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Mekatronics Incorporated 
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Michael Hawley unveiling Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey across the last Himalayan Kingdom at the NYC Explorer's Club with Choki Lhamo and Gyelsey Loday who led the way in his expedition through the small Himalayan kingdom.


Weighing 133-pounds and measuring 5 by 7 feet, this 112-page book goes on record, according to Guinness World Records, as the largest published book in the world.  The book, Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the last Himalayan Kingdom is the brainchild of MIT scientist Michael Hawley following an expedition through this small Himalayan kingdom.  Hawley chose the renowned Acme Bookbinding Company of Boston to bind the book and Mekatronics, Inc., to build an easel to support and display the tome.  Acme's President, Paul Parisi, a Bostonian familiar with BIG, was ready to meet the BIG challenge by creating techniques for binding such a BIG book that uses a roll of paper that is a third longer than a football field and uses a gallon of ink to print.  So was Mekatronics President, Jack Bendror, ready to tackle the task of building a stand to support and display the BIG book.

According to Paul Parisi, "in order to keep the pages from drooping, Acme designed a unique hybrid binding that combines an Asian fan-folded structure with European-style elements. In addition to strength, the fan-folding makes possible the display of seven-foot wide image spreads. This requires very precise page folds in order to maintain clean edges and structural integrity, and the folds need to be millimeter-accurate over the entire 400 feet of paper. To accomplish this, Acme's engineers designed and built a very large folding bench with a pneumatic pressing clamp for precision creasing. Nevertheless, each hand-built volume is a big undertaking, and requires two days of assembly time".

A search by Mekatronics for devices for displaying very large books or objects, revealed that none were apparent, obvious, or suggested by any of the prior art.   Knowing that the book would be published and distributed in quantities worldwide, it became apparent that the stand would have to be easily collapsible, compact and portable.  What emerged, following the building of two prototypes, was a stand that is smaller than the size of the book and is one third of its weight.

Hawley, founder of the Friendly Planet, a non-profit charity, plans to print a limited edition of only 500 copies which are being sold for US$10,000 each.  Most of the proceeds from the book will be used to fund educational programs in Bhutan. 










Mekatronics is recognized as the worlds' leader in the
technical development of self-adjusting bookbinding machinery
for library, short-run edition and demand binding.
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