NCASE M1: a crowdfunded Mini-ITX case (updates in first post)

CrimandEvil

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I sent you a PM back with answers to your questions!! Good luck! :)

Necere, these are some awesome case ideas!! I really hope this get made! :D
 

wahaha360

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A pricing reference...you can get this for $30 a unit, 100 unit minimum.

491784864_579.jpg


491784865_441.jpg


491784867_000.jpg



Seller: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/607351390/Vertical_Mini_ITX_Aluminium_Computer_Case.html?s=p

THE SELLER IS NOT LIAN LI and I didn't personally visit this factory, but they are Gold Supplier on Alibaba.
 
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Synomenon

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I hate side-mounted ports. I would have used the BitFenix Prodigy for my recent build, but the ports are all on the wrong side for me.
 

CrimandEvil

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A pricing reference...you can get this for $30 a unit, 100 unit minimum.

http://i00.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/864/784/491/491784864_579.jpg

http://i01.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/865/784/491/491784865_441.jpg

http://i00.i.aliimg.com/img/pb/867/784/491/491784867_000.jpg


Seller: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/607351390/Vertical_Mini_ITX_Aluminium_Computer_Case.html?s=p

THE SELLER IS NOT LIAN LI and I didn't personally visit this factory, but they are Gold Supplier on Alibaba.
What's your point? They're also selling what amounts to as an Antec P280 clone for $30 for 40 piece orders. Do you seriously think you can get your case made by Lian Li, a known credible case designer/manufacturer for the same price this unknown manufacturer charges for it's knock offs?
 

wahaha360

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What's your point? They're also selling what amounts to as an Antec P280 clone for $30 for 40 piece orders. Do you seriously think you can get your case made by Lian Li, a known credible case designer/manufacturer for the same price this unknown manufacturer charges for it's knock offs?

Absolutely not, but it gives you an idea how cheap these cases really are.
 

wahaha360

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Just got off the phone with Lian Li and they want to talk. Necere, I will send you a PM.
 
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Just letting everyone know out there, the 90 degree motherboard layout, as sketched out, is patented by Silverstone. It'll increase the costs if you're going to manufacturer with another company.
 

CMadki4

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Just letting everyone know out there, the 90 degree motherboard layout, as sketched out, is patented by Silverstone. It'll increase the costs if you're going to manufacturer with another company.

Utility or design patent? Got a #? I'm curious to see and can't find anything on it.
 

CMadki4

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Just got off the phone with Lian Li and they want to talk. Necere, I will send you a PM.

Always good to open a dialogue with the mfg. Very cool. Feels like progress, doesn't it!

From an engineering/manufacturing standpoint: at a glance the design looks manufacturable. The "rear" panel w/ the mb I/O and PCI bracket strikes me as the most costly. That's either going to be a custom die or a long laser cycle time, either of which are costly. If those little holes are square, then it will probably need to be a die due to potential laser burnout in the corners.

I did not notice any, but watch for holes/cutouts close to bends. This can cause distortion of the hole/cutouts depending on where the dies touch off when being formed.

It's a great looking design and looks like it would be simple to manufacture, which is great for cost. Other than the rear panel previously mention I foresee no major issues. Keep it up!
 

IanM

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Just letting everyone know out there, the 90 degree motherboard layout, as sketched out, is patented by Silverstone. It'll increase the costs if you're going to manufacturer with another company.
what? how the hell do they get a patent for that? the idea was around long before they did it! iirc there were concept designs around prior to the BTX case spec, and some may have come out of those old Intel sponsored computer design competitions in the 1990s. Aside from that there are server designs using vertical cooling, and at least one user on the SPCR forum posted his work log for a vertical case (made of wood) long before Silverstone did anything. How much prior art and ideas in the public domain do the patent office need to reject patents?
 

CMadki4

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what? how the hell do they get a patent for that? the idea was around long before they did it! iirc there were concept designs around prior to the BTX case spec, and some may have come out of those old Intel sponsored computer design competitions in the 1990s. Aside from that there are server designs using vertical cooling, and at least one user on the SPCR forum posted his work log for a vertical case (made of wood) long before Silverstone did anything. How much prior art and ideas in the public domain do the patent office need to reject patents?
You can patent just about anything, but depending out how the patent is structured, sometimes all you need to do change a few characteristics and it's considered unique. That's why getting a patent is no guarantee of protection, not to mention not being about to outlast a large player in court unless you have the funds.

