Accompanying the move to Batch One production - each chair, cabinet or table custom built in an automated setting - are initiatives to launch scaled down configurators that allows furniture and cabinetry to be infinitely scaled in height, width, and depth. The enabling application is parametric modeling, allowing a catalog of furniture designs to be greatly scalable.
A table, for example, can be made an inch taller than normal (for someone with long legs) or a bureau can be made a couple inches shallower to allow clearance for a door, or the width adjusted to fill a wall space.
The automation of this "bespoke" customization is a new concept for consumers, so it is unclear if it will catch on - a solution, possibly, seeking a problem. Two entries in this area that have surfaced recently with intended e-eCommerce ventures are Massuni in Canada, and most recently, Arrister, in Nashville.
Both companies launched Kickstarter funding campaigns that fizzled - though that can mean the campaign design was at fault rather than the product itself. Arrister's offering was called Parsonal, with "every piece built using high quality wood sourced locally from the Appalachian Timber Reserve - you won't find MDF or particle board here. Not only is it durable, but it has also been designed to be easy to assemble and disassemble."
Arrister used pocket joints, a good quality approach for ready to assemble furniture.
Massuni was launched by Verso Furniture. Based in Toronto and headed by Jeff Wilson, the company is in beta for its "mass customization" furniture production program. The factory is 60 miles north of Toronto. Significantly, eight of its 18 member start-up team are software developers - not wood crafters. Wilson is included in the preliminary program for the Conference at the WMS 2015 Wood Machinery Show at Toronto's International Centre November 4, 2015.
Both Massuni's Wilson, and Arrister's COO Andy Leopold and team are philosophical about their Kickstarter misfires. "We were unsuccessful in our attempt to raise the funds necessary to execute our go-to-market strategy as we had originally planned," as Arrister puts it "We are going to take a step back from the grindstone for a little while to consider where we are headed next, but will keep you updated as we move forwards."
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