The use of polymer resins helped numerous products including advanced medical devices, double-color injection molded consumer electronics and an amphibious sport plane win 2009 International Design Excellence Awards.
Components in plastic appeared in numerous entries of gold winners in the annual contest, organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America in Dulles, Va., and sponsored by BusinessWeek magazine, Autodesk Inc. of San Rafael, Calif., and Target Corp. of Minneapolis.
Andrew Hartman headed a globally dispersed panel of 20 designers and evaluators who judged 1,631 entries from 37 countries to select the winners of 31 gold, 47 silver and 72 bronze awards. Hartman is design director for new business with Philips Design in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Here are plastics-related highlights of the gold award winners:
Icon Aircraft Inc. of Los Angeles, Nissan Design America of San Diego, Troy Lee Designs of Corona, Calif., IDEO of Palo Alto, Calif., and Art Center College of Design of Pasadena, Calif., captured a gold award for the two-person, $139,000 Icon A5 amphibious sport plane with folding wings.
Carbon-fiber-reinforced epoxy composites form the high-strength, lightweight airframe. The 34-foot wingspan can be reduced to 81/2 feet for trailering purposes. The aircraft is 22 feet long.
The air- and water-cooled, four-cylinder 912 ULS engine from BRP-Rotax GmbH & Co. KG of Gunskirchen, Austria, has a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour and a range of 345 miles.
The plane entered the market in June 2008 and offers recreational power-sport flying opportunities to a broad audience under provisions of the 2004 Federal Aviation Administration-created sport-pilot license and light-sport-aircraft category.
Credits go to Icon's Steen Strand, Diego Miralles, Kirk Hawkins, Matthew Gionta, Jon Karkow, Scott Bledsoe and Jim Crocoll; Nissan's Randy Rodriguez, Steve Moneypenny, Jim McJunkin and Bruce Campbell; Troy Lee Designs' Troy Lee; IDEO's Bill Moggridge and David Kelley; and the Art Center College's Stewart Reed.
Best-in-Show recognition went to the Nike Inc. ecodesigned Trash Talk performance basketball shoe.
Nike of Beaverton, Ore., makes the shoe from manufacturing scrap and created the sustainable design in partnership with Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns.
The creators Nike's Kasey Jarvis, Andreas Harlow, Fred Dojan and Dan Johnson used thread color, seam direction and stitch styles as design tools.
Computerized zigzag stitching links small pieces of leftover leather and synthetic leather for the upper portion; as a result, multiple seams cover the shoe.
Recycled foam chunks are molded into the internal midsole. Green rubber, of which 20 percent is recycled content, forms the outsole. Tags are cut from used shipping cartons and hung with entangled polyamide yarn.
The shoe entered the market in April 2008 at about $100.
Samsung Group's electronics subsidiary, based in Seoul, South Korea, captured two gold awards for entertainment products employing a non-spray, double-color injection molding technique.
Junho Yang, Minhyouk Bu and Yunje Kang designed what Samsung calls the world's slimmest LED TV, which entered the market in January. The screen is about 1.2 inches thick.
Instead of color surface coating, the environment-friendly molding technique involves simultaneous injection molding of a transparent material with some components, and another material that includes translucent color dyes yielding various degrees of color depending on the thickness.
Eleven models in three series of the Samsung high-definition light-emitting-diode television sets have a screen range of 32-55 diagonal inches, list prices of $1,600-$4,000 and alternatives for mounting on a wall or glass stand.
The other Samsung winner, the BD-P4600 Blu-ray disc player, also entered the market in January.
The $399 product's design involves simultaneous injection molding of a translucent-dye-infused ABS and polymethyl methacrylate blend with transparent polycarbonate. The creators said the design looks like a work of art made of glass and uses nature as its motif.
The disc player is about 11/2 inches thick, supports an 802.11n wireless local-area-network connection and comes in standing, wall-mount and lay-down models for different home installations.
Credits go to Jaehyung Kim, Yunje Kang and Koungwon Park.
Carbon Design Group Inc. of Bothell, Wash., scored two gold awards for separate medical and scientific designs for Pathway Medical Technologies Inc. of Kirkland, Wash., and Nanopoint Inc. of Honolulu.