I believe up to 12 months or so of prior work can taken into protection under patent rights. All work 12 months prior to the issue of a patent is protected. I'll double check my facts there. That's why is pays to have an extensive journal/log with witness signatures.
 

Sn0_Man

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Looks sweet. I'm interested to see what kind of mounting system you are thinking of for those SSD's (just floating as in the pic doesn't sound that appealing XD.

Also, I have some doubts about the airflow of the case.
 

wahaha360

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Just letting everyone know out there, the 90 degree motherboard layout, as sketched out, is patented by Silverstone. It'll increase the costs if you're going to manufacturer with another company.

BitFenix_xbournex, are you affiliated with SilverStone?

Utility or design patent? Got a #? I'm curious to see and can't find anything on it.

SilverStone's patent is in Taiwan, Patent number : M336464, You can track from here - http://twpat6.tipo.gov.tw/tipotwoc/tipotwekm?003C6EB20000000000000000000000A00000001E000000000

Spoke with lawyer - 1. defensibility of patent questionable in court, BUT I DON'T WANT TO CREATE PROBLEMS, I JUST WANT A CASE, and 2. if Lian Li act SOLELY as the manufacture without Lian Li logo, it might be ok. Will contact Taiwan's Patent Office just to make sure.

In terms of cost, SilverStone might be cheaper, I guess let's see what they say :p
 
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wahaha360

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I'm interested to see what kind of mounting system you are thinking of for those SSD's (just floating as in the pic doesn't sound that appealing XD.

Also, I have some doubts about the airflow of the case.

Those are valid critiques, and I have no idea or answer right now.

Necere might have something while I looking around for ideas. Feel free to contribute.

Again, it's WIP. Will speak with Lian Li engineers in 12 hours, hopefully it will be more concrete after the conversation.
 

IanM

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I don't see any patents on Google's patent search, but maybe that only covers the USA? anyway, would a patent in Taiwan prevent manufacture in Taiwan for a product distributed in the USA, Europe and other regions?
 

wahaha360

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I don't see any patents on Google's patent search, but maybe that only covers the USA? anyway, would a patent in Taiwan prevent manufacture in Taiwan for a product distributed in the USA, Europe and other regions?

SilverStone's patent is in Taiwan, Patent number : M336464. You can track from here - http://twpat6.tipo.gov.tw/tipotwoc/t...0001E000000000

Spoke with lawyer - 1. defensibility of patent questionable in court, BUT I DON'T WANT TO CREATE PROBLEMS, I JUST WANT A CASE, and 2. if Lian Li act SOLELY as the manufacture without Lian Li logo, it might be ok. Will contact Taiwan's Patent Office just to make sure.

In terms of cost, SilverStone might be cheaper, I guess let's see what they say :p
 
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wahaha360

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Necere,

For the bottom of the case, I had in mind the left design b/c I wanted to keep the frame in one piece. I notice you had the design on the right, can you comment on it?
Also, I had the REMOVABLE grill flush with the side panel, yours is different...not a big issue.

revision_4.png


In terms of cable, what if we moved PSU up and open some room for cables?
To use this case, people REALLY should get a SFX PSU, ATX PSU is just too big.

revision_5.png
 
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IanM

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A few thoughts...

  • Vertical layout lends itself quite well to passive or semi-passive cooling, so consider adjusting the dimensions to accommodate some low airflow coolers (assume that an external PSU would be used with picoPSU or similar.) Thermalright HR02, Silverstone HE02 and Nofan CR-95. HR02 is probably easy (it may fit sideways as is.) HE02 looks huge, but it's an offset from centre design so it might work well with some ITX boards. Nofan is 180mm diameter so probably won't be possible
  • A modest increase in size might also accommodate 140mm-180mm fans and 140mm-160mm radiators, as well as more drives mounted along inside of the front panel.
  • Make the drive mounts exclusively 2.5". Note that 1.5TB & 2TB 2.5" HDDs are available now for anyone who really must have a big drive in their desktop.
Of course I say all this with the knowledge that there are those who would rather do the opposite and make the whole thing smaller!

  • Consider adding a couple of holes for external power brick connectors to be mounted through. 5.5mm barrel for <120W and maybe the 4 pin din type (Kycon KPJX-PM-4S I think) for 150W+ PSUs. I'm not suggesting including the actual connectors.
 

Necere

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Necere,

For the bottom of the case, I had in mind the left design b/c I wanted to keep the frame in one piece. I notice you had the design on the right, can you comment on it?

