Production Update #5
11 months ago
– Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 11:09:06 PM
We are on track to ship rewards in September and wanted to share with you a behind-the-scenes look at how we finalized a key feature plus give you a sneak peek at the completed Shape Trays!
Fine Tuning Product Development
In the product development process, we have found that you have to balance your assumptions with real world testing of components. We've learned that there are limits to what we can test with 3D printing. 3D printing enables us to create rubber-like components, but these are much less durable than real silicone. As a result, testing these components only gives us a glimpse into the functional performance. This means that we often have to go to the tooling phase early (where we cut steel molds for production) and then make adjustments once we have the first production samples to test.
For this project we made a number of adjustments after we tested the first components from the initial tooling and today we will share an example of how we approached one of these adjustments.
One issue we needed to resolve in this design was something we refer to as "seaming". This is when a raised seam of ice is created at the center of an ice ball or cube causing it to lose its symmetry. This happens because water expands when frozen and pushes the two mold halves apart during the freezing process. This can be pretty difficult to avoid but we wanted to minimize it as much as possible to create perfect ice shapes. Specifically, we were focused on a solution for the Sphere and Large Cube Trays because that is where it is most noticeable. It was important to us that whatever we developed would remain easy to use and be consistently reliable so we had to create several designs to test. Here is the testing tool we used for the hole option finalists:
This little credit card sized silicone sample allowed us to try out a bunch of options at once and really hone in on which hole and plug configuration worked the best (we chose #1 in the top left to go with the plug we had already decided to use).
Completed Shape Trays
Check out all four new Shape Trays below! We chose to use different colors to make them easy to identify.
Thanks again for your continued support and patience!
Chris & Pat