Andreas Eliassen

Hi! I know a lot about mechanical engineering and product design, which is a pretty good combination that has allowed me to do everything from help a 6m long blimp do loops to work on haptics for virtual reality. I apply design thinking to a variety of fields and things that interest me.

I am currently in my final year studying towards an MEng in Product Design Engineering at the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art.

Mail me at for a chat or find me at:

LinkedIn / Twitter / Flickr / Inspiration / Blog / Soundcloud

One of many fun VR stock photos

Haptics in VR

University - 16/17

Masters project investigating the most effective haptics in VR for home use. Aiming for a versatile handheld directional feedback solution.

Virtual Reality is interesting as a new arena for haptics as the requirements are different than on-screen applications with handheld controllers. In a much larger degree, vision and audio are the driving senses. Instead of accurately simulating a force on a users hand then, a close enough approximation is all that is needed. I wanted to explore this space, seeing what improvements to current designs that I could come up with in the short amount of time I have for my project. The limitations I put on myself was that this was to be a home use product, not a specialist tool. Specialist applications have had access to VR for some time and requirements are much less strict, making it less interesting.

The project started very general, haptics in VR for home use. After researching the current market and research projects it became obvious that indirect feedback (not touching skin) was the most promising haptics arena in the short-term. For home room scale VR, anything that is grounded (and therefore limited in range and added cost and invconvinience) is out of the question. After my initial research I ended up the brief below:


Photo by Steven Tweedie / Business Insider

There were two main ideas that seemed viable: The first was using a spinning flywheel and disturbing it to produce a torque (acting as a force on the hand), the second was using an electromagnet to create a linear actuator that could produce the sensation of a force by slow acceleration and immidiate deacceleration.

Initial prototypes from autumn 2016 below, I post snippets of more up to date progress on twitter: @aeliassen.

Inner-city airport

Urban Air Travel

University - Spring 16

Inner-city airport. A team project in cooperation with German air travel think tank Bauhaus Luftfahrt.

As a 12-person team we developed a concept for a inner-city airport built on top of train tracks. It uses multiple levels and a smaller planes to achieve a radically smaller footprint than a normal airport.

From the projects outcome a physical model (see other project) was made and taken to ILA Berlin Airshow 2016. The concept recieved some positive media attention, mostly in German, but some in English too: Deutsche Welle.

I had two roles in the project, the first was the CGI work of the resulting digital model. This included assembling all CAD from different designers into a unified model, meditating the conceptual merging of different design ideas in the process. The second role was to develop an apron concept that would allow for rapid deboarding, boarding and fueling.


Above: The apron concept with extendable walkways that lower down and automated servicing stations under the aircraft..
Below: A section view showing the runway, apron, passenger and rail levels, then two illustrations showing aircraft transferring.

Render Render Render
100 Materials

100 Materials

University - Autumn 15

Different materials, all contstrained to the shape of a cube, encouraging tactile play and appreciation of the differences between materials.

100 Materials is the goal, I'm not yet there, but as an initial run 6 different materials was sold at the Glasgow School of Art Shop before christmas.

Up until now I have made in total 11 different cubes, you can see them at

Create a product that will be appropriate in the Glasgow School of Art Shop.

An open brief that let me pursue two interests I have: Looking at differences between materials and geometrically simple shapes. I then explored how this could become a product.


It’s not often you hold a heavy cube of steel and compare it to an equally sized but not quite equally heavy marble cube, afterwards stacking them both on top of a cork cube to feel the satisfying dampening provided by that material. The cubes ended up being things that were hard to not fiddle and play with, which was exactly what I wanted to achieve.

Presentation was a challenge. To make it possible to solve in the timeframe I had I focused on designing and making something which would present at least 3 cubes and invite tactility. Initially I tried shallow slots in a board, while this might be ideal for a large amount of cubes in a material library, it was restricting for small numbers of cubes.

As the cubes were of different materials, I sought a non-material for the plinth. Laser etched acrylic drew too much attention to itself, snowcrete felt too fragile for moving cubes around on and so I settled on a spray painted mdf as a friendly non-material.


I've tried to leave five sides of each cube as it was after it was shaped, and finishing the last one. The finishing should still be minimal but give an indication of what the material can become. Sometimes the contrast is significant, as with polished steel or acrylic, and sometimes you have to touch the surface to notice the difference, which is the case for the woods, which have simply been sanded to a very smooth satisfying finish.

Packaging Packaging Packaging Packaging Packaging

This shows the packaging solution I developed. I decided on packaging the cubes individually to not restrict the buyer to a certain number or set of cubes. The packaging is laser cut and engraved card that folds around the cubes. The folding techinque enables simple production of the packaging, protects the cubes and displays them. Information about the material of the cube is included inside.



Kongsberg Maritime - Summer 15

As part of an international and interdisciplinary team I designed thrusters that enabled a 6m long airship to do loops.

Part of a 9 person international cross-disciplinary team making an airship able to do loops and barrel rolls. I designed and 3d printed the 6 thrusters, all with variable azimuth and pitch that enabled the control we needed to perform the maneuvers with the blimp. Kongsberg Maritime is a company that delivers automation and position solutions for ships. The airship we created will be the foundation for future summer projects looking into dynamic positioning.

This video shows part of the final presentation we did at the end of the project in front of the management, employees, other summer students and local media.


