As a follow up to the announcement of Godspeed PBT MT3 project last Friday, I gathered and filtered hundreds of messages of feedback from the community, in order to deliver the best kits.
Everyday I will collect and compile feedback provided on all platforms and until liftoff I will make weekly updates on Massdrop, this journal and my Instagram. This way everyone can keep up with the changes and request tweaks. Spread the word!
The updates will be posted together with a reveal of the surprise exclusive kits you can see marked as [TOP SECRET] in the project page. They will be revealed week by week and will be available during the official group buy.
Without further ado, here’s the result of the 1st round of tweaks and requests.
The MiniLa is fully covered;
You’ll most likely only need Alphas + Mods or Alphas + Ortho or Alphas + Ergo regardless of your keyboard;
The Micons are compatible with Ortho keyboards as long as you abstract the legends.
The project is scheduled to go live in a couple weeks, so if you’re interested be ready to partake in this new version of the Godspeed project! Make sure to vote for it in the link below.
All support is appreciated and the community’s enthusiasm has been overwhelmingly positive. I can’t thank you enough for all the messages.
Ares scheme preview, shipping now & nitpick replacements
In my latest update I featured the first pictures of the Godspeed XDA keycap set, a group buy that happened by the end of 2017. However, the update didn’t showcase the Ares color scheme because I haven’t been able to capture it on camera until very recently.
This orange color is very hard to capture on camera and it looks very beautiful and adequate to the space theme in real life. If I could describe the color with words I’d say that it looks like an earthy/iron orange, like the landscapes from Mars. It is not a vibrant, saturated and bright orange nor a brick red tone. After 8 sampling attempts I finally achieved the unique burnt aspect and tone I was looking for.
I couldn’t perfectly capture or adjust the color despite trying various photography settings. The pictures were shot under natural lighting conditions, during a cloudy day, with a phone camera.
Without further ado, make sure to check the pictures below – you’ll be able to see a “simulation” of the color scheme on a mini keyboard, combining theoretical Ares Modifiers with Solar Alphas, plus a Supernova ENTER keycap, represented by the £3 keycap.
The keycap set kits started shipping last week but a few customers will experience very minor issues with two icons and a some Nordic glyphs. The designs were already fixed, replacements are being manufactured and corrected keycaps will be sent to all participants for free.
Rush color scheme delayed, adjusted samples incoming
In his latest drop update, Yanbo Wu alerted all participants that the initial purple and pink color samples featured in the Rush color schemearen’t up to my standards, hence it’s delayed. The first two sampling batches were negative but several others are already taking place. Below you’ll be able to see some of the rejected samples.
Given this occasion I’d like to apologize to the community for this delay and reassure that I will keep working hard in order to deliver exactly what you’re hoping for. We are communicating and working closely in order to sync all parts involved so we can achieve the quality envisioned.
When you participate in drops where I’m involved there’s a high degree of trust, about my judgement regarding colors, legends, finish and overall quality of the keycap sets. These standards haven’t changed and never will, as new drops are being offered, new lessons are being learned. As I pursue new designing routes and more exciting techniques, new challenges will come. The patience and support from the community mean a lot and it really pushes me forward.
It’s very disappointing to delay the anticipation for brand new keycaps and I apologize for that. But rest assured – delivery has been delayed because I think you deserve (much) better colors then the samples above and I’m working on that.
I hope you understand, new samples will be coming my way soon and I will make sure to communicate updates both here and in the drop discussion too.
Thank you very much for the enthusiasm and support, we will speak again soon!
By the end of 2016 the Godspeed SA keycap set pre-orders took place and the project was a huge success. The cream and blue acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) sphericalkeycaps look and feel oddly modern, like a retro space terminal from NASA’s Apollo Program facilities.
The opinion on spherical (SA) keycaps vastly differ in the mechanical keyboard communities. A considerable portion of members dislike typing on contoured keycaps, which resemble vintage typewriters and industrial terminals from the past. In order to offer the keycap set in identical design, but different contour, I put together the Cockpit – featuring a 220.127.116.11.3.3 sculpt kit.
