When will your terrain tiles be available for purchase again?
Aha! Well that is the million dollar question! At the moment we are working very hard to get our large scale manufacturing up and running. We have spoken to a number of tool makers and manufacturers and found someone we are really excited to work with. We are currently working together to convert the designs from something suitable for 3D printing to something suitable for injection moulding!
Our manufacturers estimates are that we will be able to start producing terrain on a large scale in February, but we may open the shop for pre-orders before then if we feel comfortable with our timelines and the quality of the product we are producing.
Where are the terrain tiles currently made?
Either the UK or New Zealand. Currently there are two manufacturing workshops running, one in each country. Depending on where in the world you order from depends on which workshop we will be sending from! As we move to injection moulding, the terrain will be manufactured in New Zealand (Hamilton, to be precise).
We heard you ran a Kickstarter ... what is a Kickstarter?
A Kickstarter is a crowdfunding campaign. In essence, customers are able to 'back' a project by pledging a certain amount of money for a reward. In the case of our kickstarter campaign it works exactly like pre-ordering the sets. Only if the campaign is successful will money be withdrawn from backers accounts, and the rewards (Adventurer's Packs etc.) will start to be sent out.
Do you feel you can still fulfil your Kickstarter Rewards in the midst of a pandemic?
Yes! Luckily for us we decided to base our manufacturing in the UK and New Zealand and were able to move our manufacturing equipment to private premises meaning we are not held back by factory closures. We also bought a large amount of PLA plus and magnets ensuring that even if supply chains did become interrupted we were still able to produce for many months. As of the end of October already a half of all Kickstarter Rewards have been sent out.
What have you been doing during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We at Modular Realms suspended the production of terrain to make some much needed PPE for distribution in local hospitals and to care workers in both countries in the early months. You can read more about our efforts in this blog post: https://www.modularrealms.com/blogs/news/modular-realms-response-to-covid-19 . However, since the manufacturing of PPE has moved into the much more capable hands of larger businesses we launched a successful Kickstarter, raising £40,000 and have since been very busy with the manufacture and distribution of rewards!
Why do you 3D print tiles rather than using injection moulding?
Having magnets embedded in the pieces makes injection moulding difficult and would require multipart moulds that would be incredibly expensive. During the early stages of the business I wanted my terrain to be affordable so people like me could buy them even though I couldn't afford injection moulding and so I started manufacturing by 3D printing!
However, after the great success of the Kickstarter we are moving towards injection moulding. With a new magnetic system (patent pending) we will be able to mould even complex magnetic terrain at a reasonable cost for our customers and we are currently in the process of moving towards injection moulding.