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about cartridges, molds, colors etc.. etc..


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#1 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:05 PM

Perhaps we need to just raise the money to get molds made and just do it. Translucent carts would be awesome.

Just tossing it out there but if there were a kickstarter where the item sold was a homebrew with a translucent cart for $50 would that draw enough attention and still leave a large enough profit to get the molds made? I can think of a few games I want and getting the translucent carts started would be awesome. Maybe make them $45 or do 1 for $50 but 2 for only $80?

Then he could do like Retrousb where a color is chosen for a game to keep it simple. Maybe offer black for all but have a chosen color that matches the label as an alternate.

Just some thoughts. Albert, what do you think since it's your call in the end anyway?

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#2 Matthew OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:15 AM

1)You need to design the injection mould. It's a simple mould,so the design of the die set (core, cavity, ejector assembly....etc) shouldn't be that high (A few hundred).

2)I would think the cost of the die set, to make, would be at least $10000.

3)Now that you have your die, you need to run a few parts.

Most places will charge you a fee to setup ($500), then they will charge you per part. The price will vary wildly depending on how many case halves you want.

This is why you can't do injection moulding cheaply for small runs (less than 10,000).

The only way it will happen is if someone makes the die for free!. So all you have to do is find a Toolroom manager that is an Atari enthusiast.

Good luck with that:)


Also, you would have to pay a fee to change colours. It costs money to flush out the old colour.

Edited by Matthew, Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:34 AM.


#3 CrazyChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:52 AM

1. A lot of other retro systems have new cartridge cases available.
2. 7800 XM has its own plastic shell.
3. Back in the day it seemed like every company had there own custom case style.
I'd donate to a Kickstarter project.

Edited by CrazyChris, Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:55 AM.


#4 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:22 AM

Indeed others have done it and as late as 2006 Atari carts were being made by home brewers as posted in other threads. It's time to stop saying why it can't be done and figure out how others have done it. If they can make Vectrex carts we have no excuse.

#5 Random Terrain ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:12 AM

This is why you can't do injection moulding cheaply for small runs (less than 10,000).


We don't want to do a small run. We want so many Kickstarter cartridge shells that Albert will never have to wash another old cart for the rest of his life and the life of the next guy who takes over after Albert is drooling in a wheelchair.

#6 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:31 AM

http://web.archive.o...roducts-hw.html shows that it is possible.

As for the size of the runs, maybe we don't need a bunch of colors. That said however retrousb has a ton of color options. Again I think we need to revisit the "how can they do it if it's impossible" aspect. They sell games for fairly cheap so they haven't spent a fortune on shells. They even sell the shells for cheap.

#7 ToddUGA ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:08 AM

How much would it cost to get a 3D printing service to just print them out?

#8 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:22 AM

That may be a viable option, we aren't sure yet. 3d printing has come a long way but it can still be a little costly to get good results. Ben Heckendorn does a lot of 3d printing. Another option would be to go the opposite way and have them milled out on a CNC machine. For carts however there would be so much waste that even though the process is cheaper material expenses would be higher without drastically changing the cart design.

#9 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:35 PM

That may be a viable option, we aren't sure yet. 3d printing has come a long way but it can still be a little costly to get good results. Ben Heckendorn does a lot of 3d printing. Another option would be to go the opposite way and have them milled out on a CNC machine. For carts however there would be so much waste that even though the process is cheaper material expenses would be higher without drastically changing the cart design.

Couldn't the milled material simply be recycled and melted back into new plastic "bricks" ? That would reduce cost considerably assuming the materials can be recycled on site. But you've got to consider machine time, assuming there's other businesses that want to "rent" time on the equipment. And injection mold takes less than ten seconds per part, and that's assuming there's not already multiple parts on the same die. A milling machine might require several minutes per part, and there may be other companies waiting in line to use the equipment. Even if the operator cares enough about Alberts operation to make the equipment available during down time, who's to say the equipment's not running 24/7? In that case, Al may have to wait months for an available time slot to use the equipment, or simply pay the same high premiums that everyone else does.

But come on, Retrousb.com has been manufacturing and selling plastic NES shells since 2007 at least, with four different colors of translucent plastic. I can't imagine retrousb is that much larger than AtariAge operation, that had Albert made the initial investment way back in 200?, he would have recouped the investment a long time ago. I would pay five dollars extra for bright shiny new cart shells in vibrant colors, as well as the peace of mind that old games aren't getting slaughtered anymore.

Edited by stardust4ever, Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:39 PM.


