Update #18 - Manufacturing Update – Final Stages

Greetings and Happy Chinese New Year to all our supporters and backers of the Dune Pro case.

It’s an exciting time if you have backed the Dune Pro, as you will be one of the first in the world that will be receiving a truly special product. The wait is nearly over, and the Dune Team appreciates your patience for delivery of the Dune Pro case. We would not have made it this far with out your support and confidence in our team. The team thanks every backer personally.

Since our last update two weeks ago, we have been continuously working closely with our manufactures. Since this is a new project with them, we focused special attention to every detail with the preparation of manufacturing the Dune Pro case.

On January 10 the molds were complete as seen in pictures. We were all very excited to test these molds and get this into production. In the back of my mind I was thinking if these molds do not have any problems then we can move into production and have all the parts finished and anodized by January 18. Just looking at the molds was an over whelming experience as there was more than 20 tons of material sitting in front of me. The cost of these molds was astronomically expensive and one mistake could cost tens of thousands of dollars if it was a major adjustment. Just look at these molds they are heavy and huge.

We rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We got the first mold set up, then the second. We continued on with excitement. It was like an adrenaline rush through our body and hoping everything is on time with a perfect outcome. After days of testing the result was quite impressive and near perfect.

As you can see in the picture the results of the raw material turned out better than expected and when assembled it was able to fit with the allocated tolerance.

Our biggest concern was the motherboard and PSU plate and also incorporating the cable ties. Surprisingly they turned out well. We were concern about this part, as this part was a very big and required a very heavy machine to bend this out. Also, the mold was very big for this and expensive.

On the January 15 we finished testing the molds. While everything fit nicely and practically ready for production there were a few parts we had concerns on the surfacing.

The Hard Drive cage and other parts had some minor marks on the surface. The marks on these parts needed to be addressed to reduce the risk of having surface marks showing up after the sandblast and anodize process. While we could have sent the parts to get sandblasted longer, this would make the material thinner and could compromise tolerances with the design. Sandblasting the surface longer would only be a band aid for the problem. We needed to find the root cause of the problem to prevent this from happening. After analyzing the marks, we decided that the molds to be further polished. This would ultimately remove the surface marks on the raw material. With three days left it was going to be a hard task to complete. We needed to make a decision. Do we move forward with a band aid solution that will compromise the quality of the parts, or do I spend a week more to make it right and have no surface issues on the parts?

The feeling at that moment was probably one of the loneliest feelings I have experienced. I didn’t want to disappoint and delay our backers. All the packaging and assembly guys are all ready on Jan 18 to put this together and ship it out in Late January. There was a heavy weight on my shoulders and it wasn’t the molds.

I turned to our designer and engineer Kevin and asked him what should we do. His response reminded me what the Dune Team was all about. He said “Do you want a product that is quality or a product that is like any other case on the market?” The answer was clear and it was a great reminder of why we started the Dune Case in the beginning. If building a quality product was an easy task then every case manufacture would have a high-grade quality product. But its simply not easy making a quality product. It takes time and even for the best of us every project is different. Quality is where we differentiate ourselves from our peers. We decided to make the minor adjustment to the molds which will reduce the chance of surface defects while maintain the quality.

“Well… How much time?”…. many of you may be asking. It will not be much longer. At the moment in China from the 19th Jan to the first week of February there is Chinese New Year Holiday. All factory workers go back to their hometown and spend time with family. After the holiday we will move forward with adjusting the molds then start the production and packaging.

The schedule for the Dune Pro case is very tight and we apoligise that we were not able to get this before end of January due to holidays in this region. However we are very close to completion. We have been truthful and transparent as much as possible with our production and problems we have faced. Your hope and understanding in the Dune Team has given us the strength make sure this product is finished very shortly after Chinese New Year. We thank you all individually for your support. 

Many thanks,

Dune Team