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0003 - Cost breakdown of making a typewriter


  1. Very interesting (once again).

    I think you the most effective marketing is the kind that comes for free if you create the right buzz. A few popular sites, such as BoingBoing, like to feature odd typewriters and new typewriter(ish) projects. Their posts tend to spread around and draw attention. If the quality and beauty of your design are strong enough, you should then get enough momentum to make a difference.

    So you're considering the Skyriter, as well as the Lettera 22 (and Gossen Tippa?), as you create your design? The typosphere will be curious to learn more, including people who understand mechanical engineering better than I do. I suspect, though, that you won't be sure about the virtues and vices of any new mechanical design until you actually have a working prototype.

    1. I've started taking a part a Lettera 22, and though its construction is far superior to the Skyriter, which I have also taken a part. I find the design sacrifice and complication to have a segment shifted machine not to be worth it. So my goal will be to figure out if I can create a better segment shifted ultra portable, I have a few others I can tinker around in and learn from, but I may keep with the carriage shifted. But yeah I guess you wont know what your typewriter is going to be until you have something. Which right now seems to be far off, but Ill keep working away at this, as I feel this isnt something that should be rushed. I was looking through the Lettera 22 Repair bible, and was admiring their factories, and was daydreaming about building typewriters myself.

      I've been trying to figure out a way to prototype a simple typewriter mechanism, and I have few ideas how this can be achieved with the means at my hand, I have a few engineers helping me through this process, and am looking for anyone will to help.

      Thanks again for the tips, Ill check out BoingBoing!

  2. Interested in the pros/cons of manufacturing a carriage shift vs segment shift typewriter. I would favor a segment shift machine but never really looked at it from a manufacturing pov.

    1. I would also prefer a segment shifted machine, and I do look forward to tackling the issue. Its crazy how complex these machines are from a manufacturing point of view, very hands on intensive, no way around it.

  3. I wonder, who's the market for a new typewriter? The thought appeals to me - and at first glance I would say it's the typewriter community. At second glance I'm not so sure - because they already have their typewriters. And often for a price you can't compete with a new model which has high production Costs. They are also the picky ones.

    If you look at the reviews on Youtube for the really awful We R Memory Keepers typewriter… one is surprised that there are many positive reviews from early buyers.

    Those were the ones who had fond memories - or have seen typewriters in the movies - but haven't actually typed on a typewriter for centuries or ever at all. They were willing to pay a quite high price for a new, unused, freshly packaged typewriter. Regular typers on the other hand know that they would get a really good typewriter for less than the We R Memory Keepers.

    So... who will be the market? The unexperienced or the picky ones?

    Since I read about your plans I also ask myself: What would I like to see? Or modern user? I think they would also like to have something fancy. With gimmicks/secret agent tricks. Like an USB-Typewriter. Or something like the Antares Annabella with its build in drawer. Or something like the Rooy Ultrportable Something to play with.

    And, please, do also consider QWERTZ!

    1. I just got my first QWERTZ typewriter Monday!

      I think about who this typewriter is for all the time. I want that answer to be writers or people who take writing seriously, people who want a machine that will be with them their entire career. I've mentioned it before, but I believe writers need an instrument to express themselves, and I find a laptop keyboard doesn't give them that voice.

      I can see why the We R Memory Keepers cut the corners they did for the price point they were aiming at. Creating the segment itself is an expensive endeavor, and it doesn't surprise me; they chose to injection mold it. Typewriters cost so much more to produce, as I've talked about. My typewriter right now is estimated to cost 570 in raw materials alone, so I can imagine the corners they have to cut to sell a typewriter at a 200 dollar price point.

      I hope my gimmick of the function of a "USB typewriter," a typewriter that can be a keyboard, and one that records every keystroke locally to the machine. I love the idea of the Rooy Ultraportable, but they sacrificed too much for compactness, but it is impressive when it is in its suitcase mode.


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