Putting plastics to work in top designs

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General Electric Co. Designers with GE's Appliance Park used a variety of plastics, including polypropylene, ABS and polycarbonate, on its Micro kitchen, which is intended for use in very small living spaces.
Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Design's Ursa digital camera uses polyurethane, acetal and acrylic.

A cinema camera, a bike rack and a micro kitchen were among the plastics products that were singled out for winning designs in the 2015 International Design Excellence Awards.

Products with polymer content received multiple recognitions in the 35th annual contest, which is organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America in Herndon, Va.

Matthew Marzynski headed a 24-person panel of design experts that reviewed more than 1,700 entries. Marzynski is a lecturer on industrial design at the University of Washington’s School of Art + Art History + Design in Seattle and previously was industrial design manager for Fluke Corp. in Everett, Wash.

Fifteen members of the panel met June 5-8 at the non-profit Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., and named 28 gold, 53 silver and 83 bronze IDEA winners from among 621 finalists. Marc Greuther, chief curator and curator of industrial design for the Henry Ford, was a panelist.

The jury’s focus was to identify excellence in design innovation, benefits to user and client, sustainability and visual appeal.

Blackmagic Design: Camera and scanner

The industrial design team of Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne, Australia won awards for its high-end Ursa digital cinema camera and its Cintel motion picture film scanner.

Blackmagic introduced the $29,995 Cintel scanner and the $5,995 Ursa camera during the National Association of Broadcasters show in April 2014 in Las Vegas.

The Cintel device can acquire real-time ultra-high-definition scans and replace expensive complex units.

Rollers of cast silicone rubber are overmolded onto a machined aluminum core. The running surface is ground to a tightly controlled run-out tolerance to ensure the rollers do not add any resonance to the smooth running of the film. The Cintel scanner has tinted acrylic doors, compression-molded polyurethane-coated silicone keys and grades of aluminum for main enclosure, deck plate, film back plates, sprockets and space-frame.

Years of market research and product development preceded introduction of the scanner. The aim was to understand the range of needs within the film scanning community and create a feature set accommodating a broad base of users including libraries and museums with fragile degrading archival film.

Blackmagic acquired Cintel International Ltd. of Ware, England, in 2012.

Among the Ursa’s plastic parts are PU-coated silicon buttons, acetal polyoxymethylene door release latch, tinted acrylic light pipes and a flexible PU foam shoulder pad. Anodized aluminum is used for the main enclosure and turret module and stainless steel for the lens mount.

Ursa is designed specifically for the production of feature films, documentaries and news gathering. Blackmagic says Ursa is the world’s first camera to allow users to upgrade their image sensor and lens mount, extending its life as technology evolves.

Ursa has a 10-diagonal-inch display and three intuitive work zones for a cinematographer, an audio engineer and a focus assistant.

The product puts a suite of professional film production equipment within reach of independent filmmakers at a quarter of the cost of similar products.

Logitech: Videoconference solution

Logitech Inc. group and product design studio Minimal Inc. won for the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect portable all-in-one videoconference solution for use in small and medium-sized rooms.

Logitech introduced the product in January and made it available globally in March for $499.

Soft-touch paint coats the top housing’s ABS cap with in-mold texture. The bottom housing uses molded ABS on the front and back. There is a stamped thermoplastic elastomer foot and the remote’s top housing consists of an ABS substrate and overmolded PU. The speakerphone fabric is polyester with over-molded polypropylene clips for assembly. The cylinder is of extruded anodized aluminum.

The product has PC and Mac compatibility for videoconferencing and mobile connectivity for screen-mirror projection through Miracast wireless technology. Windows and Android users can connect wirelessly for screen-mirror presentations, spreadsheets, videos or Internet content from a mobile device to a television screen through an HDMI connection. The ConferenceCam automatically connects to the display.

The system is designed to provide high-quality videoconferencing and audio conferencing capabilities that work with any software application such as Cisco Jabber, Skype for Business, BlueJeans, Vidyo or Zoom. The portable unit also can connect via a USB port across tablet and phone platforms. The solution is useful for ad-hoc meetings in today’s anywhere workplace.

Credits go to the Logitech Inc. video collaboration group in Newark, Calif., and studio Minimal of Chicago.

Logitech Inc. is a unit of Logitech International SA of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Hurdler Studios: Bike rack

Hurdler Studios Inc. The Clug bike rack from Hurdler Studios uses polycarbonate with a UV stabilizer.

