Over the years I've made mainly tools, bike parts, knives and other hard goods that I'm into or want but can't find. The slingshot is no different. Made a few for myself and friends, but like the bike parts there seemed to be a demand. Currently I haven't been able to run a large batch of them for everyone that wants one though, due to time, funds and tooling.
With your help I'll be able to purchase equipment to streamline manufacturing and material and hardware in bulk to keep cost down. I've made a few samples shown below. The aluminum and textured G10 is made here in America and is readily available. The chainring bolts and bands have been purchased from my local bike shop and sporting good store. With your help I'll be able to go direct to the band manufacture and purchase directly, which will help keep cost down and hopefully reduce the retail packaging waste from buying it locally. Being in the cycling industry already I have contacts at major mfgs and distros of chainring bolts.
As with every project, I start with a concept using Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software. Machine programming is also done with Fusion 360. This allows easy visualizations and quick modifications to design and mfg. More information can be found on the software by clicking the image below. Its currently free for students and startups. I highly recommend it!
The aluminum, titanium and G10 comes in large sheets or bars. I first cut the material up into smaller pieces for machining. Main body is 3/8" thick, scales are 1/8" thick.
After rough sawing and some time in the tumbler I begin the machining process of the G10 inlays. Starting off by drilling the holes and counterbores. Once this is finished I peel the ply to uncover the textured pattern then profile them so they fit into the pockets in the aluminum or titanium bodies.
After G10 machining, I begin processing the aluminum or titanium frames.
Test fitting the G10 and chainring bolts... Perfect Fit!
Second operation in the mill cuts off the carrier material and finishes off the details on the back side including chamfers and pocket for the inlays.
Once machining is complete the parts run thru the tumbler for a few hours then are assembled. Only tool necessary is a 5mm hex key. This can be used to push the 5/16" diameter stainless steel balls into the bands and tighten the chainring bolts. The thru holes in the main body are smaller than the retaining balls so there's no chance of the balls ever pulling thru.
Risks and challenges
All frame and inlay machining is done in-house. Material is sourced locally and always available from multiple suppliers so purchasing this and processing will be no issue. I've currently blocked out time in anticipation of this campaign. I do however have existing duties to current customers. I do not feel things will impact either though.
Possible challenges depend on the final size of the campaign. Purchasing the bands and chainring bolts have been done in very small numbers up to this point. Existing research shows this to be a nonissue however inventory fluctuations are unpredictable at this time. I'll do everything I can to keep backers informed on availability and offer any options that may be available. The chainring bolts and bands are common, interchangeable items from multiple suppliers.
Another real, yet unexpected, challenge is machine downtime. This is unpredictable and can happen for a number of reasons however replacement parts as well as tech's are local and most fixes are fairly quick and easy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)