USA & Canada Away!
Sept. 13, 2013 in News
Domestic & Canada Kickstarter Fulfilled
As of today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve shipped all of our domestic and Canadian pledges — we’ve shipped 712 Form 1s! And next week, we’ll be sending out more than 100 printers, as we begin fulfilling our INTERNATIONAL FORM and FORM ABROAD pledges in earnest. We have initial shipments scheduled to go out to Europe — so keep an eye out. As we proceed through our international orders, we’ll notify you country-by-country as we begin shipping to your region.
Behind the Lines
Manufacturing has not always gone as smoothly as we (or you) would have liked. Constructing a high-performance, affordable device, like the Form 1, is not trivial.
We’ve sourced parts from around the world. That introduces lead times when things go wrong. At one point, we received 300 defective covers — that left us with 300 nearly-assembled machines waiting on the factory floor for replacements to be fabricated and shipped.
Other problems are not so easily resolved. The Form 1 operates on extraordinarily tight tolerances and it can be a challenge to reliably obtain parts that match our needs at a price that keeps the Form 1 accessible.
****Getting parts that are up to our specifications, has required formulating novel testing procedures and processes. That has necessitated its own specialized machinery (which we’ve designed), as well as custom software to go with it. We’re extraordinarily proud of our calibration and verification suite, which extraordinarily at this point, has swelled to dozens of discrete tests.
Certain sensitive components need to be 100% tested before they’re put in a machine. Every single laser that comes through our door needs to be analyzed to make sure that it can handle the demands that the Form 1 puts on it. We’ve installed and designed specialized instrumentation that can characterize laser beam power, and written custom software to automate the process. That has taken time, but we’re proud of the results. We’ve designed similar tests for our galvanometers, precision devices that maneuver the laser beam accurately and quickly to create ultra-precise detail.
All said, though, not everything is within our control. A batch of parts that aren’t up to our specifications can create stalls on the factory floor, reducing our shipping rate to a trickle. When everything flows, though, we can ship quickly — satisfying a pledge level in a matter of weeks. To bring you printers faster, we’ve expanded the number of people on our production line — going from 10 to 12 to now, close to 20! We’re hoping to be able to produce and ship more printers, with every passing week.
Updates & Communication
We know that we haven't done a good job of keeping you informed. That's going to change. We’ll keep updating you on our progress as time goes on, and as we continue to ship printers. We'll also be bringing you more news of what we're up to, and more peeks of the scene in the Forms HQ. Stay tuned — and don’t forget to add resin and spares to your order in the Form Store, as well as check us out at Maker Faire NYC next weekend!