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Tiko is the 3D printer you’ve been waiting for. Simple, accessible, and dependable, all for a pledge of $179.
Tiko is the 3D printer you’ve been waiting for. Simple, accessible, and dependable, all for a pledge of $179.
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16,538 backers pledged $2,950,874 to help bring this project to life.

Heatwave

Posted by Tiko 3D (Creator)
312 likes

Hi everyone,

Last month we reported that we were tackling the jamming problem. A lot has happened since then, and we’d like to bring you up to speed. :)

Recap 

Throughout September we concentrated on the ceramic heater – the heart of Tiko’s liquefier. Our tests indicated that the temperature variations between Tikos were the underlying cause of jamming. 

Upon further examination, we discovered over a dozen non-negligible sources of error in our calibration process and control system. Basically, we royally screwed up our original calibrations, and didn’t realize it at the time. Knowing this, we decided to re-do all heater-related calibration/control work from scratch. We called this Operation: Heatwave. 

We dived all the way in, this time armed with laboratory-grade equipment, advice from industry experts, and the use of professional calibration services. 

Along the way we discovered that accurately measuring elevated temperatures is hard as hell and we’re not the first to struggle with it. There’s an entire field devoted to precision measurement/calibration techniques, and it’s called Metrology. Check it out; it’s a fascinating, rich, and humbling topic. It sure made us feel small. 

So. Much. Data. 

Over the course of the month, we collected a great deal of data. We studied every possible aspect of the heaters and the temperature measurement/control system. We looked for any information that could help improve our calibrations and take Tiko to a new level of accuracy. Here’s some of the data we gathered: 

It's piękne, it's beautiful.
It's piękne, it's beautiful.

Each of these graphs represents a test we ran since the last update. The numbers have been obscured, but make no mistake, these are actual tests we ran and visualizations we used to make sense of them. Each of these helped improve our hardware, firmware, and assembly/QC processes. 

In the end, we brought temperature control to within a ±1.2% system tolerance, easily rivaling off-the-shelf 3D printer thermistors. We did all this while keeping the benefits of a self-measuring heater.

Since then we've been running print tests. Lot’s and lots of print tests. We routinely discard them (they take up a LOT of space) but here are a few we’ve held on to: 

It’s a painstaking process. Prints can take several hours. Factor in the time for analysis, adjustment, re-printing, etc and even a straightforward test can take days. Many prints failed along the way, and many lessons were learned. As the weeks rolled on, we kept improving and refining, and now we’re here. 

We can now consistently print the standardized test prints, and we’re now moving onto complex tests (overhangs, retraction, etc.). It’s a strange combination of excitement and tediousness. Now we press forth!. :)

Upgrades

Hardware has seen its fair share of improvement, too...

 

You may recall that we have an entire team in China. Well, despite pausing production, they’ve been busier than ever. While Team Canada worked on heaters, Team China tested Tiko’s hardware to identify areas of improvement. In the end, we implemented a few upgrades: 

  • Upgraded 2x3mm Bowden tube to 2x3.5mm. This improves long-term ruggedness.
  • Redeveloped extruder filament channel. Filament loading is now effortless.
  • Redesigned filament drive gear. Permits increased extrusion force without filament grinding.
  • Improved base rigidity/consistency. Helps with auto-leveling. 

Team China has also developed a number of innovative QC and management processes that improve quality, streamline operations, and reduce waste.

Beneath the Surface 

It has certainly been a productive month, but it’s hard to capture the sheer scale of development that goes into Tiko. There’s so much more that happens behind the scenes. 

We know that many of you are chomping at the bit for up-to-the-minute details. We know exactly how you feel. But the truth is, not every aspect of R&D is exciting. Sometimes it’s a grind. It can feel slow. This month was like that. But this kind of steady persistence is what it takes to reach greatness. Rome wasn't built in a day. 

We started our campaign by biting off more than we could chew. We didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we did. Perhaps it was ambitious, perhaps it was foolish, but what matters is that we finish what we started. 