Carbon Design and Pathway won for the design of the minimally invasive, easy-to-understand Pathway PV system. A rotating catheter can remove atherosclerotic debris and thrombus from a vasculature in patients with peripheral artery disease. Patients being treated for the blockages can avoid surgery and the potential for leaving behind foreign objects.
The console mounts on a standard intravenous treatment stand, remaining outside the sterile field during procedures. The $15,000 product entered the U.S. market in September.
Polymers used include Cycoloy ABS/PC in the console, Makrolon clear PC in the console cosmetic bottom, PC/ABS housings for the control pod, polyimide and polytetrafluoroethylene heat shrink for the catheter, polyurethane and Tygon- and PharMed-brand resins for the tubing sets, a PC/ABS blend for the tubing baton body and a PC/ABS blend body and elastomeric keys for the activation handle.
The tubing baton hastens a previously cumbersome procedure for loading multiple tubing sets. The console weighs 17.2 pounds of which 1.7 pounds of material are disposable.
Credits go to Carbon Design's Peter Bristol, Paul Leonard, Keith Schubert, Pat Vilbrandt and Stephanie Barnes and Pathway Medical's Shannon Eubanks, Joel Relethford and the Pathway engineering team.
Carbon Design and biotechnology developer Nanopoint won for a microfluidics controller, part of a Nanopoint system that costs $115,000-$175,000 and entered the market in July 2008.
The 21-pound controller has zero-draft cast PU skins, an acrylic front panel, an aluminum plate foot and an extruded aluminum superstructure.
Using proprietary software, the Nanopoint controller can pump liquids to and from a bio-incubator in minute quantities, managing the flow without trapping air bubbles in the system. Twenty of 28 tubes are routed to the bio-incubator.
Credits go again to Bristol, Carbon Design's Fernd van Engelen and others on the group's design team and Nanopoint's Mike Chang, Maile Griffin, Len Higashi and Cathy Owen.
Oxylane Group's Wed'ze-brand design team and Fanny Troesch won for the Wed'ze Virtuous ski and snowboarding jacket with waterproof, breathable and lightweight thermal protection.
Designers for Wed'ze and sister brand Stratermic created a jacket with a short, removable vest, allowing for different degrees of warmth. The main external component is 100 percent polyester with sealed seams, heat-bonded pocket zippers and laser-cut zip openings. The inner inflatable vest uses layers of microporous and absorbent PUs, thanks to Stratermic-developed technology.
The jacket entered the market in October, primarily in Europe, and cost $356.
In mid-2008, Oxylane became the corporate identity for Villeneuve d'Ascq, France-based sporting goods retailer and brand creator Décathlon SA.
Swedish companies Ergonomidesign AB of Bromma and Ejendals AB of Leksand won for anti-vibration protective work gloves with a supple and thin design. Everything from the packaging to the concentric circle design conveys the purpose of the gloves.
The materials include PU synthetic leather, Velcro fabric hook-and-loop fasteners, Lycra spandex fibers and a newly developed PU foam designed to insulate the hand. Processes include stamping, screen printing, heat embossing and stitching.
The gloves underwent extensive end-user and research institute tests, come in sizes 7-11 and entered the market in February, initially in Sweden at a price of about $45. The designers said the TegeraPro-brand gloves are the only ones on the market with certified anti-vibration properties.
Credits go to Ergonomidesign's Marcus Gabrielsson, Hans NystrÃ¶m, Olle Bobjer, Maria Bengtzon, Henrik Olsson and Peter Ejvinsson; and Ejendals' Lena Prytz.
Crown Equipment Corp. of New Bremen, Ohio, and Formation Design Group Inc. of Atlanta won for the design of the Crown GPC 3000 series of low-level order pickers for ware- housing and logistic applications primarily in the European and Australian markets. The machine's molded kneepads and back pads incorporate Crown's patent-pending rib design. Credits go to Crown's James Kraimer, Markus Graf, Jesse Wershing and Jay Pollack and Formation's Robert Henshaw, Phil Palermo, Russell Kroll and Mark Londborg.
