Apex/Black Aurora Poker Chip Cases

Which APEX Poker Chip Case capacity do you want us to make first?


  • Total voters
    54
  • Poll closed .

Mario Garza

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Good thing you did months of CAD work to all of a sudden start “feeling” stuff was too thin...
By "feeling stuff was too thin," I, literally, meant that the "stuff" felt too thin, physically. When I ran my fingertips across the ribs on the bottom of the base, they felt more like condenser coil fins than substantial ribs--not quite that thin, but that's what their flexibility reminded me of.

It might have been more obvious to a product designer with more experience that the thickness of the ribs wasn't going to be adequate for my taste, but I was obeying the rules of plastic part design. There are constraints within which I have to operate and they all begin at the nominal wall thickness of the part. Even with the higher-density-than-ABS glass-filled nylon, it wasn't as beefy as I wanted it to be.

I'm doing by best to build a quality product, here. Not a good-enough product.

Just for perspective - - - Amazon sells a 1,000 chip birdcage plus ten cheap racks for $63, including shipping. I ended up buying one for my new set of Benny's. I would have rather bought one of these if they had been available.

$50 - $80 as a price range is a fair approximation. But let's be clear that $80 plus shipping is a tough sell vs a $63 Amazon product. Conversely, $50 shipped crushes the Amazon offering.

As a vendor, it isn't the pitchforks you should fear. Your fear should be you can't sell many units if the price is too high. Which might not be avoidable if the costs are too high. Especially true regarding shipping costs.

I still have high hopes -=- DrStrange
I'm sorry we missed yet another boat, here, with you having to go to Amazon. I try not to make it a habit of being melodramatic in my writing and speech, so I hope I this conveys my disappointment: I really, really wish we had a finished product by now.

I hear what you're saying about the price and I agree 100%. Really shooting to get the retail price super low, compared to current market offerings, and even lower for PCF'ers for the initial run.

No. Hopefully no one did. I dont need anymore 1000 ct cages anyway. I may see about some 600-800 of they ever get there within the next yr or so. But the point of my post is this thing is moving slower than two turtles fucking in a bed of molasses in a blizzard.

A lot of hype so far....but I think the hurdle will be price. If it doesn't come in around or below the current prices I just dont see sales going crazy. Hopefully I'm wrong
No one has given any money toward this yet. Just me.

I'm not sure what the point of comments like this is or how it's productive for anyone. It's wreaks of just a lot of hatred in your heart. Not sure where such animosity toward something so simple comes from. Or is it meant to be some kind of manipulative motivation? Might work on a simpleton, I suppose, but not me. It doesn't speed anything up. If anything, it's just one more pebble that tips the scales toward throwing my hands up going, "Well. I tried."

Rest assured, everyone, that one or two or twenty awful comments/customers aren't going to make me throw in the towel, so don't pat yourself on the back too much, @RowdyRawhide. But, if one day, God forbid, the negative experiences outweigh the positive with this business, if one day other people's drama starts to affect my own spirituality, I'll drop APG in a heartbeat. Loads of money coming in or not. That's not what's important to me. Sorry if that's not what anyone wants to hear, but that's just the way it is.

This brings up an interesting point though, something that I wanted to save for a "Who Is Aurora Poker Gear?" thread, but I suppose it's time. One thing you can count on from APG, being a family-owned business (me and my wife), is that we won't tolerate ugliness. I've dealt with enough of it--probably several lifetimes worth--in my current career. So, when it comes to my business, that I'm building from scratch to give my family a freer, hopefully fuller life, I have very little interest in keeping it going if it's just going to mean more of the same. I'm never going to adopt the "The customer is always right," mantra. I wholeheartedly adopt the "The customer is always the customer," mind-set, though. I can deal with quite a lot, but the simple truth is, I don't see a reason to deal with nasty people anymore. If certain customers flag themselves as particularly obnoxious, I'd just rather not deal with them at all, and I won't, regardless of how much they want to order. That kind of money isn't worth the effort to me.

