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EEW Newsletter – May 2023

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots


Maryland Fiber Festival

On May 6th and 7th I’ll be at the 50th Maryland Fiber Festival!  It will be the first festival in a long time where I’ll have all my products there to sell, and of course we’ll have demos so anyone can try our eSpinners.  I’ll also be showing the final version of the EEW Cone Winder, but won’t have those for sale until later this year.  I’ll be at booth A06 in the Main Exhibition Hall so come and say hi if you plan on attending.

EEW Cone Winder

Many of you backed the Kickstarter for the EEW Cone Winder, but if not I will be selling them on my store right after I finish shipping them to all the Kickstarter backers.  This item was so popular I need two 40 ft shipping containers to get them all here.  While the current plan is to ship by December things have been progressing great and I’m hopeful I’ll be shipping them a little earlier than that.  I will keep everyone updated on the shipping time frame when I’m more sure about it.

This past month I’ve spent most of my time working on logistics for the EEW Cone Winder.  The foot pedal supplier had too many delays so I switched to another factory for those.  I’ve also been correcting a few yield issues with fitting the circuit boards into the case by increasing some of my tolerances.  These are all normal manufacturing issues and I’ve allocated time for these things.  I used to think once I had a prototype I was happy with I could just get it made in a factory, but after doing this many times I now know the prototype is often only half my effort.  That said, the prototype stage is the most variable since it’s hard to know how many prototype versions I need before the design is good enough to ship.  Once I have a prototype that I’m happy with I can generally estimate how long it will take to work through all the issues and get it manufactured.

Here is the final version of the EEW Cone Winder

Ravelry Group Growth

For those who don’t know Ravelry is a social website designed for knitters, spinners, and all fiber lovers.  You have to join (it’s free) to view groups, but I set up an EEW Ravelry group for this community to chat.  I really love how friendly people are there.  Some people discuss issues, others share tips for their EEW, and others share their latest projects.  The reason I’m mentioning it is I just noticed we passed 6,000 members and are in the top 2% of groups on Ravelry.  I looked through a list of all the popular groups on Ravelry and there is only one fiber tool branded group ahead of the EEW.  If we get about 200 more members we’ll pass the Ashford Spinners group and be the biggest group of branded fiber tools on Ravelry.  That’s amazing!

Lazy Kate

I’ve made a video giving an update on the new Lazy Kate I’m making.  I’m quite impressed with all the improvements so go check out that video if you haven’t seen it yet!

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – April 2023

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

Does anyone know of a way to find an estimate of Spinning Wheels (ideally eSpinners) sold in the US or around the world each year?  I’m curious about this.  Back when I worked in big tech there were industrial publications you could buy with this data for all sorts of different markets, but I understand the fiber tools world is much smaller so it might not have that kind of data.  I have already tried a lot of internet searching and asking the Handweaver’s Guild of America.  Neither of these yielded any useful information.

Wanted: Visual Product Design Help

I am looking for a creative individual with an artistic eye to help with product designs.  I would share photos of functional designs and request hand sketches of changes that could be made to make it look more visually appealing.  If you have experience in industrial design and want to give feedback on my designs and ways to improve their functionality that would be a bonus.  I’m willing to pay for this service or give you free hardware.  If you are interested in this position, send me a short description of your qualifications and what you would want out of the collaboration.  I don’t have any immediate projects, but am looking for a person I can come to with future designs.

EEW Nano 2 Suction Cup Locks

I created a 3D printable part that locks the suction cups on the EEW Nano 2 in place so they don’t accidently fall off.  I provide free files to 3D print these parts here.  If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, I have a page explaining different ways to get these parts made.

Update on Drum Carder and CSM

I’ve been conducting high-level research on what features would make sense for a circular sock machine (CSM) and a drum carder. The CSM is a much larger project, and although I’ve spent about the same amount of time on each, the drum carder plans are much farther along. So, I am planning to focus more on the drum carder for a while to see if I can get an initial prototype that I’m happy with. I have already been talking to some factories that seem like they could set up a production line to make carding cloth at a price that would allow me to make an affordable motorized drum carder. Beyond that, I have many possible features I’m considering and trying to determine which ones can be included at a price point that makes sense. I’ll have more information about this when I have a prototype and am to start collecting community feedback, which I’m hoping will be sometime this summer.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – March 2023

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

March 01, 2023


Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

I was accepted as a vendor for the first time to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on May 6-7th!  I would like to find a local helper who can help give demos at my booth on both days of my EEW Nano 2 and EEW 6.0.  I try to keep a simple booth where I let people sell my products and let anyone who wants to try them.  I don’t expect any kind of high pressure sales talk, I like to run a chill booth and just let the products sell themselves.  The perfect candidate would have some experience demoing spinning wheels to people, and would be happy demoing at my booth both days.  I am planning to pay $25 per hour and you would get a free pass to the festival.  If you are interested, respond to this email with your experience, your phone number, and why you think you’d be a good candidate.

