WEEKS OF TWEAKS
In our last update, we expressed hope that we would be in production by this week and shipping your pens as of next week. We made the long trek over to China and have been on the ground for over 3 weeks, working aggressively with our suppliers to get ready for production. We were on track until we reached our silicone supplier for the capacitive tip — yes, that same pesky (but soon to be awesome) tip.
THE SILICONE TIP
The tip tools are made with very deep, narrow cavities via EDM process. We found during the tooling process that each cavity was damaged when the supplier was not paying close enough attention and allowed debris from the EDM burning of the tool to accumulate and settle at the bottom of the cavity, causing scarring at the end of the tip. Bottom line — the tool needed to be completely scrapped.
Bad tip and scrapped tool
We immediately made a single cavity prototype tool to make sure the data and process could yield the parts we wanted.
New plans, new tip!
We have new parts coming off the tool tomorrow, Friday, May 25th and we'll be on site in China to approve these parts. We expect that they will be up to our high design standards. If they are, then we will immediately start production of the tips. From there it’s simply a matter of days for assembly, production, and start of pack-out. For obvious reasons, we'd prefer to give you an update on the adjusted shipdate once we've officially approved the tool.
We've also been continuing to work on the Alloy Touch Pen metal clip. Our original intent for the clip was a straightforward metal injection molded (MIM) part with a PVD coating. Aftersome early prototypes showed structural weakness- where the clip bends to flow into the click button- we tried molding the clip area flat and bending it 90 degrees to create its final shape. This worked better, but introduced some visual quality problems- rooted in how sharply we were asking the part to bend. We tried several different dies and bending approaches, but, in the end, found the best solution was simply to modify the bend radius. Doing this allowed the part to be bent to shape without causing ugly distortions and imperfections. To most, this change will be unnoticeable, but it improves the part and keeps it looking as good as we've intended all along.
Sintering ovens for MIM clips
We also learned on this trip that the pen ink for a retractable click mechanism pen needs to be gel ink rather than rollerball ink. Roller inks are designed for pens that are capped, whereas gel inks are designed for pens with tips that are open to the environment. Using roller ink cartridges in a non-capped pen could potentially cause leaking or dry out--things we don’t want our customers to experience. So, thanks to our supplier's help, we've switched to gel ink. We are using the same conical tips (.7 mm) and the writing experience is amazing. The cartridges are from our Japanese supplier, a company touted as one of the best in the world and a supplier to some of the best-known pen brands. Most importantly, we've acquired the gel ink cartridges with no delay.
We promised a journey when we launched this project on Kickstarter. We’ve learned an incredible amount during this period of development. We knew how to make watches, but this project gave us a chance to challenge ourselves with a new category. Along the way, we've sought out experts in the pen industry and asked lots of questions to get things right.
We know you’re anxious for your pens and apologize for these last minute adjustments, but it won't be long now! We are an inclusive brand, always have been. Transparency has been our philosophy all along. Give our team and suppliers a few more days to get you theproduct we promised—you won’t be disappointed.
Scott Wilson and the MNML Team
A first look at the Kickstarter Limited Edition Touch Pen
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Many Kickstarter backers say the Journey is more important than the Destination. Be part of the process and see behind the scenes. Receive Backer Only updates that document the project and development process.Estimated delivery:
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Dark Side Collection. A 2-pack of LunaTik Plastic Touch Pens. One in Arctic White and one in Pitch Black. It is your destiny. US shipping included. Add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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1 LunaTik Alloy Touch Pen with silver anodized aluminum body and graphite metal clip. US shipping included. Add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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The MNML Collection. 1 LunaTik Alloy Touch Pen with silver anodized aluminum body and graphite metal clip. 1 LunaTik Plastic Touch Pen Arctic White and 1 LunaTik Plastic Touch Pen Pitch Black. US shipping included. Add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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CMYK Collection. 5 LunaTik Plastic Touch Pens in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and a bonus Arctic White Touch Pen. Inks are black. US shipping included. Add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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The Designer Collection. 3 LunaTik Alloy Touch Pens. 1 Silver anodized with graphite metal clip, 1 Red anodized with black metal clip and a Black anodized with silver metal clip. Includes a pack of refills with various tip sizes. US shipping included. Add $20 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
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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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You are All In. You get everything you see above to share with your friends, family and co-workers. The Limited Edition LunaTik Kickstarter Anniversary Collection above with Antik Watch Module. 2 Designer Collections. 10 Plastic Touch Pens (two of each color). US shipping included. Add $50 for international shipping.Estimated delivery:
- (60 days)