A quicker update this time as we're going to start shifting to mini, more than weekly updates as we get into production. Speaking of production, we thought it would be cool to show everyone how everything is actually made...so we'll putting out a new video every few days showing how a different part is made, starting with our Auger and circuit population this week. With any luck, the quality of the videos will also increase - you'll notice this week's are either out of focus or a little short (our circuit board producer was a little weary of us videoing his setup for the whole world to see), but we're hoping to improve things as we go.
Once we get the final stamp from UL, we'll also include production run and unit number progress as well, so you can keep track of everything as we progress. Speaking of UL, our latest meeting with them mentioned no delays or issues to date, and given their timeline the testing should be almost complete... though at this point we're taking everything they say with a very large grain of salt given our history with them.
We also have some huge news regarding Maker Faire NYC - we're going as a sponsor this year! This was originally going to be our "official launch" when we booked it over the course of the summer, as we were hoping to already be shipping out units - but at the very least we'll be there with our production units to show everyone the final version. For those concerned that we're shirking our production duties to go have fun in New York, fear not - it's just 2 days over a weekend, and we aren't spending time outside of those two days on anything other than production. But, if you'll be in the area, come swing by our booth, say hi, share in our hatred for certification delays, and check out the real deal for yourself. We'll include booth number, etc in our next update before the show so we're easy to find.
Last but not least, the production videos - we've got two this week to kick things off! The first is a video of our auger being turned on one of our 4 axis Tormach machines. The blanks are turned to high precision in our lathe, then put in the mill for cutting the profile. Finally, the end is cut off (not shown), and they're ready to go! They don't take very long, but in the interest of timeliness we've sped up the video 4 times. To watch it in real time, just use the "0.25" speed setting in Youtube.
You can watch our auger being produced here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgY8mo07wfs
The second video is of our circuit boards being populated. You might have to watch it a few times to really see what's happening as it's quite short, but the machine is taking electrical components like resistors, capacitors, etc and placing them onto our board - this is how all of the surface mount components are added. We do have some through hole components that are then placed by hand (not shown), and of course stenciling the board and adding the solder paste both happen before any component placement takes place (also not shown), but the pick and place is by far the coolest part of the process and the one we wanted to highlight. The machine places 5 components at once, and for each component it picks it up, optically monitors the orientation and accommodates for any offset in the packaging (that's the red "flash" you see...there's actually 5 in a row, one for each component, but it's too fast to make out). Once it's accounted for any packaging offsets, it places the components on the board...then goes back for 5 more! And we thought 3D printers were cool...
You can watch our circuit boards being populated here:
That's it for this week - as always, feel free to shoot us an e-mail if you've got any questions. And if you're able to make it out to Maker Faire in NYC, we'd love to see you!
-The ReDeTec team