NED (NOT BREAD)

EDIBLE PACKAGING

A few summers ago we were on a camping trip with another couple and one of the partners  had a gluten allergy. We had stopped  at drive-thru for a quick refuel on the way back. The gluten free friend (GFF) had ordered a vegan burger with a lettuce wrap to avoid the bun. What a mess! There were condiments all over her hands and  subsequently, my car!   Not only is the gluten a problem, it’s also the high carbs of that bun. A typical burger bun is some 40 grams of high glycemic index refined white flour. There had to be a better way.

When we got back to or studio, I grabbed ( hang on, not physically)  a colleague and  we brainstormed. I always loved the genius of the edible ice cream cone, especially the  one inaccurately named the “cake” cone.  I did a little research  and these wonders of industrialization, a literal injection  molding  of water and flour are only 6 grams of carbs and that’s with rice flour. And, it gets better…, if you use almond flour, you can bring the carb count down to zero! Not to mention how brilliant the whole  family of edible  packages are!  Taco shells! Sushi! And then.. wholly cow ,  and  start digging in more,  and  did you know  the average common restaurant – remember those , burrito  flour tortilla  can be 80 grams of  carbs!!!

The big idea was to make a small edible piece of luggage, kidding, not luggage but a bread or tortilla  replacement that could be gluten free if needed  and lower carb. This is good for celiacs, diabetics and everyone that wants to lower their ingestion of high glycemic  index carbohydrates.  By the way,  the term “Keto” was Google searched for more than Subaru in the Pacific NW.

In terms of design,  this concept  allows  almost infinite shape, color, texture and flavor. This concept can replace anything where bread is simply a carrier. Think pizza, tacos, burritos, all the bread shapes,  even low carb snacks like crackers can be NED. Best of all if you were brought up by TV like some of  us were, then  you’ll love  the brand-ability of this concept. See the images above.

Knowing there’s a fair amount of tooling (though relatively inexpensive per mold) to make these things, we approached the Joy Cone company with NED. They are biggest  ice cream cone maker in the U.S.  with plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Joy makes special branded cones for  some of their largest customers.

I don’t  want to say we’re brilliant, but I think  given the hand friendliness, this qualifies as thumbelievable!

Ok, shutting up now –  have a look!

 

ARIEL CHAIR

When they go low, we go high.

The Ariel chair is an update to the Crane chair. This new version  adds a visually thicker mold-able cellular structure that conforms to the  users’ body.

The Ariel Chair  features that same elastomer powered lift mechanism that allows users to set up standing desks and sit only when needed. Users can sit and lean against the Ariel with its easily locked casters. Ariel’s more minimal i-Back encourages active postures.

Complex only 3D printable structures are super intriguing, but really hard to make. At the moment, 3D printing while compellin,g is unbelievably slow compared to modern injection molding. This design  creates a thermally neutral  cellular surface that is cleanable and most importantly, mold-able.

ABOM POWER PACK

ABOM wanted to extend run time for their unfoggable goggles for the endurance athlete and those that engage in expedition activities. This meant designing an external power pack with a larger lithium ion battery.

We made the design fit the body with a gentle curve like a nice flask.  We were sensitive to the potential for disconnection and keeping the pack weatherproof should the skier/snowboarder/snowshoer/ explorer take a spill. Beyond the industrial design, FUSE added convenient, logical features like a flashlight  and additional USB port for charging a cell phone or other accessories.

 

MO’GRO’ FITNESS MOWER

FUSE had done alot ot work with FISKARS’ Gerber knife and tool division and then Gerber’s president became the head of FISKARS US operation where they did all the School, Office, Craft (SOC) and Garden products under the FISKARS brand.  We were tasked with designing a few SOC products but we had this notion that FISKARS garden division needed to do a Mower. Not just any Mower but a fitness Mower.   We’ve all have had   experience with these crappy steel mowers that seem to be rusted after only one season and thought: what if we could marry the technology of thermoplastic composites to the simple reel mower. Sort of  a TREK OCLV  of mowers.  FUSE Designer Ahren Laurinate had a good idea of making the mower self-fertilize the lawn by grinding and spreading compost while mowing. This would make the lawn grow faster and thus, you’d need to mow more – perfect for a Fitness Mower. Tory restyled this concept and Lori Katz did the Alias model. What’s shown here is what was presented. FISKARS liked but was afraid of the cost.

