*notcot - 10.22.15 , 17:03 - 0 Notes

Inside Autodesk Pier 9


There’s a magical place hidden in plain sight in San Francisco right on the water… between the Ferry Building and the Exploratorium, you will find Autodesk Pier 9. You’d never guess that half of this pier is filled with the ultimate creative workshop for design & fabrication - a dreamy, lust-worthy space filled with designers, engineers, artists, fabricators, and every machine they could need - from rooms filled with huge CNCs and water jet machines to 3D printers of every variety, sewing machines, photo studios, welding setups, test kitchen, electronics, industrial robot arms, and much much more. It’s also no surprise that this is where the Instructables team lives. Launched in 2013, it was designed as a state-of-the-art digital fabrication work shop to dissolve the boundaries between software and hardware while inspiring Autodesk to develop tools for the future of making! If you are interested in making something (anything!) odds are good that they will have what you need to make it from start to finish - on the pier!

Shawn and I were invited to review projects from the current group of Autodesk Pier 9 Artists-in-Residence (AIR). (Thanks, Madeline and Vanessa!) What started in Instructables, grew and evolved once they became part of the world of Autodesk. Today, every 4 months, 1-2 dozen artists, designers, engineers, scientists, etc. come to Pier 9 to bring their ideas to life. They get 24/7 pier access, $2000 monthly stipends and project supply budgets, and retain IP and physical work created during the residency… in exchange they must publish their work on Instructables and make a presentation at the end of the program. Not a bad deal, right? The current group will be presenting on November 12th. If you’re in SF, they will definitely be worth a peek - they actually shut down the workshops and present the pieces throughout (Yes, possibly even on or near the machines that made them!)

While there, we had a chance to tour the facility before the reviews, and it is pretty mind blowing. So as we walked and talked, i snapped iPhone pictures along the way for all of you to get a peek inside this wondrous place. Ready? Dive in to the pictures on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.19.15 , 14:28 - 0 Notes

Unboxing: Teenage Engineering PO-12


So far we’ve loved everything Teenage Engineering for years… from afar… or through the internet. The design, photography, and ideas are always incredible! But between getting in to SF and meeting friends for dinner, we managed to squeeze in a few stores in the Mission, one of them being the unmissable Dijitalfix. Drawn in by the Freitag pop up in front, and sucked further in by so many design brands we adore… before i knew it, i lost Shawn. Turns out he ended up in the backroom completely engrossed by all the Teenage Engineering toys. And while he was busy pushing buttons and learning how they all worked, i couldn’t stop staring at the products themselves… and the packaging… and the displays! So that was settled… we had to buy one! While it was tough decide, we’re starting with the PO-12 rhythm

And of course, in the small amount of time between procuring the PO-12 and meeting for dinner… we couldn’t resist buying batteries, parking, and unboxing it in the car so we could play with it! So here’s a first for me… an iphone camera unboxing in our car parked on the street at night. Ready to see how awesome it is? See the pics on the next page!

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*notcot - 10.07.15 , 17:30 - 1 Notes

LIGHT L16 Camera


Light launched the L16 Camera today - a “multi-aperture computational camera that packs DSLR quality and capability into a device that fits in your pocket.” I had the opportunity to get up close with the prototype a few weeks back, and peek at what is actually INSIDE this fascinating camera. The potential is awesome, but i’m definitely curiously skeptical about the “computational camera” aspect. Basically this camera is a collection of 16 cameras in one - all simultaneously shooting an image at multiple focal lengths then fusing the resulting images together for a single image (up to 52 megapixels) which means you have all the data to manipulate the depth of field, exposure, and more after the fact. What Light L16 promises may remind you a bit of Lytro, but what makes it immensely more intriguing to me is the form factor and peeking INSIDE of it! The 16 cameras are supposed to be exceptional for low light and give you the equivalent of 35-150mm true optical zoom.

