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The Smashing DeltaSplit75 Group Buy is now live!

Form now live! Place your orders here!

Anodisation Sample 
Assembled (Pre Anodising Sample) 

It’s finally time to get this group buy started! Orders will open on October 25th, but I wanted to get this post up now to give everyone all the details and also to get any feedback on any aspects you’d like to change.

Features

  • The Smashing DeltaSplit75 is a milled aluminium, low profile, split 75% mechanical keyboard built entirely in the UK.
  • The case and plates are sanded and bead blasted prior to anodisation to get as close to a flawless finish as possible
  • The anodising is quite matte, it’s beautiful.
  • Each half weighs approximately 400g.
  • Although it doesn’t include feet, it includes M3 holes which fit M3 feet from Aliexpress etc.

What am I offering?

  • The Case – each order of a case includes both halves with anodised aluminium plates – Now featuring countersunk screws! – I’ve enlarged the holes in the plate to 3mm, so countersunk screws sit pretty much flush.
  • PCBs – Massive shoutout to /u/xyxjj for sending me the PCB files so I can offer these!
  • Components – I can provide Pro Micros, diodes and TRRS jacks.
  • Some Assembly – I’m just one man, so I can’t assemble loads, but I’m happy to build 10.

How much does it cost?

All prices are without PayPal fees and shipping

Without PCBs or components:

  • 10 orders, £175
  • 20 Orders: £160 <<< This is the sweet spot!
  • 30 Orders: £157

Brass plates can be ordered for an additional £20.

Component Kit

  • PCBs are an additional £15 without components.
  • Full component kit is £25. (PCBs, diodes, Pro Micros, black coiled cable and TRRS jacks.)

Assembly

  • £50 plus whatever your choice of switches costs.

Shipping

  • USA £25.00
  • UK £11.00
  • Europe £20.00

Here are some pricing examples including shipping and fees:

https://imgur.com/beG3EbX 

What options do I have?

I’ve managed to get a lot of flexibility on this board. The company laser cutting the plates only have an MOQ of 5 so I can work quite flexibly with different layouts even if only 5 people want it. I’d like to initially offer these plates, all in anodised aluminium:

If more than 5 people would like to order something different, please let me know. Similarly, I don’t mind ordering one off plates for you if there’s something really specific you’re after. It’d be about £30 extra for one offs (the price drops significantly at 5 orders.)

Colours

Here are the colour samples from my anodiser. They’ve advised they can offer either a lighter, darker or as pictured colour. 

I’m going to be working on an MOQ of 5 orders per colour. The sample is black, and the blue is “light blue”. Before anyone asks, I tried (I really did, I even went to B&Q to get a paint sample to send to the anodiser) to get a dark purple but they can’t mix it.

I’d like to start the colour choices off nice and simple:

  • Light Blue (As in the anodisation sample)
  • Black (Again, as pictured)
  • Silver

I’m also happy for people to have their plates anodised in different colours to the case if they want. The Google Form has allowances for all these options. If when orders close I don’t have enough of a certain colour, I’ll contact you to discuss.

I think that’s everything. Please ask all your questions here in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them!

Edit: forgot to mention delivery estimate. If we’re lucky, December but more realistically early 2018.

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Prototype sent for anodising

I’ve sent the prototype and a pair of aluminium plates off to a local anodiser to be bead blasted and then anodised. I’ve requested samples in good ol’ reliable black, but also in deep purple. Shall share the results when they come back, hopefully next week.

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It’s here!

I’m incredibly pleased to say that the prototype arrived today! I’m super pleased with it, and I hope you are too! First things first, let’s have a look at some photos:

Look how well the plate lined up! I can’t quite believe it worked so well..! There are a few things I’ve learnt from the prototype – fortunately all very minor:

