Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 5, 2012.

Update #20

Smartphone spectrometer injection molding has begun

Hello everyone -- I sent a message last week to backers of the "backpack" model, which we've started calling the "smartphone spectrometer", promising updates soon and apologizing for our slow progress on our first injection molded project.

This week, I want to announce that we've made our initial deposit on a run of 1,000 3-part molded plastic parts with ProtoEdge, a Minnesota-based provider of fast injection molding manufacturing. They've promised a turnound time of 3-4 weeks and have confirmed that our files are moldale as-is, with no additional modifications needed. That had been the sticking point with previous companies, such as ProtoMold and QuickParts, which had been sending files back to us repeatedly for months, to Mathew Lippincott's unending frustration (Mathew is in charge of the smartphone spectrometer part of the project). In any case, as a result of all the changes we made, the files seem ready and production is moving forward as we speak. 

We're reluctant to interrupt the folks at ProtoEdge for any reason at all, so we won't be asking them for in-progress photos, but we will provide ongoing updates as things evolve.

Another point -- Mathew's uploaded his models to, where you can download, modify, and remix them. However, Brad Dudenhoffer's original design is better suited for 3d printing (as opposed to injection molding), and can be found here. We hope that these open source design files will make it easier for people to make adaptors, such as for DSLR cameras or telescope mounts. 

Thanks again for your patience, everyone, and we're very pleased to finally be making progress on this last major milestone.


    1. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on August 29, 2013

      We are still waiting for a final timeline from Louis at ProtoEdge; we last heard from him on Tuesday and I just sent him another email. I'd like to hope that they've started the run, but I'll give him a call today to confirm.

      If we get the parts this coming week, we should be able to ship the first batch the week after that, although we are still tweaking the liner design and the instructions based on what we've learned from the molded samples.

      I'd prefer not to make promises just yet, however, since we've seen unexpected delays in the past, and until we have the parts in hand we don't have complete control over the process. Rest assured, though - we're doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to start shipping and that the kits will be thorough and well done.

    2. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on August 28, 2013

      Shipping update for fully assembled product please?

    3. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on August 23, 2013

      Quick update for those of you who haven't been following the main comment thread: as of Tuesday this week, we have injection molded samples, and we had decided to move ahead with ABS plastic, but ProtoEdge has asked us to wait until this coming Monday when another set of samples will arrive, this time made of nylon. They are saying that they ran nylon tests and they are much better, so we elected to wait a few more days to confirm this. In any case, we'll post more pictures when those arrive, but once we see them and decide on a final material, they'll be running the production, which I believe takes only a day or two.

    4. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on August 10, 2013

      Matt, I'm sorry, but the terms of service don't really say that at all. I'm happy to discuss this by email if you like ( and we are also happy to send you a Desktop kit and/or a Fold-Up spectrometer as a gesture of goodwill. And when the smartphone spectrometers are ready in a few weeks, you'll get one of those too.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Matt on August 9, 2013

      Actually it is simple, you have a legal requirement to fulfill the pledge. I don't know how familiar you are with the legal requirements Kickstarter actually places on people involved in creating projects, because they exist. Please read the Terms Of Service, they specifically state that we basically have to harass you to the point of you voluntarily giving us a refund for non-delivered overdue items, and when you refuse we have to take legal recourse. I don't particularly like the way Kickstarter sets it up because they effectively remove any personal involvement with these sort of disputes and creators feel like they therefore have more leniency, when actually they're wholly legally responsible.

    6. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on August 8, 2013

      We'll likely post another update as we get more, but Louis from ProtoEdge sent over a few photos of the molds being machined, which look pretty cool. I've posted them over on the Public Lab site:

    7. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on August 8, 2013

      Hi, Matt - I'm sorry you're unhappy, but it's not really that simple; your pledge made it possible for this whole project to happen, from software to organizing the community, to bringing all of the different designs to life. I echo Kickstarter's founders in saying that this is not a store where you buy products, but a place where you take part in making something happen. All of us -- from the dozens of collaborators who created the project, to the hundreds of backers who've joined the community -- remain grateful that you chose to do so.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Matt on August 7, 2013

      You've ignored this question before, can either you or Matthew Lippincott offer a refund if we are unsatisfied with the project at this point? I feel whoever is in charge of this (Lippincott?) is in over their heads, and I would prefer to spend 65$ on something else.

    9. Jeff-photo.small

      Creator Jeffrey Yoo Warren on July 29, 2013

      Hi, David P - you can send a message in the Kickstarter system and we'll be checking them all before sending things out. Please provide as complete an address as possible. Thanks!

    10. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator David Potash on July 29, 2013

      Many thanks for the update. If we've moved since backing you (it has been a while), how do we get you a new address?

    11. Img_0320.small

      Creator David Dean on July 29, 2013

      It's good to hear you found a shop that can do the job, and I'm glad you mentioned them. I'll be sure to put ProtoEdge on the list of places we check with at work when we need stuff done.

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