Our new Kickstarter campaign launches Jun 1, 2017 and will run for 20 days until Jun 21. Please go to our Kickstarter campaign page to find out more and pledge your support to make the PFx Brick a reality!
Since the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign in April, we have been very busy regrouping our efforts to relaunch a new Kickstarter campaign for the PFx Brick. Here's what we have been working on:
1. PFx Brick V4 Prototype
We have completed all of the hardware design modifications to incorporate the Bluetooth radio chipset as well as some additional changes to improve the PFx Brick EMC immunity. We are currently testing the new V4 circuit boards.
2. PFx Brick Cost
Our initial Kickstarter campaign was designed around the cost to produce 1000x PFx Bricks. We did not acheive this goal, but it did inform us that the demand was closer 500x PFx Bricks. On this basis we re-computed all of PFx Brick production costs and it reveals the following:
Producing 500x bricks increases the cost of the PFx Brick by 25% ($65 USD to $80 USD)
The increase in cost is mainly due to the one-time costs of injection molding and certification. These costs contribute more per unit since they can not be amortized over the same number of units. Additionally, purchasing electronics for 500x units does not attract the same volume discounts as 1000x units. This also increases the per unit cost.
Therefore, the only action we can take to keep the cost the same is by substituting injection molding with 3D printing. On this basis, we can keep the cost of the PFx Brick the same as before:
Ideally, we would have preferred to have an injection molded brick enclosure; however, our volumes cannot justify this expense. We will have a stretch goal for injection molding corresponding to sufficient volume to justify this production method.
3. 3D Printing
By adopting a 3D printed enclosure, we wanted to ensure the resulting product was going to have sufficient quality and functional performance as injection molding. To that end, we have found a 3D printing partner which perfectly satifisies our goals: 4DBrix
. 4DBrix currently sells a range of high quality ABS plastic LEGO® compatible monorail and train track components. Therefore, they understand the functional requirements of plastic components particular to working with LEGO® elements; namely, clutch power, tolerance, colour, and durability. We have worked very closely with 4DBrix to adapt the PFx Brick enclosure and the speaker accessories to optimally take advantage of their ABS plastic 3D printing process. Furthermore, they can render the PFx Brick in colour-matched versions of light and dark bluish grey in addition to other colours if we wish.
4. PFx Lite Brick
Another strategy to help fund production costs is our decision to offer a lower cost PFx Lite Brick. This product is a PFx Brick designed only for lighting f/x. It has the same enclosure shape, supports the same lighting effects and accessories and is compatible with the PFx App.
Here's a comparison of the PFx Brick models that we are offering in the Kickstarter campaign: