Since I started trying to get the price of the new controller down, I noticed that development became a lot slower. It takes a long time to find a cheap and good supplier and when you have found one, it takes some time to get the quality exactly the way I want. Often I even have to change the design to match the capabilities of the factory, leading to even longer lead times.
So last month I finally took the decision to move my stuff to a makerspace in Berlin called MotionLab (https://motionlab.berlin/en/). Here I will have access to a wide range of tools and machines, making it easier for me to quickly try new designs and maybe even produce some of the parts myself.
So from next week on I will have my own desk in one of the offices and will hopefully speed up the prototyping process. I already did a course to operate the CNC machine but MotionLab also has laser engraving machines, PCB mills and many more machines. I’m really looking forward to working there 🙂
So, having said that, here’s a quick update on the progress.
Currently, I’m working with two factories in China to manufacture the panels and the knobs. The rotary knobs have been approved by me and production will start soon.
The panel still needs some work; there’s a lot to take care of. For instance the exact alignment of the print/engraving (which I might do myself since I will have access to a laser engraver). This will also give me the possibility to create custom engraving on the controllers!
This week I will also check all the offers for the slider knobs. This will be the last of the (non-electronic) parts that need to be produced.
Meanwhile I’m also developing and testing the PCB and software. I made some big changes to the hardware design to support MIDI DIN plugs.
I will hopefully finish the new prototype end of August. After that, I will accept preorders and will start producing!