Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 9, 2013.

Update #25

HOME STRETCH (!) & Call to Action

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BACKERRRRRS!

It’s turbo mode at re:3D HQ -- and we’re thrilled to say we are only DAYS away from being fully shipped!! Just 5 kits and 2 flatpacks away from Kickstarter completion, that’s the STUFF!

Ship that!
Ship that!

A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to ALL our backers for your enduring patience, constructive feedback, and support. It has been unreal seeing your Gigabots out in the wild producing crazy print, and we cannot wait to see what you’ll do next!  A reminder: if you are awaiting your bot and have not filled out your export survey -- please do so in the link below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5YCS9ST

Crazy prints and radical makers -- that’s our deal!  Now that Kickstarter is formally winding down, there are several ways to stay plugged into the Gigabot fountain of delights:

1. PICS -- Submit photos of your crazy print masterpeices to engineering@re3d.org and we’ll include our favorites on our website gallery

2. VIDS -- Send us a short video to show off your crazy prints / Gigabot time lapses / design process / plans for world domination… and we’ll include it in our upcoming Gigabot montage

3.  PPL - looking ahead, we’re continuing our production plan to fulfill our post-Kickstarter pre-orders. We’re hiring for several positions, so please pass along any relevant leads in the areas below: 

- Machinist (PT flexible, Houston) 

- Material Scientist (Flexible, Houston)

- Light Assembly (PT Flexible, Houston) 

- Sales (Commission-based, U.S.) 

- Print Ninjas (Flexible, Houston) to help with 3D printing special requests 

- Interns (Flexible, Houston/Austin) to help with video tutorials and community development

4. NEXT -- We’re making progress on a heated bed add-on, so please contact sales@re3d.org if you’re interested in learning more.

ROCK!

- the re:3D team

Chief Hacker & Chief Catalyst
Chief Hacker & Chief Catalyst

Update #24

Shipping Shipping Shipping!

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Whaddup Backers!? This week we’re happy to report that all Gigabots up to and including those in the $2,500 level are in a box, off the dock, or already being constructed in their new home! We’ve also initiated international shipping, and have had success delivering Gigabots using two shipping partners to get them safe and sound across the pond. If you are an international backer and haven’t yet completed our shipping survey, please contact Samantha at samantha@re3d.org to ensure no further shipping delays. On to the kits at the $2,750 level…. and those flatpacks at the $4,950 level are starting to print their calibration prints, oh yeah!!

Kit deliveries en route to Kit Backers in Austin!
Kit deliveries en route to Kit Backers in Austin!

We are also breathing a sigh of comfort at our new re:3D Houston HQ. Talk about a hurricane of U-Hauls, post-it notes, 800 lb. shelves, and double-wall packaging! We used moving week to purge and recover from the early days of gathering every kind of cardboard box and packing foam imaginable. Now, it’s our home - complete with coffee, a mini-fridge, a sweet view of the lake over our parking lot, and a flurry of teammates, backers, and visitors watching re:3D evolve as a company and community before our eyes!

Flatpak comin' atcha from the former re:3D Houston HQ!
Flatpak comin' atcha from the former re:3D Houston HQ!
Kits galore being boxed up at the new digs
Kits galore being boxed up at the new digs

Over the past month we've implemented several process improvements - many as a result of the move to our new assembly space in Houston - including the hiring & training new machinists and other staff. While these initiatives will undoubtedly create more efficiency and productivity over the long-term, they did temporarily set us back a few weeks. We continue to work tirelessly to deliver you re:3D quality hardware as soon as possible.

re:3D Houston HQ
re:3D Houston HQ

As always, please reach out with any questions or comments.  

Rock on!

LaraBot and the re:3D team


Update #23

Happy New Year Backers!

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2013 -- what a year.  What began as a glimmer of a prototype in Chief Hacker’s eye is now being shipped around the world and producing crazy huge prints.  Each and every delivery is an opportunity for us to learn more about you and your plans for Gigabot.   Seeing your designs come to life makes all the hours of milling, metalsmithing, wiring, circuitry, logistics planning, testing, and tweaking worth every minute.  Not to mention, our backer community is already hacking away at a dual extruder add-on!  Off to a fantastic start in 2014!

