We’ve been getting a pretty good number of inquiries in regards to our full online shop. When will it open? What will be for sale? How can I upgrade to the Farmduino? Etc. So here’s everything there is to know at this time:
First off, our number one priority is supporting existing customers with any replacement parts needed. If anything isn’t right with someone’s kit, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to get something sent out to you quickly. Pinging me here in the forum isn’t the best method because there’s so much happening it is hard to keep track. And ultimately, address information and tracking numbers need to be exchanged in private, which is better done over email.
Our second priority is getting the v1.3 pre-orders out the door, which is unfortunately a little behind schedule. We’ll also need to update the documentation and public CAD models for that release, which will take significant resources.
Then comes our full online shop, where we plan to sell every component individually or in packs, as well as partial kits. This will be great for the DIY builders out there who may just want the motors/encoders and cables, but are purchasing extrusions locally, 3D printing their own plastic parts, etc. It will also be perfect for everyone who is now feeling adventurous enough to try extending your tracks, adding more toolbays/tools, etc. And of course, this will be where you can go to upgrade your bot with new electronics such as the Farmduino, or other hardware parts such as the vacuum pump mounting plate and cover that allows the pump to be positioned on the z-axis.
At this time, setting an opening date for the full shop is tough because it is very dependent on the v1.3 shipments, and when we have all the parts for the shop manufactured and stocked in our warehouse. If I had to choose a time though (because I know everyone wants to know) I would say end of September-ish.
In the meantime, we’ve listed recommended suppliers for most parts in the BOM, so you can order from there or an equivalent part from another supplier. Our friends over at OpenBuilds also just put up a bundle pack that includes all of the OpenBuilds parts used in v1.2. They also sell tons of other things that might be useful for hacking your bots.
When it comes to upgrading, backwards compatibility is important to us, but not everything will be backwards compatible, and some upgrades might require several new components. For example, the Farmduino is a physically larger board with some different connectors on it. It is not going to fit inside the v1.2 electronics box, and not all of the cables from v1.2 will have the right connectors to interface with it. We want to facilitate upgrades and make them as easy as possible, but we also don’t want to chain ourselves to the past when much better solutions exist going forward. It is a balance that we’ll do our best with. For Farmduino specifically, we’re looking into short adapter cables as an option, or one could get new cables too, depending on how much they wanted to upgrade.
When we do open up the full shop, we’ll be giving all 1st generation customers some store credit as a thank-you for being an early adopter with us and to encourage upgrading/hacking. The store credit will not expire, so don’t feel like you will have to use it right away, because inevitably there will be many more parts and tools and electronics, etc to get in the future too!