Author Topic: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard | Color Poll!  (Read 27591 times)

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Offline NathanAlphaMan

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[IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard | Color Poll!
« on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:41:37 »
Evolv
Designed By Alpha Studio



Embodying the struggle between form and function



The Arrows



Beginning with the layout, the Evolv opts for a 1.5u right shift over the 1.75u shift widespread in blocked 75 layouts.
By doing so, the arrows line up neatly with the right mods, allowing for a continuous .25u bezel.

The Rotary Joystick



In the upper-right corner of the board, utility wins the battle over aesthetics.
No badges or logos; instead, the Evolv features a design evolution to the knob: the rotary joystick.
With users able to assign macros to nine unique positions* and rotation, the Evolv packs functionality in a small space.

The Back



A teaser to what's inside the board, the bottom piece of the keyboard is a stunning visual accent.
Created through a process known as generative design, the Evolv can support a truck without breaking, all while looking fantastic.

The Plate



Generative design for aesthetics is cool.
Generative design for function is even cooler.
The Evolv's integrated plate is designed to flex evenly on every keypress, creating a wholly unique typing experience.
This bold design choice comes with the added benefit of being able to swap stabs without desoldering.

The Assembly



To top off the design, the Evolv features no visible seams or screws once assembled.

The Specs



Angle: 7.5°
Material: 7075 Aluminum + 3D Printed AlSi10Mg
Colors: What you see is what you get, as this is my first keyboard I'd prefer to have one option for simplicity's sake
Plate: Integrated, with a thin layer of foam to normalize flex
PCB: Custom designed flexible PCB to complement the plate. Solderable, QMK, VIA, integrated USB-C port.
Weight: ~3Kg
Price: A large number
Layouts supported:

Due to the nature of the plate, this is the only supported layout.

Color Poll

https://forms.gle/LsNMxyGZSu8bW1nW8

Black + Raw



White + Raw



Black + Gold



White + Gold



Render Gallery














More








I'm taking render requests! Wanna see your keyset on the Evolv? DM me on discord and we can get it done!

Social



Acknowledgements

LBaron, this board wouldn't exist without him. From the minor details to the design of the plate, he was always there to provide invaluable feedback
Fropsie, dude's just a bro. Go and buy the Godspeed75.
Abec13, for teaching me how to render
The Top Clack Community. Love you guys <2

Update History

2/4/20 - IC Launch




Notes:

*: The nine unique positions for the rotary joystick are (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW, and pushed down)
**: Handarbeit layouts are not possible due to the lack of 1.5u shift key
« Last Edit: Tue, 11 February 2020, 13:19:12 by NathanAlphaMan »

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:41:58 »
FAQ

Why a blocked 75%?

Taking inspiration from the satisfaction75 and the 7V, the Evolv crams the functionality of a TKL into a significantly more compact space. Furthermore, by separating the F-row, arrows, and column from the alphas, the Evolv not eases your ability to navigate it, but also provides a much needed visual relief to what would otherwise be a block of keys.

You didn't touch on the 1.5u shift

I love blocked arrows; from both an aesthetic and functionality perspective, they make the board better. However, I've always disliked how blocked arrows don't quite line up with the right modifier keys, in turn forcing an awkward gap to exist somewhere. As such, the 1.5u shift and the 13u bottom row are a compromise: aesthetically, the arrows line-up and the .25u bezel is maintained, while functionally, the Evolv can fit the fourth key into what is typically a three key column on blocked 75s.

How about 2u left shift since so many keysets are missing 1.5u shift?

Incorrect stagger is much worse than a wrong legend, in my opinion. Hopefully, making this bold design decision will make other 75% designers follow suit, and at the very least, I know any keyset I release in the future will include the key.

Can I get options on the plate for ISO/ Split Backspace/ 2u left shift?

Again, due to the complexity of generating plates, there will only be one layout available for the keyboard. If someone who has experience in the generative design field, upon reading the write-up, has an idea for how to include plate options, please message me so that we can work together on making the Evolv for everyone.

Hotswap?

No. The Evolv is a premium board at a premium price. Hotswap would detract from the typing experience that you're paying for.

RGB?

No.

Why integrated?

Read below.

The Plate Design Process

Quick disclaimer since I don't have a better place to put this: The plate is still a work in progress, I had 50+ iterations pre-IC and assume I will have 50+ more throughout IC. On iterations where I think I've made a significant breakthrough, I'll update the plate render to show off my progress.