Hurdler Studios Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, won for the $20 PC Clug bike rack, a mounted clip suitable for installation on any vertical surface. A user lifts a bike’s front wheel off the ground and, depending on size, pops the tire into the road, hybrid or mountain bike version of the Clug.

Manufacturing occurs in Ningbo, China, using a standard PC with an ultraviolet stabilizer so the Clug can be used on balconies and other outdoor locations. The inner grippers come in orange, blue, green or black.

In early 2014, designers took about four months to create the clip. In May, Hurdler began a Kickstarter campaign that was successfully completed in June with funding received in July enabling the creation of tooling.

Hurdler began shipping the Clug product in October in 100 percent recyclable paper packaging through an online ecommerce portal. Subsequently, Hurdler has established distribution partners in more than 14 countries.

Hurdler reports that market reaction has been positive. Displays at trade shows and local markets have allowed people to try the Clug and, in some cases, express disbelief at its small size.

The Hurdler team spun out Clug Brands Inc. as the forward-moving commercial entity for the product line.

 General Electric: Micro kitchen

Designers at General Electric Co.’s appliances and lighting segment won for the modular GE micro kitchen. The price can range from $7,000 to $15,000 depending on choice of configuration and features.

Within its Louisville, Ky., complex, GE created a FirstBuild micro factory to prototype, make and sell small batches of the micro kitchens beginning in late 2014 and then ship as made-to-order models in March. The effort aims to deliver the capabilities of full-sized appliances in a compact platform of interest to individuals in smaller living spaces.

Tens of different plastics were used and sourced across the U.S. using various processes such as injection molding, blow molding and thermoforming along with some machining.

Polymer materials include PP, ABS, PC and, for a coating, nylon. Stainless and galvanized steel, wood and electromechanical components are also in the designs.

The appliance suite has a width of six linear feet, all under counter. Three 24-inch modules handle the tasks of cooking, cooling and cleaning. Microwave and conventional ovens, a convertible refrigerator-freezer, dishwasher and an induction cooktop are housed in drawers.

Credits go to designers Ryan Diener and Marc Hottenroth, whose work on the project took more than nine months. Diener left GE and, in November 2014, joined Hydro Flask of Bend, Ore., as an industrial designer.

 Lionel Wodecki: Non-invasive medical tests

Design architect Lionel Wodecki of GE’s health care business segment in Buc, France, and five designers at GE health care in China won awards for concepts of the non-invasive Lumi medical test, the UTS ultrasound table system and a digital X-ray imaging system.

Polymer components in Wodecki’s Lumi advanced concept include ABS in most covers, Delrin acetal in other covers and parts that are movable or parts of a mechanism and injection molded nylon in structural parts requiring material strength for safety and function.

Metal components are bent, punched and welded steel sheet and die-cast aluminum. The wood is thermoformed ash, and the fabric is a soft three-dimensional nylon.

The idea is to help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions and provide a hybrid solution to scan a large panel of patients.

The Lumi’s design includes configurations for neonatal and spinal-head-exam applications.

Wodecki’s UTS concept reconsiders needs of the patient and general physician to increase the comfort and provide direct access to new capabilities. The polymer and metal materials in the UTS are comparable to those in the Lumi.

Designers at the GE Healthcare business in Wuxi, China, won for the Brivo XR118 digital X-ray imaging solution for rural hospitals and others in developing countries.

The imaging diagnosis capabilities involve use of a cassette-sized wireless detector, digital portable kit and handheld viewing pad.

Polymer materials in the imaging system include PC, acetal, ABS, nylon, acrylic and TPU.

Credits for the Brivo XR118 go to Yidan Zhao, Gang Hong, Chen Wang, Lichao Xue and Juezhang Wang.

Intuitive Surgical: Surgical system

Intuitive Surgical Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., introduced its IDEA-winning da Vinci Xi-brand surgical system in April 2014 as another advanced tool for minimally invasive procedures.

Some de Vinci Xi components are made of injection molded plastics and others of cast and machined aluminum. Printed circuit boards and electronic wiring connect the system’s functions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially approved early da Vinci technology for clinical use in 2000. Subsequently, the company has rolled out several designs of the robotic devices with newer versions costing in excess of $2 million per unit. The da Vinci Xi system has broader capabilities than prior generations of the equipment.

Intuitive Surgical manufactures the da Vinci systems in Sunnyvale and makes instruments in facilities in Sunnyvale and Mexicali, Mexico.

Credits go to Intuitive Surgical’s new product development team, Scott Waters and Bould Design of Mountain View, Calif.

