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As a result of the push economy, our planet is covered in warehouses full of goods waiting to be consumed or used. It’s bad for our planet and it’s bad for business. This excess inventory leads to a weaker balance sheet, decreased sales, and smaller net profits.
At Twikit, we think that, with the help of technology, we can instead build a pull economy around digital manufacturing. We made STAN the standing desk as proof. The made-to-measure, customizable desk is lasercut on demand via our specially created software, which packages your desk specifications in a file that’s readable by any digital production method.
The idea for STAN came to us after working on other digital manufacturing products – we made a customizable razor for Philips where people could choose the color and design of the handle, for example. These were interesting projects, but we felt there were still unexplored avenues at the junction of 3D customization and digital manufacturing.
What is 3D customization exactly? It means a product that is sustainably made to fit the demands of a unique consumer. For us, the concept includes four components
Aesthetic customization means the product is made to suit an individual consumer’s taste – print your name on an item, engrave a special text, or show off your favorite design
Functional customization takes into account the task that the product will carry out. The sole of a shoe the customer plans to wear bowling will be functionally different from one for jogging
Biometric customization allows products to be optimized for a specific consumer’s body, such as customized wearable technology or a made-to-measure prosthetic device.
Design customization is when consumers can choose from a wide variety of designs and styles of a certain product. Product function remains unchanged, but appearance is completely individualized.
STAN is the acid test to show that on-demand manufacturing allows for all of these customization components, as well as a sustainable production model. Our success demonstrates that a user in San Francisco and a user in Tampa can both create their desks, choose the size and material, and order online, but have each desk created at their closest lasercutting facility. Local production reduces transport to almost zero, which saves the customer money and reduces CO2 emissions. We believe that the supply chain we’ve developed for STAN is proof of concept that digital manufacturing is ready to take on the furniture industry.
Around a century ago, mass manufacturing based on the push economy revolutionized the production of goods, but current technology gives us the means to develop new, more efficient supply chains. The immense amount of waste created by the push economy is a huge problem for our world. Between deadstock piling up in warehouses and generic products that are made to be consumed by millions, we’re filling our planet with junk.
Digital manufacturing has a proven track record in other industries: Siemens’ energy unit found that laser cutting and 3D printing methods reduced product development time by 75% and used 63% fewer resources during the production process. But just because these digital manufacturing success stories have gotten a lot of attention, it doesn’t mean the revolution has already come and gone. We’ve been in the business for four years now and most people still haven’t fully realized just how much it can change industries. Digital manufacturing makes sense for many products that aren’t currently being made this way.
But why a standing desk?
Firstly, because standing desks are cool – and the benefits of standing over sitting are proven: standing desk users burn up to 350 additional calories a day than their colleagues who remain sitting. STAN is lasercut to the exact specifications to suit the consumer’s height. It can also be branded, colored, and adapted to the tastes of the consumer or to suit an office’s design.
We designed STAN with the modern worker in mind, from remote working at a café to stand-up meetings in an Agile office.
From a sustainability perspective, digital manufacturing shows immense promise. Instead of warehouses filled with inventory, a company maintains only digital files that are created on demand. STAN is also cheaper than other iterations of the standing desk, even many of those which use electronic mechanisms to raise and lower the work surface.
STAN is currently available via our website. The standing desk comes in four models, which range in price from €49 to €199. In the coming months, we expect to connect with lasercutting and 3D printing facilities to expand our capabilities and bring STAN even closer to users.