Alright, here's the deal with that: there wasn't really enough room for the GPU between the 120mm fan/rad (especially if the rad is a little bigger than 120mm, as some are), so I had to move the fan mount forward, which is simple if it's its own bracket:





So the fan isn't centered in the case. With the side panels on, the intakes can still be centered though, so it doesn't change the visual balance:




Now, if we want to make it all one piece like you have it while keeping the fan mount centered, we have the problem of it running into the GPU. Only solution then is to increase the depth by 15mm:




This also potentially weakens the chassis due to the large fan cutout (though with a permanently fixed right-side panel and small size of the case it's probably still plenty rigid):



It does solve one problem with the earlier design though - needing to access the underside to secure a radiator. The previous idea was that the fan bracket would be removable to do this.



So going to 230mm deep puts the case just over 13L (worth noting that the earlier dimensions I gave didn't include the side panel thickness, so figure around 164mm wide. Also, the feet I have on there are 5mm tall - but that's a placeholder...)

A side note - my dimensions are a little different than yours, so I included them in the pics. I know I said earlier the intakes needed to be bigger but I guess I changed my mind somewhere in there :p With the larger, 1-piece, open-bottom design the feet allow some extra clearance as well.

Also, I had the REMOVABLE grill flush with the side panel, yours is different...not a big issue.

Yeah I'm not really sure how that will work anyway.

In terms of cable, what if we moved PSU up and open some room for cables?
To use this case, people REALLY should get a SFX PSU, ATX PSU is just too big.

If the idea is just to move an SFX power supply up, all that really requires is a different SFX bracket that does that. An SFX unit passes right through the ATX opening so the backplate doesn't need to change.

I like the idea of letting people use an ATX PSU if they really want; a few are going to do it anyway, and if it's basically a no-cost option, why not?
 
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Necere

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A few thoughts...

  • Vertical layout lends itself quite well to passive or semi-passive cooling, so consider adjusting the dimensions to accommodate some low airflow coolers (assume that an external PSU would be used with picoPSU or similar.) Thermalright HR02, Silverstone HE02 and Nofan CR-95. HR02 is probably easy (it may fit sideways as is.) HE02 looks huge, but it's an offset from centre design so it might work well with some ITX boards. Nofan is 180mm diameter so probably won't be possible
  • A modest increase in size might also accommodate 140mm-180mm fans and 140mm-160mm radiators, as well as more drives mounted along inside of the front panel.

You're asking for the case to be 2 inches wider. That's not the case we're making.

Max cooler height without PSU mounted is in the 92mm fan-class tower cooler (~135mm).


  • Make the drive mounts exclusively 2.5". Note that 1.5TB & 2TB 2.5" HDDs are available now for anyone who really must have a big drive in their desktop.

Already is.
 

CrimandEvil

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A slightly wider case might be helpful; if it's wide enough to fit the 2.5 drives or even a laptop DVD drive (I vaguely remember that was mentioned earlier).
 

wahaha360

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Lian Li will provide CAD drawing in one week.

The case will feature tool-less top cover, tool-less side panels (both), I/O + USB 3.0 and a HDD cage of their design.

Necere,
If you want to update your model before Lian Li's CAD file arrives. Lian Li typically uses 1.5 - 2mm aluminum sheets. Most likely the U-shape case part will be 2mm and the side panels 1.5mm.
 

Necere

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Just as I was coming up with ideas to refine the design, too...

Do you know if they plan to put a lip on the u-shape piece? I'm a bit concerned about the bend radius being visible where it meets the side panel if they do that.

Are they doing the separate fan mount or the integrated one you suggested? The latter makes me uneasy because it's 6 bends instead of 2 - four more chances for errors to add up. It's pretty important because the overall fitment depends a lot on that one piece.

Well... I guess it's up to them now, but here's what I was thinking for fastening the panels:



I had an idea to make the lower fan mount, drive cage and the two lower latches all part of the same piece that would slide right out and secure with two thumbscrews... I guess we'll just have to wait and see what they come up with.

So where are the "front" ports going to be on this case?
Presumably where I have them in my design, dunno where else they'd go.
 

IanM

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The latter makes me uneasy because it's 6 bends instead of 2 - four more chances for errors to add up.
A reasonable concern and one that relates to this thought: if a fan is fitted in the top, what is going to prevent severe vibration? iirc this issue spoiled the FT03 even without a fan in the top. The top panel/lid needs to be secured firmly, and maybe with some damping material.

