In the home stretch...
We wanted to send through an update on our latest Touch Pen development schedule.
Our last round of prototypes were delivered to the studio this past week. They look and feel great and, most importantly, write amazingly on both paper and pixels! We are really proud of the hundreds of hours of obsessive work that have gone into the design, production, and refinement of these products.
As you know, we are committed to designing the highest quality products and using the most premium materials available. To that point, we have decided to make one more change to the Touch Pen's conductive rubber tip/grip.
The original tip design had a knurled pattern in the grip area that we felt added a nice technical look to the pen. What we could not have foreseen until we received parts back, however, was that the knurl pattern would create other cosmetic issues. These included smaller issues like pocket lint getting stuck into the knurl recesses and bigger issues related to the molding complexity of the part. These flaws were simply unacceptable and did not meet our quality standards and despite countless revisions, we just couldn’t live with them.
Some development information on the conductive tip that you might not know:
The tip is made via compression molding (not injection molding) due to the silicone requiring impregnation with a conductive material. Compression molding is, as it sounds, material that is first heated and placed into molds where it is compressed into the desired form, in our case the tip of the pen.
Adding the knurl pattern created three part lines in the tip: One around the base of the tip cone and two running up the sides of the grip area, where the molds are compressed together to make the part.
As the mold for the tip is not a sealed cavity, excess material may leak through the small separation space between molds. This excess material is referred to as flash. We were expecting marginal parting lines, but controlling the flash and accurately trimming it away became a bigger issue. Not only does it add more labor and require additional processing to cut the flash down, but yield also goes down, meaning more tips get thrown out...thus adding more cost.
We finally concluded that accurately achieving the “tech” look of the knurl from our original design was just not feasible for mass production. We decided it was best to build a completely new tool that removes the knurl, leaving a smooth surface. By doing this, we eliminated the extra three parting lines and the result is a much cleaner design. These tools are expensive, but we felt this is the best direction for the Touch Pen…especially when it has LunaTik’s name on it.
new smooth rubber tip design
UPDATED SHIPPING TIMELINE:
It is always difficult to delay shipping. Still, our standard for delivering premium products of the highest quality outweighs meeting our original target date. We are very excited to get these out the door and I am personally heading to China next week with our team to sign off on the new tool and kick off final production.
So, based of the final change to the smooth rubber tip, here is our adjusted shipping timeline:
· 4/16 Tooling for the new tip kicks off (takes 20 days).
· 5/8 First parts off tool are scheduled. Parts to be reviewed/revised and approved by 5/10.
· 5/11 Pilot production kicks off on first 250 pens.
· 5/14 Kick-off approval for full production ramps up.
· 5/18 Finished goods start moving to fulfillment house.
· 5/21 Fulfillment house starts pack out.
· 5/25 (Week of) target date to start shipping to Kickstarter backers
LunaTik is a brand uncompromising in design detail and quality. While we understand that delays are frustrating, it is always in the best interest of our backers. Without you guys, this couldn’t happen and we thank you for your understanding.
PS. We also got the final anodized color samples for the Alloy Touch Pens and they look amazing. On the Polymer Touch Pens, we made some final changes to the pigment so that that the polymer is more opaque, making the colors more vivid and rich. These too have passed our quality test and we can’t wait to post more detailed photos soon.
More updates from China in the coming days!
Scott Wilson and the MNML Team
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KICKSTARTER Anniversary Collection. We wanted to do something special that will never be available at retail commemorating the 1-year anniversary of TikTok+LunaTik: An exclusive green anodized Lunatik Alloy Touch Pen and a LunaTik LYNK Watch Kit in black anodized aluminum with green silicone accents. Plus our new AnTik analog watch module that is interchangeable with your nano. Both will have matching laser-etched serialization and designer signature. Exclusive to Kickstarter. US shipping included. Add $30 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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