Samsung: Camera, smartphone cover

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Samsung's NX mini camera uses a 10 percent glass fiber filled PC.

Designers for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of Seoul, South Korea, won awards for the $299 NX mini camera and the $70 smartphone cover LED flip wallet.

The NX is described as “the lightest and slimmest mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera in the world.”

Materials include 10 percent glass-fiber-filled PC for the front and back covers and aluminum for the front and back covers. Magnesium is used for the liquid-crystal-display cover and inner chamber, aluminum for the top cover and lens mount and tempered glass for the LCD window.

A tilting display provides optimal shooting angles and allows the taking of selfies without pushing the shutter button. The credit-card-sized NX camera can accommodate a range of 17 lenses on the mount and can take 650 shots with a fully-charged battery.

Credits for the NX go to the Samsung design center’s Minki Ham and Sanhui Oh.

The LED flip wallet displays information and messages from the phone with a largely hidden LED display, and it also has a credit card storage slot.

Polymer materials include thermoplastic PU and simulated PU leather.

Designers experimented with concentrations and base components of the TPU for the outer cover. It was essential for LED light to penetrate visually through the material. The transparency of the cover’s color layer was adjusted to enhance the LED light penetration, and the color of the stiffener was made more opaque to prevent the inside display from being shown through on the outside.

Also, designers wanted to conceal the complex internal electronic circuitry. They evaluated the flexible printed circuit board’s width and the cover’s thickness, width and size. Tests with various schemes identified the right margin range that would prevent a critical wire from snapping during the thermocompression bonding of the cover material and the stiffener.

Credits for the flip wallet go to YoonYoung Kim and Junho Jin of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division.

Tiller Design: Fishing reel

A team at Tiller Design of Annandale, Australia, won for the Flip Reel by Squiddies-brand hand-line form for fishing.

Principal materials are PP and TPE.

Each Flip Reel has blue, green, yellow or orange highlights, is loaded with 165 feet of 17-pound fluorocarbon line for deep fishing and costs $20 including a small fishing hook. A medium-sized hook is another $5, and a squid lure is an additional $7.

Instructions are easy. “Simply flip open, attach your tackle and you’re ready to fish in seconds. ... When you’re finished, wind the line, secure the hook in the safe storage point and flip closed.”

Credits go to Tiller Design’s Brandon Liew, Robert Tiller and Lisa Gyecsek. The client is Squiddies Pty. Ltd., also of Annandale.

Google: Virtual-reality headset

Two clear acrylic bi-convex asymmetric spherical lenses transform smartphone images for immersive viewing in the IDEA-winning Cardboard virtual-reality headset.

Google Inc. launched the Cardboard viewer at its annual software developer-focused Google I/O conference in San Francisco in June 2014. Each attendee received one of the inexpensive headsets. Google does not market the product, but dozens of online third parties sell the viewers for about $5 each.

A do-it-yourselfer receives a flat die-cut Cardboard in a mail sleeve, completes assembly of the corrugated material and inserts a compatible smartphone. A near-field-communication sticker launches the Cardboard application automatically when a device is inserted. A rubber band keeps the phone in place. Other materials are a Velcro-brand hook-and-loop fastener, double-sided tape, a disc magnet that is glued to the inside of the viewer and a ring magnet that creates a sliding input without requiring a physical or electronic connection to the phone.

Online templates are available for those wanting to cut their own headset.

Credits go to David Coz, Damien Henry, Alex Kauffmann, Boris Smus, Antonio Costa, Christian Plagemann, Andrew Nartker and Clay Bavor of Google in Mountain View, Calif., and Aaron Thompson of packaging products manufacturer Landsberg Orora in the San Francisco area.

Ammunition: Tools for tablets

Squiddies Pty. Ltd. Tiller Design used PP and TPE in the Flip Reel for Squiddies Pty. Ltd.

Designers at San Francisco-based Ammunition LLC and three collaborators — Adobe Systems Inc., HLP Klearfold and Alloy Product Development — won IDEAs.

The Adobe Ink and Slide creative tools make sketching and drawing on an iPad more natural and fluid. Adobe Ink is a fine-tip pressure-sensitive pen, and Adobe Slide is a digital ruler that lets users draw any shape.

Polymer materials in the Ink include an ABS-PC blend with aluminum in the front nozzle, ABS-PC with a translucent plastic diffuser within a metal charging contact in the rear end and PET for the tip of the pen. The Slide has a bottom enclosure of ABS-PC and a top enclosure of aluminum.

