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designed by

Afonso Melo










This is grassroots innovation that we can foster in every community. It’s being called the Maker Movement, with this issue (and the ones to come) we hope to create a space where we can share all kinds of projects and stories this growing community of creative and curious people has to offer.

Many makers are hobbyists, enthusiasts or students (amateurs!)–but they are also a wellspring of innovation, creating new products and producing value in the community. Some makers do become entrepreneurs and start companies.

As the movement has gathered increasing momentum, makers have created their own market ecosystem, developing new products and services. The combination of ingenious makers and innovative technologies such as the Arduino microcontroller and personal 3D printing are driving innovation in manufacturing, engineering, industrial design, hardware technology and education.





World’s first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair released

what’s new

words by Jenny Brewer // It’s Nice That

Benjamin Hubert is launching the world’s first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair, called Go, tomorrow at Clerkenwell Design Week. The prototype is a collaboration between Benjamin’s design agency Layer, under its research arm LayerLab, and 3D-printers Materialise, which can scan, translate data and build 3D-printed components. With two 3D-printed elements — the seat and foot-bay — the wheelchair can be made to fit a user’s specific body measurements, weight and disability. Using the Go app, users can also take part in the design process by specifying optional elements, patterns and colours. The chair has been two years in development, including six months of research with wheelchair users and medical professionals. Layer says the hope is to create “a more human-centred vehicle” that improves users’ everyday lives. The agency also says the chair can be manufactured and delivered in two weeks, compared with the average six to eight week leadtime of existing customised wheelchair designs.


The seat is made from semi-transparent 3D-printed plastic, while the foot-bay is 3D printed in titanium. These are combined with standard Go wheelchair components, like the carbon-fibre wheels and titanium frame. Go is now launching publicly with the hope of drawing interest from companies who can support the project with further manufacture and routes to market. Layer has also designed Go gloves to be used with the chair’s tactile push rims, to decrease risk of injuries common to wheelchair users by giving a greater power-to-push ratio.



what’s new

FormBox brings vacuum-forming to your desktop words by Jenny Brewer // It’s Nice That

a cast for concrete soap dishes, and a cast for the soap too; small batches of products in different colours, such as terrariums or tape dispensers; or customised chocolates. It also suggests using the machine in conjunction with a 3D printer, by printing a 3D shape to use as a mould.

British start-up Mayku has launched FormBox, a miniature vacuum-forming machine that brings the industrial process to makers’ desktops. Launched on Kickstarter, the $349 (£241) machine heats a sheet of material then uses the suction from a regular vacuum-cleaner to form around a 3D mould. It allows users to cast a single shape in seconds and create a product run of hundreds from their home or studio. The mould can be something as simple as a banana or a more intricate object made in almost any material, such as resin, silicon, concrete, foam, plaster or even ice or chocolate. Mayku was started by two London-based designers, Alex Smilansky and Benjamin Redford, and backed by the Design Council and Innovate UK, with the intention of making manufacturing simpler, accessible and affordable. The company is aiming to produce more compact machines in future, including a rotational moulder, injection moulder and steel forger. The company has also made an online library of products to show what makers can produce with their FormBox, such as .13





THE MAKER CULTURE HAS COME TO PORTUGAL At first glance, the expression “Do It Yourself” sounds like an insult. DIY is nothing more than a concept that describes an art of building, modifying or repairing something without the help of experts or professionals.



Leonor Alexandrino, 20, has never had a choice: “Being the youngest of five brothers forced me to recreate everything I inherited from them,” she tells us. “And so I started by changing the buttons of coats, painting the lunch basket that we took to school, reforming my own dresses and painting a bike with new sprays.” It was established a taste for the world of arts and crafts that flourished later at a blog where the student shares her own tricks and simple decorating tips. “It has become a way of life, the reinvention of material goods into my ideas/projects. But, above all, it has become a way of life to channel all this creativity to specific projects.” Projects that may be clothing, decoration, carpentry and even cooking where perfection is rarely achieved.


