Lifting ship hold

Two weeks after returning home from Thanksgiving, Mike and I have performed a 100% Dis-assembly, Re-inspection and Re-assembly of all kits in inventory.  We've also shuffled a lot of work around on our kitters and we took back over a lot of the menial chores with a "Git-r-done" mentality to  just knock stuff out.

The bad news is that for the past two weeks, I have not been able to touch the assembly documentation as much as I like. is still under password protection, as we are still working on the site, and I've made little progress on the build instructions.  There is, however, a good discussion going on the OpenBeam forum, and some of the early bird backers have been very helpful in helping with documentation.  Right now, my focus is trying to get kits out the door before I leave for Christmas.  I will be travelling to Malaysia for my cousins' wedding in Kuala Lumpur on Christmas Eve, returning via Singapore and Hong Kong on the week of Jan 5th.  My goal is to get all the missing pictures taken, and if necessary, update the final set of build documentation on the plane and on the ground in Kuala Lumpur.  Instructions and updates to the blog I can do remotely.  Wrapping motors in Geami wrap and messing up Mike's house requires my physical presence.  Mike too will be heading back to the Olympic Peninsula to spend Christmas with his family, so the drop dead date for us getting things out to UPS is Monday, Dec 22nd.

The good news though, is that as of tonight, we have 33 kits packed up.  Tomorrow at lunch we'll run back to Mike's house real quick, load up our 2 cars with printer, and haul them to the UPS store.

The 33 printers going out tomorrow, along with the 15 that we've already shipped, corresponds to roughly 1/3 of our Kickstarter and Preorder liabilities.  We would have built and shipped more, but at this time we are still depend on our kitters returning some of the parts back to us for QC.  We are still doing 100% IQC (Incoming Quality Control), but we are hoping to do a major push on getting parts built and out the door this coming week, during the week.  We've already calculated how many trips it'll take the two of us to run the remaining 90 printers (for both Kickstarter and ShopStarter Preorders) down to the UPS store...

UPS Labeled applied, all ready to go.  This is not including the kits that my wife and I took, for local deliveries and for international test shipment to make sure that all the customs declaration forms are filled out correctly.

Next week, we are going to try to get the rest of the kits out.  It will be a tough week, but we have a good shot at getting the majority of the outstanding printers out the door if our kitters can deliver.  We can't guarantee Christmas delivery, but it'd be a relief to get things out the door to our backers.

If you have not done so already, please look for the email from and reply with an address confirmation.  We had to skip over quite a few of our Kickstarter backers today and we do not have the storage room to hold onto printers - if you have not confirmed your address, we go down the list and ship the printer to the next person that confirmed their shipping address.  The nice thing is, if you were in the US and  you confirmed your shipping address, you will be receiving your printer this coming week. 

And here's a few more pictures and videos from our kitting adventure this past week:

Mike and I took back over the cutting, stripping and tinning of the end effector fans.  In total, we were about to cut, strip and tin  over 300 fans in less than 3 man-hours of work. These fans go into our end effector kits, which is currently one of the hard gating items at the moment to get more printers out the door.  

This fixture is used for cutting the wires to length.  There is only one way to mount the fan onto this fixture block, and a pair of diagonal cutters (or a sharp razor blade) is used to cut the wires. Want to get better at designing fixtures?  Eat your own dog food.  After 90 minutes of using this fixture, trimming about 300 fans, I can think of some improvements for Version 2.  But that'd be another blog entry for another day.

Paladin #1113 Strapax Pro 6 wire stripping tool.  It's one of the most consistent strippers for finer gauge wire. and the orange strip depth control is very repeatable.  Here, I'm stripping 2 pieces of 24 or 26AWG wires at the same time without nicking any of the conductors.  Not cheap, at around $90.00 a pop and about $45 for a replacement set of blades, but very worth it if you do a lot of control wires.

To comply with EU RoHS and WEEE directives, we only use RoHS solders and materials.  However, not all RoHS solders are created equal.  Because some of our kitters have young children, I've chosen an antimony free solder.  This is a 3% silver bearing RoHS solder - more expensive to start for sure, but a bar goes a long way.

[vimeo 114529594 w=1280 h=720]

[vimeo 109715339 w=1280 h=720]

Mrs. OpenBeam doing the final QC inspection.  She's the one signing off on every kit's packing list.

We look forward to having a shop one day.  Until then, Mike's kitchen floor is the final assembly line for building these printer kits.

Finally, last but not least - here's the Brainwave Pro test fixture in action.  This is how we are able to speed up the testing and evaluation of our controller boards.  So far, we've tested about 90 of them, and in another evening Mike can easily test and program the rest of the boards to close out our Kickstarter campaign.

[vimeo 114530172 w=1920 h=1080]

That's it for this update!  We'll be going radio silent for a little bit, and we've also won't be updating the public shipping status page for the next week or so, as we are going to be focused on getting kits packed, etc.

-=- Terence