What are Stackamals?
Stackamals are beautiful 3D animal models that are built by stacking layers of laser cut wood on top of each other. The current range consist of a dolphin, a frog and a pig. They all come in easy to build self assembly kits with all the required parts. The frog and pig contain hidden storage.
One of the great things about Stackamals is that you have the enjoyment and satisfaction of building it, seeing the animals taking shape, and you end up with a tactile piece of art for your desk which is both beautiful and useful.
How do I build one?
Stackamal kits come with all the materials you need. You build them up by stacking the layers of wood on top on each other. There are clear instructions with numbered parts to make it easy to assemble. Dowels are used to hold the layers in place and make sure they are correctly aligned to give a professional looking product at the end. On the larger models, glue is also used to hold the layers together (this is provided). You get the pleasure and satisfaction of watching the animal take shape in front of your eyes as you build it up.
Stackamals are a great gift for your friends, family or yourself. Instead of spending time in front of screens, Stackamals encourage people to get creative and use their hands. Or why not build it and give it to someone as a present for a more personal touch?
The Original: Frog
The frog consists of 32 layers of 3mm birch plywood and measures roughly 8cm x 11cm x 13cm. It is ideal for a desk, mantelpiece or bookshelf. The frog requires a small amount of PVA glue, included along with clear instructions, and will take around 30 to 60 minutes to build.
The frog contains hidden storage. It makes a great hiding spot for jewellery, loose change or spare keys. The two halves are joined with neodymium magnets, which are so strong that even if held from the top, the frog remains closed. It also results in a very satisfying clunk when you put the lid back on and it clicks perfectly back into place.
The pig is made from 57 layers of 3mm of birch plywood and measures roughly 15cm x 13cm x 12cm. The pig also requires a small amount of PVA glue, included along with clear instructions. It should take around 30 to 60 minutes to build.
The pig can guard all precious trinkets, coins and folded notes. The lid is secured with strong neodymium magnets, and is designed so that to the untrained eye, the opening is difficult to locate.
The pig also comes with an additional top piece that has no coin slot to make it even more secretive and suitable for hiding precious objects or if you want to use it as an ornament.
The dolphin consists of 8 layers of 2mm MDF, a split ring and a chain, and is totally glue-less – the pieces are held together by friction alone. It measures approximately 8cm x 2.5cm x 2.5cm. It is very easy to build and anyone older than 5 can easily assemble it – with parental supervision as there are small parts.
The dolphin is perfect for key-rings, pencil cases, school bags – or even as an unusual decoration to hang on the Christmas tree.
Customise your Stackamal!
If you want to add a bit of individual character to your Stackamal, why not paint, varnish or decorate it? (Finishes are not included in the package.)
If you want your Stackamal to be featured on social media, tag it @stackamals for Instagram or #stackamals for Twitter.
I have grown up loving all animals and appreciating the beauty of the natural world around me. So that is why I liked the idea of making animal models made out of wood.
The stacking layers were inspired by the contour lines on maps. They give Stackamals a unique and stunning look as well as adding to the tactile feel of the product.
I decided to make a frog because we had just got tadpoles in our garden pond. I loved watching the tadpoles transform into frogs, giving me a love for frogs!
I created the piggy bank because as a little child I loved my piggy bank but struggled to get my money out. The Stackamal Piggy Bank has a new design, is easy to use and is secretive, whilst still preserving the cute piggy shape.
In July 2016 I won the national TDI (Technology, Design and Innovation) competition hosted by the MTA (Manufacturing Technologies Association). This then gave me confidence to develop the idea further into a commercial product. Then in March 2017 I won the Intermediate Engineering Award at the UK Big Bang Competition. The enthusiastic response to Stackamals was the final incentive I needed to launch the product. I used the prize money to pay for the initial factory samples.
The individual layers are laser cut, resulting in extreme precision and quality. The laser cutting process leaves behind beautiful burnt edges which add to the visual appeal of the Stackamals by contrasting with the paler birch plywood or MDF.
So far, I have been making Stackamals myself on my school laser cutter. With your help, I would like to have them laser cut commercially at a factory in the UK. I will keep control of the assembly and packaging process so that I can carry out quality checks to ensure that high standards are maintained.
How can I support or buy Stackamals?
Click on the rewards on the right hand side of the page (up near the top) to place your pledge in return for one of the products. Or, if you are happy to just support the campaign, you can pledge just money instead. Every pound pledged gets Stackamals closer to production.
No money will be taken until the end of the campaign and, even then, only if the target has been reached. At this point we will receive the funds to start manufacturing. We will then contact you for your address details ready to dispatch your reward to you.
The Kickstarter Mega Frog is 40cm x 24cm x 30cm and is for any backers that want to give my project an extra boost. It will be handmade by me to the best standard and with a personal touch. You would have a say on how you want it finished and anything you want engraved on it. You will also get a normal frog in kit form plus an exclusive mini frog fridge magnet.
Meet the Team
(She was the one who really believed in my product, pushing me to enter the competitions and giving me the confidence to take the product further. Thank you Ms. Andrews. Thank you too, to Mr Ironside, Miss Taylor, Mr Costello, Mr Zakrzewski, Mr Collins and Miss Vincent for helping me along the way.)
Risks and challenges
All our early prototyping has been carried out on a (powerful) school laser cutting machine. As it is too small for volume production, we have found a UK based laser cutting factory with many years of experience and the capacity we need. We have visited them and received and tested sample parts, some of which have been assembled into the products featured in the Kickstarter video.
We have planned our production and packaging so that we will have multiple quality checks to avoid sending out any incomplete sets.
We have ordered and received manufacturing samples from the factory and they meet our standards. As we have built up many prototypes during development we now know what parts need extra quality checks and have put a quality programme in place.
Postage and Packaging Time:
We have limited the quantity of rewards available before Christmas to a conservative number. For the rest of the rewards we will still try and get as many as possible away in time for Christmas. We will keep everyone up-to-date with the estimated delivery times.
Natural Materials and Colour Variation
A lot of the beauty of Stackamals comes from the materials we have chosen and the way the laser cutter lightly browns the edges as it cuts. Some of the cut parts will show some extra colour – this happens when the laser beam flares – which is part of the distinctive look of a Stackamal. The birch plywood can also show delicate variations in colour across the sheets, as is the case with all natural products. This is part of the beauty of wood which adds to the unique charm of a Stackamal. Our quality checks will remove any parts that we do not consider acceptable.
- (30 days)