To all our wonderful supporters of Qi Aerista!
Here's our bi-weekly update.
Last week we welcome 2 important custom-made parts at our office. The first is our base panel, which has been redesigned to realize the touch-sensing button feature and improve water resistance. It is made with reinforced PMMA because it is lightweight, scratch-resistant and easier to manufacture than tempered glass.
The base panel measures 145mm x 210mm, which is actually identical in area to our current base that has a diameter of 180mm. Its oval profile matches better with the pot to produce a more compact profile and space efficient packaging design.
You may have also noticed that the physical UI has been modified. First of all, we have increased the number of default tea types from 6 to 9. At the same time we have removed the tea strength selection from the physical UI to simplify PCBA design. Instead, users can customize the strength (brewing time) via the app.
Another important custom-made piece is our glass shell, which is made with borosilicate glass cast in a special mold at over 1000 degC. Our first batch made by our glass manufacturer was off by 6mm in dimension. So they immediately made a second batch to compensate.
The other custom-made parts were produced at our prototype shop in Shanghai. We've visited them last week for our first test assembly to see if all the new parts fit together.
In total we have about 26 custom-made metal, silicone rubber and plastic parts to contend with. Without much effort, we've have put together the parts for our first test assembly. Thanks to meticulous design work by Innozen and the Qi Aerista team, all the parts fit well together with only minor adjustments needed for a few parts.
After the test assembly is complete, the parts will go through painting and surface treatment at the prototype shop. We expect to receive the finished parts early next week for final assembly and testing. Our new prototype will be using our current PCBA for now to perform the core brewing functions. Our new UI however will need to wait until our new PCBA is ready before it can be operational.
For new PCBA and app development, over the past several weeks we have been screening a number of experienced companies to handle the work. We are glad to note that we are finalizing our contract negotiations with our 2 chosen development partners. We will proceed to sign the papers and kick off the development work in the coming week. We expect the work to be completed in about 1-1.5 months.
Want to be a part of the Qi Aerista app development process? Help us design a better app by clicking on the link below and fill out the survey. It should take less than 2 minutes to complete. Thanks in advance!
In the next 2 weeks we will see:
- Continue working with our main manufacturing partner for updated product quotation and preparation for mass production
- Assembly and testing of our newest prototype
- Kick off PCBA, firmware and app development work
Together we are making Qi Aerista a reality!
Rick @ Qi Aerista