SuperNova Bluetooth speaker with LED light show.


Thinkgeek approached Box Build a compelling concept for a new product. The idea was a BT speaker that included a LED light show displayed through an array of rectangular rods. Given the clients feature list and target cost, there were many challenges to navigate. After reviewing the reference material that the client offered, the Box Build team had a plan.


Material Research and Selection

ThinkGeek had a specific target cost for this product. However, the cost of the particular material and post-processing the client envisioned on the rods already exceeded the total target cost for the product, even before adding the LED light array and BT speaker base. Box Build needed to create another solution. After exhaustive material research and analysis, our team solved the problem by designing a custom PMMA square tube that could be textured in-mold and then filled with a low-cost, clear silicone material to make it a solid unit. This solution was able to provide the desired effect without exceeding the budget.


Process Development

The design solution for the rods was a very unique combination of materials, which required that Box Build develop a new production process and identify the most appropriate vendor to do the work. Drawing on our teams experience and familiarity with a wide range of materials and production processes, we developed an injection process for the silicone that included a vacuum pressure treatment to remove any air bubbles and create a solid, water-clear bar. Box Build then developed a process using a UV curing adhesive to join the rods and bottom frame together into a single assembly, which successfully preserved the integrity of the visual effect and preventing unnecessary waste.


Electrical Engineering and Firmware Development

The Box Build team designed a programmable and user-adjustable electrical circuit (PCBA) for the SuperNova. The PCBA included a LED light array of 36 RGB LEDs controlled by a micro-processor, running a custom written firmware program our team created, to deliver a stunning light show that was also manually adjustable. We added an audio amplifier and Bluetooth interface, allowing the unit to connect with any BT enabled mobile device. We employed surface mount technology (SMT) components and design to ensure the PCBA could be cost-effectively and efficiently produced in volume within budget. We even offered some potential future upgrade options such as an audio-responsive circuit to further enhance the LED light show.


Mechanical Design and Engineering

We assisted the client in securing all the necessary licenses and certifications. We created a complete package design and helped them develop the packaging artwork. In just months from beginning to end, the complete product was done and shipped to their warehouse for marketing and sale.


Production Tooling and DFM

With all the design and engineering work completed, we transitioned the project into production. The Box Build team managed and coordinate the completion of the tooling, fixturing, standard operating procedures, and all QA/QC testing processes.


Packaging Design

The Box Build design team created the entire packaging concept and design. We wrote all the copy, developed all graphic elements and images, created the structure, did the graphic design and layout, and produced all the files and documentation needed for manufacturing.


Product Certifications

Box Build team worked with suppliers and certification laboratories to guide the product through the process of making sure necessary FCC, UL, and Bluetooth certifications were obtained.


Complete Box Build Manufacturing

Box Build managed the entire production process. Leveraging our extensive network of highly-qualified vendors and manufacturing partners, the Box Build team performed all purchasing, production coordination, and production management tasks. In just months from beginning to end, the complete product was done and shipped to the client's warehouse for marketing and sale.


SuperNova marketing video.