It has been 3 months since we initiated the GB for OTD-compatible PCBs and Plates, and there have been lots of ups and downs. After a year of research and prototyping, things looked bright and hopeful at the beginning; and we're disappointed to admit that we won't be able to end the project on such a high note.
Here's a rundown of the situation:
- 02/16/2021: GB opened after many (at least four) rounds of prototypes over the previous year. We were confident that we took everything into account and finally able to pin down the peculiar OTD measurements.
- 04/01/2021: the bad news arrived. We received the supposedly end-product PCBs, put them to another test and decided that they still didn't meet the standards that we aimed for. To be specific, the PCB still didn't perfectly fit the original OTD plate, and assembling them altogether created some tension that resulted in a slight bow to the whole build. We couldn't accept it, especially considering that it could ruin the ultra rare (and expensive) original plates. We then decided to have another try.
- 04/14-23/2021: new sets of measurements came in and a new plate prototype put into production (for fit testing with the OG OTD PCB).
- 05/06/2021: new plate prototype came in and put into test. It was a much better fit than previous attempts. Switches came in nicely, but the (very) slight bow when everything put together still exists. This is potentially a non-issue when everything's assembled on a board, but it's very difficult to live with even the slightest chance that this imperfect replication on the PCB might put damage on a highly valued OG OTD Plate.
Latest plate prototype put together with the OG PCB
Switches fit nicely, but still a very slight bow
At this point, we have tried pretty much everything and are convinced that this is the closest we can come at having the right set of measurements after multiple attempts since early last year. We are thinking of ways to still offer positive outcomes for this GB, especially for people who intend to use both our PCB and Plate on a 360C, 456GT or 356.2, but it is clear right now that it won't have as a complete of an ending as we wanted.
The bottom line is, we cannot deliver the full range of what we set out initially, knowing that our offerings won't be at the standards we aspire to achieve. Following this statement, an email with a survey attached will be sent to all GB participants with the following options:
- Participants who intend to use the PCBs and Plates for the OTD 360C, OTD 456GT and OTD 356.2 can still choose to commit to the GB, as long as they plan to use both the PCBs and Plates made by Mechlovin' (as they will be modified for a perfect fit), instead of mixing and matching with the OG components.
- We do realise there are 360C, 456GT and 356.2 users who bought only the PCBs for use with the OG Plates. If they wish to purchase more Mechlovin'-made plates to match with our PCBs, they will be offered at discounted prices.
- 360C, 456GT and 356.2 owners, of course, can opt out of the GB and receive a full refund.
- Owners of any other OTD boards apart from those mentioned three boards will be issued a full refund, and the sincerest apologies from the team for not being able to deliver our promises. Although there's a good chance our Rouge PCBs will work on their OG plates, we simply can't take the risk of dealing with possible subsequent backlashes.
In the end, we choose not to prolong this project any further, and instead take a realistic approach and accept our (partial) defeat gracefully. The project files, of course, will be released after the rproduction units have been fulfilled, ideally with a detailed write-up. We have learnt an important and costly lesson, but the final outcome isn't necessarily all negative.
- We tried our best, but it wasn't enough.
- Rouge lineup will still be produced, but only intended for 360C, 456GT and 356.2 users (who choose to commit to the GB). The rest will be fully refunded.
- Files will be released for future development.