_XiGo Nanotools’ Acorn Drop NMR is the winner of Instrument Business Outlook’s 2011 Gold Award for analytical instrument industrial design. Its innovative design clearly distinguishes the Xigo brand from the sea of putty colored boxes found in scientific labs. “It was important for Xigo to stand out with a visually striking design to communicate the technology inside”, says Xigo President, Sean Race. “Its ease of use and small footprint enhances the user experience”.
The Acorn’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology is repurposed to measure nanoparticles to help scientists, researchers and corporations improve the performance of nanomaterials by measuring the surface area of particles or droplets dispersed in liquids.
Machineart emphasized the location of the sample tube insertion port at the top, since it is a small opening, shaping a process “stage” with its central focus bracketed by the scooped-out shapes for catching liquid spills. The long, narrow blue LED light strip at the front suggests cool, silent technology at work inside.
The four piece housing is designed to provide easy access to the interior of the device for assembly and manufacturing in small quantities using the RIM molding process. Cast in an initial lot of 30 units, the urethane parts were painted in a pearl white and matte metallic black, then sent to Xigo for final assembly.
Machineart handled visual design, part design, and the building of the initial appearance prototype. The Acorn Drop is an excellent example of how industrial design can increase the visibility, marketability, and manufacturing viability of a product for a small start-up like Xigo.