In December, I made a trip to Shenzhen, the city where “all” electronics is being manufactured. The purpose of the trip was to give an insight into how the Replicape (and Manga Screen) is being manufactured.
The video became the basis for update #5 in the Kickstarter for Replicape, so there is an intro and and outro part related to that. When we arrived, there was still an issue that needed to be resolved, but that was sorted out on the first day, and manufacturing of four prototypes were completed the following morning. We filmed as the first Replicape Rev B3 rolled off the production line. After some small changes to the software in the testing jig, all the prototype passed the tests!
Like I say in the video, it is rare that a start-up company gets to visit a factory like this, it is usually something that is reserved for larger companies, but Elmatica wanted me to see the whole process and also to help speed up the manufacturing time by eliminating the transportation time for the prototypes. Let me explain that last thing there… If I had not gone, the factory would have had to make four prototypes, shipped them to Oslo, me having to update the software for testing the jig with the new revision and then shipped the testing jig back to the factory in Shenzhen. This would have added maybe another week to the production time, if all went well!
The video is ended by saying that the SD cards will be shipped separately. This does add some cost, but will ensure that the Replicapes and BeagleBone Blacks gets delivered some time right after Christmas and frees up some time to get the software right!