I think this might just work!

TL/DR: Presenting 2018-027 4CELNK-YR Gaming-specific Wire Retention Device.

Wow…feels like it’s been too many days since I’ve shown anything new and fun. Okay, so here goes. New product, this one with possible legs. You all probably know the 4CELNK-branded brackets I sell. Well, one of those customers asked me to solve a problem they have: the only one making custom wire-retention devices is gouging them, and the product isn’t very good. Can Thom please make a better one?

Well heck yeah! This little beauty can hold four power cords in the “permanent” area, and then another EIGHT (SJT) power cords in the “semi-permanent” area. Yup, TWO areas for those gaming rigs where you have things that are always installed, and other things that change based on whether you’d doing flight, space, boat or car simulating. So, with a couple easy-to-replace (’cause you can ’em at the local drug store’s hair-accessories area) silicone bands to hold them over the 33mm tube. Soon there will be a 25mm design for that other sized tubing on the rig.

And yeah, a good business. Figure 200 rigs coming into the country every month (don’t ask how I know these things), with two of the competitor’s packages (2 x 6pcs) needed to configure one rig. The other vendor sells they’re for $19.99 for SIX pieces. Yeah…$3.33 each. And, his has BOLTS, which both have to be removed to change the wiring, and the slots themselves aren’t actually big enough. Add to that the fact that it doesn’t actually grip the tube and you have a product that deserves to be killed.

For me, that part prints in under 10 minutes each, 18 to a bed. So if I go with that guy’s pricing, that’s $60 of parts every 3 hours. Figure 4 cycles per day max, and that means over $300 revenue per day, where all I do is knock them off the build plate and tell it to repeat. I can likely improve print speed around 20-25% on this design.

Now, at 200 sim-rig units coming in, that’s 2400 pieces per month, or 80 per day. Odd how that works out, with 18 x 4 = 72. Say we capture 10% of that 200 units, which is VERY conservative considering the same reason I know how many come into the country . That’s 240 pieces a month, or 13.3 runs, or about 4 days. To generate $800 in revenue. Okay, that I can live with. $800 in monthly income for 4 days a month of work? If the demand grow so much that it gets too much, it will also have generated enough revenue to buy a second 3D printer.

Protection will be in the form of copyright and trademark for the name 4CELNK-YR, and for the design. Yes, it might be patentable, but for a capturable market of around $800 a month, that ain’t gonna excite anyone.

The numbers of course don’t include filament or electricity, but they’re in the ballpark for viable. Plus, they’re at the level of pricing the other guy has. Some thinking will have to be done as to whether to offer it undercutting him (material cost is like $0.10), or pricing it as a premium product, given the feature improvements. However, one could argue that the SAME price point would be a direct message of competition, a kind of throwing down the fabled gauntlet.

Thoughts are welcome, but no I’m not looking to sell the idea or make a gajillion on it. I want actual people who want my products to buy them because they’re great, and I intent to make them myself. Well, my robots will make them…that’s close, right? As they get smarter, I sense this is going to start to feel very wrong….