The factory has made nice progress on version 2.0 of the key-flipper assembler. It appears to work with pneumatics. This should save significant assembly time and avoid this part of assembly becoming a bottleneck to the project.
A few of each type of the completed production inner foam arrived and they are all excellent.
The key samples arrived and I can confirm that the key texture is an excellent match to the original XT keys (see the photos I posted in the first Jan. update). The keys are also great quality – nice thick walls and strong, high quality PBT.
With the next key samples arriving in a week or two, they should be within tolerance (these first sample keys were just to see the key top texture and PBT quality – they do not yet meet the strict tolerances). The factory is still working out the PBT shrinkage issues (PBT is a difficult plastic to work with because it shrinks during the injection molding process).
Soon after I am hoping for the correct key colors for the project to be confirmed (pearl/pebble, blue, etc.).
The Japanese steel spring samples are almost done – just waiting on the finishing stage and then they can mail them.
So it’s just the keys, top and bottom inner assembly, springs, and compact cases that are not yet waiting to be assembled. Everything else is boxed and ready for assembly. For storage reasons the outside protective foam and boxes will be done last by the factory, when everything else is just about done.