Typewriter Inspired Keyboard

Ugnh I need this. Qwerkytoys has made this typewriter inspired mechanical keyboard called the Qwerkywriter. It’s wireless and has its own macro return bar.

At the moment you can preorder it through their site, though the price is nothing to sneeze at, being $329. The Qwerkywriter will ship November 2015.


StaffPad: Music Notation App

Okay not going to lie, this is pretty neato, especially for my DJ and music composer friends out there.

StaffPad is a brand new class of notation app, designed to take advantage of the advanced pen and touch input found on Microsoft Surface* and other compatible Windows 8.1 devices. As you write notation using the pen, StaffPad recognises your handwritten music and converts it into a beautifully typeset score which you can further edit, playback, print and share. StaffPad combines the best of working on paper with the best of working digitally, evolving the same process that’s been used for hundreds of years to write countless masterpieces. Natural pen input, detailed orchestral playback and powerful score editing features mean that StaffPad is perfect for professionals, and easy for beginners. For the first time, an entire orchestra is available at the tip of your pen. Getting StaffPad is easy – it’s available exclusively on the Windows Store.


Japanese Designers Create Nameless Paints To Change The Way Kids Learn Colors

Ima Moteki, a design duo in Japan, has just created a set of Nameless Paints that aim to completely change the way children learn and think about color. Instead of using color names, each white tube of paint is labelled with an “equation” showing which CMYK colors, and in what proportions, were used to make the color inside.

The “Nameless Paint” designers, Yusuke Imai and Ayami Moteki, believe that color labels are problematic. “By not assigning names to the colors we want to expand the definition of what a color can be, and the various shades they can create by mixing them,” said Imai.

In addition to rejecting labels, the paints also teach color theory. The equations on the paint tubes help children understand some of the basic concepts behind color theory and how to mix and create new colors.


Seaboard’s Rise: MIDI Controller Keyboard Hybrid

I haven’t posted in a really long while so this gadget is for those electronic music lovers and makers. Seaboard’s Roli brought some genuine innovation to electronic keyboards (not just another Rick Astley remix demo mode) with soft touch-sensitive keys giving musicians new ways to play. And now there’s a compact version called the Rise.

The Rise plays just like a piano does, but those touch-sensitive keys also respond to finger gestures. Sliding a finger up and down each key can increase or decrease its volume, while wiggling a finger back and forth while pressed can let a musician bend or modulate notes. And how those gestures work is completely configurable.

The Rise comes with a software synthesizer, Equator, that wirelessly interfaces with the keyboard using MIDI over Bluetooth, and its rechargeable with a built-in battery so there’s no cables to deal with whatsoever. Priced at $800, the Rise is now available for pre-order and is expected to ship sometime in October for musicians who love to jam, but don’t have room to jam another instrument into their tiny studio.


Zuta – Mini Robot Printer


After raising almost $600,000 on Kickstarter, Zuta Labs is ready to start production on the printer and is accepting pre-orders from non-Kickstarter backers.

The pre-order price — which Zuta Labs says will be lower than the cost at launch — is $199.99. The printer is available in white and black. It comes with a print cartridge that is good for at least 100 pages. Additional cartridges are available for pre-order.


The wireless printer works for about an hour and is rechargeable via micro USB. Users can print on all sizes of paper and it works without drivers and can print from Macs, PCs iOS and Android.

Since its Kickstarter period, Zuta Labs says it has managed to make the printer smaller and faster than it originally anticipated.

The size — just 10.2 centimeters in diameter — is a big selling point for the product. It is aimed at users who only need a printer infrequently and in places where traditional access — think a coffee shop or at a hotel — is not always applicable. The fact that it also works with smartphones and tablets is a big deal, too. More often than not, I wind up needing to print documents from my phone more than my laptop.


Zuta Labs is aiming to have the Zuta Pocket Printer shipped by September 2015. The company is at CES 2015 showing off demos of the device and taking meetings with potential partners.



Loopwheels by Sam Pearce

Pearce is an inventor and design consultant. He’s worked on non-invasive surgery equipment, early handheld PCs of the Palm Pilot era, 3-D folding mechanisms, and motorbikes. It’s always something new, and in 2007, it was baby strollers. Around that time Pearce was sitting in an airport in the Netherlands, waiting for his flight. He noticed a woman pushing a stroller. “As the woman got to a curb, she didn’t lift the front wheels and the baby was shot forward,” he says. “If the wheel hits the curb at the wrong angle it’s useless. So I just wondered, why can’t you put the suspension into the wheel?”

