September 2015 Update

We are continuing to make good progress here at Pocket NC.  This past month we shipped out our hats and stickers.  If you pledged for one and didn't get it, be sure and check your email to make sure you didn't miss the survey for your address!

 We'd also like to take time to thank all those who backed us at the $5 level.  All of you combined helped to give us a little extra wiggle room in our first run of production and we really appreciate all of your support!  So here goes, big thanks goes out to Keith Reffell, Eric Weinhoffer, Heri Sim, Ryan Lackey, Frank Wiebenga, GP Yee, 3Dsimo, Javier, Jotham McMillan, Mathieu Monney, Matt Stultz, Tim, Jason Webb, Michael Curry, Christian Klemke, Dustin Sell, cubergreen, James S Beckman, 3devo, Brian Ware, Thorkil, Jondale Stratton, R. D. Childers, Gavin Bath, L.M. Oliver, Scott Seivert, CHERCIU Mihail, Niall Barrett, Michael Ukabam, Edispin Inc, Grzegorz Jagla, Dag Henrik Bråtane, Laurens Laudowicz, Phoenix, Gerald Fuller, Daniel M Simser, David Perry, Affan, Wolfgang Klich, Nathan Stephens, Tyler Lindsay, Kristen Dyrr, R.M., Lauren Schmitt, JV (John) Pumphrey, Dean, Anthony Bergelt, Amanda Z, Filippo Toso, Celtic Hotel, London (Deb), D.LINK STUDIO LLC, Elias Dinter, Stephen Coates, Andreas Rozek, Ove Andersen, Carlos Poon, Lorenzo Frangi, Sean Hall, David Proffer, Jason Bird, ben shultz, Chris E, Darin, Adam Phelps, Mcontrem, Andy Holmstom, Victoria A., Simen Kjærås, EJ Strauss, Nathanael Nunes, Philip Barishich, Ryan, Jesse, and Wes, Aaron G. Sauers, CLP, NEEO Inc., Evgeny Hotulev, Peter Csontos, Ng Wai Sing, Hamish Patel, Natalie Freed, Ilya Smirnov, Andy Mills, Ernest Ho, CrystalKB, Carsten Spranger, Andrew Sand, Dmitri Don, Brandon Zurek, Justen Judd, Gion Manetsch, Center for a Stateless Society, Kean Maizels, Jonas Rabbe, Jordan, Katrina L. Halliwell, FastEddie, Shaun Redsar, Rob Scott, Vincent Poirier, onelife, Leonard@TM, waquier, Christoffer Wallén, Ryan Oberfield, SeltzerKick, Calvin Chu, IPD DESK Ltd, supervexi, and Alya.

We are continuing to work hard on machining and are over halfway through the machines.  We also have a steady flow of parts coming back from anodize and will soon have the custom machines back!

 We also have all the components we need to begin the assembly process for the first batch!  We are excited to finish assembling a few soon so that we can test them and make sure everything is good before cranking out the rest.

You may have noticed that the machine we advertised on our Kickstarter campaign required an ethernet connection to a computer to operate.  We have realized that this is one of the weak points of our machine because who really wants to deal with an ethernet connection in the 21st century?  So we have been working on a few prototypes to add more ports including a micro USB, HDMI, and USB.  What this means for our users is that they will have three options for operation.  Users can SSH into the machine from another computer using the ethernet connection, SSH using the micro USB connection, or use a stand alone mouse, keyboard, and HDMI compatible screen.  You can also use the USB port to load Gcode files to your machine with a USB stick.  We have tested 3 iterations of the prototype boards and things are going really well.  Thanks again to OSH Park for helping us work through these prototype boards quickly!

We also want to thank our programmer, Duane Bishop, who has been working very hard to iron out any bugs we have in our setup and make our user experience better.

 We are also working on rounding out our website so that by the time we begin shipping machines, there is ample information to get our users started.  You can find this information on our resource page.  This includes things like tutorials on how to use the machine, dimensions of the machine for those of you building custom enclosures, as well as diagrams describing the home position and travel of the machine.

That's a wrap!

Since we have wrapped up our Kickstarter campaign, we wanted to take a post to say a huge thanks to everyone who backed us!  We are really excited to have the go ahead to move into full production.  We have got a head start on the process since we met our goal a few weeks ago and are machining through some aluminum while we wait for our funds to come in to finish ordering our components.  We have been producing about 200 pounds of aluminum chips a week.

 We also have the boards for our BeagleBone Black capes on order.  The photo below is one of the left overs from the last batch of working prototypes that we produced and saw no issues with.  We owe a big thanks to the folks over at OSH Park for all the help they've been through our prototyping process.  If you are looking for a place to get small batches of boards prototypes, we highly recommend working with them!

 One issue we have been struggling with for a while has been finding a way to cover the fastener holes on our linear bearings that is functional, looks good, and won't add an hour to our assembly process.  We weren't too happy with the plastic caps that are made for this purpose and even tried out essentially a hot glue gun and plastic which didn't work too well either.  We finally got around to prototyping some very thin laser cut shims that we are very happy with on all fronts.  It's all about the details, people!

Old rail covers.

Old rail covers.

New rail covers.

New rail covers.

Sold Out!

Wow!  What a week it's been.  Thanks so much to all of our backers who came out to support our campaign!  We are SO excited about the machines sold and ready to head into production.  So ready, that today we took delivery of about 1000 pounds of aluminum so that we can get to making chips on some of your frames.

 For those of you wondering if we will be adding more machines to the campaign, the answer is that we don't plan to.  The number we limited the campaign to is based on the manufacturing plan that we have developed and our capacity to grow over the coming months.  While it kills us to not sell as many machines as we can through the campaign, we want to make sure that we are well equipped to follow through with the delivery dates that we have set.  If you missed out on a machine and you want us to let you know when we launch preorders, or if you are outside the US and want to know when we launch preorders, leave us your email address in the box on our homepage.  Another option, if you are very determined to get a Kickstarter machine, is to watch over the next few weeks to see if another backer cancels their pledge.

Since we have done so well in the campaign, we decided to develop a custom vise to include with all of your machines!  It is a simple dowel pin vise that attaches to the table made from 6061 aluminum.  With what we will include, the width of part it can hold is 0.2-2.25 in.  This width can be easily extended by using longer dowel pins and a longer bolt.