Flatpack, Lasercut Dollhouse

Ponoko Product of the Week

I love this simple but perfect “Foldable Dollhouse” from Make Anything aka Katherine Belsey. The house structure is lasercut from 3mm hardboard and provides a blank canvas for 8 doll rooms.

But if you would rather have a fully-furnished, turnkey dollhouse, you can order the pop-up paper interior at MakePopUpCards.com

The lasercut house is available for $55 in MakeAnything’s Ponoko Showroom or download the structure plans for free.

The paper interior comes in the form of a book and is available HERE for $21.95. (10% off until Halloween! use coupon code HARVEST at checkout.)

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Distance of Fog

Using perforations to see without really seeing…

One of the great things about objects with holes in them, is that you can see through to the other side. When clever designers take this simple physical reality and put their own twist on it, the results can often be quite striking.

Japanese architects from studiogreenblue have been getting some well-deserved attention for their Distance of Fog house. Rather than separate spaces by solid walls, they have used multiple layers of perforated metal. The effect when looking through from one room to another is said to be reminiscent of seeing through a thick fog.

With the recently featured barrier grid optical illusions, the question was raised as to whether these approaches can be translated into physical structures. Although the studiogreenblue architects had a different objective in their design, it is interesting to see similarities emerging in the finished outcome.

See more of the house (including plans and concept sketches) at the source article.

Via Monogocoro

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Modular Wall A.R.T.

New York architect Donald Rattner discovered Ponoko while searching for a way to make wall art pieces that he designed for himself.  The result of that discovery is a comprehensive catalogue of modular wall art designs.

The search process also led the architect to immerse himself in the universe of New Industrialism – mass customization, on demand production, digital fabrication, co-creation and all the other computer-driven technologies that are altering the way we make things.

When did you start making with Ponoko and what type of products do you create?

My firm – which now operates both an art and architectural studio – started designing pieces about 15 months ago, and rolled out our first portfolio last March at a popup store in Brooklyn. We’re continuing to design works of modular art in various formats – hanging wall sculptures, rotational paintings, tapestries, modular artist’s books and wallpapers.

How would you describe your creative process?


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Object Creative: reDoor

CNC Carves Out New Life for Old Doors

From Emerald City (that’d be Seattle, WA) comes this interesting use of digital manufacturing technology to give a new lease on life to reclaimed timber doors.

Husband and wife team Jonah and Mackenzie Griffith together form Object Creative, a design house that specialises in bringing humour and simplicity to fully functional design.

The reDoor project takes traditional domestic doors that have been reclaimed through salvage, and extends their lifecycle. The magic happens when a CNC router is used to cut designs and patterns into the wooden doors. A little lacquer and a lick of paint later, and you have a portal that is sure to be the envy of all your neighbours.

There’s a touch of the mesmerising look we saw with smArchitecture here, although this time around it is much more accessible to everyday folk like you and me.

Object Creative

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My Measures – iPhone app

There’s An App For Your Dimensions Too

My Measures iphone app

Do you like to know how big things are? Maybe you’d like to be able to share this info with others too…

The My Measures iPhone App presents a tidy little solution to keeping on top of just how much space the stuff around you takes up. The examples provided in the demo video are mostly architectural, but there is also scope for this to be used for furniture and even teeny jewellery items.

The simple process of snapping a photo and quickly adding annotations could be quite handy while researching or prototyping your next design. The only catch is that the app doesn’t do the measuring for you… that part still happens manually.

Via Monogocoro

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Lammhults Airflake

A customizable molded felt room divider.

Stefan Borselius designed the Airflake system of molded felt panels for Swedish design company Lammhults as part of their abstracta line (which has a separate website).  It was designed to be as customizable as possible for the end user with modules available in four patterns and seven colors, all of which work together. They even have modules with a pocket for magazines.

The general shape of each of the modules is the same, allowing them to connect together, and the different patterns add variety. Any number of modules can be used either mounted to a wall or hung on aluminum rails, and the entire assembly can be curved.


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3D Felt Wall Coverings

Anne Kyyrö Quinn studio produces custom wool felt wall coverings by hand.

Based in London, Anne Kyyrö Quinn studio designs, produces, and installs custom 3d wall coverings made from wool felt. All of the cutting, sewing, and finishing is done by hand. When an architect or interior designer commissions a wall covering from the studio, it is designed and produced specifically for that project starting with a collection of 18 core designs.


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Design – Calendar Dot Com

the events calendar for architecture + design

From Pecha Kuchu Night in Miami to MFA exhibitions from RISD, Design-Calendar lists major design events in the US and (a bit) abroad. Events have a corporate slant to them; so you won’t find your local craft market on the list, but it’s a great resource for finding the next trade show, exhibition, or design party that all the major players will be attending.

Events listed on the calendar are always open to the public. But for those who want to know about the hush-hush gatherings of the design gentry, Design-Calendar offers the Industry Insider service, a calendar that includes all of the public events as well as those that sponsors want to keep private.

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Fab Lab House

Form Follows Energy: CNC + Laser Cut Solar Home

solar house fab lab

What’s the biggest thing you have ever laser cut?  We’ve seen examples of digital manufacturing at the smallest of scales through to explorations with serious construction materials. Laser cutting and CNC goes large in Spain where the challenge of building the cheapest solar home in the world has been tackled head-on by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms.

laser cut fab lab solar house

This 75 m2 house is designed around the needs of a family of four, and thanks to clever use of both CNC milled and laser cut wood for the main structural components it is possible to assemble the entire house in only fifteen days.

IAAC’s vision from the start was to achieve a new model of industrialization rather than simply resorting to mass standardization. By utilizing new production techniques and the latest in digital machines, IAAC saw each product being unique and adaptable to a specific set of issues.


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Freeform Construction: Concrete Printing

Mega-Scale Rapid Manufacturing Prints in Concrete

concrete printing 1

Going beyond the limitations of pouring concrete into a formwork, the team at Loughborough University (UK) are taking a lead from the rapid prototyping industry to achieve concrete forms of previously unattainable complexity. See the squiggly shape just behind the guy in the above image? That was printed by the machine he is looking at, as a part of the Freeform Construction Project.

concrete printing print head

The additive manufacturing process we usually refer to as 3D printing has been seen before at architectural scales, both with a Stereolithography approach from D_Shape and the CNC Houses from Caterpillar’s C.R.A.F.T. program. But this time it is different. Dr Richard Buswell and his team are developing a technique that can print large scale volumetric components on-site which allow for full systems integration. This has the potential to usher in a new era of architecture, with greater material efficiency as well as effortless customization to suit the environment.

Amongst the numerous benefits over traditional approaches are most notably:

  • Increased geometrical freedom
  • Structural optimisation
  • Single material construction
  • Function integration
  • Reduction in assembly complexity

So will this research take construction technology way beyond anything the industry has ever seen? Click on the image below to enjoy a video overview (opens in new window) of the process.

concrete printing form

This looks like a project worth keeping an eye on, with the Loughborough team predicting a significant impact on the construction industry within five to ten years. We’d best leave this scale of production to the big boys… after all, there’s still plenty of potential flowing from our makerbots and other home-grown 3D printers.

Thanks to the eagle-eyed Sandy Noble for alerting us to this project via Dr Sungwoo Lim.

See all the details at the Freeform Construction Project.

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