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 Thingiverse.com, 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.