Happy December! The last few weeks have been quite exciting, so let's bring you up to speed. First, off, let’s talk R&D…
When we started building Tiko’s slicer, we assumed the greatest challenge would be developing the complex mathematical and algorithmic techniques to efficiently convert STL files to G-code paths. It turned out, however, that developing a good slicer is as much an art as it is a science.
Well, now that production has started and the hardware is good, we have finally been able to shift most of our attention to software.
Just a couple of weeks ago, both us and early users were routinely seeing prints like this:
Algorithmically speaking they sliced correctly, but due to issues with our extrusion-volume calculations, start/end point behavior, temperature control, shell sequences, travel planning, etc complex prints often failed, most commonly because of blobbing that caused layer shifting, as seen above.
However, that was then, and this is now:
The only difference between these prints is that the latter was sliced on a newer software/firmware version.
Of course, there’s still a lot of work left to do, and the above print still isn’t particularly impressive. Large/complex parts still encounter layer shifting, overhangs are messy, stringing is common, and we have a bug we call the “white whale” which causes the slicer to completely ignore sections of objects, and it affects a considerable fraction of models.
So, things are looking better by the day, but as always, there is still a long road ahead of us. We love a good challenge, though!
On that note, we’d like to thank some very special people. You see, the reason we have been able to improve our software so quickly is because of some pretty awesome backers. To name a few:
Ben and the Inspector have been publishing full-length livestreams on YouTube for weeks, showing their Tikos printing a variety of models. Click their profiles to see their channel! We’ve caught numerous slicer errors thanks to their videos, and their open feedback in the chat-rooms has been phenomenal. Other backers like Dan Chelchowski, Dustin (JAT.MN), and Jim Spencer have also posted videos of Tiko printing and given us great feedback.
But wait, there's more! We also have photos from backers like David Schulze:
and Dom Gonzales:
They and other backers have shared images via photo galleries and run experiments of their own, all of which help us see the real-world results of our updates.
We hope we didn’t miss anyone, because so many great backers have contributed to this project, and we want to thank all of them. Cheers guys, you have been backers in every sense of the word!!
There’s still a long road ahead, but if there’s anything we have learned this past year-and-a-half, it’s that together we can accomplish anything! :)
On that note, let’s talk about the status of production/shipping…
Batch #1 Shipment (Canada)
Batch #2 Shipment (USA)
Batch #2 is currently aboard the Hong Kong Bridge and is already on its way to Los Angeles, ETA Dec 20th. Fingers crossed we can get some delivered before Christmas!
In general, production is going smoothly and everything is on schedule. The next shipment is Batch #3, which will ship on Dec 12th. Stay tuned for more updates once that nears.
Shipping Surveys / Change of Address
We continue to receive shipping surveys and change of address requests, and it is becoming increasingly impractical for us to accommodate them into the hub-and-spoke shipments.
Please be aware that once your batch number has shipped, it may not be possible to update your address.
If you have moved or intend to move in the next few months, we recommend making arrangements right now so that your Tiko does not end up at a wrong location. Likewise, if you have not already filled out your shipping survey, then we are unable to guarantee you space aboard a shipment, and your order may be moved to the very end of the queue.
We’ve spent a we over a year preparing for this moment, and so far it’s moving smoothly. We love it when a plan comes together!
Thank you to everyone for cheering us on and believing in us. You guys are amazing, and we look forward to putting a Tiko your hands. Can't wait to see what you’ll create with it.
All the best!