  • The inside edge of the right hand side catches on the PCB ever so slightly around where the N key is. I can add a chamfer to this corner to alleviate this. In the mean time, I actually just snipped the PCB a bit to fit in.
  • The bottom edge, according to the manufacturer, was slightly too thin and was causing some warping when cut. He suggested just widening it a bit to match the other edges which I’ve done. It shouldn’t make much difference visually.
  • The PCB is more visible than I anticipated around the USB ports. I’ve had a little play with the model and I could extrude the bezel over the top to hide it but I need to see if a) it changes the cost much and b) if you’re still able to get the PCB in. I don’t think it’s a huge issue if it remains as it is, it’s more of a nice to do if at all possible.
  • The far left and far right holes were missed by the manufacturer. Not a big issue, I may leave them off in the final model as I quite like the clean side profiles.
  • Visually, I think having the plates anodised the same colour as the case is going to produce the best result. It also guarantees a nice clean finish on the plate so I will likely abandon SS plates entirely and look to only offer alu.
  • I realised after putting my camera away that I didn’t snap a pic of both halves pushed together. They actually fit together seamlessly, it’s really neat.
  • Someone raised a concern that the board may short out on the case. I’ve tested it and it works fine!

So that’s it really. I’ll be making checking my changes to the model over the next week, and I need to get some firm quotes from the manufacturer and anodiser so I can figure out the price breaks for the GB.

I’ll post this up on Reddit in a minute so feel free to comment over there, or email me directly. I’d love to hear from you!

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Almost…

Not much to share, the prototype just needs the holes tapping. The manufacturer’s supplier sent the wrong taps (I know) so they need to wait for new taps. I’m expecting it this week though. Hang tight!

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Few more photos

Just received a few more photos from the manufacturer. Look at that join!

There is a slight issue with the holes for the plate though. It seems my model from Fusion has come across a bit weirdly in Solidworks. I suspect it maybe the way I’ve done the threads. It isnt a huge issue though, I just need to provide some accurate measurements of where to place them.

Speaking of the plates, I ordered the ANSI and ISO variants today – one in raw alu and one brushed stainless steel. Main thing is to confirm layout compatibility but also to compare the materials. If I’m happy with how the alu comes, I’ll likely arrange for the GB order to go direct to the anodiser to be done with the cases.

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Prototype Progress Update

Many of you have been contacting me about the DeltaSplit75 case (thanks to everyone who’s expressed interest, please feel free to keep getting in touch!) so I wanted to give an update on where I’m at. I would have updated sooner, but I didn’t have all that much to tell you.

Case Prototype

I’m currently still waiting on the prototype – I know, I said a couple weeks but I was a bit presumptive about when the manufacturer would actually have machine time for me. The good news is that the prototype is being made as you read this so I should have it relatively soon. The factory sent me the photos below of the left-hand side which is nearing completion:

I’m really pleased with how this is looking! The inside corners will be ‘dog boned’ as to allow the square PCB to sit into the corners and of course, the threads for the plate are still to be added. It’s looking unlikely that I’ll be able to get the prototype anodised due to the cost of doing it as a one off. It isn’t a huge issue as the fit of the case is far more important at the moment. The main consideration will be the exterior finish (e.g. does it need some kind of bead blasting or other treatment) prior to anodising – I’ll need to make that decision later once I’ve reviewed the prototype.

PCBs

When I first posted the IC, I said that I wouldn’t be able to offer PCBs. However, since then xyxjj has been gracious enough to send me the PCB files. I have recently received 10 of them from easyEDA and they appear to work! I’ve only soldered diodes and a pro micro to the left-hand side, so I need to do the right side and test them with a TRRS Cable connected. I’m confident they should work though. Assuming they do, we should be able to open up the GB to more than just those of us on the initial run of the PCB which should help with keeping the cost down for everybody (and also makes it easier to offer more than a couple of colours.)

I hope everyone is still as excited for this as I am! I’ve set myself a reminder to post an update on September 25th regardless of where I’m up to. If I have things to share before then I’ll, of course, post them straight up.

Current Back Orders

Just a quick heads up if you’re reading this and are waiting on an order from me (mainly Let’s Split Cases) they should be going out this week. Apologies for the delay, real life has been getting in the way lately. If you have an open order and need more info, please just hit me up on the contact page.

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Store reopened

I’ve just got back from an incredible trip to Slovenia; a stunning country which I highly recommend visiting! Here I am rowing around Lake Bled, what a place!

But I am back now, in a rather rainy and cold Manchester. The site is back open and accepting orders.

