Very excited to report that most of the engineering issues from the previous post have been resolved! Here is a summary of the resolved issues and then a list of new, open issues that we sent over for further design modification.
We will post an updated production timeline after all design issues are resolved. We are very close to buttoning up the issues, so we hope to have clear time horizon soon.
1. Hard to open -- this was resolved by eliminating the channel along the main section. The hinge covers were getting caught on the channel (formerly in the red circles below).
2. Locks and hinge covers feel cheap -- this was resolved by adjusting the lock, which will now have ridges to better grip...
...and modifying the hinge cover to force 90-degree alignment at all times:
3. Hinge covers seem too large -- this was addressed by altering the hinge flap design, so that the unit's appearance now has consistent 90-degree angles:
4. Space bar hard to hit -- this was addressed by lowering the frame in the front of the unit so that the user's thumb can access the space bar (see red area below)
This is what we sent to the factory team last week and ask them to review following the Chinese New Year break.
1. Issue: Gears not engaging and unit not closing consistently
This was also an issue we highlighted back in December. Even with the above design changes to the gears there is still a major problem of the gears becoming miss aligned and damaging the keys when folding.
When the unit is fully opened the outer segments are still able to go past 180 degrees (flat) this is causing a gap to open between the gears – see below.
When we fold the unit, sometimes the gear "jumps 1 tooth" (the red arrow below) causing the keys to get caught and break.
1. Adjust the starting angle of the gears by a few degrees. This will help to have another tooth to force engagement. See below.
2. Close the gap in the area below when unit is unfolded so it is impossible to unfold further than flat – see below.
2. Issue: Cradle interface to main unit
We are not happy with the current design for removing the cradle. The cradle broke when we tried to remove it from the keyboard. We are aware that the material during production will be more flexible than the prototype material but we think the design is wrong. It seems impossible to remove with this difficult user interface:
The original design we sent to you was much better. Please see the original prototype, where "claws" were implemented to attach/detach the cradle to the main unit
3. Issue: Space bar frame
Can you please make a small adjustment to the design so that the longer plastic pips are on the outer segments not the centre segment – see below. The current location of the longer pips interfere with the user's thumbs.
As soon as the factory is back on February 11 after the Chinese New Year break, we will be working with them to produce another prototype to implement and test the above changes, which is a 4-5 week process.