Delays and Maker Faire
We seem to have caught the kickstarter hardware delay bug hard as production on friday did not work as expected. The machines didn't manage to cut through the plastic and there was this really sinking feeling of "where do we go from here?" about the entire Friday.
As I flew to San Francisco on monday and have had jam packed days at MakerCon since I arrived it's been hard to find time to sit down, figure out what to say and post an update. I'm sorry for this gap in communication but the good thing is that I was in contact with Petter and the manufacturers in Sweden last night and we have now managed to get the tool working by modifying it slightly. So anyway that delay makes this update feel much more hopeful now. But even so these "modified" tool puts us in a spot where the production generates almost 50% surplus materials, which is not nearly sustainable so we will only run a small first batch to evaluate how well the tools work over time. By the end of today we will be able to evaluate this first run and if all is well order a new tool configuration that should be much more efficient so we can get all the Strawbees out to you as soon as possible. The tool manufacturers have promised to be super fast as they played a big part in the fact that the previous ones did not work.
So the result of all this regarding the precut kits is that we will may be able to start shipping low quantities early next week and then ship continuously over a couple of weeks time forward due to the switch of tools. If you need to change your address because of all these unfortunate delays you can still do this by managing your backed project and editing the information in the survey.
Regarding the Infinite kits, they also hit a bit of a strange setback. The tools worked brilliantly, but the hole punches were the wrong size as you can see in the following image. The American 7mm hole punches on the right that we received in the trial tools were shaped differently and cut out a 5,8mm hole, which made it really tricky to click things together. So we ordered a bigger hole punch, but these cut out a 7,5 mm hole which was too big instead. Turns out there had been a mixup somewhere in the supply chain on the first batch and those hole punches weren't true 7mm and today I am getting new tools with correct dimensions shipped directly to the place I'm staying at in San Francisco. If these work we will order all the Infinite Kit's immediately and you can expect them to ship within two to three weeks.
Once again we are so sorry for all these delays, we could never have imagined that something as simple as this little thing that we had already cut out tens of thousands of pieces of could give us so much trouble. In hindsight we can see some places where we possibly could have acted faster or made better decisions but the fact is that we misjudged the implications of scale and getting a system that works and is efficient from manufacturing to shipping of these multiple piece productions.
As I mentioned in the previous update we are visiting Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend and because of all the delays we are only one person on site, so we thought maybe one or two of our wonderful backers would like to help us out in the stall for a couple of hours to cover me when I give my talks. We can reward you with tickets to the Faire and a handsome amount of Strawbees and you'll get a full rundown of all the features and how to use them from me. If you are interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a little bit of information about yourself and why you think we could be a good team at Maker Faire. I have two official spots with tickets, but you are all welcome to come by and play/construct with Strawbees if you visit the Maker Faire.
I can't say this often enough, but we are really thankful for your support and are so overwhelmed with the response we get when we show this little invention to people. None of this would have happened without our backers and there is nothing we would rather do than get your Strawbees to you as soon as possible.
/Erik & the Strawbees team