First I want to thank everyone for making the first MakerSlide production run possible. The open source hardware community, Bart Dring, and the active community over at Buildlog have exceed even our greatest expectations for MakerSlide.
We closed the orders for the first MakerSlide production run on April 23rd and promised everyone that ordered that we would ship them within 45 days. For those of you that don't know about MakerSlide it is an open source linear extrusion that combines a linear railing system with structural support. The MakerSlide design was invented by Bart Dring. Here's what it looks like...
Now for the update. We had a few bumps in the road during production. The original die that we thought we could use to run the extrusion broke so we had to have a new die manufactured. As you can see on the diagram above there is a new and improved design that makes the extrusion easier to run through the die. The top cross section uses one less rib. Bart had some MakerSlide in his garage so we hired a messenger service and 4 strong guys loaded it all onto a truck and then unloaded it at Inventables. Here's what it looked like when it got to our office on Wednesday afternoon.
The new die took 2.5 weeks to manufacture and it took the extruder another 1.5 weeks to run the extrusions, cut the, and send them out to be anodized. When they got back from the anodizer we paid for them to bag them in plastic bags to prevent scratches in shipping. On Thursday the MakerSlide arrived at Inventables HQ, here's a picture of what it looked like:
Since the MakerSlide was sold in 1200mm and 2000mm sections we had to order expandable boxes that could be adjusted to either size MakerSlide. We hired 4 temporary workers to help use assemble the boxes because it was rather time consuming to build them. After a day of building telescoping boxes we decided that tubes would have been a better solution.
International orders had to be cut down with the saw pictured below to fit into a smaller box because the post office would not allow international shipments with boxes this long to most countries. USPS dictates the following size standards:
- Maximum length: 36 inches
- Maximum length and girth combined: 79 inches.
- Maximum weight limits vary by country.
We set up a station to pick and pack all the accessories and include them in the boxes with each MakerSlide.
We set them out on the dock in batches of 40-50 at a time and so far we have had 6 UPS trucks come by and pick up the packages. Over 150 orders have shipped and we expect to finish the orders from the first batch on Monday.
Thanks to everyone for all your patience and support as we went through this process for the first time. We learned a lot and look forward to your feedback and see what everyone is going to make with their MakerSlide. We'll do another update soon. As you can see from the picture below...we're exhausted.