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In this update, we will be talking about:
If you’ve been following our updates, you would know that we had already finalised the design for our tenting solution – the metal slates. However, due to different factors that I will explain below, we had to change this solution.
Previous tenting designs
We had multiple designs for our tenting component and all had to fit 3 characteristics: functionality, stability, and aesthetics.
Functionality – the tenting component needs to be detachable and adjustable. We want it to have multiple angles for the user. We also want users to have an easy time mounting and unmounting it without compromising its durability. This leads us to the second characteristic.
Stability – the tenting component needs to be stable. This means that not only should the design bring stability but also the quality of the materials. We want it to have the same quality as the Raise and this also brings us to the last characteristic, aesthetics.
Aesthetics – the tenting component has to look, as Manel would say it, “beautiful”.
So we showed you 3 designs that we were working on and we finally decided to develop the metal slates design. We created prototypes and validated them by making sure the design met all 3 characteristics.
Previous tenting design
Since there is not a huge demand for the tenting, we will only be producing between 50-100 units.
If you know how large scale manufacturing works, then you’d know that producing something that few, will be at a greater cost. Something as simple as anodizing becomes very expensive when it’s for less than 1000 units.
We first worked with multiple companies here in Spain since China was still closed due to the coronavirus. We checked to see if any one of them could produce our components at an affordable cost. But none could.
Once China opened for business again, we continued the development of the tenting overseas. We had hoped that since we would be manufacturing the tenting components there, the cost would be cheaper. But it wasn’t.
Because of the low quantity of components, the cost was just too high. We would be selling the tenting component for at least $150. Knowing our market, we knew that price was too high.
So we had to divert to a simpler design.
Instead of having metal slates, the tenting component will consist of metal legs. These metal legs will be attached to a panel that has the shape of the Raise.
The panel will have 3 rubber feet as anti-slip. The metal legs are detachable and will also have small rubber feet. With these metal legs alone, there will be a tenting of 10°. But that’s not all!
These metal legs also act as a housing for another set of legs. Attaching one to the other will give a higher angle of 20°. But users aren’t limited to 20°.
Our plan is to design this in a way where we can upload files of longer legs and users can simply 3D print them and use them if they prefer their tenting to be higher.
The good news is this design will allow reverse tilting. Users can remove the metal leg housing and attach it to the bottom part of the Raise.
As you can see, we have yet to prototype this design to validate its functionality and stability. The material will be aluminum and it will have the same finishing as the Raise.
After the first batch of mass production, we learned that there were a few things that needed improvement.
(If you want to learn more about test jigs, watch this Youtube video where we talk about them in detail.)
We have designed totally new test jigs for the PCBs of the Raise.
For the second batch of mass production, we designed a new testing software and bought laptops dedicated to each of the PCB’s test jigs. This time, instead of sending only the test jigs over to China, we will be sending over a laptop along with it so the factory workers don’t need to worry about connecting the jigs to their laptops.
This will speed up the testing process and will give us more control over the quality of the testing.
We already sent the new test jigs over to China however, we encountered some problems. There was a mistake in the software which resulted in the computer shutting down after flashing a PCB. We are currently in the process of fixing this remotely.
With regard to manufacturing, this is our only major issue as of the moment. We are working on solving this and we hope to fix it before the month ends so we can start production.
The palm pads from the first batch were good, but they weren’t consistently good. There were a few customers who complained about the quality of their palm pads. So we decided to change suppliers to better ones. And with better suppliers, we get better quality products! (But this means that the cost of these products is also more expensive for us.)
We received the new versions for the white and black palm pads. The main differences of the new palm pads are as follows:
We also changed our cables supplier to better ones, with production double the cost. The new cables have a better build quality overall. The look and materials are the same but the connectors are stronger.
We’ve improved the connectors of the left and right PCBs of the Raise and also of the Neuron’s. Now, the PCB connector fits better with the cable connectors. They are more secure and feel more solid.
We know that many people really liked the travel case but we felt it could be improved. The inner material was changed from spandex to lycra, which gives it a softer and smoother feeling. Also, the color is now satin black instead of grey.
There will no longer be elastic strings to hold the test switches. Instead, small carton boxes with the switches’ specifications will contain the test switches and 2 extra keycaps. The carton boxes also mean easier storage.
We finally have the Limited Deilor Edition keyboards ready for delivery. It took a while to get the mylar pieces done, but with some patience and a lot of help from the local postal service, we will be able to deliver the Deilor Editions this week!