If all goes well, I'll be asking my wife to leave her very successful business, a business she's happy with, to work full time for me at APG. Dealing with rude people will not be a requirement. I just won't ask her to do it. My family and our peace are more important than any amount of money, any pride-motivated misplaced sense of I-can-take-it machismo, or trying to make someone who's fighting a losing battle with their own demons happy, simply because they're "the customer."

That said, you shouldn't take away from that that I/we have a "You're lucky to have us," attitude. I love my customers. Most of them are congenial, understanding, kind-hearted people. To you, I say, "Welcome." Customers should be important to a business owner. And the APEX cases, the chip/card/button sales wouldn't be possible without you guys. This business wouldn't be possible without you. I haven't had a dissatisfied customer yet, because I go above and beyond to make sure everything they order from APG meets or exceeds their expectations. It's just the right thing to do.

But the neurotic, hateful, impatient, unreasonable, arrogant, and profane can take their business elsewhere.

Also, you guys really don't need to worry about the price. Everyone has expressed this concern and it hasn't gone unnoticed. Low price and high quality are my two top priorities, because that's how we're going to take over the market. The price won't be exorbitant. It'll be worth every penny and more. Period.

I hope you're wrong too. The Apex dream is still alive for me. It can be easy to get impatient when we have thousands of pretty chippies wanting homes in birdcages (as I have right now), but I believe Mario is building something unique and trying to get it right in terms of a lasting design (rather than something we just buy once and move on from to the next new shiny object). So, I will patiently wait for something visionary, and be happy to pay a premium to get a next level product and support a craftsman. One of my mottos in life is high hopes and low expectations. High hopes because that keeps me positive and aiming higher. Low expectations because disappointment is often a function of unmet expectations. So I say lets give Mario however much time he needs to make this product undeniably awesome. Time will tell if his customers are still there or perhaps reveal what kind of customers he wants to serve in the long run.
This. You said it. Thanks for another vote of confidence @Steppenwolf.

Be patient, folks. It's coming. I spend my days removing obstacles that would stop it.

----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Guys and gals, I know it's taking longer than any of us wanted. If we had unlimited funds, it would be done by now. We would've thrown tens of thousands of dollars at R&D, hired a rapid prototyping company to iterate through physical prototypes until we struck gold, auditioned dozens of injection molding companies, I would've bought the computer that I need the very same day I needed it...but we're not there yet. If you can't understand that this is a fledgling business taking on a challenging endeavor, maybe the APEX isn't for you--plain and simple.

The problem with iterating through physical prototypes is that it's expensive. You may not know this, but these days, there are ways to simulate just about everything, and that's what we're doing. Simulation is free. Physical protoyping is faster, but terribly expensive. I refuse to rush this thing and try to force-manufacture a design that is bound to fail just to make a buck. We're building a quality product, a company, and a reputation. No, not a reputation. Reputations can be undeserved. We're building a company with character. I'm glad that some people out there are grateful for it.


----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Alright. Meat and potatoes time.

I can't believe it's already been weeks since I've touched base. A short list of things that have been holding up this project:

1) New circumstances at my 9-5 have made it difficult to work on anything but my 9-5 during the day and that's not usually the case. So, I was relegated to evenings and weekends for a couple of weeks.

2) As I said before, I spent a lot of time trying to get the laptop to work again.

*EXTRANEOUS GEEK STUFF IN GREEN* No stranger to IT stuff myself, I did everything that I could do. Wiped the hard drive with Actove Killdisk, reinstalled a clean, legit copy of Windows 10, installed security software, performed scans, did checks of the following: HDD, RAM, Processor, and GPU, installed current drivers for all components, went through the command line and decrapified all of the Windows bloat to make things run more efficiently, among other things. Laptop just would not perform the way it was prior to the malware. I thought maybe it was less the malware and more that my CAD program and all the rendering just wore the processor--and, to some extent, the GPU--down and I had to write that computer off altogether. Works well enough for my son to play his games, but CAD modeling is impossible. I don't know. It's his now.

3) Struggled to find an adequate and affordable replacement computer.

