Author Topic: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - GB starting Friday 6.4  (Read 33008 times)

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Offline Patrickwu

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Ladies and gentlemen, this is Patrick, owner and designer of NEO Keys (NEO Keys Discord, NEO Keys Instagram). I am honored to present you NEO Keys third project, Element G67.
 
It is a machined alloy, gasket mounted, seamless, minimalist design, compact size, slim bezel, low stack height and budget friendly custom mechanical keyboard kit.
NEO Element started from the idea of designing a board that expresses nothing but its true form, bears no identity but the geometry and texture of material, without the burden of symbolism of concept or representation of individual. It is elegant, easy to build, amazing to type on, and most important affordable.
The project has been going on for almost a year. I've built 6 engineering prototypes and a test bench to experiment different design ideas, acquire test data and test different surface finish. Most of its design has been finalized, but some decisions are better left for users. So here is the IC Form.



Featuring:
Precisely calibrated gasket hardness and compression rate for optimal typing sound and feel
Completely seamless case design for visual integrity
Light chamfer and round corners on top and bottom case for a little bit of warmth
Straight lines, slim bezels (7.6mm front and rear, 3.6mm sides), low front height (17mm), clean, simple, compact and comfy wrist angle
Case exterior has no logo, no engraving, no laser etching, no badge
Interior tool path is designed to be as simple as possible to shave off manufacturing time and cost
Case material available in aluminum, brass and stainless steel; switch plate material available in carbon fiber and brass
Custom Cerakote ceramic coating finish option available for ultimate durability

Case specs:
Dimensions:313*111*17mm front/30mm rear
Element G67 Aluminum top and bottom case, sandblasted and anodized. $260-280
Element Plus G67 Aluminum top, sandblasted and Cerakoted, full brass bottom, zircon-blasted* and nano-coated**. $420-450
Element Ultimate G67 Stainless steel top and bottom case, brushed exterior, zircon-blasted interior, both nano-coated. $650-700
*If you're not familiar with zircon-blasting, it's a type of sandblasting. Instead of sand or glass bead, zircon is used. It provides ultra fine fininsh and smooth touch. It's the same type of finish as Iphone6 back plate and some Macbook Pro cases.
**Nano coating is a few nm thick and practically invisible. It retains the raw texture and color of treated metal surface and protects it from oxidation and grease. It's awesome.

Element has one of the lowest stack height and smallest bezels on the market. Here are some external dimensions.


Switch plate comes in 2 layout and 2 material options: brass and carbon fiber (so far)
ANSI:ISO:

PCB:
Soldered and Hotswap versions will both be offered. QMK and VIA support.
Unified daughter board with 17cm JST cable.
Screw in stabs only

If you are in my discord serveral or following my Instagram, you probably already know this. But anyway, here is some background story of how the board was developed. To find out what's the best gasket material, thickness, compression ratio to use, I designed and built a test bench, which is basically an open frame gasket keyboard with adjustable compression ratio. Open frame design and thumb screws allow me to micro adjust compression distance by increments of 0.2mm. I was able to use different gasket material in different hardness and thickness, compressed by different amount of distance. After several weeks of fine tuning and testing I found my favorite combination and used it in final design.


Some renders:






And I may or may not do a machined aluminum + carbon fiber or PC wrist rest, depending on how IC results go. Feel free to leave comments.




Samples pics and build streams will be available soon. Stay tuned to NEO Keys discord, MechMerlin, Taeha, Alexotos and Andy Nugyen's twitch/YT channels and social media!

Andy V Nguyen's Build Stream
Andy V Nguyen's Type Test
Andy V Nguyen's Full Length Review
MechMerlin's Build Stream
Alexoto's Build Stream
Taeha's Build Stream
« Last Edit: Wed, 02 June 2021, 02:45:42 by Patrickwu »
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline soloplayer

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 11:45:46 »
holy **** Patrick you're mad lad indeed
i'm in!! already filled the form
please have Fr4 plate. many thanks

Offline kk73715

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 11:49:51 »
Please show more photos of the finishes/textures created by the various blasting media. Very interesting, would like to learn more.

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 12:14:31 »
Im a terrible photographer so I decided to leave the job to build streamers.
MechMerlin will build a sample with zircon blasted brass bottom. Taeha will build one with zircon blasted and brushed stainless steel.
Ill post links here when available.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline AstralYT

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 12:42:32 »
Been waiting since forever. Very interested in stainless steel version. Also, which streamer will be building aluminum version?

