J. NAM
Industrial Designer
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Travel ready telescope

Travel ready telescope

EXPAND

An easy travel telescope

Expand can be converted from an easily transportable tube form into a fully functioning telescope for stargazing. Additionally, Expand pushes to give the user everything they need for stargazing on the go while also keeping ergonomics and comfort in mind.

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Bulky and outdated

The current consumer level telescopes are at a standstill. Many of the best locations for stargazing is far outside the city and can usually only be reached on foot. Most telescopes are bulky and not built to be carried. Many of the features on modern telescopes are designed for stationary viewing so they are large, heavy and not easily transportable.

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Travel ready, Ergonomic and Functional

Expand is designed to be configured into a travel position and a viewing position. The travel position folds Expand into a simple messenger tube form that features a strap and a protective bellow around the body making it easy to travel to those hard to reach spots. With just one easy pull, Expand will unfold into a fully functioning telescope. Using the Dobsonian light reflection method, Expand doesn't force users to crouch in uncomfortable positions.

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Making Expand

There were many challenges with creating Expand that really pushed my ability to prototype something that relied a lot on functionality. I went through many different physical mock ups in different materials that finally led me to this folding system. Additionally, I wanted to make sure that the telescope functionality was feasible. Using the available math equations, I was able to find the right tube diameter, distance and lens that would proportionally work with my design to be able to see to the distance of Saturn.

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How Expand works

Expand's folding function was inspired by normal everyday objects like umbrellas and camera bellows. The unfolding process is done at waist height so the user is not required to be in uncomfortable or difficult positions. The rotating body coupled with the Dobsonian light reflection allows the user the freedom to stand straight when viewing the stars.

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Modernizing telescopes

I remember going out to the desert with my family to look at stars and it was a highlight of my childhood. Lately, all the telescope retail stores have disappeared along with the industry. The aesthetics for Expand was to hopefully show that telescopes are still relevant and could potentially be sold to a new generation while not over saturating it with technology but back to basics of stargazing.