Why?

Because, why not? We've had a lot of innovation in plate mounting over the past few years, but little innovation in regards to the plate itself. The first time I read the Iron165 IC, my jaw hit the floor. "Here were two people pushing plate design so much further than anyone will ever feel. Why? Because they can." I thought to myself. From then on, I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Building off of the work LBaron did for the Iron165, the Evolv pushes his ideas to the extreme to see just where keyboards can go.

What is Generative Design?

Generative design is an evolutionary approach to part creation. The process allows engineers to input design goals and constraints, along with materials and manufacturing methods. Then using AI and the power of the cloud, the algorithm explores all possible combinations of a solution, returning those that best meet the design constraints of the problem.

Wow that was a lot of buzzwords, how do you apply it to keyboards?

The first thing we need to do as designers is to shift our mindset to comply with principles required by generative design. The process generates brackets; therefore, we need to think of the plate not as a general mounting surface, but as a way to connect each switch to the keyboard, boiling it down to the critical essentials: mounting constraints and the 1mm surrounding a switch cut-out.



As you can see, the large green area represents everything constrained by the case, with the floating cut-outs representing where the switches click into. When I first approached the generative problem, I did so incorrectly, assuming that a single material study was the only way the solver could work, and forcing me to choose to use an integrated plate. Fortunately, and unfortunately for me, I realized this was wrong. The generative design process can be applied to anything from a bottom-mount to a full isolation mount, and it's just a question of correctly setting constraints. As such, I'm in the process of getting prototypes of a generated plate for a few boards I have on my desk. ETA for comparison videos between the standard plate and the generated plate is mid to late March.

Next, you need to tell the generative algorithm not to mess with areas you don't want it to mess with — namely, the inside of the switch cut-outs and mounting points for stabs.



As mentioned, setting the constraint was a relatively simple task. Since the Evolv's plate is integrated, I simply need to make the outer frame a static element. For top-mount and gasket boards, mounting tabs would be the constrained element.

Configuring loading conditions is a simple yet tedious task. For the Evolv, there are 167 loading cases: 83 (one per switch) at the "correct" force per switch, 83 (one per switch) at 40N to ensure assembly won't destroy the plate, and 1 with all switches depressed at the same time at 2N.

*Correct force per switch: Mods are pressed harder than alphas. Alphas in the center are pressed harder than alphas around the perimeter of the board.

Now comes the annoying bit, and the part that, if possible, I would like to rework. Despite the 100s of emails I exchanged with professors, companies, and researches, there is no way as of right now to generate plates with the design objective of optimizing plane elasticity. I spent a long time trying to write the code myself, but doing so would've been a Ph.D. dissertation. Instead, you need to settle for the next best compromise: minimizing the weight of the plate with a deformation constraint at each switch.

Once loads and constraints are configured, it's a simple matter of creating manufacturing constraints and choosing how many materials to test. Of the 20+ materials I checked for the plate, 7075 consistently returned the best results for both typing consistency and strength.

The verification process

Verification of plate flex was done using no-penetration static simulations. Mock nylon switches were placed into the switch cut-outs and loaded individually to measure the total displacement during each loading condition. The theory behind this is the same as in the Iron165 IC, so I'll summarize the results below.

The current plate of the Evolv has issues with keys on the edge of the alpha cluster (Q, A, Z, }], "', ?/ ). I prefer to be transparent about this as I have no reason to hide that my generation process isn't perfect yet. Again, the Evolv's plate is constantly evolving :p, and you'll see it change throughout the IC. Anyway, those six switches are HUGE outliers in terms of displacement compared to the rest of the alpha cluster. However, if those six switches are removed from calculations, the Evolv averages .15mm of displacement per key switch with a .001mm standard deviation.

For your visual amusement, here are three selected keypresses:







A request from me to you

A part of the reason why I decided to call the plate good enough and post the IC for Evolv was that I started hitting a wall with where to progress from here. Please read through this write-up carefully and see if there are any holes in it or any details I forgot to cover. For the missed details, I will write in a blurb. For the holes, I'll modify my workflow and re-generate the plate.
« Last Edit: Thu, 06 February 2020, 09:01:00 by NathanAlphaMan »

Offline fropsie

  • Posts: 32
Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:42:50 »
Best board I've ever seen hands down. Big love :)
My hype for this is beyond anything else

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:44:16 »
this thing is wild

Offline Airea

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Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:44:46 »
Hype hype hype

Offline steezkeez

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Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:45:53 »
Design looks superb, like a fancy Satisfaction75. The integrated plate implementation also looks interesting.

