Tag Archives: design

These Guys Built the World’s Fastest Hot Tub In a ’69 Cadillac (Video and Photos)

In 1996, Phillip Weicker and Duncan Forster were engineering undergraduates at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

The pair lived at a student house with a number of other guys. One of the subletters at the house skipped out on his rent and abandoned his 1982 Chevy Malibu at the house.

The rest of the guys at the house were discussing what to do with the car over a keg. They didn’t want to pay someone to haul it off so they decided they were going to cut the roof off and turn it into a fully-functional and drivable hot tub car.

Though at first they didn’t think the idea would actually become reality, Weicker says they were inspired by an Ernest Hemingway quote:

“Always do sober what you say you’d do drunk, that’s the only way you’ll learn.”

The next day, people started showing up with tools, and before long, they had built themselves a 1982 hot tub edition Malibu.

The original “carpool”. Click to enlarge

Weicker says after that, the legend took off. The car could be found,

“…parked at parties on and off campus, in the end-zone of the homecoming game, anywhere that good times were being had.”

The car was also one of the prize exhibits at the Canadian International Auto Show in 2001. While there, Weicker and Forster were approached by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), the official group in charge of keeping land-speed records.

They invited the duo to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah later that year, telling them that if they ran the course, the SCTA would grant them the land speed record for the “World’s Fastest Hot Tub”.

Bonneville Salt Flats’ annual Speed Week brings out some of the fastest vehicle’s on the planet. Click to enlarge

Unfortunately, time was beginning to take its toll on the Malibu. The students were creative and resourceful, but the hot tub car had not been designed to last long-term.

By 2004, time and “undergraduate plumbing” had destroyed the car’s chassis, and it was unable to make the trip to Utah, denying Weicker and Forster their record.

After a number of false starts, the duo was finally able to put together a good team of engineers in 2008 while living on the West Coast. They purchased a 1969 Cadillac Deville to build their new hot tub car.

"Acquire a well-loved 1969 Cadillac in generally sound mechanical condition. Convince AAA that you should get free towing to retrieve it."
“Acquire a well-loved 1969 Cadillac in generally sound mechanical condition. Convince AAA that you should get free towing to retrieve it.”

For the last six years, the team has been preparing the vehicle, working closely with the SCTA to make sure it abides by their strict safety standards. Now, it’s almost ready for its moment in the spotlight.

The designers made the short video below to explain how the “Carpool Deville” works and to promote their Kickstarter campaign:

The first speed records were set at the Bonneville Salt Flats back in 1914- this year marks the 100th anniversary of that historic event.

Weicker pays homage to Bonneville’s storied history on a Kickstarter page launched to help fund the project:

“The Salt has seen its share of streamliners, speedster motorcycles, vehicles powered by electricity, fuel cells, rockets and jet engines.  But it’s never seen anything quite like this.  Nobody’s ever gone a hundred miles an hour in an open-air self propelled hot tub while sitting neck deep in soothing warm water.  We aim to correct that mistake of history this August.”

You can check out the Carpool Deville’s Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and/or help fund it. Though the campaign has already hit its goal of $10,000, some of the excess donations will be used to help pay for current McMaster students to attend the event, “because really, this is about the future”.

You can check out more pictures of the car and learn about the construction process below:

This Guy’s Mind-Twisting Artwork Is Incredible (Photo Gallery)

Martin de Pasquale is a photographer and digital artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He combines amazing photography with photo-manipulating programs like Photoshop, Poser and 3DS Max to create amazing surreal images.

But computer programs alone aren’t enough to make these incredible images- they require meticulous planning ahead of time, like making sure the lighting is consistent. It’s also important that the angles at which images are taken is precise. You can read more about the process from Gizmodo.

Check out some of Pasquale’s best work below. Click an image to enlarge.

You can check out more of Pasquale’s work here.

