Theo Jansen‘s world-famous ‘strandbeests’ [strandbeest = beach beast/animal — Dutch plural would be ‘strandbeesten’] have been around since 1990 when he started experimenting with mechanical engineering, building skeletons from plastic pipes that use the wind power to move ‘magically’ all on their own.
“The mini-strandbeest uses the same mechanism designed specifically by the artist for the project and like its forebear comes with a fan at one end that catches the wind, propelling the legs to move in a cyclical fashion. Built from 120 parts that snap together to form 12 jointed legs, a spinelike crankshaft, and a wind turbine, it takes about 90 minutes to build.”
Where can you buy them? Give Google a whirl using ‘mini-strandbeest DIY’ and quite a few results will pop up that seem quite affordable.
Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has created devices described as ‘a solution to plastic pollution’ that people can download and build themselves. The series is called Precious Plastic machines, which uses everyday materials and basic tools Hakkens says are available around the world.
Precious Plastic machines include a shredder, extruder, injection moulder and a rotation moulder, which can all be used to turn waste plastic into new products. Hakkens first showed prototype versions at the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show in 2013, and has spent the last two years refining the designs.
Hakkens wants to deal with the reported 311 million tonnes of plastic waste humans create every year, of which less than 10 per cent is actually recycled. “A lot of things we have are made from plastic. It’s used everywhere, but it also ends up everywhere, damaging our planet.”
In late 2013 Hakkens partnered up with Motorola in order to create mobile phones to combat electronic waste: not throwing out an entire phone and swapping out a broken component instead.
London-based Dutch designer Frank Kolkman, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, has built an open-source device that could enable ordinary people to perform keyhole surgery on themselves, aptly entitled ‘Open Surgery’.
This DIY surgical robot was made using 3D printing and laser cutting technologies, and would be suited to do surgery on the lower abdomen, procedures including prostate surgery, appendectomies or hysterectomies. The device would normally be controlled by a person and in this case, using a PlayStation 3 controller to be able to move in all directions.
“Open Surgery investigates whether DIY surgical tools outside regulated healthcare systems could plausibly provide a more accessible version of healthcare,” Kolkman explains. His idea is to demonstrate that medical innovation can come from outside the medical field, as more and more people from first world countries turn to medical hacks that can be found on YouTube.
It cost Kolkman 5,000 USD to make the device, and at the time of filming, he claims that an appendectomy in the US costs 10,000 USD, while a professional surgery robot costs 2 mln USD.
Dutch designer Tessa Geuze presented a lollipop-making kit during Milan Design Week 2015 a few weeks ago as a member of the The Tomorrow Collective, a group of students who showcased a range of products and tools ‘inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be’.
Geuze’s ‘Something Sweet’ kit features the components required for a miniature sweet factory including aluminium lollipop moulds, scoops, heat-proof mitts, and a display stand that also serves as a storage box for the utensils. She produced the kit as a way for people to make lollipops using ingredients they know without preservatives and additives like the ones listed on the wrappers of store-bought sweets.
Making your own sweets is something I picture parents doing with their kids or creative people doing for a theme party, but I wonder if most people would go through the trouble of making their own sweets instead of buying the lollipops with preservatives and additives. However, it does look like fun.
It was published in Dutch in 1692 by one A. Boogert:
He explains how to mix the colours and how to change their tone by adding “one, two or three portions of water”. To illustrate his point he fills each facing page with various shades of the colour in question […]. To top it he made an index of all the colours he described, which in itself is a feast to look at.
The book is called ‘The Clear Bright Mirror of the Art of Painting’ (‘De Klaerlighte Spiegel der Verfkonst’) and is written in plain Dutch. Unfortunately I keep tripping over Mr Boogert’s handwriting, otherwise I might have treated you to a couple of paragraphs. Due to the nature of the work (three colour printing wasn’t available until the late 19th century), it is likely that the author produced only a single copy. And it’s very cool is that this copy survived.
Shown here are two opposite pages of the index (“blatwijser of regisster”).
With this kit, you can turn your favourite object into a drone (the popular term) or actually an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), as designer Jasper van Loenen explains.
As of 1 June 2013 you no longer need to have a permit to use a drone (thanks big corporations), so it’s time to get your favourite items up and flying. Allowing satellite pictures be made of the entire country, but then fining drones that take pictures for spying was finally considered obsolete.
Many of the parts in the kit can be created with a 3-D printer. Van Loenen made the printer files available, so that people can get into DIY mode with 3-D printing. About the printed parts, he said, “I recommend printing them in ABS or something similarly strong and durable. I printed them in ABS with a fill of around 50 percent and a rectangular mesh, but I think printing them with slightly more fill might be better. It will not increase the weight that much (all the printed parts are pretty light) and might increase the strength quite a bit.”
This is the front page of this week’s issue of a DIY chain’s product folder. When DIY stores start not just selling computers, but ultra-portables at that, you know that ultra-portables have arrived.
For the non-geeks among us: ultra-portables are light-weight, small notebooks, suited for web browsing and word processing. Medion is a company that sells computers through supermarket chains such as Aldi, and apparently also through DIY stores. For the geeks among us: Medion Akyoa Mini, Intel Atom 1.6 GHz, 1GB RAM, 80 GB HD, 10″, 1.2 KG, webcam, microphone, Windows XP, 802-11n. (Apparently this is the MSI Wind.)