*MORE EXTRANEOUS GEEK/COMPUTER STUFF IN GREEN* About a dozen times I entertained the idea of putting a $3,000 laptop on credit and just dealing with the credit score drops due to high utilization until I can pay it off, but, if I'm putting thousands of my own money into something, it'll be the tooling and first run. Looked at entry-level laptops with crappier hardware than the old laptop. Finally, finally found a seller on eBay that was selling what I needed: refurbished desktop workstations with Xeon processors and halfway decent Nvidia Quadro GPUs. I bit the bullet and decided to buy one and try to do the CAD stuff via Teamviewer on my MacBook. Thankfully, it paid off. The progress below is all done on the new computer.

4) The language barrier with my injection molder has been a major obstacle. I'm having to address one issue at a time, basically--one question per email. He's a good guy and he tries hard, but like me, he's busy. He's got to handle all the problems he's facing from paying customers before he can get to mine. :LOL: :laugh: Understandable. I'm just grateful he's answering my questions at all, considering I haven't paid him a dime. We all have to realize our place. Anyway, we've made progress and are nearly finished with the base and the bottom cover, where the feet go. The base and the handle WILL have metal threaded inserts where they join to the other members. They add stability that could never be achieved with any sort of plastic, even GFN, so I decided it was worth the effort, time, and extra cost per unit.

Each injection molding shop has its capabilities and limitations. It's important to carefully plan out each step so you don't spend weeks designing a feature that your molder is incapable of handling. From threaded inserts to a material's maximum/minimum wall thickness--not just for the material type or fiberglass content percentage, but for the exact stuff they're getting from their exact supplier--there are things about the process that only your injection molding company can tell you. It's important to communicate early and often--and wait for a response--in order to avoid spending thousands trying something that your molder could've told you wouldn't work at the design phase.

We're making progress. It's going to happen. I'm done guessing at how long it's going to be, because even my best guess is going to be wrong. If you don't have the patience for this case, I invite you to look elsewhere. For those of you who are patiently--or even half-patiently, or even 10% patiently--waiting for this thing to be done, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. To show my gratitude for your patience adequately, I'd have to give you the cases for free. That is to say, I'll never be able to show you how much I appreciate you, but I can make you this promise: The APEX cases will be worth the wait.

Some pics:

1) The new underside structure of the base. Better use of the ribs as reinforcing gussets for the peg compartment bosses and the threaded insert bosses. (corners) Wall thickness increased to 3.5mm. Thicker ribs enhance stability. (Still have several things to do for anyone with a keener eye than most.)
284020


2) Threaded insert can be seen in the screw hole boss, here. Peg compartments are much taller.

284022


3) Thicker and longer pegs go much deeper into holes. (Queue out-of-context thread.)

284023


4) Peg compartments without pegs.

284025


5) Threaded inserts in bottom of handle member.

284026


6) Washer head screws in their threaded inserts.

284027


7 & 8) Looking better (and stronger) than ever. :sneaky:

284029

284030
 
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By "feeling stuff was too thin," I, literally, meant that the "stuff" felt too thin, physically. When I ran my fingertips across the ribs on the bottom of the base, they felt more like condenser coil fins than substantial ribs--not quite that thin, but that's what their flexibility reminded me of.

It might have been more obvious to a product designer with more experience that the thickness of the ribs wasn't going to be adequate for my taste, but I was obeying the rules of plastic part design. There are constraints within which I have to operate and they all begin at the nominal wall thickness of the part. Even with the higher-density-than-ABS glass-filled nylon, it wasn't as beefy as I wanted it to be.

I'm doing by best to build a quality product, here. Not a good-enough product.



I'm sorry we missed yet another boat, here, with you having to go to Amazon. I try not to make it a habit of being melodramatic in my writing and speech, so I hope I this conveys my disappointment: I really, really wish we had a finished product by now.

I hear what you're saying about the price and I agree 100%. Really shooting to get the retail price super low, compared to current market offerings, and even lower for PCF'ers for the initial run.



No one has given any money toward this yet. Just me.

I'm not sure what the point of comments like this is or how it's productive for anyone. It's wreaks of just a lot of hatred in your heart. Not sure where such animosity toward something so simple comes from. Or is it meant to be some kind of manipulative motivation? Might work on a simpleton, I suppose, but not me. It doesn't speed anything up. If anything, it's just one more pebble that tips the scales toward throwing my hands up going, "Well. I tried."