If you are attending, this is the first time I’ll ever be giving away my free large reusable shopping bags.  These are basically those reusable plastic grocery bags, but with my logos on them.  So be sure to stop by and get one.  I got these as a way to advertise at festivals, but I should have some extras so after I see how successful they are at the festival I’ll sell some at a reasonable price online.  I’ll have more about that in a future newsletter after the Maryland festival.

EEW Photo Contest

Wow, the interest in this contest last month was amazing.  It was so difficult for us to limit the images down to a number that was reasonable for the community to vote on, and then the voting was very close.  Here are the winning photos and the winners of the random drawing.

The first place winner was Melanie Allaire with the photo below.

Second and third place winners were Kate Nicholls and Christine Dotson.  The randomly selected winners were Marci Rheinschild, Elaine Lo, and Sue Schier.  I’ve already sent these people information on how to get their prizes.  I will be posting the photos that were submitted to my instagram account over time so subscribe there if you want to see more.  I’d like to give a huge thanks to everyone who submitted photos to this contest.  It was a ton of fun looking over them, and I’m sure many more people will like seeing all the varied photos as I share them online.

EEW Nano 2 Uptake Improvements

If you are looking for ways to improve uptake on your EEW Nano 2 then I created this video explaining a few options.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – February 2023

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

We are spinning the world one thread at a time.

EEW Photo Contest

Are you ready to showcase your creativity and put your EEW tools in the spotlight? I want to see your best photos and share them with the world. Plus you have a chance to win free EEW gear!

Photos of any of my eSpinners or the EEW Yarn Counter are welcome.  Show off how you use them, and what you’ve made with them. Be creative, and submit your most beautiful/interesting photos. If you can’t decide which of several photos to submit, that’s okay, submit them all!

There are two types of prize pools: random and contest.  Any photo you enter will be automatically entered into both prize pools.  I wanted everyone to have a chance to win a prize, but I also wanted to motivate people to take the time to submit their best photos.  First three people will be randomly selected to get an EEW Yarn Counter.  Second there is a contest portion where some of our favorite photos will be selected and then the community will vote on those for their three favorites.  For the contest portion the grand prize is an EEW 6, and the other two will get an EEW Nano 2.  All the prizes can be converted to an equivalent value of gift certificate for my Dreaming Robots store if you prefer.

To enter, please complete this short form (google account required).

If you are unable to submit your entry via the form, you may email your photograph to EEWvampy@gmail.com. Please include 1) your name (for credit) 2) your Instagram handle if you have one 3) Any description or other information you would like to share about the photograph 4) The sentence “I give Dreaming Robots permission to use the photograph I have submitted for advertising purposes, including posting on social media.”

The deadline for submission of photos is February 12th.  A poll for you to vote on the contest winners will run February 20-23.  Links on where to vote will be posted on February 20th to our Facebook groupRavelry group, and Discord server.  The winners will be announced in next month’s newsletter.

A huge thanks to Vampy for helping run this contest.

Product Poll Results

I want to thank everyone for the huge response to the Future Product polls last month.  Below are the results.

  1. Circular Sock Knitting Machine (CSM) (60%)
  2. Electric Drum Carder (47%)
  3. Electric Ball Winder (40%)
  4. Electric Skein Winder (31%)
  5. Portable Treadle Spinning Wheel (18.2%)
  6. Jumbo eSpinner (14%)
  7. Programmable Braiding Machine (10%)

I would like to do all of these, but I just don’t have time to do everything so I need to prioritize the projects.  What I think I’ll do is start working on the CSM and the Electric Drum Carder (priority is lower than the EEW Pro and Cone Winder so these will be a long ways off).  I’m not sure which I’ll do first, but I’ll investigate both of these in my free time and try to figure out which one to do first based on a bunch of factors.

Lazy Kate Update

I’m working on a new version of my Lazy Kate.  Here is a video that discusses the improvements over my previous Lazy Kate.

