Thursday, November 10, 2011

The X-Pen, now with a lid...

The response to the X-Pen over the past several days has been incredible! We've had several people mention that they want a cap for the pen, though. So, we looked at a way to put a nice cap on the pen, and feel that we have a great design. It's simply a carbon tube with a stainless tip. It looks great! Here are a few pics: We're going to offer it for $50 (no base is included!). Let me know what you think!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Add the X-Pen

The Fling project on Kickstarter was a success! We were able to achieve our funding goal and delivered all of the catapults to our customers. Thanks to all that participated!

I'm working with a great internet marketer to get a website setup for the direct sale of the catapults. To go along with it, we are introducing a new product that we call the X-Pen. It's an incredible pen that is made of carbon fiber with a machined stainless steel tip and back. It houses the incredible Pilot Hi-Tec C, which is one of the finest pen refills available. Here are some pictures of the latest prototype.

Friday, September 23, 2011

We made it!

Barring a huge natural disaster, we'll get the funding this weekend for the Fling. As of right now, we are about $250 over the $3,500 goal we had set. It's fun to see that it made it. We also have the production version ready to go, complete with aluminum rivets. It looks sharp. Here are a few pictures. I also included a highlighter in one of the pictures to give you a sense of the scale of the part. They work great!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Almost there...

About a month ago, we re-submitted the Fling project on Kickstarter. In the first few days, we received a large number of pledges, mostly of those that had pledged before and were pledging again... But since then, we have had a steady stream of pledges coming in and we just reached 90% of the funding this morning, and that's with 9 more days left on the project!

As it appears that we'll make the $3,500 goal (easily), we decided to create the tooling that we needed to fabricate the catapults. With the help of the fine folks at Premier Powder Coating, we bent up a couple of tools that make the creation of the design a snap. Dave and I have also started laying up the catapult arms, and they look excelleint! Here are a couple of pictures of the tool and the catapult arms...

We also had our rivet press tool come in this week. This will allow us to attach the catapult arm to the base and make it look good. The rivets are flat on the bottom and will have a rounded top to them. They look excellent!

The diamond tipped tile saw will be in today. Once we have that, we'll be set and will able to do the final production and assembly next week. We'll keep you posted! -Kyle

Monday, August 15, 2011

We found out what didn't work...

Well, we found that trying to raise $20,000 in 30 days selling catapults just wasn't going to cut it. So, we're trying it again to raise $3,500 in 40 days and see how it goes...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's up on KickStarter

We put the project up on KickStarter, and now it's the waiting game to see what happens. The goal is to raise $19,500 in the next 30 days by offering some rewards to people for pledging their support. The link is

Here are some pictures of the different rewards offered:

This is what we call the "Bling Fling Office Pack", which includes two regular black Flings, 2 "Bling Flings" (with the outer layer in carbon and Kevlar), and 4 key chains. This is the reward for a $125 pledge. It's enough for a full on war in the office!

For $60, a backer gets the "Bling Fling" pack, which includes a black Fling, a red and black carbon/Kevlar Bling Fling, and 2 keychains.

This is what the Fling looks like in relation to some objects on your desk...

This is the regular Fling along wth a carbon fiber keychain. Impressive looking, eh?

Finally, for a $10 pledge, the sponsor will get a carbon fiber keychain. Pretty useless, but it looks good and is made from 100% carbon fiber reinforced epoxy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Making the real deal

We liked how the prototype turned out, so then we cut out some carbon, laid it out on a prototype mold, and cured the resin. The first batch seemed too "flimsy", so we thickened up the top part by adding another layer of material, (we are using a 3K pre-preg). The base plate was way too thin, so we doubled the thickness of it and it made it much stiffer.

This design really works. We've been able to fling small objects (gummy bears work great) in excess of 70 feet with them. Besides a few small changes when we actually create the produciton tooling, I think we have essentially a finished product here!

Attached are a few pictures of the regular black Fling as well as the "Bling Fling", which is the same thing as the black, only with a red and black Kevlar/carbon weave on the top layer. It looks very cool... I also put in a couple pics of them with a ruler or a dry-erase marker to illustrate the size. Let me know what you think!


Making the Prototype

With the design done, we decided to make a prototype of the Fling to see if the design would work and "felt" right. We had the design printed on a 3D printer, cleaned it up, bolted it together, and snapped a few pictures. I took one with a ruler to show the relative size of the Fling:

Completed Design

Using SolidWorks, we decided to see what this thing would really look like. We assigned it some material properties (carbon fiber), and rendered the image to give us a feel for the true design. Here's a picture of the image:

Designing the Fling

For the past couple of weeks, Dave and I have been working on what we think is a pretty cool idea. We call it the Carbon Fling...

It all started with one of our customers that is interested in getting some projects on Kick Starter, which is a pretty cool website that allows users to create "projects" where they post an idea and request funding to make it happen. That funding can be to purchase tooling, buy materials, or whatever, as long as a "reward" is provided. In essence, people can pre-order a product or service by pledging some money to the project. If the money isn't raised, no money trades hands. If the necessary money is raised, then the project gets funded and there are bunch of pre-orders to get it off the ground. It's a great idea!

After seeing some of the ideas that other people are doing, we decided to create our own little bitof carbon eye candy for a desk that is in the range that a mere mortal can afford. Combining the incredible properties of carbon with an old-school catapult, we developed a simple, but elegant desktop catapult made entirely out of carbon fiber.

Here is a sketch in SolidWorks of the design... It went through a few iterations to get there, but we ended up with a simple design with only two parts to it.