Sunday, September 18, 2016


The warm weather is back. Allergy season is upon us. And I'm feeling it.

I'm in one of those places where I'm not that interested in what I'm doing at the moment but feel obligated to finish those things off before I can start anything new. So everything else is in a holding pattern, but frustratingly, the current stuff just won't stick the landing.

I'm hours away from being able to start sales on the Holocron. But there's a logjam. The new lighting circuit doesn't arrive until the end of the month, and without it I don't really feel comfortable with spending the laser time cutting more parts. I could start selling the prototype version right now, and problem-solving in production is the most cost effective at this juncture, but I don't want anyone to have buyer's remorse when they see a different prototype -- so I kinda have to complete and take pictures of everything before I can sell anything!

There's at least two laser sessions needed here, so there's no sense in waiting to do it all at once. But I'm thinking so slow I can't seem to figure out what parts I need to complete the other mock-ups. Adding to the problem, I saved in the wrong format and I can't even access the most recent version of the laser files until I go to the shop!

(The parts I feel most comfortable in working on right now exist -- of course! -- only in the version of the file I can't currently access).

And the new diffuse and circuit layers are not going well. The one is just slow, and the other just doesn't look right. Oh, and just to add to my dissatisfaction; the elements that are currently on the prototype and look good are those that are not canonical. So it is makes a good looking prop at the cost of making an inaccurate prop, and that's deadly.

Ah...there we go. A quick ad-hoc lighting test, and the idea I had for a more canonical Prototype looks good. Which means I need to either make two trips or schedule enough time in SF to revise the files before I laser them out. (I need a Windows PC with the latest version of Illustrator before I can save back down to Inkscape compatible files I can work on at home again).

Revised version 3.1.4 being modified diffusion "hypercube" with "Stolen" shell pattern over it, hand-sanded diffuse layer, and no circuitry layer. The only other achievable canon look I could do is if I could attach a little theatrical gel or something to make the cut-out look:

As a reminder, the current version, with diffusion hypercube and circuitry layer, looks like this:

The thickness of the outer shell pieces is a necessary flaw of the materials and assembly method, by the way. To keep it under my $65 target the kit by necessity needs to be not entirely accurate.

Oh, and pricing is still boggling me. Including the commute cost for a laser run, the shell pieces look to cost me about $35. The electronics parts look to be $25, of which most is in the PCB itself, the battery, and the neopixels -- the latter, even though I could substitute cheaper with my new diffusion design, provide more flexibility.

Also looks like about two hours for the latter, four to six for the former (depending on if I factor in time spent in prepping for shipping). Assembly of a non-kit version adds up to ten bucks of additional materials and 4-8 hours itself (depending on how you count waiting between coats for stuff to dry).

I'm aiming for near-cost for the kit, so I think I can do the shell kit for $45 and the electronics module for $35. Which adds up to an unpleasant $80 for a total kit and since I'm at cost already I really can't take anything off for getting both.

For fully assembled, the electronics doesn't actually cost me any more that way, but attempting to factor in materials and some approximation of cost of labor (rather, opportunity cost) brings the total to $95 or so. Since I want to deprecate the complete model and emphasize the kit, I should go at up to the full recommended markup of 2.5 - 3x cost; a minimum of $180, preferably slightly north of $200.

Yeah...this stuff doesn't really belong in the blog, but I need to think it out somewhere before I post up at the RPF.

Sigh. Too many options. Even worse if I acknowledge that some options are more or less costly to me. But here's what I'm looking at:

Fully Assembled Holocron: $190

          - $5 if omitting the diffusor hypercube
          - $30 if omitting the circuitry layer (will assemble with unconnected USB jack, cord notch, or plain wall as requested).
           + $5 for alternate colors beyond uncolored/dark blue/light blue options.
           Please discuss for custom diffusion or shell elements

Holocron Kit:

            $45 shell kit
            $35 lighting circuit

Actually, when I think about it I will really have to set them up as "Stolen A, Stolen B, Imperial Archives, Temple A...." with "Please detail for mix-and-match options." With the make-up of each of the above described and illustrated with an example.

And, oh, sigh, now I really can't start that sales thread until I've assembled a complete "Stolen A" version with the new combination hypercube I just dreamed up today.

1 comment:

  1. Wow you are truly a gifted artist! Do you have a link or website where I can see more of your work?