A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
I was emptying my full pockets on to the desk. Looking at the contents it was obvious that coins and my spinner accounted for all of the weight in my front pocket.
As I put all the coins, except the quarters which I intended to take with me, into the coin jar the idea for a combined coin spinner and coin holder began to take form in minds eye. I quickly tested the concept with a mashup using zip ties, "O" rings and a bearing I had lying around.
The concept worked and a few quick sketches later and with help from an engineering friend I had a few prototype made up out of aluminum and wood using laser and water jet cutters.
The Coin Spinners' design specifications called for: a light weight body, easy and secure coin capture and release, and a robust bearing to handle slightly off balanced loads (coins, even of the same value, can differ in weight). Additional the design concept was to produce a fidget spinner focused on fidgeting/fiddling rather than maximizing spin times; though the longer the spin time the better.
As I built and tested the prototypes it became apparent that non of these new prototypes worked, or met the requirements, as well as the first proof of concept mashup I made using cable ties. Especially when it came to weight saving and ease of inserting and removing coins. In fact the flexible nature of the mashup added more fidget option too. The decision to follow a flexible route was taken and development focused on how to produce a a robust lightweight Coin Spinner/holder economically.
Through trial and error, and the purchase of a micro 3D printer for making prototype parts, the flexible design has been refined. Now using commonly available parts, 3D printing a small key component to capture the bearing and assembly tools, the Coin Spinner is ready for sale.
However the price is too high. To minimize weight and size while maximizing spin time a small 604 bearing was chosen. The down side of that choice is that 604 bearings are expensive compared to those used in standard fidget spinners. To reduce that cost I need to buy a large volume of 604 bearings and realize a 10 fold reduction in the cost of this one part.
This Kickstarter campaign is aimed at providing the funds to make the wholesale purchase and to upgrade (or duplicate) the 3D printer to make reliably production quantities of the key component.
Risks and challenges
The product is ready for sale and will be offered on my Etsy shop. The real risk with the project is delivery of the wholesale bearings on time to make the product delivery date.
All the other items are off the shelf and readily available with exception of the 3D printed part. This part is small and does not take long to print. The project funds an additional printer which leaves the prototype printer as a backup. Additionally failure of the 3D printer can be mitigated by use of 3D printer shops like Shapeways, for a marginal increase in cost.
Assembly is straight forward and can be preformed with non skilled labor following simple processes and procedures.