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A sturdy, customizable 3D printer that is easy to use and affordable for all. 3D print almost any object. There are no limits!
A sturdy, customizable 3D printer that is easy to use and affordable for all. 3D print almost any object. There are no limits!
1,952 backers pledged $1,092,098 to help bring this project to life.

Tuesday Update

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Hello Backers,

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.

Thank you!

Michael and Team

DrMerlin, Scott Sandvik, and 22 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Ben Millen on September 17, 2014

      i cant afford to pay extra for postage, i backed this because it was a 3d printer i could afford, if i have to pay extra it becomes a 3d printer i cant afford

    2. Missing avatar

      Andrew Waugh on September 15, 2014

      Ok, this has been a long, long haul for it seems a lot of us backers. I don't particularly mind paying a little extra for shipping - I'm a businessman sending goods internationally and it always costs more than the number I first thought of, sometimes lots more. So you've been caught out. Silly mistake but not the first one you'll ever make. As committed funders of interesting projects I guess many backers are prepared to help out, so why not just ask? It would ease the pain of waiting and those questions from colleagues as to where the investment has gone. Communication, other than updates, is key.

    3. Missing avatar

      Ian on September 15, 2014

      got 5(of10) spools today, germany

    4. Tom Snäll on September 15, 2014

      Got my spools last friday. The box is in good condition. Haven't looked at the spools yet.

    5. Missing avatar

      Steve Watmough on September 15, 2014

      Just received the first of my spool packages here in the UK. Totally unexpected. This was on shipping list #3... no tracking showing and the box was bashed to hell but all 5 spools seem to be intact. Looks like CP are sending stuff out. Hopefully receive the next spool pack this week - followed by the printer soon - the excitement returns.... :)

    6. Missing avatar

      R.L. on September 14, 2014

      Hello everyone
      I'm relaxing my strict police of no intervention due the extreme case of this update . sorry for my direct speech, I'm not a native speaker.
      First of all :
      You Michael and I.A.P. you were one of the best creators of KS I think.
      And I apologize if my comment may be misunderstood, it is not my intention to offend anyone.
      but I see myself in the obligation to act

      Three things:
      1- I want my printer NOW, no excuses about , what are your fault in this update?:
      A) FULL LIST OF remaining shippings .
      B) METHOD and QUANTITY to pay for the shipping.

      2-If you want to make an accountability report .
      Remember; is your decision :
      please DO IT FULLY, your update is really worth nothing for me , and I know that making this will raise another questions but is the only thing that will really justify the extra pay.

      3- Respect :
      THINK THREE TIMES, ACT ONLY ONE
      -One for your interest
      -Two for the interest of others (YOUR BACKERS)
      -Three for the public image that your actuations may represent

      Basic example: a void scheduled update It is the thing that angers yours backers, specially in case of problems .

      Basic rule: comment BEFORE making changes in your public policies, AND ACCEPT proposed changes if really makes sense .

    7. Jan Lundquist on September 14, 2014

      As another backer from Sweden (Göteborg) i can report that i got 2 packages of filament, list 4, order #4612, box #100746 and #100747. They came last thursday, but i was away until today, so i just picked them up. Looks nice!

      Things just started looking a bit brighter :-)

    8. Missing avatar

      matthieu verpoort on September 13, 2014

      Hi, just want to inform you that i received my package this week, i was in shipping list 4!
      it was send around 07/07/14.
      the import custom fee was 120€.

    9. Missing avatar

      Martin Dahlem on September 12, 2014

      The printer where shipment 4. Filament shipment 1

    10. Missing avatar

      Lucas Fowler on September 12, 2014

      @Martin Dahlem . could you tell us which shipment number you were in for the printer?

    11. Missing avatar

      Martin Dahlem on September 12, 2014

      Just got a notification that the printer in in customs office now, here in Denmark. That where from shipments 4. And I got the filament 10 days ago. Now I just have to wait 4-5 days before getting the package after paying import taxes. That ended up in $230 for both packages.

    12. Missing avatar

      Steve Nordhauser on September 12, 2014

      Clearly you have a lot on your plate right now but is there an expected ship date for domestic PLA/ABS orders that were part of the 5/$100 offer? Mine are still listed as being in the shipping queue. Are they in stock, in China or still need to be purchased? Thanks.

    13. Missing avatar

      Tommy Nilsson on September 12, 2014

      got my spools yesterday as well. Want my printer now:)

    14. Thomas on September 12, 2014

      I received my spools yesterday, it's hard to know if the printer will also arrive since the spools where on the China Post shipments that didn't have a tracking number.

    15. Missing avatar

      Damir Ajdukovic on September 11, 2014

      "The cost of manufacturing the RigidBot has far exceed the estimates, including all of the stretch goal free rewards."

      Here you are finally honest for once, it makes your planning look a bit bland though. It also suggests that many international backers won't see any printers after all.