Rest assured, everyone, that one or two or twenty awful comments/customers aren't going to make me throw in the towel, so don't pat yourself on the back too much, @RowdyRawhide. But, if one day, God forbid, the negative experiences outweigh the positive with this business, if one day other people's drama starts to affect my own spirituality, I'll drop APG in a heartbeat. Loads of money coming in or not. That's not what's important to me. Sorry if that's not what anyone wants to hear, but that's just the way it is.

This brings up an interesting point though, something that I wanted to save for a "Who Is Aurora Poker Gear?" thread, but I suppose it's time. One thing you can count on from APG, being a family-owned business (me and my wife), is that we won't tolerate ugliness. I've dealt with enough of it--probably several lifetimes worth--in my current career. So, when it comes to my business, that I'm building from scratch to give my family a freer, hopefully fuller life, I have very little interest in keeping it going if it's just going to mean more of the same. I'm never going to adopt the "The customer is always right," mantra. I wholeheartedly adopt the "The customer is always the customer," mind-set, though. I can deal with quite a lot, but the simple truth is, I don't see a reason to deal with nasty people anymore. If certain customers flag themselves as particularly obnoxious, I'd just rather not deal with them at all, and I won't, regardless of how much they want to order. That kind of money isn't worth the effort to me.

If all goes well, I'll be asking my wife to leave her very successful business, a business she's happy with, to work full time for me at APG. Dealing with rude people will not be a requirement. I just won't ask her to do it. My family and our peace are more important than any amount of money, any pride-motivated misplaced sense of I-can-take-it machismo, or trying to make someone who's fighting a losing battle with their own demons happy, simply because they're "the customer."

That said, you shouldn't take away from that that I/we have a "You're lucky to have us," attitude. I love my customers. Most of them are congenial, understanding, kind-hearted people. To you, I say, "Welcome." Customers should be important to a business owner. And the APEX cases, the chip/card/button sales wouldn't be possible without you guys. This business wouldn't be possible without you. I haven't had a dissatisfied customer yet, because I go above and beyond to make sure everything they order from APG meets or exceeds their expectations. It's just the right thing to do.

But the neurotic, hateful, impatient, unreasonable, arrogant, and profane can take their business elsewhere.

Also, you guys really don't need to worry about the price. Everyone has expressed this concern and it hasn't gone unnoticed. Low price and high quality are my two top priorities, because that's how we're going to take over the market. The price won't be exorbitant. It'll be worth every penny and more. Period.



This. You said it. Thanks for another vote of confidence @Steppenwolf.

Be patient, folks. It's coming. I spend my days removing obstacles that would stop it.

----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Guys and gals, I know it's taking longer than any of us wanted. If we had unlimited funds, it would be done by now. We would've thrown tens of thousands of dollars at R&D, hired a rapid prototyping company to iterate through physical prototypes until we struck gold, auditioned dozens of injection molding companies, I would've bought the computer that I need the very same day I needed it...but we're not there yet. If you can't understand that this is a fledgling business taking on a challenging endeavor, maybe the APEX isn't for you--plain and simple.

The problem with iterating through physical prototypes is that it's expensive. You may not know this, but these days, there are ways to simulate just about everything, and that's what we're doing. Simulation is free. Physical protoyping is faster, but terribly expensive. I refuse to rush this thing and try to force-manufacture a design that is bound to fail just to make a buck. We're building a quality product, a company, and a reputation. No, not a reputation. Reputations can be undeserved. We're building a company with character. I'm glad that some people out there are grateful for it.


----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Alright. Meat and potatoes time.

I can't believe it's already been weeks since I've touched base. A short list of things that have been holding up this project:

1) New circumstances at my 9-5 have made it difficult to work on anything but my 9-5 during the day and that's not usually the case. So, I was relegated to evenings and weekends for a couple of weeks.

2) As I said before, I spent a lot of time trying to get the laptop to work again.