Credits for the Adobe Ink & Slide go to Robert Brunner and Steve Lee of Ammunition and Geoff Dowd of Adobe Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif.

Ammunition and HLP Klearfold created clear packaging using amorphous PET to house the compact Polaroid Cube action camera. Polystyrene is used for the packaging pyramids.

Credits for the Polaroid Cube packaging go to Brett Wickens, Hamish Thain, Monica Gaultier and Clare Rhinelander of Ammunition and packaging producer HLP Klearfold of Torrance, Calif., working with brand licensor Polaroid Corp. of Minnetonka, Minn., and C&A Marketing of Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Ammunition and Alloy produced the Beats Solo2 wireless on-ear headphone, a second-generation product for Beats Electronics LLC of Santa Monica, Calif.

The new design is lighter, stronger and more comfortable than the earlier model.

Materials include amorphous nylon for the headband, PC-ABS for the lower headband and ear cup, silicone for the headband and ear cup gimbal, soft PU simulated leather for the ear cushions and memory foam inside the ear cushions. Metals include injection molded stainless steel, die-cast zinc and aluminum.

Credits for the Beats Solo2 Wireless entry go to Brunner, Rhys Bonahoom and Christopher Kuh of Ammunition and Nivay Anandarajah of Alloy Product Development of San Francisco.

LKK Design: Display screen

Designers for LKK Design Shenzhen Co. Ltd. and ROE Visual Co. Ltd. won for the Black Onyx splicing LED display screen for stage, architectural and flagship retail stores.

Materials include ABS, magnesium alloy and stainless steel. The product weighs about 15.7 pounds vs. traditional displays of about 23 pounds.

Stage construction professions connect easily-spliced screen panels together and then link with a computer to display an image.

Credits go to Li Yichao, Lin Suikai and Wang Gang of LKK Design and Cai Danhu and Li Zhanqiang of ROE Visual. Both firms are in Shenzhen, China.

Johnson & Johnson: Medical shears

Teams at Johnson & Johnson in Blue Ash, Ohio, won awards for two Harmonic-brand medical shears, the Ace +7 for advanced hemostasis and the Focus+ for adaptive tissue technology.

Plastics in the Ace shears include PC overmolded with VersaFlex Inc. polyurea for the handle’s shroud and finger-trigger, rotation-knob and hand-activation buttons. The shaft has machined Teflon polytetrafluoroethylene on two pads mechanically attached to the clamp arm and non-stock fluoropolymer for the blade coating along with components of stainless steel and titanium.

The pure ultrasonic energy device has a 7-millimeter vessel-sealing indication. Using advanced algorithms, the Ace shears actively monitor tissue conditions to sense and respond intelligently to changes in tissue and help reduce the risk of thermal damage.

Designers intend for the single-use Focus shears to be the only sealing and dissecting that tool surgeons need for an entire procedure. The Focus uses ultrasonic energy technology.

PC is overmolded with VersaFlex polyurea for the Focus’s shroud, thumb-ring and hand-activation triggers. Again, a machined Teflon pad is mechanically attached to the clamp arm. Metals in the Focus include aluminum and titanium.

Design and development work on the Ace occurred over three years and on the Focus over two years.

Versions of the Ace shears entered the U.S. and European markets in June 2014 with a range of $624-$749. The Focus became available in the same markets in July 2014 at $500.

Credits go to Johnson & Johnson’s industrial design and human factors and global surgery group research and development teams.

L’Equip: Food dehydrator

A designer with L’Equip Co. Ltd. of Gwangmyeong, South Korea, won for a food dehydrator that uses a variable near-infrared lamp.

As a small home appliance, the IR D5 dehydrator can dry fruits and vegetables and make fermented food such as yogurt and cheese.

Materials include PP for the body, ABS for the exterior and stainless steel for the food trays.

Heating modes allow use as if the foods were basking in the sun or, as appropriate, the shade. Different LED colors let a user know which mode is being used.

The door structure maximizes dehydration efficiency as the remaining hot air inside circulates and maintains temperature uniformly. The machine features a built-in, automatic humidity sensor.

Online pricing for the IR D5 ranges from $493-$520.

Credit goes to Jaeyoon Lee.

Motorola: Wireless earbud

The consumer experience design team of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. won for the Moto Hint wireless earbud.

A user pairs the Moto Hint with a device such as a smartphone. In-ear sensors automatically turn on the voice-responsive Moto Hint and then turn it off when the earbud is taken out. Calls then revert back to regular smartphone use.

