It's like I said Guys... I simply don't have anything to report. WE don't have the slingshots YET.... and I put in the order December the 1st. Since then we've spent a little more than $8,000 trying to get the molds to work with the required materials and machines. The molds are at a machine shop in Dallas that specializes in this kind of work and the work is being overseen by the "best" Polycarbonate Master Molder in the country... or he's supposed to be anyway.
My idea was to use a local company, about 20 miles from my house, that can get an order up and running the next day... so long as material is available. That way we would never have to run out of product. And everybody was supposed to be taken care of by Christmas.
I took a lot of steps to make sure everything would go as smoothly as possible... like having the mold making company do a minimum of 500 shots per mold (some over a 1000), to make sure they all work as they should.
When everything got here we inspected everything and it all seemed to work properly and there was no shipping damage or other problems (other than customs improperly sealing one of the boxes they opened)
So we sent out everything we could to everybody we could as soon as we could, knowing that all we have to do is order more... and as it turns out the injection molding company we wanted to use could not do as they thought they could and we ran out of some of our key/major pieces... so they spent a lot of money buying new dryers and heaters to accommodate, us splitting the cost... and still they couldn't get things to work right... and after weeks that turned into months and now using the guys in Dallas... We are stuck. I can't get a response to my enquiries, so I can't pass anything on either.
BUT I'll show you a couple things though...
Bob the Master Molder in Dallas told us the runner design was wrong for mass manufacture.... He pointed out that the design has a two sided hook that causes a bottlenecking problem...
At first I had no idea what he was talking about, because our original design was not like what he was describing.
It ran to the fork tips and the slingshot would fill like a grape from a vine:
So he sent me a picture... and it kind of tikked me off, more than a little... because it was NOT what we designed and I didn't even know it... I completely blanked because all I had seen was the finished product on the slingshots and not the whole sprue, runner and gate setup.
So I told them, "Hey, it's a simple fix... just add another runner and gate!" Like the mockup below:
And of course that simple idea "Just won't work at all" according to Bob... So he came up with different solution that requires a lot of welding up runners and then recutting... Which also of course costs around $2400 per mold...
But who am I to argue with the top guy in the profession... I'm just a slingshot designer from Waco!
So now we're stuck. We're just waiting until the machine shop completes what it's supposed to do... and NO I can't seem to get a response from them on timelines or anything else... But I'M supposed to feel privileged to get to work with such great companies... and I shouldn't be complaining.
And that, right THERE, is why China is killing America in this field. Not only are they far less expensive to work with... by a factor of at least 1/3... BUT they are also far more conscientious and give all the information necessary to make business easier as well. Yes they did take longer than expected to do their part... but at least they kept me in the loop, had good explanations and didn't charge anything extra... and yes they did change the runner design without telling us, but they say it was necessary because of the heat at which PC has to be injected, and they did make thousands of pieces for us proving it, I guess.
With the American companies that I've dealt with so far, they don't even come close to either the timeline OR the amount of money they originally estimate... Plus the sheer attitude of arrogance... I mean you guys really have no idea...
Anyway, you're in the same boat... albeit a far smaller part than we are... We have all your informations, we're ready to send out the last 50 or so pledges... and we will... just as soon as we get it, you'll be sent it.