Batch 4 production update IV

Here's another update about the progress of batch 4's production. For the previous update, click here.


What an update we have for you this time! Quite a lot has happened since last week - some good, some... not so good.

The main shipment of kit printers has finally arrived, and in particularly glorious fashion, they've been very tampered with! Read on for more details.

In much better news, we have our Dangerous Goods (DG) certification from FedEx and cartridges have started shipping out to those that needed replacements or ordered more. Words can't possibly explain how happy this makes us. We've also received our international shipping rates which was the other missing piece of the puzzle.

The test shipment of assembled printers (4 units) has been shipped, and just arrived as of writing.


Kit printer shipping debacle

As mentioned above, we've now got 100% of batch 4's kit printers in stock. When shipping them out of China we needed to use a 'shipping agent'. We decided to test them out by sending a few smaller packages of 4 printers at a time. We were looking to see if there'd be much trouble with customs, delays in the shipments, if we'd have to sell our first born, etc. Welll.....

What happened was much much weirder than any of that. Having sent 3 test shipments already, and finding all the different ways they can screw it up (see here for an example) everything seemed good. We'd given the shipping agent very specific instructions (e.g. don't remove anything, don't cut the boxes down, don't steal our SD cards) and impressively they managed to comply by all our rules and still screw us. Hard.

Seemingly in an attempt to save on volume, they unpacked every one of the kit printers, removed all their protective shipping foam and repacked 2 kits into 1 box. They were nice enough to include a piece of paper with "two-in-one" printed on it to explain what's going on. Additionally, because we told them not to destroy the boxes, they laid the other boxes flat and shipped those to us.

This was my reaction to realising the full extent of the situation:

Unfortunately, we now need to reorder all the specially cut pieces of protective foam or the printers could be damaged in shipping. Getting these in the US is not as fast as in China, and we're currently looking at a 2 week lead time which will unfortunately push shipping back.

On a lighter note, cartridge and substrate only orders have already begun shipping, and will continue to go out over the next week.

Ariel Briner
Ariel Briner


2 Responses


September 11, 2015

Thanks Josh!


September 01, 2015

That is insane, which seemed to be the expected mode in China, at least if you go with an American perspective and hang out there for a few weeks. You can retrain your supply chain to get quality good out of China, but the first steps are very hard. There is such a cultural difference that getting quality goods, especially specialty items, can be very difficult. The 80/20 rule is very real in China (20% of effort yields 80% results), next fun you can expect is high employee turnover at your supplier. I’m pulling for you guys and like everything you are doing ever since I heard about Cartesian on Amp Hour. Stay strong, keep working smart.

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