Coco’s Campfire Bench and End Table Concepts

A bench needs an end table. Coco has been hard at work on putting together the design for the matching end table. Here are the results.


The wings on either side are a place to put personal items, maybe a book or a flashlight. The top surface can hold a plate, drinks or cell phone.


Putting it all together makes for a comfortable evening by the fire.


Podcast: Rightsizing Your Product

“Right sizing” your product means designing products that fit the market and can be practically produced.  Waiting to long to release a product to manufacturing and the market can be worse than releasing too early, because if you wait until its perfect then you’ll never get it out the door.  Lets talk about the concept of having just enough features and benefits for your product to succeed.  Solve a simple problem in a simple way and you’ll have a great product.

2013 April – Rightsizing Your Product

Intern Update – Kitchen Set Prototypes

THEY’RE BACK!!  Prototypes of the Kitchen Set (Cooking Utensils Rest, Eating Utensils Rest, and Dish Towel Holder) from my last blog are back from the water jet cutting facility.

The prototypes were made using 3/16″ Aluminum and 1/8″ ABS Plastic.

Here is a look at the Cooking Utensils Rest and Eating Utensils Rest in Aluminum and in Plastic:


This picture shows the thickness comparison of the two materials:

3/16″ Aluminum vs. 1/8″ Black ABS Plastic


The aluminum Kitchen Rest Set:
3/16″ thickness aluminum


The plastic Kitchen Rest Set:
1/8″ thickness Black ABS Plastic


Let’s put them to use!  In this configuration, campers can keep their utensils on the picnic table:


ALUMINUM Set on the table:






PLASTIC Set on the table:





Another option is to hang them from a carabiner:


Hanging Option

Front View of the Plastic Set, Hanging:


Rear View of the Plastic Set, Hanging:




 Observations of the Utensils Rests:

My observations of the 3/8″ Aluminum Utensils Rests:

Pros:  rugged look, feels like a quality product, durable

Cons:  rather heavy, limited color options

Recommendations:  I would like to see this material in a thinner version.


My observations of the 1/8″ Plastic Utensils Rests:

Pros:  lightweight, cheaper production, multiple colors

Cons:  thin features (on handle) could break

Recommendations:  If this material was used, it would need to be textured on both sides to look and feel like a finished, quality product.


Now let’s take a look at the Dish Towel Holders:

As I wrote in my previous blog, I had designed three different versions of the Dish Towel Holder.  We created prototypes of all three versions, and here they are, also in 3/16″ Aluminum and 1/8″ ABS Plastic.

Option A:

Option A in Aluminum and ABS Plastic

Option B:

Option B in Aluminum and ABS Plastic

Option C:

Option C in Aluminum and ABS Plastic


The Dish Towel Holders in Use:

Option A in Plastic and Aluminum:

DSC_6559 DSC_6560

Option B and C in Aluminum:


Option B and C in Plastic:



Observations of the Dish Towel Holders:

In my personal opinion, Option A is not as aesthetically pleasing as Options B and C.  I have decided that Option B and Option C would make a great pair, since they are the same overall shape, but offer slightly different functions.  Either of these options could extend well beyond the kitchen aspect of camping by hanging other items that would otherwise be taking up valuable surface space.   The teeth on Option B could be used for any fabric item such as a beach towel or wet bathing suits.  The hooks on Option C could be used for things such as a flashlight or keys.

Next steps:

I will be visiting the water jet cutting facility to explore some other options for materials and thickness of the materials.  I have also decided to decrease the height of the Eating Utensils rest, since there is a lot of extra material in the gaps between the smaller silverware.  The Cooking Utensils Rest will stay the same size.

If you have any opinions or questions, feel free to leave me a comment, and thanks for reading!