"Combining the design of their wallets with the surface of a clipboard, Obstructures adapted the surface of a clipboard into a multi-function work haven for today’s worker. Appealing to the minimalist in all of us, the board replaces a bag or briefcase while acting as a durable workplace at the same time." Buzzmilk Blog
We are workers, makers, and designers who like to stay organized with all of our daily tools within reach. Critical observation of the typical workflow of our colleagues in the field and workplace has yielded a new idea for the organization and transport of the items we depend on to do our jobs.
The clipboard has been our default tool for working, but many of us are unsatisfied with its single function. Up until now, the archetype for clipboard has not changed, and is limited by a single clip designed only to secure paper. Why shouldn’t the user be able to clip, or better yet: strap anything to the board? Based on this performance criteria we have refined and prototyped a design that borrows from the details, materials and processes of our aluminum plate wallet system. A good detail can be adapted and scaled, and we saw great potential in combining the surface of a clipboard, with the notches, o-rings, and mechanisms of our wallets.
We conceptualized this object as a flexible surface for carrying just about anything within easy access. This resulted is a durable and versatile design that greatly expands the capabilities of the traditional clipboard, while retaining its general functions. Referred to as the “bandboard,” we have found that it has become an ideal replacement for a small bag, acting as a minimalist’s attaché; except in this modular unit, its surfaces become useful in more ways than a simple container. Aluminum has proved to be a durable and lightweight material for the design which is easily formed and anodized for a durable finish.
The design avoids specificity providing an armature for bands of various sizes and tensions, allowing for the secure transport of everything from writing instruments to small pads, phones and other objects. Instead of carrying a bag or briefcase, the bandboard acts as a portable worksurface for transporting and accessing the instruments of daily use. Through a series of notches in the lasercut aluminum board, multiple sizes and strengths of o-rings allow for seemingly infinite possibilities to secure almost anything.
The boards come in two sizes, each accommodating standard ANSI/ARCH/ISO/JIS formats. The larger accommodates paper sizes up to 9 by 12 inches; the smaller board is suitable for these sizes folded in half, or any sheet sized up to 6 by 9 inches.
In addition to the band board itself, there is the option for a removable wing that allows for even more possibilities. The formed aluminum wing utilizes an integrated slip hinge of our own design allowing for an additional surface that folds open adding even more carrying capacity.
The wing allows for various sized bands that can be wrapped vertically and horizontally in various angles and configurations to adapt to the needs of most situations. We have found that smaller tablets and most phones nest well on the wing to allow for the manipulation of paper, pen and digital technology simultaneously. When the wing is not needed, it can be quickly removed, or reversed on the board to stow away your items clearing the surface for use. It can also be attached in a manner resulting in an easel for a tablet or other documents.
The open board with wing allows for a portable work surface sized perfectly to cradle in the arm while in the field and then fold up securely for travel to the next destination. Once your items are in place, they stay in place.
There are many benefits to a board wrapped in bands. The o-rings serve as bumpers protecting the contents from spills; keep paperwork organized in wind; and secure the board from sliding on other surfaces while protecting those surfaces from damage. While using off-the-shelf bands allows for multiple configurations by the user, the buna-nitrile o-rings sizes have been chosen for optimal performance. Some areas utilize a harder and more durable ring—such as the bumpers that isolate the board from surfaces and secure the wing, or for more tension at the clip. In other areas, they are soft and pliable for easy movement, and flexibility to hold larger objects. And once your items are in place, they stay in place.
Using an off the shelf band allows for multiple configurations by the user. Also, the board will be shipped with spare rings for replacement and customization. The clipboard has been around for many years with various iterations on the market, yet no significant advance in the idea of a modular worksurface or integration with new workflows or technologies has occurred until now.
We often sit in meetings with sketchbooks in our laps, pens hanging out of our mouths, pads and phones balanced precariously on our thighs, and see this design as an ideal way to secure and organize a work surface in any context. The clipboard has been around for countless years with various iterations on the market---yet no significant advance in its integration with new workflows and methods has occurred until now. We made this product because we recognized a potential need, and saw limitations in the existing archetype of clipboard. The Bandboard has perfomed well for over a year of research and development, and we bring this design to Kickstarter in the hope that it is something that you need to stay better organized, and be more productive.
