Final production, packaging & shipping commencing
In this update, there's stuff about:
- Production electronics received
- Production enclosure parts received
- Retail boxes on their way
- Final assembly& packaging
- Be sure to get us your shipping addresses
- Team ThingM photo
Good news, we've received production quantities of both the electronics and the two parts of the enclosures. So we're beginning final packaging and are getting ready to ship.
Production electronics received
A week ago we received all of the finished electronics. Below is a photo of how they are shipped to us. Each assembled and tested unit is ensconced in its own little anti-static pocket of a larger anti-static 2-ply sheet. Each sheet contains 25 blink(1) boards, which is then rolled up with anti-static bubblewrap. Repeat for all 6000 units.
Because the CNC milling takes a while, we've opted to receive a partial shipment of enclosure pieces instead of waiting for the full shipment. This costs us a bit more money, but allows us to get started sooner on packaging and shipping. Yesterday we received 2000 of our ordered 6000 units, and that will cover about half of the Kickstarter orders. We will be receiving the remainder next week.
Here's what those parts look like straight out of the shipping box:
There was a little machine oil on the metal top parts, so before we started assembly full-steam, we washed all the metal tops in warm sudsy water. It feels very weird to move your hands around 2000 tiny metal things.
Retail boxes on their way
The magnetic-snap box with foam insert that holds the blink(1) during shipment have also been shipped to us and are expected to arrive on Friday. Here's what the those boxes of boxes look like before they left our case maker
Each brown box contains 1000 little white boxes. :-)
Final assembly & packaging
The final stages of assembly are pretty straightforward. In the future we'll hire out to do this, but for now we're doing it here at ThingM Labs (aka Tod's converted garage) so we can gauge the final fit and finish. The steps are pretty simple: snap electronics to enclosure bottom, snap metal top to plastic bottom, place assembled unit in retail box, repeat. We've started and plan on having it done in a few days. The hope is to start shipping units to our fulfillment house next week, so that you'll get them by the end of November.
One concern during final assembly was the consistency of sizing and quality of the various parts. Initial indications are very good that we won't have any problems in that area. Here's a photo of the first few assembled production blink(1) units, ready to be boxed up for shipping.
Get us your shipping address!
We have a few stragglers who we've yet to receive a shipping address from. If you think you may be one of those, please contact us with a Kickstarter message and we'll get you sorted.
Team ThingM photo
Other companies will have regular group photos, but since ThingM is so geographically decentralized, we've never actually all been in the same room together. Except that two weeks ago, we had an in-person all-hands meeting. It was very productive and it was awesome to have everyone together. So here we are! (Thanks to Carlyn for taking the photo)
Again, thank you from all of us! (Tod, Kim, Mike, Abe, & Alex)