EEW Nano 2 Foot Pedal

I made a video about how to add a foot pedal to your EEW Nano 2.  Check it out here if you missed it.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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EEW Newsletter – January 2023

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots


It’s a new year and here is an update on where I’m at with my current projects. 

This first project isn’t a new product, but is inventory management.  I want to get more people into fiber arts by making affordable fiber tools.  To do this my tools need to be in stock and last year many were out of stock for large parts of the year.  I’m happy to say all my current products are now in stock (EEW 6.0, EEW Nano 2, EEW Yarn Counter).  Going forward I’m going to try and keep things in stock.

The EEW Cone Winder is going to be my next new product and I’m working hard to get it ready for manufacturing.  Right now, I’m targeting shipping in December 2023, but if things go decently during manufacturing it will hopefully beat that date.  That said, manufacturing and shipping delays are much more common these days than they were a few years ago so I’m going to leave the target date as December for now until I get farther along in the process.  This is my top priority work, but so much of it depends on my manufacturing partners that I don’t spend a lot of my time working on this.

I’ve also mentioned the EEW Pro in this email newsletter in the past.  It’s meant to be a more expensive and higher end eSpinner with lots of new features, some never seen in an eSpinner before.  I still don’t have a working first prototype of this, but significant progress has been made on both electronics and mechanical parts.  There is just so much new stuff that I’ll need to spend lots of time figuring out what to include and what should be dropped to make it the best eSpinner possible.  I still think this is probably two years away and is a massive project.  It’s still even possible that if some of the most important features don’t work really well that I could just drop this whole project, but right now most likely it will get released eventually.  I’m also thinking some of the new technologies I’m researching might migrate down into updates for my other eSpinners.

A new project I just started working on is an updated version of my Lazy Kate.  If you have experience with Lazy Kates and want to help go fill out my Lazy Kate poll with some questions about the improvements I should make.  This is the same poll I put on Ravelry and Facebook last week so if you already filled it out there is no need to do it again.

Future Product Poll

I have a long product pipeline and to keep myself busy so even though I’m busy right now I want to figure out what I should be looking at next.  One way I often come up with really creative solutions is by letting ideas sit in the back of my head and put a few hard hours of thinking about them each week.  It lets me take a fresh perspective at the problem each week.  I have a very long list of possible projects, and I’ve narrowed those down to a smaller list that you can vote on here.  I will use the interest expressed in this poll to help me determine what project I should work on next so please vote here on what projects you’d like me to do next.

Custom Bobbin Generator

There are already 3D printable bobbins for all my eSpinners online, but I often get requests for files for other types of spinning wheels that have expensive bobbins.  To help these people I created a file that can generate bobbins to fit different spinning wheels.  You just need to measure your bobbins and enter in those parameters.  You can access the 3D printable files here, or I made a video that gives more of an overview.  While I don’t get a direct benefit from these projects, I like to do things that I think benefit a lot of people.  Basically I’m giving up a small amount of my time to give others a big benefit so it’s a net win to humanity (this is how my engineering brain calculates a lot of things).  If you or your friends were looking for 3D printable bobbins for some other spinning wheel now you have these.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – December 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots


It’s a busy time for me.  I’ve been a vendor at a few fiber festivals (more on this later).  The EEW Nano 2s have just arrived and when a new product arrives I spend long days at my warehouse shipping orders.  With over 3000 EEW Nano 2s to ship that is a lot of time spent on shipping.  I’ve also been finalizing parts for the EEW Cone Winder so I can start the manufacturing process, and I’ve been working on some new products that I’ll talk about in some future newsletters.

EEW Nano 2 is in Stock!

I am finishing shipping the EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter preorders so I’ve just opened up my store for new orders of the EEW Nano 2. If you’ve been waiting for the EEW Nano 2 then now is the time to place an order.  I expect a lot of orders, but I should be able to ship any order within a few days of receiving it.

Storage Bobbins

I created some free 3D printable files for storage bobbins. I tried to make them better than any other storage bobbin out there. They are available in 2, 4, 8, and 16 oz sizes by default, but I also included the Fusion 360 files so people can make other sizes if none of those work for you. Check out this video for more details.

If you don’t have a 3D printer, I don’t sell these parts, but others do. I explain options for having others print these for you here.  I like to give away parts like this from time to time just to help out the community so I hope some of you fine this useful.

