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X-Carve Shipping Update!

The transition to X-Carve has been a huge undertaking for everyone at Inventables, encompassing a multitude of projects and collaborations from every team. Engineering, software development, purchasing, customer support, warehouse operations and all the rest have been hustling to get this product designed and in our customers' hands as quickly as possible.

Now that we've finally announced it to the world, things are moving really fast! In order to get shipping as fast as possible, we're making a lot of changes to our warehouse that should help us increase our speed and efficiency, while keeping our error rates as low as humanly possible.




One of the big changes for us is that X-Carve is completely "choose your own adventure"- the machine size, motors, electronics, spindle- every module can be combined with every other one to make a machine for every individual. Customers can order more than a thousand combinations of X-Carve modules using our configurator, and the warehouse team has to be able to pick, pack, and ship those orders quickly to keep up with demand.

Our operations manager Phil is making some big organizational changes in the warehouse this week, and none too soon as our truckloads of X-Carve parts have started to arrive!

Here's Phil examining some of the 1000mm MakerSlide fresh from the anodizer-->

That's two pallets of MakerSlide on the ground next to him. Over the coming days we'll be checking each rail individually for dings, nicks, straightness, and anodizing consistency. They'll then be stacked onto shelves in the X-Carve kitting area being set up, as soon as those shelves are built.


Also arrived: Switching 24v Power Supplies!



Thousands of belt clips and drag chain mounts!

 

Cases of 24v cooling fans and Arduinos flashed with GRBL!

 

Giant spools of wire and so many oak clamps!

 

Literally a thousand pounds (450kg) of NEMA 23 stepper motors! Fun fact: the NEMA 23's that ship with X-Carve have 140lbs of holding torque. Beefy.


Stacks of 1000mm wasteboards and more drag chain than we've even see in one place!

 

And did we mention MakerSlide? Lots of MakerSlide. Not pictured: like six more pallets of MakerSlide in various lengths.


As we set up our processes, we're still working on refining parts of the customer experience. Here's Paul Kaplan from our software development team putting a little thought into the way the different X-Carve modules fit into the box. Since X-Carve is a kit that the customer puts together, it's really important to us that the process is very clear and organized from the moment you open the box.

Paul is the Inventables Tetris champion so we figured he'd be the best one to solve this problem.


And last but not least, here's a snapshot of what the process looks like on our inventory check-in workstation. Here's Lisa checking in a batch of v-wheels before they go on the shelves. We inspect every part for consistency and quality, weeding out any factory mistakes before a customer ever sees them. Last month our inventory team had a 0% error rate, which is a pretty big deal.


We'll keep you updated on our progress as the shipping date approaches. Some of the next parts to land are the awesome custom extrusions that make up the X-Z and spindle carriages, and we've got some secret new stuff coming in to the store that we're really excited about.

In the meantime, we're putting in the hours on our handful of early X-Carves in the shop, we've got beta testers out in the field checking through the build process and assembly instructions, and we're responding to all the excellent questions coming in on the new forum

Thanks for all the feedback and support so far, please keep it coming and we'll get these X-Carves shipped as fast as we can!

3 comments:

57fb524e-c82b-11e4-834f-8f4ab038d989 said...

I watched the latest vidoes on the step-by-step build of the X-Carve. Very well done! I'm inspired to get my own kit just to have something to put together. I remember as a youth, building a Heathkit was half the fun of having a cool ham radio or other electronic device. Congratulations to the whole team at Inventables.

Zach Kaplan said...

Thanks! Heathkit was a huge inspiration for Inventables.

Tim Gates said...

Heathkit was an incredible company, I assembled at least a dozen of their kits including the first color television to have a solid state tuner. The quality of the finished product was better than anything that you could purchase at a retail outlet. Their instructions and manuals were landmarks in the industry. They were right across the lake from you. Keep up drive for perfection.