We have some very exciting news to share with you in this update!
The Big News
As you know, we are in the process of making a second round of Rockwell 6S’s in a new manufacturing method, called metal injection molding (MIM). Feel free to read through the last few updates if you need a detailed catch-up, but the summary is that MIM tolerances are extremely fine, and we’re very confident this process will produce the highest quality razor possible. The experience we've gained in the last year, coupled with the finer MIM manufacturing tolerances, has given us the opportunity to reconsider all fine aspects of the design of the Rockwell 6S and assess where we could make improvements to the original design. We took all the feedback we got from our backers, consulted with our engineers, and worked extensively with our manufacturing partners and decided that not only could we fix the cap but we could also improve on the design and quality of the base plates and color matching between the handle, the cap and base plates.
We told you several months ago that any backers interested in receiving a MIM cap would be able to receive one, free of charge, when they become available. We’re so thrilled with our new manufacturing process that we want to take this offer one step further.
The most important outcome for this campaign is that our backers feel that they’ve been a part of a fantastic journey, and receive a product that exceeds their expectations. The best way to do that is to ensure our backers are the first to be able to request and receive the fully-MIM Rockwell 6S, entirely for free.
What’s improved in this design?
First, we modified the support ridge on the base plates, which now runs all the way across the plate. The benefit of this is a consistent edge for the blade to rest against. The new bars from the body of the plate to the safety bars are to ensure the bars stay perfectly straight during and after the manufacturing process. We’ve included a rendering of the new and improved design in the rendering below. Please note that the rendering does not include the knurling on the handle, which will remain the same as the popular handle that was included with the original Rockwell 6S.
Second, we will be producing all three base plates plus the cap using the advanced MIM process. We think the quality and precision of this process will blow you away. Third, with our manufacturing partner, we have developed a series of post-processing steps that will give the razor a greatly improved finish and result in better color and finish matching between the handle, base plates and cap. Finally, we’ve worked closely with our QC experts and manufacturing partner to implement strict quality control procedures, along with these manufacturing improvements, that will ensure a consistently fantastic product reaches our backers. To be clear, the razor looks almost identical to the original design, it's the details that have been improved - and we think you'll love the results.
We’ve said many times through this project that we want to deliver the best experience possible to our backers - and we want to take this opportunity to show you all just how committed we are to following through on that. Because the improvements we’ve made don’t just impact the cap, we’ve decided we owe our backers even better. So to be clear - We’re offering all our backers an additional Rockwell 6S, from the first production run of this new metal injection molded razor. If you backed us for more than one razor, you’ll be getting one new, fully metal injection molded razor for each each original Rockwell 6S you backed. You will be getting this new razor without any need to return your existing razor. All backers will be receiving an email, closer to the completion of manufacturing, inviting them to register for their new, free, Rockwell 6S.
Rockwell Stainless Steel Stand and Sheath Update
We are also very pleased to announce that, based on your feedback, we’ll be going forward with the manufacturing of the Rockwell Stand! The Rockwell Stand will be made in stainless steel in the USA and will be finished to match the Rockwell 6S at a cost of $25.
We’re currently preparing a new ordering system that will allow our backers to update their shipping address and claim their Rockwell 6S’s from the new production run. When the system is done, you’ll receive an email inviting you to update your shipping address, and you’ll also be able to add extras to your cart like the Rockwell Stand (for $25) and the Rockwell Sheath (for $4) in Black or Grey.
Our commitment to send you an entirely new razor is a very significant undertaking and investment, so naturally we want to make sure that new razor is the best possible product, prior to shipping to our backers. For this reason, we’ll be taking the time necessary to ensure we get it right. That being said, we wanted to share a progress update. The short version of the production update is that we are several weeks away from seeing the first production sample (known as the “first article”). Once this sample is approved, we will know our full production schedule and can give you a definite schedule for delivery.
Here’s more detail for the manufacturing-curious: Presently, all aspects of design are completed and we have ordered the new mold which is being delivered to our manufacturer in the next few weeks, after which a rigorous series of quality checks and tests will begin. Once the mold quality tests are completed, and if the mold doesn’t need any modifications, our manufacturer will be producing a small run of samples with the actual production mold and applying the actual post production steps to generate a collection of samples called the “first article”. These first articles are subject to detailed dimensional analysis. We will also asses all aspects of quality and finish based on the first article. Only once the first article is approved will we move forward to full production. If we find any aspect of the manufacturing that need to be addressed with the first article, we will make the necessary changes, and generate a new set of first articles. Once we haven approved first article, we will be able to provide a full production and delivery schedule with confidence. We are moving as quickly as possible to an approved first article but until it’s been approved, it will be challenging for us to give you exact delivery dates as part of a schedule. We will of course provide updates on the status of the mold and then first article in the next few weeks but can’t commit beyond that timeline until we have an approved first article.
Once production is completed, we’ll be shipping all requested replacement razors by tracked mail. We’ve learned a lot from this campaign, the most significant lesson being that nothing comes good of rushing to get a product out the door. We hope you understand that in lieu of firmly committing to dates that are realistically difficult to project and predict, we want to give you fully transparent updates all the way up to the ship date, and ship you a jaw-droppingly incredible razor.
Just a quick final reminder: we’ll be posting an update in the coming weeks once our new ordering system is ready, and at that time you’ll be able to request your new, free, MIM Rockwell 6S. As always, we want to thank you all for your support of this project, and we look forward to your feedback in the comments section under this update.
Gareth & Morgan