Today is a great day.
The tooling for the injection molded components of Handground was completed at the beginning of this week. Last night we received pictures of the initial test shots from the injection molds and they look terrific. These pictures were taken in Shanghai and the samples are being shipped to us now for a final review.
We do not have any apparent sink marks, bubbles or warping, and the initial assembly was completed with no problems or tolerance issues. This is really, really good news because it means we only have to make minor refinements to calibrate the tooling before beginning full production.
Every piece seen in the picture above is from the tooling that will be used for production. All the previous prototypes before this have been 3D printed or CNC'd at a high cost per unit.
This first shots run is conducted to check for problems with the tooling. Because we have several areas with varying wall thickness, it was possible we would see sink marks in some areas. From these first shots it appears the tool maker did an incredible job engineering the injection molds to avoid these problems. We do not see any sink marks or issues that would require major revisions to the tooling.
Keep in mind that this is a sample plastic color and will not be the final color of the White grinders. We are aiming for a true white where this appears to be more of an off-white. The focus of these parts is to review the surface finish and adherence to tolerances so everything fits together.
The yellow brass bushing visible in the lower portion of the hopper will be silver SS304 on the production version, which will match well with the stainless steel axle and aluminum handle.
Examine where each piece meets the ones above and below it: the top, hopper, two middle rings and the glass catcher. It looks like we have a very good fit and everything is aligned in the overall outline.
We should note that the handle is still rough and unpolished in these pictures, while it will be polished in the production version. The hex screw inside the wood knob will have a larger face in the final version and will fill a majority of the hole on the side of the knob.
The hopper appears cloudy in the images above and below because the tooling has not gone through its final polishing process. We did the test shots before the final polishing to see if any major changes needed to be made. Once we confirm the tolerances are good, we will polish the molds to give the hopper a clear, flawless finish.
Again, the yellow bushing in the image above will be silver (SS304 stainless steel) to match the axle in the production version.
These components make up the drivetrain of the grinder. The die cast aluminum handle is in the center and below that we have three stainless steel axles. The two short axles are for the gearbox and the one long axle runs through the hopper and attaches to the inner burr mill. The axles are supported by five brass bushings and one steel bushing as we mentioned above.
On the top left you can also see two of the pieces we designed to automatically center and level the inner burr mill. The plastic inserts are shaped in a way so that as you tighten the thumb nut, they self-center. The black circle on the right side of the image is the non slip rubber pad that goes on the bottom of the glass catcher.
The two images above show the first step in the electroplating process for the finish on the brushed nickel grinders. After the pieces are initially electroplated they will be sanded to engrave brush marks into the finish. Then they will undergo an additional electroplating process. The end result should look like the sample picture below.
The only component we are waiting on at this point is the ceramic burr mill. The tooling for the burr is made by a different factory than the plastic components and should be done before Chinese New Year begins.
We are having samples of all the components shipped to us before CNY starts. This will give us all of February to do a final round of testing with the parts made from the production molds.
Some backers have expressed concern that manufacturing after CNY can be difficult and the quality control (QC) can slip. We plan to be in Shanghai for the final assembly of Handground to help solve problems quickly and make sure the QC is kept to our standard.
Overall we could not be happier with how the first shots turned out.
Thank you again for your continued support and believing in Handground. We reached this point with your ideas and feedback and are eagerly looking forward to the day we get to ship Handground to you.
If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel & Brandon