Aesthetically it resembles something between a large touch screen cellphone and a bluetooth speaker/radio… with 16 eyes staring at you from the glossy face! The size is quite a bit larger than most big screen filled phones. Trading in my DSLR for this form would definitely be quite the adjustment… so the real trick will be seeing not only how it shoots, but how their software works into photographers work flows. To make the most of the Light L16, it’s all about taking advantage of the post processing that is possible in their proprietary file type that houses the immense amount of data captured with each press of the shutter. Of course for quick manipulations or exports you will also be able to send files like jpgs to your phone or laptop for quick sharing. The potential is huge, and i’m definitely excited! Chatting with the Light L16 team, future possibilities were easy to imagine - putting this technology into cars, cellphones, and beyond! The future of the technology side is a no brainer - the user experience of shooting with it, processing/developing images with it, and having it nestle its way into my workflow i’m dying to find out.

Take a peek at the details of what is inside the Light L16 as well as the intro video and how it’s made on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.30.15 , 14:30 - 1 Notes

Unboxing: Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S

rotest0a.jpg There’s a CNC mill in NOTlabs! While Shawn has been playing with (and missing) the full shop of 6-axis robots, huge CNCs, Objet 3D printers and more in his grad school days - i’ve been catching up and getting my hands dirty with it all through our NOTlabs projects! So when the awesome folks at Roland offered to lend us their Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S desktop mill, we were ecstatic! While we’ve been doing a lot of 3D printing (remember the Nescafe Alarm Caps and Free Universal Construction Kit?) - as crazy as you can get with additive processes, there’s a lot that subtractive can do (and in some cases, do better!)

We’ve been in the getting-to-know-you phase with this “desktop” beast of a CNC recently, but to catch you up - here’s the unboxing of what two shipping palettes in the driveway is like. We definitely needed to bring in an extra pair of hands to help move the machine itself. In addition to the Roland MODELA Pro II MDX-540S main mill, there is the case, the automatic tool changer, the rotary (4th axis!) and then a starter set of various bits… and of course, Roland’s software to get to know. Ooh and then there’s also various materials to try!

First impression? SO MESMERIZING! We’ve been spending hours and hours working alongside the machine to keep an eye on things, and experimenting with a few models to test out how it handles various types of curves, materials, and details. See the full unboxing and a peek at our experiments so far on the next page!

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*notcot - 04.03.15 , 11:30 - 1 Notes

Patagonia Worn Wear Tour + Delia

wornwear0.jpg “IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT!” That’s the motto of the Patagonia Worn Wear initiative. While the creation of new things can not be 100% waste/harm/etc-free, we can do our part by using things for as long as possible and consuming less! And a huge part of that comes from taking care of the things we have - from cleaning and caring to repairing when needed, especially when it comes to clothes! So yesterday we joined Patagonia at their Ventura, CA HQ for the launch of the Worn Wear TOUR!

The incredible Delia is setting off across the US - and this stunning Worn Wear Rig designed and built by Jay Nelson is a biodiesel ‘93 Dodge Cummins D250 fitted with salvaged redwood wine barrels and sewing machines inside! It is also being followed by a truck with an adorably woody store of used/vintage Patagonia goods inside! Meet up with the tour across the US and bring your broken clothes and they will help you fix it up - from rips and tears to broken zippers and more… it doesn’t even have to be Patagonia. Take a peek at the great design details on the next page…

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*notcot - 08.15.14 , 12:08 - 2 Notes


fzjupdate.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project is being sponsored by our friends at AutoNation: America’s largest auto retailer with 270 stores selling 33 brands nationwide backed by industry-leading policies like SmartChoice pricing and no-hassle money back guarantee. They are helping us turn our 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure rig to go discover inspiration off-grid! Follow the progress here as we build up to our first trip.

