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Looking for interest in custom molded FlashROM99 case


Caleb Hansberry
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Where I work does injection molding. I got a rough quote on the price of a die for a custom case for the TI-99/4A FlashROM99 - $1500. So I'd like to ask if there's any interest in helping to pay for the development, because I can't swing it all myself. I could pay about a third. The benefit is once the initial cost is paid, we have a high quality product and can make as many as we'll ever need for about $2 each. About how many could we manage to sell?

I'm a member of vcfed.org, here's the original topic: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?54161-Looking-for-interest-in-custom-molded-cartridges&p=428766

 

Thanks,
Caleb Hansberry

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I've been looking to do a similar thing with cartridge cases. I have a friend trying to get me quotes from the place he works (they do electronics and injection molding there), but we're on a once-a-month schedule for contact as he's in a place with no external network connectivity most of the time.

 

On FlashROM cases, you will have a hard time selling enough of them to just pay for the initial mold investment (100-200 cases, tops--and that's if everyone buys them). At 100 cases, you'd have to sell them for $12 each, just to pay the price for the molds and the $2-per-case production cost. That is still cheaper than a 3D-printed case, but all of the time you put into the project, including ordering, packing, and shipping, would basically be done for free, because your price is only covering direct material costs. If you sell less than 100 (say 50) you will be about $750 in the hole for the project, and that's with totally free labor on your part.

 

$1,500 is a very reasonable cost for tooling, however. I may have to talk to you to see what it would take to order some regular cartridge case molds, as I do use a lot of those myself for my various projects to make it worth my while.

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On FlashROM cases, you will have a hard time selling enough of them to just pay for the initial mold investment (100-200 cases, tops--and that's if everyone buys them).

 

I agree, while the FlashROM 99 IS a popular item, I believe it would take years to sell 200 cases to get to that break even point. Since he appears to be a newbie, I wonder if he's aware that there is already someone selling cases << HERE >> as demand dictates.

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I don't want to deny that I'm a newbie or imply I know a lot, however I do want to say I've been in the community for several years. There's more posts on my vcfed profile than here.

I have seen the 3d printed case, I personally don't like it though. Plus its a little spendy for me not liking the look.

 

Don't get the wrong idea: I'm not trying to make a business venture, I'd be more than happy to spend my labor for free. My purpose is to help out the community with a high quality product that will look great, function perfectly, and last basically forever. I wish I could pay the cost out of pocket, but I cannot quite pull it off.

I don't think the cost for selling the cases would be that low, I think $25 is a better price for what it is. I mean for me the 3d printed case is $40 shipped and doesn't look as polished as the molded case would. Now, I think we could pull off someone who wanted to invest the money and they could simply have it returned to them in the profits from sales, then I would be donating but noone else would have to: If I paid $500 that leaves $1000, at $25 we would need to sell about 44 to recover the investment. I think that's doable if we could get some investors. I also was thinking I could have a Kickstarter, what do you think? I hope this is a good opportunity for someone here since I really want to be the one footing the loss here.

I have a more extended history, on eBay as "SkylitesProducts", and Codewalr.us and Cemetech.net if anyone would like to verify my identity.

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