Realizing this project has taken countless late nights. Missed weekends. Hundreds of prints. Thousands of man-hours. Hundreds of thousands of lines of code. Millions of data points. It’s been a monumental effort, and we’re happy to say… it’s finally coming together. 

What’s Next

Given the positive test results, we are now green-lighting production of the upgraded components. That means we’re just a few weeks away from shipping. The reasons for this are threefold.

1) It will take some 2-3 weeks to build up component inventory and assemble the first batch.

2) It’s been a while since we made any improvements to our slicer. We’d like to put the final touches on it before we ship, making for a great out-of-box experience. 

3) We substantially modified Tiko’s firmware to streamline heater testing. We now have to merge all of these features back into the production code and test for stability/consistency. 

With the parts arrived and software cleaned up, it’s simply a matter of boxing up the printers and shipping them out. So, let’s talk shipping...

Shipping Information

The first point above is the most important, because it is the only one outside of our control. We know all about surprises leading up to mass-manufacturing, and thus we are not comfortable announcing an exact ship date. We are, however, aiming for the first week of November.

A lot has happened over the past 6 months. No doubt, many of you have moved since then (congrats!). If that includes you, then we kindly ask that you send us a Private Message through Kickstarter. We’d like to ensure your shipping information is up to date before we start the next shipment.

At this time, we’d also like to remind everyone that due to the nature of hub-and-spoke shipping, units will not be sent by batch/backer number as originally expected, but by geographic region. Due to streamlined import regulations, we will begin with North America. Additional regions will ship shortly thereafter.

Once shipping commences, we will post another update with some cool things we’ve built for you, including a streamlined order tracking system.

Wrapping Up

It’s been a long month, but the progress we’ve made is real and measurable. We’re excited to jump back into production, and we have many more exciting things to tell you about… but for now, let’s take this one step at a time. :)

Cheers guys, 

Team Tiko

Grant Hudson, Jason Browne, and 310 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Dallas S. Beddingfield on

      hi September 20, 2017. I've updated my address and awaiting your response as to when we will receiver our purchase.

    2. Missing avatar

      Eric Albert
      Superbacker
      on

      As a recent recipient of a Tiko and one that doesn't work well at all, I've been going back through the old updates to see what issues they were solving. This one is particularly interesting - note that all of the graphical data has been fuzzed out so nobody can make any sense of it. But the fact that they used a "self-regulating" heater without any closed-loop temperature control is the main source of the problems with my unit. I suspect that the device is not consistently repeatable in mass production, and a large % do not behave as intended. And of course, they had problems too... which supposedly were solved. Maybe they will come out with a fix for this, but my unit is too frustrating to use so its back into the box and into the closet for now.

    3. Johnathan Hugh Higginson on

      Its now 2 weeks into the new year. Still no shipping update. Just curious when it might ship?

    4. Dipak on

      HI guys - it's now 01/01/2017 and have heard nothing...can you please update me as to when I can expect the printer or would it be easier to just call it a day and perhaps refund me ?
      Thank you

    5. George Hope
      Superbacker
      on

      Update Please.

    6. Lorenzo Buffa + Analog Watch Co. on

      Hi guys, just sent you a direct message with my new address... can you message back to confirm its been updated?

    7. Missing avatar

      Roger Smith on

      So maybe we will receive our printers in time for the U.S. Holiday season?

    8. Jesse Card on

      As we're now past the window you said your ship from the last email, please send out a fresh update.

    9. RoyT on

      @jasmine

      First container shipped to port on November 14. Loaded onto ship by November 18.

    10. RoyT on

      @jasmine
      North America will be the first region to receive shipments

    11. Missing avatar

      Jasmine Bailey on

      Hey there, as we are all aware of the date --- has there been any solidified shipping date and times and regions that will be shipped to first?

    12. Missing avatar

      Robert Chambers on

      We're all still waiting. As backers we want a definite date when shipping will begin.

