A competition for product designers and engineers to design a tool for the urban beekeeper
Beekeeping seems to be undergoing a renaissance at the moment. Ever since the announcement of the Colony Collapse Disorder a few years back, urban dwellers have either been planting bee friendly flowers in their gardens or actually joining the beekeeping ranks themselves. Location doesn’t seem to be a problem, with hives being kept in small gardens and on roof terraces overlooking the city below.
In order to be a beekeeper there are a number of essential tools, apart form the beehive obviously, that need to be purchased. One well-known piece of equipment in the beekeeper’s toolkit is the smoker. Available in various sizes in stainless steel or copper, the basic premise is that you place lit fuel (whether it be smoke cartridges, hessian sacking or twigs) inside the smoker and then use the bellow to puff the smoke out through the nozzle. By directing the smoke towards the bees, it calms them down when the beekeeper comes to inspect the hive. The modern day smoker was created in around 1875 and since then the design hasn’t changed much. Is it time for a redesign? We think so.
There are a number of pitfalls to the current design of the smoker including how much and what type of fuel is appropriate to use. There is an issue in not only keeping the fuel alight but also adjusting the amount of smoke that comes out the nozzle and relying on the direction of the wind to push the smoke where you want it to go; difficulty in puffing smoke and picking up frames of honey at the same time and lastly, with most smokers, there is no place to safely leave them while inspecting the hive.
Redesign a piece of beekeeping equipment (such as the smoker) or design a completely new tool to add to the beekeeper’s toolkit that is user friendly, sustainable, easy to manufacture and bee friendly.
Create a sketch, 3D CAD model or rendering of your concept with a brief description of how it works.
This challenge is open to everyone
You can submit several designs
Tag your model with “Beekeepertool” to make it easier to find
Competition ends July 30, 2012, last time zone
3D physical prototype of the design and NVIDIA graphics card
IPF (http://ipfl.co.uk/ ) will produce a 3D physical prototype of the winning design. The winner will also receive a NVIDIA Quadro 2000 by PNY (www.pny.eu): A mid-range professional graphics solution with 1GB of GDDR5 memory for fast processor complex models.
NVIDIA Quadro 600 by PNY (www.pny.eu): An entry level professional graphics solution with 1GB of DDR3 memory.
A chance to have a stake in your very own beehive throughout he British Beekeepers Association's 'Adopt a Beehive' initiative
Judges include a panel of design professionals as well as experienced beekeepers.
The winning designs will be showcased on develop3d.com and in the September issue of DEVELOP3D magazine.
DEVELOP3D is a print and digital resource which tracks the essential technologies used throughout the entire product development process.
With a globally respected editorial team with unparalleled industry experience, DEVELOP3D analyses and disseminates emerging technologies whilst engaging engineers and designers and assisting them in their increasingly complex software and hardware selection process.