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US Designs is an American-founded company creating unique modern American-made home and office decor products. Read more

Tucson, AZ Art
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US Designs is an American-founded company creating unique modern American-made home and office decor products.

Tucson, AZ Art
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About this project

Welcome fellow Kickstarters.  Let me introduce you to my project.  

I have always had a good eye for minimalist design but it is after 10 years of working in the precision manufacturing industry that I have gained enough experience and expertise to make my ideas come to life. During the last few years of my job in the industry, I have had to experience the hardships felt by a worker in an American manufacturing industry. I now believe that the solution to reduce our dependence on foreign industries has to come from within. With this belief, I decided and worked tirelessly to launch US Designs, a home and office décor company featuring modern contemporary products that are 100 percent American made.

This keeps American dollars in the American ECONOMY...

Here's a sneak peek into the designs you will see if you continue reading.

 My Kickstarter project includes three separate product lines.  The first two are minimalist photo frame designs with an industrial look and the third is a wall décor product line.  All products, featured on this Kickstarter project, have a clean and industrial look while allowing you to help support the creation or sustainability of American jobs.  

Fellow Kickstarters – as you browse through my project, it is my hope that you will share my beliefs and help support my goal of forming a better American company. Additional information can be found on the web site about the individual product lines.

During the length of this project, I will continue to provide more details about the company and our proposed path towards our future goals and endeavors via “The Blog Series” coinciding with this Kickstarter project.

    US Designs was built from the ground up as a company to be part of the solution to America’s economic problems. With a goal to initiate internal spending to support local American companies, we laid down the foundation of US Designs by forging “The US Designs Standards of Manufacturing”. These standards will help keep American dollars in the American economy.  All products featured on this Kickstarter project will be manufactured to these strict standards.
  • Made from American materials
  • Manufactured on American machines
  • Assembled by American workers
  • Using only American glues, paints and chemicals

By maintaining these standards, each product becomes a 100% American-made product.

Materials Used

Aluminum – An aircraft grade aluminum 6061-T6 was chosen for all aluminum components, to include the rods, C-channel, sheet metal and mounts.

Glass – The most expensive part of the products is the glass.  I was able to find several American float glass manufacturers.  With the addition of in-house cutting equipment, I am able to create a glass product at an affordable price.

Glues – 3M adhesives are used for most of the gluing procedures.  In order to adhere the glass and mount together, a 2-part aircraft grade epoxy is used, creating a very strong bond.

Sanding products – Most of the sanding products used for polishing and straight line polishing pieces again are from 3M and some other companies. 

These standards were the first set of hurdles to overcome in creating the products for this Kickstarter project. A modern, contemporary product at an affordable price is still able to be created while maintaining these strict standards.

 A small thank you reward for a low-level pledge is a 304 stainless steel keychain.This keychain is laser engraved with the American Flag on the front, individually part marked, and thanking you for your support on the back.Your small pledge is greatly appreciated in helping move this project forward.

My first two product lines are two unique modern looking photo frames.  All necessary hardware for assembly and installation is included.  These photo frames are built using the US Designs Standards of Manufacturing.  

Photo Frame 1: Standing Design

Displayed here is 5"x7" Standing Photo Frame in Landscape Orientation.
Displayed here is 5"x7" Standing Photo Frame in Landscape Orientation.
 

The standing photo frame has the ability to display your photo in either a horizontal or vertical position.  Using 6061 aircraft grade hardware, a clean industrial look is obtained.This allows your photos to clearly be displayed with this minimalist design.You can choose either a 4” x 6” or 5” x 7” version of this photo frame design for your small pledge.You will find an assembly video below.

Displayed here is 5"x7" Standing Photo Frame which is interchangeable between Landscape and Portrait positions.
Displayed here is 5"x7" Standing Photo Frame which is interchangeable between Landscape and Portrait positions.

NOTE: The 8 x 10 version of standing photo frames will be available following Kickstarter with more options on the way.

Photo Frame 2:  Wall-Mounted Design

Closeup of Horizontal 5"x7" Wall Mounted Photo Frame
Closeup of Horizontal 5"x7" Wall Mounted Photo Frame
 

The wall mounted photo frame design comes in either a 4” x 6” or 5” x 7” version.  Due to the gluing process, you may select either a horizontal or a vertical version depending on how you wish to display your photo.  

Displayed here is Horizontal 5"x7" Wall Mounted Photo Frame
Displayed here is Horizontal 5"x7" Wall Mounted Photo Frame

NOTE: The 8 x 10 version of wall mounted photo frames will be available following Kickstarter with more options on the way.

When mounted on the wall, this frame hangs ½” away in a free-floating position. The custom-designed 6061 aircraft grade aluminum mount and other aluminum hardware gives these frames a modern look.