*EXTRANEOUS GEEK STUFF IN GREEN* No stranger to IT stuff myself, I did everything that I could do. Wiped the hard drive with Actove Killdisk, reinstalled a clean, legit copy of Windows 10, installed security software, performed scans, did checks of the following: HDD, RAM, Processor, and GPU, installed current drivers for all components, went through the command line and decrapified all of the Windows bloat to make things run more efficiently, among other things. Laptop just would not perform the way it was prior to the malware. I thought maybe it was less the malware and more that my CAD program and all the rendering just wore the processor--and, to some extent, the GPU--down and I had to write that computer off altogether. Works well enough for my son to play his games, but CAD modeling is impossible. I don't know. It's his now.

3) Struggled to find an adequate and affordable replacement computer.

*MORE EXTRANEOUS GEEK/COMPUTER STUFF IN GREEN* About a dozen times I entertained the idea of putting a $3,000 laptop on credit and just dealing with the credit score drops due to high utilization until I can pay it off, but, if I'm putting thousands of my own money into something, it'll be the tooling and first run. Looked at entry-level laptops with crappier hardware than the old laptop. Finally, finally found a seller on eBay that was selling what I needed: refurbished desktop workstations with Xeon processors and halfway decent Nvidia Quadro GPUs. I bit the bullet and decided to buy one and try to do the CAD stuff via Teamviewer on my MacBook. Thankfully, it paid off. The progress below is all done on the new computer.

4) The language barrier with my injection molder has been a major obstacle. I'm having to address one issue at a time, basically--one question per email. He's a good guy and he tries hard, but like me, he's busy. He's got to handle all the problems he's facing from paying customers before he can get to mine. :LOL: :laugh: Understandable. I'm just grateful he's answering my questions at all, considering I haven't paid him a dime. We all have to realize our place. Anyway, we've made progress and are nearly finished with the base and the bottom cover, where the feet go. The base and the handle WILL have metal threaded inserts where they join to the other members. They add stability that could never be achieved with any sort of plastic, even GFN, so I decided it was worth the effort, time, and extra cost per unit.

Each injection molding shop has its capabilities and limitations. It's important to carefully plan out each step so you don't spend weeks designing a feature that your molder is incapable of handling. From threaded inserts to a material's maximum/minimum wall thickness--not just for the material type or fiberglass content percentage, but for the exact stuff they're getting from their exact supplier--there are things about the process that only your injection molding company can tell you. It's important to communicate early and often--and wait for a response--in order to avoid spending thousands trying something that your molder could've told you wouldn't work at the design phase.

We're making progress. It's going to happen. I'm done guessing at how long it's going to be, because even my best guess is going to be wrong. If you don't have the patience for this case, I invite you to look elsewhere. For those of you who are patiently--or even half-patiently, or even 10% patiently--waiting for this thing to be done, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. To show my gratitude for your patience adequately, I'd have to give you the cases for free. That is to say, I'll never be able to show you how much I appreciate you, but I can make you this promise: The APEX cases will be worth the wait.

Some pics:

1) The new underside structure of the base. Better use of the ribs as reinforcing gussets for the peg compartment bosses and the threaded insert bosses. (corners) Wall thickness increased to 3.5mm. Thicker ribs enhance stability. (Still have several things to do for anyone with a keener eye than most.)
View attachment 284020

2) Threaded insert can be seen in the screw hole boss, here. Peg compartments are much taller.

View attachment 284022

3) Thicker and longer pegs go much deeper into holes. (Queue out-of-context thread.)

View attachment 284023

4) Peg compartments without pegs.

View attachment 284025

5) Threaded inserts in bottom of handle member.

View attachment 284026

6) Washer head screws in their threaded inserts.

View attachment 284027

7 & 8) Looking better (and stronger) than ever. :sneaky:

View attachment 284029
View attachment 284030
cant wait!
 

ReallyGoodUsername

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By "feeling stuff was too thin," I, literally, meant that the "stuff" felt too thin, physically. When I ran my fingertips across the ribs on the bottom of the base, they felt more like condenser coil fins than substantial ribs--not quite that thin, but that's what their flexibility reminded me of.

It might have been more obvious to a product designer with more experience that the thickness of the ribs wasn't going to be adequate for my taste, but I was obeying the rules of plastic part design. There are constraints within which I have to operate and they all begin at the nominal wall thickness of the part. Even with the higher-density-than-ABS glass-filled nylon, it wasn't as beefy as I wanted it to be.