    13. Simon Bucik on

      Hi.
      I can't wait any more. This is funny always write when you send Tiko. Please send me money back and shipping also!!!

    14. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    15. Missing avatar

      Yaniv Eliash on

      Can I have my money back ?!

    16. Gregory Kornblum on

      When are you going to shut down and return whatever money left? It's time to finally admit the failure! Two years?! Be serious, it's more than enough!

    17. RoyT on

      Shipping to North American postponed till November 10

    18. Missing avatar

      david on

      backer 5'771

      Shipping not included. = paid without any idea on shipping date
      Delivery order based on backer order. = fake : I'm EU leftover package
      Ships anywhere in the world = hope so
      Estimated delivery: Dec 2015 .... = some month 2017 ?
      any news on rational shipping dates?

      I'm not a hater neither a super-cool-fan of this kind of experience, I know it's not a shop etc but maybe if you can not penalize some regions and just respect the backer order as it was written in the conditions before backing the project (you see, just asking for the rues to be respected somehow)

      I'm just scared my 55$ will be used to pay US shippings (including much late backers) and then a new surprise post will say that the Chinese Authorities have set a new tax for EU exports etc etc and then being charged again and again...

      thank you. D

    19. Side Quest! on

      @creator
      Do you have a rough date for shipping to Australia? I'll be leaving to China very early 2017 and I'd love to get it before I leave the Western world.

    20. Missing avatar

      Ron Meyer on

      My address has not changed in 40 years. Respectfully I am 74 years old and I hope I live long enough to see this printer. I am respectfully disappointed.
      Ron Meyer

    21. Colin Sachs on

      Fantastic! I really appreciate the quality effort that has been put in on this project to make the end product the best is can possibly be (but remember, while you may be aiming for "perfection," doing so will prevent you from ever shipping a product!) Looking forward to seeing a Tiko on my kids desk soon!

    22. Richard Hyde
      Superbacker
      on

      Good to hear from you, too many projects go dark and you never know what to think.

    23. Terry D on

      Great update today Tiko Team. Regarding items to print and showcase, I suggest a sweet iPhone7 Plus case. Take care.

    24. Stephen Waikari on

      so how far down the line in shipping to New Zealand? And with Xmas around the corner, I'm guessing 2017?? wait and see I guess

    25. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    26. RoyT on

      Tiko announced in mini update to ship 8,000 by 12/31/2016.

    27. Pascal Achermann on

      ye super cool!
      i knew it would take long time but its worth it so much for this printer.
      can't wait to get hands on :)

      I liked the transparent updates about the bugs you encountered it was also very interesting!

      by the way thx for your promt and fast answer on messenger.

    28. Marcelo Vasconcellos on

      just to know is there any planning in plead more money to deliver ?

    29. Marcelo Vasconcellos on

      shipping only in 2017 ( maybe ) as wee se now....

    30. Rich Carrasco on

      You've definitely risen to the challenge of having bit off more than you could initially chew. Again, I feel it's worth the wait for a product that will be fantastically engineered! Thanks for all your hard work!

    31. fmotta on

      Thanks for the update...
      Did I miss the information on how well this prints unwarped ABS?

    32. Missing avatar

      AM on

      @Tiko
      Thanks again. Btw, just curious...are you guys just testing purely in printing with the 'blue' filament? Is this a quality, stable PLA filament? I understand that by limiting the material choice at this testing + verification stage would minimize various settings required as you are able to compare apple to apple on print performance/quality results. Anyways, just curious... Keep up the great work team! =)
      Cheers~

    33. Adam Chance on

      Thanks for the update! I for one appreciate the time and attention you all are putting into this in order to deliver a GREAT product!
      Still as excited today as I was when I backed you!

    34. Missing avatar

      Carl Menezes on

      Well, I have to admit this update looks more promising than the one around last Christmas. Here's hoping that Santa stops by the Tiko office this time and doesn't leave empty handed.

    35. Lim Yong Hee on

      I don't mind waiting for a good product and frankly did learn a few things just following your progress over the last two years.