Aircraft grade epoxy is used for the assembly process creating a strong durable product that will last many years.

Insertion of photos is done by slipping your photo between the two pieces of glass. When you wish to change out your photos, the new photo will push the old photo out the side making it easy to change out your family photos.

An installation video can be found below in the assembly section.  Installation is very simple to do and requires basic hand tools that even the novice homeowner can install.

Here is the 3D Model Rendering of all Photo Frame Designs.

The final product line in my Kickstarter project is the wall décor pieces. All 20 new designs come with all necessary hardware for assembly and installation.  This includes the stand shown in the photos that allows you to display your wall décor on a horizontal surface. 

All 20 new designs use the custom-designed 6061 aircraft grade aluminum mount.This universal mounting system is what allows you to display your piece on the wall or table surface.When displayed on the wall, the glass hangs 1” away from the wall giving a free-floating effect.This allows several shadows to be created on your wall through different lighting positions.The floating effect of the glass creates an eye catching appeal that everyone who visits your home will have to see.

Each design is manufactured to the US Designs Standards of Manufacturing.  The required laser engraver is needed to engrave the surfaces of the glass.  Other manufacturing equipment is needed as well to begin production in house.  These one of a kind unique pieces cannot be found anywhere else.  Assembly and installation videos can be found below in the assembly section.

Prototypes were created to showcase the various manufacturing techniques used.  The same techniques will be used to create the other remaining twelve designs. 

Disclaimer: Prototypes were created for eight of the twenty designs.The 3/8” glass used in the prototypes was created using four pieces of glass.The final product will be one piece of 3/8” glass as shown in the 3D models.

1. Running Horses

Size:11" x 7" x 2". Engraved horses on the front and back of the glass with painted detailed accents.  A cut line-grain piece of aluminum glued to the front of the glass.
Size:11" x 7" x 2". Engraved horses on the front and back of the glass with painted detailed accents. A cut line-grain piece of aluminum glued to the front of the glass.

2. Panda

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". The bamboo is engraved on the front of the glass with various leaves painted green.  The panda is cut out of aluminum material, anodized black, and then engraved to create white patches with additional paint added for final detailing
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". The bamboo is engraved on the front of the glass with various leaves painted green. The panda is cut out of aluminum material, anodized black, and then engraved to create white patches with additional paint added for final detailing

3. Sea Turtles

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved sea turtles on the front of the glass with green painted accents.  A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the sea floor.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved sea turtles on the front of the glass with green painted accents. A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the sea floor.

4. Humming Bird

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved hummingbird with painted accents on the front of the glass.  A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the flower.
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved hummingbird with painted accents on the front of the glass. A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the flower.

5. New York Skyline Twin Towers

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The skyline is cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain sanding process to add characteristics to each building.  The antenna on top is sandblasted on the front of the glass and painted black.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The skyline is cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain sanding process to add characteristics to each building. The antenna on top is sandblasted on the front of the glass and painted black.

6. New York Skyline Empire State Building

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". A cut piece of aluminum with a line-grain finish for details glued to the front of the glass.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". A cut piece of aluminum with a line-grain finish for details glued to the front of the glass.

7. New York Skyline Freedom Tower

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". A cut piece of aluminum with a line-grain finish for detail.  Sandblasted antennas on the front of the glass painted black.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". A cut piece of aluminum with a line-grain finish for detail. Sandblasted antennas on the front of the glass painted black.

8. Space Needle

Size: 7" x 11" x 2". The sky line is cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain sanding process to add detail.  The antenna on to is sandblasted on the front of the glass and painted black.
Size: 7" x 11" x 2". The sky line is cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain sanding process to add detail. The antenna on to is sandblasted on the front of the glass and painted black.

9. American Flag

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". The American flag engraved on the front surface of the glass, painted red and blue, with black painted tassels on the side and an aluminum flag pole.
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". The American flag engraved on the front surface of the glass, painted red and blue, with black painted tassels on the side and an aluminum flag pole.

10. Hollywood Sign

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The Hollywood sign letters are cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain finish.  The mountains in the background are engraved on the front side of the glass.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The Hollywood sign letters are cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain finish. The mountains in the background are engraved on the front side of the glass.

11. Eiffel Tower

Size: 7" x 11" x 2". An engraved Eiffel Tower design on the front of the glass with painted accents.
Size: 7" x 11" x 2". An engraved Eiffel Tower design on the front of the glass with painted accents.

12. Golden Gate Bridge

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The rocks to the left are cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain finish.  The Golden Gate Bridge is engraved on the front of the glass.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". The rocks to the left are cut out of aluminum material with a line-grain finish. The Golden Gate Bridge is engraved on the front of the glass.

