Sunday, December 29, 2013

Steampunk Vespa Scooter by Cris Cofitis

Pulsar Project Vespa Steampunk Scooter
This steampunk'ed Vespa scooter is the creation of Greek designer, Cris Cofitis, of Pulsar Project. The Damn Geeky blog has an extensive photo gallery of the scooter.

Take a look here at Pulsar Project to see other scooters and motorcycles designed by Cofitis, including the insane custom he calls "Chimera," which was an entry into the AMD bike build at the Sturgis 2011 rally.

Tip of the hat to the Design You Trust blog... we first saw the Vespa at their Pinterest board.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

3D Printing Plays a Big Role in New Imperia GP Roadster Development

Imperia GP Roadster Hybrid Car
The classic Imperia marque is being resurrected in Belgium with the development of a unique hybrid-powered retro-coupe. 3D printing technology plays a big role in its development and manufacture.

Imperia Automobiles was formed in 2009 to bring to market hybrid car technologies developed by Green Propulsion, a Belgian automotive R&D firm that specializes in electric and hybrid vehicles.

The roadster's hybrid powertrain consists of a 200hp, 1.6liter gasoline engine and a 150hp electric motor.

For the roadster's drivetrain components, Imperia designers partnered with Voxeljet, a 3D printing services company in Germany, and SICTA, a French aluminum foundry. Voxeljet prints sandcasting moulds which are then sent on to the SICTA foundry.

Tip of the hat to the 3ders blog.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Wooden "Sandwichbike" Bicycle from PedalFactory

The Sandwichbike from The Pedalfactory
The Pedalfactory is an Amsterdam-based design firm with a mission to design and sell unique bicycles. This new offering, the wooden-framed "Sandwichbike," is certainly that.

The Sandwichbike is the brainchild of industrial designer Basten Leijh of Bleijh Industrial Design Studio. Basten designed and built the first Sandwichbike concept as an entry in the 2006 International Bicycle Design Competition (IBDC), an annual industry event held in Taiwan.

Sandwichbike Packed for Shipment
The bike's frame is constructed from two flat plates of beech plywood tied together by machined aluminum tubes. The forks are also beech plywood. The design of the bike allows it to be shipped flat in a box, complete with all components and the tools required for assembly by the buyer at home.

The Pedalfactory has created a website specifically for the Sandwichbike. Buyers can order a bike online.  The first production run began shipping in Europe this month; international shipping will commence in January.

Tip of the hat to Dezeen blog, which featured the Sandwichbike in a post this month.

Monday, December 16, 2013

World's First 3D-Printed Metal Gun from Solid Concepts

Printed Metal Handgun from Solid Concepts
From the Dezeen design blog comes news of this 3D-printed gun from Solid Concepts, an additive manufacturing firm based in Southern California.

A post at the Solid Concepts blog describes the pistol and the method of its construction in more detail. It is a 45ACP model based on the classic Colt 1911 45caliber (the design of which is in the public domain). A Direct Metal Selective Laser Sintering (DMSLS) process was used to print the more than 30 parts required in stainless steel and Inconel 625. The handgrips, which are seen at the bottom left of the picture here, were printed in plastic.

Solid Concepts VP Kent Firestone says that the goal of this exercise was to prove that the DMSLS technology has advanced to the point now that it can create components that are very accurate and very strong, that the process is ready for mainstream manufacturing use... Regarding the first point, Firestone says that no finish machining was used on any part, only some hand finishing. With respect to the second point, he notes that each time the gun is fired the barrel experiences a pressure of 20,000 psi.

The folks at Solid Concepts have run more that 1,000 rounds through the gun now. The video below was made to document their 500 round endurance test. You can see more videos from Solid Concepts at the Solid Concepts YouTube channel, including one about the DMSLS printing process.

Tip of the hat to the Dezeen blog, where we first saw the gun.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Art Donovan's Extraordinary Steampunk Lamps & Illuminations

Art Donovan "Tesla" Wall Lamp
Art Donovan is an extraordinarily talented designer with a flair for steampunk aesthetics. He brings these talents and sensibilities to bear on the design and fabrication of incredibly detailed and beautifully constructed lamps, lights, clocks, and mechanisms. Donovan is also a leading chronicler of the steampunk subculture; in a post last year we featured the first edition his book, The Art of Steampunk, which featured not only his work, but that of other excellent artists and craftsmen in the steampunk scene (a revised second edition was published this past summer, see our Amazon link below).

Steampunk Tendencies Blog

Crossbow Archer from
SteampunkTendencies, a great big photoblog for steampunk art, costumes, mechanisms, clockworks, lamps, and mods.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The OP-1 Music Synthesizer from Teenage Engineering

OP-1 Portable Synthesizer from Teenage Engineering
While preparing the our previous post about The Synthesizer Book blog, we found a post there about the OP-1 synth from Teenage Engineering. Looked interesting, so we did a bit of research and found, for example, this rave review in the "Cool Tools" category at Boing Boing. The author claims it's easy and fun to use, with a very intuitive color-based interface. He says that although at may look like a toy at first glance, he's recently produced a movie soundtrack and used the OP-1 for many of the sound effects he needed.

