Our latest Kickstarter update. So close, but yet so far. We are aiming for perfection.

Here is our latest tooling and manufacturing update on Kickstarter.

The newly revised schedule brings our first production run to the end of November.

Tooling and manufacturing update:

Hi everyone, it’s been three weeks since my last update and a lot has happened. I am going to give you all the long version of this story, because as backers you need to know everything about the projects you are supporting.

 
So close, but yet so far.

As you all know from my update# 6 we have signed a tooling and manufacturing contract with a great company in New York which wasted no time to start working on the mold design. The original plan was to make an aluminum mold in New York, but we were also given a choice of getting a steel mold from their tooling partner in china for the same cost, which would be shipped to the US after completion to start manufacturing the Shelfie in the US. Since steel is by far the better choice for a tool of that size and more durable and maintenance free, we decided to go with the steel option. The original Kickstarter tooling/manufacturing time-line was also not a problem since we had enough time built in for shipping the tooling from china to the US. After the tool was completed (one week ago) our New York manufacturing partner flew to china, to supervise the making of the first Shelfie samples out of the mold. This is what happened that day:

not completely filled Shelfie (at the top)
not completely filled Shelfie (at the top)
We want the plastic to be injected from the back (no imperfections in the front) which makes it very difficult. This is a complicated mold, but at the end with the color added, you will not be able to tell from the front that this is made out of plastic.
We want the plastic to be injected from the back (no imperfections in the front) which makes it very difficult. This is a complicated mold, but at the end with the color added, you will not be able to tell from the front that this is made out of plastic.

The core (which is what is inserted into the mold and the plastic fills the void between the two) was flexing and actually bent, keeping material from filling the mold and making a complete part. This was due to the ribs inside being too long and that caused the injection pressure to push the core to the outside.  

bend core (at the ribs)
bend core (at the ribs)

There were two options to fix this. Option one was to make a new core (another 4 weeks of tooling) and remove the ribs. Option two was to bend it straight and weld the ribs shut and see if it works. (one week of tooling) Our New York tooling partner choose option two, which brings us to today.

Everything was looking very promising until the section where the ribs used to be cracked. The weakened material in the welded ribs section apparently caused this. So long story short, we need to machine a new core !!! As an extra precaution the newly redesigned core is getting a flow/pressure analysis done to make sure something like this doesn’t happen any more.

cracked core
cracked core

This has been a big disappointment to us, since we are looking forward to getting the Shelfie sent out to all of you. The good thing is that eventually we will receive a tool that will not bend or crack for a long time.

If it were easy, everybody would be doing it.

Temporarly down, but not out - we will dust ourselves off and make it even better
Temporarly down, but not out - we will dust ourselves off and make it even better

This again shows that making a new product is a process and there is a lot of time and money that goes into this. I know this is frustrating for all of you waiting, but I assure you that there is a solution for every problem and everybody involved is 100 % committed to getting the Shelfie completed. Our new revised manufacturing schedule is as follows:

-designing new core (with flow analysis and virtual stress-test) = 1 week

-machining a new core = 5 weeks

-shipping the tooling to the US = 4 weeks

This brings us to the end of November for our first production run. 

Again, I am are very sorry about this delay, but I much rather have all the problems show up right now, rather than 100 parts into production. This is going to be an amazing looking product, and we are not cutting any corners to make this happen. 

thank you so much for understanding and stay tuned for more updates.

Jurgen


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