This Inventive Artist Uses Flower Pedals To Create Breathtaking Gown Designs (Pictures)

Grace Ciao is a 22-year old business student and artist from Singapore. Rather than paints, pencils or ink, however, Grace uses flower pedals as her medium. She claims that she stumbled upon the idea on accident, after trying to preserve a flower given to her by a boy.

“They help me create prints which I otherwise couldn’t have thought of… I think petals work really well for illustration also because their delicacy and exquisiteness mimic those of a soft fabric,”

she told Buzzfeed in a recent interview. Check out some of her awesome designs below. Click an image to enlarge:

Grace also does watercolor illustrations. You can see more of her artwork on her website, www.graceciao.com.

(h/t Bored Panda)

This Ridiculously Awesome Hoverbike Will Go On Sale In 2017!

The mission statement on Aerofex’s website says that their goal is to “democratize flight”. To accomplish that goal, the California-based company has designed a line of crafts that fuse the ducted rotor design of hovercrafts with the easy maneuverability of a motorcycle or ATV.

The vehicle, known as the Aero-X, is able to travel at speeds of 45 mph while hovering up to 3.7 meters (12.1 feet) above the ground, allowing riders to travel with speed and comfort over rougher, unpaved terrain.

Aerofex faced a number of problems when trying to design a craft that could easily be operated by people with little to no flight experience. Here’s Mark De Roche, chief technology officer and founder of Aerofex:

“We’ve done a lot of work to learn how to remove the coupling effect. That’s the key for someone who only has motorcycle experience to be able to get on it and feel comfortable right away.”

De Roche is referring to the phenomenon that sometimes occurs with open rotor vehicles like helicopters: when a pilot pushes the thrust forward to accelerate, the aerodynamics of the spinning rotor causes the craft to pitch slightly left as well.

A few of the craft from above

The Aero-X was able to solve this problem, creating a craft that can be easily maneuvered using motorcycle-like handlebars. A “knee-bar” detects which direction the pilot leans in: leaning forward moves the craft forward and leaning back slows it down.

The video below shows early tests of the Aero-X prototype.

While the product is still in the development stages, De Roche predicts that the version that hits markets in 2017 will be able to carry over 300 pounds and run for around 75 minutes on a full tank of gas.

The price tag is set at $85,000, and if you’re willing to thrown down $5,000 right now you can reserve one.

Here are a few concept images of what the Aero-X will look like when development is complete. Click an image to enlarge.

Read more from Discovery News here.

This Guy Re-Creates Amazing Images By Injecting Bubble-Wrap With Paint (Video and Pictures)

Bradley Hart is an American artist with an extremely unique and creative technique for creating his works of art, using syringes filled with acrylic paint and custom computer algorithms as well as a few other homemade tools.

In the video below he explains how he got started with the idea:

Hart allows the excess paint to drip down the back side of the canvas; this paint is then removed upon completion of the work, creating an awesome surreal impression of the original image.

Check out some of the amazing art he has created so far (click an image to enlarge):

“Vincent van gogh self-portrait”


“The Mona Lisa”


“Wall Street”


“Oil rig”


“Still life with a skull and a writing quill”


“Dam Square- Amsterdam”


“Marilyn Monroe”




“Bathers at Asnières”


“Water lilies”


“Mattise odalisque”


“Girl with a pearl earring”


“Bob Marley”

You can view more of Bradley Hart’s work as well as purchase it on his website here.

This Guy Creates Ultra-Realistic Insect Sculptures Made Entirely of Recycled Watch Parts

Justin Gershenson-Gates describes himself as the grandson of a railroad man and the son of a gearhead. Justin, however, turned into a world-class artist.

He refers to his work as, “A Mechanical Mind”: an infusion of sculpture and machines. Here’s Justin describing his art form:

“My aim is to show the beauty of the mechanical world- a place generally hidden from the public behind metal and glass … My pieces display the more delicate and ephemeral side of gears, rather than the cold, hard factory feel they normally portray.”

