They Manufactured with the Wrong CAD DATA!

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my name is Eric Strebel I’m an industrial
designer welcome to my channel about product design and making I hope that
you like and joy and become a subscriber back story on the alfred backpack hanger
if you are new to my channel and welcome if you are the alfred backpack hanger is
a successfully funded on kickstarter backpack hanger that you see pictured
here that can hold your backpack your keys cell phone tablet that sort of
thing and has since been delivered since it was a successful kickstarter campaign
and what follows in this video is basically the production saga of what
happened after the funds were released and we went into production because it’s
quite the interesting story I think Kickstarter campaign ended April 21st or
22nd is something like that it takes 30 days to get your money on Kickstarter
yeah but you didn’t know that they don’t just give it to you they hold on to it
make a little bit of interest on it how they work at that point I had already
been working on the cab that you see on the screen here making adjustments to
basically the portion that actually holds your backpack and first I went for
something a little more organic but I felt that that didn’t really fit the
feel of the actual units we end up going with something a little bit more angular
that sloped back to really hold the backpack so that it can’t slide off
hanger and there ends up being a little nib at the front there that’s rounded
off much softer than the original prototypes and then a little bit of
adjustment there where you can hold your mobile device in a horizontal mode at
this point we are I engaged the manufacturer and kick them off in May
sometime however they didn’t start much to my frustration until June 14 and I
didn’t hear much from them after I had written them a check and gotten them
going this is the final prototype here by the way and then so manufacturing
actually started in June and then they promised about a five-week delivery time
July I’m scanning Instagram on their feed and I’m so excited
I see the backpack in here’s here the blanks cut out and everything and this
is where I realize Ravel’s raggy oh my gosh they use the
prototype data they did not update with the new versions that I sent them so
they claim that they work on a system with revs revolutions and fusion 360
works on a version system so they thought nothing of the fact that even
though it was a different file that I emailed them twice that that could be
different than the prototype so at some point I ended up talking with their
super awesome nice CAD guy and this is really where the fun
the real manufacturing sort of started we worked through the details of what
they could and couldn’t do he was extremely helpful and we got everything
sorted out and here you can see a little bit of the video from their laser
machine cutting out aluminum parts so the backpack hangar comes in aluminum
and stainless steel for those of you that don’t already know that just for clarification the products were
made by MGM out of Miami they redid the entire run they ate the cost on the
first one and they did a fantastic job I didn’t understand their process in the
beginning but once we got going they really did a fantastic job for those of
you who have never seen them many of you have them already but they did great job
one of the main reasons that I went with this manufacturer if you design
something as a designer you want to find a manufacturer that can make the part
exactly the way you want you don’t want them dictating things about the design
now there are a couple things that did change they were very minor on the
bottom what the key hooks I had the little fingers maybe too close to the
edges stuff like that but the overall design really kept its character and not
much changed so that is one of the great things about this manufacturer is that
they’re really able to make what I want now this is a blank so of course this
time they sent me a picture of what they cut out to make sure we have the right
data we’re on the right track which is I think the way you’re supposed to do
manufacturing you want to get buy off from your customer and make sure things
are moving forward if there’s any quality issues etc etc you want to get
them addressed at this point we are working on the fonts and you can see
these are crazy weird fonts it’s their system fonts that the laser uses which
of course is different than what I want I want to use a Helvetica to honor my
grandfather who was Swiss so we work through the font issue and this is the
laser which i think is super cool edging the product so the products are all
named and have the bots and website on them with my grandfather’s name and then
they are serialized over here to the right
these serial numbers are a little different for the aluminum ones and a
little bit different for these stainless steel ones so a super cool really nice
and this is what they look like and I like this subtlety of the way this font
is here much much better than their standard machine font and this standard
stuff that you work through for production and manufacturing stuff
that’s all pretty normal the laser etching is the final stage on
the production the stainless steel ones have no finish on them and the aluminum
ones are anodized and they laser etched everything last so in September the UPS
man shows up he’s got all the production stuff right here load it off the truck
and we’re gonna take this down to the shop and we’re gonna sort out the
aluminum ones from the stainless steel ones they’re actually sorted in the box
already they did a great job with that but we put them in order so we wanted to
fulfill the order in the which in the in the order that they were kick-started
please so depending upon where your pledge was so if you pledge first you
got the first ones you pledged last you got the later number ones and here Chris
and I are sorting them all and putting that at least the first hundred that we
shipped out in order we had to find them all out of the boxes and aces helped in
there a little bit as well and we made a we made a night of it just sorting
everything out and then adding the screws and the stickers into the box as
well each backpack hanger comes with two stainless steel screws and then a couple
of design and making stickers in the box once we have them all sorted out and in
order so that the initial backers from Kickstarter get the low numbers it’s
time to ship them and shoot a little bit of a promotional photography here is a
little video real quick and then some nice shots of
the aluminum unit and then a super nice shot of the stainless steel unit so just
a little fYI the stainless steel units about twice the weight of the aluminum
unit both of them are just fantastic super durable they are shipped out in
plastic free packaging in a little cloth cloth bag with a cardboard box and a
couple stickers so you can reuse that bag and all there’s no tape on the
outside of the box if we use the water-based adhesive tape that you get
wet and then you can just seal up the box you can buy them on the bots and
website link below aluminum and stainless steel units in stock and so
this concludes the alfred backpack hangers series successfully funded
thanks in part to my fantastic youtube subscribers who helped me support the
project during the Kickstarter and have been following and supporting the series
through all the episodes which you can find on my channel hope that you enjoy
you don’t forget to subscribe and like thanks so much and hey don’t forget to
leave me a thumbs up if you liked the video rock on click here to check out
some of the other design and making videos that I have that you might enjoy

15 comments

  1. Congrats Eric. I was wondering how you feel about manufacturing something in another city where you cannot supervise the work? In this situation you were able to catch the mistake before shipping, but how does manufacturing in another city differ from manufacturing in your city where you can supervise the work?

  2. Congrats Eric. Successfully completing your product and shipping on time is a big thing.

    My only pick would be the kerning between the A and L letters are a bit too wide on ALFRED.

  3. Glad it all worked out in the end.
    I'm showing my bias here but…
    Do you think choosing a domestic fabricator was a factor in the success?

  4. Loved how you walked us through the project from design through production and delivery. Very inspiring and educational. Would like to see more like this, thanks.

  5. Nice video. So happy to see companies who care more about the customer than the bottom line. Mahalo for sharing! : )

  6. I've been following the journey of the Alfred backpack hanger pretty much since it's inception and I'm very excited to see the final product! 😁
    I'll be putting in an order once I have some spare cash!

  7. Loved seeing the process start to finish. There are some great insights in these comments and replies too.

    Now on to marketing. Do you plan to advertise them outside this channel? I've found that initial responses can be pretty good but are followed by crickets. I'm taking a Facebook ads course now but from what I've seen, you have to have pretty hefty margins ($5 to $50 customer acquisition cost depending on the product and the ad) to afford that route unless you can generate a viral video. Are you planning any special strategies for marketing?

    Another thought that crossed my mind for this product was the idea of making it out of 1/8 or 3/16" clear PETG then bonding thin (1/16"?) plates to the sides to tie it together. You could laser 100's per day them yourself for less than $2 each and they would still be tough and strong since they are a box shape. It might require 2 screws on each side closer to the outer wall. Just a brainstorming thought to kick around.

    I'm interested in the next steps as much as the first ones. Marketing is an essential skill that I'm just beginning to learn about.

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