Wanna Make Your Own iPhone 5 Case? CAD and STL Files Available

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This morning we passed the mob scene at the Apple Store SoHo, where hundreds are already queued up to buy the iPhone 5. Chances are none of them yet have a MakerBot Replicator 2, but for those of you with other 3D printers who plan on making your own case for the 5, the blueprints are now available online.

To download the large version of the 2D CAD file you see above, click here.

MakerBot user Hisashikun can get you a step further, as he’s already taken the time to input the dimensions into an STL file and uploaded it to Thingiverse. Print out your own iPhone 5 dummy, which you could then use, for example, as a plug to make a leather case around.

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Flotspotting: “Ocean’s Edge” Table by Tyson Atwell

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Earlier this year, we saw Tyson Atwell‘s work in Milan, as one of the nine RISD Furniture Design students in “Transformations” at Ventura Lambrate. At a total of 75 lbs—the steel skeleton surrounded by 190 teacup-sized flower pots—the “Terra Lamp” might not be a particularly practical lighting fixture, but that wasn’t the point: the designer elegantly responded to the brief to reimagine the banal.

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Upon earning his MFA in May, Atwell set up shop in Los Angeles, which might explain why his latest work reflects a laid back, distinctly West Coast vibe. Constrained only by technology, the “Ocean’s Edge” table is a striking combination of form and materials: the undulating center of the tapered sugar maple tabletop contrasts nicely with the hard lines of the black maple legs.

The ‘Ocean’s Edge’ dining table is part of an ongoing body of work utilizing a CNC router to digitally sculpt oceanic waveforms moving across planar wood surfaces. The undulating surface that rises out of and dips into the center of the table was developed in CAD by ‘lofting’ a sequence of tide curves sourced from the entrance of the San Francisco Bay.

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As with Brooke Davis’s “Tablescape No. 1,” the “Ocean’s Edge” table is an uncannily organic application of the digitally-enhanced fabrication process.

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London Design Festival 2012: Neil Conley Elevates Steampunk with the “Submariner” Lamp

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Following his work as a Designer in Residence at Northumbria University, it seems that Neil Conley can do no wrong: we loved his beautiful, thought-provoking glassware and his recent award-worthy medals. The Newcaste-upon-Tyne-based industrial designer is pleased to unveil the “Submariner,” a dimmable table lamp, at DesignJunction 2012.

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The barrel-like exterior of the lamp consists of two pieces of bead-rolled steel—available in galvanized, enamel gloss or textured matte—neatly fastened with a pair of worm-driven clamps. “The process of bead rolling introduces rigidity to the lightweight sheet structure; providing a return to house the diffusers whilst creating exterior channels for the clamps.” The diffusion plates are available in “a selection of heavy tints, allowing the bulb to be at maximum luminosity without creating glare, with light escaping through the aperture at the rear.”

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London Design Festival 2012: Designjunction

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With few exceptions the products on exhibition at Designjunction have already made the rounds in New York and Milan. Some, like the Designers in Residence ICFF award-winning exhibition, “Tools for Everyday Life,” are worth a quick revisit. A group of designers working and studying in the open-ended residency at Northumbia University created a range of products in response to a brief to explore traditional craft manufacturing of helpful objects for, as the exhibition title notes, everyday living. [Editor’s Note: They presented several of these projects as well as several new ones at this year’s ICFF.]

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The Amazing LIFX Smart Lightbulb

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The latest runaway Kickstarter success is the LIFX, “a WiFi enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your [smartphone]. Developed by San-Francisco-based inventor Phil Bosua and his support team, the LIFX is an iPod-like invention in that it combines several existing technologies into a novel and useful device that seems easy to use; apparently it’s plug-and-play (though the demo video admittedly doesn’t show how the initial set-up interface is handled).

I’m not sure how often I’d use the color-change feature, though bar owners are sure to love it. The nightlight/timer feature shown in the video looks pretty cool though, and I wonder if you can use it in reverse, slowly ramping your lights up in the mornings to wake you up.

If you think the LIFX looks amazing, you’re not alone: The project easily smashed its $100,000 goal and is now up to $994,729 with 56 days left to pledge. At $69 a pop the bulbs aren’t cheap, but they’re meant to last for 25 years, and discounts are conferred for buying in bulk.

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The Jorno Folding Keyboard

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For two years, inventor Scott Starrett and RKS Design have been working on the Jorno, “a truly durable and elegant keyboard” that does something amazing: It folds up into a little 3.5” × 3.5” × 1.2” box.

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Meant to be paired with a tablet or even a smartphone via an included cradle, the Bluetooth keyboard weighs less than 9 ounces and has a battery that reportedly lasts for 30 days under normal usage.

As keyboards are such tactile objects, I’d have problems bidding on something like this without testing it out in person; it maxes out at 8.5” wide, and as the keyboard on my MacBook Pro is just under 11”, I’m not confident I could adjust to it. But more than anything I’m impressed with the engineering, and if it takes off, I’m hoping they’ll also make a larger size.

