Boxing Clever

We’re gearing up for final assembly.

On Friday morning, everyone got to the studio early and helped load a van with Little Printer’s packaging. This has filled Andy’s workshop for the last few months, preventing Andy from accessing many of the things he likes to access.

Then Simon and Andy drove off to the Midlands to visit our box builders. They’re the people who will assemble all the Little Printers and perform the final tests, getting them ready for delivery to their owners.

The reasons for visiting were two-fold: first, to check on the parts which were already on-site (our power supplies, and the plastics, which have arrived from China); and second, to discuss the finer points of the build itself (e.g. what happens if quality assurance testing fails, or where and how much glue should be applied for fixing).

We were taken on a tour of the facility. Since they do a lot of electronics assembly we were required to wear workcoats and grounding strips on our shoes before walking into ESD-protected areas (these are rooms designed to be completely free of static).

ESD Protected

Here’s a picture of Andy checking the quality of the plastic shape and finish of the housings. Note the gloves: these are lint-free, solvent-resistant, anti-static garments, and ensure that Little Printer doesn’t get covered in Andy’s greasy fingerprints.

handle with care

And here are lots of Little Printer’s feet. Lots and lots.

Little Printer feet

There are now only a few parts that need to make their way to the box builders: the printer mechanisms, the paper, and the instruction manuals (which have arrived at the studio). Finally, there’s the electronic components, which Nick and Phil are busy preparing at this moment, flashing the circuit boards with the launch firmware. This is exciting. But we’ll leave it for another post.

—FL & SP