First thing... I've set the funding duration to a quick 12 days. While I have listed the project fulfillment estimated date as January 2013... I wanted to put upfront that my 'stretch goal' is to ship early/mid-December... and I'll be working towards achieving that.
On to the project...
Fresh off of my first Kickstarter project, spoke pencils... I've decided to try again with a new project... spoke stoppers.
What is that?
That's the reaction most people have to spoke stopper… because while it is a bottle stopper, it does not look like a bottle stopper. Go ahead, Google away, there's nothing quite like it… a unique 'top-down' design with a crown that encircles the bottle top and extends down the bottle neck producing a striking, low profile, ornamental look.
An internal stainless steel plug is coupled with a silicone rubber flanged gasket that fits a wide range of bottles and provides an excellent seal. The exterior anodized aluminum crown attaches to the plug with a stainless steel cap screw to produce a solid assembly.
I've designed a series of 3 unique stoppers... one with 3 'spokes', one with 4 'spokes' and one with 5 'spokes'. The drawing below shows the details of the top and side spoke configurations.
The CAD view below is a cutaway view of the aluminum crown to better show the stainless steel plug and gasket. The differences in spoke count and configuration on the sides of of the stopper is also visible.
In addition to the three unique geometries, spoke stoppers will also be available in 3 'wine inspired' anodized color configurations... gold anodized, clear aluminum anodized, and red anodized. The color chips below provide a representation of the planned colors.
Why spoke stopper?
In addition to giving your bottles a unique look… from a practical standpoint the low profile fit keeps the stopper very secure and also allows for easy storage. Furthermore, the size and shape of spoke stoppers makes for easy insertion and removal. And lastly, the substantial design and high quality materials ensure that these stoppers are built to last...
Spoke stopper rewards can be selected as follows:
(1) spoke stopper - Choose model (3, 4 or 5 spoke) choose color (anodized clear aluminum, anodized gold aluminum, anodized red aluminum) at fulfillment
(2) spoke stoppers - Choose 2 different configurations of spoke model (3, 4, and 5) and color (anodized clear aluminum, anodized gold aluminum, anodized red aluminum) at fulfillment
(3) spoke stoppers - Choose 3 different configurations of spoke model (3, 4, and 5) and color (anodized clear aluminum, anodized gold aluminum, anodized red aluminum) at fulfillment
With your backing, there will be enough funds to place a large enough initial manufacturing order to get the project moving. There are certainly many ways and places to get products manufactured focusing solely on low costs... but I have a great interest in being involved in the process and I like to support local manufacture. As such, spoke stoppers will be precision machined and anodize finished by a highly capable machine shop in South Carolina, USA.
With parts in hand, the QC, assembly, packing, and shipping will be done by me and my 'team'... with everything shipping via USPS priority small box which provides a tracking number.
Thanks for checking out the spoke stopper project! I really enjoy designing new, unique, lasting items… hopefully you like owning such things… so it's win-win ;)
Risks and challenges
Spoke Stopper is mainly comprised of CNC machined parts... and fortunately I've developed a good relationship with a local machine shop through my initial successful Spoke Pencil project.
On new product development projects, there are often unexpected challenges to work through. On spoke stopper, a good amount of up front work has already taken place to minimize the potential for problems. The biggest challenge will be my stretch goal to attempt to ship before the holidays. To that end, working with a shop close enough to visit and work with directly helps assure quality fits, finishes, and a predictable schedule.
However the project goes, I like to keep everyone in the loop...so expect lots of updates!
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