At press time they were nearly 20% of the way towards their $100,000 target, with 27 days left to get in on the action.

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MakerBot Announces Two New Replicator Models, New Software and a Physical Storefront

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We’ve just returned from a press conference in Brooklyn, where MakerBot founder Bre Pettis pulled the wraps off of what you see above: Their new Replicator 2, done up in snazzy black. Gone is the wood paneling of the previous model, replaced here by removal PVC panels fastened to a powder-coated steel frame.

Aside from the more stable frame, the new model features an improved leveling system; just this morning I was visiting a digital fabrication house in midtown that was complaining about their MakerBot’s four-point leveling rigmarole, but now it’s down to three points. And although the machine is the same external size, the build area has been increased to a fairly huge 11.2” L &times: 6.0” W × 6.1” H. (That’s 410 cubic inches there for you to play around with.)

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The printer’s “resolution” has also been improved, nearly by a factor of three; for those who’ve experienced the previous model, that one printed out at 270 microns, while they’ve got the new box down to just 100. The samples they circulated at the press conference were pretty darn smooth. You can still see the lines, of course, but you really have to look pretty closely, and drag your fingernail across the surface to feel them. Otherwise they registered as perfectly smooth under my fingertips, and I was damn impressed.

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All of these improvements come at a price: The Replicator 2 rings in at $2,199 and ships fully assembled.

After running down the new machine’s features, Pettis hit us with three more pieces of news:

First up they’re simultaneously releasing another machine, the Replicator 2X, built for those “who like to experiment;” this one looks identical to the other but features dual extruders, a heated build platform, and will set you back an extra 600 bones.

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An iPhone Case for the Sharks and the Jets

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What’s the one thing your smartphone is missing? That’s right, a knife. The Adappt XT iPhone case (currently up for funding on Indiegogo) features a little flip-out tanto-style blade to solve that problem.

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At 1.5 inches you won’t be using it to fend off ninjas, but if you can get to your opponent before he breaks that bottle, you at least oughta be able to slow him down. And best of all, when the melee’s done you can grab your knife–that is, your phone!–and do the decent thing by calling an ambulance for your foe. Then you can use the Maps app to locate the nearest precinct, calculate which direction the cops will be coming from, and disappear in the other direction.

(In all seriousness, I should point out that the case is actually designed to be a multitool and contains a screwdriver, a series of hex-head cutouts and a bottle opener. Check it out here.)

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“Give it back, Bernardo. Unless you want to get ‘phoned.'”

See also: Iain Sinclair’s “Cardsharp” knife

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Sneakily-Designed Camera Lens Lets You Capture Subjects Unawares

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I used to know a guy who did street photography and caught amazingly intimate shots of total strangers. I always asked him “How the hell did you capture that?” as I couldn’t believe how close he got to these people, and how unaware they seemed of the camera. He said his best shots came from using a compact camera that he held against his chest; on the street or the subway, no one realized he was even shooting. But doing that with an SLR, he told me, would be out of the question.

It’s for that reason that PhotoJojo is producing their Super-Secret Spy Lens. You simply screw it onto the end of your regular lens, enabling you to now shoot 90 degrees away from what your camera is pointed at; the SSS Lens isn’t a lens at all, but a simple housing for a mirror.

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As with my chest-shooting buddy, anyone paying close attention may realize you’re shooting them; but this will surely increase your chances of getting that impossibly-candid shot.

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There’s an App for That: Simulating Clarity with the Chameleon Clock

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In the spirit of Hipstomp’s clarion call for clarity, we’ve got some oldie-but-goodie images of meme-y screen-based optical illusions. A new-ish iPad/iPhone app called the Chameleon Clock jazzes up the time with the so-called ‘transparent screen’ effect, which is achieved by setting a highly site-specific image as the background image of a display.

Say hello to Chameleon Clock—a big, bold, beautiful clock for iOS. Chameleon Clock blends into your environment by using the camera on the back of your device to either sample the colour of whatever is behind it or, play a live video feed.

Toggle the time display between black & white to match your device with a simple tap and change its transparency with a swipe up or down—anything from jet black and pure white all the way down to barely visible for a more subtle effect.

Tap the mode icon in the bottom left hand corner of the screen to switch between Chameleon Mode where the background colour of the screen is constantly updated to match whatever is behind it, and Live Camera Mode where the background becomes a live video feed.

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Cult of Mac notes that this feature might eventually go native: “Apple applied for a patent which described how they could add a ‘wild new dynamic screen saver system that could sense the environment it is in and in a chameleon-like fashion automatically change the screen saver.'”

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The developers behind Chameleon Clock cited this April 2011 roundup of variations on theme (via Flickr) as the inspiration behind the app.

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Hit the jump for a couple more…

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