Fiber Festival of New England

I was a vendor at the Fiber Festival of New England last month.  It was a huge amount of fun.  I get to talk with people from the EEW community, give demos of my products to all sorts of people, and talk with other vendors some of whom might want to sell EEW products.

One of the highlights for me is giving demos of my eSpinners.  An especially memorable moment was an older grandma who was walking by my booth and I asked if she wanted to try an eSpinner.  She said that she’d try it but wasn’t really interested because she preferred her treadle wheels.  About 20 seconds later she decided she loved it and wanted to buy one.  I didn’t have any stock, but she is now on this newsletter and is waiting for the EEW 6 to get in stock.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Now in stock!
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in late December 2022
  • EEW Cone Winder – December 2023

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – November 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

The EEW Cone Winder Kickstarter has been doing amazing!  Over 1,300 people have supported this already with a total of $336K pledged so far.  If you haven’t already seen the intro video, go check it out now.  After the Kickstarter ends on November 7th you’ll need to wait until it’s in my store at the higher price.  I use the money from Kickstarter to fund manufacturing of the first big batch of Cone Winders, which is how I am able to make the price only $189 for this Kickstarter.

This is the last update about the EEW Cone Winder while it’s on Kickstarter so don’t delay and go check it out now.

Fiber Festivals

This past month I was at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck.  I met thousands of fiber lovers there and gave demos to everyone interested which kept us busy the whole time.  It was a ton of fun and a huge shout out to everyone I saw out there who are reading this newsletter.

I am attending the Fiber Festival of New England in Springfield MA November 5-6.

Hadrian’s Wall

About 1900 years ago the Romans started building Hadrian’s Wall across the northern section of England.  I hiked a 90 mile trail along this wall for seven days this summer.  Some of my favorite vacations are these challenging trips where I have something to accomplish everyday.  On this trip I had to walk anywhere from 8 to 20 miles each day to make it to my next inn.  It was a flatter trail than others I’ve hiked, but that’s still a lot of miles for my feet and I was certainly sore by the end of hiking each day.  Each night we stayed at small local inns.  I got to enjoy local foods, and while I don’t drink alcohol, the three friends I went with enjoyed sampling local beer and ciders frequently.

I only get to do these kinds of vacations every few years, but I really enjoy them.  I try to disconnect as much as I can from all screens and just let the days pass me by with the physical challenges helping clear my mind.  It provides me with a mental reset.  I really appreciate that my wife and daughter let me get away for a week and a half to do this.  I’m still waiting to see if my daughter gets to the point where she wants to do a week long high someday with us.  We do some day hikes and small overnight camping as a family, but at her young age she is certainly not ready to hike long enough that it starts to hurt.  I don’t want to push her into something like this because I know this sort of thing isn’t for everyone, but my wife will be joining me when we can both do this together again.

One of the best quotes of the trip happened when I was talking to a local woman who took a day trip to the wall with her daughter.  The daughter asked her mom why the wall was built and with her British accent she told her daughter, “The Romans built this wall a long time ago to separate the people in the south from the others that they just couldn’t be bothered with.”

Product Updates

There have been some delays with shipping on the EEW 6.0 and EEW Nano 2.  I’m sorry about that, but they are both on my way to my warehouse and I’ll make them available to you as soon as they arrive.

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping late November 2022
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in late December 2022
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter now (ends Nov. 7th)

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – Cone Winder Special

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots

This is a special edition of my monthly newsletter about the new EEW Cone Winder, which lets you automatically wind yarn evenly on cones.

I just launched the EEW Cone Winder Kickstarter today.  Backing this Kickstarter will make sure you are among the first to get it at a discounted price of only $189.  Go to that page and watch the three minute video which explains the benefits of using cones and how it works.  Even if you don’t want a Cone Winder, I suggest watching my video because it has some funny parts for all fiber lovers.  For those not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a platform where I allow people to pre-orders of my new product at a discounted price for a limited time.  You get a special discount and it helps me build the right number based on demand.  It’s a win-win proposition.

There is a lot more detailed info on the kickstarter page about some non-obvious benefits of using cones.  I will also use Kickstarter to tell the story of this new Cone Winder through a series of updates in the coming weeks and months.  If you have any questions about the EEW Cone Winder feel free to ask me.

Lastly, if you know of any communities that might be interested please spread the word.  This will appeal to a wider range of fiber lovers than my typical eSpinners so I really need help in spreading the word to others on this one.  A successful project here will help me do more tools for fiber lovers in the future.  Thanks!

