Hey funky people,
Here’s what’s been cooking in the Open Funk kitchen over the past weeks!
In a nutshell
We’ve been experimenting with food and fine-tuning re:Mix, have been testing new materials, are getting our 3D printing farm up and running, and have overcome some big bumps related to certification. We’re now awaiting the last certification test results to get the final green light for re:Mix’s commercialisation. We concluded the milling of our recycled plastic panels and expect to start shipping the first re:Mix by the end of May, and deliver all pre-orders by the end of July!
🌱 Pesto battle and lemon curd
Here’s a home-made pesto made with re:Mix and another blender, side-by-side (hint: things got messy on one side). Thanks to everyone who sent us their ideas for UK-inspired dishes - here’s how our vegan lemon curd pie turned out.
✅ All electric safety tests are passed
This has been a bumpy ride! re:Mix’ 3D printed parts, made in a heat-resistant, bio-based PLA plastic, were failing to pass the ball pressure test, which tests parts under pressure at elevated temperatures (75°C in our case). We knew we were taking a risk by choosing this material instead of other industry standard plastics, but it was 100% worth trying for the sake of sustainability!
The good news? We acted quickly, changed the material to ABS - a commonly used plastic in the kitchen appliance industry (albeit less eco-friendly) - and we passed the test! In parallel, we keep exploring for more eco-friendly, alternative materials that can withstand this test.
The outer casing, made out of 100% recycled plastics, also got a pass (funk yeah!). Right now re:Mix is about to be tested for chemical testing and food safety - the very last tests it needs to pass. We’re so close to concluding this, what a journey!
💃🏻 3D printing farm got a fancy upgrade
This new ABS material is a bit more of a luxurious fella. Our 12 printers (Prusa i3 MK3S+) are now fully enclosed in a cabinet, to run at a higher and more stable room temperature, avoid parts deformation and ensure high quality printing. We added an air filtering system to prevent toxic fumes spreading out of the cabinets and keep a healthy air in our office; as well as some fancy LED lights. We’re now hacking and connecting them to the cloud with Prusa connect to automate and better control our farm (12 printers producing re:Mix’s head and inner parts 7/24 non-stop), so we will have capacity to print parts for 200+ re:Mix a month!
📈 Q/A setup is running
Once we start our assembly activities and we’ll make dozens of re:Mix a day, we’ll need a system for quality assurance that checks each single re:Mix after assembly: functions, performance and electrical safety. So we’ve built one and tested it with help from our friends at Heatle (check out their smart liquid heater) - thanks David!. The setup works well and shows the most important electrical data to check and control. Next step is to automate this and digitally store the data for each single blender assembled. We’re excited now to set this up at our assembly partner soon!
💦 Seal my baby one more time
What keeps water from coming out when you’re mixing? It’s a jar seal that adapts to all glass jars fitting to re:Mix. Prototyped at first using silicone 3D printed technology (very expensive), we’ve since fine-tuned it for injection moulding (to make it affordable). We now have the final part, in the final material (100% recyclable, food grade TPE) and it works like a charm. We were lucky enough to collaborate on this with Micromolds from Lithuania, who recommended the material and created an aluminium mould for our seal, faster and more affordable than anyone else could make it in Europe!
🍞 Upcycling old grain husks into packaging
Do you know that white foam that’s used for packaging heavy goods? It’s called styropor, it’s basically oil you throw away, and we don’t like that. So we partnered with Proservation, who take leftover material from grain processing (called husks), add a natural glue, and turn it into packaging. Et voila you now have something that protects re:Mix on its way to you (here’s a drop test we did), without the nasty environmental footprint.
🧐 How do we feel?
It’s a mix of excitement and curiosity of the future ahead of us. On the one hand, we’re really looking forward to finishing these very last steps (every day we say “We’re so close!”), and focusing more on scaling production and communications. On the other hand, there’s a big unknown opening up: Where do we go from here? How much do we want to grow? How do we define growth? We have some big updates related to these questions coming up soon!
🚚 When can you expect your re:Mix?
We’ll expect to start shipping by the end of May, provided that there are no complications with the last certification tests. We will start shipping according to order placement, and all pre-orders should be shipped by the end of July.
☀️ Pre-orders are still open!
If you know someone who needs a sustainable, badass kitchen mixer, pre-orders are still open on our site! How come? The delays we experienced last year are also increasing our costs. Just like the Kickstarter campaign, pre-orders help us cover our expenses and stay an independent company…so that we can serve you and our fellow planet.
Questions or comments?
Let us know what else you’d like to hear from us or learn about! We always love reading you!
With Funk from Berlin,
Paul & Ken