      " 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."

      It's more like differences you still have and my guess is the loans you got was because of this kickstarter success. Whether it's a stable company or not only time will tell.

      "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. "

      the result is standard answers like this one:

      "Dear Damir Ajdukovic,
      Looks like your RigidBot will probably be sent out this week! YAY!

      Your Invent-A-Part, Inc Team,"

      you really expect me to believe that?

      "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!"

      again this excuse, instead of Rigidbots you only sent filaments, which aren't really helping but at least you can amass shipment notifications this way.

      "We want to stay in business and continue to build on this great Kickstarter project."

      Being part of this kickstarter project is something many people already regret.

      "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."

      Maybe the feedback is only a reaction to your lock up and constant furnishing of pseudo-information? all this time you say international backers aren't getting their bots because of chinapost and then people get a package, which is filament only.

    16. Leandro Zaccaria on September 11, 2014

      In the meantime, the first rigidbot was delivered in italy (ravenna). It took "only" 72 days.

      Ravenna's friend, let us know something about the printer!

      http://www.17track.net/en/result/post.shtml…

    17. Leandro Zaccaria on September 11, 2014

      Ok, I'll pay an additional fee to have my kit shipped if I could save money on custom's taxes. I payed 395,00 USD for my printer. Let's say the invoice will declare 195,00 USD instead. This will cut my taxes in half.
      Take into account that I already payed 90,00 USD for shipping costs.

    18. Chris on September 11, 2014

      From the G+ Group:
      I know this is the story but it doesn't jive with reality. China Post will indeed pick up scheduled batches. The location in Shenzhen that Michael gave is actually a paper products factory, I already dug into that and provided their info a while ago. Neither are going to want pallets of large printers in their spaces for this long so if they truly were paid for, they would be gone. No question in my mind. There is missing info here for one reason or another.

    19. Pavel Dvoinos on September 11, 2014

      Keep up doing the good work man!

    20. Missing avatar

      Tankueray on September 11, 2014

      @Michael
      I'm willing to run the spare parts store through my website, and stock and ship the parts in order to keep things flowing. I submitted a ticket with more details a few minutes ago.

    21. Justin Pamphlion
      Superbacker
      on September 10, 2014

      @Michael and team, I'm an International backer (UK) of the *Limited Special* Fully Assembled PLA RigidBot 10"x10"x10" tier. I had logged a ticket a number of weeks ago asking for an update as I've not seen my 'order' number listed in any of the lists provided and not had a response.

      I'm also happy to pay extra for shipping, however, please someone correct me if my understanding is incorrect --- I thought "fully assembled RigidBots" were to be built and shipped from the US and not China? If so, then it begs the question as to why my Assembled printer and others in the same scenario as me haven't been shipped from the US to the UK or respective countries by now? Surely its not affected by the ChinaPost issues or have I missed something from the updates ? Any info is greatly appreciated. I like many of the International backers here yet to receive their printers just want to know what is needed to finally get these out the door and into our homes ? I honestly wish for a successful outcome for all involved (yourselves, IAP & backers), but, quite frankly we're entirely in your hands.

    22. Missing avatar

      Peter Bishop on September 10, 2014

      Michael,
      I Hope you do read these messages, or at least someone tells you.
      I am an international backer (Australia), my printer is locked up in the 9th pallet.
      I am willing to donate extra funds to have the printers shipped via Fedex, UPS or other.
      Can you please tell the community how to give extra funds, ie. paypal, amazon, bank transfer.
      No one wants to see IAP or yourself go down the drainpipe for such an ambitious project.
      I believe your design has potential, as well having them manufactured in another country is no small feat. I do look forward to receiving my printer.
      Please let this community of backers help you.

    23. Missing avatar

      Daniel Kim on September 10, 2014

      I'm really glad that most people on here are being respectful and understanding. It is an ambitious project that you embarked upon and I sincerely hope for a happy ending to the KS fulfillment and a continuation of a thriving consumer level 3d printing store.

      I hope and pray that you get through these troubles. I would donate something to help the international backers get their kits soon, or buy something from a storefront.

    24. Missing avatar

      Sebastian on September 10, 2014

      Michael, you could greatly reduce your debt if the following refund/reselling idea works:

      I assume there are about 700-800 intl. backers left. Assuming there are 300 of them that would like to get a refund then you could ship all the printers together which to the US which will save money. Then you can sell them domestically.
      My current configuration costs 1124$ at your website and I paid 825$, so that's a difference of 299$, times 300 is about 90.000$ that you could earn.

      Of course you'd need to subtract the amount of money you spend shipping but I assume it's way less than 30.000$ if you take an entire container or whatever the standard is.

      As soon as you have the money and the printers are on their way you can refund the other backers. You will have to label less printers in China, save time, reduce your debt and get money quicker. I'm sure there are enough US backers that would recommend one of your printers to one of their friends.

