Let’s Make Things Clear

When I think about futuristic dystopias and retrowave, the first thing that comes to mind is the aesthetics. Neons and mist in dark alleys, dashboards and screens computing lines of code. Vibrant colors and scraped shapes and materials that, when assembled together, become an object with unclear balance between its form and function.

During the design phase of the Laser GMK keycap set project, me and GMK began experimenting, testing and prototyping with colors, materials and unorthodox techniques in order to create together something truly unique for the keycap set.

Our goal was to develop a product that would resemble manufacturing standpoints from a cyberpunk future. We wanted to celebrate the idea of not caring too much about the outside, so long the inside is functional.

P1

Hiding its thermal-alloy endoskeleton is almost like an afterthought. Covering its structure with translucent material is not only cost saving, but also makes easier to verify if the internals are hanging tough. Easier to repair and cheaper to maintain, after all.

P2

Like a futuristic industrial artificial intelligence being – it doesn’t matter if it has human-like eyes or a beautiful organically textured skin, as long as it routinely keeps performing the action of one thousand men. Phase 3 isn’t exactly necessary, the product is not meant to be exquisite. Laserwave GMK keycaps stop at Phase 2 – the ideal design considering what we wanted as final product.

P3

The Laserwave GMK kits are the result of our work.

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Pursuing a new technique for Cherry profile ABS doubleshot mechanical keyboard keycaps, this kit is meant to take the user to a Hands on Deck, The Laser GMK Short Story ride. After several months of prototyping and refining the concept, these kits were conceived and designed pioneering the translucent ABS doubleshot technology from GMK Electronic Design GmbH, in Germany. Instead of making shine through legends, we decided to create shine through keycaps.

These exclusive kits are manufactured featuring translucent & solid 1.5mm thick ABS thermoplastic polymer keycaps, in Cherry profile, officially color matching Laser GMK and provide a variety of accents in purple and pink for MX mount mechanical keyboards. The kits are backlighting compatible, meaning that the glow will shine through the shell of the keycaps themselves, leaving solid color legends and injection marks behind, for optimal gradients, contrast and aesthetics.

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The Laserwave GMK keyset kit is part of the Laser GMK keyset exclusive commissions, trinkets and items. It will debut on Massdrop today, at 6 A.M. Pacific Standard Time.

More exciting things coming today, don’t forget to visist the Laser Shoppo!

Keeb on,

M

Bonus prototype picture:
Laserwave GMK - Prototypes

Laserwave GMK – Solid injection on translucent material.

MiTo’s Updates #6

Godspeed XDA/PBT closing now, check it out!

The drop was supposed to close last week, however since an extension for an extra week would not affect the deadlines and people were waiting for paychecks to join the project, the drop was extended, so more enthusiasts could benefit from the available options.

We had an amazing group buy and it was a super exciting experience, we definitely created an amazing project together!

I think it’s important to highlight that sixty different compatibility kits are available, the customization possibilities are endless. Regular legends, novelties, lots of colors, non-standard keycaps, convex modifiers… For those who have interest in PBT, the curious XDA profile and the space exploration theme – we offered it all and achieved discounts!

40s.png

It takes a significant amount of effort to deliver a project of this magnitude to our niche community, from preparing and organizing templates for the dye sublimation to sampling the kits. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lots of fun and an enjoyable process! But the likelihood of a project this extensive happening again is slim to none, unless there’s clear demand for it during the next couple of years. We successfully celebrated the 48 years anniversary since the Moon landing and the conclusion of the original Godspeed drop! But from now on I’d prefer to focus efforts and resources on bringing back the older designs in different iterations and profiles, together with (and most importantly) pursuing new ideas and endeavors.

That said, I’d like to invite you to take yet another look at the drop page to review your order and check for the last time if you’re getting everything you think you’ll need for the foreseeable future. In case you wanna see a few of the achievable looks you can inspect the render gallery right here as well.

Thank you very much for the support and enthusiasm, hoping to see you creatively using these keycaps!

And since you’re here anyway, have you seen the Laser GMK project? Tell me what you think! Make sure to subscribe to the official newsletter as well so you’ll be notified of nice keyboard projects every once in a while.