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Offline rokon07

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 13:11:01 »
looking forward to seeing prototypes with different finishes. I do like the carbon fiber wrist-rest.
Keycult 1/60 Rev.1|KL90

Offline ShiroMoria

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 14:12:38 »
That test bench is what passion looks like, hell to the yeah that ill be keeping my eyes on this this project.

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Offline Rotwitt

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 15:30:46 »
Looks great. Im a huge fan of the methodology. GL!


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Offline lush_bunny

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 16:21:15 »
I must applaud your use of the workbench, way to chase accuracy and precision.
Does cerakote come in mirror finishes?

GLWIC!

Offline Zeelobby

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 16:52:04 »
Those internals are definitely interesting.

Offline tex_live_utility

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 16:53:47 »
I love the effort going into this.

Would a full stainless steel case run the risk of sounding less good than the aluminum + brass combo?

And wouldn't the aluminum-base wrist rest possibly be a scratch risk if it bumps against the keyboard?

And will a plate file be published after the GB? That might help take pressure off you to try and keep everyone happy with 100 different plate options during the group buy. Open-source PCB would also be nice in the event that someone's PCB dies and they can't find a replacement aftermarket.
Discord: salt rock lamp#0679 | Reddit: /u/nerdponx | Deskthority: autoload -Uz | Keebtalk: salt_rock_lamp
Twitch: salt_rock_lamp | YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd7YXZjilUutJ6ShZWrvQtg | Instagram: @salt_rock_keyboards


Offline Chippy

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 16:59:09 »
That test bench is pretty cool, looks interesting man.
This and the swiss cheese keyboard is the next generation of keyboards

Offline hello21

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 21:53:39 »
This man is a monster, working through on point group buys like a breeze.
Respect all your work! Tbh I would have loved a cerakote alu top - mirror-polished SS bottom version, but still looking forward to how the SS version turns out.
« Last Edit: Wed, 14 April 2021, 22:19:45 by hello21 »

Offline finalarcadia

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 22:41:51 »
Interested in how steel version turns out. Would've maybe preferred blasted for steel as well though.

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Offline mr_fro2000

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 22:58:16 »
Very interested in this... having a test bench like this is a great idea... appreciate the effort!  Will definitely be keeping an eye out on this!


Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 23:14:53 »
Does cerakote come in mirror finishes?
Yes but It does need the surface polished prior to painting., which is too expensive for this project..

NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 14 April 2021, 23:22:47 »
I love the effort going into this.

Would a full stainless steel case run the risk of sounding less good than the aluminum + brass combo?

And wouldn't the aluminum-base wrist rest possibly be a scratch risk if it bumps against the keyboard?

And will a plate file be published after the GB? That might help take pressure off you to try and keep everyone happy with 100 different plate options during the group buy. Open-source PCB would also be nice in the event that someone's PCB dies and they can't find a replacement aftermarket.

Actually I haven't personally tested stainless steel version. Taeha will answer that question in another week or so.
Front of the case and back of wrist rest is vertical. I dont think there would be much impact and scratching.
Yes will publish plate file after GB. I will have plenty of stock on PCB though.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 15 April 2021, 01:17:34 »
Tbh I would have loved a cerakote alu top - mirror-polished SS bottom version, but still looking forward to how the SS version turns out.

I will definitely test polish finish when i have the budget and time. Probably for Element TKL
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 16 April 2021, 05:13:44 »
I'm getting a lot of request for Cerakote color Crushed Orchid and very little love for Prison Pink.
Pretty sure I will replace the color in offical GB.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline sup3r170va

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #19 on: Sun, 18 April 2021, 07:36:14 »
Cool board. Im in for the element plus. I hope u consider a copper base instead though. Copper as a colour looks sharper than brass.

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket alu/brass/stainless steel 65%
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 19 April 2021, 06:11:34 »
Cool board. Im in for the element plus. I hope u consider a copper base instead though. Copper as a colour looks sharper than brass.
Thank you. I will consider that for the next machine alloy board project.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline HappyB0T

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #21 on: Mon, 19 April 2021, 21:48:04 »
+1 looks great!@

Offline adsfqwer

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 20 April 2021, 19:29:29 »
The stainless steel looks absolutely badass. Are the chamfers polished?

