinery that solves problems for nurseries, like this buxus trimming machine being used in Holland:

"[This is] how to have all your plants' diameters uniform and constant over time," the company writes. "So when your customers ask for a buxus that's 40cm in diameter, you're sure you will give them a buxus of 40cm."

Next they plan to adapt the technology for barbershops. (Yes, I'm kidding.)

This is one of those products where you're like, "Why did this not exist before?" The Lay See Pillow is designed for the millions of people who wear eyeglasses and like to read in bed while lying on their side:

That cover looks like a bit more of a hassle to remove on laundry day, but it's probably worth the trade-off, judging by the pillow's popularity (it's currently out of stock).

If you're not an eyeglass wearer but your spouse is and uses this pillow: I know that there's got to be a prank application for that channel that runs right under their ear, but I don't know what it is. Yet.

STEL is looking for a Mid-Level Graphic Designer with Outdoor, Sport, and Consumer Electronic industry design experience. Position to be started by end of January, or beginning of February 2018. STEL is a design consultancy located in Santa Barbara, California. Our team consists of a talented group of multidisciplinary creatives combining expertise in design and engineering.

View the full design job here

Here industrial designer Eric Strebel shows you how to build your own spray booth out of foamcore. "The unit is very light, that makes it easier to build and potentially move around your shop if you don't have a permanent home for it," Strebel writes. He uses a nifty trick of inducing a slight bend into the material, which provides the strength necessary to support the heavy fan. And though working off of plans from Ventworks, he modifies them with the ergonomic improvement of side- (rather than top-) loading filters. LED strip lights finish it up, ensuring you can see if you're getting even coverage. Take a look:

To say that the air quality in Chinese cities is bad is an understatement, as you can see below.

Statistics and image via Air Quality Index China

To tackle this, the municipal government of the city of Xian (population 8.7 million), the capital of Shaanxi province, has constructed what is essentially a massive air purifier. Standing some 33 stories (100 meters) tall, the tower is currently being tested by environmental scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Here's how it works, according to the South China Morning Post:

The system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower. Polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses and heated up by solar energy. The hot air then rises through the tower and passes through multiple layers of cleaning filters.

Scientist Cao Junji, who heads up the research team, told the paper that "improvements in air quality had been observed over an area of 10 square kilometres (3.86 square miles) in the city over the past few months and the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic metres (353 million cubic feet) of clean air a day since its launch."

Cao also claims that the tower...

We've seen a lot of hidden compartment furniture lately, but this company takes the cake.

QLine Designs is a New-Hampshire-based design/build firm that produces high-quality pieces made from solid wood and using traditional techniques. Decidedly untraditional are the clever ways in which they've added secret storage, accessed in unusual ways.

Check out how their Rotating Table operates:

The clever use of space in their Executive Desk:

The sheer amount of hidden storage in their Design Dresser:

The unusual drawers in their Dining Table:

You can see more of their designs here. And for those of you into shop porn, the company's facility looks pretty killer. They use everything from traditional hand tools up to a CNC mill.

Lastly, the company founder has written a great essay on quality design and construction, and we recommend giving it a read.


This story is part three of MakerBot's series of design studies, exploring iterative design and the relationship between designers and their tools.

So far we've explored form development with the bike saddle and reverse engineering with the drone rebuild—now it's time to push into something a bit more futuristic.

Footwear design is a deceptively complex category that has much more in common with automotive design than it does with most fashion disciplines. There's ergonomics, mechanics, loads of different material properties, and on top of all of that—aesthetics. that has much more in common with automotive design than it does with most fashion disciplines. There's ergonomics, mechanics, loads of different material properties, and on top of all of that—aesthetics.

Not being trained a footwear designer myself, it's an inspiring albeit daunting path, but that impending challenge is a good feeling and there's no better way to learn than by doing.

