The grip redesign for Sabertron One is a success! Below is a prototype picture of the new grip design, which uses conductive threads for the grip sensors.
It was difficult to figure out how push the conductive thread through the thick urethane foam grips. It took some ingenuity to get it done, because there is no way to reach inside the grip to pull the sewing needle and thread through the foam. But we figured it out came up with a good technique that will work for production.
The thread pattern is created by a hand-made metal plate drilled with holes which is used to guide a punch to create the pattern of holes in the foam. In production, we will fabricate a plate that is machine cut and matching punch that will cut all the holes at once. Or, we might just order the grips from the manufacturer with the hole pattern we specify.
We took the swords back to BAM Academy for repeat testing and they held up well and the folks there thought that they felt good too, with more grip thanks to the threads. We are now confident that the new design will hold up to lots of use and abuse. We are reworking the rest of the pilot build units to use this design.
Now we can finally turn our attention to opening the webstore for taking orders.