Hello dear backers,
It's been a while since our last update, but we are here now with plenty of cool details.
OLAF’s manufacturing process
OLAF Business models is fully made (both chassis and double telescopic handles) of aluminum tubes. Generally they are cut manually, in some cases also with computer laser cutter machine (see in our Kickstarter video how we cut some tubes via tubular laser cutter machine / find the shot at 2 min 10 sec).
Business model also has one cast aluminum part (rear wheel fixture). All cutted parts are drilled afterwards (assembly and axis holes). Every part is then positioned into a welding jig and welded by hand.
We need approx. 20 minutes to weld a Business model and about 10 minutes for Urban model (only telescopic handles). Robotic welding is not feasible until next bigger production lot (we need to make at least 2000 in one batch in order to robot programming makes sense).
When we have all parts (aluminum parts, springs, axis, bolts ...) assembly finally starts. Some of those parts are surface protected in advance (galvanized or powder coated); when folding system is completely assembled, structure goes to powder coating.
We have chosen a powder coating instead of aluminum anodizing (almost all scooters are anodized – you protect aluminum with 10-20 microns of aluminum oxide) due to a better surface protection (it doesn’t get scratched so easily).
How it’s done
Parts are going through cleaning stages first – they are submerged into cleaning baths, drying follows in the next step. After that we electrostatically attach polyester powder (about 80-100 microns of thickness – 10 times the human hair thickness).
After cleaning process, parts are dried in an oven and prepared for coating process.
Parts are then »baked« in an oven at 180 °C for 30 minutes. We use best, exterior based, UV stable, polyester based color / black color / non glossy.
Did you know: springs
OLAF Business and Urban model have 9 separate springs installed, 5 of them are installed into telescopic handle, the remaining 4 into steering and folding system.
All springs are made out of high quality steel wire (stainless steel) and are additionally either galvanized or powder coated.
Both platforms are too strong! I know you will always think about me (not in the best way ☺) when packing your OLAF Business and leaving those extra gadgets at home or when wearing OLAF Urban on your back with more (extra) grams.
Yes, we could save “a few” grams but in that way OLAFs would not be as great as they are now, almost indestructible. However, we are now sure that both models would last for years, being passed down to your children and grandchildren. That is our vision of sustainability.
We told you that 100 kg is the weight limit for both models. We again tested both models with several positions. Well, good news. Our OLAFs can easily withstand over 200 kg of dynamic load (over 3 thousands of cycles).
VIDEO: OLAF Business test rig, 3000 cycles, 250 kg dynamic load
Urban wooden board problems
We take testing very seriously. And sometimes the test results are not the »best«. See below how Urban wooden board was delaminated under our test rig and 200 kg of load.
VIDEO: OLAF Urban test rig, 3000 cycles, 220 kg dynamic load
A solution to that problem was quite simple. We changed the glue, now using glue of the highest quality. We also use best-quality water based (triple layer) lacquering in order to preserve wood as long as possible in its best shape.
VIDEO: OLAF Urban test rig, 3000 cycles, 220 kg dynamic load
Weather fatigue tests
Our last version of wooden boards was exposed to rain, snow and low temperature from December till recently on our shop roof. There were now significant problems when we tested boards on our test rig.
Last modifications of OLAF case
Our last modification of OLAF Business case was the change of the main exterior zipper. We changed it to a more robust, better quality, bigger zipper type (size 8).
In addition, we added an exterior lock to that zipper as well. A perfect solution when you need to leave your hand luggage away from you. Your belongings are safe now. All OLAF Business backers will get those locks for free.
We have received quite many questions about wheels (where to buy them, …)
With both models we found no significant wear of front wheels. Since Urban model is more aggressively ridden, we experienced some problems with rear wheel wear. Therefore we went from mono rear wheel to double 72 mm diameter rear wheel (in one of our previous updates we told you that Urban model will have double 110 mm wheels) – 72 mm are working great.
Rear wheels can be damaged when you apply huge force to your rear wheel brake and block them. When wheels get worn out they are not perfectly round anymore. Flexible wooden board does absorb some of those bumps; however ride is not so smooth anymore. That is why we will add two additional rear wheels for Urban model. Also, 72 mm rear wheels can be found in any shop with roller skates or similar equipment since 72 mm size is a roller skate dimension.
1. Additional wooden platform for backpack positioning
We love wood, therefore we upgraded the platform with additional wooden platform where your backpack (your loudspeaker, picnic basket...) will sit on. We make this in-house (will show you pictures in our next update).
2. Free harness system for Kickstarter backers
Some of you were asking us about that (who will get that add-on). All OLAF Urban backers will get one. You will be able to attach our backpack (if you ordered one) or your old one, your grocery bag ... – we make it in-house as well (pictures will follow in our next update).
BUT we are late
All scooter are welded and are in assembly process at the moment. We need two more weeks to complete an assembly and start a powder coating process, after that one more week to assemble all fixtures that are mounted afterwards (plastic elements, wheels...).
Than means we should have all scooters ready by mid-February. We expect no more surprises here. However, our backpack and case manufacturer partner is running late. Because of all “last minute” modifications that resulted in really superb backpack and case, we do not blame them. It is our own fault since we were never satisfied with the interior materials, millions of added functions, how the stitching should be done, colors etc.
We are still amazed by the quality of our end products, how some of the details are now finally solved, especially when comparing them with prototypes. Here we really did some work. We promised to start shipping end of January. Well, the way things look at the moment we will get backpacks and cases at end of February. Then we will need a few days for assembly, meaning we can start shipping first days in March. However, we will ship some Urban models - (without backpacks, only the platform / OLAF Urban platform backers) in February.
To be honest we feel terrible and we (Bostjan for sure) do not sleep well these days. However, when you finally try OLAFs, you will see it was worth waiting.
Please expect to get the survey soon. Since we can only send out the survey once, we would like to wait a bit more in order to get your latest addresses. In the survey you will be able to tell us your shipping address, customization details (logo/name engraving, colors ... ).
Thank you again for your patience and for believing in us right from the beginning.