Slideshow shadow

Kickstarter Update: Shipping, Shipping, Shipping

April 4, 2014 in General, Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

We are very excited to announce that all of our Kickstarter domestic single extruder kits are DONE!!

Domestic backers who have not yet received their tracking info will receive them today once their kits officially ship (unless prior arrangements were made). Next on our checklist? Fulfilling the domestic Kickstarter orders that opted to substitute the single extruder for the dual. Gordon has been making some tweaks to the fan shroud and these will ship next week.

Also next week, we will begin to fulfill our pre-sale orders. These will be shipping out at the same time as the dual extruders that some of our Kickstarter backers purchased as separate add-ons. As for our international Kickstarter backers, fret not, we have not forgotten about you. We have been looking into international shipping and as far as we are aware, there is nothing to prevent these printers from shipping on time – perhaps even a little early? While we can’t make any promises, we haven’t ruled out the possibility.

On the R&D side, we have been busy with packing and shipping but Gordon recently played with pen plotting the gMax. This was accomplished via simple changes to slic3r, small tweaks to the gcode and the use of a clamp for the pen. The result was pretty fun to watch and fun to play with. Using this method, one could theoretically draw on anything with a flat surface. We have also purchased a some rotary tool accessories as we work on future add-ons but haven’t had the chance to really get into it – will have to save these for a future update. One thing we can finally shout about though is the awesome birdhouse that Gordon 3d printed a few weeks ago – if it looks familiar, it’s because it’s the winning model from the Thingiverse Birdhouse Challenge last year. We gave it to Gordon’s mama as an early Mother’s Day gift and wanted to make sure she received it before posting it on the blog. She will be painting it up and adding it to her growing collection outside. (We love you, Karen!)

pen plotter on the gMax.

pen plotter on the gMax.3d printed birdhouse. 3d printed birdhouse – minus a few bits. kitty meets 3d printed birdhouse. amelie meets 3d printed birdhouse.kitty isn't a fan of the 3d printed birdhouse on top of HER house. kitty not a fan of the 3d printed birdhouse on top of HER house.

Last but not least, we would like to announce that our website name will be changing soon! Our business name, “gCreate LLC” has been approved and we recently purchased the domain www.gcreate.com. We are still building the new website so it won’t be live for at least a few more weeks – we promise to keep everyone posted. Our Twitter and Facebook Page handles will be changing as well, in addition to our email address (but for now, please continue to direct all emails to info@gmaxprinter.com). The gMax Printer will continue to be our flagship product but we are excited to be moving forward towards our goal of being a full scale 3D printing + Fabrication company. We have lots of new ideas on the drawing boards and can’t wait to share them with you.

Thank you all and until next time!

The gCreate Team

Kickstarter Update: Printing. Packing. The Wait is Almost Over.

March 23, 2014 in Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

WE ARE ALMOST THERE. The very good news is that we received our electronics kits this past Monday. Yes! The bad news is that they sent the wrong end stops. Eeks. We know, just what we need. We immediately got in touch with our supplier rep and were told they would send out the correct end stops ASAP. We’ve been exchanging emails back and forth and the most recent correspondence on Friday let us know that the (correct) end stops have shipped. We haven’t been provided tracking info yet but if they are already en route we expect them to arrive early this coming week. Although this is a” not small” inconvenience, we are glad that the major components have arrived safely – while we are waiting for the end stops we have been able to assemble and test the electronics boxes. This means once the end stops do arrive the testing process will be even faster and we can start shipping all the more quickly. We are sure our backers are itching to receive their kits and believe us when we say we are raring to ship them out. Let’s all wait with bated breath and hopefully exhale a collective sigh of relief this coming week. It’s also worth mentioning again that the order we’ve just received is enough electronics kits to get us through the rest of Kickstarter and all of our pre-sales thus far. We have also already placed our next order which will put us significantly ahead for future orders once they arrive.

In the meantime we are continuing to print parts, test and pack what we can, build out our new website, answer emails as quickly as possible, take care of back end business stuff, etc. We have been receiving several inquiries about the gMax printing PVA so we did a test print with our dual extruder and the results were quite interesting!

PVA | PLA dual extruder ttest print.

PVA | PLA dual extruder test print.

PVA | PLA dual extruder test print - underside.

PVA | PLA dual extruder test print – underside.

