We’ve made some great progress in the last few months! All the prior engineering issues have been resolved with updates to the design and tested with a new prototype. Below you will find a handful of new issues and images of the new prototype. Once these new issues are resolved and tested, we will be able to update you with a timeline for tooling and manufacturing.
The current design is functioning well, with a very satisfying look and feel. A couple surprises occurred with this round of prototyping:
- Flap springs too strong — The springs that hold the flaps flush against the main unit are so strong that they 1) prevent the unit from opening completely and laying flat on the table and 2) create a small twisting force against the main segment, as you will note in the images/video below. So the proposed solution is to implement a total of 8 symmetrical weaker springs (instead of the current “diagonal” 4 springs), which will allow the unit to lay flat and not create any twisting force against the main unit.
- Outer segments going past 180 degrees — When the unit unfolds, it is possible to extend the outer segments a couple degrees past flat, which is both aesthetically unpleasing and unnatural for typing if you place the unit in your lap. The proposed solution is to implement a slightly larger stopper in the hinge area that will prevent this behavior.
- Hinge pins not flush — The forces on the pins could bend them, causing them to protrude. We are proposing riveted pins instead so they are stronger and stay flush.
- Cradle claws too tight — The claws that connect the detachable cradle to the main unit are too tight and could snap off when detaching the cradle. This will be resolved in tooling when we tune the fit tightness.
- Space bar too tight — The pressure required to depress the space bar is too high, due to multiple scissor switches. We will need to tune the scissor switch when we prepare for manufacturing.
Please find images below of the new prototype:
We will be working with the factory over to address the above issues both in CAD and in partial prototypes to ensure they are resolved before we start tooling.