Godspeed,

m

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MiTo’s Updates #5

Canvas XDA

In the past couple of days I received the parcel from the Canvas XDA manufacturer containing the kits offered in the group buy with reviewed and adjusted legends. I took my time to carefully inspect each and every keycap, taking notes, measuring the strokes and lines with a scale meter and inspecting the prints which were the result of dye sublimation process on PBT plastic.

The numbers I obtained were satisfactory and precise upon comparison with the original files designed by me and the manufacturer. Some very minor adjustments and corrections were requested regarding overall quality control and printing procedures. I provided both Massdrop and the manufacturer with a lengthy official report containing instructions and feedback so we can deliver a pristine product to the customers!

Therefore, me and Massdrop authorized the manufacturer to go ahead and produce the group buy order on totality – it’s going to take 50 business days for manufacturing conclusion and the kits should be shipping to customers by late October.

I put together a prototype case with some switches installed in it to hold keycaps in place, and shoot some photographs to give enthusiasts an idea about what the official Canvas XDA keycap set will look like. Bear in mind the following photos were shot using a mobile camera and no color correction took place what so ever. The legends are crispy clean and sharp looking in real life but unfortunately my camera couldn’t fully capture that and presented some aberration. I tried to counter that by using a magnifying glass, aiming for closeup pictures.

The thumbnails below are a bit messed, please click on the photos for proper resolution display.

Alphas + Text Modifiers -> please click to expand

 

Official Batch installed vs First Batch on top -> please click to expand

 

Magnifying Glass Closeups -> please click to expand

 

Magnifying Glass – W keycap from the first batch -> please click to expand

 

Alphas + Bauhaus Grey/Beige + RGB -> please click to expand

 

Alphas + Bauhaus Grey/Beige + O -> please click to expand

 

Alphas + Icon Mods -> please click to expand

 

Betas + Icon Mods -> please click to expand

 

Dieter Rams + Icon Mods + Mono (sorry for the shaky hands) -> please click to expand

The improvement from the first batch is remarkably noticeable and working with this manufacturer was amazing. The legends came out sharp as I envisioned and the entire keycap set is very calm, aesthetic and pleasing to look at in real life. I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the group buy supporters for the patience and contribution to the discussion and I apologize for the delay. This project wouldn’t come to fruition without your support, so thank you very much for sticking with us!

Hope you enjoy the keycaps once they find your way!

Keeb on,

M

MiTo’s Updates #4

Laser GMK

 

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Me and the manufacturer are currently sampling keycaps in the official colors of the keyset, I expect to see the initial results in the near future. That’s very important because some of the commissions and collaborations I’ve got lined up can’t progress without the official colors figured out. In case there’s anyone curious about the color codes, they don’t actually exist. Pantones were initially used as a general reference but now we are going to match the renders, so a precise code does not exist. The colors are what you’re seeing on my renders and they have some accuracy.

  • 2u Shift

As requested by many users, there will be a 2u wide Shift keycap present on the Base Kit in order to cover layouts such as the XD60.

  • Novelties

The current selection of Novelties seem to be injection friendly and I don’t expect to have issues with any of the particular designs. I’ve got a list going on with simpler designs/references to act as replacements in case we encounter difficulties and I’ll be sharing those with you if needed. As a side note, some of the legends borrowed from Carbon might be replaced, more notably the High Voltage symbol which I’ll swap for the Akira pill and the Skull, to be replaced by a Robocop reference of some sort.

  • Japanese Legends, D/C Kit and ErgoPlanck

Regarding the Japanese kit, you don’t have to worry about pricing as I’ve got it sorted out. Speaking about the designs presented, I closed the last poll once it reached about 2k votes and we all know the results. I released a new poll featuring the two winners and now we must decide which one will make into the actual keyset. Please go ahead and drop a vote in the poll at the top of this post, even if you voted before. Some people brute forced the last poll in favor of the monolegends, so I added an extra layer of security to the new poll – I ask you guys to be honest and vote just one time. There will be a Dvorak/Colemak kit added to actual the group buy. The ErgoPlanck kit will remain blank, but I’m going to offer some extra keycaps on it for extra color options.

