& the Alternatives.

Hello, and welcome to Cloud Riders Store, where I design, manufacture and sell accessories for Storz & Bickel Vaporisers (source manufacture). At the moment I’m working on few projects, the Mighty Grinder is the main one. It’s a Grinder that fits on the Mighty & Crafty vaporiser, using a similar filling aid device so you can grind right into it and savour every trichome. Also I’m in the middle of moving from Melbourne to the Netherlands and I’m almost finished designing and testing a Charging Stand for the Mighty.

I have to admit that I’m very new to the (source manufacturing) part of the business, and I’ve been tumbling like a toddler.

I’ve started my source manufacturing journey in Australia, I was planning to make all my products locally, help the economy and all, soon I realised that the economy should help me, I was getting quotes for the prototype in the thousand. almost $10K for the CNC work only, Ridicules numbers when you think how long it will take a CNC machine to make the Aluminium parts, & setup time, and their $350 hourly rate. it all didn’t add up.

And while I was looking in Australia still, some Chinese companies advertise globally, so I clicked on the ads, and got in contact with two overseas companies, I have to say one of them pushed me to finish everything and that was helpful, and they came back with design problems, which was also helpful, but looking back at the experience, now I believe those were brokers, they were not factories, prices were just a bit cheaper than Australia, and even when I gave them a target price, the quote was ridiculous. for example one Company asked for a $1 US for the small earth magnet that holds the plates, I sent them a link, showing that I can buy it cheaper in Australia, and still their revised quote stated a $1 per magnet, So that was it, two weeks gone.

In the mean time I decided if I’m looking in China, I should go to, I have bought things in the past on Alibaba, and I believe you can find anything you want on it, so I went there and started looking for a supplier.

Now If you read the previous post you know that I was scammed by  Shenzhen Bergek Technology Co.,LTD, and someone might argue that they didn’t scam me, but I believe they did, they gave me a quotation, that we negotiated and cleared all it’s point with a production time-line, and when I signed the order and transferred the money for the prototype, they turned around and said they can’t make the product for the price and they will look into it, then they said they will refund my money, & I should look for another supplier, I had to chase the refund, few days later I get most of my money, $130 AUD short, so you can judge it yourself.

Alibaba offers trade assurance witch I didn’t use for my transaction with Bergek, because it was’t that big amount and they seamed like a decent company, Mistake, it’s not Australia.

After that, one guy was trying to scam me flat out, we agreed on the details as I had a clear target after all the quotes, so I gave my target to few companies that were close to it, and while I was waiting for revised quotes, this guy was quick so I decided to go with him, He send me an invoice with a company name but no Business Number, and when I ask him to send me an invoice through Alibaba for the sake of trade assurance, because we are talking thousands, he turned around and said not everyone is on Alibaba, note that I posted my job on Alibaba, but he just want me to transfer the money so he can start working. That was that.

So as I said Last week I decided to change strategies and order and pay for a prototype, only a prototype, no strings attached, and that’s what I did, It was supposed to be ready in 7 to 10 working days, but now they said they will finish it on the 15th, and again I was hit with, Oh this can’t be done the way we thought we will make it and quoted it, which is a very frustrating fact on Alibaba, I think they bulk quote in general.

Saying that, I was expecting on Saturday, when the sales came back and said we can’t make this on the CNC, that they will cancel the order, but this Company is professional enough to first owner their quote and offer me options, eventually we agreed on a 3D print for the plastic parts and CNC for the Aluminium, this got me thinking about 3D printing again.

Now when I started this project, I was planning to go with 3D printing, but all my 3D wise friends told me that 3D printing is still far away from being the answer.

Until few days ago, I had no clue about 3D printing, I’ve been learning and working on 3D softwares for more than 10 years now, but I always render, for me I want a picture, and honestly I thought 3D printing is a cool toy, Until recently..

SO, if we are making the prototype on a 3D printer, why can’t I make 10 pcs on a 3D printer, and send them to shops so I can generate orders and get feed back,

With this idea I started looking for 3D printing services, and I started reading about the different kinds of 3D printing technologies, look like there are kinds, who knew??

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), is really a cool technology, I really want one, I love the Fuse 1, maybe when the business is big enough.

Stereolithography (SLA) is another cool technology, much more affordable, the resin is not a pleasant material to work with but it’s not a toy, details and speed are reasonable, but the cost ain’t, if I buy something like the Form 3 from Formlabs, but there is the LCD technology now, which is really promising and the cost is much more reasonable, so that where I’m at at the moment.

I’m looking into new options, 3D printing look like a vital option, I have quotes from two printers in China, and I’m going to order the samples.

Markforged Australia, offered me a free Carbon-Fiber sample to check the quality of their prints (what a generous offer), and I’m very excited to see the grinder in Black Carbon-Fiber, and as the sales man just informed me, he will start printing on Monday. Exciting.

So Carbon-Fiber?

Who wants a Carbon-Fiber grinder?

I want one, I don’t know about everyone else, but I think everything looks better in Carbon-Fiber, my Motorcycle was Carbon-Fiber. I obviously love Carbon-Fiber.

So no pictures again this week, It’s very weird just to talk with no pictures, I guess it’s not a comic, but I believe there will be pictures next week, and I hope I will hear back from Formlabs, I would love to get a sample from them too.

So until next Friday, Peace ☮️

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