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Friday, September 20, 2013

Beta Testing CUSTOM STOVE ART with the Kopp Family

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The Woodstove Design Challenge has focused our attention on questions that we hadn’t really addressed before:

1. Can we make a really high performance woodstove that is completely affordable?
2. We don’t have the chutzpah to think we can produce a stove design that will make everyone happy.  So, how do we make a flexible design that can harness our owners’ creativity?
3. How can we have fun with this product? How can our owners have fun too?

Part of the answer is that the Design Challenge Stove will offer custom design on the sides, the andirons, and the cooktop.  You can choose from our design book (being developed), submit your own design as a graphic, or suggest a concept to us for review and execution.

Here’s an example of how we think this will work.  Recently the Kopp family from Johnstown, PA sent a request for a design with a Fleur-de-Lis pattern on the stove.   Here are a few of the images they sent to us.

We sent them the preview below, and asked them to send a couple of sentences explaining why this design was important to them.  Here’s the preview that we sent to the Kopps:

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The Kopps asked us to remove the stars on the hinges, make the fleurs on the andirons a little bigger, and change the colors on the stove.  We are using our blog to publish the revised design for approval - and here it is...

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Below is a video generated by our SolidWorks program showing the custom design elements:

Our plan is to credit each design to its originator, in this case Marie Kopp.  We plan to retain designs and make them available to other stove buyers.  Ideally, we will generate a design community on line.  If the design contained a highly personal image (profile of a loved one, for example) we would not make it publicly available.

We are “beta-testing” the design/review process, as well as the mechanics of the stove. We are becoming quite adept with both the art programs and CNC programs we are using in this process, and we expect to be able create personalized stoves quickly and at very affordable costs.

We’ll show a number of designs from our employees over the next few days.  We’re having fun doing this, and we hope our customers will, too.  Many thanks to Brian, Sue and Marie Kopp for being our first test subjects!

Glenn Sperry with first test cut for Bird of Paradise pattern

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