The Beer Ranger Badge project marks my Kickstarter debut and I can’t wait to share it with you. It has brought me plenty of laughs in its creation and it seems to inspire smiles everywhere it touches down. The project was initially inspired by a friend’s adventurous tales of badge envy he experienced as a law enforcement officer. I loved the stories and took it upon myself to empower all of life’s everyday heroes, like you and I, with a badge of our own. In doing so, I felt obligated to equip our badge with a number of functional features that you’ll be hard pressed to find on traditional hardware. The Beer Ranger Badge will serve you as a beer opener, so you and your friends never have to go thirsty again. You can also use it as a money clip to keep your cash neatly together and you can clip it to your key chain so it is always around when you need it.
Each badge comes equipped with a removable magnet so you can stick it on your fridge. You can additionally chain the badge to the fridge, beverage cooler, or bar so it never goes missing in action and is always within reach when you need it most.
You can even wear the badge around your neck or, clip it conveniently to your pants or belt. These are what I refer to as the “Friend Maker Features” because, as you’ll soon find out, wearing the badge in public draws a lot of attention and friendly smiles. Imagery of an eagle swooping down to open a beer bottle is impossible to resist. Be advised, your new friends might not be able to keep their hands off your pants.
With so many different uses and options, this is likely the last bottle opener you’ll ever need so click on the big green button and reward yourself. You've earned it.
Once the general idea was explored and product performance criteria clearly defined in a design brief, it was time to get dirty. Because this product had to serve a number of different functions, sketch modeling in foam and metal was the next logical step needed to identify the most sensible shape for the badge.
Once the most advantageous shape of the badge was identified, it was time to fire up the CAD modeling software to define the finer details of the badge.
Once the primary design intent was solidified in 3D, it was time to take it down a dimension and get artistic. Creating the artwork for the badge was done primarily in 2D and it took a combination of hand sketching and vector linework to arrive at the final result. Once the final artwork was finished, it was time to map it to the 3D surface of the badge which has proven very tedious and time consuming.
In the end, specialty software was required to map the artwork to the surface of the badge. It took a lot of work to get the job done.
Once solid geometry was merged with the artwork, sparks begun to fly and mold fabrication was initiated.
It took several weeks to fine tune the mold details. A small trial run was also performed to ensure that the tooling would stand up to high volume production. Tooling steel can have hidden imperfections or internal structural flaws. A trial run ensures that the tooling is properly broken in and that its structural integrity is up to par. Skipping this step and going straight to production could have disastrous consequences.
The tough part is complete. The badge is ready for full scale production but it needs your help to flip the final switch and reach a minimum volume needed to make production economically viable.
Once the project is funded, the necessary funds needed to reach minimum production quantity will be available. Production will start immediately. The die casting of the badges will take place in Asia. The vast majority of human labor input (packaging, order fulfillment, shipping, customer service) will all take place in Canada and United States.
A small batch of products from the trial run will ship right away to a limited number of early bird backers. The remaining backers will get their rewards in 6 to 8 weeks from the funding date. I hope you back this project and let your friends in on the secret.
Images below depict finished samples created during the trial pilot run described above. Although small refinements will be implemented in final production, they are barely perceptible to the naked eye.
Each badge is die cast from a zinc alloy and comes in one of three distinct finishes (Shiny, Vintage, and Bling) as shown below. Shiny and Vintage are standard finishes. Bling is a limited edition finish and will only be made available to our Kickstarter backers.
Risks and challenges
Project risks and challenges are minimal. The design and tooling phases, which are the most challenging and delay-prone phases of product development, are complete. A trial run has also been completed to ensure everything works properly and the supplier can consistently produce high quality products. In addition, a small trial batch of inventory is ready to ship to early-bird backers. Once the funding targets are met, you’ll be free to start making your own Beer Ranger Badge inspired stories.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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