Presumably where I have them in my design, dunno where else they'd go.
I know it's 'rough' but the way you have drawn the front I/O block it looks as thought it might foul the nearest pair of USB and PS/2 ports on the motherboard I/O panel. I'm thinking that it probably will be OK as the power button will be on that side, and that is less likely to overhang far enough inside the case to be a problem.


Another possible refinement - can you turn the PSU around and open a vent on the side so that the PSU can draw clean air from outside, so that the CPU cooler is not fighting for air with the PSU. Obvious downside is that a vent won't look as clean, but you could perforate the panel (cost?) rather than fit separate grille component.
 
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Necere

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A reasonable concern and one that relates to this thought: if a fan is fitted in the top, what is going to prevent severe vibration? iirc this issue spoiled the FT03 even without a fan in the top.

I had not heard this to be honest. Do you have a link of a review or something mentioning that? edit: nm, I can use google :p

But yeah, damping material might be an option if it turns out to be an issue.

I know it's 'rough' but the way you have drawn the front I/O block it looks as thought it might foul the nearest pair of USB and PS/2 ports on the motherboard I/O panel. I'm thinking that it probably will be OK as the power button will be on that side, and that is less likely to overhang far enough inside the case to be a problem.

Your observation regarding the power button is correct. The front I/O is also a good 40-45mm above the motherboard I/O, so it shouldn't be an issue.

Another possible refinement - can you turn the PSU around and open a vent on the side so that the PSU can draw clean air from outside, so that the CPU cooler is not fighting for air with the PSU. Obvious downside is that a vent won't look as clean, but you could perforate the panel (cost?) rather than fit separate grille component.

Don't see this happening, frankly. It'd just ruin the aesthetics.
 
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IanM

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Do you have a link of a review or something mentioning that?
Not right now, but this may even have a few mentions in the FT03 thread on this forum. Perhaps some other forum members who have owned said case will chime in at this point? I'll see if I can find anything a bit later.

You say it's the fan, but happens without the fan? I don't follow...
Sorry, I will try to clarify: some, maybe not all, FT03s vibrate and rattle from the moving parts due to combinations of the case and heatsink fans + HDDs causing unfortunate resonances. It's unpredictable because every system is different and there are manufacturing variations.

Now consider that these vibrations and rattles are occurring without any moving parts being directly attached to the 'loose' panels. Now for the proposed design here, you will attach a fan directly to a 'loose' panel, so imagine the increased potential for vibration!

I do like Lian Li and I've owned a few, but they tend not to damp resonances at all.

Don't see this happening, frankly. It'd just ruin the aesthetics.
To be clear - I don't want to offend you or the OP. You've got some nice looking designs here, but I'm not sure what the brief really is for this. However I can offer feedback from a couple of points of view: as a PC enthusiast who regularly follows discussion on reviews of cases, here on Hardforum, on other SFF forums, quiet PC forums, watercooling forums etc. and as an engineer - my degree was biased toward production and product design.

I'm not asking to change the design to my spec, this is an interesting project to follow and comment on, so any ideas and questions, potential issues I highlight etc. are in the broader interests of seeing this project succeed. So with the end goal in mind - getting enough people to commit to buying this case do make sure that its' purpose will appeal to a broad enough range of prospective buyers i.e. consider that many people will not use AIO water, they will always choose air coolers, and take seriously overall airflow and noise/vibration concerns that I mention. As it is I don't think the design can be worse than the SG05, but SFF gamers systems can get very loud. N.B. Lian Li are not likely to address these concerns for you.
 

craigbru

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As someone who obviously keeps track of all things SFF, I must say I really like this design. To me, a well designed case makes efficient use of space while taking into consideration airflow and potential heat problems. This layout is fantastic in all 3 regards. Good luck on getting it made.
 

wahaha360

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Necere, it's not too late to edit the design.

Lian Li wants us to add our logo. Using Lian Li logo will might result in patent dispute with SilverStone. I doubt SilverStone's patent is defensible in court, but I don't want to risk delaying production. We have to wait for funding via Kickstarter, I don't want to add more wait time on top of that.

I don't mind using [H] as the logo because this forum started this project. We need permission from administrators right? But I'M OPEN TO ANY LOGO REALLY.

Lian Li wants the following info before making CAD files. We should iron this out this weekend so that I can respond to Lian LI Sunday night (Monday Taiwan time)

**************************************************************************************

Hi ******,

I need a company name and logo from you.

