New Year's 2016: Cutting Boards, Sausages and a Puzzle!


Last year, we sent customers and friends something to drink. This year, we provided some food to go with it: hand-made sausages and an Encodo cutting board!

Not only that, but we also made a 2016 New Year's Puzzle!

Click to Play!

As almost every year, we had to get organized early in order to accomplish everything by our projected ship-date. As last year, it was only thanks to the efforts of several people at Encodo that we got everything done well and on time.

Visit the whole photo album to see all of the pictures!

Get cutting boards

Before we could engrave cutting boards, we had to get them from somewhere. We came up with measurements and Karin ordered 60 boards from Berchtold Holzbau1.

She brought them to the office (pictured left), ready for engraving (preview of a draft version on the right).


Make a pattern

imageThe next question was: what should we put on the cutting board? Well, definitely the logo, but what else? We thought about engraving our signatures on it, but ended up with including our names and a minion for each of us. We made the logo ourselves, in Inkscape.

Learn how to Laser-Engrave

With graphic in hand, we needed to find someplace that would engrave our boards for us. We decided on the FabLab in Winterthur, where we would be able to do it ourselves. Robin Bühler and Remo volunteered to get certified on the 100-watt CO2 laser-engraving machine and we were in business.


Engrave the Boards

We had to visit the FabLab a couple of times to engrave all 60 boards (ca. 4:15 per board.2 We took a video of the whole process. It's not terribly exciting, but you can follow along as the machine grinds out the pattern. In order to get this video shake-free, Pascal and Robin B taped phones to the outside of the machine.



Make Sausages

On another front, we went to Das Pure in Wetzikon for a course in sausage-making one morning and then had a lovely apéro and lunch together. We ate a bunch of our self-made sausages that day for lunch, but also had some left over for lunch at the office, grilling on the terrace during a particularly nice fall day.



Online Puzzle/Game

imageIf you take a closer look at the pattern on the cutting board, you can see that we included a URL in the top right-hand corner. Opening that URL takes you to our 2016 New Year's Puzzle (shown to the right).

We collected ideas inside the company and voted to pick out a single question. We designed the project -- even setting up a Jira for all of the tasks -- and built a small web site with a lightweight JavaScript front-end that talks to a PHP back-end, storing results to a PostgreSql database.

Pack it up and send it out!

Karin picked up the sausages after six weeks of drying and brought them to the office. The final step was to pack up dozens of boxes with sausages3 and a cutting board and carry it all to the post office.


Visit the whole photo album to see all of the pictures! And even if you don't qualify for a fabulous prize, you can still take a crack at solving our 2016 New Year's Puzzle.

  1. Which is conveniently located in Wetzikon and also where Karin's son had just finished his apprenticeship.

  2. We actually had to lug several kilograms of wooden boards back and forth one extra time because the FabLab wireless network wasn't working one evening -- and you can't send a graphic to the machine any other way. Robin's request to connect his laptop directly was firmly denied.

  3. imageToblerone for our American colleagues because it's illegal to ship meat products to the United States.