This is one of the best demonstrations of the principles behind a differential drive and how the system is optimized for performance. Created in 1937 by Chevy. (For the impatient, discussion begins around the 2 minute mark).
The principles behind the design of these quadcopters apply to the design of any product.
The lesson here is that some high performance tasks are easier than others and understanding the physics of the problem tells you which ones are easy and which are hard.
It costs absolutely the same amount of money to make a car look ugly as it does to make it look beautiful.
Regarding the McLaren design language:
…it’s not coming from just aesthetics. It’s very easy to design a sexy car; a dramatic looking car. That’s not what design, for me, is all about. It’s more about doing efficient design that has a reason for being.
While it can be interesting to hear the designer wax poetic about design philosophy it’s even more interesting seeing how the design comes to life:
Even better to see the product perform as designed:
A beautiful 10 minute film produced in 1930 by Ralph Steiner showing the internal workings of gear mechanisms, cams, indexers, counters, and many others.
The equipment may be a bit different, but the process fundamentals are mostly the same. This vintage 1938 film takes you on the journey from ore to industrial steel with a lot of furnaces along the way.
Gray Holland of Alchemy Labs has a great article up on Core77 about the relationships among form, surface curvature, and emotion. You can argue some of the technicalities around class-A surfacing and “C” versus “G” continuity definitions, but his insight into the fundamentals of form is quite enlightening.
He also has a great perspective on the now-decaying debate of “engineering” versus “design.”
When we speak of product development, we frequently look at the domains of Design and Engineering separately, evaluating them in different ways. Engineering, at its core, is a measurable process; Design, for the most part, is not. This gives the former an inherent advantage: engineering efforts are easily quantifiable, and this provides them with authority. Design is intuitive, working on the non-verbal levels of our experience, sometimes triggering our most subversive emotional states; this makes it difficult to evaluate empirically. Lacking an analytical vernacular, Design is labeled subjective, when it is actually the agent of universal truth through form.
Before getting into details I’m going to post a few quick notes on fundamentals. I will be referring back to these posts as the discussion goes deeper. Some of what I have to discuss may not be too interesting to those of you with degrees in engineering. I’m hoping to grab the interest of non-engineers/DIYers in the audience along with the product design professionals. I’m also hoping other seasoned professionals will comment with their thoughts.