Keychains and a Surprise
6 days ago
– Mon, May 14, 2018 at 10:43:04 PM
1000 Keychains Etched!
So, yeah, that was taking most of the laser time recently, and then we get to the surprise :)
Labels on the Vials
I've wanted to show these off for a while and I finally got to a point where I can show them!
These labels will be applied to the Starter and Basic kit vials. I'll have another update next week to show the labels for the Pro Kits.
Here's some of the progress I've made with applying these to the vials
Achievement unlocked - 300 Basic Kits completed
23 days ago
– Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 11:17:07 PM
That's right, 300 Basic kits have the art lasered on and the foam cut. I still need to cut the vials, but the biggest time sink is done for those items.
Dice scheduled for production
The samples were made and they are perfect. I'm super happy with the gold colored numbers and the dark red the manufacturer is making. I chose gold numbers as I wanted the dice to look closer to a potion without the glaring white of the numbers shining through the vials. It also just looks sexy. I've been told to expect them at the end of may, which means I'll be spending most of my time getting the boxes and vials ready for these as soon as they come in. There's plenty of work that I'll be doing to prepare for them and I'll need the time.
I've been tweaking the design on it this week and I'm pretty happy with the functionality. They easily pull apart now and push together, so they can be assembled quickly and put away quickly. I have just some minor changes I want to make before I'm ready to mass produce them, but I'm at 95% done and will be showing a completed version soon.
Snakes on ... BOXES!
about 1 month ago
– Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 11:08:17 PM
I'm currently in the process of mass producing the Basic Healer kit boxes. I can easily align and run 5 at a time and that has helped me get through 120 of the tops today alone.
This allows me to work on other things while I monitor the laser. I'm pretty much spending the weekend running the laser as much as possible so I can complete the 300 or so Basic Healing kit boxes I need to make. This is basically my view for the next couple of days.
Inside Artwork Revealed
Here's something I'm very excited to show you. I was so pleased when the artist got back to me with this design! It feels so perfect and makes it easy to read all the formulas for the boxes. After I get done with all the tops and bottoms of the boxes I'll move on to mass producing the undersides.
Staining of Pro Kits Underway
Not much to say here except that staining is underway on the Pro Kits. I have drying racks that hold 40 each and also have found a local contractor that is helping out to speed up the process.
New Design on the Two Other Major Colors
With this comes a switch in process for the large pro boxes. The laser cutting method had some problems that were becoming more evident as I started moving towards producing more prototypes with it.
First, I couldn't find a good way to secure the laser foil permanently to the boxes and I refuse to give a product that could so easily be damaged. That alone was forcing my hand to find some other way of putting the artwork on the boxes.
Second, I'm starting to worry about how much I'm weakening the boxes with all the art engraving through a good portion of the lid. The wood for the lid is thin and removing wood from such a large area weakens it, which would make it far easier for someone to break it. I’d rather not risk it.
Third, Meeting delivery dates becomes riskier with the lasering method. From many aspects I'm limited to a single large machine and the hobby laser I've been using for prototyping. This really puts at risk the whole timeline as I have a lot of other time consuming activities for the laser already. The leather art alone is taking over 7 minutes per box. It's just not feasible with the amount of orders and the timelines. When I first started the project my timelines were for an expectation of just funding, not the massive success this turned into. I thought I'd be able to throw more lasers at the problem... but then there's the reality that my garage is only so big, power lines to my garage can only handle so many amps and I've already hit that with a contractor putting in lines specifically for this heavy machinery. I've been making up time everywhere I can by contracting out work to local businesses where I can, but that's not something I could outsource.
Bottom line, I want to get high quality products to you all as soon as humanly possible, and the best way to do that is to use silk screening. I'm personally very happy with these prototypes I just got back (pictured above) and am happy to show you them! This greatly reduces production time for one part of the process, although it costs me more to do it this way, and I think it produces a better result than the laser etching followed by a staining spray. The lines are far more crisp and precise!
Art and more
about 1 month ago
– Sat, Apr 14, 2018 at 07:25:37 PM
First off, some much awaited art!
I have all the 'Final' art assets now, but some things need tweaks now that I'm taking them to the material. My plan is to release updates as I complete prototypes to my satisfaction. One thing I do have 100% ready to show is the the Pro Box top.
For the very popular Red Mahogany style you will have to wait about two weeks to see the design on your finish. I'm spending the extra money to turn that into a hot foil press die. The hot foil process embeds the foil into the wood and is much more permanent than the laser foil was. I'm really excited for this and can't wait to show you the first run.
Not much to say about these, but the boxes are heavier than they look.
Legal, Banks, and Taxes...
Progress got slowed down from a physical aspect of things as I've needed to take the time to make sure everything is cleaned up and proper for the business paperwork side. Lot's of behind the scenes work was done, none of it interesting or newsworthy, but I thought my delayed update needed some explanation.
Thanks again for being an awesome community and I can't wait to show you the final artwork on prototypes as I finish tweaking them!
Forest Green Suede comparisons
about 2 months ago
– Mon, Apr 02, 2018 at 11:47:30 PM
Here's just a simple update for those of you who wanted to see what the forest green suede would look like when etched. I really like how it turned out!