Entries in Category Design

SmartClik Scissor Design on the Market

I'm pleased to reveal some industrial design work I did at the end of 2016 for Washi Scissor, a manufacturer of high-end scissors for barbers and dog groomers. Washi's founder Marc Milman (introductions made by patent illustrator Denis Autridge of ASCADEX) asked for my help developing his idea. Scissors with swiveling thumb rings already existed, but the ability to lock the thumb ring at various angles, helpful to give users mechanical feedback while still accommodating differences in their hands and styles of working, is new.

Logo Design for South Florida Nom Squad

SoFlo Nom Squad

I designed this logo for the South Florida Nom Squad, a dining and culinary-adventure club led by my girlfriend Samantha Calabro. Cute cartoon animals aren't really my specialty but I'm reasonably pleased with how well this manatee turned out.

Halloween Blinking Creature Eyes with LEDs, Arduino, and Laser Cutting

I made this blinking-creature-eyes lamp as a small gift for my father, who loves to scare neigborhood children during Halloween with a heavily decorated entryway. It's suitable for hiding in foliage, under a chair or couch, in a darkened window, etc. You can make one easily if you have a laser cutter and some way of making printed circuit boards, although a cardboard box with cutout eyes and some LED strip would work just fine as a quick way to get started.

PCB design in Eagle

This design was heavily determined by parts I happened to have on hand. The LEDs are high-brightness red 5mm devices; I bought a whole sack of these once from Electronics Goldmine (they made an appeance in the Goldfinger laser among other projects). Although I could have controlled the blinking with a 555 timer or similar circuit, I had some surplus Arduino Trinkets from Adafruit, and programmability is nice to have in a project like this one.

LEP 2019 Logo Contest

Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad XXXIV Portland 2019

I'm pleased and very honored to announce that my submission has been chosen as the official logo of the 34th West Coast Estonian Days, or Lääneranniku Eesti Päevad, to be held in Portland, Oregon next summer. My design process for this one wasn't easy but each setback eventually resulted in something better! Here's an explanation of the logo's symbolism from my proposal document (which also contains some variations and application suggestions that may be of interest):

  • Overall an eight-pointed star, representing the cornflower or rukkilill
  • Blue cross symbolizing the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers
  • In the center, in white, the hypocycloid of Portland’s flag
  • The end of the petal also suggests the forked tail of the barn swallow, Estonia’s national bird
  • Stepped color gradients add depth and texture, recall traditional Estonian mustrid
  • Arrows pointing inward, symbolizing the meeting of the West Coast Estonian community

I'm grateful to Kalev Sepp, Kalle Merilo, Triina Merilo, Helve Kalmann, the board of directors and all of the organizers of LEP 2019 for this opportunity to add something to one of my favorite festivals. I'll see you all in Portland!

Winter Vacation, with Lego

As a way of extending my Winter Olympics obsession for as long as possible, I built this Winter Vacation Lego Creator kit today:

Some joker set the slalom course on the roof!

There's a sort of sweet spot of Lego creativity for me. I don't like the sets that have lots of very specific parts that aren't very generally applicable to things you might want to design yourself (tie-ins with entertainment properties seem to have a lot of those). But I'm also not very interested in the other end of the spectrum, in the kind of Lego construction that treats ordinary bricks as generic pixels (or voxels really). Building to mini-fig scale really prevents that pixel method though; the scales just won't work together. I really like the Creator series of sets for this reason—they hit that sweet spot perfectly.

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