The Woodress is a woodworking and sign making studio based in Santa Cruz, California. For a couple of years, they have produced custom mobile coffee carts and needed some help thinking through a redesign to the product for standardization and increased manufacturability. Being a solopreneur, the Woodress worked with us to workshop product decisions like material choices and leveraged our product & industrial design background to create parametric models of cart concepts.
Early Prototype of Potential Hardware Changes
Since the mobile carts had been around for some time, we were able to quickly unpack the pain points associated with the old design and material choices. From there, we began a process of experimentation to find the right balance between ease of assembly and functional rigidity. Though the end result is quite simple in overall form, the design process was not straightforward. As with every product design process, there are a host of constraints that need to be accommodated: Ease of use, cleanability, rigidity, shipping weight, longevity, and product costs. Navigating these constraints requires an organized and open line of communication, and we draw on modern product management tools to aid in the process.
Bar/Coffee Cart Rendering
An early stipulation of this collaboration was to create a design that was as manufacturable as possible. Here, we set our CAD and CNC skills to work, designing a manufacturing system that would be repeatable, with little post-machining steps.
CAD Rendering of Panels
Currently, we are The Woodress' manufacturing partner for these mobile carts, cutting each order as it comes in. Not investing in up front inventory for an early stage product is a major benefit of working with a small manufacturer. It allows us the opportunity to learn and adapt the design more rapidly than in a traditional product design workflow.
Do you have a coffee pop-up, food and beverage, retail, or events focused business that could benefit from a mobile cart? Visit THE WOODRESS.