Design and innovation consultancy IDEO won for its material-over-form concepts in the book I Miss My Pencil. The book describes 12 experiments in design including these imaginative examples: a doorbell of acetal, acrylic, aluminum and colored water creating a connection between scent and memory; and a design of ABS, silver, aluminum and stainless steel using traditional Chinese processes to form fine wire into patterns for audio speakers and designed to alter current trademark perceptions. Another experiment concerns manipulating the image of natural cork using molded, self-skinning PU foam and machine-lathed and -polished acrylic to simulate glass.
JLG Industries Inc. won for design of the LiftPod by JLG, a personal and portable aerial work platform that can serve as an alternative to a ladder. The 145-pound LiftPod has non-marking PU wheels, costs about $2,000 and entered the commercial market in October. The gearing system drives the cab up or down using the power of a one-half-inch drill or a battery. Credit goes to Geoff Campbell, who manages Port Macquarie, Australia-based JLG ProLift Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of JLG, the access equipment segment of Oshkosh Corp.
Birsel + Seck, a New York design firm, won for creating a line of Teneo storage furniture for Herman Miller Inc. of Zeeland, Mich. Including some plastic components, the line's 20 parts can be used to create 80 different products. Ayse Birsel and Bibi Seck are the designers.
NewDealDesign LLC in San Francisco received recognition for the design of an electric vehicle charge spot, or station, for services provider Better Place of Palo Alto, Calif. The high-profile charge spot for the Better Place network has an ABS top, a concrete base, an aluminum extrusion post and electrical and electronic components. Credits go to NewDealDesign's Gadi Amit, Barbara Stettler, Justin Porcano and Chad Harber.
Apple Inc. of Cupertino, Calif., won three gold awards. Its LED cinema display has a 24-diagonal-inch thin film transistor active-matrix LCD in an aluminum and glass enclosure. The other awards recognize the MacBook Pro line of portable computers and the MacBook line of notebook computers. Each MacBook has an aluminum unibody enclosure with tapered edges rather than a housing of PC as in related earlier models.
Students who won gold awards:
Sungwoo Park of Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea, won for the undergraduate design of collection bins into which the public could place discarded batteries that could be used to power LED Energy Seed streetlamps. The designer determined that the chemical substances in most used batteries retain 0.9-1.32 volts of energy. Two of these batteries can run an LED that requires about 2 volts of energy. Each 11-pound bin, valued at $100, would be made of plastic if mass-produced.
Min-Kyu Choi of the Royal College of Art in London received recognition for a folding electrical plug made of insert-molded polybutylene terephthalate and brass. The United Kingdom uses what Choi calls the world's biggest three-pin plug, which can tear paper, scratch surfaces or cause breakage when carried in a laptop computer bag. Typically, designers do not consider the standard U.K. plug in designing for mobility. Choi's concept folds flat and solves the problems of damage. Choi completed the graduate project in March 2008 and envisions the plug costing about $7.50.
Matthew Vergin and Ryan Callahan of the College for Creative Studies in Sterling Heights, Mich., won for an undergraduate concept of an elevated mass-transit system to connect Detroit with the technologically related economies in Pontiac and Ann Arbor, Mich. The environment-minded design exploration, titled Structural Economic Expansion in Detroit, was completed in December. A SEED mass-transit system would use natural-fiber-enhanced polyethylene for interiors and exteriors of the magnetic-levitation train and PC eco-resin, carbon-dioxide-absorbing engineered cement composite and translucent and transparent materials for each terminal.
Young Bang designed a Cheers menstrual cup of medical-grade silicone in an undergraduate project at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. The injection molded, double-layered cup is a reusable alternative to disposable menstruation products. Bang said the concept was introduced about 100 years ago but proved unprofitable for manufacturers and remains in limited use today, costing about $30. She completed her redesign project in 2007 and now is an industrial designer with RKS Design in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
The 2009 IDEA jurors identified 499 finalists and gave awards to 66 designs from 15 countries outside the U.S. Within the regular IDEA contest, jurors honored six winning entries including two for gold awards from the separately conducted Objecto Brasil-organized IDEA/Brazil competition, now in its second year.
Through the IDSA Web site, members of the public can choose from all IDEA winners for a People's Choice award. A formal ceremony honoring the winners is held the final day of IDSA's Sept. 23-26 conference in Miami
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