If you follow us on Facebook, you without a doubt have seen our new dollhouse books. The idea of using a facade for books instead of individual pieces came to me when I was at Disneyland. Think about how Hollywood builds sets, the typically only build from facade of a building to save on time and cost. The idea was that books can be highly detailed in the miniatures world, but sometimes–we are looking for something that helps fill bookcases and provide a back drop to something entirely different. Our focus on the “set” is not the books–but we need the books to complete the set!
Our process to design, prototype and launch a product is a lot of fun, so I wanted to share what we do! The first step is to research the sizing of the potential product, because we designed these for our dollhouse bookcases it works perfectly with them. Once we have figured out the use, we begin working on the design layout in the computer. You can see the first draft here–the red line represent the book binding details and the black lines are the cut pattern.
Our first test typically goes through a series of power testing. We can modify the strength of the laser to create the best looking pattern possible. The first few attempts looked like mushy patterns, I couldn’t determine a shape from a line… After only 5 attempts, each time adjust the settings, we nailed it! You can see the image with the unpainted/unassembled books, they are literally just stacked together with the book facade thrown on top! I was excited about the product and couldn’t wait to share.
The next step was to assemble and do some test fitting, it work perfectly! Not all products go together and work as intended on the first try, but this one was great! We immediately began working to figure out how can we produce many of these products and ultimately, what will it look like in the final environment. We had to cut at least 8 book facades immediately to see if it would create the desired effect – and it did! I was loving the direction, so we added a half set, so that we could add less books per shelf and have a solution for the top of our bookcase design. Once we had them all in there, the next step was to bring them to life–we needed color, but the kind of color that would add depth and some texture without have a complex process of painting, inking and dry brushing.
So… I did what any parent with kids would do – I stole my sons markers! It worked, creating a leathery, silky effect on the etched wood that ultimately produced a bookcase with 120 books in the blink of an eye! We are excited about this new product and the potential it brings to solve a problem that everyone who has done a library has dealt with. We look forward to the next product development and launch, but for now… I think a cool library is in order! We will be listing our dollhouse books online in the coming days! Please join our VIP newsletter to ensure that you are notified immediately when they launch.