13. I Love You Board

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". Cut pieces of aluminum line-grained spell out I Love You with an engraved board on the front of the glass.
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". Cut pieces of aluminum line-grained spell out I Love You with an engraved board on the front of the glass.

14. Rose

Size: 7" x 11" x 2". An engraved flower on the front of the glass with red and green paint detailing the flower and the stem.  A cut piece of aluminum with line-grain finish is the vase.
Size: 7" x 11" x 2". An engraved flower on the front of the glass with red and green paint detailing the flower and the stem. A cut piece of aluminum with line-grain finish is the vase.

15. Flowers

Size: 7" x 11" x 2". Engraved flowers on the front of the glass with painted accents for the stems and petals.  A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the vase.
Size: 7" x 11" x 2". Engraved flowers on the front of the glass with painted accents for the stems and petals. A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the vase.

16. Window Scene Nature

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved scene on the front of the glass with various painted accents.  A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the window.
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved scene on the front of the glass with various painted accents. A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the window.

17. Window Scene Girl & Guy

Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved scene on the front of the glass with various painted accents.  A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the window.
Size: 10" X 10" X 2". An engraved scene on the front of the glass with various painted accents. A cut piece of line-grained aluminum creates the window.

18. Desert Landscape

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved scenes on the front and back of the glass with painted accents.  A cut line-grained piece of aluminum creates the desert floor.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved scenes on the front and back of the glass with painted accents. A cut line-grained piece of aluminum creates the desert floor.

19. Javelina

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved javelina and cactus on the front of the glass with painted accents.  A cut line-grained piece of aluminum creates the desert floor.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Engraved javelina and cactus on the front of the glass with painted accents. A cut line-grained piece of aluminum creates the desert floor.

20. Quail

Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Four quail engraved on the front of the glass with painted accents.  A cut piece of aluminum with line-grain finish sits on the bottom.
Size: 11" x 7" x 2". Four quail engraved on the front of the glass with painted accents. A cut piece of aluminum with line-grain finish sits on the bottom.

Here's a video of 3D Renderings for All Wall Decor Designs.

Example of a 3D rendering of a custom one-of-a-kind Wall Mounted Design for your Family Photos.
Example of a 3D rendering of a custom one-of-a-kind Wall Mounted Design for your Family Photos.
Another example of a custom Wall Decor Design, customized for Pledges of $150 or more.
Another example of a custom Wall Decor Design, customized for Pledges of $150 or more.

Twenty-five people will receive a custom one-of-a-kind piece on either an 11” x 7” or 10” x 10” glass canvas.As seen above, this can be a family photo or a series of photos. Any of the techniques used to create the 20 new designs will be available in creating your piece. Each piece will be signed and dated.All necessary hardware will be included. All ideas will be welcomed while we create your personalized product.

 Note: Due to the complexity of this reward, these will not be shipped out until the end of the year.

1. Design Phase

US Designs was created from my 10 years experience in the precision manufacturing industry. Along the way I kept seeing new materials and manufacturing methods. These manufacturing methods became the beginning steps in creating my new designs. These ideas started with a sketch on the white board. 

Standing Frame Design

Wall Mounted Frame Design

Then a 3d model was created within Solid Works. From this 3d model stage, production prints were created. This led to the beginning stages of the prototypes.

2. Production Phase

Once all the prototypes were created, several different finishing techniques were evaluated to decide which would be best to use. Also during the prototype stage, all hardware and adhesive possibilities were considered before a decision was made. These things not only needed to perform and look a certain way, but needed to adhere to the US Designs standards of manufacturing.

Final Prototypes Produced for Standing Designs
Final Prototypes Produced for Standing Designs
Final Prototypes Produced for Wall Mounted Designs
Final Prototypes Produced for Wall Mounted Designs

We are ready for production once the Kickstarter campaign ends.

All production orders for materials and out-sourced work are ready to go. These purchase orders will go out to vendors and shops that I have known from my 10 years experience in the manufacturing industry. The day after the completion of Kickstarter campaign, all of these purchase orders will go out with material arriving to the shops within a few days. My project management skills from my past employment will make completing production orders very easy.

The CNC machine shop chosen to do all of the machine work will have most of the components done within a few days of the material arriving. They already have a couple hundred mounts sitting on their shelves awaiting payment. They will begin manufacturing additional mounts during the Kickstarter campaign depending on support.

My water jet vendor will also have a turnaround time of a couple of days.This shop runs 24 hours a day with three shifts.I have two other water jet shops on stand-by if production exceeds the capacity of my first vendor.

Purchase orders for the laser equipment will go out as soon as the Kickstarter project has met the minimum funding goal. I have been assured the required laser engraving equipment will be available to me as soon as funds are deposited.

