Friday, June 8

Mechanisation - The Way Forward

I've got over ninety copies of It's Alive! spoken for, not all sales, but the vast majority are.

My problem is this: It's going to take me around 135 hours to make these copies alone. Assuming a conservative 5 hours a week that's twenty-seven weeks construction! I really need to speed things up.

Fortunately, because the lamination failed at the printers I have some budget free to look into getting some of the slower tasks done by machine. The time breakdown is approximately:

  • Box - 45 mins
  • Cards - 25 mins
  • Player screens, guides & slabs - 15 mins
  • Rules, coins & boxing - 5 mins

So, unsurprisingly I'm concentrating on the box and cards. I'm trying to get a quote to get the boxes professionally made (hard & expensive for such a small run), and I'm investigating getting a die-cutting machine and a custom die to do the cards - much quicker than cutting them out with a craft-knife and steel ruler. I'm hoping the die-cutter will be less erone-prone too, I've already cocked up a few cards. :-(

I'll let you know what I decide (and can afford to do)...


Rob Bartel said...

For the cards, you can probably find generic dies in standard sizes (i.e. bridge and poker) to avoid having to get one custom-made. Also check ebay for used ones. Either way, best of luck.

Dave said...

Hi Jack, two questions;

Can you get die cutters with interchangeable blades for future projects?

And, would you consider ordering a larger number of boxes (eg 1000) to get a good economy of scale?

Again, best of luck.

Jack said...

I've already got the artwork printed Rob, and the cards are 4.5cm square - which is not a standard size. Ideally I'd like to cut them out six at a time (they're printed in a 2 x 3 grid).

Dave, I've not got the cash for a large run of boxes, but the die cutting machines do come with interchangeable dies, so I would be able to us it again.



Phil said...

I have come to this same conclusion Jack. Mechanisation is the way of the future! For a print run beyond 50 or 100 I think hours of labour can really squeeze the fun out of the hobby.

I managed to get box making down to 30 mins or so, and this was also one of the most frustrating parts of the process. So it is the first thing I am looking to upgrade.

I think a stack cutter could really make the custom cutting of your cards a breeze for you. The danger with die-cutting pre-printed card is that it is quite hard to aim exactly! You may have some wastage with misaligned cuts. Home-based die-cutting seems to be more geared toward people cutting shapes out of card where the actual position of the cut on the card is not an issue.

Jack said...

Yeah, I'm thinking the boxes are the priority, both from a time spend and an ease of use point of view. I've contacted a company in London, and I'm waiting for a quote for the boxes from them - hopefully it won't be too exorbitant...