A friend, James McClurkin, and me.
James originally had the idea for this road case desk in 2017 and brought me on to consult on the design, create 3D models in Fusion 360, and help determine manufacturability using a Shopbot CNC router.
BOXEE was originally the response to a lack of creativity and modularity in coworking spaces. We had seen that there were several options for space rental, but none that combined the lower price of desk-only rental with the convenience of being able to safely leave your belongings at work. Our challenge to ourselves was to create a lockable, storable, and fully modular desk with customizable storage and a clean, unique aesthetic.
We broke down the problems we would have to solve and features to address them. We brainstormed for several hours a week, iterating the design of the exterior connections, the interior modular features, and the panel construction to accommodate all of these features. Throughout our design iterations, I created 3D models and renderings in Fusion 360 so that we could visualize the product and determine manufacturability.
The project has been ever-evolving since its inception four years ago. Our vision for the project has gone from simply a product to the linchpin of a new education program in advanced manufacturing. We hope to use the design and creation of BOXEE to teach veterans about advanced manufacturing. This would serve as a platform off of which they can launch their own CNC products while the production and sale of the BOXEE cases would provide revenue to help fund the nonprofit (education) side.
I was able to improve my CAD skills greatly through this project, learning how to create complex parametric designs and assemblies with hundreds of joints. It has also been an exercise in balancing desired attributes, such as manufacturability and usability while fulfilling all design requirements. Since my partner throughout this project is a very creative thinker, he has also taught me both the ways in which he thinks through problems, as well as how to distill his ideas into designs that are practical while maintaining the necessary elements.
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