Okay, so it's pushing 02:00 here in Seattle, but this is too cool to not post.I just got an email from my buddies at Western Tool and Mold - my injection molding supplier. They have completed the mold trials already on the mold, and the first set of parts will be drop shipped to me to a UPS Hold location in San Francisco so that I can show them at the San Mateo Maker Faire. Here's a picture of one of the parts:
Completing a multi-cavity injection mold like this well ahead of schedule is no easy feat. Normally a US based mold shops will quote a mold job with a lead time of 8 to 9 weeks (and everyone that I've dealt with that quoted less than that, inevitably runs into some sort of delay or schedule slip). These guys did it in less than 5 weeks, from when the engineering data was uploaded to them and a purchase order was issued, to when the first parts come off the mold.
It really pays to have good relationships with your vendors. Or, as a wise mentor once said, "It's only gonna work long term if you make money and your vendor makes money".