An update on the SP-8×10+ film development system

Testing is going well. Everyone who has tried the SP-8×10+ loves it. The biggest technical challenge: we’re still optimizing the hold-down tabs. Our plan is to move them to the underside of the lid and make them user configurable.

We’re backing away from our idea of supporting small format, that is any sheet film smaller than 9×12. Our marketing data says that no one (well, almost no one), is interested. We plan to provide a work-around for those that really want it, but we don’t want to compromise the 8×10/5×7 performance for what is turning out to be a niche in a niche.

The NRE, (Non-Reoccurring Engineering: mold cost etc) is coming in slightly higher than expected. This is due mainly to the number of unique parts. We’re hoping that by modifying the hold-down tab design we can simplify this a bit. Frankly, we don’t expect any major changes.

Because we’re molding this out of ABS/PC (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene/Polycarbonate), rather than plain ABS, the estimated production cost per unit is also a bit higher than we had originally expected. We think the extra strength and stability are worth it, especially given how large the tray is.

Roses - developed in the SP-8x10+ Rev2
Roses – developed in the SP-8×10+ Rev2

We’re still reviewing the shipping issues. First, the SP-8×10+ will ship in a sturdy box (yeah, we learned our lesson last time). Units will probably ship direct from Hong Kong. For those that have prepaid shipping from the US to Europe, we’ll refund the difference, once we know exactly what the shipping and handling fees will be. If you’re in the US, your reward may ship from HK or it might ship from Colorado. We don’t know yet.

We will stop accepting pre-orders at the $123/unit price at midnight on March 11th. We’re not sure what will happen between then and full production. We may continue to accept pre-orders but at a price closer to estimated retail. Frankly, we haven’t spent any serious time thinking about it.

The TL:DR;

  • It doesn’t look like the SP-8×10+ will reach its funding goal.
  • We’re planning to put it into production anyway.
  • The retail production price will probably be around $140-$150/each.
  • You can still get in on the $123 price, if you sign-up before March 11th.

~ Tim

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