Tuesday, March 23, 2021

One Step Closer...

It's an exciting time here at the Cady household.  There are so many things happening all at once- but somehow, we're thriving.  Other than last week's Squirrel-Gate fiasco, things have been going well.  (Full Disclosure: This was supposed to be posted last Tuesday, but after finding the squirrel in my office, my priorities quickly changed.)  Now that we're almost recovered from our unscheduled squirrel problem, the exciting news I wanted to share is that Eliot and I are one step closer to officially launching business number three and making another one of our dreams a reality!  

We have been talking about opening up a home decor shop for years now.  After the success of our 3D printed mouse ears for Happily Ever Hatter, we always knew we wanted to expand into home decor.  We even made a bunch of product samples and were pretty much ready to photograph and start listing them.  Then, we took a breath and started to plan the business logistics and that's where everything fell apart.

We had great ideas and were ready to sell them.  However, due to their size, they took up at lot of time on the printer.  Plus, they also took up a lot of material.  By the time we figured out the cost, it just didn't make sense.  If we had an influx of mouse ear orders, we'd be strapped for time on the printer.  We tossed around a few different ideas, but in the end both of us were a bit apprehensive so we tabled it for the time being. 

In truth, we both knew we already had the answer.  Back in 2015, Eliot came across a laser cutting machine that was on a crowdfunding website.  At the time, we didn't have enough money to invest in it but Eliot still mentioned it to his mother and father.  A few days later, Eliot's mom had two on order- one for us and one for Eliot's parents.  

We then went through almost 5 years of waiting and anticipating it's arrival.  Due to the machine's crowdfunding and not being fully developed, the company was still working out kinks in it's manufacturing.  Plus, it broke all sorts of crowd funding records when it made more then $27,900,000 in 30 days.  It took years just to fill all of the pre-orders.

In February of last year, our "new toy" finally arrived safely at our house.  It arrived in four different boxes between the machine, the laser and the filter system... but it was finally here!  Even after being told not to touch the boxes, Eliot had to open it up.  I arrived home from a brief trip helping my parents out (during one of Mom's procedures) and it was already taking up our entire kitchen counter.  It was so big and heavy that I couldn't even lift it to help Eliot move it.  How he got it up there is still a mystery... 

Quite a few weeks later, my brother Jeremy came up for Mother's Day and he and Eliot were able to safely move it down to the basement.  It took us another chunk of time to find and get furniture that was large and strong enough to hold it.  Finally, after a few more months our Glowforge had it's own furniture and a place to call home!

Saturday March 6th, Eliot went downstairs to turn it on and play around with it.  After getting everything set up with the software and machine, he called me down.  We were ready to make our first print on our Glowforge!  I took video while Eliot pushed the flashing start button.  It was so cool... yet there was a lot of smoke inside of the chamber.  We reminded ourselves that it was cutting and engraving the wood with a laser, but we were still alarmed.  Plus, some of the smoke was seeping out.  Blech!

After about 16 minutes of waving our hands around like crazy people trying to disperse the smoke, the print was done and we had our first piece!  Eliot and I were both really excited about the print... but disappointed at the amount of smoke (it really stunk!) in the machine.  Thankfully, after an email to the company, Eliot realized that he had accidentally changed a setting that controlled the filter and fan speed so it shouldn't happen again.  I had visions of us having to move the entire unit out to the garage!

The evening of Sunday March 14th, Eliot went downstairs to make a few more test prints.  This time, he made sure to check the boxes correctly and he also changed the settings on the air filter.  Low and behold, no smoke seepage!  The smoke that was created was sucked in by the fan and went directly into the filter.

Not only was that exciting, but when he was done a short time later, we also had three more prints!  They were going to be tests... but because they came out so seamlessly, they are now the samples we'll be constructing to use for our new business.

Now, we can create the same products as before, but at a fraction of the time.  It will also be at a fraction of the cost.  The Oswald pieces took 5 minutes to cut out of wood using the Glowforge, while it took around 6 hours to print on the 3D printers.

After years of waiting and anticipating all of the things we can do, we're finally able to start making magic with our laser cutter.  I've got a list that's so long.  I've even got lists of my idea lists.  But we're finally able to move forward with these products.

Over the next few weeks, Eliot and I be working on our home decor business when we're able to.  Squirrel-Gate threw a wrench in our timeline, but I'm not going to stress out about it.  I'm sure it will be at least a few more months before we have products ready for our official launch anyways.  But after years of putting the home decor business on hold and waiting, we're finally one step closer and moving forward.  °o°

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