  • Timeline

I’m working on super cool stuff behind the curtains to ensure this will be a remarkable project to all of you. Due to the magnitude of the project and all parts involved, I can’t provide you with a solid launch date just yet. But expect it to happen between the conclusion of Nautilus and November, 2017.


Godspeed SA & Canvas XDA

The Godspeed keycap production is about 99% concluded according to the manufacturer and it should ship to Massdrop further for sorting and distribution to participants very soon.

I’m receiving messages asking if/when extra kits will be available and there will be a first come first served sale with instant shipping on Massdrop at some point in the future. I don’t have extra kits of any sort and for now I recommend you guys to stick with /r/MechMarket and Geekhack Classifieds in case you want to grab Godspeed kits.

Regarding Canvas XDA, I received extra kits displaying the dye sublimation legends a couple weeks ago and several adjustments were done. The manufacturer is working at full steam on the changes we requested and I expect to have very positive news to share soon.

Thank you very much for the support and all of the messages you’ve been sending. I’m having a bit of a hard time answering promptly so please be patient – you have not been forgotten. Lots of cool stuff coming up this year still and I hope you are enjoying to ride 2017 with me!

Keeb on,

m

MiTo’s Updates #3

The Godspeed keycap set project suffered from two manufacturing delays since Massdrop placed the purchase order last year – as unfortunately, Signature Plastics is having issues with their SA ABS keycap set production line. The demand for spherical profile keycap sets for mechanical keyboards has been increasing at a steady pace since 2015 and without improving their manufacturing capabilities, Signature Plastics has been struggling to keep up with the hobbyists demands.

Last night I finally received the first production pictures of the Godspeed set. The good old cardboard templates (#tbpulse) are getting filled as some keycaps are still being sourced. I was informed by Signature Plastics that production will finish in 5 weeks and they will ship the keycaps to the Massdrop warehouse as soon as they’re done. Nine months from placing the purchase order to having a SA profile keycap set from Signature Plastics delivered to our doorsteps sounds almost reasonable these days… I’m afraid that the upcoming SA projects will unfortunately take longer to conclude.

I hope you’re as excited as me to see the actual keycaps for the first time! However, I’d like to point a couple things about these pictures. First of all, they were shot using a mobile phone camera, in the manufacturing plant, without any proper lighting or care what so ever. So, in order for you to visualize the keycaps better I’d like you to pay attention to a couple things:

  • The alphas you can see in the Norde kit, UK kit, PhD Planck and Blanks are the closest representation of the actual white/beige color tone that was used – the keycaps aren’t as creamy as Colevrak, Cockpit, Solar Alphas and Calculus suggest them to be;
  • The blue and yellow keycaps present on Dr. Blanc von Dox, PhD Planck, 40s, Blanks and Modifiers represent the blue and yellow tones more accurately – as the blue is very subtle and the yellow is very smooth.

In conclusion, I believe there was an odd bright light source positioned directly at the upper part of the cardboard templates, therefore the color accuracy is kinda messed up. The PhD Planck is the kit that, for some reason, displays the keycaps’ colors more realistically I’d say. Use the picture below as a parameter if you wanna imagine what your keyboard will look like with official Godspeed colors.


Speaking about Canvas, a couple weeks ago I received dyesub samples from the manufacturer with the official typeface used! I believe we materialized the vision and the legends look crisp. Again, please disregard the color accuracy of the pictures – they were shot on mobile and I don’t have adequate equipment to capture the colors more accurately than this.

If you want a parameter, the portrait photo (first picture) displays the colors a little more accurately than the other ones. I have the keycaps on my hands and I can tell that the beige is in reality less creamy and the grey is cooler than what me and the camera managed to capture.

In order to improve the visuals and make it perfect, I requested some adjustments for the following glyphs, though:

  • The $ character;
  • The % character;
  • F1 – F12 vertical alignment on the keycaps.

Production seems to be on track and I hope to be able to share more pictures soon. Please keep an eye to the official drop discussion tab and your e-mail inboxes for updates. I’ll keep updating you guys as soon as I have more information, hope you’re excited!

As always, thank you very much for the support. I appreciate that you took your time to check this update! Since you’re here anyway, I’d like to ask – what do you think about the Laser project? Join the discussion if you haven’t already and make sure to vote for your favorite Hiragana legends!

