Hello everyone! My sincere apologies for the lack of updates the past a few weeks. A lot has happened in my personal life (I won’t deny it haha). I need to own up to my responsibilities regarding Miuni32 and this post is the first step.
I have been getting a few inquiries regarding the exact dimensions of the Miuni32 PCB. I could draw up a PDF file with a bunch of numbers in different units, but I think it is better if you use .step file and get all the numbers you need! You can use AutoDesk’s Online Viewer (sign-up required) to look and take measurements of the PCB. Here is the link of the 3D file to the latest version of the PCB.
Miuni32 will be available via ZealPC.net at 9AM PST today (about 2.5 hours from now). Estimated shipping date is in September 2017. And *ONLY* 200 units will be available! So don’t walk, run :).
I will be making regular updates on the progress of the manufacturing, and behind-scene details via this blog and as well as my YouTube channel. This is personally a hugely exciting time, and I must thank everyone who helped me get this far.
Here is the near final version of the Miuni32 brought to you by yours truly Adam, a.k.a Bigtuna. This has been slowly but surely coming for a way long time! It has been an absolute pleasure thus far and can’t wait to get the final version of the PCB out the door into the hands of all the mechanical keyboard enthusiast like me.
From the OA revision version, this Open GB version has a few changes:
10 more RGBS
Through-hole USB port for better mechanical security
One of Miuni32 OAs u/notananthem has been working on an aluminum case for Miuni32 and it is looking extremely promising. Look at that 3D printed prototype case… it looks gorgeous as is… I love how he kept it aesthetically pleasing, while requiring only 2 sided CNC machining. Dope.
Dear Sam, I have never met you in person, but one of the reasons why I started Miuni32 project is precisely to reach out and connect with the big big world we live in! I appreciate your review and glad you are enjoying the board. The fun is just the beginning though. We haven’t even launched the GB yet :D.
It all started with this 4 years ago. There is supposedly a correlation between the type of switch / keyboard one uses with his/her shoes. For example, red switch users apparently go bare foot…? Putting aside the science, the exercise of matching a shoe and a keyboard and posting on r/mk has withstood time and still a daily occurrence in 2017. So I tried it myself. There definitely is this strange satisfaction of photographing my best shoe, Allen Edmonds Park Avenue, with Miuni32 with a case from u/lxkhn.
They came all the way from Ohio, US to the west coast. I was ecstatic when I received his package. They look, feel and smell simply amazing. Lines are simple. and elegant. I don’t know if he treated the wood, but the grain is smooth yet texture is very much felt. And most surprisingly, the waft of Padauk really adds personality to the cases. Arguably the 2 cases he cut are prototypes. They did not have all the features we wished due to limited time we had. They look absolutely gorgeous.
A big part in the big equation of group buy is the case. Miuni32 is a 30% keyboard. There is no such thing as universal case which is the case for the 60% keyboards.
However, I am not at all worried about this. Even though I know nothing about cutting cases, I have been fortunate enough to work with prominent members of the community like u/lxkhn, u/jolimon, and u/goosekbd who are simply wealth of knowledge and resources when it comes to making cases of different materials. I have padauk cases from u/lxkhn literally on the way at the moment! u/jolimon have been working on the cases that fit the latest PCB revision, and u/goosekbd is working on some amazing carbon-fiber plates.
Additionally, some of the OAs decided to not wait and began making their own cases. I have seen cases made of cardboard boxes, and even *LEGO* and 3D printed! This is exactly what I wanted to see. Miuni32 is extremely compact. It is very easy to create a custom cases regardless of material of your choice. I believe it will be one of the important features of the board :).
I took the liberty to include a few of cases shared by the OAs here:
Lego case from u/MrMontgomery:
Bamboo case from u/lxkhn:
3D printed case from u/that-canadian:
Acrylic case from u/jolimon:
I am glad I was able to write this post within a week since the last one. I hope to keep on writing the behind the scene of this project. After all, I am building a keyboard so I can write blogs while I am sitting in the transit. Like all of you who is reading my blog, I am quite busy with life, but this community is where I find myself calm, tranquility and excitement amid all the noise in this world. So it is too bad I don’t get more time to spend on this project. However, I am committed with all the energy I have. I have been getting helped by amazing people I met since I posted the very first Miuni32 revision. So it is almost there!
Putting together a group buy requires much work and attention to details.
After all, this is the part of product development where things are not so straight forward. There is no V = IR really. Selecting vendors, testing out multiple manufacturers, finalizing the designs and figuring out how and where to launch are only a portion of the big equation.
Assembly service is the one I am putting much effort and thoughts into these days. There is no way I will be manually soldering every single component like I did for the OA release. While I loved every moment of it, it just takes too much time! It took 2 hours to solder the components and get a single board tested.
So naturally I have been getting quotes for PCB assembly services, both local and remote companies. Local vendors are too expensive for what they offer. One quoted $12 per PCB and the tolerance requirement was very large. The representative told me relaxing the tolerance from 6 mil to 8 mil would reduce the cost, but I doubt it will make any difference in the end, as this is already 3 – 4 times more expensive than popular PCB services in China (ie. PCBWay.com). My favorite assembly services thus far are US-based MacroFab.com and Circuithub.com. They are PCB Assembly Service 2.0 start-ups with kick-ass user interfaces. They automate most of the process with intuitive front end, so I don’t have to “email” my files with instructions. This is nice because I can get instantaneous estimates with breakdown of PCB manufacturing, component costs, and assembly services. The final prices based on MOQ are still being worked out, but I would love to go with one of the two. The next best thing in the world is assembly houses based in China. PCBWay.com has been my go-to PCB manufacturer thus far. Extremely fast, reliable, and even friendly experience all around for very reasonable cost. The only downside is I get dinged for duty and custom, this applies to every service oversea. I have not been able to calculate the cost for their turn-key style assembly service yet, as their user interface is not as automated as the US-based ones. I believe PCBWay.com will still be cheaper after all said and done, but nothing is decided yet. Really need to finalize this soon.