How much work hides behind every WoodUp Mobi that leaves our workshop? Where and by whom was it made? Under which conditions? – Mobi is the absolute favorite among our customers. Many of you have wondered and asked us these and more questions so we thought we would take the time to write a blogpost for all the Mobi fans out there!
Let us invite you to our WoodUp kitchen and give you some answers by showing you step by step how Mobi, our awarded docking station for iPhone, is made.
The development of a product such as Mobi is an exhausting process that can take many months, if not years, and a considerable investment of energy, time and money. This process is what makes the difference between a nice idea and a good product and is the point where many emerging startups give up.
It may seem that all good ideas come in a moment of illumination, but in this case the reality is much less glamourous: Mobi is the result of three month of brainstorming, drawing and experimenting with different materials to come up with the first idea. We aimed to launch our Mobi as close to the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as possible, so we had to hurry. Finally there they were: our first working prototypes! Now it was time for weeks of sound & usability testing.
After considering many different materials to combine with wood, we decided to work with concrete. We were looking for a material that would make our docking station heavy enough to enable the one-handed unplugging of the iPhone. Once we tried the wood + concrete combination, we knew we didn’t have to search any longer. It was love at first sight!
The main difficulty was making appropriate molds to pour the concrete in to be shaped. Here at WoodUp we don’t run away from a challenge, so we took the hardest path by making the silicon molds ourselves in our workshop:
Making the concrete pieces is not easy and requires high doses of work, patience and precision: The concrete is mixed until reaching the perfect consistence and then is quickly (in exactly 22 seconds!) poured into the moulds. After 20 minutes the pieces are ready be removed from their mould.
Keeping this 20-minutes-deadline and washing the moulds thoroughly after use is key to avoid ruining the silicon. We had to learn this the hard way, by breaking many moulds so far!
The actual carpentry work and for us the most exciting part starts with a raw piece of massive walnut wood:
During long hours the wooden hoods of Mobi are roughly shaped to their final form using the saw.
Each piece goes then through the CNC mill, where the openings, through which later the Lightning connector will pass, are carefully carved:
After that is time for the drill press, where the holes for screws are drilled and shaped:
If you’ve made it this far alongside us, you’d be finally standing in front of a big pile of raw pieces:
Ready? Not a chance; there is still a lot of sanding to do! This is partly done with a machine but the perfection you can appreciate by looking at Mobi, and you can feel by touching it, is something only a capable hand can achieve.
And one last detail…
Now it is time for the finishing: each wooden piece is covered with two layers of natural oil and left to dry 24 hours after each of them.
The wooden pieces are finally ready to meet the concrete! The mounting includes adding the missing screws and glueing the micro-suction pads at the bottom.
After one last quality check, the Mobis are ready for packaging. We take the packaging of each product very seriously to make sure the unboxing is a unique experience too:
Since its launch in November 2014, Mobi has traveled all around the world, founding a home in 22 countries already and being featured in several design blogs and magazines! As you can see, we spend a lot of time with each one of them, so whoever gets a Mobi is also getting little part of us.
We’ve actually done the maths and so far we’ve invested 2365 hours of work producing Mobis. That effort has paid off: We are very proud to announce that Mobi has been nominated to the German Design Award 2016! We’d also like to use this chance to thank all Mobi lovers out there, this wouldn’t have been possible without your support!