The Nuts and Bolts of Spark
We’re really excited, and we hope you are too. But awesome prototypes only become awesome products with lots of planning and logistics. And in the case of Spark, it’s actually pretty interesting.
In keeping with our efforts to make Spark a very “green” solution, it was really important to us to produce in the US, where most of our customers are. This reduces the carbon footprint by cutting down on the total distance shipped, and fuels the domestic economy.
We were fortunate to find an awesome manufacturer in Oregon. Up in the pacific northwest, the paper products industry is bustling, so manufacturing a cardboard standing desk there is a great fit.
Our manufacturer claims that Spark is the most interesting product they’ve ever worked on, from both technical and idealogical perspectives. They’ve been in business for over 40 years, so that’s pretty cool.
How Does Production Work?
Spark starts life as flat sheets of double-wall corrugated cardboard, white on both sides. It then goes through a coloring step to become the gorgeous blue-grey gunmetal color that we just love.
In the same coloring step, the parts also get our logo (called a “bug” in the cardboard manufacturing industry), and some icons to aid assembly.
After that, the colored sheets are fed into a production line, where the parts (with their very unique shapes) are punched out by big flat steel-rule dies. These things are efficient; they can make 1000 Sparks / hour! The scraps go into recycling to become more flat sheets, keeping it green.
As you can tell from the picture above, most of the Spark component parts have at least one fold. To make sure these folds land in the right place – and to make assembly fun and easy – the parts need to be creased for the bends. To accomplish this, the cutting die also has creasing features that locally crush the cardboard in exactly the right place.
Finally, the parts are folded up to fit in the shipping box, and paired with a very cool packaging insert (seriously – you’ll be stoked when you see what’s included with Spark). Then the shipping boxes are sealed, packed in larger master cartons, and palletized to head off to the fulfillment centers.
Then when it’s time to ship your Spark to your door, your unit gets pulled from the master carton, labeled, and handed to UPS, FedEx, or USPS.
It all sounds pretty simple, which is good. But we’ve gone through each step, diligently perfecting our methods and ensuring that Spark delivers the very best experience from start to finish.
If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you’ll remember that we bypassed Kickstarter and ran our own campaign for Topo last year. That was so we could raise enough money to purchase all the capital equipment for Topo manufacturing.
Now that Topo is a huge success, we are fortunate enough to have the cash on hand to get production started. So we don’t NEED to raise money with pre-orders, and no matter how successful (or otherwise) the pre-order campaign is, we’ll definitely be manufacturing Spark.
But we found that people really loved getting in on the ground floor last time. We got tons of feedback from our Pre-Order Insiders that learning about the process and knowing that they were the very first people in the world to have an awesome new product was a really fun experience.
And that’s an experience we want to offer again with Spark.
If that sort of experience sounds fun to you, pre-order your Spark when we launch tomorrow (5/3). If you already have a standing desk, maybe grab one as a gift (or helpful nudge) for that spouse / friend / parent / child / sibling / coworker that you’ve been trying to get out of a chair. Then you’ll get all the backstory, updates, and exclusivity of being a Pre-Order Insider. And you’ll be the first to get your desk in June.
If it doesn’t sound fun to you – that’s fine too! Just head here to be notified when Spark is in stock with 2-day shipping (likely July or August). But please do consider sharing the Spark campaign so that others have the opportunity to join in if they’d like.
Either way, tomorrow is the first day of Spark! Expect to see more and more people ditch their chairs, as standing becomes the new default. Now there’s a future to be excited about.
Thanks for following along so far – see you for the launch tomorrow!