I'm doing by best to build a quality product, here. Not a good-enough product.



I'm sorry we missed yet another boat, here, with you having to go to Amazon. I try not to make it a habit of being melodramatic in my writing and speech, so I hope I this conveys my disappointment: I really, really wish we had a finished product by now.

I hear what you're saying about the price and I agree 100%. Really shooting to get the retail price super low, compared to current market offerings, and even lower for PCF'ers for the initial run.



No one has given any money toward this yet. Just me.

I'm not sure what the point of comments like this is or how it's productive for anyone. It's wreaks of just a lot of hatred in your heart. Not sure where such animosity toward something so simple comes from. Or is it meant to be some kind of manipulative motivation? Might work on a simpleton, I suppose, but not me. It doesn't speed anything up. If anything, it's just one more pebble that tips the scales toward throwing my hands up going, "Well. I tried."

Rest assured, everyone, that one or two or twenty awful comments/customers aren't going to make me throw in the towel, so don't pat yourself on the back too much, @RowdyRawhide. But, if one day, God forbid, the negative experiences outweigh the positive with this business, if one day other people's drama starts to affect my own spirituality, I'll drop APG in a heartbeat. Loads of money coming in or not. That's not what's important to me. Sorry if that's not what anyone wants to hear, but that's just the way it is.

This brings up an interesting point though, something that I wanted to save for a "Who Is Aurora Poker Gear?" thread, but I suppose it's time. One thing you can count on from APG, being a family-owned business (me and my wife), is that we won't tolerate ugliness. I've dealt with enough of it--probably several lifetimes worth--in my current career. So, when it comes to my business, that I'm building from scratch to give my family a freer, hopefully fuller life, I have very little interest in keeping it going if it's just going to mean more of the same. I'm never going to adopt the "The customer is always right," mantra. I wholeheartedly adopt the "The customer is always the customer," mind-set, though. I can deal with quite a lot, but the simple truth is, I don't see a reason to deal with nasty people anymore. If certain customers flag themselves as particularly obnoxious, I'd just rather not deal with them at all, and I won't, regardless of how much they want to order. That kind of money isn't worth the effort to me.

If all goes well, I'll be asking my wife to leave her very successful business, a business she's happy with, to work full time for me at APG. Dealing with rude people will not be a requirement. I just won't ask her to do it. My family and our peace are more important than any amount of money, any pride-motivated misplaced sense of I-can-take-it machismo, or trying to make someone who's fighting a losing battle with their own demons happy, simply because they're "the customer."

That said, you shouldn't take away from that that I/we have a "You're lucky to have us," attitude. I love my customers. Most of them are congenial, understanding, kind-hearted people. To you, I say, "Welcome." Customers should be important to a business owner. And the APEX cases, the chip/card/button sales wouldn't be possible without you guys. This business wouldn't be possible without you. I haven't had a dissatisfied customer yet, because I go above and beyond to make sure everything they order from APG meets or exceeds their expectations. It's just the right thing to do.

But the neurotic, hateful, impatient, unreasonable, arrogant, and profane can take their business elsewhere.

Also, you guys really don't need to worry about the price. Everyone has expressed this concern and it hasn't gone unnoticed. Low price and high quality are my two top priorities, because that's how we're going to take over the market. The price won't be exorbitant. It'll be worth every penny and more. Period.



This. You said it. Thanks for another vote of confidence @Steppenwolf.

Be patient, folks. It's coming. I spend my days removing obstacles that would stop it.

----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Guys and gals, I know it's taking longer than any of us wanted. If we had unlimited funds, it would be done by now. We would've thrown tens of thousands of dollars at R&D, hired a rapid prototyping company to iterate through physical prototypes until we struck gold, auditioned dozens of injection molding companies, I would've bought the computer that I need the very same day I needed it...but we're not there yet. If you can't understand that this is a fledgling business taking on a challenging endeavor, maybe the APEX isn't for you--plain and simple.

The problem with iterating through physical prototypes is that it's expensive. You may not know this, but these days, there are ways to simulate just about everything, and that's what we're doing. Simulation is free. Physical protoyping is faster, but terribly expensive. I refuse to rush this thing and try to force-manufacture a design that is bound to fail just to make a buck. We're building a quality product, a company, and a reputation. No, not a reputation. Reputations can be undeserved. We're building a company with character. I'm glad that some people out there are grateful for it.


