Sales MethodUsing KickStarter as the sales method introduces a not insignificant amount of overhead on the price which includes:
- KickStarter fee (5%)
- Credit card fees (3-5%)
- International shipping
If we compare the VIUD's prices from the KickStarter and without this overhead we can see a good sized difference:
|Model||KickStarter Price||Base Price|
The effect is more significant in the more expensive models...the 256GB Ti is already over $150 cheaper!
Technically some of this overhead, namely the credit card and shipping fees, will have to be included at some point but removing them from the VIUD's list price is an important step.
Case MaterialWe can evaluate the case materials to see if any trade-offs can be made regarding price. The current two case materials, Aluminum 7068-T651 and Titanium Grade 5, were chosen as they are among the highest strength alloys of the respective material. Unfortunately, this also means they are more expensive than other alloys.
Comparing a few common alloys:
|Al 7068-T651||95 kpsi||Low-Medium|
|Al 7075-T6||75 kpsi||Low|
|Al 6061||35 kpsi||Low|
|Ti Grade 5||120 kspi||High|
|Ti Grade 2||40 kpsi||Medium-High|
For the Aluminum VIUD we can consider moving to Al 7075-T6 as this alloy is still very strong and it can make the case manufacturing price a bit cheaper. Experience has also shown that it is much easier to find a machine shop able to source and work with 7075 than 7068. For the Titanium VIUD we will stick with Grade 5 as the more common Grade 2 is significantly weaker and we can have the Titanium VIUDs be a "premium" model to match its higher price.
Case ManufacturerThe VIUD's case is the largest portion of its manufacturing cost comprising 50-80% of its total. I've already sourced a bunch of machine shops for the case production and choose the cheapest one. At least the cheapest one that was able to make the case and not screw up royally. There was one, unmentionable, shop that failed miserably but did offer much lower prices. Perhaps another search and production test will reveal a shop with a lower price but still good quality production.
To make a long story short, I found a few dozen potential shops and ordered VIUD case samples from four of them for evaluation purposes. All four shops had lower prices than my previous manufacturer and 3 of the 4 managed to supply cases with pretty decent qualities as seen in the below pictures:
|Case Manufacturer A|
|Case Manufacturer B|
|Case Manufacturer C|
|Case Manufacturer D|