Video of Ningbo’s 2nd hand-mold Samples, and Poll

Below is video of the 2nd hand-mold samples from Ningbo.  Please take a look to see if you think you would be happy with dice like these.

If a sizable portion of you think these would be good enough for your shipment (the minimum order from a mold is 10,000 units), I will pay the $1300 next week to produce the computer-made metal mold.

Then, I will show you all video and images of the samples coming off this final mold, see how many folks want those, and then order a batch of them to fulfill those particular orders.

The rest of you will have to wait even longer for resin dice made from silicone molds, which will be more expensive (for me).  Next week, I plan to order silicone molds with at least 2 different companies to see the quality of dice they produce.

Please answer the poll question below:

PS.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the Aug 19th blog post HERE (of info and photos of the 2nd sample and the mold).

PSS. I believe that the current problems with quality have to do more with geometry and physics, and not the fault of Ningbo.  Another company (Longbright) I am exploring has confirmed that d12s from metal molds results in poor quality, and even provided the images below (of d12s from metal molds) to reinforce how silicone molds are the better option.

What Ningbo IS guilty of is not anticipating this problem (with metal molds) from the start.  I am frustrated with them for this oversight, but have not reached the point of completely cutting our losses with them.  I still want to see their silicone samples and compare them to Longbright’s (and possibly Koplow’s).

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Quick update

Just got back from vacation and 12 hours on the road.   No time for a complete update with images and video, but wanted to share a quick update.  A more complete update will come around mid-week.

I got the large-pip, second samples from Ningbo, but nothing from Koplow.

Ningbo: the large pips look ok, but the quality is still sub-standard (so I am not happy with them).

So, I will get more info on silicone mold production, which will likely take longer, and eat my profits.

For those wanting to get these dice as soon as possible and care less with the quality of the second sample, I may start a limited production run with this metal mold if there are enough backers interested (to be determined by a poll).

Koplow:  I will call Lenny tomorrow and see if the samples were even sent as promised.

By mid week, I hope send out a KS update with video and images of the second-samples, have more info about silicone molds from Ningbo (and another company).

Ningbo second samples (images)

Sorry for the post delay…I have been at the beach on vacation since Thursday, and James (from Ningbo) has also been out since Thursday (“for some urgent case” in his family).  I am composing this post from the floor of the guest bathroom while the rest of the beach house is finally asleep.

Let’s get to it: below are the images for the second hand-mold sample.  For reasons I am still trying to ascertain, the pips are 2.3 mm, vs. the old ones of 2.0 mm.  I have asked James several times if they NEED to be this large, and either he is dodging the question (since I have been clear that I prefer the 2 mm dots) and/or the language barrier is in the way.

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They do look better (though you can still see malformations at this magnification), but I prefer the smaller ones, and the community seems to as well based on the previous poll (HERE). I am also assuming that smaller indentations would limit the amount of sand entering and blurring the painted edges.  But I am also the guy that originally thought dice would be easy to manufacture. (Image below is to compare all the dice, and the two different pip sizes).

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These samples are being flown here so I can examine them up close (and post video).  Meanwhile, I am still awaiting the Koplow samples (of their pipped d12s).  And since I am on vacation until the weekend, I wont be able to see the samples until I return back home, where they will hopefully be waiting for me.

Below is an image of the second metal hand-mold itself:

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And here is a copper casting:

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And painted dice before polishing/tumbling:

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Here are various quotes from James:

  • “Pls check attachment about the finial sample visual  of the dot one , with new process for mold and  appropriate increase in the size of the circle and reduce the depth”
  • “the finial sample should be more round and almost missing of the deformation.”
  • “For  the dot size , the first one should be about 2 mm diameter while the second one should be about 2.3 mm. But compared with other two ,the new one should be better ,how do you think about it ,pls check image advanced . kindly note us when received the sample with your thinking  then”

Note: they waived the typical hand-mold fee ($130) for this second attempt, but requested the $60 delivery charge.

Next: I hope to have the Ningbo and Koplow (pipped d12) samples in hand, more information about the quality and how they are produced, and closer to determining if we go with Ningbo metal mold, Ningbo silicone Mold, Koplow, or someone else.

Again, sorry for trying to figure this all out AFTER taking your money.

Matt

8/4 Update: Ningbo delay, Koplow Quote, Machined DD6 Kickstarter

Dear Team Doublesix,

Here is the summary:

1) Ningbo has yet to send images of the second steel hand-mold sample.  If they can’t improve significantly on the first sample, then the next option with them is resin dice in a silicone mold, at a 1.8x increase in cost (email exchange below).

