NFC S4 Mini 3D Printed

Discussion in 'General' started by George__Sm1th, May 9, 2017.

  1. George__Sm1th

    George__Sm1th Chassis Packer
    Thread Starter

    So the NFC S4 Mini is $200 and not even available. Because of the price tag I was deterred and wanted to look elsewhere. And then an idea came to my mind as my school have a fairly big 3d printer. I thought maybe I could make a 3d cad file of the S4 mini or the S3 mini. I may not do it but I really wanted the NFC s4 Mini. If anybody knows a similarly sized case for cheaper I would go with that. Also, I am terrible at 3d printing modelling and don't have a very powerful PC for it but I will try. If anybody is good at 3d designing it would be very helpful for them to make this for me and many others. After all, if you have a 3d printer why not get your money's worth! Thank you.
    kittysox likes this.
  2. TinyAudio

    TinyAudio Cable-Tie Ninja

    [side-eye] Not sure if troll or not?
  3. Kmpkt

    Kmpkt Innovation through Miniaturization

    #3 Kmpkt, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    I think the point of designing and selling a case is for the creator to make enough money through doing so to make the entire endeavour worthwhile. While I can very much understand wanting an S4 (I have two myself) I can't see why @Josh | NFC would simply give away his IP like that. The unfortunate reality of boutique PC cases is that they can't fit into the budget of many people. That being said, what you are suggesting is essentially intellectual property piracy.
  4. Grafite

    Grafite 3D Printing Enthusiast

    #4 Grafite, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    Suggestion: Don't do it. I work for a makerspace and have access to a large amount of 3D printers and do some 3-D modeling on the side. The biggest issue with 3D printing a case is its stability. To make the S4 mini you would need a stronger material(Taulman Alloy 910) and a high-end 3D printer with a large build volume. The issue is that you would most likely have to find a company to 3D print it for you, but then that would raise the cost significantly. And prints aren't perfect, so one mess up and it could cost you more than just buying the case.

    Well, josh did upload his S4 mini cad file to his website for anyone to use. I think he said using it was fine, but selling it was not ok. But I think its shitty to use it for any other reason than for mods to his case you've purchased.

    Your better off just buying the Logic supply MC600. Its $100 and available for purchase now.

    Be mindful that SFF is a community, ripping off people is not something that is OK here.
  5. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    NFC Systems Silver Supporter

    Thank you, everyone, for being respectful and mindful of my and other people's designs/IP. I really do appreciate it and it is posts like these that make me want to keep making stuff!


    You (or anyone else reading this) is more than welcome to make your own S4 MINI for yourself using my design/sketchup files. If you want to put the time and money into it I think that is great (but I would definitely appreciate you linking to my website so others can see where you got the idea from). I am totally not cool with you using my design to sell to other people or to make them for others. If they want one they can make their own or buy one from me.

    Spoilers...even doing your own 3D work and printing on your own printer, it will cost you pretty much the same as if you just bought one from me. Getting a MINI printed out of metal by rapid prototyping is going to cost so much money I can't even...and it wouldn't be as strong or finished. If you pay someone else to recreate the MINI in 3D (for your own purposes) then you are looking at a higher cost.

    Really the best way is to buy another similar chassis or just wait till I get more stock in. I really want to serve you and my other underserved customers. I am sorry my production is so limited--but it is due to cost.

    Peace to you all and THANK YOU again SFF community for your help!!!!
  6. Matt3D

    Matt3D Cable-Tie Ninja

    Keep in mind that 3D printing has it's own set of design rules (completely different than bending metal sheets) so the case would have to be designed from a ground up. There are 3D printed cases coming - I'm designing one myself but it's still a work in progress.
  7. CC Ricers

    CC Ricers SFF Guru
    Silver Supporter

    It seems more feasible to make this case using acrylic sheets, no? You'll probably need thicker panels than 1.6mm and adjust spacing and tolerances for that. Most of the panels could be flat and you'd laser cut the holes in them. Maybe join the inner rectangular frame using T-slot joins and then heat-bend a 5mm strip of acrylic for the front bezel.

    I think it could look cool, especially if you use transparent side panels.
  8. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    NFC Systems Silver Supporter

    Oh and this may or may not be of interest for people wondering where all that money goes:

    S4 MINI cost breakdown (with MOQ).