However, while debuting the XDA profile with Canvas I noticed there was potential for another iteration of Godspeed – not to mimic it’s colors in another profile, but to offer something new. This time, I aimed to deliver equally nice looking keycaps not only shorter in height, but in polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) material. Me and Massdrop prototyped and sampled the keycap set in order to verify if it was possible to deliver the vision. We were pleased with the result and after a successful interest gauge phase we opened for pre-orders!
Several rounds of prototypes and color batches took place, legends and typeface were adjusted and repositioned a couple times. To put in perspective, over 30 rounds of color sampling and refining took place. That was crucial, so we could deliver this exclusive product in it’s highest possible quality for our community.
With the approach of the established delivery date, I’d like to officially announce that production is on track and no delays are expected. To ease the longtime wait, I put together some pictures displaying crucial features of the keycap set in a beautiful Vortexgear Core 40% keyboard.
Enjoy the sneak peek below – you’ll be able to find pictures of several novelties, modifiers, alphas, layouts and the iconography too. Color correction didn’t take place whatsoever and the photos were shot nearby a window on a cloudy day, with a smartphone camera. You’ll be able to see the Solar, Supernova and Apollo colorways in action. As for the Ares colorway, I didn’t have a chance to picture it yet but once I have the chance I’m going to release a sneak peek too.
I’d like to thank the entire mechanical keyboard community for the support and enthusiasm regarding the keycap set projects I push forward. It is an immense honor and pleasure for me to engage with thousands of people and dive deep in this hobby. I really appreciate the support and hope everyone receive their kits soon!
Great things are coming next, don’t forget to subscribe to my official newsletter so you won’t miss releases, launches and bomb news.
And while you’re here, did you visit the Laser Shoppo today?
New things are coming every week or so and another ultra rad Laser GMK collab is incoming!
At the beginning of this month my friend Suited Up Keycaps offered a limited run for the Hands on Deck – The Laser GMK Short Story hero artisan keycap. He gave shape to the main character of the story – Hayley “Agent 88” Han throughout this year and we had lots of fun prototyping and creating her.
The number of keycaps offered had to be limited, so he could deliver to our community without negatively impacting his routine and personal life. We also wanted to offer his popular artisan keycap sculpts officially color matching the keycap set, so this ended up adding another layer of difficulty to the number of keycaps available. Truly beautiful work, it was an incredible honor for me to work with such a talented and positive person.
We went through several iterations, polishing the design over and over again, revising the illustrations so we could arrive on the perfect sculpt.
But every hero needs a villain.
So earlier this year I contacted Hot Keys Project, a long time friend that I met during my journey in the mechanical keyboard’s world. We’ve been trying to create something together for a while and we finally had our chance once I conceived the Laser GMKkeycap set.
Our plan was to create artisans especially crafted to be combined with the keycap set. Hot Keys Project has extensive experience in modeling interesting characters. You can check some of his work in the catalogue. Hot Keys Project is also well know for extremely high quality blank keycaps, on a variety of colors, shades and tones. Not only for the Cherry MX mount but also Topre. His keycaps are polished, sharp and smooth looking, not only to the eyes but also to the touch.
In order to explore Hot Keys Project best techniques and creativity we created two distinct line of products – neon blanks and an exclusive all new character design. Hot Keys Project and I studied the cyberpunk and retrowave references, aiming to give form to an evil entity pursuing good lines, colors and a style to truly represent the villain from Hands on Deck – The Laser GMK Short Story.
He’s called Turbo.
In order to represent the buildings, alleys and streets from Rio, in the year 2088, Hot Keys Project also went ahead and color matched his line of blank artisan keycaps following the Laser GMK keycap set.
The Hot Keys Project x MiTo Artisan keycaps can be purchased for a limited time in the links below, make sure to check them out!
Working with my dear friends Suited Up Keycaps & Hot Keys Project was an amazing experience and I’m very thankful for these guys for trusting my vision and spending their precious time, resources and efforts teaming up with me. There are several (and I really mean several) other keycap set creators contributing with their talents to the Laser GMK artisans movement, more exciting sculpts and ideas are coming soon. Please keep an eye to this journal and the Laser Shoppo for the upcoming commissions!
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.
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.
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.
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 Storyride. 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.
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!
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!
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 + 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!