From Concept to Creation: A Journey of Design
In May 2022, the Wee Stand was released. A year on, we have shipped over 5000 units to 50+ countries. Noisy Clan is a small company that was built with the mission of helping fellow music lovers continue to play without the struggle and hassle of lugging their chunky, clunky and obnoxiously large music stand wherever they go.
Since Kickstarter backers received their Wee Stand, we realised our lovely new customers, who have come from far and wide, may not have been updated on the development process, production and general background behind Wee Stand. So without further ado, introducing ‘Year of the Wee: From Concept to Creation’.
The Birth of Wee Revolution
The EUREKA moment occurred in 2018 when David and Yulie Law watched their children tirelessly lug their bulky, sharped edged, and heavy music stands + their instruments, back pack, lunch box and cycling to school! Something had to change. So one night back in 2018, on a (most likely) cold and windy day, Wee Stand was born. Oh, if it was only that simple!
After the idea was born in 2018, a year went by with prototyping after prototyping. David tapped into his alma mater, Glasgow School of Arts and met Jaren (pictured here). Jaren joined Noisy Clan as the lead design engineer for Wee Stand. He is an avid musician and loves to design products that help make music easier for everyone.
So straight from the horse's mouth (AKA Jaren) here is (a very condensed version of) how the design process went.
From Inspiration to Innovation
Wee Stand was spun from an earlier design that sought to bring together the music stand and book/folder. As an exercise, we looked at making a stand with as little material as possible. The prospect of being able to reduce the size and weight of the stand considerably was revealed, and we decided to pursue it actively.
During our exploration, we stumbled upon tenkara fishing rods, which utilise telescoping tubes with a friction support system. Drawing inspiration from this, we decided to incorporate similar principles to keep the stand lightweight and compact and decided to build around that to keep the weight and size down.
As we progressed with the development of the leg structure, we began we couldn't resist adding more features that would make it more versatile, from swivel clips and an adjustable angle hinge to a practical wrist strap that doubles as a bag hanger allowing weighted stability, and feet that serve as locking caps to keep the legs secure.
The search for a manufacturing vendor to supply the carbon fibre legs led us to China, where we had already selected our manufacturing and assembly partner for the other parts. The light at the end of the tunnel was not without its challenges. Unfortunately, a long series of back-and-forth refinements to ensure durability and functionality caused delays in delivering the product (about 5-6 months). Alas, it was worth the wait, as the results speak for themselves!
Let's take a deeper dive. After sifting through the data trenches of prototypes, hand picking only 3 images to expand was tricky, but nonetheless, you’ll thank me later.
Testing With tripod legs
We had the core idea to have the legs rest parallel when closed and then move back and out in a single motion.
This was a test of implementing that while also seeing how we could achieve a usable amount of shelf space with a tri-fold design.
Matured sheet metal and leg integration
Development of the legs and hinge system eventually led to this setup where the entire leg and hinge system is essentially an independent assembly that gets fastened to the main body. This makes assembly and quality control easier.
First functional prototype
A big step in the development of Wee Stand - it combined the carbon fibre friction lock legs with a 3D printed folding main plate for the first time, allowing us to get a better understanding of its size and user interactions.
So there you have it! The Year of the Wee condensed into a blog post dedicated to behind the scenes of what goes down at Noisy Clan when a Scotsman has an idea one rainy day.
The past year has been a remarkable adventure filled with innovation, joy and a deep appreciation for music. We are immensely grateful for the support and enthusiasm that our community has shown us. Join us as we continue to dream big, create boldly, and spread the magic of music with our innovative products.
And, of course, this would not be a blog to celebrate the Year of the Wee without a shameless plug to round it off. So if you haven’t already, check out our Wee Stand to see what all the fuss is about.