I showed the wands off to the public at Austin Maker Faire on May 4, 2019 and learned a lot.
- Young boys like to shake things very vigorously.
- Thinly-printed PLA plastic breaks when shaken vigorously.
- If the wand shaft and handle are separate pieces joined at the neck, that connection need to be very secure or it will fail.
- PLA wands break easily in the plane they’re printed on when you drop them on concrete.
- I need to add a fragility warning to the descriptions in the store.
- More people than you’d expect will press a button with no idea of what it does. (The wands got turned off a lot.)
- Having only audial or only visual feedback is not sufficient. Both work really well.
- Younger children liked the blocky wand more than the round wand. I’m calling this “The Minecraft Effect.”
- The dueling spells are too hard to cast – especially the “ball” part of any attack spell. I’ve simplified it.
- Some (a few) people were ready to buy right on the spot.
- Print cheap info cards on bright paper, like fluorescent green or yellow.
- Restrict access to your stuff. Do not let people access both sides of your demo table (for example).
I need to redesign some of my wand shells and learn about how to print with plastics other than PLA. It was a good experience. I’m feeling pretty good about the entire thing. Yay!