Published May 14, 2012
Finishing , General
Tags: oxidation process
Originally designed for use on satellites and race cars, the Micro Arc Oxidation process starts with aircraft-grade 6000-series aluminum. 10,000 volts of electricity hit the metal, almost like lighting strikes, causing a microscopic transformation which creates a super-strong ceramic case that is five times stronger than aerospace aluminum.
[via product by Process]
Published November 23, 2011
I know this isn’t exactly product design, but this is so damn cool… Mixed media kinetic artist U-Ram Choe has a new sculpture showing in New York at the Asia Society Museum until December 31, 2011. It’s not to be missed… Check out this mesmerizing video…
Just amazing… The sculpture appears to breathe…
Published November 2, 2011
Assembly , General
In a manner once thought to be unheard of in mass-produced consumer electronics (until Apple’s MacBook Pro wowed us with it’s machined aluminum unibody), Nokia’s N9 housing is machined from a single piece of plastic (anyone out there happen to know what flavor they’re using?). The proud parents share a video of it’s latest offspring being born:
I dig the hand finishing after the housing is machined… nice. Despite the fact that you can’t get one these in the US, you have to appreciate Finnish craftsmanship.
Published October 19, 2011
General , Worth a Visit
Teague designer Benoit Collette has built a very nice collection. Product by Process is an online compilation of processes, material and interesting stories about products. Benoit seeks to:
…go beyond the polished products and objects that surround us and take a look at how they are manufactured and recycled.
I think he’s doing a great job and the site is lovely and well-organized. You should check it out.
[Product by Process]
Published April 29, 2011
New Balance will custom build you a pair of US574 sneakers are via their website, which if pretty nifty. Also nifty if the fact these suckers can be built and on your tootsies in about a week because they’re made here in the good ol’ US of A. Check out the video to see some cool materials and processes action and some dedicated folks still hard at work here in this country.
Published March 8, 2011
Looks like the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. In the recent Wired issue 19.03, Brendan I. Koerner takes a look at how smaller business are beginning to shift their attention away from Asian manufacturing and back to the good ol’ US of A for its manufacturing. With the emergence of a new middle class in China, the promise of cheap labor and ridiculously low tooling and part costs has dissolved into issues of poor, inconsistent quality and logistics headaches. For many companies, the cost-benefit is there to offset the risks:
One big reason for this growing dissatisfaction is quality. Like Sleek Audio, countless US firms have received long-awaited shipments only to discover that the products are too flawed to sell.
In addition to quality issues, the on-going problem of protecting intellectual property has been made worse as over-booked manufactures shunt smaller programs off to secondary manufacturers, exposing them to more opportunities to get ripped off.
All of this adds up to many companies deciding that, when taking into account the risks, the net advantage is no longer in Asia. Even if a product costs a few more cents domestically, troubleshooting requires a short flight or drive as opposed to 24 hours of transport to the other side of the world.
Now, let’s hope that all those North American manufacturers that went out of business half a decade ago didn’t kill the domestic brain trust of experts required to bring that business back home.