8-Bit Blog: Troubleshooting October 10 2013

Product manufacturing is often fraught with challenges, and success and failure can hinge on making the right decisions at the right time. At 8-Bit Lit, we haven't made every step of the process easy on ourselves. Most electronic products that you buy today will be comprised of an injection molded case, with circuitry inside. The assembly process for this kind of product is fairly simple and clean.

The question block lamp is quite a bit more complicated. It's comprised of six sides, which are glued together from the inside. This is somewhat straightforward for the first five sides, but the sixth and final is quite challenging, as we need to keep any glue from getting on the outside of the box.

A challenge like this calls for an expert. Enter Seth. Seth is a product designer with a specialty in DFM (or Design for Manufacturing). With 10 years of experience, I've come to trust him with manufacturing challenges such as these.

One of the first things we realized was a necessity for custom jigs or fixtures to help the workers assemble the lamps correctly, without getting glue everywhere. These fixtures needed to be precise, so we called in Mr. She who's creating the aluminum stands (his factory makes precision metal parts). After two days of discussion and design work, we came up with a series of fixtures that will help with the assembly process.

This trip has been very work-heavy, so we decided to take an afternoon to visit a pagoda about an hour outside of Shenzhen. The village was up on a peak that overlooked the city, and contained a temple, several impressive statues, and a giant pagoda at the summit (check out Seth for scale).

The village was beautiful and very peaceful. It was a great break from the long hours of factory visits and problem solving.

So I've seen a few turtles here and there in my life, but this totally blew me away. The village had a pool with several hundred turtles of all sizes (there was an adorable one about the size of a potato chip). We stopped and hung out for a while, taking video and watching them swim.

Thanks for reading!