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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.

Piers' KickTips & other good stuff

Posted by niftydrives (Creator)

Hey guys,

So, for the skimmers amongst us - here is what is in the update today:

- Free stuff: Awesome icon packs

- USA distributor: Dr Bott

- The Distributor Hunt: Open season

- Notes from Manufactureland: After the Choosing 

Free Stuff 

We'd like to give a shout out to a couple of backers who have made some awesome little icon packs for you to use with your MiniDrive. You can swap out the little SD card icon on your desktop for one of these bad boys: 

David Saunders: 

Jesus Badia: 

Thank you very much guys! If you're not sure how to swap out the old icon for a new one, here is a great little tutorial for ya: 

Although neither me or Steve made the video, it was made by a guy called Dan Allen who really enjoyably uses the word "boom" at 1:10. Excellent. 

USA Distributor 

After some great brain storming sessions and conversations with the guys over at Dr Bott we are really happy to announce that Dr Bott has been appointed as a distributor of the Nifty MiniDrive for the USA & Canada. 

If you are interested in re-selling or retailing the Nifty MiniDrive in the USA or Canada, please drop them a line to: 

Distributor hunt 

Choosing a distributor is a really involved process all on its own, and I will be doing a KickTips blog entry on that in a few weeks time. However, if you are a distributor, and you would be interested in distributing the MiniDrive, or know someone who might be, we would love to talk with you. Drop us an email to: 

Notes from Manufactureland: After the Choosing 

So you have chosen your manufacturers and got quotes for all the bits you need. You are now ready right? If only. Actually, there is quite a bit you still need to do before you can pull the trigger. While going through the quoting process, the manufacturer will have only look at your plans/drawings/technical specifications from a cost evaluation perspective. This is not the same as what is called "Design for Manufacturability" evaluation or DFM for short. 

Generally a manufacturer will only do a DFM if they are almost certain they have the order (or sometimes only when they have a PO in hand). Some manufacturers will even charge you for this service and then take the money you paid for it off what you owe them if/when they get the order. This is because a DFM is a much more in depth process than a quoting process, and thus expensive in terms of resource allocation. However, do not underestimate how long this process will take. 

Here is a quick example of what I mean, illustrated with the manufacture of an injection mould plastic part: 


- How large is the part (volume) 

- How heavy is the part (mass) 

- How complex is the part (a factor of how many parts the tool used will need, and therefore how long it take per injection) 

= a price based on some basic factors of all three 


- Are any of the walls too thin? 

- Does the ratio between the thickest and thinnest wall work (if it doesn't the part will non-uniform manner an warp after it comes out the tool)? 

- Is the wall thickness uniform? 

- Does the size, height and angle of the ultrasonic energy directors work if planning to ultrasonically weld a piece 

- How will the plastic flow through the mould and then cool? Should any corners be removed?

The quoted cost won't change, but often you will be told that a number of things need adjusting on your design before it is 100% ready to go to tooling. A lot of this can seem frustrating, especially as they can be very small points, but it is SO important: you really only have one shot to get it right with the tooling. Scrapping a tool can be PAINFULLY expensive and set your project back months and months. This process can be helped along by getting your design verified by an manufacturing engineer, but that won't necessarily get everything.

Also, make sure you factor in plenty of time. Getting feedback for the DFM can take forever, and your manufacturers won't necessarily feedback everything that needs changing at the same time. Never assume if you hear nothing that all is fine and the tooling is ready to start. This process alone set our project back around two months (in total) as feedback came in dribs and drabs and often took two or more rounds to reach something all parties were happy with. 

If you can, try to get all of this sorted, including DFM, for all parts, before your Kickstarter campaign starts - this means that, on successful completion of the campaign you just have to say "go" and the tooling manufacture commences. It sounds so obvious to me now, but when we were first starting out, it just felt like once we had a price for something, all they had to do was get started once we gave the green light! It's not. Don't let it bite you in the ass.

Twitter: @PiersRidyard @niftyminidrive 




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    1. Davide Dellacasa on

      Hi just to say that none of my drivers works. No time to do patch, I expected to do receive something that simply works :(

    2. Rahul Gupta on

      can i get my money back? still no mini drive.

    3. Missing avatar

      Kai on

      I just wanted to let you know about a weird issue that has appeared when using the MiniDrive.

      Several of us have experienced boot issues following the last Apple update for the Macbook Pro Retina. If the drive is in (with or without SDcard installed), the Mac will fail to boot or will take over 6 minutes. If you remove the drive, the Mac boots with no issues.

      I'm not sure if this just isolated to MiniDrives or if its a wider SD Slot issue following the last update, however I thought I'd share this feedback in case you receive queries.

      There is a thread on the Apple Support Community for this as well (…)

    4. niftydrives Creator on

      @fmotta August :)

    5. fmotta on

      @NiftyDrive: Yes, thanks for the update. Sometimes just stating the answer to a frequently asked question like "when will I get it" in a straight forward form of a date (or table of dates if needed) is sufficient. Omission of this information will increase frustration.

    6. niftydrives Creator on

      @Fabrice Don't worry we have you down for 2 Mk3s in August :)

      @Terrence Humberstone We've let you down BFF, we've sent you a personal message to show we care and make sure you get the other half of your order :)

      @fmotta Absolutely not a vapourware project - but I can certainly appreciate your frustrations. Very regrettably some Kickstarter backers received defective products or not at all. We have always maintained our commitment to make sure every single backer receives a working Minidrive, which has led to the iteration of the Mk3. You have filled out our online form and requested an Mk3 which is why you have not received anything in the interim. We will continue to update on our Kickstarter blog regarding the progress and timeline. Hope that is a bit clearer :)

    7. fmotta on

      LOL "other half of the order..." I have not seen any portion of my order and have heard naught about it having been sent. Another vaporware project?

    8. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    9. Missing avatar

      Fabrice on

      Hi !!! May I have some news from my order please !!!? In my last filled form, I ask for Mk3 in August but.... no news. Thank you.

    10. niftydrives Creator on

      @Thanks for the comment Joost. Hoping people can learn something from our mistakes
      @Tan Zheyan We have you down for Mk3s shipping in August

    11. Tan Zheyan on

      I've not receive my 2 nifty too!

    12. Joost Nagtegaal on

      Very interesting to read the 'KickTips', it gives a good general overview over the process behind Kickstarter manufacturing project, and an insight in the specific hurdles you encountered. It definitely explains most of the delay we backers experienced.

    13. niftydrives Creator on

      @ Gary L.Gray @fmotta we have received both your forms back and have you both down as waiting for Mk3's which should be good to go in August. I hope that clears things up a bit.

    14. Jim McKeeth on

      The David Saundars icons are PNGs. You can convert them to ICNS here:

      Also, I received my MiniDrive which I ordered for my original 13" Mac Book Pro, but I just upgraded to a 15" Retina MBP. I was delighted that the same drive works in both.


    15. Missing avatar

      Gary L. Gray on

      I have yet to receive my MiniDrive, even though I was one of the early backers (I was charged for the little sucker on July 11, 2012). Can I assume that I will be receiving the Mk3 version in August? If so, I may need to change my shipping address. Would someone please contact me to check that I am still scheduled to receive one, that it is the right version, that it is the right color, and that you have the correct shipping address?

    16. fmotta on

      Neat information.

      Will I be getting my first ever Nifty drive soon? None have arrived to me ever - working or not, rev 0 or rev 99. None have arrived. I'd like to have this one done and the products in my hands in a production quality soon!