Mike and I have received our battle field demotions to grunt line workers this past week, and they will likely stay in effect all the way up to the week leading up to Christmas in our attempt to get all kits, Kickstarter & Preorders, out the door, to our backers.
As of this moment, all mechanical only kits have been prepped, and we've shipped all the ones that have address confirmation. (If you have not confirmed your address, please do so. The email should have came from kickstarter@OpenBeamUSA.com). We will likely push out a batch of printer kits next Monday or Tuesday, and we should be able to get the balance of the kits out the door shortly after that.
To be honest, we were disappointed by the progress and accuracy by some of our kitters. To fix this, we are throwing all the resources we can muster at the problem. We have brought on additional kitters. We now check every sub assembly that's coming in, either by weight against a golden sample on a 50mg resolution weight scale, or visual inspection if the weight deviates more than a certain percentage. We are now personally kitting every single box that goes out the door to prevent kitting mistakes; we work in batches and we weight each kitted box again on the same precision scale after kitting to ensure that one of the packaging elfs didn't take a mental vacation halfway through the process. We've paid a local contract manufacturer to get some of the cables crimped, and we personally crimped enough cable sets to hold us over until our contract manufacturer can deliver these cables.
Truth be told, we got into this mess by being too personal. We thought we were helping out our friends financially by giving them the (well paying) work, but as the project leader I should have taken a more active role in managing this. We got burned as they failed to deliver on a timely manner, and we are now doing everything we humanly can to get this fixed and get kits out the door.
Anyway, I want to share some more pictures of the progress from last week.
That's it for this update! Thanks for being patient with us, and we look forward to getting the kits into your hands!
-=- Terence, Rachel and Mike
PS: Here's a reference to ZT-FUD-00101, for those interested. All our part numbers are in the form of ZT-XXX-NNNNN, where XXX is a 3 letter prefix denoting the part family, followed by a 5 digit number.
PSS: We have 5 machines left on this batch that we are building for our push out before Christmas, on our Shopstarter page.