CUT FORMED AND ANODIZED IN THE USA!
sized for paper sized up to 9” x 12” folded in half
size: 10-1/2” x 6-1/2”
useable wing area: 9-1/4” x 6”
area between wing and board: 5/8”
weight of board with o-rings 8.10 oz
weight of board with wing and o-rings 10.05 oz
sized for paper sized up to 9”x12”
size: 13-3/4” x 9-1/2”
useable wing area: 12-1/2” x 4-1/4” (
wing is half board sized, but rings can stretch to accommodate wider items)
area between wing and board: 3/4”
weight of board with o-rings 14.35oz
weight of board with wing and o-rings 20.10oz
Risks and challenges
We have many years of experience in design and fabrication. Having realized projects on the scale of buildings down to CNC machined aluminum guitars, furniture and other things we are confident that manufacturing and delivery will go smoothly. This is our third Kickstarter Campaign, with the previous two being successful and promptly delivered. We’ve learned a great deal from the past two, and with each one our process becomes more streamlined.
We have the benefit of a pre-production run that tested both our manufacturing methods and product durability.
While there can always be unexpected delays, the only significant challenge we foresee is a slight delay in delivery if we dramatically exceed our goal amount resulting in a greater number of Bandboards to be assembled and shipped. This is why we have set a conservative date of early next year for delivery but have high hopes that we can deliver sooner. We are partnered with a local fabrication shop and have over a decade of experience working with them. They are prepared to meet our expectations in terms of quality and schedule. Since this project uses the same materials and methods as our wallets, we have a keen understanding of what it takes to get it done right, and have lasercut and anodized aluminum products in production at all times.
As with any design, the final production model is subject to minor changes. We will keep you all informed of any adjustments made to the design throughout the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
o-rings used on this design are similar to the ones used successfully on our Aluminum Plate Wallet System. We have had few reports of broken rings, and have on occasion experienced this ourselves, but it is not common. Also, our products are designed for redundancy in critical areas. For instance: the clip is attached to the board with two rings rather than one, and the wing is secured in the closed position by two rings. This ensures that the features perform adequately should one ring snap. Even our wallet functions with one in a pinch. And we will ship with plenty of spares. Ultimately, these rings are produced in factories in various locations, and every now and then we get duds. Every ring is stretched as far as our muscles allow (which admittedly isn't very far) to test them before we assemble a Bandboard or Wallet.
The reason we went with rubber o-rings is their relatively economical cost and availability. We pledge to offer them on our site for just above our cost. They can also be ordered in larger quantities at various online sources. The exact dimension and durometer will be made available with the product. We have done numerous tests to provide the proper o-ring for the design intent, but one benefit to such an approach is that the user can customize their board for a tighter or looser fit depending on the application.
We use hardcoat anodization for black and type 3 dyeless, and standard for clear and have found all of these finishes to be quite durable. Our process involves tumbling to de-burr edges and remove surface imperfections, and then anodization (except for 'raw' finishes which will show a random 'brushed' finish as a result of the tumbling). however: no finish is invincible, and over time normal wear will cause areas of the board’s anodization to wear. This happens in the hinge area in particular. We see this as a patina for the design, and embrace the marks of wear as evidence of use.
As of now we definitely plan to offer raw aluminum, clear anodized, and hardcoat black anodized. We would like to also offer the Type3 dyeless grey anodization, but are working on getting a consistent and quality finish. Your choice of finish will be specified in the survey response at the end of the campaign.
We have provided a very conservative shipping day for January of 2014. While we fully expect for manufacturing to go quickly (2 months +/-) that puts us at early December. Shipping over the holidays (especially internationally) often results in long delays. While we hope to be shipping well before the frenzy we would rather be early than late.
We learned a great deal from our last two campaigns about being very honest and realistic about delivery time. Of the Kickstarter projects we have supported and research we find that the average time for delivery of rewards is upwards of 6 months. We feel quite good about our tack record. Our Aluminum Plate Wallet System was a bit late, but we still shipped all rewards within three months. Our recent campaign for the PRY/OPEN tools arrived right on time at 1.5-2 months. Through proper communication, constant updates and realistic evaluation of schedule, we have been able to satisfy our backers.
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