1. Select Realistic Shoe Goals

I began this exercise by splitting the shoe geometry into its two components: the sole and the body. Each of these parts have their own anatomies with richly interrelated components, but I'm a shoe rookie and stand almost no chance at getting a shoe right on my first try. In the diagram below you can see how I started to define different planes on the body, but quickly...

One of those hip little boutique hotels opened up a few years ago on the Bowery. Here it is in Google Street View. They have a lounge downstairs that is open to the elements.

These are the tables the lounge is populated with. As you can see they are custom-made. And they are absolutely horrible.

This tabletop has been fashioned from what looks to be tongue-and-groove flooring. Even when treated properly, wood is a terrible choice for outdoor furniture in a four-season city like New York, and this wood does not look like it's been treated properly.

No design considerations were made for wood movement. The boards have cupped, bowed, moved, split, and done everything but stay still. In this photo you can see the tabletop is bowed along its length.

The table legs have been welded together from square bar stock. Note the napkin shoved under one foot to keep the table level. This table is sitting on a tile floor, so either the tiles weren't laid flat or the table was welded together out-of-square.

And the legs have of...

Nike just announced a 10-pair sneaker collection completely designed by 14 female Nike designers, all working on either Nike's color and materials team or sneaker design team. Drawing inspiration from two of Nike's most iconic sneaker silhouettes—the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1—the designers were put to work creating 10 reimagined sneakers, in just a few weeks. They were tasked with the one-liner design brief "Make Cool Shit," and that's exactly what they did.

AJ1 JESTER XXResearch Phase

Hand-picked for the project by Footwear Director Andy Caine, the designers started off at Nike's Blue Ribbon Studio in Portland, spending about a week pinpointing their goals and brainstorming. During their research phase, they focused on "defining the dimensions that make a woman," which was especially important to consider because both the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1 were initially designed by men for men.

On that note, Senior Creative Director of Nike Sportswear Georgina James and Material Design Director of Nike Sportswear NikeWomen Marie Crow emphasized the importance of their new design details appearing just feminine enough to appeal to women while still channeling the initial feel of the two footwear icons.

As a result of their research phase, the design collective decided to form five personas to ensure structure and cohesiveness during their upcoming design process—Explorer, Lover, Sage, Rebel and Jester. These five archetypes ended up being a productive...

The knock on kids vis-à-vis electronics these days is that they spend all of their time staring into a glass rectangle. Whether they're playing Candy Crush or Call of Duty, they're not here in the real world and engaged with physical things (XBox controllers don't count).

Nintendo's forthcoming Labo system looks to be a much better prospect. By combining their Switch console with connected cardboard creations that the kids assemble themselves, they've managed to tie the digital to the physical. Which is to say, the user is actually, in the name of play, building and then manipulating a physical object in order to produce a result. That is hopefully the "gateway drug," for lack of a better term, that may lead them into creating objects of their own design.

Have a look at the breadth of the system:


One of the most challenging tasks facing designers and engineers new to 3D printing is having to navigate through the vast number of 3D printing processes and materials to find the solution that is best for their application.

In this article, we present several easy-to-use tools to help you select the right 3D printing process for your application.

Overview of the 3D Printing processes3D printing (or Additive Manufacturing) is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple processes

The ISO/ASTM 52900 Standard was created in 2015 to standardize all terminology and classify each of the different methods of 3D printing. A total of seven process categories were established.

Each of these and the associated process description are presented in the following table:

Classification of the 3D printing technologies. A high-res poster with all 3D printing process is available here for free download.

Of these technologies, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography (SLA) are the most easily accessible and cost-competitive options, as both industrial and desktop systems are widely available.

For high-end polymer applications, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Material Jetting (MJ) are popular options, while SLM and DMLS or

Growing up in the wintry American northeast, the joy of no-school Snow Days was offset by the arduous task of shoveling under adult directive. But now parents can rob their children of this character-building exercise by introducing a remote-controlled, 3D-printed miniature snowblower into the household, allowing their kids to stay inside and spend more time cyberbullying their classmates.

