Scroll down for a photo gallery of Design Competition entries!
A computer chair that adapts to a person's spine is one of
the entries in the first-ever International
Plastics Design Competition that will be held at the National Plastics Exposition in Chicago June 22-26.
chair, designed by Jeff Weber and the late Bill Stumpf for Herman Miller,
also has a pixelated seat which moves when a person moves. The seat's three-layered construction of
materials conforms to micro-movements and distributes weight evenly.
The design is aimed at overcoming problems with previous
chairs used at computer workstations. "The sitter side of the
computer-and-sitter interface has never been adequately addressed," Weber
says. "In fact, accommodating technology at the expense of people has become
the priority in creating work environments."
The materials used in Embody are helping Herman Miller reach
its environmental sustainability goals of zero landfill, zero hazardous waste
generation and zero VOC emissions by 2020. Embody adheres to the McDonough
Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC) "Cradle-to-Cradle" protocol, as reported
in Design News. Embody has 45-percent recycled content, is 96-percent
recyclable and is PVC-free.
Replacing foam is BASF Ultraform polyacetal. In addition, the two-piece Ultramid B3EG6 30-percent glass-reinforced nylon 6 seat frame provides the structural support
needed to meet seat testing, which included impact testing, and 24x7 loading
Chair components are injection molded by Cascade Engineering and ITW Dahti Seating.
The design competition drew 41 entries, primarily from North
and South America. Themes of the entries
ranged from metal replacement to green. Winners will be announced at the NPE
where they will be on display in an exhibit co-sponsored by Design News.
Other entries include:
A company called MileageMatrix has
developed a digital rotary control valve for more accurate management of
automotive cooling systems. The new approach allows a car's powertrain thermal
management system to function at its optimum operating temperatures. DuPont
supplied nylon for the components, which are molded by All Service Plastic
Molding, a unit of Minco Tool and Mold
in Dayton, OH.
Utility Cargo Box. The
John Deere Horicon (WI) Works uses composite blow-molded side panels and a tailgate
constructed with 15-percent glass-filled polypropylene for a utility vehicle
cargo box system. The use of injection-molded exterior trim panels allows the
design to be configured late in the assembly process for build-to-order
requests. The molder is Camoplast
and the materials' supplier is Washington
Holder. Millipore Corp. entered a tube holder made from a corn-based
polyester developed by Telles.
The molder is Innovative Mold
Seed Tube. A
one-piece injection-molded agricultural tube developed by John Deere dispenses
seeds in the ground, replacing a design that caused the seeds to bounce,
resulting in variability in ground placement. A double-acting slide was
necessary to allow the straight portion of the core to eject first and then a
swing arm was required to allow the core
to clear the cavity steel when ejecting. Cooling the tool was a major
challenge. Quarter-inch water lines had
to be machined into an 18-inch curved core while maintaining steel
strength. Finally, the press and tool
required an elaborate 10 proximity switch procedure to properly sequence while
molding. The moldmaker is Contour Mold
and the molder is Steinwall.