Teenage Engineering occasionally adds new capabilities and features to the OP-1's synthesis engines. The user can upload these via its PC/Mac interface. The OP-1 also contains a microphone for recording voice and sampling audio. It also contains an FM radio, so the user can sample audio from radio broadcasts.

There is said to be an extensive world-wide users community. For example, the site is an independent site created by OP-1 enthusiasts.

The Synthesizer Book, a Blog About Synths & Electronic Music

Richard Martinez shares his passion for all things synthesizer at his blog, The Synthesizer Book. If you share his passion for synthesizers and electronic music, check it out. You can also follow him at his SynthesizerBook Twitter account.

"Cafe Racers Today" Motorcycle Blog

Vintage-Styled Honda CB350 Featured at Cafe Racers Today
Today we found another cool blog that focuses on cafe racers, Cafe Racers Today blog at tumblr. The Honda CB350 from Vintage Customs, pictured to the left, is a fine example of the bikes you'll find there. Check it out.

Sucker Punch Sallys Thruxton II Cafe Racer

Sucker Punch Thruxton II
Last year we featured a post about the Sucker Punch Sally's Triumph Thruxton cafe racer. (That build was commissioned by Fender Guitars.) We recently found this new Sucker Punch Triumph Thruxton custom at The Bullitt Blog.

Photo Credit: The Bullitt Blog

We Have a Winner: Greg Hageman's Star Bolt Takes First Place Honors in Build-Off

Hageman Bolt Scrambler
Greg Hageman of Hageman Engineering (formerly known as Doc's Chops) won first place in the Star Bolt custom build-off with this retro-styled scrambler. He had stiff competition: Yamaha shipped Bolts to ten top custom bike builders, including Hageman, last Spring. Each builder was free to design and build his own vision of a Bolt-based custom. Yamaha setup a Facebook page where viewers could see and vote for their favorite build.

photo album for the bike can be seen at professional photographer Erik Runyon's Facebook page.

We first became aware of the Bolt build after finding online articles about the street tracker-styled entry from Roland Sands, which is, in fact, our favorite here at Cool Stuff We Like blog.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

JPD Customs Yamaha Star Bolt Street Tracker

JPD Customs Entry in Bolt Build-Off
Pipeburn has a post up about the JPD Customs entry into the Star Bolt build-off.  Builder Jeff Palhegyi, the proprieter of JPD Customs, was one of ten top custom bike builders selected by Yamaha to participate in the Star Bolt custom build-off last summer. He went the street tracker route, a style that really suits the V-twin from Yamaha's Star division.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Lot of Customs at Shaw Speed & Custom

Shaw Speed & Custom CRXR Cafe Racer
Check out the dozens of beautiful custom Harleys at Shaw Speed & Custom, like the CRXR Sportster based cafe racer pictured here. 

Shaw Speed & Custom Martini Sportsters

The crew at Shaw Speed & Custom, a UK custom bike and Harley dealership, to enter a bike in the prestigious London Masterpiece Art & Design fair earlier this year. They went all out to make a big splash, entering not one but two Sportster 883 customs. Both bikes feature a retro scrambler look and a vintage Martini Racing paint theme.

Some of the components used, such as the handlebars, rocker boxes, and derby covers, were sourced from Roland Sands Designs (RSD). See a post about these bikes here at the RSD blog.

Back in 2012 we featured an earlier Shaw custom here.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Raven MotoCycles Unique, Handbuilt Moto Guzzi Custom

Raven Moto Guzzi Based Custom
We just saw this unique, handbuilt custom up for sale on eBay and followed a link in the listing to the maker, Raven MotoCycles.

The Raven is the creation of moto artist Jeff Gundlach, who, according to a blog post about the Raven at Pipeburn, has designed many covers for motorcycle magazines like Cycle World and Cycle News. Years ago he sketched up a concept drawing of a custom bike based on a 1971 Moto Guzzi Ambassador 750 engine mated to a Norton gearbox. A few years ago he decided that the time was right to actually build one.... you can see a gallery depicting the design and build process at the Raven site here.

The frame is Jeff's own design that incorporates wheels, swingarm, brakes, forks, and steering stem from the 1968 Honda 350. The buyer can specify a 750cc, 850cc, or 1000cc Guzzi engine. Check out the video of Jeff riding his Raven to Daytona 2012 below.

Revival Cycles Classic '75 850T Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer

Revival Cycles Moto Guzzi 850T Cafe Racer
We just saw this elegant 1975 Moto Guzzi cafe racer featured at Pipeburn Motorcycles blog. It was built by the crew at Austin's Revival Cycles.