Melting PVA - about two hours in.

Melting PVA – about two hours in.

final result - only PLA remains.

final result – only PLA remains.

Also, one of our Kickstarter backers, Eric Sanchez, designed and printed his own filament spool holders which he shared on our forum and we thought were really cool (http://www.gmaxprinter.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=54). This inspired Gordon to design and print something similar and so far we are liking it a lot! Thanks Eric! And just like that the gMax has its first official free accessory available for download.

newest 3d printed filament spool brackets.

our newest 3d printed filament spool holder.

new filament spool holder - side view.

new filament spool holder – side view.

 

We anticipate our next post will contain good news on the shipping front and we will continue to keep everyone updated on our status. Until next time!

Team gMax

 

**UPDATE: 5:34PM: We have just received confirmation from DHL that we are receiving a package tomorrow!! We are 99% positive that these are the end stops we are waiting for.

 

Kickstarter Update: Waiting + Experimenting

March 13, 2014 in Kickstarter, Prototyping

It’s been two weeks since our last update so we want to give a quick status report on where we are at. After many emails back and forth, we have received the invoice for our electronics and are expecting to receive the goods within the next week. Fingers crossed all goes well! Once these arrive there shouldn’t be anything holding us back from shipping our January orders ASAP. After that we will immediately be moving on to our remaining Kickstarter orders. Once we are done with all of our Kickstarter orders we will be full steam ahead on our pre-sales and will have more than enough electronics to keep us in stock for awhile. We will let everyone know once the goods are in and we are shipping in earnest.

extruders waiting patiently.

extruders waiting patiently.

wires, wires, wires.

wires to be plugged in. 

In the meantime, aside from non-stop parts printing, Gordon has been doing a little more experimenting and 3D printed this really cool 6” diameter wheel out of rubber PLA (the rim and brake rotor were printed in black Colorfabb filament). While printing the rubber, the filament initially kept trying to lift up so Gordon used masking tape to keep the filament stuck to the bed. Once the print got going though it stayed put on its own just fine and overall we are very happy with the way the print turned out.

our new 6'' diameter 3d printed rubber wheel.

our new 6” diameter 3d printed rubber wheel. and yes, we can go bigger. 

_MG_6528

3d printed rubber PLA close up.

to give an idea of scale.

size compared to a quarter. note the brake rotor behind the rim. 

We also used this time to experiment a bit further with the 0.5mm nozzle and printed this frog at 50 microns – this is half the thickness of a sheet of standard copy paper.

Colorfabb Intense Green 50 Micron Frog

PLA frog 3d printed at 50 microns. 

That’s all for now. Seriously, a big thank you to all of our backers and pre-sale customers for your continued patience. Your support means so much to us!!

Until next time,

The gMax Team

Kickstarter Update: A Long Winter

February 28, 2014 in General, Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

Truth be told, it’s been a bit of a frustrating week here at Team gMax. We were so excited to announce last week that December orders were officially complete. We figured from that point on we’d start to fly quite quickly. We started outsourcing most of our cutting starting with our December printers and beginning with January orders all of our motor wires are being manufactured outside versus in-house. All of this saves us a lot of time so we figured January would be quick in comparison to December. It seems that while our efficiency has greatly increased, certain pivotal elements continue to hold us up.

As we mentioned in our last update, not taking into account Chinese New Year when re-ordering our electronics has cost us valuable time. We knew this error would cause some delays but it is turning out to be longer than we bargained for. Our manufacturer has been both responsive and apologetic but they are, understandably, slammed since returning from the holiday. We hope to receive our order within the next week but have yet to be given a solid ETA. Our pending order is large enough to cover the rest of our Kickstarter printers and our pre-sale orders thus far plus extra – so once we receive this shipment we will be good to go and kits will go out very quickly. It’s just a matter of when.

Another obstacle that we have faced is this harsh winter. On a personal level, the two of us are relatively unaffected by this crazy weather since we both now work from home. However it has proven to be a frustrating factor when it comes to receiving our shipped goods both domestically and internationally – we’re sure there are many of you out there reading this that can relate. We’ve had delays to our orders of selective key parts and what it comes down to is inclement weather. It is out of our hands but also out of the hands of our suppliers as well. We suppose the only thing we can do at this junction is collectively shake our fists at Mother Nature and patiently wait. The good news is that our aluminum angles arrived to our manufacturer yesterday morning for cutting/drilling and the smooth rods are slated to arrive to us within the next couple of days – fingers crossed.

