First, some numbers
To put in perspective the scale we are manufacturing, if you lined up all the Docks, it would stretch 5,500 ft: over a mile of precision machined aluminum. Over 26 miles of USB cords, 100k+ screws, 30,000+ lbs of aluminum.
And this is truly a global project. We are shipping to 94 different countries. Docks will be headed to Mauritias, New Caledonia, Turkmenistan, even inside the walls of Vatican City.
The first 10k lbs of aluminum came in a standard size extruded rectangle, the +20k behind that is an extrusion from a custom die we had made that is .03" oversize the side profile so we cut down on machine time and waste. Did we mention the aluminum is recycled?
Barring any fit or quality issues with the first run of parts we get, we should be able to start final assembly and shipping on April 28th. Machining, assembly and shipping will certainly go through May. They will go out roughly in the order they were backed.
We are scheduled to shoot our first off-tool plastic parts for the connector mount structure on our three steel injection molds April 9th. The parts will be overnighted to us. If they look good, they will go into around-the-clock production, which should take only about a week to make all those parts.
We already have the silicone feet and switch pads, they look really good:
On the machining end, we have been running at a throttled down pace until we have those first internal production parts and know they fit correctly. There is no room for error when you are doing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of machining and at this scale. In this run of ~500 we are doing now, we are also mitigating quality issues and optimizing the toolpaths. When we know everything works and fits perfectly, we will crank it up to 2500-5000 docks per week - as fast the shop can go.
I will not be machining all the docks by hand like in the video (about a hundred folks asked, I'm sure you're all disappointed). However, they are getting the same amount of love from giant state-of-the-art horizontal CNC's all connected together with a robotic cell loading system.
We have ten custom fixturing plates (called tombstones) that hold 30 docks on 4 sides. The tombstones are loaded up with aluminum billet and put in queue to automatically go into an open machine when the tombstone in front is finished. Parts run 23 hours per day. It would be tough anyone to do it better/faster than this - these are the McLaren F1's of CNC machines and I'm told Apple uses the exact same ones.
All this machining and anodizing is going down in Sherwood, Oregon, home of Hopkins Elementary - the public school my grandparents founded during the Great Depression.
pledged of $75,000 goal
seconds to go
Dec 13, 2011 - Feb 11, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $59 or more
Get your own Elevation Dock in glass bead blasted finish (like on Apple unibody Macs). These will later retail for $90 if the project gets funded. CNC'd from solid aircraft aluminum, low friction connection, USB out. [US shipping included, add $20 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $79 or more
Get the Elevation Dock+ in glass bead blasted finish. The Dock+ adds shielded Line Level audio out plus USB power adapter. These will later retail for $120. [US shipping included, add $20 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $85 or more
Get the Elevation Dock+ in anodized Matte Black finish. The Dock+ adds shielded Line Level audio out plus USB power adapter. [Shipping included, add $20 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $118 or more
**Newly Added** Back Multiple Rewards: Select this level, add the total of the rewards you want, and enter that as pledge amount. For example, if you want two Matte Black Dock+ and one SunOrange Ltd Edition Dock+, you would enter $320 in the pledge amount (85+85+150=320). We will email you when funding is complete to reconfirm your order exactly. [USA shipping included, add just one $20 charge total for international shipping]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $150 or more
Get a special LimeGreen or SunOrange anodized Elevation Dock+ with lasered serial numbers. These beautiful finishes subtly change color at different angles and are exclusive only to KickStarter backers in this limited run. [We'll get your color choice when the project ends. Includes USA shipping, add $20 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $250 or more
MultiPak: Get one limited edition LimeGreen Dock+ and 2x standard Elevation Docks for yourself or to give to friends and family to step up their docking experiences. [We'll get color choices from you when the project ends. Includes USA shipping, add $50 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $500 or more
ProPak: Get 2x Matte Black Dock+, 2x standard Docks, plus both the limited edition LimeGreen and SunOrange Docks. Outfit everybody with the best dock made for the iPhone. [Includes USA shipping, add $50 for international]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $2,000 or more
**New** Reseller Pack - Get 15 standard Docks and 15 Dock+, both in bead blasted finish and in premium retail packaging. Tremendous discount from retail. [Insured USA shipping included. International shipping arranged by buyer]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
**New** Distributer Pack - Get 100 standard Docks in bead blasted finish and in premium retail packaging. You will have these long before any other vendor. Retail is $90. [Insured USA shipping included. International shipping arranged by buyer]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012
Pledge $10,000 or more
**New** Distributer Pack+. Get 70 standard Elevation Docks, 62 Dock+ in bead blasted finish, and 25 Dock+ in Matte Black. All in premium retail packaging. Tremendous discount from retail. Email if you would like to customize this or do a higher level. [Free insured USA shipping. International shipping arranged by buyer]Estimated delivery: Apr 2012