Although some modules have been shipped out already, the Waves as a whole are taking more time than expected to finish.
Pics below are: 1) A large batch of polished Wave 1 bowls, 2 (top right): All steel parts finished machining (Wave 1 AND 2), 3 (bottom right): Boxes for all orders (most contain modules going through the last step of production, see below for more information).
Some of the difficulty associated with the manufacturing will be described below. My goal in writing this is not to invite sympathy, but rather to simply help the reader understand the numerous steps which must be conducted, and thus, why things can take a while.
Difficult Last Step
After all the machining/polishing is done, the most difficult phase I would say is the last, which I call “refine”.
In this phase, the entire module has all of the parts produced already, but dimensional or symmetrical offsets as small as 0.01-0.1mm can throw off the entire module making it feel unsatisfactory.
It is not always clear which part is at fault. What makes this more complicated than it should be is that sometimes it is “good-looking” OEM parts which are off. Since there currently exists no x-ray scanner which could evaluate the dimensions of every single OEM piece in the module in an instant, I usually will have to make an educated guess on which region could be the culprit. Dozens of hours of sitting down and measuring different regions have allowed me to narrow down the suspected problematic areas to probably less than 10. After measuring several suspected areas by hand, if I do in fact find a spot that is off, I measure the offset by hand with a caliper, and assess whether refurbishing is viable or not.
Why not just produce the remaining OEM parts correctly the first time, one might ask?
Well, number one would be the cost factor, which is out of touch without an investor at the moment. Number two would be my worry that since so many 3rd party attempts have failed, it might be too risky to even attempt without substantial losses. Nintendo is a multi-billion dollar company, and it seems as though competing with their production capability on some of these parts, in terms of precision, proves difficult.
Modifying the relevant regions is sometimes possible, sometimes not. Either way, at this point if I have identified the part with the off dimension, I then evaluate whether refurbishing is possible. If the part is too messed up, it is simply scraped. If the part seems like it could go through refurbishing, then that is what is done.
In some cases, it is actually one of the parts I make which need minor correction. It is almost never the steel parts at fault (these have been consistently accurate down to the hundredth of a mm), but rather the Teflon Tip. This needs to be refined very carefully by hand, as current machining methods that I have access to do not seem capable of precision down to the hundredth (it’s usually precise down to like a couple of tenths, which is a big deal when it comes to this module).
So what have I done to try and speed things up?
- First things first is I now have hired assistants to help out. Some are expert craftspeople who are super productive and have a great attention to detail. The more brains and hands working on the project the better.
- Second is the production method improves every day as the result of brainstorming new ideas on how to make things faster. A lot of the steps which used to take me hours now only take me minutes, etc. This will only continue to get better going forward.
Going forward, I will be simplifying communications by updating the following page: https://prestige64sticks.wordpress.com/wave-1-and-wave-2-status/
This page can be found easily by going to News > Wave 1 and Wave 2 Status.
This page will be updated once a week to keep everyone in touch with production progress.
Hope this helps clear things up for now, and again I am sincerely sorry for the delay,