The idea behind ‘boha’ was to produce a range of products that would take ‘Playful Ideas’ and turn them into ‘Beautifully Engineered Products'. For me ‘Product is King’ and the things we make should capture what we care about in every detail. I feel the world is already too full of 'ordinary things' and I was keen to take a risk and try to create something with a bit more 'life' to it. Hopefully this comes out in this first project from the range.
I liked the idea of a product that would almost come alive whenever you needed it. I had this concept for a hummingbird character; helpful and elegant but also slightly 'roguish', helping itself to wine like it was nectar from a flower. The idea made me smile and an idea that makes you smile is one worth pursuing.
Getting It Right
To take that idea and make it into a functional, reliable and beautiful product has taken almost two years and thousands of pounds on prototypes, testing and professional fees. From the building of the first prototypes in my basement; Having to go on midnight raids of recycling bins to get the wide range of wine bottle samples needed to optimise the design; Hours of repetitive and destructive testing to make sure it works; Thousands of iterations to get the function and form just right; Engineering calculations and analysis to ensure it is elegant but strong; The writing of patents to protect its novel method of operation and the search for suppliers I could trust to deliver the quality product I need.
Being reasonably uncompromising on function and form makes things difficult. An obsessive interest in the design details and an unwillingness to let things rest has been key to getting the final design right.
And when you get it right, all that hard work is almost invisible - It just works well in an apparently effortless way. Most people have no idea just how much hard work ‘effortless’ can be.
The Final Design
The testing and numerous design iterations generated a number of improvements in both the function and form of the final design. Some of the key improvements, which have resulted from this slightly obsessive approach are captured below.
FEATURES & BENEFITS
How It Works
The corkscrew works in a slightly different way from a standard corkscrew. This has some unique user benefits which are captured in the patent and the feature diagram above. The video below shows the simple method of operation.
The Next Step
So the prototype has been tested, the design finalised and a trusted manufacturer selected. A down payment on the production tooling required to make the design has already been made and samples should be ready by October. So, if you like the idea and want to own one, or just want to be one of the founding Fathers, Mothers, Sisters or Brothers then I really appreciate your support. Hopefully you like the rewards and will get to own one of the first corkscrews produced at this lower price, just in time for Christmas. For my American and Australian cousins this may be the best, if not only, time to get one as we currently don’t have any plans to retail in the US or Australia; hopefully one day, but nothing planned as yet. With tooling lead times, production and transportation the corkscrew should be ready to dispatch by November 2013. A detail plan for manufacture and fulfilment is given below.(Destination, Selected Reward type and total numbers of backers could impact individual delivery times.)
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to look at my Kickstarter project and if you like what I’m doing then pass on the link to any friends or family. Hopefully I’ll see you soon with the next design.
Manufacturing and Fulfilment
Our manufacturing partner specialise in the production of high quality metal mouldings which we use for the main parts of the corkscrew. They were chosen for their expertise in this area which is critical to our product. There are a number of small plastic, metal and packaging parts which they source from partners they have worked with over the last 10 years. They design the tools and then make the metal parts in-house so they can maintain control over the production process and quality. They also do the final production assembly including its retail packaging so they can ensure the final product meets our standards. They are a great team who share our enthusiasm for the design.
Below is a timetable showing the key stages all the way up to, and including, dispatch. Any future dates are estimates based on time scales given by suppliers and previous experience of production.
The original proof of concept model pulled its first cork over 18 months ago. Since then the design has gone through numerous iterations of 'Design, Make &Test' as the prototypes have evolved from rough working concepts to 3D printed models.The final visual and working prototype (which features in images and video above) was machined from solid zinc, validating the design and giving me the confidence to commit to order the tooling.
Production Tooling 15th July - 20th October 2013
The tooling to make the parts for the corkscrew has already been ordered. Our supplier has designed the production tooling (see image of their tooling design above). They have bought the steel for the tool and started to machine the cavities that will make the parts for production. Once tools are ready they will make the sample components to be checked and tested. They will then make changes to the tool if necessary to get the parts correct. This usually takes two to three iterations to get everything perfect. These early parts will be used to test the production design to ensure it meets the specification.
Production 21th October - 26th October 2013
Once we are happy that the tools are right and the quality of the final product meet a high standard we will order the first production run. Our supplier will then make all the parts and assemble the final product before dispatching it to us.
Shipping 26th October - 22nd November 2013
The first production run will be sent directly to us. This will allow us to do a number of spot checks to ensure everything is correct with the product before we dispatch it to you. We are also keen to deal directly with our backers rather than using any 'middle man' to distribute for us. This is to ensure we provide the best level of service we can to those who have supported us in bringing this to market.
Dispatch 22nd November - 29th November 2013
We aim to dispatch all products within this week.
In general we have aimed to minimise any postal costs to make the rewards as good value as possible for any backers. However, we understand that this may not suit everyone and hope to be able to offer a variety of postal arrangements to meet our individual backers requirements.
We would like to thank the following people for their support in getting the project to this stage. Paul, Mark and Jon of Ocula, Gareth Jones, Fergus Carroll, Caroline Bommer, Simon Brooke-Grossmithlondon, Luke Haslam-Jones, Paul Savage, Alex Kalogroulis, George Crane, Gary Nicholson, Kerrie Bommer, Sab Bham, Neil Edwards, Steve & Sam at Suck UK, Chris at J-ME, Mark Sanders, Nick Munro, OutsetBristol, John and Moirah at Brave, Rob Lawson, Matt Elliot, Ellen Wright, The Staff at UWE, Chris Harts,Kiki & WAB, Barry Cleverly, China2West, Lesney Industries Ltd, Howell Tomkins, 3T prototyping
Risks and challenges
Every project carries potential risks and challenges. As you have hopefully seen from the project development I have spent nearly two years minimising that risk. I have over 20 years of experience in delivering products to market and we are doing everything to ensure this one runs smoothly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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