July 15, 2014 / Rachel Eva
Our last Kickstarter update included photos of the first samples we received from the factory, and since then, we have gone through two additional design iterations (phew!)
After receiving the first samples last month, we spoke with our manufacturing coordinator about the changes that needed to be made. We all agreed that providing a 3D printed model of the spoon would be the best way to communicate the details of the final design. Even when speaking the same language, small but important details can be understood differently from one person to the next, and things are easily lost in translation. It's much more difficult when a literal language hurdle must be overcome.
A physical version of the spoons that reflect exactly what we've envisioned is the best way to ensure the factory knows what standard to mass produce for.
We already provided them with our handmade prototypes, but remember that those were missing one of the most important components of these spoons: the seamless transition from the spoon bowl to the handle. We weren't able to produce that bit in our workshop, so we turned to 3D printing to help us communicate.
For those not familiar with 3D printing, it is an additive manufacturing process where thin layers of material are created, one on top of another, to produce a physical object from a digital design file.
Here's a photo of the Classic spoon after the first 3D print was made:
For this sample, we used a high-definition 3D printer that lays down extremely detailed layers, so small you can barely see them. It was extremely gratifying to see our designs in physical form. However, it also exposed some areas in the design file that needed modification, so we took them back to the drawing board and have had those changes made.
Most of the changes were minor and don't impact the overall design. The most significant modification was to the diameter of the handle (it was too small) and the diameter of the end of the Classic spoon. The flare on the end of the spoon was too extreme. We reduced the diameter and extended the taper to help with the aesthetic, and give it a more balanced weight.
Here is a rendering of what the Classic spoon should look like now; the Spin hasn't had any major design changes.
We are currently in the process of having our second set of 3D prints made, and should have them finished by the end of the month. Once we receive them and verify the measurements, we'll ship them to the factory. They will use these as a guide to make changes, and will send us our fourth samples, in metal, around the beginning of September
What does this mean for our delivery timeline? We won't be done in September, and even if that fourth sample is spot on, manufacturing takes a minimum of 40 days, plus shipping. A new conservative estimate would be delivery of the spoons in November, possibly (eek!) December if we allow time for a potential fourth revision and/or delays during final manufacturing.
We hate delivering news that may disappoint, but right now that needs to be done.
Thank you all for the many encouraging messages and shout-outs, and for so many of you that have supported us in producing to the highest quality, even if it is taking more time than we anticipated.
It's going to be worth it!
Rachel Eva & Shawn Michael