We found a fabrication company to run our portable oven prototype a few weeks ago and it was remarkably affordable! Many thanks to Orion @ KMT Waterjet for all the help. Their pricing and customer service were absolutely astounding. I cannot recommend them enough.
The pieces for the oven arrived exactly as I had drawn them in SolidWorks and everything fit together perfectly which we have been told is a pretty rare occurrence for first run prototypes (go us!). It was so exciting to see our creation in real life for the first time! One of my biggest concerns about the oven was how strong it could be made while coming in under 2lbs. With a bit of research I decided on 6061-T6 aluminum @ 0.0312" and I am happy to report the oven is incredibly sturdy. Posted below is a picture of a mini chicken pot-pie Tara made from scratch cooking in the oven. (yum!)
The first thing we attempted to bake with the oven was a biscuits recipe that Tara has been working on for a few weeks. The oven heats up to 500+ degrees in no time and holds temperature very well. We were very surprised by how quickly they baked; it would be easy to burn things in this oven if you don't keep an eye on it. We did subsequent tests at much lower temps and things were a bit more manageable.
Things left to do:
Decide how to attach the oven door (we used aluminum tape to lightly secure it for testing)
Get a thermometer with a shorter stem
Redesign the oven rack so it extends fully to the front and back of the oven
Pick up adjustable straps to hold the pieces together for storage or make a small stuff sack
In other news I had a pretty hilarious email exchange with Brian Marsh a patent troll who invented a different oven for backpacking which we purchased, reviewed and returned because of its poor build quality. He actually wants us to pay him a licensing fee for using his design. I may post some additional thoughts about the US patent system and how laughable the idea of patenting a metal box and calling dibs on it is.