To remind you what product #5 is, it is a product that is different from all the rest in that it is not a software product, and it is something I am going down the path to have manufactured.  Manufactured is a big word, and maybe overkill for whatmaxresdefault I’m looking for, since the product is relatively simple in its design.  I have done all of the design for the prototype in 3d modeling software, and I have personally created about a dozen prototypes using 3d printers.  I am on version 5 of the prototype, and I still have a couple of improvements I want to make, but they are more materials related than design related.

I’m stuck…well, I’m kind of stuck. I had been recommended to a local company that does rapid prototyping, exactly what I was needing to have done, so I can get an analysis of what the actual manufacturing costs would be for both low volume production and high volume production.  The sales rep is no longer returning my emails, and I’ve been ignored.  I’m not happy about this, but I was giving them the benefit of the doubt since I would rather work with a local company than have to do it remotely.  One of the most frustrating feelings for me is when I have to rely on someone else, and they don’t do what they are supposed to do.  I am now having to put extra effort into something that was supposed to be simple and straightforward, but that is a lot of what a start-up is about….finding ways to get things done, no matter what.

More importantly, I am pursuing a provisional patent for this product.  The provisional patent gives me a lower up front cost and protects my design for 1 year (not extendable) from the date of filing.  I am choosing this path because it gives me a chance to make sure the product is viable enough to go down the patent route, since a patent will end up costing me about $15,000.  I am putting my provisional patent application together with the designs that I have right now.  The product serves a specific purpose, and I have already created a separate Limited Liability Company to encompass it (more about that in another blog post).

fablabtulsaProduct #5 is challenging because I do have to rely on others more than I do for the other products.  A personal challenge to me, but one that I already have friends and family members ready to help out if need be.  I’m fortunate to have a community of makers here, which tend to congregate around the Tulsa Fab Lab that I can go to for assistance.