FULLY FUNDED!! + NEW LOWERED STRETCH GOALS!!
Lyra, inspired by the rhombus shaped constellation of the same name, is a unique morphing EDC knife with the design goal of creating the smallest closed knife possible while still providing a full four finger grip. This is our second morphing knife design and incorporates all of the lessons learned on our first project, the ambitious Eclipse morphing knife, of which we produced over 5000 units.
The Lyra is a step up in every way from our first design, incorporating better materials, better finishes, and blade steel. There is much more intricate machining involved in this knife and the complexity of the design along with its unique opening mechanism and shape lend for a really interesting and usable show piece. Despite its creative looks it is in fact a very ergonomic and usable EDC knife.
The unique four bar mechanism to open the Lyra is also what gives it its best feature. On a standard folding knife the handle must be the same length as the blade or vice versa. This is a limitation to nano blade knives because generally the handle is equally as small. Most nano sized knives only offer a 1 or 2 finger grip which limits them to very low force cutting tasks. The Lyra does not have this issue. Its closed length is a mere 2” but when opened it has a full 3.2” length handle (4.7" total open length). This allows for a full 4 finger grip, something rarely seen on a nano sized knife and a true no compromises solution!
The benefit of the linkage extension of the Lyra’s handle is apparent by all of the different grips available. The linkages were shaped to create smooth transitions from the handle to the blade and avoid creating any “hot spots” or pressure points when gripping the knife firmly. The result is a secure, comfortable, versatile handle that allows for long periods of continuous use and offering a number of useful grip options to accommodate any task:
The Lyra has an excellent blade. It’s a Wharncliffe shaped blade which is designed for utility use. It is has a scoop along the top edge that adds a cool style to the blade shape but also acts as an ergonomic finger rest for better control of the blade for better precision in cutting tasks. The best feature of this blade, however, is that it is made of super hard D2 tool steel which is one of the absolute hardest and most durable blade steels available having a hardness of 61 HRC. The blade is made from a thick 0.120 inch (3mm) stock so it has a very good rigidity but still maintains very good slicing ability due to its flat ground bevel design. There is even an ample sharpening choil present so you can easily maintain the blade sharpness, should you want to. That said, D2 should maintain a nice useable sharp edge for the life of the knife if using it for everyday standard activities. The black blade is DLC coated which is a super hard, scratch resistant coating found on high end military tactical equipment.
The Lyra also features a completely protected blade design when closed, so your keys wont be able to hit the blade edge ensuring your knife will remain sharp even when carrying it everyday in a busy pocket. It does this with a specifically machined "U" channel that keeps the blade edge out of harms way.
The Lyra is such a usable little knife given its ergonomic handle and utility blade, it really is meant to be a useful every day carry knife that can do more than just the basic stuff if you need it too. By the way.. the bottle opener was a happy accident.. we didn't intend this to have a built in bottle opener but it ended up being the perfect shape.
We first set out to make something completely different from our first knife, the Eclipse, but we kept coming back to the four-bar style design, feeling we still had some interesting areas to explore with this type of mechanism. Sure enough, as we started brainstorming some of these cool ideas, an interesting design started to take form and it practically designed itself. The concept was based around a familiar "coin" knife design, like our first knife, but we wanted to get the maximum extension from the linkages to give a much more grippy, usable handle. We wanted to give the knife a more symmetric design from front to back so we made the blade a full flat grind and added a second set of linkages to the backside of the knife to give a total of 4 links. This greatly improves the rigidity of the open knife to give the best control and strength for more demanding cutting tasks.
The Lyra is a statement of CNC machining, featuring contoured titanium handles and linkages with subtle chamfers and smooth media blasted surface finishes. The blade has a matching blasted surface on the steel which give a nice diffuse shine that looks almost ethereal in bright light. Don't let its small stature deceive you, this knife is still as intricate as even the best knives having 29 individual parts not counting the two dowel pins and ceramic detent balls.
- Blade Length: 1.2 inches
- Blade Material: Hardened D2 Steel (61 HRC)
- Blade Stock: 0.120 inches (3 mm)
- Handle Material: Titanium, 6AL-4V, Grade 5
- Linkage Material: Titanium, 6AL-4V, Grade 5
- Closed Diameter: 2.0 inches
- Open Length: 4.7 inches
- Knife Thickness: 0.4 inches (10 mm)
- Weight: 1.5 oz
- Lock Mechanism: Detent only, non-locking, 304 SST with 1.5 mm ceramic detent balls
Lyra ismanufactured entirely by milling, turning, heat treating, plating and laser ablating raw metal materials. There are no corners cut to make this knife by all traditional machining methods to give the most industrial look and quality possible. The knives will be fully assembled in the California under our careful watch. We have a new contract manufacturer locally who will be doing the assembly work for us. As mentioned in our Improvement Goals section below, we had a lot of difficulty hand assembling units on the last project and it took time away from other quality checks we had intended to focus on more. With Lyra, we will be free to do all of the important quality checks and will personally tune each knife to consistent working order before shipping.
