Update #07 - Design and Patent Update

 

Hi Backers,

We got a lot of exciting news to share with you since our last update especially with the evolution of our designs. So without further ado…

 

Stem & Slider Update

In our last update, we had some concerns regarding some of the joints in the stem design. Since then, we have been working endlessly with our supplier to create a stronger stem design that would survive the most brutal weather conditions.

 
Old Stem Configuration

Old Stem Configuration

 

In the end, we have inverted our stem design and strengthened each tube profile. The largest profile of the old design is now the smallest section of our new design. We also improved all the connecting joints making the opening/closing operation smoother yet maintaining a rigid formation when opened.

 
New Stem Configuration

New Stem Configuration

 
 
New Stem (top) versus Old Stem (bottom) Configurations

New Stem (top) versus Old Stem (bottom) Configurations

 

To ensure lasting quality of each and every stem, we reviewed the entire manufacturing process for the new stem design.

 
Automated Machinery for our New Stem

Automated Machinery for our New Stem

 

With the drastic change in stem, we redesigned our slider for the better. With the largest section of the stem now at the top of the umbrella, our new configuration reduces the amount of play between the slider and the stem creating a more rigid and secure connection. We also reduced the amount of components in our slider for a cleaner assembly.

 
Old Slider Design (left) and New Slider Design (Right)

Old Slider Design (left) and New Slider Design (Right)

 

Here’s a quick GIF of our new stem and slider in action. Same great wind performance only now with a much more durable stem!

New Stem and Slider Design in Action

New Stem and Slider Design in Action

Rib Update

The other issue mentioned during our last update was addressing the weight concerns of the umbrella especially regarding the Steel model. We refined several design profiles and iterated with various materials to reduce the overall weight. During this process, the ribs became much weaker and were unable to replicate the performance it once had especially for our strenuous testing requirements. With the carbon fiber ribs already proven in both weight and performance, we wanted to ensure our backers can have the best product possible or else we wouldn’t be living up to our promise. As such, we will be offering all backers our carbon fiber design at NO extra charge.

Therefore, we spent a lot of effort searching for reputable suppliers and evaluating the manufacturing process needed to build this at high volumes. We visited several suppliers producing carbon fiber plates as well as many CNC machine shops with the capability of cutting these plates.

Sample Carbon Fiber Products from our Short-listed Suppliers

Sample Carbon Fiber Products from our Short-listed Suppliers

Rib Profiles cut from Carbon Fiber Plates

Rib Profiles cut from Carbon Fiber Plates

After visiting many suppliers and discussing our manufacturing needs, one of the major issues brought up with the design was the cutting time for each profile. Despite using off-the-shelf carbon fiber sheets, the machining time becomes very time consuming considering our Umbrella contains as many as 24 plates per assembly. The cutting time alone per sheet can exceed 2 hours. Another manufacturing concern is that the carbon fiber dulls the machining bits very quickly and would require many tool changes.

 
Dulled milling bit (left) and New milling bit (right)

Dulled milling bit (left) and New milling bit (right)

 

Even though  the current design is possible, we cannot find a suitable way to reduce cost without tweaking the design. Therefore, we are currently working closely with our selected carbon fiber supplier to make the profiles much more manufacturable.

 

Patent Pending

With the recent testing success, we are happy to announce that we have filed our first patent! We have filed a provisional patent protecting the Independent Suspension technology that makes the Cypress Umbrella so wind resistant.

Patent Figures for Independent Suspension System

Patent Figures for Independent Suspension System

Production Update

With the stem issues now fully resolved, we are very close to production. Some final tweaks will needed to our rib design before we can start on our remaining tooling. If everything goes smoothly, we should be able to hit our early December delivery goal as mentioned from last update.

Being so close to production, we still see that many of you have yet to select your canopy colours. Please complete this soon if you haven’t done so already. You can find the links for selecting your canopy colours. If you want to change your colours, just simply complete the survey again. We will only take the info from your latest survey selection for production.

 

What’s Next?

Short Term Goals for upcoming 4 weeks

  • Improve stem connections and rigidity
  • Reduce umbrella weight
  • Give green-light to all suppliers for tooling and production runs
  • Design and construct assembly tooling

Long Term Goals

  • Assemble, package and deliver umbrellas to all of our amazing backers!

 

If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate and send us a private message. We aim to respond within 2-3 days.

Thanks again for all of your continued support! We are looking forward to delivering the Last Umbrella you will ever buy

 

Regards,

Team Hedgehog

Additional Q&A

Q: I haven’t completed my colour select survey yet, where can I find it?

A: Please select from the survey links below matching your pledge tier.

 

Q: Will there be carbon fiber ribs for the Cypress Classic?

A: Currently, this is on the Standard Model only.