      However, while I am sure the US is your most important and largest customer base, please don't forget the small guys out here around the world backing you! I am in the Little Red Dot called Singapore.

      Hint: Would be nice to receive it as a Christmas present. �

    36. Laird Popkin
      Superbacker
      on

      Take as long as you need to get it right. One caveat - don't burn through all the funding without shipping product - then your amazing startup turns into a scam that leaves you with a terrible reputation. So balance perfectionism with pragmatism.

    37. Missing avatar

      Simon Palmer on

      All sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Thanks for the update and good luck in the coming weeks.

    38. Serge Ecoiffier on

      Having mentioned the sour after taste of the Zano experience which thousands of backers still have, I do need to mention the Lix 3D Pen experience. It was going real bad, updates were the worse (I have seen), ... Yet, after nearly 2 years (!) it began to ship out. Some backers happy ... others ... not so. It is difficult to please everyone all of the time, especially when things were not looking good for the longest of time.

      Crowdfunding is not a store, nor is it a place to sell snake oil. Backers want to help with projects which interest them. They don't want their often blind trust abused. After all, they are not putting up some of their hard earn cash for a return on investment for years to come. They are giving up some of their cash to get a specific one time reward. Rewards are being presented as discounted purchases more than a return on investment. Thus the confusion by many, including myself, more often then not.

      Creators, especially the ones who do not have a previously successful project OR even bothered backing other projects, need to be monitored and have their crowdfunding raised funds 'trickled' to them as they show capacity to deliver - especially if they have a highly successful campaign. They had set a funding goal with which they had planned to succeed in their project AND deliver the set number of rewards they determined viable. Throwing millions more to such a creator with no previous experience is simply stupid. There is only two ways to curtain this. Either campaign stop when the set target funding is reached OR raised funds are released in a managed manner.

      The first approach, would not allow for great ideas to become great... Creators tend to under estimate or play it safe so they can have a successful campaign. Maybe under the advise of others "in the business". After all, asking for millions up front could scare backers more then anything else. This approach, however, would make creators set more reasonable targets .... Noting some projects are being low balled with the hopes to get much more funding then the asking. Again, probably under the advice of those "in the business".

      The second makes sense : the creator first gets exactly what he/she asked for and is given opportunity to prove themselves. If all signs are good, they then get the extra funding they successfully raised. Yes, it can't be that simple since negotiations with manufacturers, etc. depend on volume. Promissory notes exists for such situations. We have the "orders" (the rewards to deliver), we have the funds (in trust with crowdfunding facilitator), we need your assistance to produce/deliver those goods on time. It can even include penalities in case of excessive delays and non-delivery. So it would not be so difficult. The extra funds can even release gradually as the project shows positive progress (ex: being ahead of schedule, etc.) Possibility of getting funds withheld if red flags pop up along the way (ex: no action to some unexplained or excessive delay). Let's not forget the creator should of planned their cost of production before starting the campaign ... unless they thought they could make item out of basement or garage, maybe with help of a few friends ... Now that would be a red flag !

      Remember : the individual backers only contribute a few dollars. None are contributing large sums. Backers are NOT your typical investor. They spend a few dollars for a reward hoping creator can deliver more than investing for returns to build a nest egg for their retirement .... Backers are NOT your typical purchaser. They spend a few dollars for a reward hoping those projects can deliver which is not like buying something off the shelves in a store or make in a garage if they could.

      The problem and key advantage of crowdfunding is the potentially large number of backers : campaigns which go well beyond what the creator had ever hoped to get (the set target).

      How many campaigns come right out and ask for millions ? Dare I say : None ?

      They get investors (the real ones), they go on Shark Tank, Dragon's Den, they go for 'white knights', they might even already be a company with stocks to sell, ..., they even go to the financial institutions (banks, etc.)

      When a crowdfunding campaign surpasses all expectations of the creator, it should trigger a process at the facilitator to make certain no one gets burnt : not the backers, not the creators (especially those with no prior experience) and not themselves (and their share holders).