Wow. We’ve so much has changed since the last update on our NOTFZJ80 Project. When you last saw it, we installed the front bumper + winch and were in a holding pattern as it got some work done at TLC. Well - it’s back! It’s had front axel, transfer case, bushings, and differential rebuilt and new Old Man Emu suspension, DBA brakes, radiator and rear bumper installed. Since it’s been back we’ve also installed a 40” LED light bar and snorkel on the front - awning off the passenger side and annex under the rooftop tent - and filled the rear bumper with jerry cans, spare tire, MaxTrax, and grill! Needless to say - we’ve been busy, and we’re just about ready to go test out camp with the NOTFZJ80. Check out our progress on the next page.

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*notcot - 08.14.14 , 11:40 - 1 Notes

Toyota FT-1 Second Edition

ft0a.jpg Concept cars are like mythical creatures. Stunningly beautiful, comprised of so many things you wish you had… packaged up in a way you’re not sure would survive in the real world. Often you see them poised spinning on a platform at car shows, behind the rope on the Pebble Beach putting green, raced as renders in a video game… So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go play with the updated Toyota FT-1 when they offered a chance to put it anywhere I wanted at Calty Design Research, their North American design studio in Newport Beach, last week before it headed to Pebble Beach. With all the stunning (usual?) press photos coming, I was thrilled to imagine what it would be like if it was a real car, in real life, that you could really drive home… to look at the details, as if imagining them coming out of your driveway as you head up the coast along the beach…

The Toyota FT-1 second edition that Toyota just unveiled last night… is not a new car. The Second Toyota FT-1 Concept LOOKS a lot like a new car, but it’s really a second styling of their FT-1 Concept that was launched in January 2014 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Calty Design Research. The original was an experiment in what they love to call “functional sculpting,” where everything you see is contributing to the function of the car. They designed it around beautiful puddles of color, which is apparent in every mesmerizing reflection.

For this second edition, the Interior and Color+Trim designers were challenged to make the maximum impact with minimal changes, and wow. Unlike most cars - which start out designed and rendered in silver/grays, the FT-1 was always designed in RED, and has gone back to the more traditional for its second edition in Graphite. The Graphite Exterior with Saddle and Black Leather Interior couldn’t make it feel more different than the racer reds of the first edition. The look and feel have taken the Speed Racer feel of the first and made it more Bruce Wayne. It still screams sporty superhero, but with a bit more of a luxurious, understated twist. Ready to dive into the details of this stunning new colorway on the next page?

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*notcot - 08.05.14 , 13:10 - 2 Notes

Unboxing: Formlabs Form 1+

formlabs0.jpg I’ve been curious to see a Formlabs desktop stereolithographic 3D printer in action since they blew up on Kickstarter back in 2012. Since that time they have now launched the second iteration, The Formlabs Form 1+, and i’ve been learning far more from Shawn with our NOTlabs experiments and projects about the trials and tribulations of consumer desktop 3D Printing - so it has been quite a treat to spend the last few weeks experimenting with the new Formlabs Form 1+!

Physically, the design of the Formlabs 3D printer is a stunning iconic object that you can’t help but be drawn in any studio. It’s a piece of art! That glowing orange acrylic cube, that opens and closes so nicely (I particularly love how precisely tiny the gap is between the cover and the build plate when you open it!) and there’s a single button on the front - all the details are so well thought out! And the quality of the prints - wow - the resin layers can get down to 25 microns now! So thin, they are nearly undetectably smooth. The prints are lovely!

Before we jump into the unboxing and look at the printing process and outcome - I just want to address a few key things i’ve learned as i’ve been playing with the consumer 3D printers and the questions that keep coming up. Yes things always go wrong, prints will fail, tweaking is always needed - be it in your file, the hardware, some tiny overlooked detail (from the tape you put down to the resin you poured in) - there is ALWAYS something. I’ve accepted that as just part of it at this stage in the maturity of consumer 3D Printers. But they are getting there! Every new machine we play with impresses me more and more - but for something to get plugged in and have everything consistently churn out perfection - I know that patience and learning with each print is key. We’ve played with a slew of printers for various projects - from Objets to Makerbots, Z Corp to Stratasys, and more… so just know that going into this review, i’m approaching it with patience and curiosity!

