Market Research: Week 6

This week, our team conducted market research with our prototypes. 

Oregon State University students focused on personal organizer meanwhile University of Oregon students focused on the travel case.

Personal organizer got positive feedbacks such as its completed look, functionality and the quality.

Travel case got helpful comments as well such as adding straps to make it feel more secure instead of just using magnets, and adding quotes or graphics were highly recommended and were brought up.

Prices were recommended between $30 to $40 which gave us clear vision about customer and buyer's expectation.

Revisions: Week 5

This week, Marketing Strategy was discussed in class and had revisions. 

There were also other revisions on prototypes:

  • Decided to focus on the organizer since the travel case wasn’t super functional

  • Will expect update about travel case on Tuesday - then will take over to give it a chance

Apart from prototypes, we are setting up Market Research, have placed an order for finish, have decided where our proceeds are going towards to.

All of our proceeds will be donated to Oregon Wild Forest Protection & Restoration (Old Growth).

We also have chose a final logo for Avery Wood Products which will be published next week.

Selection: Week 4

This week, the University of Oregon Product Design team visited the Oregon State College of Forestry to show and discuss prototypes, and decide on a final product. Each student was given a few weeks to prototype a design using the Plyboo material, and reveal it to both groups to talk and discuss.

Discussion was heavy during the meeting. These ideas included:

- Wine Rack with removable tray center

- Coaster Set holder in the shape of the state of Oregon

- Guitar stand with adjustable heights for various types of guitars

- Travel lunch box with live-hinge lid

- Tablet prop with laser cut designs etched on top

- Travel Case for notebook/passport, IDs, and other small necessities

- Desk Organizer for a place to prop a phone, store watches, keys, and other small amenities

 

With these great products up for consideration, there was a lot of talk about whether or not each of these items would have a viable market to sell to. Some other ideas for consideration for each product was whether or not the machining would be too costly on time, design flaws that would allow for the product to break, hygiene of the material, and cost of additional material in products that had additional elements to them besides bamboo.

Another point that was brought up during the class was Avery Wood Products and their past projects. Avery Wood Products has previously made bottle openers and a drink traveling carrier just last year, and continuing a theme of beverages and drinks seemed to be too predictable for the next project.

The class took a final vote, and decided on two projects; The traveling case and desk organizer.

 

Examination: Week 3

With every new product line there are challenges with what matching theoretic ideas, and the reality of the capabilities in matching those ideas. This week was not necessarily discouraging, but it was only a small progression in completing the crucial task of coming up with a final product.

There were more in-depth testings in the capabilities of the laser cutter, primarily focusing on what cut-out designs can be utilized from a 2D rendering. Instead of focusing on what was aesthetically pleasing in the graphic capabilities of the laser, we focused on creating a live hinge, which is cut rigid pieces designed to move and bend in its design. From what was cut with the laser this week, it appears that relying heavily on the laser cutter is not ideal. Heavy charring occurred with the amount of concentrated heat from the laser. The heat, combined with the bamboo’s natural reaction to high heat and air surrounding it gave a charcoaled result that was not able to be sanded off.

Some design schematics needed additional rework in ideation as well. For instance, to make a product that would typically be used outdoors or be exposed to moisture, would require a significant amount of sealant in order to protect the material from decay.

On the bright side, we began the the process of making the prototype! Each student is to make their own prototype out of the Plyboo material so we can see if it is possible to manufacture the concept, and if the processes seem well managed and efficient.. This process is crucial for how the rest of the term will go in making this product, but an entertaining challenge since our ideas are becoming a reality. By Friday, February 3rd, both student groups will be collectively voting on a prototype and allow the production to begin!

As of today, there are a handful of ideas and designs that are solid in terms of design and process, but we are waiting for the prototype to be completed. From wine racks, wallets, coat racks and travel cases, we are so close to having a final decision for the product launch!

Experimentation: Week 2

This week each student were to come up with two basic concepts of a product and present them to a class. Each school went through a critique session on all designs discussing technicalities, logistics, & possibilities pertaining the material, machining abilities, & personal concerns. The atmosphere stayed positive & open from start to finish to get the most out of the time. Based on everyone's feed back there are to be 16 prototypes of ideas made within the class that should contain as many details as the actual product would have. Of these 16 models a final product decision should be made. 

To confirm the brilliance of Plyboo, the material has begun testing as far as aesthetic properties are concerned. The team placed blocks of Plyboo under the laser creating a fish and different shades of a compass. This is to ensure if the product goes under the laser that the cut will look as crisp & clear as possible. Those blocks are currently placed in conditioning rooms to be immersed in an environment that has high moisture content & temperatures to allow a confirmation of how durable Plyboo really is. If these tests all go well then the team will be able to make an exterior product with extremely detailed designs. 

Another great milestone accomplished this week was under the CNC machine. The CNC is a Computer Numerical Control router and cuts on three axis. Due to size restrictions the one available to students at OSU is minimal, but UO has much larger capabilities. This router can cut on things out of planes of straight lines & curves and essentially, with enough design programing, could do 3D arches. Knowing this, all the students are very excited to see how the CNC would cut this interesting product and we found it is capable of cutting out a live hinge. A live hinge is essentially a continuous joint that never stops made of the product. For a better mental image, visual a door connected to a wall by a metal hinge, but instead of the metal hinge picture the door attached to the wall by a single piece of material and still having the flexibility to open & close, THAT is a living hinge. It's something that neither school has created or mastered, so all students are highly motivated to get more into product design and implement this feature. Let us know here if a product with a living hinge interests you!

Formation: Week 1

Oregon State University (OSU) & the University of Oregon (UO) finally have one thing in common: Plyboo. In this experimental collaboration class built into the curriculum, the students from both universities can come together to brainstorm a product created from Plyboo. Smith & Fong Company donated laminated plywood composed of bamboo, instead of the typical wooden veneer, with a soy based adhesive to allow the utilization of design from UO and the wood science fundamentals from OSU to create their own business. The team members are comprised of a broad spectrum of backgrounds but include the Renewable Materials program from OSU and the Product Design program of UO.

The first full group Meet n’ Greet took place during the last few hours of week one of the winter term and was an utter success filled with enthusiasm for ideas and thrust to get started. The OSU students fled down to UO campus to be in a hip new environment brimming with a creatively charged atmosphere. Both groups left feeling like they had a stellar team ready to design, manufacture, and distribute a Plyboo product to the local areas. Stay tuned for the product teasers & launch!

It was amazing to go in with high expectations and have them hit out of the park. We got to work right away on strategizing, organizing, and sharing ideas
— Kai, UO Senior