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Project update 14 of 15
It’s been a while! We ended last year and started this one with assembling Slimes. We even did a few livestreams of the process from our cave. And today, we want to share with you what state the production is in, which problems we’re still facing, and some cool stuff that we have!
They're almost ready to get into your hands~
Let’s start with the list!
What we have right now
Stickers sheet sample that will be included with each SlimeVR set (even DIY Kit!)
Panels of SlimeVR Main and Extension boards as they come from the manufacturer
Panels of BNO085 modules as they come from the manufacturer
Currently on order
First samples of the packaging
Not ordered yet
Panels of SlimeVR Main and Extension boards after we solder BNO085 modules to them
As you can see, we have most of the things we need, but there are a few delays still.
Straps are still stuck on a train at the Polish border and we don’t know if and when the train will move. It took 119 days to deliver USB cables that got in the same situation, and the straps are 114 days in transit, so there is hope that they will be released soon. Alternatively, we placed another order with air shipping for the second batch of slimes, but they just started production and won’t be here until mid-March.
Main cases are in production now, and purple color should be done by end of February. But black and white will take more time. Extension cases are not in production yet. We finalized the mold design and are waiting for the manufacturer to manufacture the mold and send us samples. We expect full run of purple cases to be done by the end of March with other colors shortly following them, but we don’t have any ETAs from the manufacturer yet.
Due to unexpected delays from IMU modules manufacturer last year, they couldn’t start production of the rest of the modules as we expected, so the rest of the IMU modules are still not in production as they’re busy with other orders. To help with that, we asked another company to manufacture part of the run - 16000 modules, and they should start as soon as we receive PCBs from China in the next few days.
For everything else we’re very confident that it will arrive before aforementioned three.
In the previous update we mentioned our new Slime Cave (the office and assembly space). Right away thanks to visit from a few friends and contributors we started working on it. Here’s a short video tour of the Cave from the end of the last year:
Since then we made it way more lived-in, and started full-scale final assembly and testing!
Assembly place for soldering IMU boards on Main and Extension panels. Safety first! Fume extractor and protective glasses are mandatory when soldering!
Testing assembled Main boards. Every Slime is tested and test results are recorded in our database!
We also did a few streams of the process to our YouTube channel! We plan to continue them, so subscribe and check the latest VOD.
Screencap of our stream showing soldering and testing process, and our printers making some prototypes and tools
There also has been a bit of confusion among backers and buyers as to when the orders will be shipped, depending on when their order was placed. Your expected shipping time in your order details on Crowd Supply might be wrong so, here we’ll try to clarify our plans and batches. (This depends on when you first placed your order, order changes shouldn’t affect your place in the queue!)
If nothing changes, like no mass order upgrades or additional delays, here’s what I think the batches will be:
First batch - All orders up until May 5, 2022 + All DIY Kits up until February 6, 2023. We’re still waiting for parts, as mentioned above with some of them having unknown shipping time that can be a month or two. Of course we will ship things as soon as we get the parts and finish the assembly, but just to be safe, our estimate for shipping this batch is May 2023. We might ship some sets earlier than others, like DIY Kit sets or Lower Body sets if we get parts for them before getting parts for other sets. Please don’t change your orders to these sets, it won’t make your shipment faster!
Second batch - All orders up until December 25, 2022. But if we get more chips in February/March - all orders up until February 6, 2023. Since most of the things with long lead times are already ordered when we ordered parts for the first batch, we expect it to follow first batch shortly or together with it - in June 2023.
Third batch - All orders from now and until end of April, 2023. The sales are currently in the third batch. Planned shipment date - August 2023. Of course, if all goes well, which we will see on the previous batches.
We understand that the delays are frustrating, we want to bring the Slimes to you no less than you want to get them, and we hope that the progress and our openness so far make it abundantly clear. This is a first-to-market crowdfunded product that is made in complicated times, but we’re getting there, we will get there. We also want to remind you about Crowd Supply’s Backer Protection and Shipping information. If in the end you still want to change or cancel your order, please contact Crowd Supply.
As usual, SlimeVR is constantly improving thanks to the efforts of the team, contributors, and community. Here are a few highlights from the last two months.
After adding language support few month ago, with the help of our community, SlimeVR Server now supports 20 languages! (including Furry)
Because of how many people are working on translation, 0.6.1 release of the Server more than doubled the last record by the amount of contributors!
Virtual Motion Capture (or VMC for short) is a protocol and a system to control your virtual avatar and is widely supported by many programs for VTubing, like VSeeFace, Virtual Motion Capture and many others. And of course we always had its support in our plans, and now we are working on it. Here’s a short video of dqmaged testing the latest SlimeVR Server beta with VMC support (example starts minute 2):
VMC doesn’t require a headset to work, but position tracking is limited because of that. Details depend on the program used, tracker count, and tracker position. We will publish more info when the support is released.
Since SlimeVR’s inception, we’ve had a lot of improvements and updates to the software, and we’re now at the point where SlimeVR is not only comfortable and affordable, but also really-really good! Check out AzeVR’s video on the tracking quality of SlimeVR as of 2023:
Big quality of life feature that we added is the reset by tapping a tracker. No need to have keyboard shortcuts or touch server GUI. Just double-tapping the chest tracker is enough for a reset if you notice any drift!
Well that was a big one! Don’t forget that if you want to see more updates, we post weekly updates in our Discord server! Stay tuned for new things and shipment notifications soon :3