      Sure bets do NOT exist. If they did, we would all be billionaires ... Stores deliver from their inventory. Crowdfunding is not a store and their is no inventory, just inventions in waiting ...

      The problem boils down to this simple fact : crowdfunding faciliators, there are dozens, don't want to manage funds for others and they don't want to do anything beyond connecting those often innocent backers to interesting projects/campaigns collecting a small cut along the way. They are playing the number game. The more campaigns to post, the more commissions they stand to make.

      Why crowdfunding facilitators do not compete with the growing number of 3rd party services claiming to be able to make campaigns successful for a fee ?? Negotiating deals with all the shippers of the world so creators don't have to repeat the process over and over ?

      Meanwhile, caveat emptor ! Either do your research on the creator and campaign or ... pray.

    39. Serge Ecoiffier on

      @Patrick Frees : Until your last sentence, you had a solid leg to stand on.

      First, is that last sentence how you treat your customers after they leave your place of business ? If not, why are you treating fellow backers that way ?

      2nd, since you can comment, you also committed at least 1$ to this project. This makes you one of us, and to use your very own words (verbatim) : a complacent coward and idiot being screwed left and right, a dumb ass. Welcome, Patrick, to the club. I elect you as our leader. Anyone 2nds the motion ?

    40. Serge Ecoiffier on

      The news are great, well organised, ... As a few already mentioned, some of us still have the sour taste of the Zano experience (a hard one to forget even over time). I'll bite my tongue, cross all of my fingers, hold my breath a while longer and hope this one does not turn out to be a "Zano" ... It would be bad for the backers and should be real bad for KickStarter if it does.

      If production of the new parts is going to take a few weeks, followed by assembly and preparing for shipping, not forgetting cleaning up the firmware and such, being mid October already, to say "We are, however, aiming for the first week of November." to start shipping is rather ... ambitious, wouldn't you think ? You might want to check a calendar to count the days left between now and the 1st of November. Mid-November might be cutting it close, but safer to say at this stage ...

      As anyone else noticed the stickers on those blue print samples nearly all show "30 hrs print" yet are of different size/volume ? I am trying to figure out what to conclude from that one photo ...

      Comments are already starting to show nervousness amongst backers. Do not add fuel on these warm coals is all I'm saying, for now. Be real safe and certain of your every move / declarations.

    41. Serge Ecoiffier on

      @Keith Gravlin : Near the top of the page of the project (even when looking at comments) there should be a link on the right with the creator's 'name' (Tiko 3D in this case). Click on it to open overlay of their profile. There, you should find a button which says "Contact". Click it to create KickStarter message (PM) to the creator. You should get an email once they reply. You can see and track such messages from your own profile page as well.

    42. Roberto Mendoza-Diaz
      Superbacker
      on

      Awesome News....Kudos

    43. Missing avatar

      ELOPHE on

      To much delay ell the time delay ! I'm very desapointed ! no good way no good work !

    44. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    45. Missing avatar

      Jerix on

      Again! Delay again! No promise for delivery but you asked for extra US$50.- of shipping cost! If you cannot confirm when the delivery would be. Why did you ask for the money so early. It seems cheating me! Kickster should follow up this project. Don't fool me anymore!

    46. Felix G. on

      @Oliver : Much more lawsuit risk comes from the U.S. / Canada. I think it's the main reason why they ship to north am. first, but they will never tell you that.

    47. Andreas Benold on

      thanks for that update :)

    48. Oliver on

      @Bjørn: you could be right, but on the other hand isn’t it the idea of hub-and-spoke shipping that a container full of tikos get shipped to lets say rotterdam and gets cleared there. also i remember that tiko said one time that they done all certifications already. don’t get me wrong i happy to this campaign come to a good end but it lefts a sour taste that my pladge isn’t not honored the way it should be (by the number we backed tiko and not by the fact the you life in the usa or canada).