DeltaSplit75 Cases 

The prototype of the DeltaSplit case is still on order. I had hoped it would have been made while I was away but sadly this hasn’t happened. I shall chase this up on Monday so hopefully I’ll have it within the next week or two.

Let’s Split Cases

The metal plate Let’s Split and Gherkin cases are almost ready, too. I need to sort the bases out myself this week, but the rest of the case is all being cut for me by the same guys who do the 10mm. I haven’t had a shipping notification but if they aren’t already waiting for me at the office, I’d expect to receive them this week.

If anyone has any questions in the mean time, feel free to hit me up on email, Discord (find me on the vendor list of the UK server) or Reddit.

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Prototype has been ordered

Just a brief update to say I have placed the order for a prototype of the case. I did a 3D print first (pictured above) which helped with a couple of adjustments I needed to make. You’ll notice the right PCB doesn’t quite fit. This is because that top right corner has warped a bit so the right edge isn’t straight. The angles are perfect on the model so it should be fine when cut in alu.

ETA for the prototype is ~2 weeks. I’ll update as soon as I have it in hand.

Also, I’ve had a few of you contact me about alu plates. I do hear you all, and I’m currently reinvestigating how best to offer these.

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DeltaSplit75 Case Post-IC Update

Big thanks to everyone who has expressed an interest in this case so far. I’ve had loads of feedback from many of you about what you like/don’t like/want/don’t want and inevitably, it isn’t possible to do everything.

First thing to tell you all, is that I made a slight mistake which made the pricing more optimistic than it should have been. Because I usually work with 10mm acrylic, I foolishly assumed a 10mm height would be fine for this, completely forgetting all the extra height my 5mm plates produce, as well as the loss of the additional 3mm base. So the case has grown quite dramatically to 18mm tall. This gives plenty of room for the pro micro – if you haven’t built already, I recommend a low profile DIP socket to ensure it’ll fit neatly.

As it stands right now, the case is going to run at around £80, including stainless steel plates. I will continue to reassess the price as this is based on 20 units and I’ve had over 30 of you respond to the form. On the form, the vast majority of you said you’d pay between £50-£100 so I’m going to do my absolute best to work in the middle of that. I’ve made some feet as well to give a nice 7.5 degree angle. Current quote is £5 each and you’ll need 4 but I’m hoping I may be able to get the price down on those.

Here is a final render of the case that I will be offering (please don’t panic about the plate for now, I need to work on it):

The plate is recessed by 1.5mm into the case so it should sit beautifully flush against the slight curve of the bezel. The reason for the recessed look was that a few people expressed concerns about the actual look of the case as a sandwich and when I thought about it, I couldn’t help but agree. This allows the edge of the metal to be hidden which I think should look much better visually.

To answer the questions raised to me in PMs and on the form:

  • Plate compatibility – a couple of you had already cut plates from the case files xyxjj provided. I had to change the screw hole positions on the first design anyway, so the recessed plate wasn’t done just to screw you guys over, I promise. But you will need to buy the plate with the case.
  • Plate material – With the increased cost of the case itself, I am almost certainly only going to offer a stainless steel plate. The reason for this is that I can use my preferred supplier, and have them cut and deliver the plates directly to me. If we use alu for them, we’ll need to find extra cash to deliver them to an anodiser, plus the cost of anodising. It works out cheaper overall to just use brushed steel in the first place. In an ideal world, I’d like to have offered anodised alu plates so I will continue to see if it is something I can work out, but for now please assume it won’t happen. However, I should be able to offer alu if you want to anodise it yourself later. I can also offer brass at an additional cost if you’re feeling fabulous (I think I’m going with brass, so feel free to join me!).
  • Underglow is not supported. I’m really sorry to those of you who asked for this. I love an underglow, but the problem with it is that it means splitting the case to add the acrylic layer. Not only does this complicate the design (don’t forget this is my first 3D foray) but it also bumps the cost.
  • High Profile – Like the underglow, this came down to design simplicity and also cost. With the increased cost due to my miscalculations, I didn’t want to increase the cost further.

I should be ordering the prototype either this week or early next – I just want to do a cheap 3D print first so I can hold it in my hands and feel certain that I haven’t made any daft mistakes!