In order to produce them cost effectively, I'd need molds that cost several times what this entire system cost. And after that I'd have to order thousands at a time to bring my cost down to say $1. I passed on that at the time and considered producing them myself but this machine didn't exist at the time. If it had, I might be making them now! There are other benchtop/low volume molding systems but nothing comes as close to automatic production as this one.
As for the company's site, this is fairly typical, but I'm sorry I didn't link to a better page. It certainly didn't get my blood boiling though. Them showing their price brings lots of good will. The CNC mill is also very interesting, with 4 motors driving the Z axis simultaneously.
Your situation was pretty different... Your company buys them, I was buying as an individual. You likely have a proven source, I didn't. It just wasn't a risk I was willing to take at that point in my life.
You probably made the right call, though, even if you had found a perfect supplier. Hardware projects funded by individuals almost always end in heartache if they try to go big.
At the time, I think I made the right call. Now with this machine being available I'm reconsidering. The mold bases are pretty inexpensive too. I could make the same investment I was going to make several years ago, but have a machine if it doesn't work out rather than a hunk of precisely machined, rather useless, steel on the other side of the world.
Was that price from China or the U.S. (or somewhere else)?
> I passed on that at the time and considered producing them myself but this machine didn't exist at the time. If it had, I might be making them now!
Does this mean you stopped making your product after fulfilling the Kickstarter orders?
After fulfilling around 700 units on Kickstarter, I sold another 300 at local Makerfaires and around 100 on Amazon (using Vendor Express.)
Using the edge of the counter is certainly one way to get the contents of the tube toward the opening. The Squizmo stays in position so the toothpaste stays in the same place. I think you'd be surpised at how flat the tube is after a Squizmo has been run up it!
However, I guess this one has the unique feature of letting you reuse smaller tubes by cutting off the end and refilling from a larger tube.
I get the convenience of using a smaller tube, so refilling it would be nice, but doesn’t convenience go away when you have this big plastic squeezer thing at the end of it?
But I want to say WOW to your kickstarter video!! I was not expecting that level of testing and engineering to go into this, kudos to you for taking it next level.
Do you think you recouped the costs of those testing jigs or was it all good fun?
Honestly if you showed me your product in CAD or injection molded and asked if it could be useful 3D printed I would have guessed "no". You've opened my vision up!
Either way, however much toothpaste you use, this could potentially help you get more out of the tube. The payback would be longer, but that's not really why most people buy stuff like this.
While in the industrial space most use the common "gun" style applicator with the large tubes of product, and certain other manufacturers (3M in particular) sell custom applicators for industrial use for certain products (oftentimes at an insane markup) - there is the space for both the DIY'er and "handyman" (as well as commercial maintenance).
They will typically use regular squeeze tubes, especially on smaller projects where the larger gun-style tubes are too much or wasteful (because they may only use a small amount, and even when capped off, the tubes will dry out/cure relatively rapidly, especially at the nozzle end - making them useless and wasting product/money).
There also might be a market for automotive window glass installers for the sealants they use (and a/c repairmen?); actually tons of markets like this when you stop to think about it!
Find a business that buys product in tubes (protip: find industrial product in tubes and figure out who buys it!) and sell your product to them at a 10x markup as a cost-saving device.
Formlabs has a "high temp resin", melting point around 289C. US$200/liter. This is for their stereolithography machine. Filament-based 3D printers, not going to work for this.
This makes sense for production shops that need to make a few hundred of something.
> Web site looks fine, probably done by an engineer..."that looks like a poorly constructed phishing attempt"
...an amalgam of your's and parent's (to your's) posts, and then your's:
> Rather that than some slicked up bullshit from some “startup”
So the question on my mind is, "What does a ecommerce website look like that would satisfy both of your outlooks?"
That is, how does a designer/web developer create a website that won't look too "slick startup BS", but yet won't look like "non-designer engineering garbage"?
I'm not asking you for an answer, but posing this question for others to possibly think about what that answer might be, because too often we encounter one or the other option, and both turn potential customers away...
Things like the lackluster approach to their imagery or the lack of thought behind layout of elements in the footer/header etc to me doesn't instill the notion that this company has taken any care or thought to their own presentation, and because of that I wouldn't trust them to also take care with their card processing or other infrastructure related to taking my payment. You don't need a design degree or a deep understanding of the arts to make something which doesn't look like a dog's breakfast :)
Of course this is not marketing to the general public. The site in question is a injection molding machine, so should follow the same no-BS guidelines.
What’s wrong with static pages and at most 2 frames? Man I sometimes I wish the internet would revert 25 years.
on edit: but perhaps I am not the target demographic for things that are 'Low Cost'
If you're like me and that's too rich for your blood, you might look at the Gingery-style injection molding machines: https://makezine.com/projects/make-41-tinkering-toys/diy-inj.... They can be made quickly, work well, and are about 2% of the price, but of course are much more limited.
Nowadays you're better of surfing Craiglist or buying an Import machine for most of his builds.
I’m especially intrigued by next-gen manufacturing (automated/lights out, 3D metal, etc.), and would absolutely love to have a small 5-axis CNC mill and some kind of injection molding facility alongside the 3D printing capability I already have for prototyping. Each tool enables a different range of options for design and material.
This isn’t now and likely won’t be my profession any time soon, so I would very much consider myself a hobbyist in this space.
The one benefit would be if you were using or developing generative design in 3d printed molds, this would be a great test bed.
source - I work in the injection molding, 3dp, and CNC industry.
I do agree that the low volume and small build area will pigeonhole the product, but it does fill a niche between 3D printing and big boy injection molding.
Manually controlled machines also exist.
Is this not something which can happen in parallel on a production line?