Grove iPhone4 Case Revealed!

June 7th, 2010 by admin

Exciting day in iPhone land with the official announcement of the iPhone4.  Steve Jobs has “wowwed” us with the fancy features including the new retina display and HD video.  Relevant to what we do is that iPhone4 is 24% thinner than the 3G.  This allows us to make our case thinner.  We have been prototyping based on projections and are ready to release our product immediately.  

We are REALLY excited about our new case.  Its really thin at less than .5″ thick overall.  It will add less than 1/16″ to the thickness of the phone and due to a new feature will be even stronger than before.  We have the same metal bezel design as our 3G case and have successfully made prototypes already.

We are most excited to offer special introductory pricing starting at $49!!!!  We are accepting deposits immediately to secure your iPhone4 Grove case.

Bamboo USB thumbdrive prototype

August 25th, 2009 by admin

TomitaDesigns team member Shay Sosa has started developing a bamboo USB case design.  I am considering purchasing a CNC milling machine which would enable us to create and manufacture small products with incredible precision.  I see many possibilities of products which could also be laser engraved by Mr Joe Laser.

Its going to be an exciting rest of the year.  Well… its always exciting here so I guess thats not saying much.

Chaboo Uses

November 25th, 2008 by admin

How will you use your Chaboo?

I originally designed Chaboo for myself.  I like small spaces, I like sitting on the floor, and I wanted a piece of dynamic/versatile furniture.  Chaboo is meant to be furniture that you use in many many different ways and move everyday.

Im having my friend from RISD, Chris Towery do some illustrations demonstrating the different uses.  I sent him photos I took of my mom and brother using the chaboo in various ways.  Chris is an excellent designer who did the original design for my Tomitadesigns logo back in the day.  He is a graphic designer for Quicksilver now and likes to sketch jazz bands in his leisure time.

I like the okapi one the best!  Pretty sweet….

Nice Glass!

November 22nd, 2008 by admin

Juno (see previous post) showed me some samples of cool things he has done with glass.  I can already see some furniture applications.  I like the irregularity- it gives the glass a natural feel, warmer

Small glass cylinders are chopped up and glued together.  Lots of work!  the cuts are inconsistent- creating variations in color where the glue seeped in underneath. The epoxy used for glue up can be died any color and you can even do a gradient.

A sample of bamboo laminated up with glass.  He used this on a stair tread project.

Coat rack/Umbrella Holder

October 8th, 2008 by tomitadesigns

Im designing a coat hanger/umbrella holder for a new client.  Theyve given me a lot of creative freedom and Im taking full advantage.  They like my kibako bookstand so thats a good start. Ill use the 1.5″  bamboo countertop material ripped into 1.5″ x 1.5″ strips.

They also like my use of the sumi ink for contrast.  Their criteria function wise are somewhat relaxed.  They have a closet for coats right by the entry so this coat hanger would be mostly for sculptural purposes.  They require it to hold 2-3 coats and 2 umbrellas with the reality being that most of the time there would actually be nothing on there at all.  Nonetheless, the design of this piece is driven by function.  What are the different ways to hang coats and umbrellas?  How is the structure going to be stable and not fall over?  I need to consider the possibilities of free standing, wall mounted, suspended, and any combination.

My initial inspiration is the form of a tree.  I like the idea of branches holding the coats.  Another gesture that comes to mind is a field of long grass or a bamboo grove.  Upwards movement would be nice in this space.   There is a window at the height of 67″.  The horizontal line of the sill is something I need to fight to get the feeling I want.

I narrowed the possibilities down to three concepts and made 1/3 scale models out of plywood scraps and my trusty hot glue gun.  The overall height is about 7ft

I met with the clients and we have decided to proceed with the center design direction.  Time to input the model into sketchup and play around with proportions and color.

Here is the latest edition modeled in sketchup in two colors.  I concentrated on staggering the distances between the “branches” to create more movement in the piece.  At  the bottom they are closer together and become more spread apart as you go upward.    I was looking for a progression similar to a sine curve or fibonacci sequence.  The height has been increased quite a bit to go over the window sill plane.

The latest design change.  Client has requested it handle 3 coats and 2 umbrellas.  I raised the whole thing up by 10″ so that the third one up is at 40″, an acceptable height for hanging coats.

Construction commenced!  Dadoing out the slits for the splines with a tenoning jig in this photo.  Splines are made with katalox, a dark mexican hardwood.  The splines create the joint at the elbows and also create some visual interest.

Lowering the center of gravity on this piece is a concern.  Its really tall and I dont want it tipping over under a load of coats.  The base needs to be made heavier.  I drilled multiple 1/2″ diameter holes on the undersides of the base and filled them with molten lead which i melted down using a camp stove outside my shop.  Lead has a very low melting point for a metal.

Dont try this at home kids.  Notice I am wearing a respirator, safety glasses, and welding gloves.  I have never done this before so I had no idea if the lead would splatter or explode or anything like that.

I figured out through trial and error that the lead pours best if you let it cool down slightly.  When its too hot it boils when you pour and it also catches the bamboo on fire (not good)

Crazy idea but it worked!  The base is very very heavy now, and you cant see that there is metal in there at all from the top.  I chiseled away the excess and sanded it down.  I covered eve

rything with a thick epoxy to keep the lead sealed, just in case.  What a fun day of experimentation.  And just think… the brain damage wont hit me for years down the line.  YEs!

Detail of the base.  I added a corner brace of sorts.  The lead filled legs really lower the center of gravity.

Looks right at home outside my shop!

Here it is in action.  This will be a fun piece for the clients to play with.