“For years I have not bought presents for the people I like the most. I do them myself,” says Leonor. And the philosophy of Do It Yourself is exactly about that, grabbing a pair of scissors and some cardboards so that you can build yourself for no cost like you’r back at kindergarten.

“It has become a way of life, the reinvention of material goods into my ideas/projects. But, above all, it has become a way of life to channel all this creativity to specific projects.” “I believe we are all capable of producing things that have a much bigger value that what they are really worth.”


“After the time spent working on creating and/or customizing an object, anyone will surely have some sentimental value towards it.�


From Trend To Business

The DIY concept gained prominence in the 70s with a spread of anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideals. Thanks to the internet, blogs and websites about creative decorations and custom pieces began to emerge. Workshops, small markets, magazines and books started to invite the reader to choose a project and execute it. Then came Facebook pages and online communities like Etsy. Needless to say, this is an international trend with several followers in Portugal and some of them have already started to do business with or around it.

“The Portuguese people is open hearted for crafts and DIY”, says Mariana Simões, one of the responsible for the festival Idé Lisboa, a festival dedicated to promote and expose projects in the area of ​​decoration, fashion and knitting. But why is this trend only now coming to Portugal? Necessity is the mother of invention and during an economic crisis people began to see in this new culture a unique way of, for example, offering gifts without spending much money. Is saving money the only advantage in doing it yourself? “Of course not. After the time spent working on creating and/or customizing

an object, anyone will surely have some sentimental value towards it. Apart from that, it can become a rather therapeutic hobby.”, answers the 32-year-old responsible. By 2017, the phenomenon continues to grow and is more successful than ever. A motivation for creating craftwork increased, such as how to get away from the computer and an essentially digital world. “To escape the massification, every day there is more people who would rather buy products that are not for sale in any store” words by Afonso Melo





Bells and Whistles A new take on the Christmas bauble by Richard Clarkson studio Five design studios have been invited to rethink Christmas for The New Tradition Collection by Bombay Sapphire. The project invites each collaborator to recreate a Christmas product in an unconventional way. It’s Nice That will be previewing the creations in the weeks leading up to Christmas that will culminate in a special New Years Eve showpiece designed by Bompas and Parr. “I liked the concept of a bauble, it’s a simple geometric sphere with a suspension point making for a really flexible foundation for design exploration. There are so many opportunities to explore what a bauble could become and potential experiments for how to evolve the design,” explains Richard Clarkson, founder of Brooklyn-based Richard Clarkson Studio, about his reimagining of the bauble as a terrarium. “I was really excited by the possibility of reimagining an object, in a new light. We tend to focus mainly on furniture and lighting so anything beyond that is a nice addition to our workflow at the studio.” Richard’s bauble is designed to allow the owner to grow their own juniper berries. A juniper berry, a key ingredient in Bombay Sapphire, is planted in soil and mixed with recycled glass from Bombay Sapphire bottles within the bauble, which can then be removed after the festive period and planted in a garden where it will grow into a tree. What’s inside the bauble is for life, not just for Christmas. “We developed the concept in much the same way we develop any idea. We start with the basic elements and confinements (we call these mandatories), using mood-boards and quick sketches to explore ideas and opportunities,” explains Richard. “In this case there were several mandatories to be considered and balanced: the bauble needed to have references to Christmas and Bombay Sapphire but also have a sense of originality.”


The final design was developed with Bombay Sapphire, and there was a period of testing before the small run of baubles was produced in-house. “Using quick iterative prototypes we were able to quickly gauge how the different elements might be incorporated together to form the final design. This particular stage of the process is very much about play – playing with the different material options, different fabrication technologies and different user interactions. Working closely with the client we then arrived at the final design of a glass terrarium bauble with an embedded LED light,” Richard says. The resulting product is a thoughtful and gentle response to Christmas that touches on themes of sustainability, nature and the throwaway consumerism of the festive season. words by Jenny Brewer // It’s Nice That






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