About this project
Note on rewards: As we now offer three types of MiniDrive we have simplified the rewards system. All you need to do is choose how many MiniDrives you want, and we will collect your choice of model (i.e. the Nifty MiniDrive Pro, the Nifty MiniDrive [Air], or the Nifty MiniDrive Retina), as well as your choice of color and shipping address in our email survey at the end of the campaign.
UPDATE - MiniDrive for the Retina MacBook Pro now available: See Update #2 for details.
IMPORTANT: The MiniDrive does not come with a MicroSD card - that must be bought separately and can be easily acquired at almost any online or high street consumer electronics retailer :-)
NOTE: A couple of people have pointed out to us that we have mixed our terms a little. To clarify; when we refer to the MiniDrive increasing the "memory" of your computer, we mean the storage space, not RAM. Sorry for any confusion that this might have caused!
The main difference between the prototype and the production model is that we change the casing material of the body from mostly aluminium to an engineering plastic.
The front of the MiniDrive (the bit can be seen when the drive is inserted into the computer and is used for removal) will still be machined from high grade aluminium to ensure the fit and finish matches the MacBook.
Note 1: The MiniDrive is really easy to remove from your computer - you just stick a paper-clip through the specially designed eyelet at the front of the device to pull it out!
The first time you use a paper-clip you can use the front of the drive to bend the paper-clip into a little hook - then you have your very own MiniDrive removal tool! Macgyver would be proud.
Or, if you are not the paper-clip kind; if you can help us get over $500,000 pledges before the end of the Kickstarter campaign, we will be sending one of these out free with every MiniDrive we ship:
See our updates for more details on the Nifty Tool!
Note 2: The devices shown on all videos are the prototypes we made to test the concept - the appearance of the production drives will be as close to the following pictures as possible:
Note 3: Pink and blue are special editions for our Kickstarter supporters, and will not be initially offered after the Kickstarter campaign.
WHAT IS THE NIFTY MINIDRIVE?
The Nifty MiniDrive is an easy to use device that allows anyone to quickly and simply increase the available memory in their MacBook computer, as well as providing a set and forget back-up solution.
It all started with the MacBook Air. We wanted to create an easy way to add memory to the MacBook Air, without having to rip it open with a torx screwdriver.
The easiest way to do that of course is to use an external hard disk drive, but as that is not really integrated with the computer we thought we could do better.
The MiniDrive is designed to be an integrated solution to that problem by using the SD card slot in the 13" MacBook Air.
While a normal SD card, which sticks out by about 1cm from the body of the computer when fully inserted, the MiniDrive is designed to sit completely flush with the body of the MacBook, becoming a semi permanent part of your computer.
We made our first protoype by 3D printing our design out of plastic before building a smalll batch of working prototypes that we had indiviually precision machined out of aircraft grade aluminium
We also developed a simple way of removing the MiniDrive from the computer by hooking a paperclip through our specially designed eyelet at the front of the device.
We are proud to announce the launch of not one but two products; the MiniDrive and the MiniDrive Pro.
The MiniDrive and the MiniDrive Pro have been designed to fit securely into the SD slot of the MacBook computers.
By utilising standard micro SD cards the MiniDrive can add plug in and forget memory to your computer.
This gives you the extra space for the things that are most important to you - holiday snaps, music, movies and any documents you may need with you, wherever you go.
THE MINIDRIVE AS A BACK-UP SOLUTION
One of the cool things about Micro SD cards is that they are practically indestructible - in fact a major manufactuer of them claims their cards can survive under the sea for over 24 hours, withstand 1.6 tons of force, and are impervious to magnets and X-rays.
Therefore, when combined with the Nifty MiniDrive, this makes them perfectly suited as a primary back-up disk.
As the Minidrives are designed to stay in your computer without getting in the way, a daily back-up of your critical files may be set up and then happen automatically without having to remember to plug anything in.
Then if you happen to spill coffee on your computer or drop it down the stairs, or some other disaster strikes you will not be forced to re-do days, weeks or even months worth of work, or even worse lose memories in the form of photos, or videos that may be irreplaceable.
TECH SPECS - Micro SD cards
All MacBook Air and Pro computers from the mid 2010 refresh onwards have a Secure Digital Extended Copacity, or SD XC card reader in their SD card slot.
This format can support a Micro SD card of up to 2TB - roughly 2000GB in size. The largest capacity Micro SD card available to put in a MiniDrive today is 64GB which would already increase by 50% the capacity of an entry level 13" MacBook air.
Of course we are excited to see what the memory manufacturers will be doing in this highly active market in the near future.
TECH SPECS - Nifty Minidrive
For us it is critical that the finish and quality of the drives match the computer for which they have been designed for.
This is particularly true for the aluminium front of the MiniDrive, as this must become as much like the computer it sits within in order to truly become part of it.
To achieve this we will be putting the aluminium of the MiniDrives through the same kind of rigorous anodising process that the Macbook Air and MacBook Pro go through themselves.
But of course, it is not just how good it looks that counts, but also how well it works, and to ensure reliability and longevity we have selected components that have been tested to be reliable for over 10,000 insertions and removals of a Micro SD card as well as coating our main connectors with immersion gold to enure the connection to your MacBook does not degrade over time.
THE MANUFACTURING PLAN
The money we raise on Kickstarter will help us pay for the tooling needed to commercially produce the MiniDrive, as well as the cost of materials themselves.
Almost all of our manufacture and assembly is done in the UK, using high quality local expertise in machining and manufacture. The exception to this is the circuit-boards which are printed and assembled in China by a UK based company, as the UK, sadly, does not seem to have facilities to print 0.4mm circuit board.
- End of Kickstarter campaign
- Up to 20 days for funds to clear (yes 20!!)
- Week 1: Order placed for the MiniDrive injection mould to be made
- Week 1: Order placed for machined fronts for MiniDrive & MiniDrive Pro
- Week 1: Order placed for PCB manufacture & assembly
- Week 3-4: Machined fronts sent for finishing and anodising
- Week 5-6: Finished machined fronts received and checked.
- Week 5-6: Finished and assembled PCBs received and tested.
- Week 4-6: Tooling for injection mould finished + first 50 sent to check for mould finalisation.
- Week 6-8: Final injection moulded components delivered
- Week 7-8: MiniDrives assembly and testing.
- Week 9: MiniDrives dispatched.
- Week 10: MiniDrives arrive
Based on above - expect shipping at the end of October/start of November.
WHERE WE ARE
So that's the MiniDrive, we have finished the design and made the prototypes, and we're just about to start production. But we need your help to get the MiniDrive into your computer.
We hope you'll join us, thank you!
Follow The Nifty MiniDrive on Twitter! @NiftyMiniDrive
For high resolution images: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ncgtu5tyv2dmc44/h_VXQS3piU
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