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RDOne: Prototype; RD03: beta launch!

Our first project which was on hold, the #RDOne is in the prototype stage again. A simpler low cost low power version of RDOne was already complete by March 2020.

After our launch of MicroUPS in June 2020, we had received feedback from customers and well-wishers. We also had our first experience on online platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart. From these valuable feedback and experiences, we have decided to move into a more premium segment. RDOne is thus updated to offer a more premium look and features. RDOne has also enhanced protections and almost everything better compared to current offerings in market.

#RD03 will be a modular version of the RDOne and will be intended at customers who want an economical and modular solution, with low financial investments. RD03 is currently in low volume production and will be available in market as a beta release for customers who would like to get hands on the product before the production line kicks in, hopefully by August first week. Beta version, will be available on our Web store initially, and depending on demand and request, possibly expanded to other online market places. Beta version will also be priced slightly less compared to the production model.

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The first ever product launch – The journey

I would love to first share the journey, in brief, and then answer the most common queries that people have asked me, towards the end of this blog post.

To, start with, the company was registered officially on 9th November 2018, as a private limited company, in Kerala. I joined the company in Jan 2019, hoping that I would launch a few quick production run projects and pursue higher studies in a few months. As expected as it was, things didn’t go as planned. Our initial designs were not stable, and when they were, we found it difficult to source the components. Since the components were sourced in small quantities, preserving the cash flow, the price was quite high, with high lead times. We struggled to get hands on components which we needed for first few months, and the projects dragged on.

After a few months, our boards were good as we started assembling it ourselves, without relying on third party service providers, who were expensive, with massive shipment delays. There were standard items, such as the ICs and resistors which are manufactured for all, and are bought by us, and there are customized items as well. We procured such customized items from local manufacturers, since we wanted to save time and money in the first few runs. Now, these customized items were not up to our design expectations, or as promised by the vendor. This rendered our designs useless in extreme conditions, though they were working under normal conditions.

We learnt that, it was quite easy to customize our design to use the things that are already available in market, than to make customized packets as these are expensive. The vendors are usually reluctant to give out small quantities as well. We designed RDTwo, the MicroUPS, in June 2019. The designs were complete. We did a few test boards, and those were good. We wanted to be a bootstrap startup than absorbing the capital to expand. So, we planned for scaling from 25 pieces to 100 pieces and then to 1000 pieces.

Component costs were high, injection moulding way too expensive, and the assembly houses reluctant. After a few months of work, where we bought our own 3D printer and printed almost 100 pieces, and sanded down all the marks from pieces with hours of work, we knew this was not going to work out. The cost was way too less, the investment in terms of cash, even less compared to normal scaling, but the work that we had to do for this, was way too high. We also understood that, though we were able to manufacture about 100 pieces a week, this was way too low for production.

We moved to injection moulding and 1000 pieces production by December 2019. Things went as planned, until the Covid-19 hit. We had planned to launch the product by March end 2020. Our consignments were stuck in major cities as the country was locked down. Without much raw materials available, the work didn’t progress much. Even after the lock being relaxed, logistics didn’t resume though the government had permitted. We took consignments from major cities where the courier offices were filled with undelivered items for months.

And then, we slowly launched on 13th June, 2020, in for a level 2 of the startup.

Moving towards the most common questions that we are being asked.

Do we manufacture in India?
Yes. We import the main components from US/Singapore. Rest all works are within the country. Since we don’t have sufficient investment to get ourselves a PCB assembly unit, we give them to third party service providers in Kerala. We assemble the product ourselves, each part, including the stickers on the boxes.

Was this designed in-house?
Yes, all designs were done by us. Though the mould designs for our case was done by a third party vendor.

How much time have you invested?
A lot of time, energy, money and relations.

Which do you think is the most difficult part as of now?
Ramping into production for the first time, without proper experience.

Were you helped by people?
Yes, a lot! Friends, family and people whom I have never met or talked to before.

Is there a lot of pressure?

More questions will be added as they are asked.

Thank you for reading!

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Project RDOne : Prototype level case & Brief overview of project

Most people, the well-wishers we have, have always asked about what we make, and how big it would be ! People also ask how much did it cost, how much will it cost and so on !