    25. Missing avatar

      Jury Razumovskiy on September 10, 2014

      Yes, unfortunately the majority of culture web community is extremely low. If necessary additional investments to deliver, you can open an additional fundraiser at her through the site, or individually through personal study, I guess. In principle, put into circulation available printers is also an option, because the production is already like as debugged. Thank you.

    26. FERNANDEZ Laurent on September 10, 2014

      Hi Michael, and thank you very much for this update and the total honesty.
      Reading all this, I feel for you and what you have gone through. You should have told us, it would have prevented some of the worst reactions. Anyway, what is done is done.

      Let us know what we International Backers can do to help you carry on, and if we have to pay extra shipping charges, it is fine for most I guess. Just tell us.

    27. Eugene le Roux on September 10, 2014

      Don't worry - yours is not the first project I backed that has run up against international shipping problems. Due to my location I'll probably have to pay you an extra $230 or more, and I'm cool with that. Stay positive!

    28. Øyvind Selbek on September 10, 2014

      Correction - it wasn't the printer. It was PLA (still looks like its been ran over by a car, but its much less of a problem ;))

    29. Øyvind Selbek on September 10, 2014

      Received printer today in a broken box that looks like its been ran over by a car... China post sure does suck :P

    30. Dominic Tiberio on September 10, 2014

      If the shipments are able to be called back/canceled so that you can use FedEx instead, then surely they can be called back to a proper logistics firm in the region. With so many countries involved and some with very few or even single units being shipped there, it is going to require a logistics firm to even begin to get to more manageable costs. It might also require simply cutting and refunding some extremely high-cost locations that only have 1-2 printers. (Which stinks but appears to be reality)

      I'm glad this update was a bit more honest and forthcoming but it still doesn't fully add up nor pass the smell test. I can understand that you are not obligated to divulge every detail and might not want to, but at this point transparency and honesty are about all that is left. That has been the source of the "negativity" from the very beginning. If you are broke, then pass the units on to a logistics firm or shipper that will work with the individuals to bill and ship them their printers.

    31. Missing avatar

      Christoph B on September 10, 2014

      Ich hab mich heute wie sau gefreut das ich post vom Zollamt bekommen hab und ich doch bitte die Rechnung nachliefern solle... Der Paketschein war zu 100% auf chinesisch und es war keine deklaration drauf. Ich konnte aber meine Bestellnummer rauslesen :D nach telefonischer Rücksprache mit meinem Zollamt fragte ich doch was auf dem Paket draufsteh und siehe da...Rigidbot steht drauf :D als der Zollbeamte mir dann allerdings gesagt hat, das das Paket nur so groß wie ein A4 Umschlag ist, ist meine vorfreude ganz schnell wieder im Keller gewesen... Natürlich nur das Material... Aber immerhin :) Auf dem Paketschein steht auch nichts drauf.Somit heißt es für uns internationalen Baker das wir zum Zollamt fahren dürfen und die Belege nachreichen dürfen... Oder halt per E-Mail und Postverzollung :)

    32. Don Hanson on September 10, 2014

      I'm sorry to hear this wonderful project has been such a huge financial drain. I'm also willing to donate to assist our international backers.

    33. Brett Hubbard on September 10, 2014

      USA backer, I am willing to donate to help our international backers receive their machines.

    34. gerald carosati on September 10, 2014

      same as other international backers here happy to pay the extra delivery cost please enable that option somehow and lets get printing ...

    35. Missing avatar

      Eduardo VM on September 10, 2014

      One option for shipping is I-Parcel, Amazon uses them, maybe it is a viable alternative to FedEx.
      Also, as others mentioned, how much the shipping would reduce if the filament was not included?
      Would be nice if we could have the extra cost for shipping the remaining kits and assembled printer by the end of this week.

    36. Cheng-Yu, Wu on September 10, 2014

      I'm heartbroken.
      Just calculate the shipping cost for different countries, then post them in the update. Most of us here just want to get the printer.
      And you should keep the regular updates!

    37. Stuart Lees on September 10, 2014

      At least we are not feeling so much like mushrooms.

      What I want is a no-bullshit price to get the unit delivered, as soon as possible, with an assured delivery date.

      Is there another model we can use?

      An example, say it will cost $150 extra to get the unit delivered. And you are prepared to do it for $100. Whatever. Can we pay $200, and get $100 store credit? I will need filament in the future (when you have had a chance to become financial again). The store credit means I get to effectively buy some filament (or spare parts) from you at cost.

      I'm sure there are a bunch of ways to do this, but remembering that there is an ongoing revenue stream in consumables and spares with owners of these units, and to get the unit, I'd be prepared to commit to some future purchases of consumables, cash up front. Not unlike what we've done with Kickstarter!

