Countdown to shipping!
These are the final days of production of “Evoke,” and the start of our running “Countdown to Shipping” blog.
It’s been an uphill battle and it’s not over just yet. Chances are, you’ve been with us since the beginning; or perhaps you only recently found out about Loto Labs and our quest to change the “vaporscape.” However you ended up here, welcome. Please take off your shoes.
During this moderately more exciting phase, we decided to share some snapshots along the way. It helps that we feel a bit more confident that the fateful day of shipping is fast approaching, or maybe it’s the strict diet of coffee and energy drinks. Either way, we think this stuff is pretty interesting and that some of you might appreciate it.
As you can see, this video shows our nude choreographed interpretive dance of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” No, actually, the video is just a test of our laser cutting wood veneers as a backup process. We've prepared some equipment and have a few processes like this in place, to make sure we leave as little to chance as possible. This has required increasing our lab’s capabilities and becoming a little more self-sufficient, should we need it. This is not a “production” process, per se, but these capabilities could prove crucial for short-term solutions to many issues, if needed.
Anyway, the veneers came out fantastic, and laser is pretty darn cool. We also tested adhesive placement of the veneers to ensure they’re up to snuff. We’re incredibly relieved to know that if anything happens on this front, at least, we’ll be able to avoid a delay, or worse--using scissors and construction paper with the word “WOOD” scribbled on it. We’re sure y’all would love that.
Of course, we’d like to hear from you if you have any thoughts. We’ll be back regularly to fill you in on other things going on in our sprint and/or menacing hobble to the finishing line.
Peace, love, and vaping
The Loto Labs Team
June 20th, 2017
Captain's Log - This is currently what is keeping us from knowing an exact ship date--the "metal clips," as we call them. This part holds the ceramic mouthpiece and the body together. This small piece of twisted metal has been annoyingly hard to make. We are waiting for word from our supplier, so we can get this show on the road!
June 21st, 2017
Here’s a quick video showing the tool for our premium alumina ceramic coil housing being made. Custom tools need to be created for every “body” part on the unit. Anyway, we think it’s fairly cool. Ignore the untidy work space—this isn’t a software company. :slightly_smiling_face:
And, special thanks to artist “Public Domain” for the sweet tunes.
June 22nd, 2017
Here we see a basic layout image of the our premium package in it’s natural environment. Honestly, the mockup doesn’t do it justice. We’ve picked premium materials for the package, just like our vaporizer. The end result is going to be something special.
June 23rd, 2017
Here, ladies and gentleman, is some wood. These disembodied remains of rosewood trees will go to some great use in making veneers. We thank the rosewood for its sacrifice.
July 5th, 2017
We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend more than we did. We were first disappointed to learn the news on Friday that our infamous metal clips were not ready yet due to a hold up in the heating treatment portion of the supply chain. Then, about an hour later, we learned there was a hold up with our glass capsule order and with our packages. And finally, of course, we ran up against the holiday weekend, which stalled everything. This is one of the few pain points when your manufacturer is in the US. Everything else is ready to go—the circuit boards, body frames, wood veneers, mouthpieces, etc. The last we heard on Friday was that several units should be ready to ship on Friday of this week (i.e. day after tomorrow). It’s still early in the morning here, but we’re standing by waiting for word on any status updates. They say if you have bad luck, then that just means you can also have good luck. We’re waiting for that good luck to show it’s face so we can proceed to make out with it forthwith.
Until then, here is the first-ever, fully-populated circuit board of the Loto Lux. As much as we want to keep it and hate to part with it even for a second, this piece of history is going to one lucky crowdfunder. We know it’s going to a good home.
July 5th, 2017
So, mixed blessings to report. We received the metal clips! Yay! They’re great! Double yay! And then a punch in the gut—we had to reject our first batch of ceramic "coil housings,” on Saturday. This alumina ceramic part envelops the induction coil, which delivers the magic that is induction heating. When populated on the Loto Lux, it became clear that the ID (inner diameter) of these ceramic coil housings was not up to spec—they were off by less than a millimeter, and that millimeter is the devil. With the housing being too tight, the coils would have to be wound tighter, which would be too tight for the capsules to fit in, all of which (coils, capsules, everything else) we already have ready to go, etc. etc. So, as you can see, a fraction of a millimeter is a tsunami of frustrations. We tried to modify them, but it’s... slightly more complicated than that, we worked all weekend on this, the pieces couldn’t be used. Our supplier has corrected course and made the adjustments needed. A precious few, new housings will be here Friday. This is the final piece of the shipping puzzle. Thereafter, we’ll receive more housings in batches as quickly as they are “cured.” We are told to expect over a hundred Loto Luxes to find their new homes over the course of the remainder of this month, until we get into full (“normal") swing in the first week of August. The process will be much quicker ("turn-key") thereafter--allegedly. Still, we are so incredibly close, and our excitement is overpowering our frustration, for now… tune in again this week to see if it lasts :)
July 10th, 2017
The world is looking a great deal brighter now that the crisis gremlins have been caged and reprimanded. We took a quick field trip to our manufacturing facility yesterday, to see the Lux assembly line in action. We loved what we saw: smart, pleasant people walking around in lab coats, others huddled over circuit boards of unmistakable shape as conveyor belts rolled them gently forward. The only unfortunate thing about this was that we couldn't find a glove to place on top of a Lux board and wave goodbye to it as it rolled away. You know... to Laverne-and-Shirley this thing.
We've waited a long time to witness the systemic, mass cloning of our beloved device. The experience was actually even better than we'd pictured. Deep breaths of relief, and smiles of also relief were shared by us all as we skipped down the halls of Loto Lux's uterine enclave. We left the facility feeling F-ing fantastic. It’s rare for dreams to come true, but here we are. This countdown is just about over. We'll punctuate it with a picture of the first one shipping as soon as it’s been blessed and is ready to go.
July 21st, 2017
We reached one more HUGE milestone in Loto Labs' journey to shipping Loto Lux. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our box.
At this point in our countdown, the Lux is pretty much ready for its maiden voyage to our first Indiegogo supporters and backers. All we need is the final OK from our engineering team, which should happen before Monday. Stay tuned!