I also need the following information .

(1) What kind of power supply do you use ? SFX or ATX ?
(2) What&#8217;s the length of the VGA card ?
(3) For the 2 HDD , are they 3.5&#8221; or 2,5&#8221; ?
(4) What&#8217;s the size of the fan at the bottom ? Should I include in the price ?
(5) Can you accept to see screws from case appearance?
(6) If the top cover is tool-less design, I will do it like our side panel. Please see picture attached. You can&#8217;t see any screws from outside of the case. So I will use this on your side panel, and top panel. However, for top panel, if some people hold the top cover and try to take off the system, it might get damage, so I think it&#8217;s better to add one screws on the back of the case.

Tooless%2520standoff%2520.jpg



***************************************************************************************************
 

IanM

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have you got any estimate of the possible unit cost or a minimum order quantity?
 

SithSolo1

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*snip*

(1) What kind of power supply do you use ? SFX or ATX ?
(2) What&#8217;s the length of the VGA card ?
(3) For the 2 HDD , are they 3.5&#8221; or 2,5&#8221; ?
(4) What&#8217;s the size of the fan at the bottom ? Should I include in the price ?
(5) Can you accept to see screws from case appearance?
(6) If the top cover is tool-less design, I will do it like our side panel. Please see picture attached. You can&#8217;t see any screws from outside of the case. So I will use this on your side panel, and top panel. However, for top panel, if some people hold the top cover and try to take off the system, it might get damage, so I think it&#8217;s better to add one screws on the back of the case.

***************************************************************************************************


I think you'll have to ask Kyle about using the [H] symbol.

Personal opinions for what its worth:

(5) For me it would look cleaner without screws visible if it doesn't jack up the price that much.
(6) I'm fine with a screw holding down the top of the unit as long as it is inserted from the back of the case.
 

wahaha360

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have you got any estimate of the possible unit cost or a minimum order quantity?

I don't have an official price quote because all the design features are not final. However, the retail price per unit has to fall within market range $120 - $160, and I told Lian Li around 300 units.

The biggest factor for cost depends on if we need tooling for fabrication, which changes the fabrication process, which also affects MOQ.

It is Lian Li's best interest to keep the cost low. Since we are not a company, our Kickstarter success is the equivalent of a product market test for Lian Li. If this case is successful on Kickstarter, they can make their own variation of this.
 

IanM

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it's not too late to edit the design
it's difficult to see where we can improve the design without knowing if the cost as is, is too low or too high, so...

the retail price per unit has to fall within market range $120 - $160, and I told Lian Li around 300 units.
I think $120 is a touch high, just based on my local stores (in the UK) being unwilling to stock many of Lian Li's mini-ITX cases at prices even a little below that.

At the moment I see Necere's rendering as having a couple of key advantages over the SG05 - it's a lot prettier, and the footprint is smaller. The perforated rear panel should also somewhat avoid the FT0x/Raven issues with dual fan graphics cards.

However the negatives: what is this case really for? at the moment it satisfies a vague niche of being a small, somewhat limited gaming case. I would argue that for buyers there are better mini-ITX gamer cases with less restriction of drive configuration, graphics card and cooler size, albeit with slightly larger overall size. For buyers chasing small cases there are better, more compact options that are less restrictive in terms of disk configuration and air cooling, at the expense of graphics card.

What do you really want from this case wahaha360? To carve out a more defined niche one idea I have is to 'go for broke' and dispense with any pretense of air cooling and make this a very focused gaming PC mini chassis:
Make it strictly water cooling only and push the motherboard closer to the PSU, perhaps also restrict the PSU size to SFX. That way you can narrow the overall width, either narrow it as much as possible, or narrow it some, but leave some space underneath the motherboard to mount 2.5" drives.

Allowing drives behind the motherboard might leave a little more convenient room inside the case to help fit custom water loops with micro reservoirs. There are CPU blocks with pumps mounted on them for custom loops e.g. Swiftech Apogee Drive II.