Motorola worked with a manufacturing partner, the consumer electronics firm GoerTek Inc. of Weifang, China, in paying special attention to the grade and durometer of the TPE in the headset’s bottom housing. The TPE is overmolded on PC.

The ear gels are an injected liquid silicone. The top housing is PC, and the case housings are PC and dark and light fabrics. Headset inlays include bamboo wood, Horween leather and dark and light fabrics.

The portable fabric case protects and charges the Moto Hint on the go. An intuitive light tab on the case keeps tab of the charging state of the ecosystem and also doubles as a lanyard.

A cross-function team handled design and development work from February 2013 to August 2014 at locations in Chicago, Atlanta and Sunnyvale, Calif.

Motorola rolled out the Moto Hint at $149 in the U.S. in September, two European and six South American countries in November and China in January. The product was re-released in the U.S. at $129 in July.

Samsung: Door lock device

Samsung SDS Co. Ltd. The door lock device for Samsung uses ABS, PC and acrylic.

The intelligent home design team of Seoul-based information technology services provider Samsung SDS Co. Ltd. won for a door lock device.

The digital door lock 510 series is installed on the entrances to offices and homes.

Materials include ABS and PC for housing decoration, acrylic for the window and aluminum alloy die casting for the housing body.

The security product offers safe and easy access with an assorted means of digital entry authorizations. These include the touch-type password entry and RFID authentication through a credit card or mobile phone in addition to conventional keys.

Remotely, a user can control entry access with a smart phone or computer, and if necessary, view a visitor’s image and video via interlocking outside cameras.

Credits go to Jaehoon Kim, Jeonghoon Ha, Sooyeon Chung and Hyewon Suh.

Intel: Wireless docking device

A team for technology firm Intel Corp. won for a mobile wireless docking device allowing for improved connectivity in a standard office environment. Certain products of Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and others incorporate the Intel technology.

With a WiDock, a user can walk up to a desk and instantly connect to external monitors and peripherals such as printers, speakers and inputting devices. It is not necessary to plug in wires or cables.

The Intel WiDock has a unibody top cover of PC with acrylic paint and a lower foot-slip of synthetic rubber. The device has an organic-LED inner screen and internal LEDs for status and port lights. Adhesive is used for parts of the top cover.

Credits go to Aleksander Magi, Hosam Haggag, Steve Lofland, Hao Li and Mark Gallina in Intel’s Hillsboro, Ore., facility where design work occurred in 2013-2014.

Lunar Design: Outdoor utensils

Teams at accessories supplier humangear Inc. in San Francisco and the San Francisco office of Lunar Design won for the GoBites utensils in three models for outdoor enthusiasts. Development occurred over two years.

GoBites Uno at $4 is an optimized hybrid utensil suitable for space saving and ultra-light backpackers. The Duo at $7.49 consists of a fork and spoon that can be connected end-to-end to create one long spoon or fork for eating rehydrated meals or mixing food in a pot. The Trio at $14 has a spoon, fork and serrated knife in an extended length.

The utensils are molded of a special high-temperature high-strength nylon. PP is used for the Trio’s case.

The designers needed to match the plastic colors while using a special food-safe-certified glass-filled nylon and minimizing cosmetic flow mark defects.

Duo reached commercial market in August 2014 with the Trio following in January and the Uno in February.

Student Designs:

Child-development-focused designs on creativity, exercise, music and water sports were among the student winners of 2015 International Design Excellence Awards. 

Prosthetic system

A student project from Carlos Arturo Torres Tovar won for the concept of an IKO prosthetic system enabling children to explore their creativity.

Production methods could incorporate standard injection molded parts for most of the components and 3-D printed and machined stainless steel for structures to fit with the polymer parts.

The system allows a child to build a creation with Lego blocks using a terminal that connects with the prosthesis. A set of Lego blocks is included with each IKO system.

Phases for research, concept, design, modeling and final high-profile three-minute presentation occurred during the 21 weeks in his work toward a master’s degree.

The native of Tunja, Colombia, northeast of Bogotá, had an internship in the future laboratory of Lego System A/S in Billund, Denmark, graduated in June 2014 from Umeå University’s Institute of Design in Umeå, Sweden, and now works in the Chicago office of design firm IDEO.

Exercise toys

Shirley Rodriguez won for her student design of Monstas interactive exercise toys for children with the joint disease juvenile arthritis.

