Getting started in producing & selling rims/button boxes?

George_Boast

25RPM
Premium
Jan 30, 2020
29
13
19
Hi guys,

My names George & live within the UK. Im currently a student doing design technology, computer science and economics.... As you can probably tell these subjects match the title of this post pretty well :)

At my school we get to do something called an EPQ qualification so I decided I wanted to research into f1 rim tech and design and manufacture my own. It was a blast and my existing skills really helped. I finished this week and posted my creation on reddit r/simracing . The feedback was overwhelming, never had so many people told me what I've done is amazing. I even got my first silver ha! The comments didn't stop there, I got over 20 messages from people interested in buying the wheel from me or commissioning a project. This really got me thinking. Maybe I could make more of these, I've defiantly learnt from my mistakes along the journey and would make changes in the future to make it even better.

I've done some research on what I need to be able to do these 'properly'. I want to make these units bespoke with high quality parts and establish myself as a boutique online store with that personal touch. I honestly believe I can produce a wheel at a price and quality of some of the leading guys in this space.

As a student I don't have the money just to buy parts. I was very fortunate for my parents to pay the cost of materials and for my school & OSR for access to tools (especially CNC). These luxuries aren't simply available regularly and if I was to sell my own units I would have to do the manufacture at home, financing it myself.

I was hoping you readers could provide me with some advice. What would you do if you was me? I know I would need about £1000 to buy all my tools/machinery/initial parts to make the first part but obviously a lot of these costs are a one time thing. Do you think a kick starter would work? Could you see yourself 'pre-ordering' a wheel on kick-starter so I can finance the production. Its hard to have a display model to show what you would be buying then other then the wheel I made for my school project but I know I would be adding multiple upgrades to this. I wouldn't be able to afford to just make another wheel with all these new features unless I had some funding.

Sorry for this being long, but thank you.

George :))
 

IAJ

1RPM
Aug 14, 2019
6
3
29
Can you post pictures or a link to your reddit post? I would definitely be interested in investing/kickstarting something that looks quality.
 
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EsxPaul

500RPM
Premium
Feb 17, 2016
685
453
I would highly recommend watching the videos made by Zach, who owns and runs his own boutique store in the USA, Turn Racing.

His YouTube channel has some very good content that outlines his journey from starting the business from ground zero all the way up to the tools, design and manufacturing processes used to create a bespoke steering wheel.

Turn Racing
 
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George_Boast

25RPM
Premium
Jan 30, 2020
29
13
19
Can you post pictures or a link to your reddit post? I would definitely be interested in investing/kickstarting something that looks quality.
https://www.reddit.com/r/simracing/comments/f9061k

Hi buddy; this is the post. Take the image with a pinch of salt because I had access to only certain tools but it’s the best I could do with what I had. I’ve definitely got loads of great ideas I would definitely implement with the right time and funding. Thank you for your interest and would love to discuss more with you whenever :)
 
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bassun

100RPM
Jan 7, 2020
128
68
44
Something to consider for helping to keep cost down initially could be two part: A- A modular design, where you can attach different components to one general base. B- You could always market a "VR" purpose built wheel. Would not need LED's, or display's, etc.

Doesn't help with the tools, but for production it could be an asset.
 

George_Boast

25RPM
Premium
Jan 30, 2020
29
13
19
Something to consider for helping to keep cost down initially could be two part: A- A modular design, where you can attach different components to one general base. B- You could always market a "VR" purpose built wheel. Would not need LED's, or display's, etc.

Doesn't help with the tools, but for production it could be an asset.
Good point. I’ve been working on a new design for the internal electronics which will allow an expandable-modular pcb design so I can maximise the economic efficiency and manufactural productivity. From my research my approach to the solution is completely unique and will make a significant impact on the production cost and quality. I would like to raise a small amount for a working prototype but I’m confident I could deliver a cube formula style rim at the cost of €750 (to the consumer) continually and profitably.
 
Dec 30, 2019
5
11
51
Not wishing to put a dampener on what is an exciting project but would you need to CE mark such a product with testing required such as EMC to be able to sell them?
 

George_Boast

25RPM
Premium
Jan 30, 2020
29
13
19
Not wishing to put a dampener on what is an exciting project but would you need to CE mark such a product with testing required such as EMC to be able to sell them?
Good question. I don’t believe I need to worry about the CE mark because of the nature of the product. It usually relates to toys, high voltage electronics and electronics which have a user risk if faulty. Not sure about EMC though.
 
Dec 30, 2019
5
11
51
Looking at the directives it would appear that only a few catagories could apply and that is Toys, Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

The toy one is easy to take care of, "This is not a toy" on the product, which you often see.
I am not sure if Electrical / electronic equipment would apply.

The other way is to supply them as "Prototypes" for testing purposes.

List of Directives.
  • Toys
  • Machinery
  • Electrical equipment
  • Electronic equipment
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Pressure equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Active implantable medical devices
  • In vitro diagnostica
  • Radio and Telecommunications terminal equipment
  • Simple pressure vessels
  • Gas appliances
  • Lifts
  • Recreational craft
  • Equipment and protective systems for use in explosive atmospheres
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Cableways
  • Construction products
  • Explosives for civil use
  • New hot water boilers
  • Measuring Equipment