Production Update #13 - Customer Responses, Art Gallery Feature, and some extra Ancients?!?
Despite having to deal with two major malfunctions with the Big Bertha laser for the past two weeks (read about that further down); we were able to keep things rather productive in the down time thanks to our pre-cutting/pre-assembly system that is beginning to outpace the main assembly system. Some of this time has been spent getting ahead on sheet preparation as well as testing new methods out for speeding up the process. With the additional help of a 4th team member, we think that we can produce up to 20 books per week using the bulk cutting methods that were suggested by a backer to us a while back. After confirming with our files, we are able to fit 4 books worth of pieces on to each sheet for each type of stain/color.
- 2 sheets of Birch White (2 books per sheet because the majority of pieces are large)
- 1 Sheet of Yellow
- 1 Sheet of Walnut
So as long as the lasers can cut out those 4 sheets, 5 days of the week and Brady can come in on Saturdays and cut out 4 Hinge sheets (5 books ea.) for every batch, we could consistently pump out 20 books! The new team member would help Tate out with Staining, Sorting, and Pre-Assembly while Nathan can continue assembling the normal 3 books a day. In the meantime Brady will continue to operate the lasers, assemble the 4th book in between material changeouts, and keep managing other minor day to day activities of the business.
This means that the normal 15 weekly quota will be continually sent out to the Reward Backers, but the additional 5 books will be sold to Voucher backers to help offset our monthly operational costs. Once we have the new team member established in their role, we will begin reaching out Voucher Holders in small groups, requesting the codes found on the Vouchers we had sent out previously.
!!Exhibit and Presentation at Local Art Gallery!!
!!STOP BY THE MAQUOKETA ART EXPERIENCE, OCTOBER 28TH, 2PM!!
Our local art gallery, Maquoketa Art Experience is now displaying the Codex in all it's glory! One model has all the pages accessible yet locked so that all can view each page without having to solve the book first. The other model is a completely locked version, meant for passersbys to mess around and play with!
It's actually all part of a presentation that I will be doing this weekend there! So if there are any Backers who happen to live close to Iowa and wish to hear and meet Brady in person, stop on by!
MAQUOKETA ART EXPERIENCE, OCTOBER 28TH, 2PM to 4PM.
BRADY WILL BEGIN SPEAKING AT 2PM
Working on some Ancients!
On top of all that, we were able to complete and ship out the three above Ancient books too. Out of the 30 Ancients we originally offered, 26 have been shipped out as of today. Of the last four, two of the books are awaiting layout confirmations from their respective buyers, but the other two are no longer held claimed by anyone at this time...
2 Ancient Codices - Who will claim them...?
In an effort to close off the Ancient Codex chapter and complete the original set of 30 total Ancients, we will be offering these last two books on Ebay between November 7th to the 10th. We hope this will give the buyer enough time to quickly make their design selections so that we can have these books built for Christmas as an extra incentive!
We want to get as many books sent out to KS Backers before Christmas so these Ancients would only be worked on by Brady in his free time and on the weekends to minimize production impact.
NOVEMBER 7TH - 10TH
Starting at 7PM CST and 705PM CST
EBAY AUCTION - 2 ANCIENT CODICES
STARTING PRICE - $1000
We've started hearing back from quite a few backers as they each begin receiving their Codices and it's really, really fun to hear about everyone's excitement and wonder over the book. As more books continue to get sent out, we hope to post their comments and reviews of the book in each update, both for the communities enjoyment and giving our backers their own little 15 seconds of fame :D
"....Got my Codex today and am blown away by its size, weight, smell and overall beauty..."
I have made it through the last page and also managed to put everything back together. The Maze is still quite tight in several places on the right side and I need to force the peg through, but it feels like it‘s getting easier, so let‘s avoid the hassle and cost of sending a replacement page all the way to Europe. It would be nice to be able to take you up on your kind offer should the peg break at some point in the future.
All in all, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time with the Codex. The decoding of runes was a bit cumbersome at times, but they do look gorgeously mysterious and add a unique flavour to the whole object, which in and of itself is a true piece of art.