Upcoming Fiber Festivals

I will be attending the following fiber festivals.  I will have demos of the EEW 6.0, EEW Nano 2, EEW Cone Winder, and EEW Yarn Counter.  Unfortunately due to bad timing I won’t have any stock of the EEW 6.0 and EEW Nano 2 for Rhinebeck, but I will have EEW Yarn Counters.  If you are attending either of these please stop by and say hello.

New Workshop

I posted about my new workshop in the newsletter last year.  Well now it’s finally done and I’m excited to start moving in.  I plan to get the critical items moved in right away so I can start working in it.  However, a full move in will take a while because I’m working on a lot of different things for you folks and just don’t have time to focus on getting everything set up the way I’d like at the moment.  I have a couple fiber festivals that I’m attending.  I’m working on finalizing the logistics of shipping the EEW Nano 2 Kickstarter.  I have a shipment of EEW 6.0s arriving and need to be ready to ship when they get here.  I’m also launching the EEW Cone Winder Kickstarter right now.  Lastly, I am trying to keep the EEW Pro eSpinner project moving forward.  It’s a busy time for me.

Anyways, here is a video that gives a tour of my amazing new workshop which will help me work on more EEW projects efficiently.

Product Updates

Below are estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping end of October 2022
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in late November 2022
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter now

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.  Kickstarters are the only way I do preorder and I use these to figure how large of a batch to make for new products and to help fund manufacturing that initial batch.  My Kickstarter projects give a discount, but they are for a limited time and generally last around one month.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server

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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – September 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots


My current plan for the EEW Cone Winder is to launch the Kickstarter on October 3rd, right when I send out the October version of this newsletter.  So keep an eye out for that next month.  There will be a great video explaining the product, plus the kickstarter page and several other videos going into more detail about it.

Also I hope people like the new banner image in the newsletter this month.  A designer friend made it for me and I think it’s a great update from the previous one that I made years ago.

New Product Risk Discussion

In this section I’m going to discuss some of the risks I take with new products, and my thought process in this area.  This is some of what goes into running a small business like mine.

The way I make a new product is I spend a huge amount of my time (often over a year) researching ideas, prototyping, and then updating the design so it can be manufactured at an affordable cost.  Beyond all my time, I also have large expenses before I ever can sell the first time.  The biggest pre-production expense is the tooling for the injection molding of my products which lets me keep the cost low when making big batches of them.  This tooling usually means spending tens of thousands of dollars making the molds.  Then there are other tooling costs I need to pay to get other custom parts made (circuit boards, motors, metal parts, …).  All these upfront costs let me get lower prices as long as I’m making enough of my product in a batch.  I really value getting my products in more people’s hands so this workflow is good for me.  However, keeping the prices affordable also means the profit per item I sell is lower and the only way it makes sense is to sell a lot of them.  Usually my initial viability spreadsheets where I calculate rough costs for everything assume that I’m selling several thousand of the product via kickstarter, my store, and through my retailers.

The risk for new products should be pretty clear.  Basically I’m spending all the time and money to bring products to market and if they don’t sell well then I can lose that upfront money and time.  The less I know about a product the more risk there is.  I have been doing eSpinners the longest and understand those markets the best.  So doing a new version of an eSpinner is a lot lower risk than doing some new type of product.  That said expanding my product range helps me grow my business and I absolutely love solving the engineering challenges I find when designing new products.

The first major non-eSpinner item I did was the EEW Yarn Counter.  This was an item a lot of people really wanted because there wasn’t a good affordable solution in the market.  I also knew that this was less expensive to develop than some other new products I wanted to do.  So it made a good product to test how well I could reach out to people in the craft fiber market, but was not part of my core eSpinner group.  I’m quite pleased with how well the EEW Yarn Counter has sold so that gave me confidence to go forward with the Cone Winder, which has been a lot more expensive to develop.  I’ve yet to see if the Cone Winder sales will justify my upfront time and cost, but I’ve been building up to this for years so I’ve done my best to make it succeed.  I also know cone winders users are underserved by the existing options.  In theory I could have run the Cone Winder kickstarter earlier to reduce my risk of finding the audience size sooner, but then I wouldn’t know my final cost to make it.  Also I’d feel pressure to ship it on time which would probably result in a worse product.  That’s why I like to be very far along in development before I allow pre-sales via Kickstarter, and this is the path I’m following with the Cone Winder even though it means I don’t really know how many will sell until I’m nearly done getting it ready for manufacturing.