That being said - to the unboxing and test prints on the next page!

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*notcot - 07.10.14 , 21:40 - 0 Notes

JBL Audio Synchros Reflect Headphones

jblreflect0.jpg I’m a sucker for smart/fun uses of reflective materials… and often the are far more satisfying to play with in person than any picture. Such is the case with these JBL Audio Synchros Reflect Headphones that just showed up from the nice folks at JBL Audio! These work out headphones come in a Bluetooth and Wired version in iOS and Android versions - and while i loved the design, but was iffy about the sound quality of the JBL J46BTs - i’m curious whether the sound quality of the Synchros BTs will be better. As for the JBL Audio Synchros Reflect Headphones that are wired - i’m loving them! The design details - from the flat cables with double sided reflective coatings to magnetic earbuds, the way the remote buttons FEEL to the sound quality… to the thoughtfulness of a shorter cable for use with armbands, and an extension cable (also reflective!) for use in normal situations. And the nicest touch - even the packaging has a shimmering foil to denote the reflective nature of the cables. Oooh and i almost forgot, the earbuds! Surprisingly comfortable and they lock in nicely, so they aren’t going anywhere. Ready to see all the details? Head to the next page…

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*notcot - 07.09.14 , 00:45 - 0 Notes


arb2-0.jpg We are long overdue for an update on The NOTFZJ80 Project - though, i also can’t believe that we’ve had it a mere 2 months! We have mostly been in a holding pattern waiting for parts to arrive at this point… and a big palette just showed up from Australia thanks to ARB! Since the last update, we have debadged the Full Tine 4WD, blacked spray painted the T, fully detailed the car (the paint pops again!), powder coated the 5th wheel, removed the running boards, took it on a little roadtrip to Oakley, received Rotopax, picked up the snorkel, front bumper, winch, rooftop tent, and awning, installed the tent… and even got gifted quite the US Army Survival Manual! Phew. We’ve been busy - but there’s still a bit to go. Check out the progress on the next page…

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*notcot - 06.17.14 , 13:50 - 0 Notes

3D Weaver by Oluwaseyi Sosanya

woven1.jpg Here’s the latest from NOTCOT’s London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw as she visits the London graduate showcases. This post is from Show RCA 2014.

The Structure of Protection by Oluwaseyi Sosanya from the Innovation Design Engineering program. The project is a beautiful loom specially designed for weaving in three dimensions. Using a single thread, the loom can create complex structures that are incredibly strong, essentially becoming a 3D printer of weaving. We love the way the project combines modern techniques with the traditional. Sosanya even visited fabric mills in the North of England to research mechanical weaving practices. See the machine and its outputs on the next page.

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*notcot - , 10:02 - 2 Notes

Inside the Twelve24 ClockONE

clockone0.jpg The Twelve24 ClockONE is a meter wide, 4mm thin, around 3lbs and will magnetically hang from your wall! Well, we had the chance to peek INSIDE these super thin wall clocks at NOTlabs, and the real magic being shown off in this monstrous clock is what’s possible with E Ink displays. As thick as a laminated piece of paper, the screens just need a mere 15V to power flipping each section between black and white ink. And the most interesting design detail is the magnetic wall mount system! Currently available for pre-order and slated to start shipping in September, the Twelve24 ClockONE’s are making the design week rounds and popping up this week all over Dwell on Design in LA. Take a peek on the next page at all the tiny details and inside - they even let us cut open some E Ink!