Designed by Ryan Spyker, this Spyker KAT is small but pretty damn impressive. Here a guy is putting it through its paces in four inches of snow, and -18 Celsius (about 0 Fahrenheit) temperatures:

Watching rust get blasted off of metal is always satisfying. It must be even more satisfying to do it, particularly when you're using a self-made sandblaster. DIY'er Adam Fleisch figured out how to make one for under six bucks, using an airgun and a soda bottle, and the darn thing actually works:

If you have ever thought, "There has got to be a better way to do this!", you belong at OXO. Our mission is to make everyday living easier by identifying those annoyances that we all have and developing products that help make short work of life's daily tasks.

View the full design job here

In the last entry we saw a builder create a tabletop the wrong way. By not obeying the rules of wood movement, the builder has doomed the tabletop to failure.

The rule that the builder ought have followed is a simple one: Design for boards to expand and contract along their width. A competent designer/builder never traps a piece of wood within a four-sided frame.

For centuries, builders have known how to attach tabletops in such a way that they will not lift up off of the base, yet can still expand and contract freely. Their trick is simple, which is to use slots and cleats (also called buttons). This system not only allows the tabletop to move around, but also keeps it flat.

Image via Blake

The cleats/buttons are simple and can be made from cut-offs. Take care to ensure the grain is aligned properly.

Ganging up production. (Image via Popular Woodworking)

The tabletop is screwed directly to the apron at only two points, both along the centerline of the tabletop's width. With this being the only fixed point, when the tabletop expands or contracts, the overhangs will still be even on both sides.

Image by Canadian Woodworking

WEMO is a wearable silicon band designed to be written on with a permanent marker for use in the medical and manufacturing fields.

View the full project here

Craft apprenticeships never took hold in the United States in the way that they did in Europe.

Why are they wearing these silly hats? I explained it here.

Apprenticeships existed here but even in colonial times, an ever-expanding country and a constant demand for talent meant that anyone with a modicum of skills could get a job--even if they weren't fully trained. There was little incentive for a skilled apprentice to complete their indenture, little enforcement, and a steady stream of immigrants to fill the need for trained craftsman.

In the United States today some forward looking companies have apprenticeship programs of one sort or another, but in general a person gets out of school with a BA or something like that and tries to get work in a good shop. Of course the shop needs them to produce, so while ideally there might be some training, most of the time is just learning production.

In Europe, via a combination of industry support, strict rules on hiring and firing, and government aid, apprenticeship systems exist for recent school graduates. You can actually go to University to study to become a joiner and in the process of your schooling...

In an environment of change, with exiting new technologies and rapidly changing customer requirements, Product Design is looking for a dynamic and insightful Design Director Mack Trucks. The Design Director is a key role for our capability to innovate and prioritize design solutions for future products and services, to continue to build the legacy of the legendary Mack Truck.

View the full design job here

Now that he's established his own design consultancy, veteran industrial designer and Core77's own Michael DiTullo has been branching out into areas of design he's been wanting to explore. "I really love the kitchen space, and I haven't gotten to do many things in that space," DiTullo says, "so I'm super excited about the Layer Knife." One of his consultancy's first projects, the Layer Knife was designed for Leucadia Custom Knives and has just been unveiled.

Leucadia makes high-end knives, which presented DiTullo with a design challenge that went beyond mere function. "Once you get to a certain price point--this is a $750 knife--all the knives are good," he explains. "They're all sharp, they're all made out of high-quality steel, they all have amazing edges, for the most part. So the key differentiator is the design, which is what I loved about this project. The challenge was, how do you bring freshness and newness to that?"

DiTullo found the beginnings of his answer by observing the manufacturing process at Leucadia's facility, and thinking about the materials. "I went down to their shop and watched them shape the plates and I watched them shape the handles. So I'm just kind of taking it in, taking it in, and then that sparked an idea.