A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Great ideas happen while relaxing with a cold drink in your hand. Sitting at a cafe in Saigon, Vietnam, Lyriel and Marshall realized a clever way to put to use that puddle of water that appears under your drink. Soon after, Lyriel created a simple 3D model with Tinkercad.com and two prototypes were 3D printed. A few tiny succulents and a cactus were planted and many hours of strenuous product testing followed (it’s hard work enjoying a cold drink! ;). After a few learnings and iterations, Lyriel hired a professional plastic tooling engineer to model Living Coaster and design the needed tooling for mass production.
We need your support to purchase plastic mold tooling and to cover material costs for fulfilling the kickstarter orders. The 3D coaster design and plastic-injection tooling design is complete, a reliable manufacturer has been identified and shipping logistics have been confirmed. Basically, once the tooling has been created, we can go right into a pilot production for a sample check and then mass production. Amazon will be used for fulfillment/shipping. We are planning on mass production to begin in late July and Kickstarter orders to arrive at your home by mid September.
For colors, there is a large MOQ (minimum order quantity) so we are starting with 1 color - black. If we meet stretch goals for this kickstarter campaign, we’ll be able to offer more colors. Once the campaign ends, I’ll send out a final order form so you can choose your colors.
Please note, Living Coasters do NOT come with plants, due to shipping constraints - you will need to purchase plants separately. Please see the links below for suggested online retails. Thanks for understanding!
WHAT IT IS Living Coaster protects your furniture from watermarks from your cold drink but instead of letting that water go to waste, it puts it to good use by growing plants (patent pending). Made from 50% recycled ABS plastic, it can also be 100% recycled if it becomes unusable. By just enjoying a cold beverage a couple times a week, you can grow a tiny succulent garden with no extra effort.
HOW IT WORKS - LIKE MAGIC!
Condensation from your cold drink drips down into the Living Coaster where it is funneled to the succulents growing in the connected plant pot.
MULTIPLE COASTERS - STACK IT
Living Coaster loves other Living Coasters and when united, they can stack together forming a spiraling tower of tiny garden goodness.
TINY PLANTS - PERSONALIZE IT
Inside a dark cardboard box that’s sitting in a warehouse is no place for plants so we ship Living Coaster without any. We found a few online succulent shops that will mail you plants of your choosing that fit perfectly in Living Coaster.
HOW TO USE IT
Use Living Coaster as you would any other coaster. Depending on the species of plant you choose, using Living Coaster a couple times a week provides the plants with enough water to live. For most plants, you will want the soil to dry out before your next use - if the soil is always wet, the plants will start to rot. When not in use, It is best to store Living Coasters in a sunny place such as a window sill during the day. Follow the care instructions for your plants.
FOR BEST RESULTS
Results depend greatly on your environment - specifically temperature and humidity. For example, a glass of ice-cold lemonade on a Living Coaster outside in Georgia during the summer will be swimming in condensation versus the same ice-cold drink outside at night in the high desert. In a climate controlled house, humidity and temperature are usually in range for good results. What’s cooler than cool? Ice cold. The colder the beverage (and container), the more condensation you’ll get. Also, the shape and type of beverage container plays an important role. Glass or metal seems to work the best, with a tumbler or pint style shape yielding the best results. Wine glasses or similar don’t work so well as the condensation rarely reaches the base of the glass. So naturally, a crushed-ice slurpy in a copper cup will make more condensation than a chilled beer in an insulated travel mug.
The nice thing about Living Coaster is that it is interesting and cute to look at, so even if you’re into only drinking room temperature wine from a wine glass, you can still use Living Coaster - you’ll just have to hand water it from time to time, just like any other potted plant.
Risks and challenges
One risk is that the fit and finish of the production ready coasters are not up to expectations. With injection molded plastic, there is always a little shrinkage and warpage. I'll be investing in high quality molds to prevent as much of this as possible, but if the coasters are not meeting expectations, there may need to be a little re-work done to the tool. In the timeline, I have accounted for 1 round of re-work incase this happens.
The second risk could be with shipping and customs delays. I have chosen a manufacturer that ships globally and they seem confident that there will be no hold-ups for shipping, but you never know. Vietnam can be a difficult place for importing/exporting goods. I have accounted for an extra week in the timeline to address any custom or shipping delays.
Overall, this product is pretty simple and since it will not be shipping with soil or plants, it should be quite easy for customs processing. Amazon will be handling the fulfillment end in the US so once the coasters reach their warehouse, it should be very quick distribution!