Thanks once again for what has been a lot of fun all the way through the finish line and a campaign that was inspiring in its transparency and honesty with backers. I sure am curious what might be next for you and the team.
All the best,
Eric wrote up a terrific review of the Solution and Assembly Processes. Because some of the stuff he talks about may contain SPOILERS Also because his comments are scattered in the Comment Section, I took his questions, comments and reviews while also including my answers to his questions and reorganized them all into one document which can be read here: Eric H's Review of Assembly and Solving the Codex
"....WOW!!!!! I'll post some kind of update later about the mass paranoia I have in the assembly process, but right now I'm 1/4 way through assembly of page 1.
Solved Book page first (actually solved the chest). That is the plan, when I find time. Solve, Assemble, Solve next, Assemble next, and so forth.
This thing is MASSIVE. (received yesterday … early bird backer … 7pg Book, Un-Assembled 7pg Book, Chest, plus Tees/Vouchers/Coasters … USA)
Brady / Hanna / Koda and crew … simply WOW!..."
"....All puzzles work/solve as intended. Solving this was excellent. Building it was almost as fun. Hopefully if you've been reading along, something I said was useful..."
"...Great thanksgiving surprise. Got my codex today. So far solved 2 puzzles the third I haven't figured out but accidentally opened. Trying to lock it back up page 2 is stiff to lock again.
so far loving it..."
"...Got the ups verification and took me longer than it should have to put two and two together.
Came within 3 days of that email My first run with the book was a bit of a sprint due to excitement and extreme curiosity, so I skipped the story entirely and just went for the gold; I’d say 60 or so minutes in total (wife assisted on one of them).
I plan to go back and actually take the time to appreciate, and figure out everything properly the next time through..."
"...I am absolutely thrilled to tell you all that my Codex and various add-ons were delivered to me, here in the UK, yesterday ($275 tier). Everything is beautifully made and totally exceeds all my expectations. Congratulations Brady !! I literally laughed out loud with delight when I realised that my t-shirt and coasters were inside the locked chest !!..."
"...My codex arrived today. It is awesome. I drove home at lunchtime unpacked it and solved the first two pages. When my on call week ends this Sunday night will be my first opportunity to really dig in..."
Laser Down x2, Laser Back Up Tomorrow
Well, we've been going strong for the last 6 months without any major hiccups or serious breakdowns until about two weeks ago. Naturally it all starts with a few different cut jobs going awry with the laser head suddenly catching, with a loud whirring sound coming from the motor. The first few times I figured it had ran into something along the guide rail, like a small piece of wood that flew wild. There even was a small piece of wood wedged in behind a pulley's housing, but it wasn't actually touching anything vital. The third time it happened, the laser head just stopped and would not move with even physical force in either direction along it's x-axis. Eventually we determined it was the motor that had finally given up the ghost and simply locked up. Thankfully, my dad, amazing as ever, was able to help me properly reinstall the motor and its 8 wire mess of soldering it all back together.
So once the new motor was installed, the laser was back up and running and we were cutting like mad over the weekend. However, just this past Monday, the Laser runs one cut job with a short break before suddenly just not wanting to fire the Laser tube at all. After working with Boss Laser Tech Support, we were able to determine that the Power Supply Unit had in fact died. According to them, this happens quite often with units that are used constantly all day, every week at 90-95% power for very long periods of time and that they typically last about a year. Frustrating to say the least I know when an industrial model should be capable of doing that for many years not just one, but at least the new one is here now and I should have the laser running late into the night, trying to make up for some lost time.
SCS Direct/China Update
China is in the middle of working on the final sample and finalizing of their production layout/setup. Ideally they'd be done somewhere between Mid to Late Nov. That is all we can share for now, but we are growing more and more excited as the weeks tick by, counting down!
So despite the Big Laser giving us a good bruising, we are jumping right back in the saddle and will keep on moving on. I know we will finish out the $150 Tier sooner than later, but the real goal is to see just how far into the $175 Reward tier we can get through before the holidays hit!
As always, thank you all for your love and support! Please, please keep sending us your initial reactions, photos of Codex Solving Sessions, and any issues or problems you may encounter or need help with!
Brady, Hanna, Nate, Tate, Houdini, Koda!