Supercon is over; Didn't win anything

A project log for Hackaday Superconference 2019 Badge Enclosure

3d modeled plastic enclosure for the Hackaday Superconference 2019 Badge.

Tim TrzepaczTim Trzepacz 11/19/2019 at 08:314 Comments

Supercon is over.

I had to enter the badge enclosure in the "hardware" category, for lack of a better category, and so didn't win a damned thing. 

Man, I worked so hard on this! I worked for a week and a half, and then each night until 6am. Each day I'd wake up after 4 hours of sleep and then still have 2 hours of  time waiting for the 3d printer before I could run off to the show, which meant I missed all of the mornings and didn't arrive until 1pm or later (5:30 on Friday). 

Now that the show is over, probably nobody will ever touch this badge again, since they aren't for sale or anything.

Perhaps this was not a good use of my time.

For completeness sake, I made some last adjustments to the model to help the buttons to not bind. I'm not going to bother to print it.

It's all on GitHub. Go get it if you care.

Here are pictures of the next to final version.

Front view
Front view; notice there is not a grille for the speaker. I didn't bother to populate the lightpipes, since they just blur out the LEDs. You can put them if you want.
I call this the "three cheeks" version.
I call this the "three cheeks" version.
Bottom View
Bottom View; the HDMI port seems a bit more recessed than I'd like.
Side View
Side View; notice the power switch. Sometimes it works. I don't think That's my fault, the switch used is pretty shitty, and mounted in a strange recess for some reason.
Side View: USB side
Side view; USB side.
Cartridge port and cartridge
Cartridge port and cartridge


James Newton wrote 11/22/2019 at 20:03 point

Tim, I totally understand your frustration. When the last badge was released, I found a FORTH on the CP/M distribution and because that's a weakness of mine, I spent hours and hours documenting it.
Hours spent trying out examples on that painful little keyboard (should have printed your keys). And all the while I KNEW that not a single person would ever make use of it. But somehow I just couldn't make myself stop... 
Here are a few thoughts:
- It shows we can still work hard on things, even though we are getting old. 
- Maybe it's worth putting on a resume or a list of accomplishments. It demonstrates good work. 
- It points out to us the need to better direct our time. Your Stylish Keyboard is /lovely/ and should sell in that wooden case for several hundred dollars, or in the plastic case for a couple hundred. But I can't find a link ANYWHERE to buy it! I want to share it with my friends.

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Tim Trzepacz wrote 11/23/2019 at 02:21 point

Re: Stylish!

The main reason for delays is so that I have everything lined up to sell units when I finally am ready to do so. When I finally am ready to sell, I want to get as much bang out of my promotion as possible. Until I am ready to produce plastic shells for units in quantity, I don't want to launch.

I am scheduled to work on manual resin casting for plastic enclosures with Bruce at Supplyframe Design Lab sometime next week, hopefully. 

Once I have that down, I intend to do that for the remaining stock of about 70 boards. After that I am hoping to prepare molds for proper injection molding. Once the that is ready and we have quotes for that, I can do the crowdfunding and units will be officially for sale. 

I also intend to do another run of 20-40 wood units, some in fancy hardwoods. These will be available as part of the crowdfunding for premium prices.

The plan is that the plastic units will be $125, and the wood units will be $250. The early resin-cast plastic units I plan to construct with unique looks, so those will be a little more, and will ship immediately on completion of the crowdfunding. The folks who ordered the cheaper injection molded units will have to wait for those to be produced and delivered.

Similarly, the wood units will be available in standard wood (probably white fir), premium wood (probably redwood), and random hardwoods, which will be at increasingly higher prices and limited quantities, with the premium hardwoods often being one-of-a-kind.

The idea is that not only is Stylish called Stylish because you wear it, and not just because it uses a stylus, but because it is a collectable fashion item as well as a fun synth. It is like Swatch watches or fancy tennis shoes, only for synth geeks.

My own goal for the project is not to make commodity item for billions of people and get rich, but to make something special and rare that I can sell a few hundred of each year as a craftsman and make a small, comfortable living on. There will be other products, but I hope that Stylish is a thing that people will cherish forever, rather than a disposable piece of junk. 

Perhaps that goes a little against the "it's like fashion" idea, but even fashion has some timeless trends...

As you said, we do get older. As we realize that our own mortality is within view, I think it is important to consider what we are leaving to the future, and what we are doing with our remaining days. While a small synth like this may seem a frivolous thing, I think it brings joy to the world, and is never really obsolete as long as somebody can make a cool sound with it.

And maybe at least a few people will remember me in a positive way...

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Dillon Nichols wrote 11/19/2019 at 19:29 point

I don't have a badge, but I appreciate the effort put into this enclosure. I enter a lot of maker contests too and you have to remember that you're not guaranteed to win anything. If it's not something you'd be willing to put your time into without a prize, then you might be better off spending your time elsewhere.

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Tim Trzepacz wrote 11/23/2019 at 02:22 point

Or, at least, limit the amount of time that one puts into it. A week and a half of work is perhaps too much...

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