I 3d printed the structure that allowed us to mount all the thruster electronics easily and securely. This included a variable pitch prop (with a pitch control servo) and a servo that controlled the azimuth of the thruster. Each thruster was self contained with an arduino board and battery. It was essential that the thrusters would react quickly for the control system to work. They did.


This is the top part of the thruster I designed. It is compact, solid and makes it relatively easy to assemble the brushless motor in the front and the servo in the back.


I think the diversity of our team really contributed to the projects success. There were many heated discussions, but this led to everyone understanding the mindset of others better, and ultimately a great result. We were a student team of engineers from a multitude of diciplines (from product design to control), two physicists and an economist.


The thrusters were all self contained, but we had a "brain" (raspberry pi) direction them. While we didn't have time, our system would support a multi-node configuration where there is no hierarchy.


A fleet of blimps working together. This illustrates the idea that many blimps would be able to work together without a main "brain" in the same way as all the thruster should be able to cooperate.

Accessible Driverless Vehicle

Accessible Autonomous Taxis

University - Spring 15

Researching potential guideliens for accessible autonomous vehicles as they could revolutionize mobility for people who would not otherwise be able to use a car nor afford taxis.

"Design or re-design a mode of public transport to improve the experience of people with disabilities in a way that will, in turn, improve the experience for all"


“Disabled people feel that improvements in public transport would substantially contribute to improved quality of life”

The people who are the least accomodated for in public transport, the disabled and elderly, are also the ones who can benefit the most from these systems.

“The horizon for driverless cars is likely to be 5-7 years, as by then it will cost more for us to driver our cars than to let them drive us.”

Driverless cars are being developed, but there is no definite answer to how this upcoming paradigm shift in car design will look. These guidelines were developed to detail the most important aspects of designing a small accessible vehicle. Wider doors and large floor space does not only benefit the disabled and elderly, it will provide a more comfortable journey for everyone.


Illustrated user journey.


Showing how a car could easily reconfigure itself to different users.

Connect Prototype

Connect 1:1

University - Winter 14/15

Designing and building an architectural node for use in a space frame roof. Cross-disciplinary project: 2 Architects + 2 Product Design Engineers.

Our brief was to design a spaceframe roof capable of spanning 8 metres. The idea was for it to be realatively easily assembled and disassembled so it could be used in temporary and semi-permanent structures.

I figured out the mechanisms that were needed, made sure it would work strucutrally and did all CAD + rendering work, while also participating in discussions about the project's concept and style.


This shows the context we would design for. This 8 metre span would consists of 116 identical nodes and about 400 identical pieces of timber. While there are a lot, there would be only two different pieces.


Two 3d printed prototypes. We started off thinking that the joint should be made out of steel, but seeing and feeling the prototypes we decided that having them in plastic and smaller would be a friendlier product more fitting with our idea of it.


The three parts that allow timber to be slotted in.


We made the bottom in steel (welded L-sections) to get a feel for it. In the end it was too hefty for the temporary structures we had in mind.


Small things


Highlighting a couple of experiments and things that didn't get further than the early concept stage.

Website Screenshot

Help Create This Image! - A tiny website encouraging people to add one pixel with the colour of their choice to an image. Got on the front page of for a short time. It started out looking like noise, expectedly, but quickly a couple of people had made programs that would automatically fill in a specific colour, then eventually a specific image (a photo of Johnny Cash, for some reason).

Seeing the project get a life of its own and how it inspired people to hack it, was a bit surprising and something I found very rewarding. It made me realise this was a quality I want in things I make.

Check it out at

A series of short videos showing the idea of magnetised "fabric". Playing with tape and tiny magnets.

Stand Stand Stand Stand

Some laser-cut dominoes that I spent forever creating the template for. I wanted a bigger set than what could be purchased cheaply so we could play mexican train with a bunch of friends. In hindsight, having up to 16 dots means you get 153 dominoes and this is too many for any kind of play (tried 9 people and it still takes ages). Would not play with more than double 12 in most cases. Message me if you'd like the template to laser cut your own.

Shaving Stand Side Photo

Shaving Stand

Personal - Spring 14

A simple design for a shaving stand for my shaving equipment. Made with Norwegian oak.

Stand Stand Stand
Wood and Aluminium Cube

Aluminium and Wood

Personal - Summer 14

Experimenting with melted aluminium and wood. Looking at the marks it can leave and the contrast it creates.

Backyard summer project, the aluminium was melted and combined with prepared oak. I experimented with how you could fuse the two materials and what effects they had on each other.

Cube Cube Burned

Showing the scars from the fusing process.

Smaller bts

The process gets pretty violent.

bts bts

Melty-melty, poury-poury.

CAD Pump

Diaphragm Pump

University - Spring 14

A double-acting diaphragm pump that answered a brief which said to create an interesting and efficient pump. Part of a three-person team.

Started off looking at different pump designs, from traditional water lifting techniques to centrifugal pumps. We decided on a double acting diaphragm pump as it is both relatively efficient and mechanically interesting.

[video] The finished pump.

[video link] Animated exploded view. I was responsible for the CAD work on the project.

General Arrengement

Showing the parts that made up the pump.

Making Making Making Making Making Making Making Making

To see the construction step by step you can visit the instructables we made to accompany the pump.

Alternative Alaternative

We also prototyped a centrifugal pump, but it wasn't as efficient as the diaphragm pump.