Timeline update V – Gearing up for manufacturing

June 27, 2019

News

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Hello Kniterate community!

We hope you’re enjoying the beginning of the summer. After a longer wait than usual, we bring our latest update. As always, bad news first.

Timeline update

Shipping will be delayed around a month for our earliest backers (those who have paid the full amount) and around three months for the remaining batches (which put a deposit).

  • Early bird – Shipping from August to September 2019
  • Batch 1 – Shipping from September to December 2019
  • Batch 2 – Shipping from January to February 2020
  • Batch 3 – Shipping from February to March 2020
  • Batch 4 – Shipping during March 2020
  • Batch 5 – Shipping during April 2020

On a more positive note, after speaking with our shipping agent we have realized that the cost per unit of shipping one knitting machine is almost the same as hundred. After all, containers can be filled with other cargo. This means machines will be shipped in smaller batches, as they are assembled and tested. 

This allows us to ship your knitting machine faster to you. We will contact you as your machine gets packed to confirm all shipping details and payments (we’ve gotten good at this after shipping the demo units!).

If you’re a backer, you can find and follow the timeline with weekly updates on the private forum.

Why has this happened?

Refining our processes to deliver a high-quality knitting machine has been a time-consuming effort. For a complex machine like this one, unpacking and translating all the knowledge in our heads to an assembly protocol has taken some time. 

Going through it, though, has allowed the engineering team to systematically analyze the steps required to build a Kniterate and let us know that the assembly and testing of each unit will take longer than anticipated. 

We expect to progressively improve the assembly process and scale it during the next months, but, we want to pay extra attention during the first 100 units as we expect some refinements will be required throughout the process.

We are sorry. 

Sorry for being late and sorry for the lack of communication. We know how much patience you’ve had with us and not keeping you abreast of our progress has added to your frustration.

Minor development changes

No important issues have been detected in our latest prototype. Some smaller mechanical improvements will be necessary. The final iteration of our PCBs is currently being produced and we’ll be putting it together in our prototype during the next two weeks. After that, we will do some final stress tests for a couple of weeks and then manufacturing will kick off, with the sourcing of all the components for the Early Bird machines.

A prototype being carried around the factory

Manufacturing

Even fuller house

We are very excited to introduce you to two additions to our engineering team in China, Marc and 章辉 (aka Jason). They both have been working with us during the last weeks, helping us make amazing progress in the manufacturing front.

Marc and 章辉, in front of an industrial laser cutter, used to cut the numerous sheet metal pieces the machine has

Jason is an electronics engineer turned supply chain manager. His technical background combined with his social skills makes him the perfect teammate to keep on top of our sourcing agenda. 

Marc is a mechanical engineer with years of experience in manufacturing. He is now working on our assembly line, preparing all the assembly cells with the required materials and documentation for a smooth assembly process. His experience in the field and devotion for Beijing duck make him an exciting addition to the team.

Space

We are currently in conversations with our manufacturing partner and this is the space that has been assigned to us to set up our production line.

During the next month, we will equip it to be ready to receive all the components, evaluate them and start assembling your machines.

Visiting suppliers

For over a year we’ve been talking and working with suppliers, but not all our suppliers are within a day trip from us, so we hadn’t met them in person yet. 

This month we made a long trip to solidify our relationships with in-person meetings and to visit their facilities to discuss the smaller details of our cooperation. A lot of healthy green tea was consumed during these meetings and it all went really well. We agreed on positive terms with our major suppliers and the sourcing process is almost set and ready to start.

Machining facilities for some of the components of the carriage

Painting facilities for the sheet metal parts of the casing

Software

We’ve updated the design app and if you’re a backer and part of the community you can access this new version right now. We are very excited to share this update with you because we believe this new approach to the app outlines the shape of things to come in the future.

Note that logging in can be slow as it’s not been optimized yet. 

As you will see, we’ve redirected some of the features we developed in the previous version and we’ve adapted them to a more friendly environment for knitting. It is still a bare/bones version with very basic functionalities. Nothing of significance can be achieved at this point beyond plain testing.

Main features:

  • Resize canvas and adjust the density
  • 3 paint tools and 6 colors in pattern mode
  • 3 paint tools and 6 types of stitches in stitch mode (small representation of stitches, many more to come)
  • Contextual menu (copy/paste, undo/redo, insert/remove)

We want to emphasize a few aspects of the software development process with the aim of managing expectations. For Kniterate, two aspects drive this, cash investment and time.

Given that we work with your resources, we aim to manage development in a way that is as sustainable as possible. This means finding a balance between spending and moving forward at a reasonable pace. 

A software product to run our knitting machine has layers of complexity and requires time to build to achieve its full potential. Luckily, and unlike a hardware product, software evolves continuously. This means that although now the software may be less robust and lack some features, you will see it change and grow up, from today’s version to a world-class knitting CAD product.

Thus, we keep working on improving the app on a daily basis and we will be pushing updates to the site more regularly. In a few weeks, we will be publishing info about how to navigate the app and start designing stuff.

As always, please report bugs and suggest features in the Trello board.

Happenings

We were named as ‘Ones To Watch’ by UK’s Creative Industries Council (CIC). It celebrates 50 UK companies at the forefront of creativity & technology. Find the article on us here.

Anne was invited to attend Techtextil & Texprocess in Frankfurt am Main and had the chance to have a look at the newest textile technologies and meet with yarn suppliers. She will be sharing her experience with us in an upcoming blog post.

Alex attended the ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, giving him an opportunity to connect with the people behind some of the most cutting edge research in the field. We can’t wait to read more about his two days in Pittsburg.

And we hope you didn’t miss the teaser for our recent collaboration? You’ll be hearing more about it soon!

Follow us on social media: InstagramTwitterFacebook

You can also visit us in London: Meet us

Financials

We have used 52% of the cash we’ve received from you (from 50% on our last update). 48% of all the funds you have given to us are safely deposited.

Pre-Orders 

Following on our previous update, we will be changing our prices tomorrow. Our website is now on Pacific Time so that our West Coast clients are not disadvantaged.

PRE-ORDER NOW

Current Jun 28 Jul 26 Aug 23 Sep 27
Price $7,999 $8,499 $8,999 $9,499 $9,999
Pay Deposit $1,700 $1,900 $2,100 $2,300 $2,500
…and the rest later $6,299 $6,599 $6,899 $7,199 $7,499

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

(inc. VAT) Current Jun 28 Jul 26 Aug 23 Sep 27
Price €8,399 €8,790 €9,199 €9,599 €9,999
Pay Deposit €2,040 €2,280 €2,520 €2,760 €3,000
…and the rest later €6,359 €6,519 €6,679 €6,839 €6,999

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

(inc. VAT) Current Jun 28 Jul 26 Aug 23 Sep 27
Price £7,499 £7,799 £8,299 £8,699 £9,199
Pay Deposit £2,040 £2,280 £2,520 £2,760 £3,000
…and the rest later £5,459 £5,519 £5,779 £5,939 £6,199

PRE-ORDER NOW

 

Current Jun 28 Jul 26 Aug 23 Sep 27
Price C$10,699 C$11,399 C$11,999 C$12,699 C$13,399
Pay Deposit C$1,700 C$1,900 C$2,100 C$2,300 C$2,500
…and the rest later C$8,999 C$9,499 C$9,899 C$10,399 C$10,899

PRE-ORDER NOW

Thanks for reading our update!

Visit our community if you have any questions.

-Kniterate Team

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