I want to say right off this won't be the update many are hoping for - we're not yet shipping and the head unit design is not yet complete, this update doesn't have photos or videos, it is just an update to say where we are and what is next and clear up some things - for it not being a shipping notice I once again apologize, but several comments have made the point that any sort of update is better than nothing and that it is time for one - and that is correct.
Reminders and Clarifications
We are a very small team and for me personally this project has been my focus now for over a year and a half - in that time I've had no other day job and no real income - it is my job, my word to you our backers, and my duty as a honest person to deliver. But - in order to do that I unfortunately cannot respond to every message, comment, and email at this time - there are three types of messages that make up the vast majority of them, and here are answers for these most common things:
Address Changes - You do not need to update your address at this time. We will send an email with a link requiring everyone to confirm your address before the BuildOne ships. For time reasons - We will not respond to messages/emails asking us to update an address.
Add/Change Items in Your Pledge - You can still add or change the items you are getting with your pledge - get your pledge manage link resent to you here: https://www.robotic.industries/orders/resend.php - removing items from your pledge however will not create a refund, nor are refunds offered at this time (see next item). For time reasons - We will not respond to messages/emails asking us to make changes to the items you've pledge for, you can do that yourself with the pledge manager.
Refunds - We granted refunds when requested for the first 6 months after the campaign ended, at that time we began spending backer money on actual parts and part deposits, making any refunds work against the goal of completing the project - so we no longer offered them. More details about that are here - towards the bottom - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robotic-industries/buildone-99-3d-printer-w-wifi-and-auto-bed-levelin/posts/2066226 For time reasons - We will not respond to messages/emails asking for/if we offer refunds.
What We've Been Working On
It has been 3+ weeks since our last update - what have we done in that time?
It isn't something we mention often because it tends to make people mad that we can't work on the printer 18 hours every day, or leads to not-so-nice and very personal messages. But the fact is we are people with families, children, houses, animals, etc - and sometimes those commitments demand more of our attention then others. This past month has been busy with personal commitments - some seasonal with winter approaching, and some having been put off for a long while to focus on the printer, and some once in a lifetime - like kids starting school for the first time and all the meetings and everything that goes with that. It sounds better when we say "We've done nothing but work on the printer all month" and usually that is the case, but this past month we've had other commitments to take care of, we've done that, and worked on the printer and now were back to fully focused on it.
Now with that out of the way - we've worked on:
Head Unit - see the next section.
Finished updating the acrylic parts to match the injection molding changes.
Continued the ongoing chore of keeping supply lined up and factories ready to move forward.
Continued to test the electronics.
Head Unit Update
We would love your help!
When we first asked for help with injection molded parts we had an outpouring of offers - when we asked again for help with the head unit, however, there was little interest. We get it, this thing is so overdue that many have lost interest in the project or don't want to help - that is understandable. This past month we worked with one person who we appreciate was interested in helping with the head unit design - as sometimes happens this collaboration did not work out. We were extremely lucky (and thankful!) for Leonid and his team's time with the other injection parts, not so lucky this time with this other collaborator. We will continue to forge ahead one way or another - at this point we'll likely bring in a hired helper to finish it as quickly as possible - BUT one last try, because we've found backer help is almost always the best help there is and faster then hiring someone not familiar with the project:
If you are an injection molding engineer/expert/etc and specifically have the skills to work with us to redesign the head unit for injection molding and have the time for it right now, please email us at email@example.com. Volunteer work is always great, of course, but we are also more then willing to offer compensation for it - we just want to get it done.
We continually get requests for a new timeline - we do not have one at this time, we know what needs to happen before shipping and how long most of those things should take - so in response to those requests I think the best thing we can do is give a list of those steps that remain. (Partially taken from a previous update)
Test of final injection molded parts and final circuits boards with the final head unit - We have been testing the prototype injection molded parts. When we have the final head unit parts we will test everything together. At this stage we would call the full assembly the "ready for production" sample.
Final package design - the ready for production samples go to the assembly and packaging factory - and they take the box we've picked out, the packing order we've spec-ed, and determine the foam inserts needed to pack it all in with the padding we've spec-ed.
Full scale assembly - at this stage we'll be past the mass production hurdles of injection molding, circuit boards, and sourced parts - this is all about getting the first production runs of the parts and then answering questions about our assembly specs, quality control, and receiving the first many shipments (and random samples on an ongoing basis) ourselves, and checking them. These first shipments will effectively be the first public beta units in that we'll ship them out to backers in return for immediate feedback, this rolls into making any needed changes and continuing production.
Final shipping logistics - concurrent with the Full scale assembly we'll be taking the leads and research we have already and making the final choices of logistics - prices, tariffs, and freight shipment lead times are all over the place right now so there is really no good way to finalize the logistics patterns until we can say "we'll have either several hundred packages or a 20ft container in one week."
I look forward to updating everyone when the head unit design is complete and we are moving to the next step.