Categories
Saturday
Sep172011

Motor Head Assembly

I am pretty sure micro assembly wasn't a class Lauren took in her Masters Product Design program at Stanford, but we all had more fun on a Saturday afternoon than one might imagine building up a few dozen Duet motor & silicone assemblies.

Friday
Sep162011

Quality Control Land

Lauren & Ti are checking the first few plated bodies for surface finish and fit. It is definitely going to be all hands on deck to get the first batch of orders out. 

Thursday
Sep152011

Receiving Lots of Parts

One might be surprised how many different parts go into making a product. For the Duet, there are 60+  unique parts in all. We are just starting to get small quantities in for doing our test sample build of the first Duets.

Monday
Sep122011

CKIE Week # 3/4 - Lots of backers, lots to build

So north of 500% and approaching 700 backers...Yikes!

Sorry to miss an email update last week, but we have been heads down sorting through how to ramp up to the higher volumes.  Big picture, things look reasonable good, but lots of parts, lots of details.  We are currently building up 20 or so preliminary validation units to make sure everything looks good before we transition into volume production.  Stay tuned on our blog for more frequent updates as we move along the production path.

Also, for those new backers, some FAQ's here.

There have been some questions on availability of DUET after the CKIE project closes (ie, for those who don't become backers before the project ends).  Our current estimate is mid November - for all orders placed after the project - so if you know of others who would be interested in a Duet before then, you might want to send them over to the CKIE site to become a backer before the project ends in less then 2 weeks.

As always, thank you all for the ongoing support,

Ti & Michael

Thursday
Sep082011

Motor Assemblies

We are just starting a prelimianry build of 20 units for initial testing.  Above is a shot of the micro motors, as well of some of then installed into our special tube mounts (we have some secret sauce here that keeps the Duet very quit, but quite strong).  At the moment, we have around 600 Duets on or for CKIE, which is 1200 littlle motors and tubes we need to assemble.  

Wednesday
Sep072011

Metal Plating Testing

The Duet body is to be made of die-cast zinc with a silver colored plating.  A very common planting material is nickel, but unfortunately it is also a meterial that many have an allergic reaction to.  Our goal is to use the most body safe materials possbible, so in that spirit we are avoiding nickel.  The above test (coin that has nickel vs our parts) is checking this on some preliminary Duet body parts. No pink on the cotton swab = no trace nickel = Good!

Wednesday
Aug312011

CKIE Week # 2 - The Journey Continues & Work Begins

The Big Board of ToDo's for the Week!

All because of the tremendous support here, we find ourselves at the two week mark at 400% of our goal and over 500 backers. For us it has been a mix of total excitement, and the realization we need to double down on our efforts to bring the Duet to life. A quality problem to be sure :) The continuing support is helping us to do more sooner - so we continue to be grateful for all the new backers and ongoing buzz about Duet.  

As you will see from the few posts that proceeded this one, we are hard at work moving Duet from the prototype phase into production, and it is our intent to be as transparent as possible as we continue on this journey. If you ever wanted a little peek behind the scenes of how a product such as Duet becomes a reality, keep checking in here and we will do our best to touch on the key elements.

There continues to be a number of good questions that we will address by updating the FAQ post, but if you don't see the answer there, please shoot us a note. One of the more common quetions is when will the Duet ship. The short answer is as soon as humanly possible, and the current plan puts that at the beginning of October. The support we have received on CKIE has been tremendous, and helped us meet our funding goal well ahead of time - which is fantastic. That said, we had not planned on ramping up production until the end of the project, so we are now in the process of accelerating things as much as we can - enabled by the ongoing support - but please do bear with us as we shift gears. We want to get Duet produced as quickly as we suspect you wish to have it, but want to make sure we do so to the highest quality possible.

THANK YOU again all so very much for your ongoing support. Having a community of people backing us from beginning is making this all the more rewarding. We are much looking forward to continuing to share the journey with you.

