Happy new year and sorry for the long waiting. With all of our deep regret, we want to let you know that the delivery date will now be postponed to June 2020. This is a hard decision. We know all of you are waiting anxiously for the printer and we gave you an expectation to receive the printer at around March 2020.
We got the 2 new prototypes successfully at the end of December 2019. To speed up the production, we could try and go with the 2 new prototypes and start the mold making and trial production. But there are still some key issues unresolved and it will be too risky to move onto the next step.
- The 2 new prototypes have not been thoroughly tested in terms of software and hardware;
- The feasibility of the printer assembly has not been verified by professional testers and the assembly plant;
- The printing accuracy doesn’t meet our requirement, which is 0.01mm repeatability at 300mm/s speed.
Taken all the unresolved issues into consideration, we have a new timeline.
- One new prototype machining, assembly, and testing–Feb
- The first round of 3D and 2D drawing modification–Feb
- Mold DFM Review–Feb
- Mold design and machining–March
- Engineering samples assembly, testing, the first round of mold modification–Mid-April
- Pilot run and testing–April
- The second round of 3D and 2D drawing modification–April
- The second round of mold modification–early May
- Mass production–end of May
Looking back at the progress and setbacks in the past 6 months, we are not happy with the progress ourselves and we should take full responsibility for the status quo. Below is a summary of our reflection and we are determined to avoid the same mistakes in the coming 6 months.
- With our subjective high expectation and limited experience in production, we often make a too-optimistic-to-be-possible timeline for each major task. A timeline with a low error-tolerant rate is most likely to be unfulfilled.
- Sometimes, we were trying to save spending on things/matters that should not be saved. For example, to save personnel cost, Elvis was not only responsible for mechanical design but also testing. Both tasks are very time-consuming and critical. As the product designer, he is not suitable to be the tester as the tester is supposed to find problems with the design. BTW, because we have been very careful with every spending, the financial status of the company is good at the moment.
- Priority issue. Because Elvis & Andy are the designers of the printer, whenever there is a problem with the printer, they would automatically think that it must be solved immediately. When faced with a massive amount of tasks, they and their team sometimes lost track of what’s the top priority and we slip into the circle of constant modification and optimization.
These are only some of the main reflections we made. We will have a more detailed summary of our past mistakes and we will set specific rules and working procedures for each mistake.
Below are some photos of the 2 new prototypes and the prints printed with them. Sorry about the quality of the photos as they are taken here in the US while we are attending the CES show. CES 2020 is the exhibition that we booked a long time ago. We will showcase IVI at the start-up zone, which is the cheapest booth. During the exhibition, our team members in China will keep working on the production.
The prototype without front shell
Print head without fan
Print head with fans
Tiny owl printed at 30mm/s speed
Based on the new prototypes, there are a few changes on the printer specifications:
We are deeply sorry that we have let you down in the past 6 months. We have let ourselves down as well. But we’ve decided to get up from where we fell down and learn from our past. “When the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.” We will never give up on the goal of delivering a high-quality printer to all of the backers who believed in us since the very beginning. This is a belief of our whole team.
Thank you and we wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.