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An easy to use device that allows anyone to quickly and simply increase the available memory in their MacBook computer.
9,805 backers pledged $384,319 to help bring this project to life.

Meeting the makers :-)

Posted by niftydrives (Creator)

Dear Backers,

Exciting times for Nifty! We have both been in China for the last week, touring our suppliers and manufacturing facilities, inspecting a large range of samples, and finalizing quality control checks before we go into full-blown production.

First and foremost, what everyone wants to know – WHEN WILL THE DAMN MINIDRIVES BE SHIPPING? We are happy to say that barring any unexpected disasters, we are aiming to ship in the final week of November/the first week of December and are confident that we will repay the faith you guys have shown in us.

Please read on (it’s a long one) for a detailed breakdown of where we stand with each component of the MiniDrive and the next steps that are going to get us onto the production line and MiniDrives into your MacBooks. Despite some earlier setbacks, everything is starting to fall into place and we sincerely thank you for your continued patience and support – it has been quite the adventure so far…


The dimensions, texture and cavity consistency of the Nifty MiniDrive bodies are looking good and we have signed off on the final samples. It will take whopping 4 hours to produce the entire Kickstarter batch.


We have found the perfect balance between the finish and strength of the Nifty Tools and have now signed off on final samples. For the Nifty Tool, it will take 4 days to produce the entire Kickstarter batch.


From a visual perspective the aluminium fronts are the most crucial aspect of the MiniDrive as this is what can be seen when the MiniDrive is plugged into the MiniDrive. These now represent the longest lead time for us and is one of the main reasons we have had to slightly push back the scheduled shipping date.

Originally we proposed using CNC to cut both the alumimium fronts and the groove in the fronts where the MiniDrive is extracted. Unfortunately, while this process is quick,it wasn’t creating a finish that we were entirely happy with, specifically the edges of the aluminium fronts were not entirely smooth and the grooves were inconsistent.

We have now settled on a process called EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) to make the aluminum fronts, which will greatly improve the machining finish and ensure consistency throughout the production run.

By going with the new EDM process we are increasing our cost of production, but felt this was absolutely necessary to maintain the quality of the MiniDrive and stay true to what wanted when we started out. 

The one drawback is that this process takes a lot longer than CNC machining and has increased our lead-time by about 15 days. That said, we are extremely happy with the samples produced by the EDM process and yesterday signed off on the purchase order for the aluminium fronts. 

This is a big step and over the next 15 days, starting from Monday, we will have close to 14,000 machined aluminium fronts rolling off the production line ready for anodisation and assembly.


The anodisation process is now producing a surface finish that is consistent to the MacBook, which is excellent news. In terms of colours we have signed off on silver, black, blue and pink. Our suppliers have had some difficulty matching up the pantone colours for red and green to a standard we are happy with – specifically the red is still too pink and the green is still too sea foamy. 

We have now tracked down physical samples of red and green, and will have final samples for these in the next couple days. 

What this all means, is that as the aluminium fronts start coming off the production line we can start batch anodizing silver, black, blue and pink fronts straight away, meaning aluminium front production and anodisation is occurring simultaneously. Red and green will be finalized before the final batch of aluminium fronts are complete meaning the overall lead-time should not be affected whilst we resolve the red and green colour issues. 


The MicroSD card connectors have been a major source of frustration for us so far. In mid August(!!) we placed and paid upfront for an order of microSD connectors that would fit our original PCB design. According to our supplier the microSD card connectors were scheduled for delivery to our assembly plant at the end of October. In update 21 (Oct 18) we mentioned that the supplier had pushed back the delivery date to 9th November. 2 days later our supplier contacted us to tell us that the micro sd card connectors were to be delayed by a further 6-8 weeks due to a breakage in their mould. 

As you can imagine this was not the best news in the world for us! At that stage, we took the decision to locate an alternative microSD card connector supplier and found one who could deliver in the final week of November. Switching suppliers has added a whole load of work to the operation, as we have had to re-design the original PCB according to the specifications of the new microSD card holder, but it means we can stay as close to the original schedule as possible. At the same time we have continued to work with the original supplier to reduce the 6-8 week lead-time and were later also quoted an expected delivery date of the last week of November. 

To sum this up, we are not taking any risks with delaying this project and now have two different PCB designs and have placed two orders for microSD card connectors from two different suppliers, both expected to deliver and ready for assembly in the final week of November. 


