December 04, 2017
Kniterate Batch 1 Shipping Changes
First of all, our estimate for the shipping date of Batch 1 of knitting machines has changed from April to June.
Why has this happened?
In our determination to increase the speed, we used up the time allocated for optimizing. This led to overrunning into our testing time.
The changes have resulted in higher speeds than initially anticipated, but as a consequence, we need to take the testing phase far more seriously.
Initially we hoped to reduce the duration of the upcoming tasks to stay the course, but we have thought better of it. This is an area that we believe our backers wouldn’t want us to compromise on, just to ship in time.
On a positive note, February, when the New Year is celebrated in China, was written off on our original Kickstarter timeline. The reason for this is that factory workers go on holiday the entire month. Testing, luckily, can be done by the team alone, which makes the delay shorter.
In conclusion, once the Chinese New Year holidays have ended, and China’s industrial (and industrious) activity comes back to life, we will start sourcing and manufacturing.
Regarding the speed, we ask for your patience. Once the tests are completed, we can provide you with accurate specifications.
The testing in January-February time will also be when we produce the scarves for our Kickstarter backers and an opportunity to keep working hard on making other minor improvements.
We hope you understand the conditions of this delay. We are extremely sorry, and hope this doesn’t have an important impact in your plans to use Kniterate.
Is Batch 2 affected by delays?
We had cautiously left time between both batches. This means that Batch 2 will be manufactured just after Batch 1. We do not expect any delays.
Your Knitting Machine
As mentioned before, we’ve added more sensors to the machine. This makes sure that you and your machine always stay safe. Our initial model had a few safety interlock switches to stop the machine when any of the doors are opened. We’ve added more sensors to let the machine tell you if something is not going smoothly.
These needle detector sensors are positioned on each side of the carriage to ensure fabric is pulled down properly. If there was a defective needle the fabric could start gathering in the needle area. This would be noticed by the sensor and stop the machine.
When there’s a shock on the needle bed, like something falling in, for example, the piezoelectric sensors attached right underneath the needle beds will detect the vibration and stop the machine immediately to prevent any major damage.
In all of these cases, you’ll get a warning message on the on-board screen. It will inform you of which sensor was triggered and if you’d like to resume the job, if the issue can be fixed, or to cancel it.
Development Ahead (December-March)
Testing (January – March): As we have explained, the main reason for our new delivery date.
Firmware upgrades (as planned, until shipping): Fine tuning the code to improve your experience with the knitting machine.
Casing tooling (December-January): This is the first time we do vacuum forming for “mass” manufacturing, so we’ve dedicated extra time to this. This extra time has helped us understand how plastic forming processes work, ensuring the design of the molds is right. We will keep you updated.
Designing With Kniterate
(beating our own estimates, public release on shipping, private release coming soon)
It’s been really useful to read your answers to the survey we shared on our Machine Backers forum. We’ve learned that most of you have machine knitting experience and demand more stitch variety. For this reason we are focusing on allowing you to input many types of stitches and to give you control over the parameters involved in doing so.
If you pre-ordered Kniterate and haven’t joined the forum or replied to the survey yet, we want to hear from you!
We’ve realised that it’s better to launch an online version of the software first. This means that the standalone version will come at a later stage. This makes the development more efficient by focusing our efforts on a a single version. One of the great aspects of working online is that it allows you to immediately experience how we are adopting your feedback.
Since our Kickstarter campaign ended we have used 14% of the cash received. This means 86% of the funds are safely deposited. They will be deployed in the manufacture of your Kniterate knitting machine from March onward. We don’t believe our cash burn rate from operations will change in any significant way over the next six months.
R&D represents 50% of our expenses, with the rest being used in professional services (legal and accounting), the updated website published in September, which helped us add $173K in sales, and traveling costs (we fly economy).
We expect to receive a tax rebate for our R&D expenses in 2017. In 2016 the rebate amounted to slightly more than $15K in cash from a $69K expense.
From the risks mentioned on our previous update, those associated with testing remain, but after discussing our new timeline with the factory, we have no reason to believe that the volume of Kniterate’s knitting machine production will interfere with the factory’s own production pipeline.
We are happy to welcome Chen Zhu to our team. Since mid-September she’s been helping us to deliver your favorite knitting machine.
Chen was born in a city not too far from where we are now and moved to Canada when she was young. There she studied Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. She is bringing a wide range of skills to Kniterate, including hand knitting. Yay!
Treat Yourself (to our Kniterate Digital Knitting Machine!)
As the project progresses, prices move closer to the “post-delivery” price. After considering feedback from potential customers, we are changing the method for pre-ordering a Kniterate knitting machine. Moving forward we will be taking deposits that lock in the pre-order price.
You will only have to pay the rest of the balance closer to the time of manufacturing your machine. For the Batch 2, which we are currently offering, this will be around June 2018.
You can get yours here.
$5,620 | €5,989 (inc. VAT) | £5,375 (inc. VAT) | CAD 7,300
(until January 15, 2018)
$1,500 | €1,800 (inc. VAT) | £1,800 (inc. VAT) | CAD 1,500
$4,120 | €4,189 (inc.VAT) | £3,575 (inc. VAT) | CAD 5,800
First Delivery Onwards
$7,499 | €8,099 (inc. VAT) | £7,199 (inc. VAT) | CAD 9,780
Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, you can find us in the space for our community.
Thank you for reading!