I wanted to let everyone know that we started running our production PRO and ELITE knives through the molds this morning. Barring any more unforeseen issues, we intend to run the injection molding machines for the rest of today and tomorrow and then start shipping our pre-orders early next week. Have a look below - they're pretty snazzy! If your wondering why it's taken so long to get this point - the factory has had the blades in hand since early May - then I'd like to share a little back story of how we got here.
About a month ago we finally got to the front of the queue to run parts with our silicone molding factory - it took about 2 months of waiting for our turn because they have limited production capacity and a backlog of client projects right now. The factory, prudently made us some test knives for approval - these are the clear handled ones we posted in our last update and on social media. Those knives were about 90% right - they felt great and worked really well but there were some cosmetic issues which needed improvement. The factory agreed to make additional changes to the mold. And then, as has somehow become the norm with this project, Murphy's law intervened. Once they started tweaking the molds bad things happened. The first modifications were to remove the scuff marks which were consistently showing up on the butt of the grip. These changes altered the way the liquid silicone entered the chamber and the result what that knives started shattering (under the tremendous hydraulic pressure of the liquid silicone).
My science nerd side thought this was pretty cool but it definitely wasn't getting us closer to the goal of shipping. So the mold went back under the knife for more modifications. After a few cycles of altering and testing we were down to pretty minor cosmetic issues again which you can see as the shiny spot here.
Eventually (aka yesterday), the factory got is all dialed in. The frustrating part is that each change took about a week of work, cost money and required time to test on a production machine. In short order another month had slipped away.
Despite all of the frustrations detailed above, all the money spent (as of right now, it has cost us about 5x what we raised in the Kickstarter to get to this point), all of the immense aggravation with blade production, it feels worth it. I think that we made an awesome knife. Fingers crossed you'll have yours in hand shortly to judge for yourself.