Receive all the production samples!
We have received production-level samples of all components: the electronics, the enclosure pieces, and the packaging. And they look pretty great. Here's a couple of pics of them:
But we've been encountered a few frustrating (but not unexpected, apparently) delays.
First up is there was a miscommunication at our electronics assembler and they sent us only sample quantities instead of the full quantity. And since these are international shipments, it took several days to realize the mistake. But the electronics we did receive work great, and we have the Fedex tracking number of the full shipment.
Secondly, the enclosure samples we received were close, but not quite there. CNC milling such a tiny piece has proved a challenge, and we've been working with our fabricator closely to get things right. Below is an example of some of the back-n-forth we have with some of the firms we deal with. They send samples. We inspect and test the samples. Then we provide any changes needed. In this case, the CNC aluminum top had a missing chamfer and had too strong of a bead blast finish causing the part to "shrink" as the beads ate away too much material. For the bottom injection-molded piece, there wasn't sufficient venting at one point in the mold, leading to a gap. They had recognized the venting issue before we even asked and had modified the mold to fix it.
The main issues we wanted to test with the enclosure was: would the electronics fit securely in the enclosure and would the top snap-fit? Fortunately the enclosure works great so no edits of the design are needed. Full production continues on the injection-molded part of the enclosure, and we're getting another sample for the top aluminum part.
On a refreshing note, the packaging samples we received were exactly as we specified and production on them has been progressing as expected.
Because of the delays, we won't be able to ship in October. And we were so close! As I talk with other manufacturers, I've learned that enclosure delays related to machining and injection-molding are common and we should have budgeted an extra month of contingency on top of what we already had. This has been a learning experience for us in that regard and thank you for your patience. I'm going to be more conservative and say that our updated shipping date will be before Thanksgiving.
Have a great Halloween!