March 1: Bike Crate, Packing for Days, & Beta Tester Shipment Info

Hey everybody!

Hope the last week has treated you well. Bar and I have continued to grind along with the Maslow, getting a lot done while also being sure to have some fun thrown in there too!

This week, I have a project to show off, although it was originally intended for my previous update. We also have some info on what Bar and I have been working on, as well as more specific details on shipment of Beta Tester Kits and Z-axis Parts. Finally, our ADX Pro Space neighbor DIY Bar asked us to cut them a decorative sign for the shop space, so we’ve got some pics of that too!

My project over the past couple weeks was a bike crate box. The purpose of this bike crate box is to be placed on the rack on the back of my bike so that I can carry more things than will fit in my backpack on my commutes. Some issues came up in the design, which I discussed in a thread in the No Judgement channel. There were also some issues that came up with the cuts, which is why this project is coming out this week versus two weeks ago with my previous update. The main reason for the issues in the design were my stubbornness and unwillingness to use Sketchup in the ways that I should, which can be read about in the forum post.

In terms of the cuts, Bar has been using my most recent projects as a chance to test our GroundControl software on Mac, as that is the type of computer I have. GroundControl runs fairly seamlessly on Bar’s computer, which runs Windows 10, but being sure the software runs on all types of computers is important. Luckily, we’ve had some awesome community members contributing to the software in a variety of ways, which has not only provided Bar with some smiles but also freed up some of his time to contribute more to the Mac software. In short, the first 4 pieces of the box cut well, but it took us a solid 3 tries to get the fifth piece to come out as I wanted it. In the first attempt, seemingly something about me opening iTunes while the cut was running seemed to put it off just a bit. In the second attempt, we wanted to test the cut in the top right corner of the sheet of plywood, and it didn’t come out quite perfectly enough to fit in with the other pieces because Bar was messing with the firmware. By the third attempt, I had the piece that I wanted. Check out the pics below to see the box both on and off the bike rack. I’m so excited to ride around with the coolest crate in town!

Now for a short story. With Beta Tester Kit shipment fast-approaching, Bar and I have gone into our respective high gears to be sure everything is squared away and ready to go. As I mentioned earlier, the bulk of Bar’s work has gone into the software. On my end, this means I have mostly become tasked with the packing of the boxes, which is both a fun and incredibly tedious process.

When Bar first pitched the entire Maslow project to me, asking me to be his partner in crime, the main details he could give about what type of work I would be doing involved examples of packing and shipping the kits to our backers. At the time I thought to myself “that sounds simple enough”. Now, months later, as I stand in our awesome shop space and weigh out tiny screws on our scale and then place them into tiny bags over and over again, I find myself practically laughing out loud at how much has happened between Bar’s pitch to me and the actual “packing boxes and shipping them out”. We have both put so much time and care into this project and to finally be packing all those little bags feels like the reward at the end of the rainbow! Although I know this is far from the truth, I find myself perfectly content with the tedium of box packing. It’s as though the fact that I am finally packing the kits to be shipped out to Beta Testers marks a huge progress point in this entire project, and instead of agreeing when people see me and comment “wow that looks so tedious” I’ve tended toward a smile, thinking “no, this is in fact much more satisfying than you could even imagine”.

Sorry for the brief anecdotal tangent, but I just wanted to give you all an idea of where we’re at, not only when it comes to business but as people as well :)

But now for the business! We received our shipment of 1,100 pounds of custom made brackets for the motors and chains today.

Unloading the brackets from the truck with a little help from some friends

Unloading the brackets from the truck with a little help from some friends

In less good news, the PCB assembly factory revised their estimated delivery date for the Arduino Shields to the 10th. We're going to work with them to see if there is anything we can do to bump that date up a little, and we'll get everything else packed in the boxes so we can tape them up and ship as soon as the PCBs arrive. Aside from the Arduino Shields, the only other part we are currently missing are USB extenders, as the USB cords provided with the Arduinos are only a couple feet long and we decided to add a USB extender to everyone's kit. We know you guys can't wait to put your kits together and we can't wait to see what you build. We were hoping this week's update would come with tracking numbers and we apologize for the delay. We want you to know that we're doing everything we can to get these kits out the door!

The upside to this delay in the Arduino Shields is that we should be able to ship both the Regular Kit and the Z-axis components (for those of you who ordered one) in the same box! We are hoping to have all z-axis parts in stock by March 10th. Since it seems most Beta Testers have added the z-axis parts, this should make complete assembly of the Maslow that much more satisfying when the box does finally arrive!

Finally, check out the couple of pictures below showcasing the DIY Bar sign we cut yesterday!

Thanks so much for keeping up with us again this week! As always, don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns, and we’ll be back next week.

The Maslow Team

Hannah & Bar