I want to give an update of where we are with the RigidBot.
The team at Invent-A-Part is working really hard to resolve the International shipping problem. We have found that China Post IS NOT WORKING!!! and we have to change the way we are shipping the printers. We have a good working relationship with Fedex and the plan is to pre-print all of the shipping labels here and fly to China and get the printers out the door. I have been working with FedEx over the last 3 weeks figuring out the best way to proceed. The problem is it will cost about $60,000 to $90,000 additional dollars to get them delivered. We plain don't have the money to make that happen. The cost of manufacturing the RigidBot has far exceed the estimates, including all of the stretch goal free rewards.
In order to complete manufacturing and shipping of the RigidBot we have had to find additional money far beyond the initial Kickstarter money raised. Even though we raised over 1 million dollars, the take home amount after fees and non payments was much less. Invent-A-Part is a stable company and we have been able to use that stability to get working capital loans to cover the differences we have had. In addition to using almost all cash flow from Invent-A-Part, Inc, here are the loans we have taken out to continue to fund the RigidBot kickstarter fulfillment:
January 2014 - $120,000 - Central Bank of Utah
May 2014 - $50,000 - American Express Credit Card
June 2014 - $20,500 - Paypal Working Capital
July 2014 - $30,000 - Kabbage Working Capital
July 2014 - $40,000 - National Funding Working Capital
$20,000 - Line of Credit with FedEx
In addition I have personally taken the following loans / personal funds:
$30,000 – Personal Savings
$43,000 - Credit Cards :-) got to love credit cards…
$50,000 - Loans from family members
$150,000 - Mortgage of personal property.
We simply don't have any additional avenues of getting more capital.
We are also working very hard in reducing trouble tickets and work everyday in shipping out replacement and missing parts. We hired Jeni and she has been able to get trouble tickets from 550 open tickets to just below 100. (Great work Jeni!)
One concern we have is when we ship the International machines, we are likely to have the same percentage of trouble tickets and replacement parts. The cost to internationally ship each of these will be a huge challenge for us.
We are trying every method to bring in more capital so we can move the final machines and replacement parts. One way is to domestically sell some of the 10x10x10 kits we have in stock (around 100). It is a really difficult line to walk as we need to bring money into our door in order to get the machines out, however it is upsetting to backers when they see a machine being sold domestically. We feel it is better to bring money into our door so we can continue operating as a business so we can at least be around in the near future.
International backers, I am very sorry it is taking so long. Had I known China Post would have been so horrible to work with I would not have done it that way, OR we would have charged a lot more for international shipping. Hind sight is 20/20. I appreciate all of the international supporters!
We want to stay in business and continue to build on this great Kickstarter project. We lose a lot of motivation when we put all that we have into the project - in time, energy and money and all we get is tons of threatening emails, complaints and negative press. We are not active on any social media and rarely post as every time we do we get lots of negative feedback. In order to keep continuos threads of complaints out of our instructional videos we had to remove all comments from YouTube. After 67 Monday updates, we will not be posting regular Monday updates. We will post updates as new information becomes available.
Our first production run of the RigidBot 3D printer has had some manufacturing issues and we are doing our best to find them and continue to improve the product. The RigidBot is an amazing machine that we are very proud of. It can and does produce amazing prints in a variety of different materials.
We appreciate all of the support that this community provides and how willing you are to help fellow backers and supporters of the RigidBot.
Michael and Team