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Offline Extinkt

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 20 April 2021, 22:29:09 »
I ordered the Palette Carbon G67 and would be interested in this one too, especially the wrist rest to go with the Palette.

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 20 April 2021, 22:54:19 »
The stainless steel looks absolutely badass. Are the chamfers polished?

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Diamond polished chamfer + hybrid polished plain surface is the plan.
However polished chamfer needs a custom made machining clamp which costs a fortune, I didnt do it on the sample.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline AMZ

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 20 April 2021, 23:59:52 »
God! This is so sick  :eek:

When the GB will start to run?

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #26 on: Wed, 21 April 2021, 01:34:15 »
God! This is so sick  :eek:

When the GB will start to run?
within another month i think.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline azzipa

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 22 April 2021, 20:30:06 »
i really appreciate your attention to detail and straightforward approach. the board is honest in its intent. and your passion as a designer and a maker comes through loud and clear. i hope you have much success with this effort and whatever follows (tungsten, really?). so sweet!   :thumb:

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Build sream link up
« Reply #28 on: Fri, 23 April 2021, 05:25:18 »
i really appreciate your attention to detail and straightforward approach. the board is honest in its intent. and your passion as a designer and a maker comes through loud and clear. i hope you have much success with this effort and whatever follows (tungsten, really?). so sweet!   :thumb:

THANK YOU!
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline UGunaLOSE

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Sound test link up
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 26 April 2021, 07:51:26 »
Absolutely love the design for the gasket (SOOOOO cool) and the sound test is awesome. GLWIC!!!!

Offline Patrickwu

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Alexotos will be streaming a crimson Element build this Sunday and hosting a giveaway. Stay tuned:https://www.twitch.tv/alexotos!!
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Alexotos' Stream Up!
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 10 May 2021, 01:47:02 »
Alexoto's build stream link is updated!
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Alexotos' Stream Up!
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 15 May 2021, 04:38:14 »
Hotswap version PCB will be offered as well.
Sample PCB made and tested.
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Patrickwu

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NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline azzipa

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Andy's Full Revew Up!
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 19 May 2021, 11:15:38 »
Andy V Nguyen's Full Length Review is up!

that is a very balanced review, pointing out positives (seamless design, low 17mm front height, consistent feel, sound, plate options, even anodizing, and more!) and negatives that will be corrected for production version. it's also clear the anodized version is very cost competitive while other finish options are also available. i was surprised he didn't point out the rounded/chamfered corners which really set this design apart. nice work!

Offline loop | esc lab

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Andy's Full Revew Up!
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 19 May 2021, 15:45:20 »
Andy V Nguyen's Full Length Review is up!
That looks really good and the price is super reasonable

Definitely getting this because I can't get the Vega lol

Offline Patrickwu

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NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Voaraq

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SOLD, 1 x yellow Neo Element G67 to me.

Offline Patrickwu

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - Taeha's Build Stream Up!
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 02 June 2021, 02:43:35 »
SOLD, 1 x yellow Neo Element G67 to me.
Thank you!
NEO Element G67 Kit Groupbuy

Offline Lavithz

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - GB starting Friday 6.4
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 08 June 2021, 21:46:39 »
i wonder about the pcb and plate. where do i choose that in the steel version. i want a small left shift so it must be Variable ISO. and i want hotswap with brass plate.

Offline RaveOnDiscord

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - GB starting Friday 6.4
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 09 June 2021, 01:41:56 »
i wonder about the pcb and plate. where do i choose that in the steel version. i want a small left shift so it must be Variable ISO. and i want hotswap with brass plate.

The hotswap variant of the board is a fixed ANSI layout. To be able to run an ISO layout on this board, you'll have to take the solder PCB.

Offline Lavithz

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - GB starting Friday 6.4
« Reply #42 on: Thu, 10 June 2021, 21:30:46 »
I bought the Brushed Steel! What keycaps do you guys think will look good. I Love THE ink v2 yellow, is there any upgrade to the v2 in sound and feeling?

Offline vicious7

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Re: [IC] NEO Element G67 - A minimal gasket 65% - GB starting Friday 6.4
« Reply #43 on: Sat, 14 August 2021, 11:44:23 »
Looking forward to building my new Abyss Element G67.

I shoulda ordered the wrist rest too, but I'm dumb.