All assembly and shipping will be done in-house. My first team members are lined up and ready to go. Many of these people are unemployed. These jobs created will be the first impact felt from your support. I plan to run 24 hours a day to ensure all orders are processed and shipped out as quickly as possible to all my fellow Kickstarters. This project will be a walk in the park compared to other projects I have managed in past while working in the manufacturing industry.

Where will the money be spent?

    The project goal of $25,000 will be allocated to the list shown below.  This is the minimum amount of money I need to get this project off the ground to begin in-house manufacturing for these product lines. 

  • Production orders of glass and mounts
  • Custom-built tooling
  • American-Made Equipment:
  • C02 engraving laser
  • Air compressor
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Sandblaster
  • Glass cutting machinery
  • Helping spread the message behind US Designs and our standards of manufacturing.
  • A little bit towards Social Media and Internet Marketing

Your support is greatly appreciated in making this project possible. With the addition of this equipment, I will be able to lower my manufacturing costs which will allow me to lower the retail price of products in the future.

All international pledges will need to add the additional costs shown in the chart below to their pledge to cover international shipping. All additional taxes and tariffs required by your individual country will be the responsibility of the customer.

If you are interested in one of the larger pledge amounts, please inquire via email about the additional international shipping charges that will apply.

 Assembly and installation of all products shown is very easy to do. All necessary hardware to assemble each piece will be included with only basic hand tools needed for installation. Every product is designed around an easy assembly process so that anyone no matter what your background is will be able to enjoy a US Designs product.

Professional installation videos and instructions will be available on the web site following the completion of this Kickstarter project.

Standing Photo Frame

Tools Needed:

  • Included Allen Wrench

As shown in the video below, the standing photo frame can be assembled in less than a minute. All necessary hardware is included to display your photograph in either a vertical or horizontal position allowing you to display photographs of your choice and to easily change them out.

Wall Mounted Photo Frame

Tools Needed:
  • Hammer
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Included Allen Wrench

As shown in the video below, the installation of the wall-mounted photo frame is done in a series of easy-to-do steps. Once mounted, changing your photos out is as easy as sliding one photo in as it pushes the other one out. The installation process of the wall mounted photo frame is very similar to the installation of the wall décor pieces.

Wall Decor

Tools Needed:

  • Hammer
  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Included Allen Wrench

As shown in the video below, the assembly of the wall décor pieces in the standing position is done in less than a minute. With the included stand and Allen-head bolt in a few simple steps your piece can be displayed on a horizontal surface.

The same piece can be displayed on a wall by following the same installation steps as shown in the wall-mounted photo frame installation video. This allows each piece to be either a wall décor piece or a table-top display piece.

 

Risks and challenges

There are very few risks after a successfully funded project. My manufacturers are ready to begin production and all equipment suppliers are ready for my purchase orders. Most of the tooling is already designed and is ready to be built.
The first day after completion of my Kickstarter project, I will begin placing orders on materials. The project and company is ready to go into mass production, with the only last obstacle being funding.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $5 reward

    1 backer

    EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS. You will receive a personalized thank you letter and be the first ones placed on the monthly newsletter mailing list. This reward is also included in other pledges as well. *International Buyers will receive a Thank You Email Newsletter instead

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $10 reward

    2 backers

    You will receive a US-Designs Key chain. This reward is also included in all of the following pledges as well.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $20 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 1 Standing Photo Frame in any size of your choice (4″x6″ or 5″x7″) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $30 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 1 Wall Mounted Photo Frame in any size or orientation of your choice (Sizes: 4″x6″ or 5″x7″) (Orientation: Landscape or Portrait) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $35 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 2 Standing Photo Frames, one of each size (4″x6″ and 5″x7″), and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    1 backer

    You will receive 1 Wall Decor piece in any design of your choice (Choose from 20 Designs) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $55 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 2 Wall Mounted Photo Frames, one of each size (4″x6″ and 5″x7″) (Choose Orientation: Landscape or Portrait) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $70 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 1 Wall Decor piece in any design of your choice (Choose from 20 Designs) and 1 Photo Frame (Wall-Mounted or Standing), in any size or orientation of your choice and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $95 reward

    0 backers

    You will receive 2 Wall Decor pieces in any designs of your choice (Choose from 20 Designs) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $140 reward

    1 backer

    You will receive 3 Wall Decor pieces in any designs of your choice (Choose from 20 Designs) and a US-Designs Key chain.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    You will receive 1 customized piece on a 11″x7″ or 10″x10″ canvas of your choice and a US-Designs Key chain. Custom Design could be a picture of family portrait, scenery, or text of your liking.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)