The Dygma Defy manufacturing is in the midst of its most exciting phase: mass production. And we want to share all that excitement with you by checking the key components' status together.
So please, put on the lab coat and a hard hat, and let's get going! 👷♀️
Oh! And if you'd rather not read, you can also check our Live Q&A with the team 🎙️
The travel cases and accessories
All the travel cases have been manufactured and are waiting for the keyboards 🙌
We also have the enhancement kits ready and ordered the cardboard boxes we use for shipping.
The only bit missing is the user manual, which we'll send to the printers this week.
We've already injected and painted 500 sets of keycaps, and this week we're laser etching about 200.
That first run will help us identify possible legend errors or defects. Once we correct them, we'll continue with the laser etching procedure and manufacture all the remaining keycaps.
Palm pad production is also moving forward. We already had the molds for the base ready, and now we also have the molds for the pads themselves and the machine that folds the leatherette in place.
The production process of the palm pads is pretty interesting: first, the base is made in the plastic injection facility, where they also add the neodymium magnets. Then, the bases are transported to the factory where the pads are made. There, they are glued together.
Finally, the palm pads go to our assembly center, where they add the anti-slip sticker.
It seems excessive for a simple palm pad, but it's essential to understand that all those factories are incredibly close by 😅
We've already manufactured 80 top panels of the first batch of 200, but we're not happy with the texture of the brushed aluminum; it's a bit gritty 🧽
That's why we've added a new step in the process. We'll slightly sand the top surface before anodizing it to get the perfect texture.
We've also asked our supplier to sandblast the inner side of the top panel, as the machinery was leaving some scratches. Even though this process adds a small cost to the top panel –and you'll only notice it if you disassemble the keyboard– we think it's worth it.
We've finally received the golden sample of the base with some adjustments we made to the perimeter and the neuron slot.
Now the neuron fits in perfectly without colliding with the base, so this is also ready for production. We'll be making a first batch of around 200, and once that run is validated, we'll proceed with the rest.
Plastic injection is pretty fast, so this component is safely on track, too 👌
The new small plastic rods and aluminum leg samples have already arrived, and after testing them, we've decided to make one small change 🤏
We're reducing the hinges for the small rods from 2mm to 0.8mm. We discovered that, due to tolerances, sometimes the hinge was putting too much pressure on the rods, deforming them.
With this fix minor fix, we've green-lighted making the first production run.
We're delighted with how strong the new rods are and how premium it feels to set up any tenting angle.
However, there's still one little thing we're working on: the small side tenting legs.
Our testing revealed that the anti-slip material wore out in some scenarios. It mainly happened when moving the keyboard around on very high tenting angles, primarily when used on rugged surfaces –like a non-sanded wood table– but that is unacceptable.
To be on the safe side, we're redesigning that little piece so there's more material.
Nonetheless, with plastic injection being fast, this change won't affect the timeline 😊
One little thing we forgot to mention in our last update was the sound-dampening solutions.
In case you don't remember, the Dygma Defy has two sound-dampening solutions. There's a 3.5 mm EVA foam between the PCB and the top panel, and a 0.6 mm felt stuck to the PCB.
To sum it up: we've already launched the mass production of those components. It's a straightforward component, so we don't expect any hiccups 👍
Another golden sample that we've received is the cables. We are happy with the connector's casing and the braiding's color and texture, so production is good to start.
As with most components, we'll make about 200 of them, check that everything is ok, and continue manufacturing the rest.
We also green-lighted the USB A to C adapter that we'll be including, as the long cable that connects the neuron to the computer is USB C to C.
The electronics are where the timeline is tighter, but we're putting all the necessary resources to ensure we stick to the plan.
The process of manufacturing PCBs has two distinct stages. First, we assemble the PCBs –consisting of different steps you can check here– and then we flash the firmware and test them.
To do that, we need to build a small device –we call it a multi-tester– and a test jig to connect the PCBs to that device.
The PCBa factory already has the instructions to build the test jig for the keyscanner PCB, the underglow PCB and the low-profile PCB –they are all tested together– and we're finishing the instructions for the RF PCB.
The plan is to assemble the first run of PCBs on the second week of May and do the testing on the week of the 15th. And to ensure things run smoothly, our electronic engineer will be in China those days 🕵️♀️
If everything goes according to plan with the electronics, we're on track to assemble the first 100 keyboards in late May or early June at the latest. Our Lead Product Designer, Manel, and our new Supply Chain Manager, Aitor, will be in China during those weeks to oversee assembly and do quality control.
Then we'll fly the keyboards to Spain for the final assembly and quality assurance and, from there, express shipping to the early-delivery backers.
As for the rest, after each component's first run is checked and validated, we'll continue mass production. That way, we'll assemble the keyboards through late June and July and ship them throughout late July and August. Just as planned in the last update.
As always, we can't be grateful enough for your support 😍
Moltes gràcies 🥘