The last PCB samples we received were a fraction too small for the Nifty MiniDrive bodies (0.15mm), however this is a small issue and we expect to receive and sign off on final samples within the week. The PCB turn around time is very short once the PO is placed. 

In update 21 we mentioned that the Nifty logo printed on the back of the PCBs was not as clear and crisp as we wanted. Those samples used a silk-screen printing method which proved not be ideal for achieving a high resolution finish. We have now settled on a pad-printing process which produce a much more satisfactory finish. Here is a sample of Pad printing:

It is also much harder wearing, meaning the Nifty logo should not be scratching off any time soon. Again, we expect to receive and sign off on final samples tomorrow. 


1. Sign off on samples of PCBs with pad-printing finish; 2. Monitor aluminium front production - Finalize green and red colour samples;  3. Start production of Nifty Tools; 4. Start production of Nifty MiniDrive bodies; 5. Start production of PCBs; 6. Receive microSD card holder components (week commencing 26th Nov); 7. Assembly (week commencing 26th Nov); 8. Start shipping!


Piers & Steve


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    1. Charlie Stigler on

      Nevermind, I guess I missed in the previous update that will be. Great job on the continuous updates, guys.

    2. Charlie Stigler on

      I ordered a 64GB microSD card with you guys through the deal you posted back in October. Haven't heard any details about that, will it be shipping in the same package as my Nifty MiniDrive?

    3. Missing avatar

      Alina on

      I think you guys shouldn't rush things if you are not totally, 100% satisfied with various things. Where we waited so far we can wait a little bit more.
      But more importantly for you, you want to be able to continue mass production for non-backers and you wouldn't want these regular customers to be put off by various issues reported by the backers if issues appear as a result of something being rushed now.

    4. Justin on

      Thanks @Ben.

      I'm the same as @Daniel, I need to update my shipping address.

    5. Missing avatar

      Ben Zarpentine on

      Not sure if they ship internationally but BH Photo has Micro SD on sale today only
      SanDisk Ultra 64GB MicroSDXC Card UHS-I (Class 10) w/ SD Adapter $48.95
      SanDisk Ultra 32GB MicroSDHC Card UHS-I (Class 10) w/ SD Adapter $24.95
      SanDisk Ultra 16GB MicroSDHC Card UHS-1 (Class 10) w/ SD Adapter $14.95

    6. Missing avatar

      Daniel Davila on

      Hi, nice update, I want mine already ^^
      BTW, I need to update my shipping address.

    7. Christopher Michon on

      Thank you for all the updates. They have been really helpful! Can't wait to get mine.

    8. Missing avatar

      Chang Wai Yuen on

      appreciate the effort to stay on track!

    9. Missing avatar

      baro on

      Thanks for the infos guys. If I can give you a suggestion, delay the shipping to the new year if you cannot send before end of November... to avoid postal-services congestions near Christmas and problems with delivery (maybe someone will be skiing somewhere, and not at home ready to receive the MiniDrive)
      Best regards, Andrea

    10. Toni van den Munckhof on

      Very nice update! I like your style of working! Good luck guys.

    11. Benjamin Rabe on

      I echo all previous comment re: updates, super interesting to watch/listen to you guys! cheers!

    12. Alvin Wu

      Hi, how do I update my purchase to have the 3 that I have ordered to work in the new Mac book pro?



    13. Missing avatar

      Jochem van Leeuwen on

      Love these updates! Awesome insight into a crash course operations.

    14. Sciurvilla on

      This is what we want to see as update here on Kickstarter!!!! Hope others will follow your way and professionally! Thanks guys for your great job!!! Now we have just to wait the shipment!! :o)

    15. Missing avatar

      seibert on

      Watching this and other Kickerstarter projects bring a piece of hardware to market has been an fascinating lesson for me on the challenges of mass production. So many technologies have to be brought together to make a finished product in large quantities.

      Thanks for bringing us along for the ride!

    16. Missing avatar

      David Strom on

      Wow. The updates are great. What a ride.

      I hope you guys are going to make a few bucks after going to all this trouble!

    17. Cristiano Betta on

      Loving the updates! Keep them coming.

    18. Missing avatar

      Matt on

      It's been very interesting watching this whole process. I would not have expected it to be so difficult but I can see why quality is so frequently crap. There are a lot of opportunities to just say 'eh, close enough', especially when time or cost is squeezed. I'm now amazed so many things are as good as they are! Thanks for sharing such detailed updates with us.

    19. Missing avatar

      Brian Kieffer on

      This is how all Kickstarters should do updates. Thanks!