Like it always is with a new product, before starting the big sale you wanna make sure that your product fits the needs and expectations of the target group.
To accomplish this, we started research over a year ago and pretty soon went into CAD-constructing the rings. It took us about 5 prototypes to get the shape of the rings right,
so they would not alienate existing Element users (along with their habits) and at the same time offer an advantage over the standard rings.
Originally we wanted to shape our rings very similar to the Blackboard/ACS-rings, but soon found out that certain ways of grabbing and moving the ring,
that Element users are used to, are just not possible with the Blackboard/ACS design.
Like for instance putting the middle fingertip on the ring and do a “phone-dial” kind of movement – sure is possible,
but not in the same way as with the Element rings (or Neo panel, or Resolve advanced panel rings).
At the same time, grabbing the ring with all 5 fingertips from above was much nicer with the Blackboard/ACS rings –
so we basically took the best out of both approaches and put it into the design of our rings – and I think we matched it pretty well.
What came next, was to get the fit right – at the beginning the rings wiggled a little, although they already had even tighter measures than the original rings.
But we wanted our rings to sit really tight and completely wiggle-free – 3 prototypes later we had it.
Big shoutout to Chris and Andy from Tangent – they had been a great help in getting details and specifics right!
The next task was the surface of the ring itself. We did not want to use any sort of soft-coating again,
since it’s one of the main downsides of the original rings: It wears and peels off rather fast.
Then again – any sort of traditional lacquering would probably not give enough grip to the ring.
However, there are a number of ways to give texture to metal – some of them more coarse, others more fine.
Since we wanted our customers to keep their fingertips, we needed to be very careful –
in the end (and after much testing and touching) we chose to go with sandblasting the rings.
This gives a very fine texture, that is just enough to provide a good grip and at the same time not make your fingers feel sore after a day of grading.
The last step was to give the rings some color – again, lacquering just was not sustainable enough for us,
which is why we went with Aluminium in the first place: You can anodize it 🙂 .
With the Rageboard we started out to offer custom colors as well – however, nobody wanted anything but black.
So the obvious choice was to anodize our rings in black as well.
All what was left now, was to put in the magnets, which are supposed to hold the rings in place on the panel.
We chose to go with the same neodym magnets, that can be found in the original rings (thanks again to Chris and Andy).
Ultimately, we asked a few of our friends to beta-test our finished rings over a couple of weeks and so far, the feedback has been tremendous!
Thanks to Tobi and Luisa at Cine Chromatix in Berlin and Patrick at Besserdrei in Munich at this point!
We finally kicked off production and cannot wait to finally start the sale.
Hang in there – although we’re shy to give an exact release date, we pretty confident that sales will start in about 3 weeks from now 🙂 !
PS: See below some images that show the development of our rings at different stages.