On the positive side, we are plowing through printing the January parts so printing parts has not held us up. We are also using this time to build up our new website (which we are very excited about) and Gordon has finally had some time to get actively involved on the forum. We highly encourage people to register for the forum and engage, whether you are a gMax owner, are considering purchasing one in the future, or are simply interested in 3D printing – there’s a growing wealth of information on there thanks to everyone actively involved (www.gmaxprinter.com/forum). We also have a new section to upload images of your printer (with the various color combinations) as well as things printed on the gMax.

One quick problem worth mentioning relates to the bed leveler bolts and wingnuts. For any existing printers the extruder has a habit of catching on the protruding bolts, resulting in a few problems. A quick fix is to flip the bolt/wingnut direction so the socket head bolts are on top with the wingnuts below. A forum post will be generated going into more detail hopefully this weekend.

red 3d printed parts.

colorfabb traffic red 3d printed parts.

colorfabb ultramarine blue 3d printed parts.

colorfabb ultramarine blue 3d printed parts.

3D Printed Parts

extruder motors.

boxes of 3d printed parts ready to go.

some boxes of 3d printed parts ready to go.

empty colorfabb filament spools - all from Kickstarter related prints.

empty colorfabb filament spools – all from Kickstarter related prints.

We did a single wall test print in the ColorFabb XT filament and were impressed with the print quality, ease of use and the nice sheen. We’ve also played around a bit more with the woodfill PLA and have received a spool of blue Taulmann T-Glase filament. We haven’t tested this one out yet but hope to have something cool to share in our next update.

taulman t-glase filament + colorfabb XT sample print.

taulman t-glase filament + colorfabb XT sample print.

colorfabb XT filament sample print.

colorfabb XT filament single wall sample print.

Speaking of next updates, we hope that our next one will be of a more exciting and cheerful variety. However since we are sharing many of our experiences as we grow from the ground up, not everything can always come up roses. We want to share with our readers where we’re currently at – good news obviously, but sometimes even if it’s a frustrating place.

Some good news is is that once we receive these outstanding shipments, we should be set for some time (including enough power supplies!), and by the time we start running low on supplies again we should be in a proper shop space which will allow us to easily monitor inventory and build up our stock.

our current micro ATX computer power supply.

our current micro ATX computer power supply.

bonsai and rose patiently waiting for spring.

bonsai and wooden rose patiently waiting for spring.

We hope that everyone is staying warm and dry as the Polar Vortex hits yet again.

Until next time,

The gMax Team

Kickstarter Update: December Printers are Done! On to January and Meet Our Dual Extruder + New Intern

February 20, 2014 in General, Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

It is with great pleasure we announce that our December orders are officially complete! We’ve got a few remaining due to missing backer info and one pickup which needs to be scheduled but on our end we are done. We’ve been busy printing January parts and no longer have to hand-crimp the motor wires which is going to be a HUGE time saver (just the extruder and endstop wires for now). The only thing that is holding us up at the moment is our electronics kits and LCD screens. We source most of our parts within the US but get our electronics kits from China – we made a very rookie mistake in not taking Chinese New Year into account which has pushed back our order by several weeks. We’re hoping to receive our order within the next week or two – in the meantime we are using up our remaining electronics and are continuing to print and package what we can.

Which bring is to this very exciting news: we have brought on board our first official intern! We’d like to introduce everyone to Sebastian Betancur, a bright and ambitious high school senior who had his first day today.

meet our newest team member (with a special appearance by miss amelie).

meet our newest team member! (with a special appearance by head boss miss amelie).

A few fun facts about Sebastian:

  • He’s an avid cyclist with lightning fast sprints!
  • Building models is another hobby – robots, sci-fi, tanks – you name it.
  • He is Captain of the US FIRST Robotics Team (for 2 years and member for 3 years) – IMPRESSIVE.
  • He is an amateur carpenter and is building his next desk on his own – we’re excited to see how it turns out (especially after he described it a bit to us).

We’re thrilled to have Sebastian with us once a week to help increase our output, bring his own set of knowledge and expertise to the fore, and hopefully learn a few things along the way.