#10 CPUWIZ OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:44 PM

It's not that difficult to get the money for making a mold. I bet any bank would give AA a small business loan of say $20K.

#11 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:53 PM

Stardust and I are finally thinking alike. I don't know if that's good or not however. Retrousb not only makes and sells carts they sell them for the whopping price of $5 retail. That means the shells cost less than 5 since they have to make a profit on. Less than five total to get made, shipped, warehoused etc...

With all due respect to those smarter than I when it comes to these issues (as no one is smarter than me really ;) ) the cost issue isn't really an issue.

#12 Crazy Climber OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:19 PM

I can get molds made rather affordably through work if someone is seriously considering this....remember, rather affordably is still several thousand dollars and you still need an injection molder but just throwing it out there if someone wants me to look into it :)

#13 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:28 PM

I can get molds made rather affordably through work if someone is seriously considering this....remember, rather affordably is still several thousand dollars and you still need an injection molder but just throwing it out there if someone wants me to look into it :)


Someone should PM Albert and see if he's into it. I really think we can raise the money either with Kickstarter or just buy buying gift certificates on his store. Now it hinges on logistics.

#14 Random Terrain ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:04 PM

Someone should PM Albert and see if he's into it. I really think we can raise the money either with Kickstarter or just buy buying gift certificates on his store. Now it hinges on logistics.


Yeah, we don't want this to turn into a "Who am I kiddin'? That's another thing I'm never gonna do!" SNL skit.

#15 Matthew OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:59 AM

You might be able to get a die and mould shop to make the die at their cost. They would retain ownership of the die and simply sell the carts at a fixed price.

Usually you would have to commit to purchasing a certain amount of carts, at a fixed price, over a given amount of time.

The US economy is quite slow at the moment, there might be a company that is desperate enough to do this. Better this, than leaving their machines idle.

#16 Albert ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:07 PM

I am serious about making shells for the 2600/7800, and I have been pursuing it, although not vigorously as of late. I would prefer to own the die, as I don't want a middleman taking their cut of the carts. If someone here has connections to produce a die, by all means please contact me. :)

..Al

#17 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:35 AM

I am serious about making shells for the 2600/7800, and I have been pursuing it, although not vigorously as of late. I would prefer to own the die, as I don't want a middleman taking their cut of the carts. If someone here has connections to produce a die, by all means please contact me. :)

..Al

Just steal one of these babies, "Mission Impossible" style, and you'll never have to ask anyone for money again!
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#18 san-d-2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:20 AM

I am serious about making shells for the 2600/7800, and I have been pursuing it, although not vigorously as of late. I would prefer to own the die, as I don't want a middleman taking their cut of the carts. If someone here has connections to produce a die, by all means please contact me. :)

..Al


So i guess my question in the other topic wasn't so strange after all.

#19 Syntaxerror999 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:08 AM

My dad works for a company that makes dental implants and he'd make plaster molds of things like our gi Joe guns and fill them with resin and presto! Extra guns! Granted not as heavy duty as a die cast set, the material they used was intended to be filled with molten metal.

My point is.. Does a mold set REALLY have to be uber heavy duty for the kind of production numbers we'd be looking at?

Edited by Syntaxerror999, Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:17 AM.


#20 yarjr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:18 AM

1)You need to design the injection mould. It's a simple mould,so the design of the die set (core, cavity, ejector assembly....etc) shouldn't be that high (A few hundred).

2)I would think the cost of the die set, to make, would be at least $10000.

3)Now that you have your die, you need to run a few parts.

Most places will charge you a fee to setup ($500), then they will charge you per part. The price will vary wildly depending on how many case halves you want.

This is why you can't do injection moulding cheaply for small runs (less than 10,000).

The only way it will happen is if someone makes the die for free!. So all you have to do is find a Toolroom manager that is an Atari enthusiast.

Good luck with that:)


Also, you would have to pay a fee to change colours. It costs money to flush out the old colour.


Or you could just get a 3d printer or 5 and print them as needed.

#21 Algus OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:45 AM

Don't have much to add besides to say I'd be on board with donating some money to make this happen. Especially if it meant access to shells for the Harmony cart

#22 mkiker2089 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 2, 2013 10:12 AM

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:49302

Perhaps 3d printing has come further than we realized.

#23 retroillucid OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 8, 2013 3:34 PM

We are about to get made a mold for Atari2600 cartridge shells
One thing we were wondering is wich type of case will be perfect?


#24 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 8, 2013 3:39 PM

T-handles :evil:

#25 atari181 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 8, 2013 3:41 PM

If possible, the T-handle is my favorite. Just looks cool.




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