      What about a secondary kickstarter campaign (or an equiv through the IAP website) to fund raise for the delivery, with assurance of consumables, but with a realistic delivery date (ie when you can be sure you will be in a position to deliver). That would be of interest to more than just those who don't have their printer. It is effectively like a no-interest loan, with repayment in consumables, not cash.

      I just want my printer to finally arrive here in Oz

    38. Ira on September 10, 2014

      a. I also got only two fillament boxes but no printer. does that mean it's coming or is it a separate batch?
      b. Customs wanted a proper receipt or they won't release my boxes. Do I open a ticket?

    39. Joshua Jetson on September 10, 2014

      International (Australia) order.
      Im happy to pay and extra $100 or so shipping to get my printer from China.
      For all the negative comments. We are in the same boat, sometimes things go south and you lose out or are inconvenienced. Take it in your stride with some dignity for yourself and the business you CHOSE to support.

    40. Missing avatar

      Jacob Boersma on September 10, 2014

      I understand your frustration, really irritating that you put in so much effort and only get negative feedback due to circumstances outside your control. Really frustrating that China Post is such a pain to work with.
      I'd really like to get my kit, so I hope you find a solution. I'd pay more if it is reasonable, but also would accept a refund and give you permission to sell 'my' Rigidbot domestically.
      Please keep up the communication at least, even if the Monday updates stop.

    41. Missing avatar

      Steve Watmough on September 10, 2014

      Quick question - but were China Post paid up front for shipping and if so what has happened to that money? Have they given an explanation - did they underquote or have you simply not been able to communicate with them?

    42. Missing avatar

      Roel on September 10, 2014

      I just got the PLA material in from china post. Was this send in a different way? If I have to pay extra to get the printer here I will.

    43. Andreas Klintberg on September 10, 2014

      Wanted to chime in, I knew what I signed up for when I contributed to this Kickstarter campaign, Kickstarter is not a marketplace for products, but projects that we all support.
      I'm more than willing to pay for the extra shipping cost, don't want my rigidbot to rot away in some chinese warehouse :)
      I'm also extremely sorry for the negative response you've gotten on your updates and the social media channels. I for one very much enjoyed the weekly updates regardless if they were negative or positive or even only reiterating previous weeks information. But I guess that is also what has become of the internet.

      Anyways, many thanks still, and I still have a slim hope of getting a really fine printer. Otherwise I very much enjoyed the journey and hope you will recover from your personal debt.

    44. Missing avatar

      Aldo Visini on September 10, 2014

      Uummmm so what if we're tight on cash and can't afford to pay extra for shipping, but have been denied refunds because they have been 'shipped'.
      FedEx to New Zealand is not an option at all.
      I still love the company, but this really is getting out of hand, can we set an option for our orders to be resold in the US and receive a refund after that, equivalent stock change.

    45. Missing avatar

      Christian Gregor on September 10, 2014

      @Michael,
      I´m an international backer from Austria and i also have no problem to pay more for the shipping as long as i can be sure to get the printer kit asap. So please Inform us how much we have to pay for the shipping and how we can do this.
      (I find the idea from Paco below good.)
      kind regards
      Christian

    46. amigacooke on September 10, 2014

      What a sorry state this has become. It's difficult to know what's for the best, write off the original pledge or send more money to a company that appears to be servicing large debts.

      Good money after bad or the final hurdle before shipping, who knows?

    47. Paul Verduin on September 10, 2014

      @Micheal; I have no problem with paying extra for shipping..... but I want to be sure it will then ship. Also there are people in the Netherlands that did receive spools of filament and people that didn't. If I put in an address changed and got a conformation, will the stuff ship too the new address for sure? Please put out the numbers so I can make my printer happen!

    48. Missing avatar

      Paco on September 10, 2014

      First of all, thank you for the update (no matter what happen, I really recommend you not to loose the habit, even if there is nothing new to say, even if the response is negative, this minimum gesture maintains the credibility of your commitment even in the worst scenario).

      It will cost between 60,000 to 90,000 extra to ship the rest of the printers, so it is, aproximately, 75,000 dollars. I suppose that the percentaje of people that have not received their printers is 35% (750 backers more or less). 75,000/750 = 100 dollars for each.

      The same way you have included the ready to sell module in your web page, include in "my rigidbot" any module to add the extra 100 for the shipping...

      Please, please, dont wait another to weeks to start with the solution that seems more reasonable.

    49. Missing avatar

      Harald Schroeder on September 10, 2014

      "good luck to all of us" .... this I meant including you and InventApart...;)

    50. Missing avatar

      Tommy Nilsson on September 10, 2014

      I'm an international backer (Sweden)
      Just let me know what the cost for the printer to get sent my way and get this project landed and closed. SO WE CAN PRINT FUNNY THINGS TOGETHER!!!!