And while getting out our December orders has been our #1 priority, R + D is still very important to us. Our current focus is the dual extruder which we have mentioned here before. After many late nights, it’s ALMOST complete barring slight changes to the fan shroud. We are quite happy with it but still need to continue tweaks to the slicing profile to get the best possible settings. The print quality is great including a beautiful 100 micron dual color ball printed during our testing. The second extruder still has a little bit of oozing causing slight blobs to appear on the print surface which is quite annoying. Now that December orders are done we are continuing to push through January orders but we’ll be carving out time to finish the dual extruder prototype this weekend. It’s about 98% there and here a few prints that show our progress thus far:

dual-head extruder - front view.

dual-head extruder – front view.dual-head extruder - rear view showing the cooling distribution. dual-head extruder – rear view showing the cooling distribution. the "A" is printed at 100 microns and the "+" is 40% fill. the “A” is printed at 100 microns.dual extruder infill test.dual extruder infill.roll of the (3d printed) dice. roll of the (3d printed) dice.

In terms of timeline for January printers, it all really depends on the electronics and the power supplies. We are buying up power supplies wherever we can but are looking into buying in bulk – we’ve got enough here or on order to get us through January so fingers crossed the remaining get here ok. Our goal is to get all of our January orders out within the next two weeks so we can wrap up February and March and move on to our pre-orders while we sort out international shipping. Regarding international shipping, we’re pretty sure for most countries it’s quite simple (we’re hoping!) but we want to make sure we do things right and what it comes down to is time. This is why we are not taking any more international orders for the time being although we’d love to. It’s a high priority and we can’t wait to implement this option into our business.

We have started looking into proper shop spaces (including our first walk-through!) and plan to bring some more hands on deck soon – all of this will definitely help move things along.

We originally estimated that we’d start shipping pre-orders in late February but right now it’s looking more like a mid-March start date due to the hiccups that we’ve been encountering along the way. The good news is our efficiency has greatly improved and our output has been much higher. We have made some changes to the existing printed parts and every new set of printers incorporates these changes. Existing backers can always go to the download site to see the latest parts and replace as they desire.

Last but not least, something that we’ve also tried to make a point of doing more is experimenting with different filaments. We recently purchased a spool of ColorFabb’s “fine” cherry woodfill  PLA (30% cherry wood and 70% PLA) and are really pleased with  the quality of the results. The image below was our first print with no changes to our slicing profile.

 

cherry woodfill PLA frog - side view.

cherry woodfill PLA frog – side view.cherry woodfill PLA frog with nice overhang. cherry woodfill PLA frog – frontal view. nice overhang.

We’ve also done a few more experiments with rubber PLA and can’t wait to receive our carbon fiber filament.

rubber PLA in motion.

rubber PLA print in motion.

We’re definitely looking forward to getting more time to play with different spools that are available and sharing our experiences with everyone –  as well as experimenting not only with multi-color prints but multi-material prints. Think of a print which incorporates transparent blue filament with rubber framework. Speaking of sharing experiences, here’s a sort of personal one: for Valentine’s Day, Gordon eschewed the traditional bouquet of flowers in favor of 3D printing me this beautiful bouquet – seriously, how lovely are these? Such a great gift idea, either for a loved one or for yourself. Even the stems are printed.

3D printed bouquet.

3D printed bouquet.

3d printing fun.

3d printing fun is for everyone.

Until next time,

The gMax Printer Team

Kickstarter Update: Plowing Through Our December Orders!

February 8, 2014 in Kickstarter, Update

We’re happy to announce that December printers have started going out steadily this week and we are about halfway through our orders. We’ve got about 90% of our parts printed thanks in part to the newest addition to our printer roster:

the latest printer.

the latest printer. 

printing magenta parts. all blue parts are glow in the dark PLA.

printing magenta parts. all blue parts are glow in the dark PLA.

