Okay, start the machines and go? Not quite as easy – because 4,135 Spyra Ones are produced very differently than just two or four. „Mighty Muscle“ Mike knows how: As a mechanical engineer, he’s responsible for the Tech Team for the series and production optimization of the construction of the outer shell.
Lea asked Mike for you what exactly this means and what you need to build the best water gun in the world.
Lea: Hi Mike, tell us a bit about the work you’re doing.
Mike: Our prototypes so far were assembled and coated by hand by my colleagues Valentin and Marvin for Kickstarter. That also worked out, but we can’t expect the two of them to do it in the long run 😉 In order for the Spyra One to be manufactured in series, there are still some adjustments necessary. That’s why I’m currently working on the production-ready design of the Spyra One.
What do you mean by ‘production-ready design’?
When you start developing a new product, the first thing you want to do is make it work. You tinker a lot, test new ideas and constantly develop the concept further. There are different methods for that.
Here at Spyra we worked a lot with the so-called rapid prototyping method. With our 3D printer, we were able to physically print components very quickly and test them immediately. This allowed development to proceed quite quickly and we were also able to print working Spyra One prototypes.
What’s practical is that 3D printing saves a lot of design work because the geometry is completely open. And the components don’t have to withstand years of water fights.
When it goes into production, however, you need certain support structures and further constructive changes. You can’t see that from the outside, but it’s important for the water pistol to last long and to survive wild water battles safely. And I am making these adjustments at the moment.
Building a water gun – is that even a task for which you need a mechanical engineer like yourself?
Of course, that depends on the requirement you have for the water pistol. I think it’s generally fun to build any kind of water pistol. There are already quite a few of them, and they somehow all work according to one and the same principle.
Building the Spyra One is a bit more challenging because it’s a real high-tech product. So far there is no comparable water gun in the world. With the Spyra One you have a clear single hit, that’s something that has never been there before. In addition, the fully automatic pump means that you no longer need to pump manually. It’s no longer a matter of simply getting the other one wet somehow and splashing around, but rather of hitting the target. There are so many new possibilities.
What does this mean for you in technical development?
In order to realize our vision of the water pistol, we have had to significantly optimize many technologies and have also developed some completely new ones.
One example is the sealing: In a conventional water pistol, only mechanical components are used – if water comes inside, the world doesn’t end. At worst, a little water will drip out, but with a water gun in your hand, you usually get wet anyway… The Spyra One, on the other hand, contains electronic components that have to be protected with an IP67 seal.
What is your outlook for the near future?
I think we are pretty well set up for the coming months. Building the best water gun in the world is not a 08/15 project, and setting up a series production with thousands of Spyra Ones means a lot of work. But now that the concept is in place, it’s all about detail optimization – we can handle these challenges!
To be honest, I’m really looking forward to the next months until series production – and especially to the water battles in summer 2019.
Click here for part 2!