Click an image to enlarge.

You can see more of Justin’s work (and purchase some if you’d like) from his website here.

Illustrating the Epic Battle Between Cells and Viruses Using a Sweet Cartoon (Video)

If you’re not familiar with the TED organization, you really ought to be. TED, which stands for technology, education and design, is a series of conferences where great minds give presentations (known as TED talks) on the topics I just mentioned.

While browsing videos of these presentations on their website, TED.com, I stumbled upon this awesome illustrated video which shows what happens inside your body when it is attacked by a virus. It’s a great way to understand a pretty complex scientific process, plus, the illustrations are awesome! Enjoy!

Lesson by Shannon Stiles, animation by Igor Coric.

This Guy’s Paper Cut-Out Sculptures Are Amazing (Pictures)

Peter Callesen is an author and artist from Denmark. He is most famous for the sculptures he creates by cutting and folding pieces of paper. Here he is discussing his craft:

“The paper cut sculptures explore the probable and magical transformation of the flat sheet of paper into figures that expand into the space surrounding them. The negative and absent two-dimensional space left by the cut, points out the contrast to the three-dimensional reality it creates, even though the figures still stick to their origin without the possibility of escaping. In that sense there is also an aspect of something tragic in many of the cuts.”

Check out pictures of some his coolest pieces below (click an image to enlarge):

For more, visit Peter’s website here.

Move Over Dubai! Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower Will Dwarf the Burj Khalifa By Over 500 Feet

Next week, Saudi Arabia will begin work on a new skyscraper in the city of Jeddah. When completed, the Kingdom Tower will be the world’s tallest building by far at 3,280 feet (that’s a full kilometer, by the way).The Burj Khalifa is the current record-holder at 2,716 feet (827m).

Click image to enlarge

Kingdom Tower will have 200 floors and will require 5.7 million cubic feet of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel for construction. Because of it s size, it foundation will have to be sunk a full 200 feet underground. The price tag for all this: $1.23 billion.

Check out some concept images of the Kingdom Tower (click an image to enlarge):

The consultants for the building, Advanced Construction Technology Services, had a couple of issues to figure out for the massive building. First, it’s going to be near the coast, so they’ve had to test out different concretes to find one that’s unaffected by the saltwater.

Also, with a building of that size, you have to worry about strong winds. Here’s Gordon Gill of Adrian Smith + Gorgon Gill Architecture, the architecture firm who designed the building, explaining how they dealt with that:

“Because [the building] changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won’t be as extreme as on a really solid block.”

The Kingdom Tower might just be the tip of the iceberg. Sang Dae Kim, the director of the Council on Tall Buildings, thinks we might be able to build even higher:

“At this point in time we can build a tower that is one kilometer, maybe two kilometers. Any higher than that and we will have to do a lot of homework,”

he told Construction Weekly in an interview recently. Read more from CNN here.

Are The Netherlands’ Glow In The Dark Roads The Future?

On a half a kilometer stretch of highway in the Netherlands, glow in the dark roads have replaced streetlights for the first time. The idea, which won Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Awards, was first promised by design firm Studio Roosegarde in 2012.

The road markers have been re-painted using a photo-luminising powder (co-developed with Heijmans, a road construction company), which charges up from sunlight during the day and glows for about 8 hours.

A picture of the new roads posted to twitter by @MaximeVerhagen

But this is just the tip of the iceberg, if Daan Roosegarde, the studio’s founder, has his way. Here he is talking about his idea back in 2012:

“One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave. I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us.”

These futuristic ideas include weather markings, such as snowflakes on the road, that would appear when the pavement dropped below a certain temperature. Here’s a few concept pictures from the studio.

Click an image to enlarge.

Heijmans is looking to expand the project, but as of yet they haven’t secured any new contracts. How well the photo-luminising paint holds up to wear and weather is yet to be seen. Read more from Wired here.