Hey Backers! We have had an intense past three weeks. Here’s what's happening. We had our factory ship us another batch of reservoirs. To speed things up we shipped them Next Day Air only to have the package lost by the carrier. After they told us it could be up to 7 days until they found it we put in another rush order and had the parts a few days later. Incidentially, the original package has not yet been found.
As we inspected the reservoirs we found many were cut with jagged edges. Supposedly the jagged edges occurred because we are using a thin and flexible piece of plastic for this part. Even though they functioned well we still feel they are unacceptable to ship as a finished product. Instead we are having them sent to a specialty die and CNC cutting shop that we met a couple weeks ago at the Chicago Design and Manufacturing show. We have a lot of confidence in this company.
Obviously things like this slow us down and we're only as strong as our weakest link. We kept waiting for better news about the reservoir but felt it was time for an update. Nobody wants to get these aquariums shipped out more than us! Either way, it's great to learn from these experiences for when we produce our next self-cleaning aquarium.
Here are some photos of our successes. The first picture shows some of the drilled and grommeted glass that we received from our assembly shop.
These are the copper spouts we sourced and our custom injection molded inner spout tip. The spout tip regulates the flow of the cleaning so everything works fast, smooth and trouble-free.
Here is a shot of the jig our factory designed to hand bend the tube. To accomplish this the acrylic tubing is heated, hand-pressed into shape and then cut. A metal spring is inserted inside the tube during bending so it keeps it's shape without collapsing.
Here are a couple shots of the lid. The picture to the left is one of the original prototype lids we made ourselves by heating and forming a plastic sheet over Lego's. The center lid is the first production sample. You'll notice we shortened it bit and smoothed out the mold for our final production lid that you see to the right.
We are waiting on the reservoir and once we see they are cut to our specifications we will be able to provide a solid ship date. After all, one lesson of this whole thing is to not provide a ship date until we are sure:) Thanks again everyone!