2) Quote from Koplow games came in today (below), but still awaiting samples (including their pipped d12s) in the mail.  Summary: Mold cost for acrylic $2625 (Ningbo $1300), per unit ~$.15 (Ningbo ~$.08).  However, I still need to confirm they won’t have the same production issues Ningbo is having with acrylic.

3) I have agreed to endorse a new Kickstarter for machined Doublesixes (campaign here).  Laura has run a similar Kickstarter in the past (with satisfied customers: see comments), contacted me to use the name, and mailed me a sample of her d12 (video below).  I have asked for no royalties, hoping this will simply help promote the Doublesix brand.

Silicone vs Steel molds (courtesy of Superbacker Vladimir De Rosa):

Silicone molds will be much cheaper, but need to be replaced much more often.

A steel mold, properly made would be good for 50k-100k moldings, and potential have 100 dice made each molding (or more depending on press size)  But will cost bucks, domestic it would be 40k$+ don’t know chinese tooling prices as well
silicone ill only get maybe 16 or so dice per molding, and only last 1000 or so moldings, but once the master is made (about 4k) additional molds would be less than 1000$ each

Next Steps:

a) Wait for Ningbo images and samples of their second try.

b) Wait for Koplow samples of their pipped d12s, and continue to explore using them (US-based broker).

c) Follow-up with producer Longbright (Quote: resin mould, $600;  $0.13/pc) and Whatzgames (Quote: resin mould, $1500; $0.18/pc and $0.19/marblized pc).

Recent Ningbo contact:

Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:15 PM:  This should be our last plan.
For the resign [resin] one with silicone mold
strength :material should be more soft and weight , and the mold charge should be more cheap.
weakness : single pricing should be more expensive about 1.8 multiple
But before the finial  visual for the the going one ,we will keep the plan the moment as the expensive pricing.
.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:53 PMYes ,it should be finished on weekend  or not late than next early week .
For silicone,  we using resign material for the dice which is similar to acrylic but more soft  as noted last mail . and this should be small quantity while mold charge should be hundreds cheaper.
we will try our best here .
.
Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 5:59 AM: The finial visual on copper (just for checking the effective for dot) will finished the day after tomorrow and we will send the image to you then .
.
<P.S. I checked in again on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 8:27 PM, and Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM, and as of this post, have not heard back.>
Quote from Koplow Games:
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 4:19 PM:  Hi Matt:

Sorry for the delay.  Pricing is listed below:

18.75MM(flat side to flat side)custom Opaque Urea molded dice with spots 1-6 x 2:

20,000pcs:  $.13 per piece;  200,000pcs:  $.10 per piece; Mold cost:  $2325.00

18.75MM(flat side to flat side)custom Opaque Acrylic molded dice with spots 1-6 x 2:

20,000pcs:  $.16 per piece; 200,000pcs:  $.14 per piece; Mold cost:  $2625.00

Please note the following:
All custom orders are paid for in advance.
All pricing above is fob our warehouse in Boston, Ma.
Delivery would be 90-120 days upon receipt of order and funds.
Delivery can be made within 60-75 days upon approval of additional air freight charges.
All quotes are valid for 90 days, but due to current world situations Koplow Games Inc. reserves the right to amend this quote due to extraordinary circumstances:(acts of terrorism, war, or other catastrophic events).
The factory will retain ownership of all tooling and upon customer’s request will provide documentation attesting to the existence of said tooling.  The factory will NOT release or transfer any tooling.  Upon customer’s request factory will destroy said tooling and provide documentation of the same.
Buyer warrants items manufactured to customers specifications are free from claims for infringement.
Customer to supply camera ready artwork.
Please add 3.0% to the above pricing if paying by American Express, Mastercard or Visa.
Please add $25.00 if paying by wire transfer.
Please also note that urea dice can only be made in Opaque and only in stock colors(Black, Blue, Green, Ivory, Red, White, & Yellow.  Minimum order must be 10,000pcs. per color.
Please note that acrylic dice can be made in all materials available and just about in any color that you prefer.
Minimum order must be 10,000pcs. per color.

I will get your samples out tomorrow.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

<I am getting samples of urea and acrylic, and may do both, depending on quality and differences.  I will have to go with acrylic to get the non-stock colors.  I also need to talk with Lenny again to verify that they won’t have the same mold issues Ningbo had.  I look forward to seeing the sample of their pipped d12s. >