Hey everyone, sorry that this blog has been pretty bare since I launched it at the beginning of February. It’s been a hard month for me because I changed jobs, so my progress on Snow Trax has been pretty poor. However, there have been some small wins and some setbacks, so let’s go through them.
So this month started out with my feeling pretty good about the design of Snow Trax; it looked good, the design was easy to build, and none of the bits clashed when you moved them in the 3D model. I sent all the bits out to quote and was shocked at the cost of some of the pieces. Obviously, I had underestimated the cost of the machining on some of the pieces.
This had led to February being a redesign month for the powered snowboard system. Nothing about how the unit operates has changed, but the design is now symmetrical instead of the “jaunty” design that I had before.
Old shape in red VS New shape in yellow
I also had to change the metal walls because they were coming out at around £500 per Snow Trax, clearly now a sustainable design element. It’s now a metal frame covered with an injection moulded plastic. This should bring down the price of each unit, allowing me to hit my goal price of £500 for you to purchase a unit. The new design will also be lighter, meaning you’ll still be able to pop massive air in the jump park before powering yourself back up to the start gate.
It’s very difficult to get a sense of how big or small things are when you’re designing them in a computer; case and point, the motors for this thing are tiny, really really tiny. Here is one of them next to my mouse for comparison:
Yes, that is an apple mighty mouse next to one of the two motors that are going to power the Snow Trax. I know what you’re thinking, “how is that going to move me along?”, and I would agree if I hadn’t seen the same motor setup rapidly accelerate a fully-grown man up a hill on a skateboard.
There are still going to be nay-sayers amongst you, so I’m hoping to have some videos up in May of the finished demonstration model.
I also have a “PRO” version of the Snow Trax in development; not much is different except the top speed will be increased, there will be suspension will be fitted to the track units, and separate left and right motor controls will ensure smooth turning at top speed.
Despite all these delays, the Kickstarter launch is still planned for the 16th June 2017, giving me enough time to order all the bits, build the Snow Trax, and ship in time for first deliveries to arrive in November (before you all head to the slopes, you lucky people!). I have based the Kickstarter on selling 250 units, so I really need all the followers and influencers I can get.
If you think you might be interested in getting a Snow Trax for the 2017/18 season, you should definitely follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr to keep informed of our progress all the way through until shipping day and beyond. Even better, if you know some influencers (or are one yourself), please get in touch :-).
That’s all for now, but there is so much happening on this project that I’ll start doing updates every 2 weeks from now on.