The Story of Cloudstrike
Hi guys! How are you?
As you know,Yoyofriends is part players, part manufacturer (FPM). We have in house CNC machines, anodization specialists and yoyo designers!We have the advantage of continuously experimenting with material, anodization and all different kinds of techniques.
In April, 2021, after the release of Vulture, we want to produce and master a magnesium yoyo by 2022. This will be a new adventure for us in manufacturing, anodizing and designing, and this is what YOYOfriends is good at.We fully committed to this project and started to venture into unknown territory. But it is always a brand new project, and we did encounter a lot difficulties...
First is the design, since we have no prior experience with the material we have to understand the properties of the magnesium. The challenge is to make a yoyo that is under 66 grams while not making it play slow and like a tank. Mg has a density in between polycarbonate and aluminum, so not very dense at all. Thus enables us to make the yoyo that looks like a tank but plays decently fast and floaty. Magnesium also has high tensile strength, shock resistance and abrasion resistance. We can keep the wall thin and fine tune the weight distribution to increase the speed of the yoyo.
After the design, it's time to gather the materials and test. We got our first batch of magnesium material stock. After prototyping, we found out the magnesium surface started to oxidize! We were very very worried, because we want to process and anodize the surface of the yoyo, having the surface oxidized might prevent us from perfect making the surface finish and upm to our high yoyofriends standard.
We then contacted multiple surface treatment specialists about this oxidation problem. We learned Magnesium is very easy to oxidize and what we encountered is normal. We can use chemical treatment during the anodization and surface treatment process. We proceeded and the oxidation was gone! The surface and anodization was perfect and we have succeeded! So excited for the good news！
Magnesium has very unique properties, it is very flammable (only when it reaches a very very high temperature and after igniting, perfectly safe for normal yoyo use). We did some experiments on igniting and burning the magnesium and it was really magical! Haha！
From designing, material gathering, manufacturing and anodizing, it took us a total of 10 months. During the process we changed the design and surfaces multiple times. We learned alot about magnesium and how we can make a yoyo out of it.
You might think the story ends here. However the NIGHTMARE process of final production has just begun.
After sending the prototypes to the players for heavy testing, we decided to start the final production in March 2022. We plan to make between 50 to 100 cloudstrikes. We ordered magnesium stock for the production run. Magnesium is expensive, basically the same price as titanium, so we have to be very careful on each step to avoid huge losses.
We still met with failures sadly. Due to the material factory's mistake, the yoyos we produced had two kinds of surface. One of the yoyo from the material we use is not up to our standard at all.
At the beginning we thought manufacturing specialists used a different kind of process, however after a week of more testing on the material, it is the material factory giving us material that can not be used directly. They forgot a step when processing the magnesium stock. This kind of material is unable to produce yoyo. Due to the mistake of the material factory, we ditched our entire stock, suffering heavy losses.
We are fully committed to this project, because yoyofriends’s philosophy is innovation We must innovate and master different kinds of materials for the future. No matter the loss, we will get this done. Never give up!
After a week of communication and changes. We received a different kind of material. This time the raw material cost is around 30% more than the previous. After the first loss, we also needed a backup plan, so we also got a third kind of material, this one's pricing is ridiculous, almost two times more than the original cost. After testing all three kinds of materials. Only one of them passed, which is pretty frustrating.
Right at the beginning of our second full production test, Covid-19 returned. On March 14th, our city was locked down for a week. A week of us wondering if the new material can finally make the yoyos that are up to our standard.
After the one week lockdown, we immediately started testing the production run. We FINALLY made yoyos that are up to our standards. Everything went well, like our initial prototype.
We have one last job to do, anodization. This process is a lot harder than our normal anodization, because we have to fight oxidation of the magnesium. The temperature must be very precise. We drove 160 miles to the factory that specialized in anodization. They told us the process will be very hard and time consuming, due to the oxidation temperature of the magnesium will rise during the electrical process, and when it's too high the anodization and the entire yoyo will fail. After 12 hours of procession at the factory we finally made six cloudstrikes.
After almost a week of anodization and oxidation process, the final production run is here. The surface, and the entire yoyo is perfect. After a long journey that lasted a whole year.
After a whole year, the cloustrike is here! Finally up to our high yoyofriends standard. It was well worth it for us in the end. Hope you guys enjoy it!
The Cloudstrike will drop Monday, May 30th, 2022 8 PM EST
Gap width: 4.52mm