Over the last 47 months the UFO’s have had 27 projects based on micro controllers, whether arduino nanos, or D1 Wifi modules, etc… and usually they’re the more popular projects and most of them are also my favorites. Unfortunately, the prices of micro controllers has continued to rise the last 2 years, and they’re now taking up the entire project budget… but you can’t really do anything with JUST a control board =(
So that leaves me with the following options… 1) Raise the price of the UFOs 2) Offer a higher priced tier that has the boards with normal UFOs getting a non-arduino based project 3) stop doing arduino based projects all together or 4) provide an arduino to new subscribers, 1 last arduino to current subscribers, and have the opportunity to include MORE additional components…
Starting with the July 2022 UFO, After discussing it with my UFO team (yes there is a group of 12 UFO subscribers I consult with every month to help me make decisions on projects and advise me on various aspects of the UFO), they felt that option number 4 would be the best way to go. This actually opens the door to a lot of projects that are currently out of budget entirely. Right now I’m limited to what the projects can include because the boards have been taking up most of the budget. Without the expense of the board I’ll be able to do more advanced projects that include more components.
Edit: 5/21/2022 – This decision will NOT limit the advanced projects to Arduino Nanos. For example, in the first month that a project relies on say a D1 Mini, that board will be provided once as well, and then provided only to those who had not received one previously as of July 2022. So if in September a D1 Mini is required, everyone will get one. Then after that when the next D1 Mini project comes along, only subscribers who have not previously received one will get one. Same for any other control boards that may be used in a project, such as when a Pi Pico was included in July 2021.
That said, I’ve created a new subscription product https://www.alien3d.us/product/u-f-o-monthly-mystery-box-1-75 that has all the options available in 1 place… Full UFO, Full UFO + Nano, Project & Accessory, Project & Accessory + Nano, Filament Only, 3 Month International, 3 Month International + Nano
This is kind of a mix between 2 and 4, except that it’s the same project instead of 2 different projects (non-nano based or nano based), but the + nano options passes on the cost of the nano with no profit so that you could still get a nano (or whatever control board is needed for that month’s project) with each UFO. Current subscriptions will continue to process and no swapping of product is needed, but if you’d like to swap to the new product, you can cancel your current subscription here https://www.alien3d.us/my-account/subscriptions and sign up under the new product.
I hope this doesn’t turn anyone off who is currently a subscriber, but we really feel that this is a better option as the projects will now be able to be even bigger and more advanced with the additional components.
Also, a little spoiler if you want to switch to a + Nano option – June project won’t require a controller board, and July UFO will come with a controller board regardless, so if you wait until July to cancel and sign up for the + Nano option, it’ll save you a few bucks… unless you want an extra board in June anyways =)
~ Josh + the UFO Team