Thank you for your patience. To answer all your questions in a more efficient way, instead of replying to all your comments or messages, we wrote this update to address the problems that concern you.
As the production scales up, we manage to ship more products and to divide the Second Batch into 2 groups instead of 4. The delivery cycle of one batch, however, remains around 1 month. The estimated date of shipping the first group was January 15. It was postponed for about half a month, so the first group (55%) of the Second Batch was actually shipped on February 1. The remaining products (45%) for the Second Batch will be shipped on February 9.
Note: the 24 printers which will be sent to regions outside of the U.S. in the second group will be ready for shipment on February 9, but they will be shipped in late February because the logistics company began the vacation for the Chinese New Year on February 6. These printers are for backer 971, 1056, 1064, 1067, 1471, 1535, 1669, 1672, 2012, 2018, 2038, 2057, 2113, 2136, 257, 934, 1267, 1413, 1460, 1461, 1472, 1474, 1668, 1750.
Here are some photos from the factory:
The delay of the Second Batch was mainly because we spent some time to improve the percentage of qualified parts from suppliers. We can’t expect our suppliers to provide the parts at 100% qualification rate at the beginning. It takes time to make sure that the suppliers understand our requirements, find a solution to the problems we found and increase the qualification rate. Though the average qualification rate of parts for the First Batch was as high as 93.44%, the qualification rate of two critical materials was as low as 78%, which influenced the production speed (Law of the Minimum).
For example, we set a high standard for the linear module shells because it is one of the key components for product accuracy. In the First Batch, the straightness accuracy of some linear module shells provided didn’t meet our requirements. The supplier needed to repair the die. It took them about 7 days to fix this problem. Thanks to our persistence, the qualification rate of the linear module shells was increased to 91.05%. At the meantime, we are increasing the qualification rate for other 9 key parts. We will continue working closely with our suppliers until the average qualification rate is higher than 98%.
Every step in this process plays a crucial role in the quality of the linear module shells.
Though it lengthened the production time of the Second Batch, we consider it a necessary step for future production. A higher qualification rate also allows us to arrange a more detailed and realistic delivery schedule for remaining backers.
In Update 17, we expected to fulfill all Kickstarter rewards by the end of March. However, only in middle January were we informed that some of the suppliers would be on holiday for the Chinese Spring Festival for as long as one month. That means we will be short of parts for about a month and we will not be able to complete the Third Batch, even though we will only be taking 10 days off.
Based on the arrival time of parts, we adjusted the shipping dates for all remaining backers:
During the Chinese New Year, our staff will be on vacation and the support team will have limited access to all the communication channels including Kickstarter, support/info/newsletter mailbox, Facebook and forum. We will be less responsive, but we will reply to you as soon as possible.
Notes for backer 731-2220: all the logistics companies and the customs department will be on vacation as well. If there is any problem during the delivery, they will not contact us for assistance. Please track your package once you receive the tracking number and provide the required information and pay for the customs duties in time to ensure a successful delivery.
Similarly, the enclosure will arrive in April because of the holiday. Good news is that the design was finalized based on user feedback on our forum. We have also completed the small scale production, which verified the feasibility of production. As soon as the suppliers send us the parts after the vacation, we will start mass production.
Why did backers who claimed to be in the 4000’s received the product while others in the 2000’s are still waiting for the tracking number?
Because the number they were talking about was the BackerKit number, not the backer number. We only ship products based on the sequence we announced in Update 17. Except for the Beta Snapmakers, we only shipped machines to backers with numbers lower than 2220.
Here is a list of all the backers whose Snapmaker was shipped: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wrk4k6anlk1v1ea/AAAvNKttlxAHKKCTIddOiBMsa?dl=0
It will be updated in real time.
When will the software be released to the public?
The software is now open to the public. You can download it directly on the download page of our website. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts or suggestions about the software with us!
What is TIN or EORI? Why should I provide this number?
We sent the email to collect your TIN or EORI number because of the requirement from customs in Europe, Taiwan, and South America. We will send it to the remaining backers from these regions as well when we prepare to ship your Snapmaker.
TIN stands for Tax Identification number while EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification.
For European customers, you could choose to provide the TIN or EORI to us before delivery. There will be no problems in customs clearance for your package. Whether you provide this information or not, we will deliver the goods to you according to the original plan. Just a friendly reminder, there is a certain amount of risk that the logistics company cannot complete customs clearance without this information. Please pay attention to your delivery status and provide the information if the logistics company requests it.
For South America and Taiwan customers, please provide your TIN to us when we send the email to you. The TIN is mandatory provision for customs in these regions. We apologize for the inconvenience. We will transfer your Snapmaker with your information to the logistics company once we receive your TIN. Thank you for your understanding!
As a startup, we did run into hiccups and make mistakes. We actually feel grateful for all the difficulties we have been through because they help us become stronger at a faster rate. We also feel grateful for all your feedback. We may not reply to your feedback directly, but we read every single comment you sent us, summarize them and answer them in the next update. We think it is the most efficient way to convey messages to all the backers that have the same concern.
Just like Jade said, since the beginning, our project has been about more than raising money for the mass-production. It builds the Snapmaker community around the world. We appreciate your help and trust and would also love to build stronger relationships with you. If you are interested in joining us, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com. Your talent is needed on our team and together, we can build a more enjoyable Snapmaker community!