An update on our manufacturing - it's good news!

An update on our manufacturing - it's good news!

We are so glad to see the enthusiasm around Pioreactor - so much enthusiasm that it's been difficult to secure one! The biggest bottleneck to getting you a Pioreactor has been manufacturing. However, we've been spending more and more time scaling our manufacturing process. Here's what we've been up to:

Investing in our print farm

We've expanded our print farm to four 3D-printers - and they are going pretty much full-time now to keep up with demand. We looked into out-sourcing manufacturing our prints, but it didn't make financial sense. By keeping it in-house, we can maintain quality and keep our costs low. We also are able to iterate on new manufacturing techniques much faster - more on that later! 

Moving PCB assembly locally

If you have managed to order a Pioreactor (or four), you'll know that we are proud to be based in Canada. All designs and some manufacturing happens in our Waterloo office. There are some things we can't manufacture - like the custom circuit boards (PCBs) that we ship. We've outsourced the PCB manufacturing and assembly to our partners in China - and they do a great job! But we want to move as much as we can locally. We're happy to announce that our next batch of PCB assembly is being done by a local assembler in Toronto, Canada 🇨🇦! PCB manufacturing, for the time being, is still done in China.

New vial cap designs coming

Finally, we've been experimenting with a new vial cap manufacturing process. Historically, the difficult part of manufacturing caps has been taking the existing polypropylene cap and reworking it to pass through our silicone tubes. This was a messy and inconsistent job. Instead, we've been experimenting with 3D printing the caps! In order to be used in an autoclave, we can't use plastics like PLA or PETG. We instead have to use more thermo-stable plastics, like polycarbonate. We have been testing these new 3D printed caps and are very happy with them! By printing our own caps, this also greatly expands the design space of what vial caps can do. For now, we are maintaining the 4 input/output tubes, but maybe later: 5 tubes, barbed tubes, larger ports, ports for CO2 sensors, etc. etc. Expect future versions of Pioreactors to have customizable cap configurations for your needs. 

Our new 3D printed vial caps - still fully autoclavable! 

What's next? Getting back in stock! 

That's it for now! We expect to be back in stock, and shipping with a short 2-3 day lead time on new orders (previously it was weeks 😬), later this month.