That's right folks! We have an UPDATE 😲
It's been quite a while since Update #11 (Roughly 42 days actually 😬), and within the time it's taken for this update to roll out a lot has happened. Since January, we've been focusing our energy on finalizing nearly all the steps in our production cycle and completing Noise Machine's final look. A lot of big decisions were made leading up to where we are now vs. where we were then.... and we now finally get to share them with you!
So without further ado, let's get into it!
First and foremost, we'd like to update you guys on Noise Machine's new design. Sticking with our "Straight Vibin' Edition" moniker, the new and improved design adds a few necessary changes, and a lot of benefit compared to our prototypes.
⬇️ See below for a first look of the official NM SVE design ⬇️
The biggest change this design update offers is new corners on the case to accommodate a piece of 2mm Transparent Acrylic held on with 4 screws acting as a faceplate. The inclusion of a faceplate offers multiple benefits vs. our earlier models with exposed PCB's. Such benefits include: increased protection of electrical components, the ability to take NM apart for repairs, + the added bonus of greater customizability.
We've also added a few changes to places you can't see, like the addition of a removable battery and charging module allowing you the option to customize NM's case and faceplate at will! Expect some cool custom faceplates to pop up on our site shortly after we send out Kickstarter units!
Speaking of cases, we'll let you in on what we've decided to go with in terms of the manufacturing process. As you may recall (if you're a backer and read Update #11 😉) we were weighing the pros and cons of the possible methods for NM's plastic casing back in January. The two candidates we had at the time were Silicone Molding and a Layered CNC approach.
After a lot of delegating, research, and information from the community we decided on.... neither of these methods.
Yep, neither of them.
Silicone Molding is a very finicky process that if not done correctly (or without the proper equipment) will lead to bubbling or uncured plastic. Meanwhile NM was too short height wise for the Layered CNC approach to be durable enough (which was unfortunate because we really liked the idea of customizable layers).
So, what did we actually decide to go with one may ask?
Well, funny story....
Ultimately, we decided on going with 3D printing (the exact same process we used for our prototypes actually).
What it came down to in the end was determining all the pros and cons for each method, and 3D printing beats the competition in a lot of key categories.
However, there was one big issue we had foreseen with 3D printing (the reason we were exploring other options to begin with) - how long it takes. The length of time deterred us from crediting 3D printing as viable, that is until a Reddit user sent us a link to Prusa's Print Farm/Factory, which blew our minds. Hundreds of 3D printers printing thousands of parts a day... Crazy! So, considering the fact we aren't as big as Prusa, we knew we could accomplish something similar (albeit with less printers).
After immersing ourselves in the world of plastic filament, we ended up deciding on Prusament PETG, as it's a high grade durable plastic that Josef Prusa makes himself in-house.
After spending a week tuning the settings just right, we began getting awesome results. Extremely durable, with a unique look and feel, we were very pleased with how it turned out.
One great thing about using 3D printing is that we get to continue making NM's cases in-house, meaning we have full control over every portion of the manufacturing process.
This ensures quality, while allowing us to quickly and easily make changes every step of the way. But perhaps the best thing about 3D printing our cases lies in the freedom it entails when choosing colours. The fact is, we're not limited to just Galaxy Black, but rather a MASSIVE range of colours included in Prusament's library. Because of this, we will be offering 3 other colours besides Galaxy Black for our Kickstarter Backers, all of which will be determined in a poll coming later this week (Update #13). We're excited to see what you choose!
Oh yea, did we mention? We'll also be making the .STL public for everyone. Meaning you can print your own custom cases at home, great for the makers out there in the community. We expect some awesome creations to come from this!
The Upcoming Month,
As a final note, we wanted to take the last portion of this update to let you know what to expect from us in the month of March. First, we'd like to talk about the surveys for a quick moment. A couple of you have asked about them/were wondering when to expect us to start sending them out, and although we can't give you a solid answer right now, I'd say it's safe to expect them to be sent out before the end of this month. They'll include colour options, shipping, and other relevant information that comes up while preparing your orders. So keep an eye on your inboxes come the end of March (or sooner?).
Now that that's out of the way, let's talk production.
The last 42 days have been tiring. Preparing for production is long, tedious, and makes everyone feel really impatient (ourselves very much included). That's why seeing that light at the end of the tunnel gets us really excited!!! We are within 2 weeks or so of starting production and things are looking really good. As long as things go smoothly we should have the first batch of NM SVE's all ready to go come the start of April.
Plus, now that we'll be moving out of the boring old research/finalizing phase and into production, you can expect more updates with photo's showcasing all the exciting aspects of your NM's being built! We hope you're looking forward to this as much as we are :)
Okay, that's all for this one. Drop any and all questions you may have for us below and we'll get to them ASAP!
Thanks everyone, stay safe.
[THIS.IS.NOISE inc & The Noise Machine Team]