We are preparing to ship mid-October kits, and have reached out to several of you to coordinate deliveries.  For our international backers, be sure to complete the online survey (via Survey Monkey) which we e-mailed this week.  We are required to collect critical export compliance and shipping information for all international shipments.  If you did not yet receive your survey, please reach out to Samantha (samantha@re3d.org).

As a reminder, we’ll be offering our “State of Your Printer” address TONIGHT, January 2nd at 7pm CST if you’d like to meet our team or ask questions about your Gigabot.  You can access the Hangout via the link below:

http://goo.gl/Jr5t75

Finally, as we ring in the New Year, we’d like to hear from YOU.  What do you see Gigabot accomplishing in 2014??

BIG Thanks,

The re:3D Team

Chris, Katy, Lara, Matthew, Samantha, Suzanne, Anup, Dan, Ernie, Lorena, Morgan, and Patrick

Update #22

Picking Up the Pace

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Dear Awesome Backers, 

Thanks for the continuous support, patience, and feedback! Many of you suggested that providing more multimedia with our Kickstarter updates would be helpful. A video seemed like a good way to answer some questions about the Viki LCD upgrade, so @chief_hacker recorded a quick tour of the Viki LCD add-on. All of our Gigabot-level backers will receive this add-on as part of our stretch-goal fulfillment.

We are committed to shipping a high-quality reward and look forward to the day when you all are printing huge designs on your very own Gigabot. For those eagerly awaiting delivery, you will be pleased to hear that the pace of backer fulfillment is accelerating significantly, and we have shipped all of our rewards and Gigabots through the September group. We are currently fulfilling early October backers, and in parallel vastly improving our online instruction sets for both hardware and software setup.

Depending on whether you track forward or backward, we are either one or two months behind schedule respectively. The delays have mainly been because of individual parts and sourcing challenges - so rest assured - the "GB2" model remains our Kickstarter baseline, including upgrades as described in our previous update. Bottom line: we expect to ship ALL units by the end of January. We make this statement with more confidence now that almost all of our hardware is in-house, ready to be either packaged or assembled into a “Flatpack” delivery.

As the date of your individual delivery nears (and is quite certain), we will contact you to confirm availability on your delivery date to receive your Gigabot, and to confirm the address to which you would like us to ship. All international backers should expect to receive an email from us in the next 10 days - the goal of which will be to properly coordinate logistics and avoid export compliance delays. IMPORTANT: If your contact information has changed since the time of backing, please let us know ASAP to avoid delays in delivery. Also, a signature will be required to receive any Gigabot which is not picked up from our facility in Houston.

Please let us know how we can best keep you informed of our progress or if you would like to speak with a member of our growing team. Now that several of our products are out in the wild, it strikes us how important community is to us in a practical sense - between our team members and among our backers. These adventures so far have taught us so much, and our one wish during this season of reflection is that we can enable and empower the entire community in 2014 and beyond.

Happy Holidays, The re:3D Team

Patrick and Chris assembling the next flatpack for testing
Patrick and Chris assembling the next flatpack for testing

Update #21

What Changed?

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In early 2013, over 65 backers on our Kickstarter Campaign chose to make the plunge into Gigabot ownership. The unit they backed (later dubbed “GB1”) was first in its class: rugged, huge, and priced orders of magnitudes below other large-scale 3D printers. Backers trusted our story, our founding team, and the engineering behind what they saw in our Kickstarter video. In the last 9 months, this trust has been our guiding light as we established our young enterprise.

This summer, after Kickstarter had wrapped up, re:3D had a significant decision to make: Do we deliver GB1 to our backers, maybe even a little early, and wait until 2014 to make all of the upgrades (to accommodate the pre-orders that were beginning to roll in)? Or use all of the feedback from our Gigabots in Chile and Austin to make a better, more robust, cleaner design to deliver on Kickstarter?  I think you can guess the answer. We decided that we would deliver the upgraded “GB2” within the estimated delivery timelines that we originally set out. This would have several benefits: All parts, tooling, and drawings would be common between Kickstarter versions and the follow-on deliveries. Our Kickstarter backers would not have a divergent version of hardware - it would be the same unit featured in our 2014 product line. Most importantly, the knowledge base of our community would be seamless between 2013 and 2014, allowing Gigabot owners to trade tips and tricks, successful print techniques, and even customizations that improve the design even further. 

