The R&D Process of Smart Mug S1 : 10 Months from the Initiation to Pilot Production

2016-04-06 11:30:28            Views:93

May 2015, Visad officially initiated the project of Smart Mug S1 of SmartShow.
March 2016, a small-scale pilot production succeed. 
It took 10 months from the initiation to the successful pilot production, just like a mother who has to endure the hardship during 10 months of pregnancy. Now, our "baby" was born.

Stories about R&D

August 2015, we finished appearance and function designs;
October 2015, we optimized functions;
December 2015, we developed an APP and a data server.
In order to optimize functions, it took 4 months and several modifications.

Prototyping is a stage to verify the feasibility of the product design and find out defects. September 2015, we built the first prototype; November 2015, we built the second prototype and optimized all defective parts found in the first time.

Mold-making is a production procedure of high cost which may be affected by production techniques, materials and other factors. And it is important and involves users' experience and the implementation of functions after optimization.

In order to implement functions and improve users' experience, we have modified and optimized our molds for several times in the R&D process.

May 2015, initiation

August 2015, appearance and function designs

September 2015, the first prototyping

October 2015, optimization of product functions

November 2015, the second prototyping 

December 2015, APP and data server

January 2016, mold makings

February 2016, optimization and adjustment of product molds

March 2016, a small-scale pilot production

April 2016, landing on Taobao Crowdfunding

1.Mug Button: Two Opening Steps

Most domestic mugs take only one opening step to open their lids. Learning from Japan’s advanced techniques, we utilize a buffering technique which has two opening steps to prevent hot air from hitting the face and improve user experience.

a. There is a built-in spring in the button. We have tried wire diameters of 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm, and 0.7mm. We changed and tested for several times to ensure the best elasticity of the button;

b. We have changed molds of the button not less than 10 times to increase the precision and ensure the most natural and reasonable link between pushing and loosening. 

2.A Concave-convex Shape

Most domestic mugs have smooth shapes. We use a concave-convex process which provides a realer touch and a stronger grip. At the same time, it makes the mug skid-proof. Since it’s hard to splice concave and convex surfaces, we encountered demoldings and damages in concave grooves in the process of mold opening. Thus, we have changed our molds more than 5 times and spliced the concave and convex surfaces perfectly at last.

3.Drinking Rim: Solid and Slick Design

Drinking rim, the part of the mug where the mouth touch when people drink.

Initially, the rim was flat. Then someone suggested that it wasn’t convenient.

So, we took it consideration the suggestion and modified it into a solid and slick shape. We have made several molds and spent more than 50 thousand RMB in it. But it’s worthy, because we have improved users’ experience in details.

4.The Base Charging Ring

The charging ring involves the duration of the mug and the mobile experience of the connection of the mug and the phone APP.

The first factory we found failed to make a standard mold. Then we found the second one who could barely meet the demand. But we wanted to do better. Thus we found the third one who can help us optimize our charging ring at last. 

5.Modification of Water-proof Design

For a smart mug, the most fundamental part is a water-proof body and a water-proof LED light. We have tested and modified our design to ensure that it’s 100% water-proof.

A Message Shared in Wechat Moments by Sunny Ji, the Founder of SmartShow.

In order to make a good product, still running on the highway at midnight. Yesterday 4:00 a.m., Today 11:00 p.m.. I think I work hard enough. Shall praise myself.