As promised, we have another update as to our progress on the Vertical Retina Docks. As always, we thank you for your continued patience and support during these final stages before release. It is only a matter of weeks now until these docks are officially released and ready to ship.
What We’ve Completed
Final tooling samples approved on chassis – The major issue from our previous post has been resolved - the ejector pins and their subsequent marks have been safely relocated to hidden B-surfaces, so the final tooling samples have been approved on the chassis. Our plastics supplier has worked out the proper flow and cycle characteristics for the molds to improve part fit and finish, ensuring a beautiful end product.
Cable fitment adjustment – There was a minor lingering alignment issue with the inner liner and upper chassis on the plastic models that would cause the cables to catch on instillation into the port void if they were pushed too far through. This has been resolved with the last sample set, and cable fitment has been properly adjusted.
Fitment and accessory testing complete – Once the fit and finish and cable fitment were addressed, fitment and accessory testing was completed. This included testing the fit of the MacBooks in the docks, port alignment, various accessory arrangements, including Thunderbolt cables from Apple.
Components and materials procurement complete – our Vertical Retina Docks use materials and parts from 17 different suppliers, any one of which can hold up manufacturing. All of the parts have been allocated for the first manufacturing run.
While all of this is indeed great progress, there are still a few things that need to happen before these docks are ready to ship out.
What Needs to be Done
Mold finishing – Starting about a week ago, the final surface finishes to the molds began. This coincided with the approval of the tooling samples. Matte surfaces will receive their final texture and glossy surfaces of the mold will be polished to a mirror finish.
Pilot production – Once the mold finishes are complete, pilot production will begin. This is sort of a trial run of the full production line, where the manufacturer works out logistical issues and bottlenecks in production. Most of this process is familiar to our partners, but there is one new element for us to keep track of – the cable positioning from the factory. The Vertical Retina Docks feature preinstalled cables, easing setup and maintaining flexibility for end users, but positioning the cables at manufacturing requires new jigs, so we’re going to keep an eye on that process.
Manufacturing begins – After all of these elements are complete – setup, testing, and experimenting to bring the assembly line to life – the actual production run will only take a few days to assemble tens of thousands of units. Once we are at this point, we’ll promptly send out an email to our preorder customers, and purchasing will begin.
It’s been a marathon to get to this point – but the finish line is in sight! While we encountered some issues on the way, we are confident that our finished Vertical Retina Docks will be of the highest quality, unrivaled by any other product on the market. We cannot thank you enough for your patience and ongoing enthusiasm for these docks!