About this project
Broken umbrellas are a common sight following every heavy rainfall. These umbrellas are all built with thin skeletal frames and weak hinged joints, easily susceptible to wind damage. Want an umbrella that lasts? The answer is here!
"...may be the last and best umbrella you'll ever own" - Gizmag
"Finally, an umbrella that’s as tough as you are " - Digital Trends
"...the 'Incredible Hulk' of the umbrella universe" - Huffington Post
'"The Cypress Umbrella gets right to the heart of one of the umbrella’s fundamental flaws" - 3DPrint.com
Telescopic Architecture - The Cypress features an industry first: a fully telescopic frame architecture which combines a traditional collapsible stem with an innovative telescopic rib design. Rather than a standard skeleton with U-shaped channels and hinged linkages, each rib is comprised of tubular sections coupled with precision machined joints and stainless steel pins.
Once opened, the telescopic design enforces a rigid structure 10 times stronger than traditional counterparts.
Independent Suspension System - The Cypress Umbrella features an automotive-inspired suspension system to combat against chaotic winds. Similar to how the shocks on your car work to provide an overall smoother ride, each rib within the Cypress Umbrella's architecture is designed to pivot and adjust independently.
These independent movements allow the Cypress Umbrella to handle sudden shifts in airflow about the canvas, making it more aerodynamically stable.
Interchangeable Canvas - Quick snap connections along the ribs enable a limitless selection of canvas colours and patterns.
In under 3 minutes, the Cypress Umbrella's canvas can transform to accommodate any mood, dress or perspective of the day.
Embedded Enclosure - To ensure the umbrella can be easily stored without getting your belongings wet, concealed within the handle is a deployable enclosure.
The Cypress Umbrella's expanding sleeve promises drip-free protection and is guaranteed to never go missing.
Simplicity and intuitive design are key, and in 3 easy steps the Cypress Umbrella goes from portable to fully open.
First, the enclosure slides on and off effortlessly into the handle. Next, the skeleton expands with a pull of a latch, the stem and ribs locking into place. Finally, extending the manual slider opens the umbrella, putting the canopy in tension.
Also available will be the Cypress Umbrella Classic, a full-length umbrella with wider coverage, the same Independent Suspension System, and interchangeable canvases.
Similarly, the Cypress Umbrella Classic will be constructed with the same build quality, providing optimal durability and lengthy service life to all its owners.
Cypress Umbrella Classic
There will be 10 initial colours and patterns offered. A survey will be sent to all backers once the campaign has ended on choice of canvases. Additional colours and patterns will available in the future.
Hailing from the west coast of Canada, in the rainy city of Vancouver, our story began with the ambition to develop the smallest, most portable everyday umbrella while retaining strength. Ideally, a product small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, yet sturdy enough to last season after season. However, this proved to be more troublesome than we imagined. Umbrellas haven’t really changed at all for the past century. The mechanisms still remain the same in how they’re built and how they operate. There were tweaks here and there, whether changing the profile of the members or changing the materials to improve size and strength. After countless weeks of trying to design a smaller umbrella to compete with others, we started realizing why small umbrellas were all constructed the same: every shortcut is taken to reduce that final size and weight. If we were to compromise strength for size, it would be yet another product with a short life span. So we decided that while we can’t make the smallest umbrella, we can most definitely make the strongest and most durable umbrella.
We listed every feature that we liked amongst current umbrellas and everything we would want in ours. Working out of the Vancouver Hack Space, we had to redesign almost every component. Going back to basic engineering principles and leveraging new innovative processes, we defined we a new architecture, new mechanisms and improved product life. In the end, aside from making the strongest umbrella, we believe we have created the most versatile umbrella. An umbrella with a fully telescopic architecture, interchangeable canvas capability, an Independent Suspension System and finally a drip-free concealed handle enclosure.
The past 10 months has been an endless cycle of design → fabricate → test → break → repeat. The result is the refined prototype you see now. Our goal in the next 10 months is to make sure the umbrella is in your hands.
Cahay Ho, born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, is a Mechanical Engineering graduate out of the University of Alberta. Throughout his studies, Cahay was heavily involved with the Formula SAE race car, the experience that sparked the idea behind the Cypress Umbrella’s Independent Suspension System. In the workplace, he is a product design engineer, constantly creating innovative solutions across multiple sectors from automotive to biomedical.
Kevin Truong, from Toronto, Ontario, is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo. A natural problem solver, Kevin’s jack-of-all-trades skill set is especially useful during time-critical situations. He brings a wealth of experience from automotive and aerospace sectors through his work for GM and Daimler as well as multiple Tier 1 suppliers.
- We want to thank a lot of people and organizations for helping us get this far. For all their work with the campaign page, media credit goes to:
Videography: Alex Bocajj + Crew (bocajj)
Photography: Linda Liu
Another big thanks goes to: Mark Lee / Jason Van / Kumiko Aoki / Clement Woo / Kerri Mak / Members of VHS / Dan Royer (marginallyclever) / Ashish Bidadi (Palette) / Viktor (ForeverSpin) / Glen Dobson (Mac-Ride) / Leor Grebler (Ubi)
Finally, we would like to thank all those taking the time to look at our project — we appreciate your support, feedback and helping us turn this into a reality.
Risks and challenges
PRODUCT ADJUSTMENTS: As we optimize the assembly for production, there will likely be some minor changes. The Cypress Umbrella is a well-defined and working prototype, but there's more to perfect. Improvements are planned for the handle, enclosure and top hub components to improve aesthetic appeal and make it even more user-friendly. The Cypress Umbrella is currently compromised largely of 3D printed parts alongside our precision machined components. These 3D printed parts will translate into production intent materials and manufacturing processes. Just imagine how strong the umbrella will become when our 3D printed parts are constructed from aluminum and injection molded plastic! All changes will only be of benefit to you, and of course we will always keep you informed of any modifications and advancements.
MANUFACTURING: Together, we have over 15 years of experience in the automotive sector dealing with suppliers and manufacturing. We will only be working with suppliers with experience in providing high quality components ensuring your Cypress Umbrella is built to last.
FULFILLMENT: We will do our best to meet our delivery goals. As this product is so new and unique, there is a high chance that we'll encounter obstacles along our way. However, we can ensure you that we will not take shortcuts or accept poor quality components while creating your Cypress Umbrella. So please be patient with us as we bring you the last (and best) umbrella that you will ever buy!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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