We are initially offering the Lyra in 2 color options:
Silver: Naturally finished titanium handle + links and D2 steel blade
Black: Black DLC (Diamond like coating) titanium handle + links and Black DLC coated D2 steel blade
(NEW) Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber handle, titanium black DLC links, and D2 steel blade
Other color/material options can be unlocked as funding Stretch Goals. See Stretch Goals section below.
Unlock carbon fiber handle material option at the $50k stretch goal.
As part of the fun of campaigning on Kickstarter, we want to offer some additional cool Stretch Goals which will include new color/material options, or free additions, that are available once we reach the mentioned funding goal. This list may continue to expand too:
Below is a table showing our reward pricing. As usual, the early birds and super early birds get an extra discount, though all reward tiers offer a discount over the $109 retail price. The double, triple, and retail packs offer further bulk discounts to the overall price. If you want to add an additional unit to your order, please just add +$89 (normal Kickstarter price) to your pledge over the initial amount for each additional unit you would like to purchase.
Here is a timeline of events from now until shipment completes. This timeline represents quoted times by our manufacturers and assembler as well as some more realistic schedule tasks we learned about during our first project, like shipping time for example. We will, of course, plan to get things done as quickly as possible and push our manufacturers to expedite if possible so we can get you your knives quickly.
USA Designed and Assembled
Designed and assembled in the SF bay area just a few miles from Apple and Google headquarters.
Our first project, the Eclipse, had more backers than we ever expected it would. This put a huge challenge on us to mass manufacture and assemble the knives ourselves, a challenge which we tackled bit by bit. Despite this challenge we were able to deliver the Eclipse to more than 3200 backers and managed to provide customer support for those that had issues with their units for the several months following the shipping. We want to take what we learned from doing the Eclipse and move forward with new goals.
- Tolerancing - On our last project we had some issues maintaining part tolerances due to all of the different materials and coatings. Our vendor was using the same setup for all materials which created some variance in part dimensions (on the micron scale) based on ease/difficulty of machining each specific material. This was obviously an oversight but something we will be looking out for on this next run. We have also slightly adjusted our tolerances to account for worst case scenarios so assembly will go much smoother this time.
- Improved material finishes - The main issue with fit and finish was in our mishandling of materials during assembly causing undue scratches on some of the components. Our new contract manufacturer should be assembling these units to perfection while also avoiding mishandling units, they are much better equipped for this. Additionally we will have better DLC coatings on the black units with better matching to the blade DLC.
- Assembly - One of our main issues with our first knife project was that we hand assembled every unit ourselves. This was a nightmare given the number of steps involved and the number of units we sold and it extended our ship schedule as well as caused us to avoid doing all of the other crucial checks on quality and shipping addresses that we should have been prioritizing. We are happy to announce that this will not be an issue moving forward as we have a new contract manufacturer who will be doing all of the assembly work for us in their state of the art facility, locally here in the USA! We can now expect to spend more time ensuring the units are assembled to perfection!
- Schedule - As mentioned, we overshot our ship date by about 3 months on the last project. Part of this was due to some manufacturing delays and part was due to our inexperience assembling so many units and underestimating the time it would take to do so. Now that we have a professional contract manufacturer doing the assembly work, we have our vendors covering all of the production process for us with our tasks being much easier to estimate. This means, the timeline listed on this campaign is much more realistic!
- Shipping - There was a learning curve to climb for shipping units. We used an automated shipping software to help us and some mistakes were made (mainly, we did not ship a number of units to the UK, a mistake we had to fix later). We will have much more time to prepare for and focus on the shipping requirements before products finish, now that we have a manufacturer doing our assembly work for us, so fewer mistakes should happen.
- New lock design - Some of our backers had issues with their lock mechanism on the last knife malfunctioning. This was mainly due to assembly errors, but some of it was due to the fact that the lock took some practice to open correctly and if pressed too hard could bend in a permanent unlocked state requiring some creative steps to fix. The Lyra has a new mechanism design that does not lock but rather just holds the knife open or closed using a detent. This lock can also not be bent too far as it has a physical hard stop limiting how far it can deflect. This greatly simplifies the user experience as no practice is required to open and close the knife and the knife should be more legal worldwide not having a locking feature (this is maybe considered a slip lock now).
Risks and challenges
There are many risks involved with launching a small production run with a compressed timeline. Many larger knife companies tease a design for a year or more before they get to production, while we are attempting to take pre-orders and move right into production. There are a lot of moving parts that need to stay in motion to not miss the critical deadlines. As we have now been through a full cycle of campaigning to reward fulfillment, we have a much better understanding of the real risks in a project and what it takes to overcome them. As mentioned in our "Continual Improvements Goals" section above, we will be focusing on improving our methods from our last campaign to deliver as expected. We pride ourselves on communication and promise to keep constant communication of our status throughout the project and production, as well as keep your questions answered.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (55 days)