As you know from reading our legal jargon at Factory Admin (elsewhere on this fine website), The Factory is open 23/6/312 – that’s 23 hours a day, six days a week (mercifully closed on Sundays). Now, even though this would suggest that we are open and fully operational on Saturdays – well, truth be told, we are not – fully operational, that is.
Our attorney, Ernie, who writes (and lives by) the Factory Admin, wasn’t really lying – he just tends to use a thing that his profession refers to as “tactful evasion”. Saturday is our weekly maintenance day at The Factory – we have a full crew but we shut down all assembly lines – for servicing …
… and to save a little electricity.
But, wouldn’t you know, on a very recent Saturday, the switchboard received a panic call – a request for help from one of the FOFO group (Friends of Factory Optic). Here’s a transcript of the call:
“Help! Just left LAX, expecting our shipment to clear customs, but it’s stuck for the weekend and we have a 7AM call on Monday and needed these custom brackets! Is there any way you can make them in the next 36 hours and save the day?”
The call was transferred to our trusty weekend Foreman, who, with eyes glazed over, replied:
“Well, I’d like to finish my coffee and donuts first, but then, let’s look at the scope of the job …”
So, they sent over the 3D print files and we took a look and determined the print time and told them:
“Well, heck – it’s a strong possibility!”.
Once we said that, they came back with:
“Oh, yeah, well, the design is flawed and needs to be adjusted!”
Now, our poor Saturday Foreman is on the phone asking what it’s for and what are the dimensions of the existing things that need to be held together … and he was fully prepared to jot down copious notes on the inside cover of the matchbook he was holding.
Turns out, it was a wooden box being mounted on a Motion Impossible Agito. NDAs prevented the discussion from disclosing much else, but we did have them measure the wooden box and the mounting rails on the Agito and confirmed the brackets were not properly designed.
Now, at last, it became a design and print project, in which the deadline was still 7AM Monday, with no time to do it twice. The design had to be done first before printing could start, so with no time to waste, CAD design started with the limited info we had.
The definition of success for a project like this is a design that works the first time. Factory experience tells us to double and triple check everything as you only get one shot. Assume nothing and verify what you can. Photos were taken remotely with multiple measurements, lots of questions were posed and, ultimately, the design was redone from scratch, as the 3D print files are not easily modifiable.
The printing started shortly after sundown on Saturday and parts were ready Sunday (unbeknownst to Ernie who is dead-set against any kind of work on Sunday and all unauthorized overtime!) for an ‘on-time’ delivery/hand-off Monday AM.
Later in the week, we learned that it was for a promotional launch of the Amazon movie “Without Remorse” for which the marketing campaign was delivering movie promos.
Once again, Factory Service (regardless of published business hours) saved the day!
Just another ‘above and beyond’ example of what The Factory can do for you in a pinch.