Our final alpha prototype launch, presented in front of nearly 3,000 engineers, product designers, investors, and fellow students. Few things in life had made me more nervous; but it was worth it after recieving the "Audience Choice Award" at the end of the night.
The final solution focused on simplicity of use, reducing size, and saftey. The waterjetted stovetop folds out from the silicon base. Piezo buttons ignite the flames which emanate from venturi valves molded into the base. Side levers control heating and color-responsive stickers let the user know when the stove is cool to touch. The graphic design loco is incorporate as a physical motif as well.
FERNO'S FIRST CAMPING TRIP
A short 20-second video clip I directed, highlighting the user experience of our product. I wanted the video to be energetic, quirky, and light - reflective of our team dynamic.
NEED FINDING: SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE
Researching the outdoor stove market, we discovered a gap: avid backpackers own the jetboil (a high-end single burner stove) while recreational backpackers own the Coleman (a cheaper multiburner stove)...but for users in the middle, there is a need for a compact and cost effective multi burner stove. Ferno aimed to be that product.
WHAT IF YOU COULD ROLL UP YOUR STOVE?
As a team, we made sure to ideate as much as possible; and rather than judge crazy ideas, we sought to gain inspiration from them. The idea for Ferno eventually came out a roll-up backpack tent idea, and then the follow up question: "Wait, but what if you could roll up your stove?!"
SKETCH MODEL TIME!
Our first sketch model of Ferno was dedicated to prototyping our most critical module: the compacting mechanism. We settled on a scissor mechanism and prototyped various scissor mechanisms.
We focused on a lateral exploration of compaction mechanism designs, leading us to stacking, rolling, and scissoring models.
The "Stax-Ferno" model was based on segments that slide and overlap each other. The prototype test revealed that the overlapping parts created pinching points that were hazardous while opening and closing.
We decided to move forward with a hexagonal roll up iteration (lovingly dubbed "Hex-Ferno") due to ease of compaction, lack of pinch points and mechanical robustness. We then went into Solidworks to CAD our model and explore its physicality more in depth.
QUITE THE BEAST :(
When we finally manufactured Ferno in house and laid it complete on the table, we were underwhelmed. It was large and unwieldy. What seemed sleek, compact, and smooth even on Solidworks turned out to go against our three core attributes of the product contract: weight, size, and ease of compaction. We realized we need to brainstorm something new, and fast...something sleeker, slimmer, and simpler.
THE "MACBOOK PRO" OF CAMPING STOVES
Inspired by the MacBook Pro we quickly came up with a low-profile design, outsourced the mold, pressure casted the base, thermoformed the top, and waterjetted the stovetop - all in a week. However hectic, we firmly stood by our risky design to pivot last minute to a design that was closer to product contract; and more appealing to our end users.