Increase the height a little to accommodate say ~280mm graphics cards and deep radiators e.g. XSPC RX120 or radiators with shrouds (this is a big benefit.) Possibly there might even be space to do push pull with shrouds on a 'thin' radiator.' You might also consider accommodating 300mm graphics cards given the small footprint.
If you don't want to go the water cooling only route then I would still argue for making the case a little more flexible, and improve the airflow as I already mentioned - it's not great for the CPU (with an air cooler) and this is a typical ITX layout now i.e. top down cooler and PSU fighting for air + recycling warm air that doesn't escape. Intel specifications recommend a maximum of 65W CPUs for this kind of configuration. For me this doesn't really sit well with a 'gamer' system, particularly one that is intended to allow ~10" graphics cards.
A slight increase in dimensions so that a 140mm fan be fitted in the bottom and the best 'top down' fitted underneath the PSU, and maybe use the drives underneath the motherboard idea. If the height increases to maintain proportions after an increase in width, would that be so bad? you'd need 11" (280mm) to accommodate a GTX 690. Leave a little extra room as well in case GTX 790 is longer?
If you need to meet a higher MOQ to get the cost down then I'd start working through the possible requirements of different user groups who might be interested in buying your case and see what compromises might be needed for each group e.g. mini server users need a lot more drives but no graphics card, so is it possible to have an optional drive mount only when no graphics card is fitted? I suggest looking through the Lian Li accessories to see what things you might be able to exploit.

Actually the thought occurs that a 2.5" drive cage that attaches to the PCIe slot might be a good general accessory anyway.
 

lvyelion

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Great effort men!!!

(1) What kind of power supply do you use ? SFX or ATX ?
Prefer ATX, but SFX will do

(2) What’s the length of the VGA card ?
Current reference GTX 680 is 10.0 inches, so 30CM?

(3) For the 2 HDD , are they 3.5” or 2,5” ?
I'd prefer 2x2,5 + 1x3,5

(4) What’s the size of the fan at the bottom ? Should I include in the price ?
120mm

(5) Can you accept to see screws from case appearance?
Fine

(6) If the top cover is tool-less design, I will do it like our side panel. Please see picture attached. You can’t see any screws from outside of the case. So I will use this on your side panel, and top panel. However, for top panel, if some people hold the top cover and try to take off the system, it might get damage, so I think it’s better to add one screws on the back of the case.
either is fine
 

CMadki4

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I don't have an official price quote because all the design features are not final. However, the retail price per unit has to fall within market range $120 - $160, and I told Lian Li around 300 units.

The biggest factor for cost depends on if we need tooling for fabrication, which changes the fabrication process, which also affects MOQ.

It is Lian Li's best interest to keep the cost low. Since we are not a company, our Kickstarter success is the equivalent of a product market test for Lian Li. If this case is successful on Kickstarter, they can make their own variation of this.
If Lian Li is talking MOQ to you, then they are expecting YOU to buy them. Having gotten a lot of quotes from China and Taiwan before for similar case/product designs, I can tell you that at only 300 units, you won't likely be able to meet your projected retail value of $120-160 (which I don't think is too high).

My estimate just looking at the design shown in the thread and a brushed/anodized finish, is somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-240. That's including front panel USB3.0, misc. fasteners, feet, etc.

When I received quotes from a mfg. in Shenzhen and another in Guangdong for an aluminum SFF case, I was quoted $127 per unit, MOQ 200 units. This was for cut/bend/finish. Nothing else.

If Lian Li is acting purely as the manufacturer, expect to pay the lot price up front, import taxes, and freight shipping. Then once in inventory, expect to have defects and damaged goods, purchase packaging and pay for a means of distribution.

When importing goods, remember that the lead time just for time on water can exceed 7 weeks. And all paper work had better be 100% or it can be tied up at port for months. Then once you submit the PO to the mfg. you had better not change your mind on the design, because after completion you will have 300 units making their way across the ocean all old revisions.

If it seems sort of doom and gloom, it kind of is at times. Not always. But you have to account for the fact that though unit cost of importing manufactured goods is lower than going state-side, there are many hidden costs associated with doing so which can wind up making it more costly in the end.

That is why I retooled my shop to do all cutting and bending in house and locally outsource overflow or jobs I'm not equipped for. I got burnt too many times and lost thousands of dollars and months of delays.

My two cents. But keep at it! Information is power, so keep gathering it! But just remember, if bring a case design to market successfully was easy, everybody would be doing it.
 

IanM

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
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retail value of $120-160 (which I don't think is too high)
We disagree on this point, why do you think it's viable at this price? If retailers struggle to shift Lian Li with a Lian Li badge for <$100 then to me it looks very difficult for a unknown brand. If all the product features and details are excellent, and the finished article is presented to a very high professional standard then maybe you can charge a high price as a premium, boutique brand - but you need to convince buyers that you are offering a product that really is top quality and exclusive.
 
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