 What are the changes from GB1 to GB2? 

Bed leveling: A huge bed equals large changes for even a slight angular difference between the frame and the bed. A 4-point bed leveling system was employed, and a dial indicator is included with every bot, in order to pinpoint the bed to within 100 microns across all 600mm. 

Filament spool mount: Binding or caught filament can be the nemesis for failed prints, as the motion across a 600mm bed would sometimes cause our tangling or twisting of 3mm filament into submission with quite a bit of force. Too much force and we’d see under-extrusion. Mounting the filament spool below the bed, and having a long tube guide it the rest of the way has alleviated filament tangling and feed problems and also shrunk the overall height of Gigabot by at least 6 inches. 

Electrical box: Our electrical box design keeps everything in one place and is mounted just below the filament spool for easy access (when unplugged, of course). We also designed in enough space for several upgrades, such as a heated bed, or dual extruder. The enclosure has been upgraded to a hinged door heavy gauge steel NEMA 1 unit normally found with industrial electrical service. We didn’t stop there and properly mounted everything on a back pan with din rail mounting for the terminal block and a bonus double fuse protection. 

Viki integration:  A tethered remote was an exciting stretch goal which we have found to be invaluable, now that we have a few Gigabots making their checkout prints at our Houston HQ. No longer do you have to say goodbye to your computer for 16 hours, hoping that the screensaver doesn’t ruin a print 60 minutes into it (spoken from experience!). With SD card integration, the Viki LCD can initiate prints, test motors, monitor temperature profiles, and allow the Gigabot to truly be “off the grid”. 

Belt protection: After several months in a makerspace in Santiago, as well as a short trip to the Atacama desert, we learned something about durability. Much of the design fared very well, but it became clear that the exposure of the belts on the outside of the Gigabot’s frame could could come in contact with fingers and long hair of printer operators and observers. Moving the belts to within the perimeter of the frame increases the safety and even the performance of your Gigabot

Width of a US doorway: Possibly the most unappreciated upgrade made by our Chief Hacker was the modularity and form factor of the GB2 model. The overall width of the Gigabot is of course driven by our 600mm X 600mm platform, but specific effort was made to allow the GB2 model to (a) assemble and disassemble easily if needed for packaging and transport, and (b) barely fit through the width of a 3-foot US door, fully assembled. Yes, sometimes you might need to take a door off its hinges if it doesn’t open all the way, but allowing this flexibility can mean that your (very quiet, in fact) Gigabot can be part of your home, just as easily as it can be part of a fabrication shop.

The unforeseen and honestly quite stressful part of the GB2 upgrades is this: developing and delivering GB2 to our backers had taken all of our margin out of the delivery schedule. We used every week of lead time before delivery to upgrade to GB2. Without an upgrade, we could have gracefully dealt with supplier delays, packaging challenges, and everything that goes along with making custom parts in-house, and probably even have delivered many of our bots early. But it also would have meant delivering a sub-performing product to our Kickstarter backers, as compared to what we would begin selling in January 2014. Looking back, our entire team supports the decision that was made.

We’re taking all of these challenges in stride, with our eye toward several successive goals, with our original promise to our backers guiding us every step of the way as we press on. As it turns out, it looks like we won’t be too long past our original estimated dates, and these still a very good possibility that all of our backer shipments will happen in 2013. We do, of course need to balance delivery timelines with customer support, instruction set development, and software upgrades. All part of the challenge we signed up for, and know we are held accountable for too.

We will always value community growth and interaction above all, and your continued feedback and support is so valuable to us. Thanks so much for being part of this crazy ride, which together we launched a short 8 months ago!

The re:3D Team


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