*notcot - 08.15.14 , 12:08 - 0 Notes

NOTFZJ80: PART IV

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 - 1 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

NOTFZJ80: Part II

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 - 1 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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*notcot - 05.13.14 , 14:06 - 6 Notes

Unboxing the NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap

newnescafemain.jpg The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap is here! The press release reads: “Mexico City, May 8th, 2014 - NESCAFÉ® embraces consumer maker technologies to quickly design and build 200 limited edition, 3D Printed, Arduino-based NESCAFÉ® Alarm Caps.” and I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am to show you our latest NOTlabs project. Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab brought us on to collaborate in bringing the NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap to life. The NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap utilizes 7 different tones synchronized with light, which are scientifically proven to create a soft and natural awakening, ending when you open the cap to enjoy the delicious aroma of NESCAFÉ. So yes, you can literally wake up and smell the… NESCAFÉ!

As you’ve seen - we’ve been busy with quite a bit of 3D Printing and electronics overdosing the last few weeks, and this is what we’ve been up to! Currently making their way throughout the world are 200 limited edition NESCAFÉ Alarm Cap press kits to celebrate the new brand identity of NESCAFÉ! There are two cap design variations, the faceted cap and the accent cap. Each piece was hand-assembled in California, with the exteriors 3D printed in nylon (and dyed and polished) by Shapeways on an SLS printer, and the interiors 3D printed on our Makerbots. Along with the Publicis Mexico’s Innovation Lab , we worked with Eric Brockmeyer on the electronics and code, Charmaine Choi on the pattern illustrations, and The Lift for the video. Let’s get to the unboxing! See it all on the next page…

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*notcot - 05.03.14 , 00:41 - 2 Notes

NOTFZJ80: 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser

fzj00.jpg Those following us on the NOTlabs Instagram, have seen that between other craziness we have taken on a project car: a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80! Between regular visits to ICON and seeing more of the TLC side of things… we caught the Land Cruiser bug. It’s no surprise that they just don’t build things like they used to… priorities have changed, and accessibility to grab a toolkit and access/fix just about anything on the go just isn’t quite the same. But while we wanted something fun to play with, we also wanted something safe, comfortable, and functional as well, that made sense for longer roadtrips before offroading/overlanding! So we settled on the ‘95-97 FZJ80, which has a/c, airbags, and other amenities but are some of the last years of solid axles, factory front/rear locking differentials and such. Also, when you see the modifications you can make and even build yourself… it’s like a designer’s dream! (but more on that to come…)

So between the soldering, electronics assembly, 3d prints and more on the _ project… we scoured craigslist and local listings and watched hours upon hours of overlanding youtube videos… and ended up popping down to Costa Mesa to see about a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser FZJ80. With 160k miles on it, a single owner, clean title, locking diffs, and having never left southern california… we couldn’t resist! So the adventure begins… check out how it looks and where we’re at so far on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.01.14 , 11:00 - 1 Notes

Inside ICON + TLC

icon0.jpg Ready for a peek inside the world of Jonathan Ward’s ICON and TLC? Well, we’ve been working with him on designs the last few months, and the passion at ICON is contagious, and constantly energizing and inspiring us at NOTlabs! So, we figured it was finally time to share some of the wonders inside the ICON and TLC garage!

ICON has been making stunning matte black retro BRs and FJs that no designer (no matter how uninterested in cars) could miss the last two decades… an upgrade would be an understatement, they build on the originals and improve every tiny detail to become a design masterpiece in both performance and style. The plastic is stripped out, grills are milled out of single pieces of aluminum, fonts are matched for updated logos… no detail is missed! More recently, you’ve probably seen the stunning ICON Thriftmaster truck, with a beautiful ash wood bed floor, as well as the ICON Electric Flyer bike. Additionally, if a sleeper of a vintage car, looking rusted and thoroughly aged, flies past you - you may have found one of the rare ICON Derelicts & Reformers. (Another example is the beast of an ICON Dodge D200 Truck he drove to the Hero’s Chest dinner.)

The other half of ICON is TLC, if you’re confused (like I may have been at first) it actually stands for Toyota Land Cruiser, not ‘tender loving care’. Since 1996, they have been the nation’s leading Land Cruiser Service center. As they say, “Though the Cruiser has evolved into today’s luxurious four-door powerhouse - it is the original adventure-seeking spirited classic Land Cruiser, with its worldwide following that lingers in our minds. That’s where we come in…TLC buys, restores, services, and sells Toyota Land Cruisers exclusively. We are dedicated to their preservation and restoration. Recycling a product that in many ways is simpler, stronger and safer than most produced today.” (I both blame + credit Jonathan Ward for helping Shawn convince me to impulse buy the NOTlabs FZJ80 just after this visit! But more on that shortly…) So take a peek inside the ICON and TLC garage on the next page!

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*notcot - 04.14.14 , 19:27 - 1 Notes

Mercedes-AMG G63

g63-0.jpg The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen (short for Geländewagen aka cross country vehicle) is a design icon in its own right. Love it or hate it, that shape is unmistakeable, and has definitely has quite a history. It even has a fascinating Wikipedia page - apparently it was originally created as a military vehicle in the early 70s and the first civilian version emerged in 1979. And it’s the “longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history, with a span of 32 years. Only the UNIMOG beats it.” Amazing right? And unlike most other vehicles, the general body shape and style has changed minimally! And to take the G-Wagen to the next level?

The nice folks at Mercedes loaned us the stunningly powerful Mercedes-AMG G63 all murdered out in matte black down to the wheels… complete with a diamond quilted black leather interior. First things first - yes, the monstrous and powerful G63 is totally absurd… it’s faster than most sports cars, sounds like a beast (we scared many a mini), and it’s unlikely many will ever explore proper 4x4 terrains… BUT, that being said, it is so much fun. Take a peek at our adventures with the G63 as well as fun details with it on the next page… it’s one of the first press cars i’ve been missing since it got picked up!

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*notcot - 04.09.14 , 11:02 - 0 Notes

JBL J46BT Bluetooth Headphones

jblbt9.jpg JBL was kind enough to surprise me with some JBL J46BT Bluetooth Headphones. I’ve been curious about Bluetooth earbuds for some time, but this is the first time test driving some in real life… perfect for workouts, running around the house/yard/after the dog untethered, and probably for airplanes so i don’t trip over the cord when getting in and out of the seat! First impressions ~ sound quality isn’t the greatest, it certainly lacks range. BUT i’m fascinated by some of their design details - especially the way it charges with a little clip to two contacts to the ear buds. See the full unboxing and details on the next page…

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