We’re about 85% done with stripping, crimping, testing, and labeling our motor and endstop wires and as some of you may have noticed, we have taken the advice of one of our backers who suggested that we pre-install the wires in the electronics kits before shipping. This both provides us the opportunity to ensure all the wires are properly installed and allows us to test the electronics to ensure they function before shipping.  This adds more time to the process but insures us that each set is definitely good to go before it is packed and shipped. One bit of bad news we received this week is that we have run into a problem with the delivery of some of our power supplies. We have a few left to hold us over for a bit and we’ve been snatching them up from various online stores to speed up our printer shipments. In the meantime we are continuing to do what we do and hope to carve out some time to start sourcing out proper shop space sooner before later – even with 13 feet ceilings, a whole section of our bedroom is completely dedicated to packing supplies from floor to ceiling, not to mention the supplies and parts that are taking over our entryway, hallway, and living room – just everything. The table our new printer is resting on? That was once upon a time our dining table. We weren’t too sad about it though, as we forfeited it a long time ago to printed parts:

LCD screens and printed parts.

LCD screens and printed parts.

 

If we run out of power supplies before the next batch arrives, our plan is to keep putting boxes of kits together so that all we need to do is add the power supplies and then they can be sealed up and shipped. We’re also hoping to bring an intern on board soon and look forward to making that announcement when the time comes.

Last but not least, we have updated parts that are now available in the download section of our website so please feel free to check them out. We have also updated the build manual and slicer configuration for Slic3r RC2.

On that note, it is now 12:37am and we are officially calling it a night! Time to go enjoy some of the Olympic opening ceremony with a bowl of ice cream.

Until next time,

A + G

gCreate Team

Kickstarter Update: November 3D Printers All Shipped, December Full Steam Ahead

January 27, 2014 in Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

We are pleased to announce that all of the November printers went out 2 weeks ago and we are working to get all of the December printers out between this week and next. I am officially working on gCreate full time as of today and Gordon and I have been flying through the prep work going 12-15 hours a day. Our biggest time consumer continues to be hand crimping the wires for the current supply of motors we have (all future motors have connectors already installed along with wires) and getting all of the printed parts completed. We are in the process of building another printer to manage output and are in talks with one of our suppliers to get future wires pre-crimped to help move things along. Due to our new connections with manufacturers we have found our efficiency to be greatly enhanced from the early days of the Kickstarter and it’s been great to see the process happen.

The latest build manual will be on our site very soon (hopefully tonight). Gordon has updated a lot of the instructions to reflect the most recent changes and we’d like to give a special thanks to our backer Richard Palmer for taking the time to go through the manual and correct all of the typos – we really appreciate it! For those who have earlier versions of the printer we are going to release the updated parts for free so that you can download them and print them at your own leisure. Several parts have been modified as we continue to improve the printer (including an improved fan shroud which better distributes the hotend cooling capabilities). Again, one of the benefits of having a customizable 3D printer with 3D printed parts, like gMax, is the ability to upgrades as we do. :-)

Updated Stepstruder with New Fan Shroud.

updated stepstruder with new fan shroud.

The new forum is running smoothly and we’re glad to see more people registering to it and getting involved – Gordon has been making a point to post every couple of days and will be adding more content once we’re up to speed on the production side. There have also been a few troubleshooting posts including a fix for loose hotends which you can review here: http://www.gmaxprinter.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=7. We highly encourage all of our users to be part of the forum and post all of your questions and comments there.

In our last update we mentioned our dual-head extruder that’s currently in development. Gordon has been refining it and hardware wise it’s coming together. He has completely redesigned the fan shroud for the dual extruder, so it is located in the rear and cools both hotends simultaneously. In addition,  we have decided to use laser cut acrylic for the extruder framework instead of basswood from here on out (the acrylic will replace the basswood on the single-head extruder as well) as it is stronger. Next up is working on the firmware and slicer settings to improve printing with two different materials at the same time. Imagine printing with rubber PLA and plastic in the same pass.

 

extruder framework.

extruder framework in laser cut acrylic.

We’ve also been printing the specialty colors for December and they are looking pretty neat:

Lilac 3D Printed Parts

lilac 3D printed parts. 

One question we are getting a lot is the purpose of the part shown below – it is specifically designed to hold Colorfabb spools in place while printing:

filament_spool_bearing_colorfabb_1.0

filament spool holder.

filament spool holder.

Our #1 priority right now is to get these December printers out and January set up. 2014 is off to a busy but very exciting start!

A + G

Happy 2014, More gMax 3D Printer Updates

January 8, 2014 in Kickstarter, Prototyping, Update

Only a week into the new year and so many developments to shout about. It’s been awhile since our last post but in addition to delays that the holidays bring, we’ve been focused on the production end.