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*notcot - 06.09.14 , 09:53 - 3 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Front Runner Slimline II Roof Rack

frontrunners0.jpg The NOTFZJ80 Project continues… one of the most important parts of roof top camping is having a roof rack that can handle the weight of the tent, the people inside the tent, and any other gear that’s going up there - and reading forums we quickly learned that quite a few people learned that the hard way using normal roof racks! Well when we visited Front Runner Outfitters (the one with those AMAZING ads!), I got caught up on all things off-road/overlanding, and learned that over the last 15 years, if you’re cruising around Africa (and South Africa especially) the majority of roof racks you see will be theirs! Their latest is the Slimline II Roof Rack. I love that their system is incredibly modular (versus those monstrous welded pieces that will come as freight.) Upsides to the modularity? Well it packs down to an impressively efficient fedex-drop-tested-box, you can customize and adjust as desired, in case of any accidents (low hanging overpasses, etc) you can replace just the parts that get damaged versus the whole thing… and best of all, tons of accessories you can add on or create! Downside to modularity? Too many options… and then we keep trying and shifting and reconfiguring to see what feels best. Definitely a luxury problem.

The nice folks at Front Runner Outfitters were kind enough to help our rig out with a roof rack… and then we couldn’t resist starting off with some accessories to try it all out! As you can see there’s the camp table (with mirror like underside) that slides right under the roof rack, the shower arm, tie down rings, and a ratcheting shovel mount (with snowboard boot binding-eque clasps), and more… There are so many options, this is what we’re starting with as i get to know the system, our NOTFZJ80 and figure out how we’ll be using it all. Take a peek at the unboxing, assembly, and details on the next page!

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*notcot - , 01:25 - 0 Notes

Dyson Digital Slim DC59 Motorhead

dyson0.jpg If there’s one cleaning tool i’ve recommended over and over again, it is the Dyson Cordless Vacuums. I’ve used these for everything - from tiny apartments to larger houses, cleaning up messes in the woodshop to keeping up with puppy shedding! While to some people, it’s annoying that the batteries don’t last that long (though on the new DC59 it can do 24 minutes full charge, and 6 minutes in MAX mode) - I secretly loved the timing, since it would limit the amount of time i’d be running around cleaning, then I could take a break and recharge it for a bit. I’m still using my original DC16 (from 2006!) in NOTlabs, and the DC35 Multifloor (unboxed in 2011) has been a regular fixture in my kitchen, but i think it’s about to be demoted by the new DC59 Motorhead that they were kind enough to send over!

I’ll be the first to admit I was skeptical when the box read “Sucks up as much dust as a conventional vacuum.” As much as I try to keep up with the dust and puppy shed, when Dyson was kind enough to send over the DC41 Animal upright, ball vacuum with the arrival of Bucky - I quickly learned HOW MUCH DUST it magically finds compared to anything else (including the Dyson handhelds!) There’s something disgustingly satisfying about watching that clear canister fill up with the guck around your house as you vacuum… usually my handheld canister is filled with dog hair and chunkier items, this time the DC59 canister was filled with dog hair and super fine powdery dust! Just powering it up, you can feel how much stronger the suction is compared to the previous models… and this is all before i actually tried the Motorhead attachment. Honestly, I usually bust out the DC41 Animal for the carpeted rooms, because the handhelds just don’t pull enough out… well I just tried it out and i’m amazed how much the motorhead managed to get out of the carpet! I know how absurd it sounds to be gushing over a vacuum - but I have been using these Dyson handhelds daily for years, and i really didn’t expect to be this impressed with the latest iteration. Anyhow, take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page - and don’t worry there’s no picture of my dusty mess!

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*notcot - 06.08.14 , 12:40 - 3 Notes

NOTFZJ80: Part I

fzjupdate0.jpg Wow - we’ve been busy on The NOTFZJ80 Project - while it has been a blast getting my hands dirty, and learning a ton on my first project car, it has also meant days flying by and far less internet time… The 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser is coming along nicely. The last time we showed you the NOTFZJ80, we had just picked it up, explored the options, and started cleaning it out! Well a lot has happened since then, so it seemed like a good time for an update! Since then we have… stripped out all of the interior, run off to the eastern sierras, dynamatted, dynalined, pressure washed, put it all back together, installed a CB radio in the ash tray, camo’d the seats, installed big tires, started undoing the gold package, NOTCOT stickered it and more… check out what we’ve been up on on the next page!

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