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.
Hello! I'm Brian... I'm a product design engineer in Charlotte, NC.
I like to design stuff... all kinds of stuff. By myself & together with my brother Dan, we've done over 10 successful Kickstarter projects ... developing three brands along the way... Spoke Design, Strong Like Bull Magnets, and YAKET.
I like to group projects into 3 categories...
'invention' projects where I'm making brand new products (like bottleLoft, the world's first magnetic bottle hanger)
'improvement' projects where I'm making a better functioning version of something existing (like YAKET ICE, a better beverage ice pack)
'design' projects, where the focus is on the 'ornamental design'... so making something cool & unique from an aesthetic standpoint (like Ring Spike or Spoke Pencils)
Projects are typically a blend of the categories, but this latest is a pure design project. Spoke Note... a super cool, super unique sticky note holder CNC machined from aircraft grade aluminum...
I find inspiration all over... for Spoke Note it was simple. I use a lot of Post-It sticky notes. On a recent Costco trip, I bought a bulk pack at Costco... and the bulk pack included a free note holder. While it's always nice to get free stuff... the holder was a plastic-y thing that just looked generically out of place on my desk. I decided I liked the idea the holder... a fixed spot for my Post-Its will keep me from constantly searching for them. But, I wanted a cooler looking/custom one. Out of curiosity, I did a quick google search and didn’t find anything like what I had in mind. So I decided to make one...
Here's a run down of the design process...
Step 1: Sketching. I started with initial sketch designs. I knew ultimately I wanted a machined aluminum holder... because I just really like the look of machined parts.
Step 2: 3D CAD modeling. I then modeled the sketched part in Creo 3D CAD. I started with an appropriately sized simple open top 'box'. I added a functional recess for finger access to easily remove notes. I added a series of holes along the sides because I think machined holes have a cool mechanical industrial vibe.
Step 3: 3D print prototypes. I then printed prototypes with my Makerbot 3D printer. 3D printing allows for lots of quick design iteration before anything gets machined.
Step 4: Manufacture initial parts. While I'm a design engineer, I am also a hobby machinist. However, I don't have the type of equipment required to produce Spoke Note... so like my other projects, I will utilize a professional machine shop to make production parts. I've worked with lots of shops and have good experience making this happen. I had a shop make a couple parts for me to try out. I liked them and thought maybe some other people might like them as well...
The Kickstarter Project: So, I thought I’d try a quick Kicstarter to see if anyone else would like a cool machined part on their desk to hold their notes. This is my most straightforward project yet. With the design steps complete, I put together the Kickstarter project page. If the project is successfully funded, I will simply have the machine shop make as many parts as needed. I’ll finish them up with a bit of scotch brite rubbing to give them a bit brushed but still machined look.
I’m also paint filling the Spoke logo and adding 4 'micro suction' disc feet. The micro suction material will stick to any flat non-porous surface. You can remove and re-stick the holder over and over.
The 4 discs provide enough holder power for the holder to be mounted on a vertical surface as well.
Specs: Spoke Note is 3.5" X 3.5" X .47" (89mm X 89mm X 12mm) and weighs 2.8oz (79g). Spoke Note is designed to hold a typical 3" X 3" (76mm X 76mm) 100 sheet sticky note pack.
Highly Giftable! It's approaching the end of the year. I think Spoke Note would make a pretty unique gift... so if successful, I'm planning to ship these in December in time for the end of year holidays. I'm confident US backer will receive Spoke Note is mid-December... while international backers will receive their rewards in January.
Thanks for stopping by! I'm hoping you like Spoke Note... or can think of someone who might like it as a gift!
Risks and challenges
'm a bit of a serial Kickstarter (by myself & together with my brother Dan we've done over 10 projects). I have lots of experience and a good track record of delivery. The main potential issue with Spoke note is timing, but as things stand right now, a few of the shops I've worked with over the years have indicated they have time available to complete these by the end of November, leaving me the first part of December to pack & ship. I'll work hard to make it happen!