UPDATE: JANUARY 14th
FOR INQUIRIES OF THOSE WHO MISSED KICKSTARTER: Unfortunately the Kickstarter funding period has ended but you can preorder the wooden Catan boards on our website http://catanboards.co/ at this time. The plastic boards will be available later in 2013 once all of the original Kickstarter orders have been filled. If you'd like to get notified when we launch, here's our email signup: http://eepurl.com/ssIdX.
Hi Kickstarter backers!
Here's a quick update of what Bill and I have been working on since our last post:
Following the closing of our Kickstarter project, we sent our mold design models to Kruse Analysis for mold flow simulations and have been consulting them on our mold design process. Kruse Analysis engineers use SigmaSoft software to simulate the plastic injection process and their mold flow analysis has provided us with a better understanding of the mold filling, packaging, and cooling before it is built. It is very important to us that our timelines are not delayed so this has meant extra work up front to prevent any issues that could mean costly and time-consuming tooling changes down the road. We included several screenshot of what the mold flow analysis looks like below. As you can see, we have added extra ribbing to the bottom of each of the plastic boards to ensure rigidity so players will not have to worry about any warping and will be able to pick up a fully assembled board with pieces.
After weighing the costs and benefits of several manufacturing options for our mold, we decided to move ahead with a local manufacture called Next Intent Inc for the 3-4 player and 5-6 player molds. To give you a little idea of the quality and precision you can expect, Next Intent built the wheels, forward and aft arms, wheel hubs and other components for the Mars Exploration Rovers as well as components for the Discovery Channel Telescope. True to their slogan, “We Build Really Cool Stuff!”, Next Intent has a very impressive project portfolio and we are excited to be working with them to get our first molds manufactured. Included below are also some renderings of the updated mold designs.
While we are waiting for these molds to be made, we will be focused on setting up the plastic injection and screen-printing processes over at Unibox Enclosures in anticipation of our first production run. Unfortunately, all these things take time, which is why we set the original estimated delivery dates posted on Kickstarter. While Bill and I are super excited to get your plastic boards to you, no amount of enthusiasm will be able to speed up these processes which take significant time and capital and cannot be rushed to ensure proper quality and adequate lead times for fulfillment. From the very start of this project, we wanted to be as open and realistic as possible with our delivery dates. So far, it looks like we will be able to make all of our original projections. The timelines are outlined below as a reminder. We will continue to keep all of our backers updated if any of the following dates change. Please note that these are our best estimates and delivery dates are subject to change. We will do everything in our power to make sure we meet these deadlines but sometimes there are issues out of our hands.
Limited Edition Walnut Board (1st run) – Already Delivered!
Aluminum Boards ($400) – late January 2013
Limited Edition Walnut Board (2st run) – Mid to Late February 2013
Beech Reversible 3-4/5-6 Player Board ($305) – Late February 2013
Early Bird 3-4 Player Catan Boards ($20) – Late April 2013
Early Bird 5-6 Player Catan Board ($35) – Late April 2013
3-4 Player Catan Boards ($25) – Mid May 2013
5-6 Player Catan Board ($40) – Mid May 2013
3-4 Player Seafarers Catan Board ($50) – Mid June 2013
5-6 Player Seafarers Catan Board ($65) – Mid June 2013
The Complete Catan Board Package ($100) – Late June 2013
Resource Card Holders ($10) – Early to Mid June 2013
There have been a few comments regarding why certain pledgers receive their rewards before others. I think Bill did a good job explaining it in the comments so I will just echo what he said again:
“The purpose of this Kickstarter is to provide the capital necessary to manufacture large, plastic injection molds to be able to provide high quality Catan Boards at an affordable price for Catan fans. The lead time for these molds is industry-standard at 8-10 weeks. Our initial product offering clearly stated the delivery dates for each of these plastic boards. Each additional stretch goal added was provided with specific delivery dates. These delivery dates are not arbitrary. They are contingent on very real project management timeline charts which we planned in great detail prior to launching the Kickstarter. The wooden and aluminum boards are manufactured individually and don't require the high levels of upfront capital to make molds for, so they were able to be delivered more swiftly than the plastic boards. All of the Early Bird plastic board backers will be receiving their boards before the bulk of the Kickstarter backers. We are equally grateful to all of our backers for their support, regardless of their level of backing. Every Catan fan is an important fan.”
Also, I would like to say that if there is a specific issue that needs attention such as change of your address please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do our best to respond to every message within a few days but lately our Kickstarter inbox has been flooded with a dizzying amount of emails from those who missed out on the Kickstarter so often your important requests are lost amid all the other messages. We have received many messages regarding those who are interested in adding additional pledges to their order. Unfortunately, the Kickstarter funding period has ended so we cannot change any billing at this point. We would kindly ask that you wait until our fulfillment is complete and we offer all of our products on catanboards.co to buy them then so we can focus on the orders we already have.
Finally, several of our backers have been kind enough to share their photos of their limited edition walnut boards which can be seen below!
Thanks again to all our backers! It has certainly been a crowdsourced launch and we are excited to share the journey with you!
Nate and Bill