Keeb on,

mew

MiTo’s Updates #2

As a follow up to the intensive community contribution, so we could improve the design of Hiragana and both Novelties Laser GMK kits, I’d like to present an update and gather feedback about the current version of said kits!



I’m going to offer a special alphas only hiragana kit, for the people who appreciate the japanese culture and it’s ties with the Cyberpunk genre. I’d like to request feedback about what’s your preferred version:

  • Gaijin – Latin Legends & Hiragana Sublegends
  • Hybrid – Hiragana Alphas & Latin Number/Punctuation
  • Hiragana – Hiragana Monolegends

You can see renders displaying each of the versions below, don’t forget to vote!

 

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We initially had two different novelty kits and after extensive community feedback and design contribution I merged both kits into one. The balance between 1980’s and Cyberpunk references was kept and the included novelties (as you can see in the render above) are as following:

  • Classic retrowave sunset
  • A cyberdeck terminal
  • Brazilian DEX pill from Neuromancer
  • Ghost in the Shell Major’s neck neuralink
  • Bowl & chopsticks
  • Skull – same mold from Carbon GMK
  • Laser beam – same mold from Carbon GMK
  • Biohazard mycotoxin sign – same mold from Carbon GMK
  • Ghost in the Shell Tachikoma (spider tank) eyes
  • Rick Deckard’s Police ID logo from Blade Runner 
  • Ghost in the Shell Individual Eleven logo
  • Origami unicorn
  • Pac Man
  • Blinky, Pinky, Inky & Clyde
  • Space Invader’s alien
  • Atari joystick
  • Toyota AE86 (Hachi Roku) logo
  • Cassette tape
  • Stranger Things Eleven’s forearm tattoo
  • 80’s shades
  • RAD!
  • DeLorean’s flux capacitor from Back to the Future

There’s also a magenta sunset and a dashboard green Esc. A fuel orange WASD cluster was added in order to complement the Esc/Enter dashboard green keycaps, together with a magenta arrow cluster and the iconic pair of 1.25u 88 digital keycaps to ressemble the classic Windows logo while referencing Back to the Future as well. There’s also a pair of 1.25u DMC DeLorean keycaps.

Please take a moment to express what you’d like to see on Massdrop Talk Tab and/or Geekhack Interest Check discussion pages! If you have a vision, or an idea that you’d like to see implemented, please express and we can try to design it together!


While you’re here, in case you enjoy my creations feel invited to subscribe to my official Newsletter so you won’t miss a thing! You can also connect with me via Instagram, Reddit, Geekhack, Massdrop or just send me an e-mail at mito.rmk@gmail.com – I’d love to hear from you!

MiTo’s Updates #1

Speaking about the Canvas XDA keyset group buy, on my last update I mentioned that I wasn’t happy with the grey/beige combo we had while the colored (Bauhaus) colors were spot on. This morning I received many different samples and shades of beige/grey from the manufacturer and I chose the tones that truly represent our project and are true to the concept. Photos aren’t great but I experimented looking at the keycaps in various lighting environments and I came to the conclusion that the combination below, out of everything we possibly have as an option, is perfect.

Picture shot on mobile

Color correction by /u/ctzn_voyager, from RMK

I also noticed that the color samples are very close to the Godspeed SA keycap set that we created last year – shipping should begin in just a couple weeks, hopefully you’ll be receiving the set soon! Due to some similarities between Godspeed and the samples I’ve got for PBT, I’d like to research if there’s any interest for a PBT/XDA version of Godspeed. Some people missed the keycap set group buy, others aren’t too fond of ABS so I think that it could be a good combination. Let me know what you guys think, if there’s enough interest I’ll go ahead and start a regular interest check in the platforms you’re already used to. Leave a comment below telling me what you think about it! I mocked it up using the Klown Keeb layout, hope you enjoy it.

I’m also going to be hosting a small keyboard giveaway next week, bundled with a couple items that I believe starters in this hobby would love to own! I love the mechanical keyboard community and I’d like to giveback with this small giveaway. I’ll share the specific rules when I announce it in a couple days, but for now I’d like to invite you to sign up to my newsletter so you won’t miss a thing.

Keeb on,

mew

PS: Have you seen Joyland yet?