After overcoming many hurdles on the production side, we are finally getting into a groove. Nearly all of our November Kickstarter orders have been shipped and we’re in good shape in terms of getting all of our December orders delivered and parts printed – we’ve gone through 47 spools of filament since our campaign ended, and counting. Our December motors need every wire hand-crimped by us which is a lot of time and work (it was the same for our November orders) but the good news is that we got our new January motors and they are here, ready to go, with no crimping necessary. We’ve also recently started working with some new manufacturers that will help ease some of the production burden off of our shoulders and help us with future orders. Right now we are about 3-4 weeks behind production schedule but are working to close that gap as much as we can.

There have been a lot of changes to the build manual since Gordon first started it and he is putting the finishing touches on the most recent version – please keep checking back to our website to get the latest. The new manual incorporates the advice from early backers who have received their kits. The forum has also been completely rebuilt using phpBB and will be open to all of our backers – if you’d like to register, please visit www.gmaxprinter.com/forum/ to register. We’ve also been in talks with a website developer who will be working on our new, fully functional website over the coming weeks. This new website will be incorporate our products, store, download site, forum and blog under one cohesive interface.

gMax 3D printer forum screenshot.

gMax 3D printer forum screenshot.

 

On the business front, we’ve submitted the paperwork to establish our LLC, and while gMax will remain our flagship product, the actual brand will be known as gCreate LLC going forward. We’ve also got our pre-sale function live on our website which we will start shipping once all of the Kickstarter orders have gone out. The only exception to this might be the international orders –  these are a high priority but we need to figure out all of the customs regulations for each of the countries we are shipping to to avoid extra delays and hefty fines.

While Gordon and I have been dedicating countless hours to fulfilling the Kickstarter orders, he has carved out some time for R & D and has developed the long awaited dual-head extruder. He is still in the process of refining it but early test prints are showing great potential and we’re excited to share it with you – we will be dedicating an entire post to it soon. The dual-extruder is available to replace the single-head extruder at an additional cost of $125 for pre-orders but we’re also offering it as an add-on to our Kickstarter backers. To our backers who are interested, please email us for details.

early dual-extruder in motion.

dual-extruder prototype running in single color mode. octopus model from thingiverse 

 

Gordon was also quoted in a recent Gigaom article with some provocative things to say about HP entering the 3D printing market: http://gigaom.com/2014/01/06/how-hp-could-reshape-itself-and-the-3d-printing-market/

We’d like to take this moment to be candid about our experiences post-Kickstarter thus far: quite frankly, we underestimated the sheer amount of work that would be involved in executing our vision. We set what we thought were realistic goals, even though we knew setting limited quantities per tier would affect the amount of money we raised. While our quantities were realistic, starting a company with 2 people from the ground up and having deliveries beginning immediately after the campaign, was naive. One piece of advice we’d like to give to to individuals/small groups wanting to launch a Kickstarter: if you want to start an actual company from scratch (as opposed to just moving some product) and deliver on time, give yourself at least a month after your campaign ends to get your ducks lined up and your wheels set properly in motion. At least, that was our experience. We’re a two person team but while Gordon has been at this non-stop since October, I still work a full-time job that takes up 50+ hours of my week and requires me to travel. That being said, we’d like to announce that I have officially put in my resignation to my day job in order to dedicate myself to gCreate full time – going into effect in just a few weeks time. With Gordon and I both putting everything on the line to work on gCreate, we hope this demonstrates how much this venture means to us and our hopes for the future. We’re all in at this point and we have some really exciting, innovative things in the pipeline for 2014.

We are really appreciative of everyone who has received their printers and has been giving us feedback on their experiences thus far. So far the responses by and large have been incredibly positive, constructive, and supportive. We’re very humbled by this entire experience and, in addition to the tech community as a whole, are so thankful to our awesome Kickstarter supporters. As far as backers go, they’ve been a super rad bunch (I better hurry up and hit the “Publish” button before Gordon teases me mercilessly for my “California-native-giveaway” colloquialism).

Until next time,

Anna, Gordon, and Amelie

gMax Team

 

Kickstarter Update: Good News, Bad News

December 15, 2013 in Kickstarter, Update

Hi Everyone,

We’re know it’s been awhile since our last update – all of our time and efforts have been going towards getting these kits together. So far we have two November printers delivered and plan to get another 10 or so out this coming week, along with the goo clocks. We know this doesn’t sound like a whole lot but we are working to simplify the process to help move things along faster. We also had to test packing methods to ensure the printers arrive without any damage.