  • We don’t have much answers about the pricing as of now, we expect it to be placed at a maximum of Rs. 1000 / piece.
  • It is expected to fit into 40 mm x 40 mm x 30 mm cuboid without the cables, which will be permanently attached to the device.
  • The device would come only in black matte finish colour.
  • The complete case would be 3D printed for the initial lot or until the next version.
  • Initial 100 pieces of the production will be sold at a discounted rate, and upon the feedback received, updated and put into production at the normal pricing. The initial pieces is expected come with extended replacement warranty compared to the standard warranty provided and in case of major issues, replaced completely.

The finalized update regarding these will only be available by March 2019. The indicative image of the product is given below

Stay tuned for the updates ! And thank you for the support πŸ™‚

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Unexpected delay: Project RDOne

Dear Well-wishers,

We are sad to announce that the timeline of the first project RDOne will be extended to April 2019 for the production release. This delay is due to audit, taxes and related administrative regulations of the company. We will, be rolling out the prototypes in a few weeks and will be tested for about 1 month before being brought out for the initial release, which is expected to be in April 2019, the new financial year beginning.

We are taking in time so as to make the prototype model as close to the final production model as it can be. We expect the basic model to be ready in a few days.

The Team,
RegalDream Technologies

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RDOne: Prototyping update !

We have our RDOne Electronics hardware prototyping almost in its final stage. We had earlier gone for white case colour in our 3D Print designs. We have changed that to Black and will mostly be matte finish.

We have, in this updated case design, accommodated indication on skin display indication. We have also rectified the design changes, and improved the placement with legs for the case. This design will be almost ready for production, and we hope it will be πŸ™‚

Our version 5 of case design before being processed. Image taken just after being 3D Printed.

Stay tuned for more updates. We will, hopefully, be getting back with the prototype in a week or two !

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Updated timeline RDOne

Project RDOne, our electronics based initial project, had an expected launch date of Dec 24, when seen from October. Though initially, the project had met its milestones on time, due to the unexpected delays from the assembly house, we were unable to release it on time.

The current status of the project is that we are expecting the prototype to be working by Jan end. The PCBs are already available to be assembled, and we are just waiting for the boards to be assembled.

Stay tuned for the updates ! Thank you for the support extended πŸ™‚

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Project RDOne: 3D Drawing – New Version – Lessons of screw holes for 3D Print

A few days back, we had given a brief introduction on 3D printing that we had done for prototyping stage. Once the 3D Printing was done, and tested, we understood that there are a few difference between 3D Printed plastics when compared to the molded ones. For instance, we had a screwing mechanism to be used to screw in the PCB and cover to the main body. We were planning for a M2 x 6 mm screw to be used and thought of going with 1.9 mm hole so that the screw can create it’s own thread while being screwed.

Little did we know that while using 3D printing, there are chances that the material might flow in and out a bit, changing the dimensions. This means that our 1.9 mm hole in drawing will in actual model would be somewhere much less than 1.9 mm. Our 3D printing friend, Magesh, gave us a suggestion of going with +0.1 mm for the dimension of hole.

If the screw hole is more, you can always use ABS glue to reduce the size of the hole. ABS glue, as I read, is made by mixing ABS Plastic in acetone. We will try this method, and keep you updated !

Follow us and stay updated on our progress and life at RegalDream Technologies !

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Project RDOne: 3D Prints

When building an electronic product that is to be directly marketed to the customer, it mostly has to come with a case or a cover. When it comes to building that, the cost becomes a major concern, especially for a start up. The big companies often has cash in their hand to start producing at bigger scales, which lowers the cost per piece as well as gives them better profit margins.

As a startup firm, with very small amount of cash in hand, we were not able to invest a lot in molding methods, as we were not sure about the customer reception of our product. We obviously wanted to eliminate risks involved or bring it down to a very low level.

We tried the new technology of 3D Printing. To begin with, we had no idea on how good it would be. The above image is our version 2 of 3D Prints with ABS Plastic. We chose ABS over PLA due to its thermal stability at higher temperatures.

Why did we choose to use 3D Printing ?

We chose 3D printing due to its lower initial investment. We compared the price point of cost per piece of 3D printed and molded plastic cases. We found that, for a startup which expects to slowly ramp up the production, and is quite unsure of the production volume, a 3D Printed case would be good.

Where did we get it printed ?

We browsed through a lot of online options and then chose MageshΒ for our 3D prototype printing and for the 3D printing related technical helps.

What material did we choose ?

We chose ABS Plastic because of its better thermal properties compared to PLA. The other material options were much costly compared to these, and were not viable to be used.

What next ?

We would upgrade the structure, and correct errors when gearing to our next version, which will be a near-to-production model.