We apologize for making you wait so long for the sale of Gravity Keycaps Choc.
I feel like I haven't sold it for over a year. .
Sorry for those who have registered for the restock email.
Every time it is added, I feel like I'm being supported and it's a boost.
If the current prototype goes well, I believe that we will be able to provide a stable supply.
Please wait just a little longer.
It's been a long time since I wrote it, so please read the following only if you are interested in the details.
I would like to put things in order once again.
Why are they out of production?
This is because the yield (percentage of non-defective products) is poor. (Choc breaks his leg, loses weight, etc.)
I ordered a certain amount, inspected each one, and collected only the good ones, but it was quite exhausting in terms of time and physical strength.
In addition to that, there is a surge in manufacturing costs, and it is in a situation where it is not viable unless the yield is improved. Time has passed without making any good progress.
Again, let's consider the requirements for keycaps in general.
A. Stable keystrokes (less wobble, no slippage)
B. Can be replaced (the leg does not break even if it is inserted and removed to some extent)
C. The surface that fingers touch is smooth
I think most commercially available keycaps are made by injection molding, so I think it's easy to clear this area. (I think there are some difficulties, but it seems that there is also know-how)
However, Gravity Keycaps has determined that it is not appropriate to invest in injection molding due to its characteristics, target and current situation. I will add a little later. If injection molding is not an option, 3D printing seems more realistic.
3D printing manufacturing methods and problems
In the first place, I made this keycap out of necessity, but (details about that arehere）
On the other hand, I thought that I might be able to make it, and I wanted to make it because my predecessors used the "MJF PA12GB black polishing" service called DMM.make. We are also handling it at the shop, "3D" Keycap Claw44 Set designed by zk_phiI personally love the shape, smoothness, looks, and strength.
I have made other services and materials, but I think this is the best way to make your own keycaps. I fell in love with this manufacturing method.
But it's not without its problems.
Gravity Keycaps are designed based on Choc switches, but the corresponding keycaps are designed with two thin legs, which causes problems. (vice versaFor MXis less susceptible to these issues and is already in stable production)
There are two problems,
Simply put, MJF is formed by sintering and solidifying powder. Therefore, the surface finish is powdery and rough. Polishing is applied to smooth the surface, but the legs are fragile and may break during polishing, or may not be fixed to the key switch due to being ground too much.
The MJF method does not produce the same accuracy as 3D printing using stereolithography, and the thickness of the legs varies depending on each order and individual. If it's thick, it won't stick to the switch, and if it's thin, it won't stick to the key switch.
Each of these must be resolved.
Solution to problem
At first, I thought that the problem of "1. Polishing" was bigger.
Therefore, I thought it would be better to simply add parts to guard the legs and cut them out later.
However, it didn't work as expected. .
Gravity Keycaps We are improving for the resumption of sales! – Daily Craft Keyboard
Gravity Keycaps progress report – Daily Craft Keyboard
My heart broke around here, and I had a heavy project in my main business, so I couldn't move for a while.
After that, I made a version without polishing, but after all, the problem was not only "1. Polishing" but also "2. Accuracy".
For the time being, we will leave 3D printing and proceed to try injection molding.
Try injection molding
When 3D printing is your heart,Desktop injection molding machine "TAIYAKI"Mr. HAL900, who is making this, asked me to make a key cap with TAIYAKI.
Gravity Keycaps made with desktop injection molding machine "TAIYAKI" – Daily Craft Keyboard
Although it was a stereolithography 3D printed mold, it was sufficiently accurate, so I was impressed. However, in order to make it in earnest, it was necessary to make a mold with aluminum etc., so I hesitated.
In such a way, I was able to consult with a contractor who was a certain trigger.
I studied injection molding myself, redesigned the model for injection molding, and had a look at it, and I learned a lot.
I'm very sorry that I couldn't go as far as ordering, but thank you very much for your help.
Someday, I want to make a product that can be properly ordered.
Due to the characteristics of Gravity Keycaps, 9 molds are required no matter how much they are suppressed (actually, I want 13), so the cost will add up. In addition, it was found that the manufacturing cost was quite high for the number of production, which is considered to be a small number for injection molding.
Around the same time, Tenkey was held, and I was very inspired by hearing about injection molding from Yukari and Yowkees. The main reason I finally gave up on injection molding at this point was the lack of a sales system. In order to sell things, of course, you have to make good things, but you have to convey the charm to many people, but you don't have the skills, energy, or system to do that. It makes me think about the limits of what I can do alone (both good and bad).
On the other hand, this experience made me realize that I wanted to change the model.
Back to 3D printing
And I'm back to 3D printing.
Problems still exist, but with the hope that injection molding experience may solve one.
One of the manufacturing conditions for injection molding is to keep the wall thickness constant. This is because if the thickness is not uniform, sink marks (dents) will occur and the manufacturing quality will decrease.
Gravity Keycaps also changed the model to eliminate this.
For some reason, my legs are thin, and I thought that the strength would drop, so I couldn't take the plunge, but I changed it based on the advice from the contractor earlier, but it didn't seem to be much of a problem.
This leads to solving a problem that I vaguely knew but wasn't properly facing. It is hypothesized that when barrel polishing is performed, a large mass is subjected to a corresponding amount of force, making the legs more likely to break. We expect that this modeling will reduce the weight and improve the yield due to the influence of "1. Polishing".
This keycap is taller than the low-pro Choc, and if you fill it as it is, the mass will increase. I think that's why other Choc keycaps cause issues you don't hear too often.
And about another problem "2. Accuracy".
The early model was a trial, and I made a cuboid almost according to Choc's specifications.
If you're making it for yourself, I don't think there's much of a problem.
However, if you make a certain number, the number of waste will be ridiculous when the variation is too close.
I needed modeling that would work well even if there were variations in accuracy, so I tried several patterns, but none of them worked.
I've finally arrived at a shape that seems to be okay, so I'd like to try making a number with this and verify it.
So if these attempts are successful, I think we can finally resume more stable production.
Even when I put on the guard, it looked good for the first time, so I can't let my guard down yet. .
I have only two prototypes, so I would like to sell them.
There should be no problem in using it.
Only the positioning of the key caps is difficult to do because the mark is gone, but this prototype will be packed and shipped after arranging it.
If you are interested, please consider purchasing.
It's been a long time, but it would be helpful if you could wait a little longer until the sales resume.
Oh, and if this goes well, we plan to revive the Low version and sell individual keycaps.