About this project
I originally conceived of the K-Stand during my time in college where I have received my Industrial Welding Certificate. During the start of my journey to becoming a welder, I had purchased a simple tablet stand to sit on my desk. In actual fact, this so called "simple" tablet stand I thought I had purchased was not so simple at all! This stand did not function very well at all as it would be falling down all the time, it would not stay locked in place, and it overall just felt and looked cheap. It was a complete hassle; so I thought to myself, I have all the equipment and supplies at school to develop something that would suit me. Something simple and unique. It was at school where I was introduced to a CNC plasma cutting table which has the ability to cut designs in to sheet metal. This is a tool that would combine my training toward my aspirations of becoming a welder as well as apply the overwhelming knowledge I had already attained for graphic designing.
I quickly rose to the top of my class by creating, designing, and fabricating. I was the one my classmates came to when they needed assistance creating a design for things such as clocks and fire pits. However, I didn't want to design exactly what was listed in my syllabus.
The K-Stand was in fact, one of the first projects I used to familiarize myself with the new equipment. The original concept to my K-Stand used a hole on the face to create a bit of weight reduction as the more metal the stand had, the heavier it would be. Shortly after finishing the first prototype, I realized that the big circle in the middle was way too boring! So I found a silhouette of a the Canadian Maple Leaf to spice up my stand. Finally, I finished my brand new stand, painted it red, and added rubber where the top and bottom touch my tablet so I would not get any scratches on it. As it sat on my desk new ideas started pouring in to my head as to what other designs I would like to have on my tablet stand.
People would come over to my house and see the stand and ask for designs of their own as well. Other design improvements quickly followed after the first design. I made a slight adjustment to the angle for a better view as well as more stability. I had also made an adjustment to the back leg. I felt it did not look as elegant as I wanted it and the new leg design also made the weight of the K-Stand much lighter. By the end of my ten month college term and in the midst of other projects on the go, I had settled on the third version of the K-Stand I designed. This is the one that had offered the most support for the angle it was placed on and was well received by friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. Once I was finished school, I'd spent the next few months trying to think of a marketing strategy so that I could make the K-Stand available to all that showed interest. Then I found Kickstarter! This was a catalyst for providing me with the drive and determination to put my stand into full production.
-October 31, 2012
K-Stand prototype was constructed. (Version 1)
-November 8, 2012
Second K-Stand prototype constructed. (Version 2)
-November 22, 2012
Third K-Stand prototype constructed. (Version 3) This was the version I settled on for a while. It had the best balance between angle and stability.
-February 14, 2014
Fourth K-Stand prototype constructed (Version 4) with access to a laser CnC machine at my place of work. I was able to create more detailed image cut outs. Unlike the plasma CnC machine at my college, this CnC machine eliminated the need to grind and clean the stands after. This effectively dropped production time of one stand down from 30 minutes to 5 minutes. The angle of these stand was dropped from 75 degrees to 70 degrees. Unfortunately not all changes can be improvements. For as well as these stands turned out, the new angle was unstable when the tablet is in a portrait orientation.
-February 18, 2014
Completed the design for the fifth version of K-Stand. This version actually goes back to the tried and true 75 degree angle of version three. In addition to this change the foot of the back leg was widened from 3/4 of an inch to 7/8 of an inch, and lengthened from 3/8 of an inch to 5/8 of an inch.
Additional art work will be added in an ongoing process to both Kickstarter and my Web based store. If you do not see any thing you like, be sure to check back later to see what has been added.
The first step in my plan, after the success of my Kickstarter, will be to immediately start production. I have already secured the companies that will be assisting me in my venture. My place of employment will serve to produce and assemble the metal K-Stands which will give me a front row seat to be sure the best quality is being produced. From there, they would be sent to a third party painting company for a powder coating. Finally, they will come back for the final rubber coating and then be sent off for delivery. These four stages can take up to four weeks, from cutting, welding, painting and rubber coating. The plastic K-Stands are already colored straight from the manufacturer and are not rubber coated, therefore they would go directly to shipping for the customer. Shipping time frame will be an additional two weeks after their packaged.
At the same time I will be assembling my web based store front. The K-Stand is my flagship product. It'll be showcased front and center on the grand opening of this site. As my strength is in graphical design, I'm positive I can make an eye catching and functional front end, completed in approximately three to four weeks.
Final production stream lining
The first batch of K-Stands will be used to stream line the final production, packaging, and delivery setup. Efficiency has always been in my mind set. This first batch of K-Stands will be used to figure out the best process to get them completed and delivered as quickly as possible. At this point I plan to have a modest collection of K-Stands in storage and ready for shipping via my web site. Provided the requested stand is in stock the shipping time frame would only be two weeks. Faster shipping will cost extra.
Final product prep and assembly
The final production stage for the metal K-Stands is the rubber coating. Once I receive the K-Stands back, I will be adding this last final touch. Each stand only takes a few minutes to add the rubber coating. Once the rubber coating is set and dry, the K-Stands can be delivered directly to backers and customers.
I'm a very community oriented individual. Aside from designing and making other products available via my web front, I plan on looking towards the community for their art work. Should their work be selected for use on my products, I would offer a percentage for each stand sold with their art work. I hope to have this setup and accepting submissions by August of this year.
Special Thanks to:
-My friends and family for their support
-Erin Barkwell for running the Camera
-Joanne Daignault for assistance with the product naming
-Devolver for providing the music:
-ScrewAttack.com for their support
Risks and challenges
Risk and challenges have been easily overcome thus far. My primary challenges now are ironing out production time frames. At present, my place of employment will serve to produce the metal K-Stands. Should the demand be higher than anticipated, I plan to outsource the work to a larger company. I would follow the same procedure for the acrylic stands. In both cases I feel my sources are adequately equipped to handle the road ahead. My only other challenge has been obtaining legal right to use pop culture references in the final product (ie: video game characters). I plan to overcome this through research and perseverance. Should I fail to meet my time line for this, I plan to select eye catching art work that is free to use, or created myself.
I welcome any questions you may have, so please ask. If there is something I haven't thought of that needs to be brought to light, I would be very grateful. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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