Wooting Two Production date 🚢
I went to China for the trial production a few weeks back (see the trial production vlogs). At that time, I checked all the 50 Wooting two samples that were made and everything checked out. I made an update right after and promised to go into more details in a followup update when I had more information. This is that update.
Great news. The mass production date is confirmed on the 17th of December and will last for the entire week. A bit more on this later.
Yeeaaaappp! During the trial production I had found several concerns that I also touched on during the vlogs. Except for one thing, I was able to solve everything else at the spot.
Production line - OK
There wasn't much to add to the production line. It's identical to the Wooting one, and was already optimised with an increasing amount of automatisation.
Nearly all the testing/production software used at the factory for our keyboards is made by Jeroen. This ranges from Firmware flashing, RGB backlight check, Analog input stability and performance test software. As we learn more over time, Jeroen is continuously improving the software.
At the trial production there were still a couple of bugs and compatibility issues with the Wooting two. But by the end of that week, we had fixed everything.
RGB lighting and Analog input signal - OK
The bright RGB backlight draws a lot of power, and more so with the additional keys. Particularly with the colour white because all 3 LEDs (red, green and blue) are required to create white.
The optical parts of the keyboard also draws more power than a regular keyboard. The combination of these elements affected performance on the Wooting two, and we had to find a right amount of brightness for the best performance.
In the end, the change in brightness is unnoticeable and it draws a lot less power.
Quality of material - OK
Unfortunately a lot of the parts were slightly damaged during transport and didn't entirely represent the final parts nor would pass a regular production. Our QA for production is quite vigorous and already starts during receipt of goods. On the flip side, these samples were great for finding possible issues that can be prevented.
Other than that, the material and finish itself were all according to expectations.
Quality of build - OK
This was a matter of concern during the trial production. In a couple updates back I had pointed out the gap between the top cover and bottom case. A mould adjustment was made to fix the issue.
I went into more details with the engineer what caused the issue and he explained that the long size of the plastic case made it difficult to distribute the plastic with enough pressure and "liquidity" throughout the entire case.
To oversimplify plastic injection. There's a large piston that melts plastic relatively slow to the right temperature up to its tip where it's injected at high pressure. The longer the plastic takes to travel or fill up the entire cavity of the mould, the more it dries and slows down.
The adjustment they made included two narrow tunnels inside the mould that would help spread the plastic faster while it's still at a good temperature.
The result was a lot better but still not to my satisfaction. During the trial production I went over different solutions with the engineer, and instructed to start testing samples. This however of course took longer than my visit lasted.
Over the last few weeks, the mass production was awaiting our final approval. Which was pending on the new bottom case results.
Above are the final results and I'm very happy with it. If there's a gap, it's not any larger than 0.03mm.
Allow me to emphasise a bit what an incredible feat this is.
The Wooting two is incredible long and the plastic part has to be entirely straight and rigid. Otherwise the top plate wont perfectly level and fit nicely within the case. As you can see from the picture the plate rests inside the case, not on. It's especially a tricky design with the bent front side. It requires quite some skill, experience and quality to achieve.
This is why keyboards often either cover the entire face area, encase the keyboard or have visible screws on the face/top plate (edges).
This segment is a little smaller. I'm lacking good picture/video examples, but the Flaretech switch is continuously going through small improvements. You might have seen that I talked about the stem improvements in my last vlog. The stem was made significantly stronger.
The latest improvement is the wobblyness of the switch. Flaretech had decided to make the total tolerance smaller and make a tighter stem fit. This results in a less wobbly switch stem and more stable analog key presses.
These improvements are a result of Wooting one owner's feedback and our continuous nagging to the Flaretech manufacturer. So thank you guys!
ps: All the Wooting two keyboards and switch packs will be equipped with these latest switches.
A lot of the purchasing had been done in advance to ensure a quick production date. Now that we approved the bottom-case, we were able to pin a date.
That's when we'll start the mass production, but it will last a week because we're receiving the switches in batches every day. I believe the total production would otherwise have taken 1 to 2 days.
You can expect the production vlog to continue during this week and see your Wooting two come alive.
This coming week I'll be head deep in preparing all the logistic elements, but you can expect the keyboard delivery to happen in January. I'm refraining from exact dates, and now recommend you to check our new Discord channel: #Stock-delivery-store for the latest news.
We recently also started a "News" section on our website. I'll launch an article that I'll also update with the latest information when the time comes.
We will ship out the US ANSI keyboards to our US warehouse first to ensure we don't get into trouble with any new import duties. Afterwards we'll ship out all the other keyboards.
November blog update
You might have noticed that we moved to a new domain. This and more Wooting-related news is now all consumable on the latest November update.
Thank you all for the support and patience until so far. You guys rock and of course, if you have any questions, feedback or comments, you're always welcome to reach out!
& Team Wooting