After evaluating the latest samples, today I approved full assembly of the Brand New Model F Keyboards! It took a lot more time than expected (!) but I think the current quality of the keyboards has made it well worth ironing out the QC issues.
All three of the current spring-flipper attacher machines now produce the right sound and tactile feel (photo in the prior update).
The plan is for the factory to assemble as many keyboards as possible and ship them at the end of April, with additional batches every month or so. This way, orders can start going out as soon as June.
On the dye sublimation front, I am waiting on some additional replacement parts for the setup before I can continue with the dye sublimation testing. Two more parts require custom-built solutions different from my current setup. Both will be ordered in the US to save time. Should be a few more weeks until they are finished and in hand.
Keycaps can still be ordered and added on to existing orders for the time being, but please try to get these in as soon as possible.
Regarding the expectations for whether your order goes out in the first batch, it depends on how many keyboards the factory finishes by the April 30th deadline for the first shipment and how many people order “skip the line”/low/custom serial keyboards from now until then (so far ~162 low serials).
Keyboards can still be upgraded to low serial if you want to skip the line.
To help with everyone’s estimations, below is an approximation of the number of keyboards ordered each month through the end of last month – please note that ~162 of these will be prioritized with the first shipment out.
The intention is to ship as closely as possible by order date, earliest first, but with the low serial supporters sent out first.
If they finish 400-500 (maybe too ambitious an estimate!), maybe all the low serials and most of 2016 will finally go out in the April shipment.