If the Cone Winder does well for my business there are a lot of other fiber related products I can see trying out.  There are tools like a drum carder, an electric skein winder, or a CSM that would be pretty high risk due to me not knowing the number of people looking for those.  There are also stranger things on my list like a Kumihimo braiding machine or a wireless foot switch for my eSpinners. I actually have over 20 ideas that I could potentially do, which is way more than I’ll probably ever get to.  The good thing is I have a large number of fiber users subscribed to this email and before I decide on any future projects I’ll send out a poll where you can vote for the product you’re most interested in.  The interest of my existing users in that poll is one of the biggest factor in what product I do next; but I also factor in other things like my judgement of how much better a solution I can do compared to existing solutions, how much time it will take to develop, and how much money I expect the project will cost to get to manufacturing.

This may all sound complex or unfun to some, but I’ve slowly grown this business for 13 years so that makes this much more manageable since the complexity slowly grew over time.  I love having to consider these kinds of risks that have no clear “correct” answer, and this is part of what makes it all interesting to me.

EEW Naming Poll Results

Thanks everyone for voting on the EEW naming last month.  Based on the feedback I’ve decided to make no changes to the naming.  It is really helpful though to have the community confirm that my current naming works well for most of you. Over 67% of the responses said you prefer Electric Eel Wheel (EEW) over the other options.  As for adding a clarifying name to the EEW 6+ about 50% said I should just keep it the way it is.  Below are the results of those votes.  I also got a lot of written comments in the poll and I’ve read through all of those and found all that feedback super helpful.  Thanks for taking the time to vote!

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping end of October
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in November
  • EEW Cone Winder – Current plan is to launch the Kickstarter on October 3rd, right when I send out the October version of this newsletter

I don’t accept pre-orders in my store, but when I get a batch of products there should be enough for everyone.  Kickstarters are the only way I do preorder and I use these to figure how large of a batch to make for new products and to help fund manufacturing that initial batch.  My Kickstarter projects give a discount, but they are for a limited time and generally last around one month.


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
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Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter – August 2022

Electric Eel Wheel Newsletter by Dreaming Robots LLC

I should have mentioned this last month so more people could participate, but the turn out for the Tour de Fleece this July was still awesome!  For those not familiar, during the Tour de France bike race each year there is also a Tour de Fleece where spinners (the fiber type) set personal goals and usually try to do some spinning each day.  Turnout on the EEW Ravelry group and EEW Facebook group was amazing.  I’ll try to remind people here to participate next year, but you can also remember when the Tour de France happens it’s time to do some extra spinning.

Poll about EEW Naming

I’ve been thinking about the “Electric Eel Wheel” (EEW) name I use with my fiber tools.  I explain my thoughts and am asking for you to vote in this poll.  I will let you know the results next month.

Photos Wanted

I’m looking for your photos of any EEW products. Please reply here with photos that I can use.  One of the things I like to do with them is posting them to my Instagram account.  If you have any photos you can share with me or want to go take some now (the newsletter will wait for you) then send them over.  A massive thanks to all of you who are willing to share your photos with me so I can share them with others to grow the EEW community.

EEW Cone Winder Update

Here is a new video showing off the first molded parts for the Cone Winder. I’m super happy with all the improvements.

EEW 6.0 Out of Stock

Orders for the EEW 6.0 have exceeded my expectations.  I put an order in for more EEW 6.0s just after receiving my last batch early this year, but there are still a lot of delays in manufacturing so instead of my normal 6 month lead time it is looking more like 9 months.  I’m ordering twice as many EEW 6.0s this time, and they should be arriving around November.  I’m very hopeful I’ll have them ready for the prime festival season and the holiday season this year.  The EEW Nano 2s will be in stock about a month or so before these.  I’ve updated the product page saying I expect them to be in stock in November and will update that page if this changes.

Product Updates

Below are just estimates and the dates may change.

  • EEW Nano 2 – Shipping in October
  • EEW 6.0 – Shipping in November
  • EEW Cone Winder – Kickstarter in September or October

Keep on spinning!


– Maurice Ribble
(Inventor of the Electric Eel Wheel)

View web version of this email

www.dreamingrobots.com
EEW Facebook Group
EEW Ravelry Group
EEW Youtube Channel
EEW Instagram Account
EEW Discord Server