Update #15 - Ship hold lifted, 3D Printable Tooling

Last Friday, after more drop testing for our packaging validation and after another round of test shipment, we decided to lift the ship hold. As of right now, virtually ALL of the $45, $65, $100 and $300 rewards for the lower 48 states have been dispatched. This represents approximately 80% of domestic US orders. Unfortunately, Fedex's shipping system barfed on this shipment, and shipment notification emails didn't seem to have went out. That being said, the packages are already enroute and some may be delivered as early as Tuesday, July 17th. Fwd: Publication check / Intern

Fwd: Publication check / Intern

Fwd: Publication check / Intern

Fwd: Publication check / Intern

We have commenced shipping tests to Hawaii (via US Postal Service) and to a few lucky folks overseas in the European Union as well. With postage 5-6 times higher for international orders, it's important that every package, every customs form, etc, are throughly checked before the package goes out.

Currently outstanding domestic orders are:

* $200 and $375 "Limited Edition" rewards. The paper for the engineering prints just arrived today, I'll run the prints (close to 500 pages!!!) and sit down to sign them with a big ice pack for my wrist.

* KS0125 Camera Kits - Screws just arrived, we need to kit up the laser cut camera mounts that ship with these kits.

* Trebuchet Kits - on back burner until the international orders are out.

* $1024, $1100 and $2000 kits - we are repackaging the extrusion bundles for these kits, especially international shipments, to ensure that the extrusions arrive in tip-top shape.

* Missing / damaged parts - we will be dispatching these via USPS Priority mail for missing components and Fedex Ground for damaged extrusions / kits this week.

When you receive your package, assuming it arrives in good shape, I'd appreciate it if you can leave some positive feedback on the project page here. I am trying to build up my reputation for my next Kickstarter project… :-)

Someone had asked about what we do in a drop test. The answer is simple:

1) We establish a documented procedure for packaging and we package up 20 pieces of black anodized extrusions into a shipping tube. (Black anodized parts actually weights more, due to the dye absorbed into the aluminum to turn it black).

2) We drop it per Fedex's drop test specification - 10 drops at 30" onto a steel plate. (We substituted concrete for a steel plate), open up the package to verify that the contents survived. Repack per step 1.

3) We then drop the packaging to failure to see what abuse it'll take. Currently, our packaging survives 12 drops at a whopping 2.5meters (8 ft) onto asphalt. This is achieved by holding the tube arm's length out and dropping it off a loading dock.

4) When the packaging fails we open it up and document any damages. Usually, the ends get dinged up a little bit but overall the extrusions are still usable.

5) We will then saw off the damaged portion of the extrusion and donate the material to FIRST robotics teams.

With regards to cutting the extrusion - we understand that not everyone wants a big chop saw that can potentially slice fingers off. We've been researching different methods of cutting the extrusions. Here's a sneak peek at a 3D printable miter box that we are currently testing. It uses hardened steel pins, known as drill rods, for guiding the hack saw blade:

Miter Box Assembly

Miter Box Assembly_Isometric

That's it for this update! It's been a long journey, and there's light at the end of the tunnel - with at least a 2 sigma certainty that the light isn't' from a freight train… :-)

-=- Terence, Rachel and the furry monster puppy