7Pipe Design Talk: The Suka Pipe


     Every creation has a different starting point.   With the 7Pipe Twisty, my beginning concept was the functionality of a chapstick, or the ability to reload bowls with the simplicity of a twist.  With the Suka Pipe however, I started with a discus or UFO shape, and went from there.  I love the shape and wanted to create a pipe with the smooth contours of a UFO spaceship.  I had no idea what functionality it would have or how it would work.  

     Eventually, I added the crucial new functionality to the Süka pipe, the trackball.  The trackball can be seen on computer mice, and I borrowed this concept for a pipe.  Initially, I had designed a grinder into the Suka Pipe, because I thought the round shape would be a natural fit.  However, I had to discard this function because of a minor but rather important detail: the fingers had no way to turn the pipe because there was little surface area to get a strong purchase on the pipe.  

     So the user would have to put ground weed into the pipe.  I figured most stoners already have a grinder, so I was ok with it.  The innovation of the trackball, which would be used to reload bowls in a simple and efficient manner, and the beautiful shape and quartz bowl, would ensure I satisfied my magic formula for successful pipes: the marriage of beauty and function.  

    Design is my specialty, but the silent muscle behind 7Pipe's creations is our manufacturing expertise.  Without having boots on the ground and a 100% commitment to quality and cost control, 7Pipe's innovative pipes would never reach the market.  The Suka pipe in particular requires the coordination of more than six factory outputs, all with different problems to solve.  

     I hope our customers will enjoy the Suka pipe as much as I have enjoyed inventing and designing it.  It is a great on-the-go pipe which allows the user to preload the pipe with up to 4 grams of material so you're set for the day.  You literally only need the Suka pipe and a lighter to enjoy a full day with friends.  It's also a great way to stay medicated throughout the day if you are going it solo, since the bowl is small enough to take a few good hits while keeping the rest of your meds fresh inside the pipe.  

     As the designer, I am particularly proud of two design elements of the Süka pipe.  First, I tried to solve the problem of losing easy to misplace parts of a pipe, such as a cap.  The cap is very small, but is crucial to the functioning of an on-the-go pipe.  Without it, your pockets will get very dirty.  What to do?  My solution is to design the cap the identical size as a US nickel.  So, if you lose your cap, just find a nickel and you now have a new cap that only cost you five cents.  

     The second design element that I love about the Suka Pipe is that the packaging is a reusable water-resistant, smell-proof container.  99% of products you throw away the packaging that fill up landfills and are a waste in every way.  As a purveyor of pipes, I realized that 7Pipe has the unique opportunity to create a packaging that is reusable and useful for the customer after the pipe has been unboxed.  Use the container to clean your Suka Pipe by putting the dirty parts inside along with some alcohol and salt, and swish away.  The container is also a brilliant travel or storage container that will protect the pipe from being crushed, and will maintain a smell-proof environment.  

     With these two design elements, I have tried to ensure that the Suka pipe will never be out of commission and that there is little waste in the packaging.  I hope our customers appreciate these elements as well.  

     I hope this introduction to my design thinking behind the Suka pipe enlightens any folks interested in design and manufacturing.  For me, it is a very fulfilling pursuit that hopefully brings joy to many smokers out in the world.  Enjoy!     Jeffrey Han


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