----------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------

Alright. Meat and potatoes time.

I can't believe it's already been weeks since I've touched base. A short list of things that have been holding up this project:

1) New circumstances at my 9-5 have made it difficult to work on anything but my 9-5 during the day and that's not usually the case. So, I was relegated to evenings and weekends for a couple of weeks.

2) As I said before, I spent a lot of time trying to get the laptop to work again.

*EXTRANEOUS GEEK STUFF IN GREEN* No stranger to IT stuff myself, I did everything that I could do. Wiped the hard drive with Actove Killdisk, reinstalled a clean, legit copy of Windows 10, installed security software, performed scans, did checks of the following: HDD, RAM, Processor, and GPU, installed current drivers for all components, went through the command line and decrapified all of the Windows bloat to make things run more efficiently, among other things. Laptop just would not perform the way it was prior to the malware. I thought maybe it was less the malware and more that my CAD program and all the rendering just wore the processor--and, to some extent, the GPU--down and I had to write that computer off altogether. Works well enough for my son to play his games, but CAD modeling is impossible. I don't know. It's his now.

3) Struggled to find an adequate and affordable replacement computer.

*MORE EXTRANEOUS GEEK/COMPUTER STUFF IN GREEN* About a dozen times I entertained the idea of putting a $3,000 laptop on credit and just dealing with the credit score drops due to high utilization until I can pay it off, but, if I'm putting thousands of my own money into something, it'll be the tooling and first run. Looked at entry-level laptops with crappier hardware than the old laptop. Finally, finally found a seller on eBay that was selling what I needed: refurbished desktop workstations with Xeon processors and halfway decent Nvidia Quadro GPUs. I bit the bullet and decided to buy one and try to do the CAD stuff via Teamviewer on my MacBook. Thankfully, it paid off. The progress below is all done on the new computer.

4) The language barrier with my injection molder has been a major obstacle. I'm having to address one issue at a time, basically--one question per email. He's a good guy and he tries hard, but like me, he's busy. He's got to handle all the problems he's facing from paying customers before he can get to mine. :LOL: :laugh: Understandable. I'm just grateful he's answering my questions at all, considering I haven't paid him a dime. We all have to realize our place. Anyway, we've made progress and are nearly finished with the base and the bottom cover, where the feet go. The base and the handle WILL have metal threaded inserts where they join to the other members. They add stability that could never be achieved with any sort of plastic, even GFN, so I decided it was worth the effort, time, and extra cost per unit.

Each injection molding shop has its capabilities and limitations. It's important to carefully plan out each step so you don't spend weeks designing a feature that your molder is incapable of handling. From threaded inserts to a material's maximum/minimum wall thickness--not just for the material type or fiberglass content percentage, but for the exact stuff they're getting from their exact supplier--there are things about the process that only your injection molding company can tell you. It's important to communicate early and often--and wait for a response--in order to avoid spending thousands trying something that your molder could've told you wouldn't work at the design phase.

We're making progress. It's going to happen. I'm done guessing at how long it's going to be, because even my best guess is going to be wrong. If you don't have the patience for this case, I invite you to look elsewhere. For those of you who are patiently--or even half-patiently, or even 10% patiently--waiting for this thing to be done, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. To show my gratitude for your patience adequately, I'd have to give you the cases for free. That is to say, I'll never be able to show you how much I appreciate you, but I can make you this promise: The APEX cases will be worth the wait.

Some pics:

1) The new underside structure of the base. Better use of the ribs as reinforcing gussets for the peg compartment bosses and the threaded insert bosses. (corners) Wall thickness increased to 3.5mm. Thicker ribs enhance stability. (Still have several things to do for anyone with a keener eye than most.)
View attachment 284020

2) Threaded insert can be seen in the screw hole boss, here. Peg compartments are much taller.

View attachment 284022

3) Thicker and longer pegs go much deeper into holes. (Queue out-of-context thread.)

View attachment 284023

4) Peg compartments without pegs.