Ti & Michael

PS - A few quick links below that might be helpful:

  • Our Blog:  Latest updates will be here.
  • FAQs:  Lots of great questions, we will continue to update along the way.
  • Media:  We have collected some of our favorite stories.
  • Following Us:  We are doing our best to keep people current by both Twitter and FB.
Wednesday
Aug312011

Starting to make some parts

In the spirit of CKIE and being transparent as possible, we will be showing little snippets of the manufacturing process. I shot this tonight and did a really quick edit to show how we are making the front of the Duet that mounts the two motors. We are fortunate to have a small shop here that is great for making prototypes, and with all the early traction on CKIE, decided to try to get ahead of things and start making one of the parts we feel pretty good about.

As Alvin (one of our super stellar interns) notes in the video below, these take 15 minutes per part, so we are going to be doing a lot of late night machining to get the CKIE orders filled. There are a number of other metal parts in the Duet, and the plan is to have them all tooled up in a process called Die Casting, which is basically shooting molten metal into a die. It allows for very very precise parts and much higher volume production then machining would.

Both the machine and die cast parts will be of equal quality, but the first CKIE backers are going to get a really special limited edition item with several of the parts machined machined under our roof.

One of the wonderful outcomes of all the CKIE support, is we are going to be able to invest in higher end tooling that will both help the Duet be as good as it can be, and also enable us to product it in some real volume.

 See below or click the "read more" link to watch the video.

Tuesday
Aug302011

More Media Buzz

We've had such a great first two weeks on CKIE, from all the backers to the media coverage. We posted earlier (here) on the buzz from day one, but since then we have been fortunate to continue to get great stores, from both the excitment about the design - to more recenlty - the success of the project. We have listed a summary of some more of our favorite posts below.

Refinery29

TrendHunter

UrbanDaddy

Geekologie

NY Daily News

Daily Mail UK

Examiner

Jezebel

News.com.au

Fox News

CNET

Friday
Aug262011

Packaging Preview

Here is a preliminary peek at the packaging concept for the Duet. These are prototypes that we printed in the office and comped to get a sense of the visual and scale. Speaking of scale, it is actually small and compact which is quite different from a lot of consumer electronic products. Our goal is to reduce packaging waste and in addition to minimizing the outer packaging, we're also taking a different approach to instruction booklets. Instead of printing instruction booklets that most people hardly ever read or even keep, we are printing the quick start instructions right inside the box. Also we are enclosing a little charm that has an engraved tiny URL that you can find the most up to date product details and information. We hope you'll like it!

Tuesday
Aug232011

CKIE Week #1 - WOW & Thank You!

First off, we want to thank all of your for your incredible support and the help in generating so much excitement around Duet. We have been working feverishly away on this project for well over a year—barely coming up for air along the way—so to see this level of support from so many has been most heartening to us. THANK YOU!

There have been a bunch of really good questions over the last week (when will I get mine? adding shipping cost?, etc.), and we have given a shot of answering them all—but to keep this post from being too long—we have created a separate post dedicated just to frequently asked questions here.

Our plan going forward is to be pretty transparent as we go about bringing the Duet to life. As we know people have busy lives, and suspect you may not find the inner workings of die casting or color exploration as fascinating as we do, we won't be sending you emails every day with the latest little development. Instead, we will post our progress on this blog, and send out a weekly summary via email. Feel free to engage in the comments here and/or shoot us a note at hi@lovecrave.com

One last comment - request really - is that we would love it if you could keep spreading the word about Crave and the Duet. While we have well exceeded our funding goal, the project will be open for another 32 days, and the more backers we can get between now and then will not only help us get the product to market a bit faster, but will also really help our young company come to life...and hopefully develope a few more exciting products in the future.

Ti & Michael

Monday
Aug222011

209% in Less then a Week

A little office excitment as we pass a few milestones. There are only a few of us here. Ti, myself, another designer Lauren and a few interns. Was a really cool week for us :) See below or click the "read more" link to watch the video.

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