Offline Langelandia

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:46:19 »
Excellent

Offline wouldworks

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:46:50 »
How do you intend to produce that bottom piece?

Offline Warrenified

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:47:17 »
Looks awesome! That bottom is wild, haha. I imagine that would be difficult to machine?

Offline Rejeckted

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:47:44 »
Wow ill be following closely

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:50:01 »
Looks awesome! That bottom is wild, haha. I imagine that would be difficult to machine?

How do you intend to produce that bottom piece?

The bottom is 3d printed out of AlSi10Mg

Offline Agilr

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:50:51 »
That bottom piece is simply sublime

Saw the teasers, staying for the GB :thumb:

Offline Rilow

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:50:59 »
Yes! Looking amazing. Definitely in.

Offline SantiGo

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:52:12 »
Satisfaction 75😉

Offline lbaron

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:52:48 »
Looks awesome! That bottom is wild, haha. I imagine that would be difficult to machine?

It’ll be produced through additive manufacturing (3d metal sintering). So like 3d printing but with metal. Generative design allows for things traditional subtractive design never could do.

Offline Fnzzy

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Re: [IC] Evolv
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 16:53:14 »
Sick bottom design. Good luck!
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Offline mrboli

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #16 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:02:37 »
Wow, very innovative from what I've seen thus far.

Is there expected flex in the plate due to it's structure?

How will it affect sound if the bottom is open and a (can I say) lattice structure?

Are there multiple rotary dial options?
KBD67 Zealios V2 65g | HHKB Pro 2 | Filco TKL MX Black | Razer BlackWidow

Offline The_Koi

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #17 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:02:54 »
Absolute stunner, I'm gonna need to get on this for sure.

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #18 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:06:47 »
Wow, very innovative from what I've seen thus far.

Is there expected flex in the plate due to it's structure?

Yup, that's the point! Every switch complies ~10N/mm. More details in the write-up tomorrow

How will it affect sound if the bottom is open and a (can I say) lattice structure?

There's a thin layer of foam that acts to both normalize flex and help the sound. I'm having test plates machined for a few boards I have and will post a sound comparison as soon as that's done

Are there multiple rotary dial options?

For now, there is only one

Offline ab042896

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:07:01 »
All aboooard  :eek:

Offline Helpingly

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:07:16 »
Your choice of plate is very interesting, definitely something we haven't seen thus far. Will keeping my out on this.
 

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:08:53 »
I would be really worried about the plate bending just from normal use since it seems to be so thin.
Has there been any tests done with it?

Offline Zeelobby

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:08:58 »
All aboard the hype train. Toot toot!

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:14:02 »
I would be really worried about the plate bending just from normal use since it seems to be so thin.
Has there been any tests done with it?

I'll talk about this more in the plate write-up, however static stress analysis of the plate hasn't given me any reason to worry about plate life. The plate is also the normal 1.5mm, so no thinner than any other keyboard.

I've done some basic testing with laser cut materials that have shown to be promising, alu protos will follow shortly.

Offline twistitup

  • Posts: 6
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:14:51 »
Wow, that's definitely something we haven't seen before. It will really stand out among the sea of box shaped keyboards we're used to.

Keeping an eye out for this!

Offline SwitchKeys

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:16:06 »
Wow

Offline Ahrimofnor

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #26 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:20:00 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Offline frostfiree

  • Posts: 40
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #27 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:20:47 »
Definitely an interesting board, will be following for more updates on pricing and samples!
M65-A | Jane V2 | Jane V2 CE | Thermal | Lubrigante | FC660C | HHKB

Offline travwal

  • Posts: 29
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #28 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:28:20 »
This is crazy in all the best ways. Excited to see more details and prototypes!

Offline RaySasQuach

  • Posts: 105
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:33:27 »
Just when I was looking for a board for either Camping R2 or Shoko R2, I see this, perfect.


Offline ilikerustoo

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #30 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:36:26 »
Super cool

Offline Gajible

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #31 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:38:12 »
Damn it, I want it!

