#44 It’s time for coffee!

As always, we want to keep you in the loop of what’s happening behind the curtain. We know you must be eager to start brewing coffee with the Arist. In this update, you will find the latest progress of the Arist and an updated production timeline. Let’s dive in!

Facing challenges in pre-production

After soft tooling was completed, our engineers assembled the parts at our lab for testings in order to identify and work out the problems in the fastest possible time. We have been making minor tweaks to enhance its manufacturability and detect potential problems (such as dimensional tolerances) to be fixed in the design. The goal is to validate the functionalities as well as finishing of all parts before proceeding to production. To ensure the test results have accurately reflected the user experience, the materials of the test samples are the same as the final product. 

During this process, we found that the sample units did not pass the durability test. The durability test aims to ensure that the final product will stand up to rough use and seek to minimize the unexpected interruptions in performance throughout a reasonable duration. Our major concern is the grind size control becomes less accurate and tend to produce inconsistent grind particles after brewing 20 cups of coffee. Ideally, the beans should be ground into even particle sizes precisely and consistently. Inconsistent grind size may lead to under or over extraction and the user will not be able to adjust the grind size accordingly or the machine wouldn’t be able to grind beans to the fineness specified in the recipes.

Also, during the durability tests, one of the key components in the brew cracked due to the high pressure produced in the brewing process. In addition to the above issues, our burr supplier has informed us that they have to postpone the delivery date as some of the raw materials are out of stock at the moment.

Crack at the brew group component

Crack at the brew group component

Meanwhile, Our team is working around the clock to tackle all the problems. For the plastic components, we will consider adopting a more durable material and alter the design to enhance its reliability. As for the grinder, we are still trying to identify the cause of failing the durability test. It is possible that some unknown problems occurred in the burr production or the electronic control panel fails to collaborate with the app. The solution could be as simple as programming the grinder to recalibrate itself after every few cups brewed or it could be something more complicated. We’ll have to conduct more testing to be sure. 

Turning a working prototype into a manufacturable design for mass production is a tricky business. Retooling is costly and extremely time-consuming. That’s why we are trying to iron out all the problem at this stage to avoid spending extra time and money in the future to restart tooling. It takes time to complete all the testing because we have to test so thoroughly, but we’ll keep you updated appropriately.

An updated production schedule

Given the circumstances, it will take approximately 8 to 10 weeks to complete all the testings and completely iron all the above mentioned issues. Therefore, we’ve updated the production schedule accordingly as below:

Updated timeline

Updated timeline

Bean Survey and Arist Koins

There were 21 backers who showed an interest to become our volunteers in March. However, only 6 have actually placed orders through the Arist app and two volunteers have filled out the surveys. As the survey sample size is too small to make a reliable conclusion, we urge the other volunteers to get back to us as soon as possible. We will start issuing the Arist Koins in June. If we do not collect sufficient data by June, we will issue the Koins in small batches so that we will have more time to gather feedback and make improvements. As there is no time limit for using the Koins, you can spend the Koins now or wait until the Arist is delivered.  

Designing a product is hard, but bringing it to life is even more difficult. We’ve come a long way and we’re now in the final stage of getting everything ready. As said before, our engineers are giving their best to make sure that every aspect of the Arist lives up to our expectations (and yours as well) so that when you receive the Arist, it can brew a quality cup every time. For each of the milestones that we’ve set, we’ll keep you updated along the way. Thank you so much for your support and understanding.

Vincent and the Arist team