product design &
design for manufacturing

David Burkhardt


Maya Server

David Burkhardt Maya is a Server designed and engineered by David Burkhardt for Protonet GmbH.

Protonet wanted a design that focuses on accessability. Their goal is to enable anybody to run server Infrastructure from within an office, without needing an IT-Operator to manage it. This led to a different design approach compared to traditional rack server chassis.

The device features passive, fanless cooling, combined with a one button physical interface. Status information is given by a luminous ring around the button that can display colored light animations for different system states.

From the beginning, David Burkhardt planned the design to be scalable in production from small lots of a few hundred to several thouthand devices. The all-metal design can be made using craftsman level production methods such as cnc-lasercutting and hand-welding. More economical cnc-stamping and robot-welding are used for higher lot sizes of a few thousand.

As David Burkhardt was also conducting engineering and production ramp, it was possible to introduce manufacturing tweaks and improve processes in the design.

Through design iterations and new volume oriented manufacturing processes, it was possible to reduce the cost of manufacturing by over 50% on later production models, while at the same time improving quality and lead time compared to earlier models.

  • 2014
  • Protonet GmbH
  • Jonny Wind KG, Metall- und Gehäusebau Buchholz GmbH, Kurios Laserprodukt GmbH
  • steel ST1203 / DC01
  • Punch laser process, robotic laserwelding
  • powder coated / cathodic immersion painted
  • 123 x 178 x 140mm (WxHxD)
  • ca. 2000pcs

David Burkhardt
David Burkhardt is a product designer based in Hamburg, Germany. At the age of 17, he was co-founder of Netthelp, a student company offering IT-services for schools which is still operating today. Later, still in high school, he founded his own company for cnc-milled water cooling devices and small form factor computers that won several awards.

David then went on to study industrial design at the University of fine arts of Hamburg, in the class of Prof. Glen-Oliver Löw. During the time at HfbK he also worked as a tutor for the CAD-labs and Mixed Media Workshop. As of 2012 he joined Protonet GmbH, a Hamburg based startup that would set an european crowd funding record and get chosen by the Y-Combinator accelerator program. Until 2016 he was responsible for the design of every major Protonet product, its manufacturing and process development.

Teams that David Burkhardt has worked with:

Protonet Npire Kolle Rebbe HfbK Neue Farben Mingdu Studio bauer + planer Anfi-tec Der kleine Knick DS Smith

Awards that Davids designs have won:

Innovations und Patentcentrum Art directors club BSU Hamburg Verein deutscher Ingenieure Jugend Forscht
Silver & bronze & Audience prize at ADC awards show 2014
Patent of the month at Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, 06/2015
Award for eco-friendly product design of the BSU Hamburg 2013
Prize of the President of VDI e.V. at Jugend forscht federal competition 2005
1st Prize: Technology at Jugend forscht state competition Hamburg 2005
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David Burkhardt

Diplom Designer

Gaußstraße 51   

22765 Hamburg