Designing large scale production


#1

Now that so many people have paid to get Mugsy machines or kits, isn’t it time to design a larger scale production system than just one person?

Is it possible to design an assembly line? Or given the number of parts made in 3D printers, a set of production instructions for franchisees? Or have a production ecology with part producers shipping to assemblers. It is OK open sourcing the designs, but there are lessons from the earlier production runs that new producers need to learn.

In the mean time, how about hiring some local people to run the 3D printer and assemble the prototypes, now that the design has stabilised, so that the shipping list quickly moves from the Kickstarter promoters into the first pre-orders?

The value engineering for larger scale production is itself a design challenge.


#2

Hey David, I’m away from.my desk right now but will jump on this and get you a reply to it tonight or tomorrow. Cheers!


#3

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I absolutely agree that the next and most important step in Mugsy’s development is creating a sustainable and efficient production and fulfilment pipeline. There will be a time, much sooner than later, where I will not have to build or pack Mugsy’s myself. But we are not quite there yet.

Although it is not something I have been talking about much, I have been meeting with a possible partner for several months going over this subject in addition to the usual due diligence. This partnership will allow me to concentrate on dev, design and culture while they handle the day to day business ops. With it comes many years of experience, a ton of relationships and access to manufacturing resources I do not have on my own.

I’ve had significant partnership and investment offers before but they were not right for Mugsy so I passed. Building the right relationship with the right person takes a lot of time. In this case, most of this time was spent sitting on the floor with parts and spreadsheets. Floor sitting is a good sign in a possible partner. I’ll be sharing more info with everyone as we move through the process of formalizing the relationship.

So yeah, I totally agree. Production isn’t just a new design challenge, it is the hardest one by a very large margin.

One other thing to note:

Although many parts were prototyped with 3d printers, many of those parts can not be used for extended real world use because the parts are porous. Combined with lots of steam and heat that part is either going to fail structurally or harbor some nasty mold.

Cheers!


#4

Hey Matt

Firstly - thanks for all the updates and keeping everyone so in the loop. It must be a huge effort and I am really pleased you are keeping up with the multiple posts a week.

Secondly - Maybe it is worth sharing a little more of your thinking on this scale topic? Your shipping forecast google doc shows you sending out the best part of a 100 units ever couple of days for the next few weeks. It feels like an awfully big ramp up from current production. Have you gotten into a good rhythm with this, gotten in some help, or maybe does this need to be smoothed out a bit over a longer time? Burning yourself out on production/boxing after all of this amazing work does not feel like something we want you to do!

a


#5

Thanks Andy! I’m gonna be away from my desk until tonight so will shoot for a proper reply then. There is a chance I won’t get to it until tomorrow depending on timing. Looking forward to talking more!


#6

Andy, trying to get to this today but it may actually be Friday. Apologies for the delay! I’m making a lot of process adjustments this week to improve community support and communications output and I appreciate your patience while I lock it all in. Cheers!


#7

No worries Matt! No rush on this one. I think it would be a useful community update, but totally up to you on where it fits in to the to-do list. Thanks for finding the time to reply.