Revival Cycles also has a great line of motorcycle accessories at their online store, such as this retro gauge from Motogadget in Germany.

Classified Moto Movin' On Up

Classified Moto XV920 Cafe Racer
John Ryland and the crew at Classified Moto have recently announced that they are moving out of their suburban garage into an historic building near downtown Richmond, VA. Their new shop will be located in a former cable car stable in the Manchester district of Richmond. Congratulations from us here at Cool Stuff We Like blog... Classified Moto bikes are greatly admired here, and we've featured several of their bikes, such as the Honda KT600 custom they built for Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star, Katie Sackhoff.

The Saietta-R Electric Motorcycle from Agility Motors

Saietta-R Electric Motorcycle
We just saw this high-tech electric motorcycle, the Saietta-R, in a feature at the Wired website. The Saietta-R is the first product from Agility Motors in the UK. Agility claims 0-60mph time of 4 seconds, and a riding range of 112 miles per charge. Though it may look like a high-tech concept vehicle or design exercise, it is in fact in production now. The electrical and mechanical features are described here.

3D Printing Inspires a New Wave of Entrepreneurship in Japan

Financial Review has a new article up about a wave of 3D printing ventures that is building in Japan, especially attracting young Japanese entrepreneurs. Here at Cool Stuff We Like blog, we wish them the best.

Behance Design Website Showcases the Work of Designers Around the World

If you're interested in design --- print, illustration, fashion, architecture, web design, etc. --- be sure to see the Behance website. If you are a designer, you can create an account there and post your portfolio up for the world to see. Also, you can find design jobs posted there. Check it out.

Exesor Motorcycles Honda Cafe Racer

Exesore Honda CB Cafe Racer
We just saw this very cool little Honda cafe racer at BIKEEXIF blog this morning. Christian Schwarzenlander of Exesore in Germany began this build with a 1976 CB250 basket case purchased on eBay for $340. He replaced the CB250 motor with a CB360 motor punched-out to 390cc, and equipped with a hot cam and custom intake manifolds. Check out the BIKEXIF blog post for further details of the many mechanical modifications Christian made.

Regarding the bike's aesthetics, Christian adopted one rule: No chrome. All the metal parts are either nickel-plated, black chrome galvanized, or bare stainless steel.

You can follow Christian's work at the Exesor blog.

3D-Printed Formula Race Car from Materialise

Areion in Track Tests at Hockenheim 
The Areion Formula Student racecar was built almost entirely with 3D-printed parts. It was designed by sixteen student engineers at Group T University in Belgium. The printed parts were made at Materialise, the Belgian 3D printing firm, using their "massive stereolithography" process, which has a work volume of 2100mm x 680mm x 800mm.

The Areion was tested at the Hockenheim Formula 1 race circuit in the summer of 2012. You can follow the further adventures of the Formula Group T racing team here.

Crowdfunding the Local Motors "Cruiser" Bicycle

Local Motors Cruiser Bicycle, Gas and Electric Models
Local Motors has kicked-off a crowdfunding effort for their Cruiser bicycle, which will be available in gas (pictured on the left) and electric models (pictured on the right). The project funding goal is $50,000, and has about a month left to go at this writing.

The Cruiser is a product of the Local Motors "Cruiser Design Challenge." The winning design was created by Ianis Vasilatos, a member of the Local Motors design community. Ianis's day job is production manager at the Queen Mary Theater in Oradea, Romania. Outside the theater, he is an aspiring vehicle designer. You can see his Coroflot portfolio here.

Note the V-shaped configuration of the battery packs in the electric model, which gives the bicycle the look of an early 20th Century Harley or Indian boardtracker.

While you're at it, check out the other projects, cars and motorcycles, at the Local Motors website.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The RQ-180, Wicked Cool Looking New Stealth Drone in Testing at Area 51?

RQ-180 Concept at Aviation Week
Wired's Danger Room reports that aerospace experts believe a new stealthy drone from Northrup Grumman is in testing at Area 51. The crew at Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine have developed the conceptual rendering you see at the left from what they've heard from sources in the aerospace industry. It's the cover story for the Dec. 9 issue. Looks pretty wicked.

BIKEEXIF 2014 Custom Motorcycle Calendar

Apolo XT600 Honda Cafe Racer
Here at Cool Stuff We Like we are big fans of the BIKEEXIF custom motorcycle blog. Chris Hunter and the crew there have just published their 2014 custom bike calendar. It features high-quality customs from around the world, like the Honda XT600-based cafe racer from Spain's Cafe Racer Dreams pictured here.

This calendar would make a great Christmas gift for the motorcycle enthusiast in your family. You can order a copy  by clicking through on the Amazon link below.

(Note: Cool Stuff We Like blog is an Amazon affiliate.)

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