ARMA CHAIR

After the  Herman Miller RED Orbiter  project, we had this idea about a way to better the Ready To Assemble / IKEA  idea.  I mean, who really wants to spend the time building furniture if you don’t have to? How cool would it be if you could still  flat pack that piece of furniture,but then its already assemble and all you need to do is “pose it”  and then just lock it down? It would be not only flat packable but also  transforming and poseable into different postures.  We thought it would be really cool and started with a chair- the Arma Chair like “armature” –  get it?! Clever, right?

 

Bipets

Hybrids are the future.

Furilla had some moderate success in that it was optioned by toy maker and purveyor Kid Robot. FUSE principal, Tory Orzeck,  has this ongoing chicken love and had this idea for a line of toys based on the offspring of 4 legged mammals getting together with chickens.  Of course, single eyed  creatures are also close to heart. This would result in these bipedal animals  he dubbed BIPETS. He pitched  the idea to KidRobot but got a big “Meh”.

 

Florbot Robotic Vacuum

 Mayan Temple Or Cute Floor Cleaning Friend?

Florbot was created as a market development tool for GE Plastics (now Sabic) to stimulate material sales in the floor cleaning appliance market. FUSE principle, Tory Orzeck, then in the GE Plastics Advanced Design and Development Group worked with Carnegie Mellon Robotics technologist Alan Branch to develop this prototype. The product leveraged  bleeding edge technology at the time and GE’s portfolio of engineering thermoplastics.

To use, the owner would take Florbot out of the box, charge him up and and set him against a wall. Like an old graphics fill program, Florbot would circumscribe the perimeter, then sweep the interior area and  go back to its charging station when done.

Design-wise we knew the product would always be visible so the design was a combination or architectural and companion robot, think R2D2.  We especially like that the dust bin’s handle doubles as a mouth. Additionally Florbot’s cap was made from translucent amber ULTEM. At the time, GE was pushing the idea that copper traces could be imaged directly onto heat resistant ULTEM so surface mount components could be attached  directly.

 

ROFILL FOOTWEAR MANUFACTURING CONCEPT

Foot Fist

Outdoor footwear  giant  KEEN, called on FUSE to help them with a concept for a new way to make footwear.  KEEN had access to some  highly  productive German footwear making machines that could potential utilize the proposed manufacturing method. Outside of the highly insulative properties this manufacturing method provided this job was mostly a styling job. Our goal  was to exploit the inherent properties of the process to create a super protective yet breathable and lightweight  product.

GoGo Transporter

The  G0G0  Transporter  was an internal FUSE science project  seeking to solve 2 problems: 1. What’s the most ecologically friendly way to take advantage of Portland’s 20 minute neighborhood concept? And 2., what happens to the expensive strollers that children certainly grow out of ?

Answer number 1 is the wagon. With a wagon you can haul almost  anything while on foot. That is :a 50 lb bag of dogfood, groceries, kids, even a large potted plant.

The question  then became  “is a wagon enough?” Would other people share this wagon love? So we thought more, and  I had colleagues that were about to become parents and  his or her colleagues would pitch in and buy them a really cool expensive stroller. This got me thinking about what happens to these strollers beyond being used for a younger sibling. No one wants a pooped-on,  barfed-on second hand stroller or at least  there did not seem to be a robust used stroller market.   So, what if the stroller could be  built more like a  roof rack system where you could evolve the product to transform it into some-thing or things more useful once the child gets out of infancy?

This turned into the GoGo Transporter System whereby adding or subtracting components, you can make a variety of wheeled products.