After more than two weeks of hard work the 5 Shortcut giveaways have been built and shipped!
To be honest, building this 5 prototypes has been an intense experience. Even though we were going to build 5 prototypes like the one we announced in the website, we ended up doing a few changes:
The original prototype was fully designed by me (I’m not a skilled designer at all), what meant that many of the new upgrades required a ton of testing before implementation.
Our assembly process went from being a mess to pretty good. We basically learnt how to design and build them better while doing. The main issue was that this was the first time I built hardware and we didn’t had a proper specification sheet nor process hierarchy, something that is absolutely basic for any hardware project.
The difference in assembly time from the first to the last prototype was 4 extra hours and we ended up doing 6 prototypes instead of 5 because the first one wasn’t good enough. We paid the price of being inexperienced but learnt a ton and had fun!
Here are some pictures of our process:
We had to do several tests for the columns, internal structure, case, surface, angle of the thumb support and more. The original prototype was printed with a different 3D printer so we had to readjust all dimensions. All the 3D printed pieces of a keyboard took one full night to print and it happened twice that the printer jammed. Standard technical difficulties!
New thumb cluster
For anyone wondering, these are not joysticks, they are like the mouse thumb buttons but you can activate the button in 5 ways, up, down, left ,right and center. We don’t wire the center button because it requires way too much force to activate, making it uncomfortable to use.
The 5 babies :D
Personally I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in 6 months. We’ve gone from an idea, no technical founder and no team to; raising a lot of interest, building a team capable of designing and building hardware and building 5 consumer ready prototypes. We know that this is just the start and there’s a ton of work to do but I can say we are heading in the right direction.