View attachment 284025

5) Threaded inserts in bottom of handle member.

View attachment 284026

6) Washer head screws in their threaded inserts.

View attachment 284027

7 & 8) Looking better (and stronger) than ever. :sneaky:

View attachment 284029
View attachment 284030
Love and appreciate all the hard work @Mario Garza is putting in and the thorough write ups. I usually read them all out but ... can someone whose read this summarize it in say 3-4 sentences? :bag: Thanks:tup:
 

BGinGA

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Love and appreciate all the hard work @Mario Garza is putting in and the thorough write ups. I usually read them all out but ... can someone whose read this summarize it in say 3-4 sentences? :bag: Thanks:tup:
He's a busy guy and doesn't appreciate those who have no patience in how long this is taking. But, he's a good guy, and the wait will be worth it.
 

jbriod

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@Mario Garza “if you build it, they will come” -Field of Dreams

Be patient, do your thing. I’d rather have the attention to detail and wait for a better quality product from a caring visionary/designer instead of someone trying to make something that’s lower quality. The PCF gang will still be here.
 

Mario Garza

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He's a busy guy and doesn't appreciate those who have no patience in how long this is taking. But, he's a good guy, and the wait will be worth it.
Despite the sarcasm, this is right.

Maybe you should give up and begin a career as an author;)
Way ahead of you, brother. I already have my first novel about 60% done. I get my practice in on PCF.
 

ekricket

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Are we working with a case of disillusioned idealism here? Or is it more a case of avoidance therapy? We don’t have a lot of room to bitch because your doing this for free, but for some reason this is taking a long time.

Can you use some help in dealing with third parties? I can make calls and check on things.

I really feel the elephant in the room is cost - this most likely will end up being 2-3 times what an available one is now and that’s just not attractive.
 

Steppenwolf

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Seems to me like whatever hold-ups @Mario Garza may run into, there are enough intelligent and supportive future customers here on PCF to encourage him forward and help him solve whatever problems he needs to solve, before he can help us solve ours with a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) product offering. I like the optimism and support I'm seeing emerge on this thread lately! And that doesn't mean blowing smoke either. Honest and critical feedback is a must. I trust this community will help him make a better mouse trap (or was it a bird cage)?
 

Darson

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I think you’re very brave taking us along the design and prototyping phase as we all know nothing works perfectly first time and the failures are necessary to achieve a robus t product.

Take the impatience shown as a sign that your product is highly desired and people are just keen to have them sooner rather than later.
 

Advocate

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I dont understand why people with literally tens of thousands of dollars in chips, are concerned with an additional $20 in birdcage cost. I want my Matsuis, Tikis and future CPCs in a first class birdcage. Brybelly and Amazon is for guys with Nexgens, Milanos and Scrolls. You're all geeky chippers. I would have thought you'd be happy to pay $100 for a custom birdcage.
 

ekricket

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I dont understand why people with literally tens of thousands of dollars in chips, are concerned with an additional $20 in birdcage cost. I want my Matsuis, Tikis and future CPCs in a first class birdcage. Brybelly and Amazon is for guys with Nexgens, Milanos and Scrolls. You're all geeky chippers. I would have thought you'd be happy to pay $100 for a custom birdcage.
If one existed we probably would......
 

Poker Zombie

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Nexgens, Milanos and Scrolls belong in cheap aluminum cases. Nice chips belong in either a nice display case or a birdcage.

I think most would agree that $20 more isn't the issue. The issue is that it had to be worth $20 more. It's all about EV.
 

hdgeno

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I hope nobody is holding their breath for this to become reality. It seems OP is really motivated to start projects, but just can’t finish (which is the hardest part).
 

horseshoez

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I hope nobody is holding their breath for this to become reality. It seems OP is really motivated to start projects, but just can’t finish (which is the hardest part).
Its the most challenging and one has to be as patient as humanly possible. I'm in the middle of the same with my wife and I inventing a product. Design is nothing next to making prototypes and bringing it to life. It's been the toughest part.
 

hdgeno

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You fogot the crickets gif....

Last time this happened, we didn't hear back for nearly a year
I expect the same this time. He’s got the ideas, just need to hire a closer lol
 
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