Welcome to another Wednesday! Hope you’ve all been well since the last. We know we've been focusing on our beta testers a lot in the updates so this week, we’ve got all the details on our timeline for shipment to Regular Machine Kit Backers (both Batches 1 and 2!) We’ve also got details on how we plan to get those 600+ kits assembled and shipped in a timely manner, as well as more details on the plans for future sales for those of you who are keeping up with us who still haven’t purchased a Maslow. Of course, we also want to feature some of the awesome advancements our Beta Testers have made in the last week (mainly in the form of frames!) as well as the finished bench that our beta tester blsteinhauer88 made!
I’ve also got a few details from our meeting with four awesome guys from Autodesk, and Bar’s got a super mini update on fixing the oval circles he talked about last week (so beta testers be sure to read that part, it's at the bottom)!
First of all, let’s talk about shipment to Regular Machine Kit Backers! As at least all of our Beta Testers know, we ended up shipping beta kits a few weeks later than expected. We planned to have shipped by the end of February, and instead we weren’t able to ship until around mid-March. This few week delay will carry over to the shipment of our Regular Machine Kits because we don't want to rush the amazing work that our beta testers are doing. We originally planned to ship in May, but it will end up being the first or second week of June. We apologize for this, as we know many of our Regular Machine Kit backers are incredibly anxious to receive their kit, but we promise it is in your best interest! Our beta tester community has been doing an incredible job of working with us to better the Maslow in terms of the software, the hardware, the assembly, and much more, and we believe keeping our beta testing phase at least 2 months in length is vital to the success of each Regular Machine Kit backer when he/she receives the kit. Thanks so much for your understanding with this. Bringing a brand new idea and product into the world is not easy task and we appreciate your patience and support.
So how, you might be asking, do we plan to ship to our 600+ Regular Machine Kit backers? That is a good question, one I have been asking myself ever since it took me 2 whole weeks just to pack around 100 boxes. Thankfully, we were made aware of an awesome local non-profit organization that does just the kind of kit assembly we need to have done in order to ship Maslow. That non-profit is called Exceed Enterprises. Exceed has been around since 1968, and they hire people with disabilities to do a variety of jobs. They employ teams of people who work at various sites around the Portland area. They also have a large warehouse in south Portland where many people work doing just the type of kit assembly we need. Bar and I went to visit their site about a week ago and were really impressed by the work environment, level of professionalism, and organization at Exceed. After working through the details of the Maslow kit assembly with Exceed’s Vice President of Business Development, we decided to have all of the bags in the Maslow kit assembled by Exceed employees, as well as all of the stretchy string cut and bundled. Exceed works with tons of local and national-level businesses, including Bob’s Red Mill, Boeing, Fastenal, and many more, and they are ISO 9001: 2008 certified, so we feel extremely confident that the bags will be assembled perfectly. We’re super excited about this partnership, and we hope our backers feel the same!
Now for a few details on future sales, for those of you following along with us who still haven’t had the chance to purchase a Maslow! We will open sales again in mid-May, but only to those who have added themselves to our $1 waitlist, whether that be via Kickstarter or through our website. If you are one of the people on this list, be expecting a separate email from me today with details on future sales. If you believe you placed yourself on this list but do not receive an email today, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can be certain you are on the list! Come mid-May, we will send an email to everyone on the list with a link to purchase a Maslow. Just like on Kickstarter, the machine will be $350. If you want your Maslow to come with the z-axis add-on, the kit will be $410, and there will be a separate purchase option available. Shipping will still be $13 domestically and $70 for international. Depending on how sales go, we may only keep this link open for about 2 weeks. Bar and I are still just a 2 person team, and just like with our Kickstarter campaign, we don’t want to oversell to a point that we find unmanageable. If sales are slow, the link will stay open longer. Regardless, if you would like to purchase a Maslow when we open sales again, please budget accordingly and keep in mind that you may only have a 2 week window to purchase your machine at the end of May. After sales have been open for about a week, I will send another email to everyone who received the link letting you all know how soon we plan to close the link. If you stay on the lookout for all this correspondence, you shouldn’t miss your chance to get a Maslow! We will plan to ship all kits from this round of sales by the end of the summer, ie in August or September of this year.
On to the fun stuff! As I said previously, we’ve been really impressed by all the work our beta testers have put into the Maslow so far. One of the coolest things we’ve been able to see are all the different frames our beta testers have constructed for their Maslows. Check out all the photos below, which were uploaded to our forums.
Additionally, we wanted to show off this amazing bench that one of our local Beta testers made. blsteinhauer88 lives in Gresham, which is just outside of Portland. He came to pick up his kit from us the day they were all ready to ship, and has come back to visit us one time since. We think his ability to come pick up the machine versus waiting for shipment gave him a bit of a leg-up when it comes to building amazing things ;)
Finally, yesterday we had the opportunity to meet four employees from the local branch of Autodesk. Autodesk is a company which makes software for all types of Computer Aided Design and Modeling. Of all of their software options, most of you are probably most familiar with Fusion 360, which is a design software that is free to students and hobbyists. From what I’ve seen in the forums, many of our beta testers are strong supporters of Fusion 360 for the type of design needed to build things with Maslow. Yesterday, we discussed the possibility of adding a Post Processor specifically for Maslow to the Fusion 360 software. The hope is that along with this post processor, we can get a better grasp on designing for 2D projects in Fusion 360 so that designing whatever you want to build can be easy for all Maslow users in Fusion 360! We are still early on in this relationship, but from the meeting yesterday, it sounds like creating a Maslow-specific post processor should be a fairly easy task. This post processor would also make it easier to go from a downloaded .dxf file to the gcode needed to cut using Ground Control. I’m still working on getting a tutorial together for this, but hopefully we can make the process as seamless as possible by working directly with Autodesk employees!
Bar's Mini Update:
Thanks to some amazing work and testing by forum users rexklein, scottsm, rancher, blsteinhauer88, gero, makermark, and davidlang I think we've narrowed down the causes of the oval circles we've all been seeing. You can read the whole transcript of our exploration process here, but the gist of it is that we created a test shape and ran it under different conditions to narrow down what was causing the issue. It seems like if you use any dimensions settings other than the defaults right now you get strange behavior like oval circles. To prevent more confusion, we've constrained this week's version of Ground Control to use only the default settings. Regardless of the dimensions of your machine it's best to stick with the defaults this week while we find a solution. For the best results, move your motors to match mine which are spaced 2,978mm apart. If you have any questions, please let us know in the forums!
Thanks for reading through all the nitty gritty logistics in this week’s update. As always, we’re glad you’re keeping up with us! Feel free to reach out for any reason, and we hope you have a great week!
Until next Wednesday,
Hannah & Bar