Bamboo is becoming a major new material in the world, both for its low overall impact (sustainability) and for its aesthetic qualities.  German designer Stefan Diez has put a new twist on this trend by inventing bamboo furniture that ships flat-pack, assembles using kevlar string to hold it together, and gradually changes color over time because it uses untreated bamboo canes.

More locally, there is growing concern about seasonal algal blooms in the Arabian Sea (specifically, the Gulf of Oman).  This year the bloom has reached a size equivalent to the country of Mexico!  There is clear evidence that these blooms are directly related to global warming.

A fancy new material created by Ashutosh Tiwari and his team could be coming to jewelry, cell phones, airplanes, and power plants.  According to, professor Tiwari “has found that a combination of the chemical elements calcium, cobalt and terbium can create an efficient, inexpensive and bio-friendly material that can generate electricity through a thermoelectric process involving heat and cold air.”  The elements are non-toxic to humans (unlike other thermo-electric combinations previously discovered) and can generate detectable amounts of electricity at quite low temperatures.

-Ms Nolat

Quotes for CNC & Injection Molding

Proto Labs has an interactive quote machine that will help you determine actual industry costs for your part(s); very useful for criterion D (cost analysis) and E (commercial manufacture).  To start a quote, you need to know how many parts you’ll need and you’ll need to have a 3D model file (usually solidworks part, or DWG; STL will work for CNC or 3d printing).

Proto Labs Interactive Quote System

Logo generator

Logojoy – automated AI logo design

Y2, IA HL: Brand packaging tool

As you develop your Brand identity, it may be useful to create a package to demonstrate it.  There’s a nifty tool online that can help with that:

Build your box, add text & pictures wherever you wish, customize the colors to match your product, then right-click the picture of your box in the view you prefer and “Save Image As” to get a customized package image for your Criterion F!

Y2 (2017): Quotes for Criterion E

Proto labs has an ongoing offer to provide free quotes and advice on moving designs to a small-commercial or large-commercial production, for CNC-milling or Injection molding.  This may be really useful for your criterion E if you have parts to make this way.

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