    Inner chassis and outer panels: $45
    Finishing costs (hairline brush, anodized, inner chassis dyed, sealed) $15
    Bezel (which is formed, CNCd and brushed, anodized, dyed, and sealed): $60
    Brackets ($8)
    Hardware ($2)
    Double-walled cardboard box ($4.50)
    Custom fit packaging foam ($5)
    Shipping to me $9 (including pallets amortized)
    Sticker, Insert card, and plastic sheeting: $4
    Paypal Fee 2.9% + .30 for US customers, foreign customers 4.4% transaction fee plus a fixed fee based on currency received
    E commerce Fee: 2.0% + about $2.50 per MINI to cover sub (amortized)

    It is worth noting that some of those prices are higher than the BOM, because of the cost for rejects and redos to make each part as perfect as possible. So then we are about at $163 for a U.S. sale my costs. If you notice that the $200 price tag includes free shipping to 48 states, and a large subsidy for foreign customers. Some customers get more benefit than others--if you purchased a MINI in neighboring states shipping cost me around $17. The thing is, most of my customers are west coast, where shipping a MINI costs about $33.

    So if you live in California, the cost to get you a S4 MINI is about $196. This doesn't include the hundreds and hundreds of hours I have spent writing emails, making videos, answering PMs, inspecting MINIs, boxing them up, trips to the post office, gas, electricity, internet, or the vast majority of the money it cost to engineer, patent, get licensed etc. Just the other day I wrote a check for $500 to the state of MS so I could have the privilege to collect sales tax for them. I have received some flak for "raising my prices" when I put the MINI up for $195 (btw, that $5 shy of 200 is a BIG DEAL FOR ME so I am stressing 195 not rounding to $200) but the reality is they mostly stayed the same and in some cases cost me more. I changed the price solely to help my customers retain value in their purchase so if they went to resell their MINI they were selling it at $195 and didn't immediately eject $50+ in fees and shipping. Plus it makes things easy when you want to know the cost. The cost is $195...not 150 + paypal + store fees + shipping.

    Oh last thing, I purchased 250 units for run 3, which helps bring the cost down some. Samples cost me $600 each and I order them every time to do everything in my power to make sure they will be of the highest quality. I am at 14 samples for the MINI. Not prototypes, samples. If you can make the S4 MINI as good or better at a lower cost with the same order quantities, please let me know, because I would love to work with you.

    I really don't want to think about the total cost of delivering a S4 MINI, and I don't need to. I am blessed to be able to use them to meet new, interesting, wonderful people. I get to share in their computer adventures. It generates full build business for me. It makes me happy because it makes other people happy. If I dropped the wrap around bezel and ordered 2000 units, then I would make good money, and maybe one day that will happen. Right now I am content with what you guys helped me accomplish.

    This is the longest wall of text I remember writing on this forum...sorry.

    I love you all, and peace to you!
  9. Thehack

    Thehack Shrink Way Wielder
    Bronze Supporter Creator

    Love what you do! You put so much into the community.
    Biowarejak likes this.
  10. MrNintend0

    MrNintend0 Caliper Novice

    o_O Dude... We love you too man!
    Biowarejak likes this.
  11. 3lfk1ng

    3lfk1ng King of Cable Management
    Site Staff Gold Supporter

    Biowarejak likes this.
  12. fminus

    fminus Cable-Tie Ninja

    @Josh | NFC Thank you so much for that post that detailed cost breakdown. I actually prefer the case without the bezel. Hopefully one day you can sell them without this option!
  13. CubanLegend

    CubanLegend Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man

    Wow this cost breakdown is amazing. You should quote it and put it in your S4 Mini thread at the bottom of the OP or something. :)
    Choidebu and Biowarejak like this.
  14. xcrco

    xcrco SFF Lingo Aficionado

    yep that's a lot of work, the price is well deserved.
  15. Matt3D

    Matt3D Cable-Tie Ninja

    @Josh | NFC Did you think about manufacturing the case in Europe or Asia? I'm sure you could cut the cost of the inner chassis and the bazel in half. I'm a CAD engineer from central Europe myself, prices here aren't as high as in the US.
  16. Aibohphobia

    Aibohphobia aka James
    Chimera Industries

    The Dr Zaber team bragged about that too in the early days of the Sentry project, but in the end their case isn't that significantly cheaper than other indie cases despite being designed and manufactured in Poland.
  17. Matt3D

    Matt3D Cable-Tie Ninja

    @Aibohphobia Good point. But maybe they have higher margins. Did they ever post the cost breakdown?
  18. Aibohphobia

    Aibohphobia aka James
    Chimera Industries

    I don't recall seeing a cost breakdown but I haven't kept close track of their updates.
  19. mimoto

    mimoto Chassis Packer

    To be fair the Zaber case includes a power button and a riser cable in the base price...
  20. Josh | NFC

    Josh | NFC Not From Concentrate
    NFC Systems Silver Supporter

    They are built completely differently. I'm not sure you can compare them so easily. Peace.
    Biowarejak likes this.