“I know how to get dough, know how to spend dough, rockin’ Alexander Wang from head to toe.”
-“Hey Sexy,” Die Antwoord
Today I took a huge step: I started taking on debt for my business. Up until now, as I’ve mentioned previously, everything has been very hypothetical. But today when I swiped my American Express, I felt things go from the intangible plane, to the realm of This Is Really Happening in a matter of seconds. This is thoroughly terrifying. For the first time in this experience, I am confronting the idea that if this doesn’t work out, if I’m wrong about this, just how much that’s going to suck for me.
For one thing, I didn’t have the money to spend in the first place. Even doing things on the mega-cheap (most recent estimate from a prototyping company was around $1600 for what I need made), the amount I put on my card is going to be hard for me to pay off for a while. And if this business isn’t successful, then I have no way of recouping that investment. It’s sunk. No going back.
So what did I buy and why was it so important? Well, as I mentioned in a previous post, the next big hurdle I have to get over is the prototype, and unfortunately, the cheapest option available to me was in the neighborhood of $400. That’s doing it entirely on my own, buying all the tools, all the tools, and relying substantially on the resources I have as a student; namely 3D printing and shop space.
So here’s what I got:
- Pressure pot (to be re-purposed as a combo pressure chamber/vacuum degassing chamber) $100
- Vacuum Pump $100
- Vacuum valve $8
- Gram scale $20
- Miscellaneous fittings, odds and ends $20
- 1/4 inch thick piece of Acrylic: $6 (a total steal from the cut-offs bin at Altec Plastics in Boston)
- Various cuts of acrylic for casting boxes: $5
- Food grade silicone (Smooth-sil from Smooth-On) $34
- Plastic resin X 2 (Task 11 from Smooth-on): $48
- Mold release: $15
- Silicone-free clay: $10
- XTC-3D (resin for smoothing out build lines from 3D printing): $15
- Paint buckets, plastic cups, gloves, stirrers etc. $20
So I’m on budget, which is cool, and the good news is that this might be the last big chunk of my own money I spend on this project for a little while, because hopefully once this is out of the way, I’ll be ready to start looking for funding. I’ve already spoken to some folks who are interested in investing, though I’m not quite ready to pitch to them. However, I am ready to start talking to manufacturers for quotes, as I gradually fill in the variables in the equation.
Next time: The new design! Pictures of me prototyping! Moving forward!
Until then, hustle hard.