Baby strollers make for a great case study in how wheels interact with impact, which is to say, not very well at all. A stroller has shock absorbers underneath the seat, which helps reduce bounciness, but it doesn’t keep the wheels from bouncing backwards when they hit a curb head on. In a matter of about five seconds, Pearce had a new idea. He began envisioning a system that incorporated shock absorption directly into the wheels, making them capable of flexibly rolling over bumps instead of just rebounding. He drew a sketch, and then put it aside for two years. At the time, “it wasn’t relevant,” he says. “I couldn’t really see how I could make one, but I have lots of ideas, and this one kept coming back to me.”

After some 70 iterations, Pearce and the team of bow-makers hit on the right recipe. It’s proprietary, but Pearce describes it as a “carbon composite construction.” Loopwheels first debuted on bikes—mountain bikes are next—before a wheelchair manufacturer caught wind of the new wheels and started sourcing them from Pearce. “We say it’s triple-smooth,” Pearce says. The suspension in the wheels smooths out any traveling over bumps, and “gets rid of all the road buzz.” That’s crucial to wheelchair users, whose bodies are in full contact with the vehicle, meaning they often absorb road shock right along with the chair. Equally important to users? Cost. Pearce says he more or less arrived at an ideal design two years ago, but has since worked on refining manufacturing techniques, in part by adopting processes from the auto industry, to get the price down from $2,000 a wheel, to a few hundred dollars (depending on the model). “There’s only so much people will pay for new technology,” Pearce says. That’s true for wheelchairs, and it’s true for mountain bikes, which Pearce says is next in line for Loopwheels.

Their Kickstarter just recently succeeded to fund with over £20,000


Triangle Notebook by Tan Mavitan

I’ve been posting a lot about 3D printing recently so I decided to share something a little more analogue today. This is the Triangle Notebook created by Tan Mavitan. It was being sold as a part of “Destination Istanbul” Exhibiton in MoMA Design Stores, but not sure if it still is. Pretty neat notebook and I hope to acquire one someday.


Continuous 3D Printing


The company Carbon3D came out of two years of stealth mode Monday night with a simultaneous TED Talk and Science paper publication. Their new tech, which they say could be used in industrial applications within the next year, makes coveted 3-D printers the likes of those sold by MakerBot look like child’s play.

Unlike conventional 3D printing, this printer continuously forms a new object, rather than printing it in layers. As a result, it’s much faster than conventional 3D printing (it takes minutes, instead of hours). There are a few different types of existing 3D printers, but they mostly work via the same principle: a printing head passes over a platform over and over, depositing layer after layer of a material like plastic in a precise pattern. Over time, these layers combine to form the desired object — much like a paper printer forms text on a page by putting down row after row of ink. By contrast, this new continuous 3D printer would do away with the layers entirely. Instead, a platform draws the object continuously out of a bath of liquid resin.

The resin solidifies when ultraviolet light hits it (a process called photopolymerization). So to create the desired item, a projector underneath the resin pool shoots UV light, in the form of a series of cross-sectional images of the object. Light, in a sense, is the blade that the printer uses to sculpt its products. Meanwhile, oxygen prevents this reaction from occurring — so to stop the object from simply hardening and sticking to the floor of the pool, there’s a layer of dissolved oxygen there, creating an ultra-thin “dead zone” at the very bottom.


3D Printing Gun Out of Lego

What do you do if you want to 3D print in any direction, but can’t buy a pre-made pen like the 3Doodler? If you’re Vimal Patel, you build your own. He melded a hot glue gun with a powered Lego mechanism (really, Technic) to extrude filament in any axis. To call it bulky would be an understatement, but it works — as you’ll see in the video below, it can produce fairly complex objects as long as you have a keen eye and a steady hand. And if you want to try it, you can. Patel has posted his Lego Digital Designer file for the 3D printing gun, so it shouldn’t be too hard to replicate the invention at home.



UberBlox – Build Your Own 3D Printer or CNC

UberBlox is a new high-quality metal construction set and prototyping system for makers to build rigid structures and automated machines.

At the heart of the system is a new single-connector locking mechanism which uses a common small tool to quickly and precisely lock each block to the next. The firmly connected blocks provide accurate, strong and rigid frames for a wide variety of structures and complex machines such as robots, CNC machines and 3D printers.

In addition to the basic blocks, the system includes a growing catalog of compatible and reconfigurable parts, including moving components, sub-assemblies, motors, electronics and controllers based on popular boards such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, for a complete solution to the building needs of today’s sophisticated maker. According to UberBlox founder Alex Pirseyedi,

We believe the time is right to bring a sophisticated high-quality construction system and prototyping set, backed by great support and community engagement, to makers of all levels.

Ultimately, UberBlox aims to be more than just another toy-based construction set: their aim is to be an all-in-one set for today’s sophisticated maker.

Their Kickstarter is due to launch this month and you can stay updated on their campaign via their Facebook page or the UberBlox site.


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