28 Mar

We are getting closer and closer…

Time for a new update! A lot of things have happened and we are very eager to share all the news with you:

  • Delivery update
  • Video: the making of an Infento aluminum profile
  • Boxes, boxes, boxes and…. boxes
  • Feature in Stuff Magazine: “Infento is better than Lego”

So lets start the engine again and hop on!

Delivery update

We guess everybody is very keen to hear how we’re doing in terms of our delivery schedule. Getting the first kits out of the door has been and is our biggest priority. So what’s the status?

Well, we’re moving in the right direction! Production and assembly is going well, although we would like to go even faster than we’re already going. Every day we’re learning how to do things more efficiently at our new production facility.

The whole team looks forward to the big moment of shipping out our very first consumer kit. And we have positive news to share with you in this regard. We will begin with the delivery of the Junior Kits for European backers at the end of next week! Yihaw! Please keep an eye out for our next update which we will send out next weekend. This one will be completely dedicated to this big moment in the history of Infento :-).

And what about the Creator Kit, Master Creator Kit and the Add-ons? We are already working hard on these of course also. Most of the needed items (parts, boxes, etc) are lined up, but the processing of aluminum profiles and axles proves to be a small bottleneck at the moment. Nothing major, it’s just a time issue. To give you a little background on this: for the Kickstarter order we need to process 28,000 profiles and 10,000 axles and the current tally stands at 9,000 Infento profiles. Our current run rate is about 1,400 profiles/axles per day, so we’re looking at another 20 working days of production. Of course we will not wait until the processing of all profiles and axles is finished to begin with the delivery of our bigger kits. We are in discussion already with our transport partner to come up with the most efficient way to send the kits to all the different countries.

This is a very exciting time for Infento.
Now we are so close to the finish line you can expect more frequent updates from us so you exactly know how we’re doing and when the delivery of the Creator and Master Creator Kits begins! We’re in our highest gear and in full sprint. We can already see the finish flag! Thank you for your patience so far!

Video: the making of an Infento aluminum profile

Aluminum extrusion profiles are a fundamental
part of the concept behind Infento.
They form the backbone of every ride. We already told you in a previous update that we ordered 5 miles (8 kilometers) of aluminum profiles to fulfill all the orders from our Kickstarter campaign. The picture on the right shows you the look of an Infento profile. As you can see they’re designed in a way to give you maximum flexibility. You can attach parts in every direction.

Just take a look at our Bulldog below and you can see that Infento wouldn’t exist without aluminum extrusion profiles. And it sure doesn’t hurt that aluminum is an incredibly cool looking material in itself:

We receive our Infento extrusion profiles in lengths of 3 meter. Since it will be tough to create a ride with only profiles of this length, we first need to saw them into different sizes. You might not realize this but it took us a very long time to come up with the right sizes for our profiles and the right quantity of all the different profiles. Every kit must contain enough profiles of various lengths to give you the possibility to build all the different rides. Are you a true creator and you just miss a couple of profiles to construct your own dream ride? No worries, you can order all kinds of different profiles in our online shop when it’s live!

But now we digress a little bit, lets get back to the sawing and the story of how you make an Infento profile! We purchased a metal sawing machine to saw the 3 meter profiles into the specific sizes that we need. We quickly clean them after sawing and then comes the part we like the most!

We use a truly magnificent device. And we are not alone in the admiration of this device. Remember Dr. Evil from the movie Austin Powers? Of course you do! And what did he say when he used these famous unnecessary finger quotes???

Right, he articulated the word “La….surrr”. According to Wikipedia the term “laser” originated as an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. We needed to read that sentence twice (you did too?) and still don’t get it. But who cares. Lasers are cool.

Dr Evil has a real obsession with lasers. And he loves the euphemism frickin’, especially when it’s “frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads“…. Well, we also bought ourselves a laser and are a little bit obsessed with it as well. Don’t worry, we will not attach it to our head and shoot things, but we will use it to engrave the profile with its size in inches and millimeter. Very handy, huh. This way you never make a mistake with the profiles. And while we are busy with the laser anyway, why not engrave our nice logo on every profile as well???