The silicone toys can help teach children how to exercise correctly using a game on an iPad with soft exercise tools.

Monstas are made from inlay molds of opaque and solid colors and filled with gel to create a translucent effect. Solid color parts are conductive; translucent ones are regular silicone. The molds come together to form a piece that is assembled with silicone.

The test prototype with a Shore A hardness value of 5 worked well. Potentially, the range could go up to a Shore A value of 28 or higher or as low as Shore 00. Some children have very low strength in the hands.

Work on the concept began in September 2013 at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and was completed in April 2014. A game application is being developed now.

Rodriguez is a senior in the school’s product design program and is scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2016.

Rodriguez’s family has lived in Miami since 2001 after relocating from Barranquilla, Colombia.

Music therapy platform

Kenneth Tay won for his student design of a music therapy platform to help parents with children with autism. The experience is intended to facilitate a mutually enjoyable music-making process.

The Synchrony system has a top skin of injection molded silicone with a cavity to accommodate a circular foam pad of high-density PU. The pad is layered with capacitive touch and pressure sensors. The soft surface can be pressed and manipulated.

The base is of a tonal wood such as maple or walnut that would be machined using a computer numerically controlled router.

Other components include a processor with sound card, low-energy Bluetooth transceiver, speakers, battery and induction charging coil.

Tay completed the design during a 14-week academic term and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in April. Now he works at the Seattle-based Artefact Group digital design and innovation consultancy. Tay was born and raised in Singapore and moved to Pasadena, in 2011 to study at the college.

Magnetic blocks

Using traditional origami as an inspiration, Pei Cheng (Andy) Zhong won for his student design of a system of foldable linkable magnetic blocks that allows children to effortlessly create countless combinations. He completed the project in December.

The Togi_Flat magnetic building blocks, all of the same size, have powerful inner magnets. Injection molded PP is folded to cover the magnets. Children can connect the blocks to stretch their imaginations, create diverse forms such as animals and conceptualize different expressions or movements with multiple colors and final shapes.

Zhong is a master’s degree student at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei City. His home town is Taichung City in Taiwan.

Boating platform

Students at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Ga., won for their design of a Q’WIK 15 boating platform for junior sailors and families.

While not fully tested, the plan for modular production is to use highly automated processes in rotationally molding the PP hull exterior and thermoforming the PP-sheet deck, both for installation over foamed-aluminum-sheet skeletal sub-frames.

The mast, centerboards and rudders would be made of extruded aluminum with compression molded composite caps, and the boom, tiller and tiller pivot arm would consist of carbon fiber vacuum infused with epoxy resin.

The Q’WIK 15 is projected to cost less than $10,000 per boat and be switchable for use as a sailboat, motorboat or rowing shell. A change in the center deck would alter the vessel’s functionality.

Credits go to John Gray Parker of New Orleans and Phil Caridi of Alexandria, Va.

Reusable pads

Five student designers in a collaborative program between the Art Center College of Design and Yale School of Management created an inexpensive Flo system for girls in need to clean, dry and transport reusable pads for use with their menstrual cycles.

Development work occurs over 14 weeks in September-December 2014 as the students sought to assist impoverished girls whose condition caused them to miss school or suffer from infection, illness or isolation.

Tyvek-brand spun bonded olefin protective material is specified for the carrying case. Other materials are PVC or PET for the bucket, PVC or metal wire for the basket, rubber for the handle and seal and cotton or nylon for the string.

Credits go to Mariko Higaki Iwai of Tokyo; Sohyun Kim of Seoul, South Korea; and Tatijana Vasily of Shadow Hills, Calif., all in programs at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena; and Charlotte Wong of Tarrytown, N.Y.; and Benjamin Freedman of Pawtucket, R.I., both 2015 master of business administration graduates from Yale University’s School of Management in New Haven, Conn

IDEAs ceremony

IDSA will present the 2015 IDEAs — including initial disclosure of which recipients receive gold and silver awards — in an Aug. 22 evening ceremony during the society’s international conference in Seattle. At that event in Benaroya Hall, IDSA also will disclose the best-in-show, curator’s choice, people’s choice and sustainability award winners. The society started the IDEA program in 1980.

The Henry Ford is IDSA’s partner for the IDEA 2015 competition. The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.’s recycling summit and expo April 25-27 in Orlando, Fla., sponsors the student designs category. Baby gear provider Nuna International BV is the IDEA 2015 ceremony sponsor, and industrial design-focused Core77 Inc. of New York is the media partner.