Offline TheSonu

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:43:54 »
Looks really good!  Good luck!

Offline djmantis

  • Posts: 24
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #33 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:45:26 »
This looks really interesting! Is the bottom "3D Printed AlSi10Mg" material?

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:50:01 »
This looks really interesting! Is the bottom "3D Printed AlSi10Mg" material?

Correct, yes

Offline MajorKoos

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 17:58:35 »
First Ursa and now this?
Dude, you're on a roll.

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:06:16 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Unfortunately not:

https://imgur.com/BGeH9Wu

Offline Ahrimofnor

  • Posts: 23
  • Location: San Diego, California
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:12:32 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Unfortunately not:

https://imgur.com/BGeH9Wu

Hmmmm okay.

Thanks for the animation!

Offline NathanAlphaMan

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 101
  • Location: Lake Tahoe
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:13:54 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Unfortunately not:

https://imgur.com/BGeH9Wu

Hmmmm okay.

Thanks for the animation!

No problem! Sorry for the poor quality, threw it together really quickly. If I can find a rotary joystick that has lateral functionality, I will switch to it with no hesitation.

Offline YellowHalo

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:20:02 »
This looks beautiful. I'm not a fan of the 1.5u right shift, though. Maybe you can consider shifting the bottom row to the left so you can use 2u left shift?

Offline Abec13

  • Posts: 216
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:24:18 »
This looks beautiful. I'm not a fan of the 1.5u right shift, though. Maybe you can consider shifting the bottom row to the left so you can use 2u left shift?

Easy solve: buy 1.5u novelties for whatever set.

Just when I was looking for a board for either Camping R2 or Shoko R2, I see this, perfect.

Speaking of.. WHEN IS THAT R2
45-ATS | KBD19X | Volcano 660 PC | Think 6.5 | Iron 165 SE
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Offline rondg

  • Posts: 423
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:24:50 »
This looks beautiful. I'm not a fan of the 1.5u right shift, though. Maybe you can consider shifting the bottom row to the left so you can use 2u left shift?

I did not notice this at first! Though admittedly, I am not mad at the idea..

Offline rkarp

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:43:34 »
Very nice. Very interested.

Offline digital_nothing

  • Posts: 53
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 18:55:15 »
Seeing as this will seemingly be fairly expensive, I can only say that this looks incredible and I wish I could afford one. :) Good luck.

Offline Ahrimofnor

  • Posts: 23
  • Location: San Diego, California
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:00:13 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Unfortunately not:

https://imgur.com/BGeH9Wu

Hmmmm okay.

Thanks for the animation!

No problem! Sorry for the poor quality, threw it together really quickly. If I can find a rotary joystick that has lateral functionality, I will switch to it with no hesitation.

Do you have a feel for the know diam/ height as pictured & max allowable diam/height?

Offline rennzz

  • Posts: 1
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:01:21 »
im in

Offline Zeelobby

  • Posts: 383
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #46 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:05:04 »
Seeing as this will seemingly be fairly expensive, I can only say that this looks incredible and I wish I could afford one. :) Good luck.
Haha. Right? I'll follow along for the experience, but there's no way I'll be able to afford this.

Offline NathanAlphaMan

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Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #47 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:05:58 »
This thing is nuts. Insane Hype.

 I dont wanna think about how much dust will get caught on top of that space frame looking thing down below.

Regarding the knob on top of the board, are you getting the additional functionality from in-plane translation of the knob or rotation of the knob about the depth axis of the keyboard? It would be so slick if I could push it horizontally/vertically without it rotating out of plane.

Unfortunately not:

https://imgur.com/BGeH9Wu

Hmmmm okay.

Thanks for the animation!

No problem! Sorry for the poor quality, threw it together really quickly. If I can find a rotary joystick that has lateral functionality, I will switch to it with no hesitation.

Do you have a feel for the know diam/ height as pictured & max allowable diam/height?

DM Me

Offline 002 DC

  • Posts: 34
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #48 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:23:08 »
giving godspeed 75 a run for it's money

Offline Zeelobby

  • Posts: 383
Re: [IC] Evolv - 75% Keyboard
« Reply #49 on: Tue, 04 February 2020, 19:23:55 »
giving godspeed 75 a run for it's money
More likely on Sat75 levels.