Happy Wednesday everyone! We deeply hope that your last two weeks have been less crazy than ours and we are proud to say that all of the kits have been sent out!
All of this batch of kits has been shipped out and we can't wait to welcome a new group of big CNC machines to the community. Getting all of the kits shipped out in a timely manner was a herculean task. Here's a summary of what went wrong and what went right.
What went wrong:
On the very first day our new shipping label printer stopped working meaning instead of being able to print and stick on shipping labels we had to print shipping labels on a regular printer then cut and tape them to the boxes. It wasn't the end of the world but it slowed things down a little.
We switched to a more professionally packaged hardware bag which comes heat sealed. We are very pleased with how they turned out, but unfortunately they arrived missing the small nail used to anchor the free end of the chain and the small screws which attach the Arduino. We were able to put these two parts in a separate ziplock bag in each kit.
Finally, and probably most stressfully, when we took inventory of the custom made steel parts we discovered that and entire crate of bearings was missing. These are the bearings which run along the ring, four are needed per machine so we need a lot of them. They are also expensive and custom made so a lost batch could be expensive and take months to replace. After a sleepless night and a lot of frantic emails we were able to identify where the crate disappeared in transit, and prove that we never received them. At that point the shipping company’s insurance covered the cost which was fantastic, but we were still missing a part which was difficult to replace. Amazingly we got lucky a second time. The manufacturer had over produced the bearings in preparation for a future order and had the extras we needed in stock (apparently it's cheaper to make a lot and hope that a customer reorders the same design than to set up and take down the tooling often). We were able to have them sent via second day air freight and there was almost no delay, just a lot of grey hairs.
What went right:
For all the things that went wrong, so much went right. We were only able to get it done thanks to the help of our friends. We had help from about ten different friends to get it done. There is no way Hannah and I could have done it without them. Many of our friends came in to help before or after their regular jobs or on the weekends, and with their help things like the extra bagging we needed to do or cutting and taping all the shipping labels went from being real setbacks to issues that we were able to take in stride.
Another thing that went well this time around was that we did a lot of preparation and we were able to complete some of the more tedious and time consuming tasks like taping the bottoms of each box so that as soon as we had all the parts in hand we could put time in an already made box, seal the top, and send them out right away.
Ring kits shipping update:
We know a lot of you have been waiting for the ring kits for as long as everyone who was waiting for their kits, and we are so sorry that they have not shipped yet. We are waiting on the hardware that goes in them to be able to ship. We have them boxed up and ready to go and we will have them shipped the same day as soon as the hardware arrives. We were originally told that the hardware bags would arrive today, however we have now been told there is a delay and the hardware will arrive next Wednesday, July 18th. We will post in the live shipping updates thread in the forums as soon as the hardware arrives.
Kits available in the store again:
We marked the machine kit as sold out in the store because we needed to focus 100% of our energy on getting the current batch shipped. Now that they are all sent out we've been able to take stock of how many parts we have left and the kit is available in the store again! Remember that we don't have a timeline for when we will have kits available again after this batch sells out.
One major update to the kit we put up for sale again is that we have combined the Base Machine Kit with the Z Axis Kit to be one unit. We still have some Z Axis Kits available for those who didn’t originally add on one to their order, but moving forward all kits will include the Z Axis Kit and as such the cost is $410 ($350 for the Base Machine Kit plus $60 for the Z Axis Kit).
Donated kits highlights:
This batch of kits included a lot of machines donated to some amazing organizations. We have a policy of donating a machine to pretty much any school, non-profit, or awesome community group that asks. Here are a couple of the groups doing amazing work who will be getting a machine in this batch.
Bar met Cory from Magic Wheelchair while at the Bay Area Maker Faire. Magic Wheelchair is a non profit that makes amazing costumes for children in wheelchairs. We are so excited to see what more they can do with Maslow! To see some of the awesome stuff they’ve already made, please visit their website here. The costumes will blow you away!
Another awesome organization we donated a Maslow to is Shakespearemachine. As the name suggests, Shakespearemachine is a non profit theatre company that specializes in Shakespeare! Nick from Shakespearemachine reached out in May about getting a donated Maslow to help them build sets for their plays. If you happen to be in Indiana, check out Shakespearemachine and their Maslow-built sets.
One of awesome international donations went to Piña Palmera, a non governmental organization based in Oaxaca, Mexico that works with indigenous youth with disabilities. The people at Piña Palmera plan to use Maslow for some of the basic needs at their facility, including building new chairs and racks.
One final donation went to an individual who is working in partnership with Stair Ramps to Heaven, which is a project to build mobile, wheelchair accessible ramps for Art Cars at Burning Man. For those of you who know much about Burning Man and Art Cars, you know how sweet and generous this donation will be for those people who are in wheelchairs while at Burning Man.
While we were hard at work taking things out of boxes and putting them in other boxes, the community was hard at work building things! Here are some highlights from the forums and Instagram.
George_Lehaf made a great video about building a butterfly wine rack. The way he paints it is something I’d never seen before...very cool!
On instagram bretlanius made this wonderful sea horse table using the Makerstation Maslow:
As usual clintloggins created a whole slew of amazing projects this week starting with a pull out under sink organizer:
And next he made a dovetail jig which he describes better than I can in the forum post here.
I’m not sure about the details, but eleetwarez on instagram seems to be teaching a Maslow based class which is producing some great results like these 4th of july decorations.
And something involving gears!
Jacob posted an update on his slab table which seems to be coming along beautifully!
Jose_Miguel_Giraldez posted some pictures of a stunning and thoughtful bed that he made for his son featuring engravings of the Nazca lines in Peru. He said he may post the files in the Community Garden soon so keep an eye out for them!
In what has to be one of the best first projects of all time LuisP made this intricate cat house, which also won Project of the Week this week!
Winning Project of the Week last week, Cbolt360 made this cool carousel horse night light.
And finally yamato introduced Maslow to Japan in style with this fantastic miniature BBQ table which he kindly posted the files for in the Community Garden.
Until the next newsletter we’ll be answering your questions in the forums and catching up on sleep!
-Bar and Hannah