After the laser comes tapping. Tapping is the process of cutting or forming threads using a tap. The thread makes it possible to let you attach our modular connector to the profile.

Do you want to see the whole process? A video is so much better than just plain words. Check out this small clip of two and a half minutes that we made.

Click on the image below and as Dr Evil would say…”Fire the laser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clicking on the image doesn’t work? Use this link instead. 

Boxes, boxes, boxes, boxes and…. boxes

Imagine that you have three kits, three add-ons and one plastic box. All the kits and add-ons are of different sizes. Small ones, big ones, etc.Sometimes somebody wants to have a kit without an add-on and sometimes with. And it all needs to fit neatly into a big protecting outer box also.

It can become a costly and inefficient endeavour when you have different boxes for every product. Last but not least we also need a simple packaging solution for warehouses that will do the picking and packing when a customer purchases an Infento kit online.

In the last couple of months we collectively cracked our heads on this packaging puzzle. And we think we found an elegant solution! We have one small box, one big box and one big outer box. The beauty of it all is that all kits and add-ons fit in these three boxes. We even tried to fit little rascal Fien in a box, but that turned out to be a bit too optimistic. Luckily we’re not in the same business as storks.

Here you can see thousands of protective outer boxes that still need to be folded. We have a challenge going on here internally….who can fold the most boxes within two minutes?? The game is still on so we can’t share the total tally of the winner just yet :-).

This is how our small box looks like. We choose a clean, strong design. We hope you like it:

And here is the big box. This one is twice the length of the small box:

This means we can neatly fit two small and one big box in one large outer box:

We can go on and on with pictures of boxes, but we will stop here before you get square eyes from them. To conclude this item: we are very pleased with the packaging solution and the look of our boxes. Of course we will really find out once we pack hundreds of kits, but for now we think we got a winner!

Feature in Stuff Magazine

With 26 international editions and over 1 million readers, Stuff is the biggest gadget magazine of the world. Last year Stuff choose us as one of the tech toys of 2015. A big honour! This month Stuff ran a feature about us and they had some very very nice things to say about Infento. We especially like the part where they stated that we are better than Lego :-). Here is a substract of the article:

The trouble with Lego is that you’re effectively a minifig slave, toiling away to build a castle or speedboat for them to enjoy. Infento is better – it’s a life-size construction toy you get to both build and ride. Each of Infento’s three kits (aimed at kids ranging from toddlers to teenagers) lets you build several different rides from one set of parts.”

This Arrow trike is part of the Creator kit, which can be rejigged into 10 different rides including a scooter and downhill racer. And all you need to construct any of these rides is a single hex key, a few spare hours and perhaps a sprinkling of parental pride. When little Janey or Jimmy lands that job in the Mercedes F1 pit crew, they’ll know who to thank.”

Stuff Magazine wanted to get a real Infento Arrow for their photo shoot. So we shipped one to London. And it must be said, it was worth the effort. The photographer did a great job in portraying our Arrow! One last request to Stuff: we know you like Infento and we are honoured, but can you now please send our Arrow back to Amsterdam as promised? Haha!

First shipment of a consumer Infento kit

In the coming weeks, weekends and evenings we will work incredibly hard to produce all the Infento kits for all the backers that supported us through Kickstarter.

It’s too bad Easter holiday came too soon for us. Otherwise you could have imagined our red boxes as a red Easter egg with a big surprise in it. Anyway, the work doesn’t stop after we fulfilled this first order. It’s actually just the beginning. We already built up a huge waiting list that is even a lot bigger than our Kickstarter campaign. But first things first. We want to deliver all the kits at the doorstep of our backers. Excitement is building up every day as we work towards the start of our first delivery. Next weekend you will get all the details about this historic moment!

Enjoy the easter holidays and as always keep on riding!

Team Infento

PS  This is completely off topic, but while we were writing about Easter we wondered how the world came up with the story of a bunny with a basket full of coloured eggs?! Also curious: check out this article.