For November and December due to circumstances beyond our control we have to hand crimp all of the wires ourselves and then physically test each one. We’d like to give thanks to Jonathan Hirschman from Makeit NYC who built us a very helpful wire continuity tester in a pinch. We also underestimated the sheer amount of prep work required for each printer. The laser cutter has been helpful by reducing the dependence on an outside cutter, but there are still things that are being hand cut as well including the aluminum and steel threaded rods.The build manual took up a considerable of time and now that we have received great feedback we’re redmarking and tweaking it – once  it’s pretty much done, this will free up more time to put actual kits together. We have uploaded the current build manual to the download site for everyone to see. Regarding the forum, we’re sorry the registration function isn’t working – it’s on our list of things to do and we want to have it up and running before too many more kits go out.

We’re working hard to get the November printers out in time for Christmas but with only 10 days left we have to be realistic and let everyone know we won’t be able to get the December orders out before the holidays. We’ve spent a considerable amount of money expediting parts for December only to find out other vendors won’t be able to deliver in time anyway. It’s a shame one specific part can hold everything up. We’ve taken some hits on these gambles but we’re doing what we can to ship as many units as we can – but sometimes things are just out of our hands. We also made a decision to ship our printers only when we were confident with the printer manual and quality of the kits.

Gordon easily puts in over 100 hours every week and I work nights and weekends to help get these together but each kit contains a majority of handcrafted parts so it definitely takes more time. We are currently reevaluating the extent we assemble parts on our end. That being said, we really appreciate how understanding and patient you all are being, having such awesome backers makes those late nights and having no social life that much more bearable :-)

My family lives on the other side of the country and I usually only get one chance to see them a year – I will be flying out to the west coast for a week to spend time with them but i’ll be working on the backend and answering emails as much as I can – I’m flying back to the gCreate HQ on the 26th. Gordon has decided he will be spending Christmas at home with the printers and Amelie. If possible he is going to try to take a train upstate for a day to see his dad where he will also be getting parts cut.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to shoot us an email or write something in the comments. We’ll get back to you as soon we can and thanks again for your understanding and support.

Happy Holidays,

A + G

Kickstarter Production Update: November Printers + Instruction Manual Coming Along

November 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

What another whirlwind month this is turning out to be. The assembly manual is coming together nicely and all of the printed parts for November are complete. We’ve ordered all of the necessary parts but at time of writing, not everything has arrived. We’ve received most of what we need but there are a couple of key outstanding elements that we can’t ship without. If we receive the rest of the parts this week the November kits will be able to ship this weekend. However as those in the US well know, this is the week of Thanksgiving so the timing isn’t the greatest. Not one to stay idle, here are just a few images to give you a small sense of what Gordon has been up to (click on images to enlarge):

Step1 step2

Step3 Step4

november printed parts.

some november printed parts.

 

snowflake koch vase -testing filament provided by Boots Industries.

snowflake koch vase – testing filament provided by Boots Industries.

close-up shot.

close-up shot.

 

We’ve already received many supplies for our December shipments including literally hundreds of pounds of filament so we’ve got a good jump start on those. Another exciting announcement is that we’ve purchased a laser cutter! Yes, it will live in our apartment along with everything else (I’ve graciously donated my makeup table in front of the window – aren’t I nice?) and this means soon we can bring those jobs in-house. We have also shipped out the keychain pledges and have started printing the goo clocks.

All things considered, we’re really happy with the way things are moving along. Is everything going perfectly according to plan? Not exactly, but we’re ok with admitting that. Gigaom recently wrote an honest piece about our life post-Kickstarter that was also picked up by CNNMoney. While we pre-planned and anticipated a lot, there is still much that we didn’t account for that we’re tackling head on. Getting our orders out on time means a lot to us but so does doing our best to provide a quality product rather than shipping a half-assed kit for the sake of being “on time”.

We’ll be keeping everyone updated and to all those who are celebrating Thanksgiving, we wish you lots of love, happiness, and good eating! We’ll be working that day but we are definitely very, very thankful :-)

Until next time,

A + G

gMax Team