Moving forward

February 14, 2019

News

Welcome to the first update of 2019, we hope you’ve all been having a great new year. Here are some of our most important news for the last two months:

 

Hardware

The Chinese New Year holidays are over but during that time we were open as usual, making progress with the machine. We’ve mostly been testing fixes to the issues we discussed on our previous update.

We were in time to receive all the parts we needed to be made before everyone left the factories, a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes workers leave their families to look for fortune in more prosperous areas and these holidays are the only chance they have during the year to reunite with their families. If you want to dive a bit more into this cultural phenomenon you may find this documentary interesting.

Mechanics

We’ve put together a new prototype that allows us to test the improvements we’ve worked on since the last update. The focus of our work has been on preventing the oil leaks that we discovered in our previous prototype. So far the tests have been very positive and after many days of testing and pouring oil into the needle beds of the new prototype, not even a single drop of oil has escaped the new oil sumps.

Plenty of oil is poured into the needle beds and slowly flows into the oil tank located in one side

We’ve also improved the racking motion to make it smoother and more durable by using a linear motion system. Until now, we have been using different stacked pieces to keep the rear needle bed locked in its position, combining different materials to reduce friction and allowing the racking sideways movement.

Frequent lubrication has been necessary to try to keep these stacked pieces in good shape, but, that hasn’t been good enough. After many months of testing our machines, we realized that some of the parts that allow this racking movement started wearing down a tiny bit, so we decided to switch to linear guide rails instead, an upgrade that eliminates most of the friction and reduces maintenance work.

The needle bed is attached from both sides to the linear motion system

We will keep this prototype running non-stop day and night during the next weeks (every 24h it makes around 50,000 racking movements) and if the results remain positive, we will be on track to source components by May and start manufacturing this summer, as scheduled.

We are about to finish the design of all the remaining parts and we will start ordering some this week. This way we will be able to assemble another working prototype, with some additional improvements that we have been working on.

👩🏽‍🔧 RECRUITING!

Manufacturing/Mechanical engineer to support Kniterate with the process of manufacturing. This adventurous member of the team will live and work in China, being a key contributor to the entire cycle of manufacturing a complex commercial product: from sourcing, inspecting, and assembling the components to testing the machines and shipping them by sea to our backers.

Contact us here: info@kniterate.com

Electronics

The development of the new electronics is taking a little bit longer than expected, we thought we would get more done before the Chinese New Year but our manufacturer in Shenzhen was a bit busier than usual. The development has resumed this week and we expect to order the new boards towards the end of the month. This  has added a delay of a week to our electronics part of the timeline.

 

Next Stopover: Kniterate London

It’s been amazing to have backers and non-backers visit us in Somerset House, some even coming from North America to see Kniterate work!

Today, for example, we had Helen Sharp from The Knitting School (Seattle). Helen brought to our attention that some of our backers in the US had attended her workshops, in preparation for the arrival of their Kniterate. Because she comes to the UK frequently it allows us to work closely with her to incorporate and share all her incredible knowledge and experience with our community, especially with our customers in North America.

Helen and Anne knitting it out!

Sadly, The Knitting School will be closing this year, but you can still catch Helen’s last courses.

We’ve also been receiving feedback from our visitors and are taking good note of the ideas being shared. Some of the new parts to be ordered during the next days already incorporate some of your feedback. Thank you!

We’d like to meet you! To schedule a visit, just complete this form and we will get in touch.

Software

Alex was in London this January, during his term break. It was a very productive month for the software, especially on the backend. His main task has been re-writing our compiler to make it versatile, stable and future proof. The compiler will be in constant evolution so having a strong foundation that incorporates functionality tests will make things more agile down the line.

Anne, Triam, Gerard (visiting from China), Alex (visiting from the US) and Julia. Sadly Chen didn’t make it, as she was holding down the fort in China.

On our previous update, we released a very early beta version of the app to start sketching shapes and play with colors. Most of the work that Julia and Alex have been doing since then has been around a brand new set of functionalities that will be part of the stitch editor. The editor will allow you to create any type of stitches and textures you can image. This work has not been updated yet to the current version accessible to backers, we will do that once we have a more stable version.

One of our first Kickstarter backers, Piers Cowburn, a software engineer at Snap Inc.’s London office, has become an advisor and mentor to us, playing a pivotal role in guiding us through the development of Kniterate’s app.

Piers on a recent visit to Makerversity

👩🏽‍💻 RECRUITING!

Senior front end developer to help us implement new features into this unique design app we are building, to easily design all things knitting on the cloud

Contact us here: info@kniterate.com

 

Financials

We have used 44% of the cash we’ve received from you (from 40.15% on our last update). 56% of all the funds you have given to us are safely deposited.

Our UK annual statements are ready and we can now start working our US accounts. Once this process is over we will apply for the R&D Tax credit in the UK.

 

Pre-Orders

For the time being, prices will remain unchanged.

PRE-ORDER PRICE  $7,499 €7,899 (inc. VAT) £7,059 (inc. VAT) CAD 9,949
Pay Now $1,500     €1,800 (inc. VAT) £1,800 (inc. VAT) CAD 1,500
…and The Rest Later    $5,999 €6,099 (inc.VAT) £5,259 (inc. VAT) CAD 8,449
RETAIL PRICE $7,699 €8,099 (inc. VAT) £7,199 (inc. VAT) CAD 10,245

 

Thanks for reading our update!

Visit our community if you have any questions.

-Kniterate Team

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