[GB] SKB75 / SKB65 / SKB60 (invoices out, payment phase extended)

Hi everyone,

after a long IC phase I'm finally starting the GroupBuy for my custom case. I don't want to write a lot about concept, construction, design and features, since I already did this quite extensively in the IC opening post and throughout the discussion there. I'll summarize, do some c&p and add what's necessary.

2018.10.13: making up for the missing ones on reddit

2018.10.08: 60WKL & 75 samples arrived, see teaser pics here and boradwalk version support announced

2018.09.11: payment phase extended until beginning of Oktober in order to compensate for those who don't pay. Awaiting 60WKL & 75 samples, they should help to convince a few more to join and get to the expected number.

2018.09.06: payment status update, many still missing, link to post.

2018.08.07: participants should check their spam folder. info email was sent out a few days ago. Invoices are out now. Orders are still accepted until the end of payment phase, beginning of September.


TL;DR

This is a GB for a high profile, top-mount, custom keyboard case. It is made of thick, bent aluminium. The surface is bead blasted and black anodized. The plate is black galvanized steel. You can choose between different 60% versions (Standard, Winkeyless, HHKB and YAS) as well as a 65% and a 75% version. You just get the case, plate and accessories like screws but no PCB (except for the YAS version, there you can order the case with the PCB if you like). All popular 60%, 65% and 75% PCBs are supported. It is made in Germany. Shipping world wide.

Features:
  • 75%, 65% and 60% (Standard, Winkeyless, HHKB, YAS and Ortholinear)
  • high-profile (2mm above lower edge of caps)
  • top-mount
  • height adjustability (6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 degrees)
  • case material: 3 mm 2 mm thick aluminium
  • case finish: bead blasted and anodized, black
  • plate material: 1.5 mm steel
  • plate finish: black galvanized
  • supports most PCBs and fancy layouts like split spacebar

SKBXX GB ORDER FORM

Image Image Image Image Image

More pictures and video:

About this case
Spoiler:
You can find a lot of custom keyboard cases here. They are CNC milled, which is awesome but quite expensive as well. I wanted to provide an alternative that gives you all the benefits of a solid aluminium keyboard but for a considerably lower price. So instead of milling the parts of the keyboard from a block, I decided to go for laser cutting and bending thick sheets.

The design is simple. The decision for a material thickness of 3mm 2mm in combination with the plate mounting method and the bolts piercing through the frame lead to a pretty wide frame. The sides overlapping at the edges is a deliberate choice which should emphasize on the method of folding, rather then trying to hide it. It also exposes the thickness of the material. Some of you described it as "brutalist", "utilitarian" or "industrial" - all undeniable true in some way.

I like to view it as a robust and reliable, everyday tool with a focus on typing experience and ergonomics.

I want to point out a few things I had in mind when designing this case:
  • At first, I wanted it to be a simple implementation of a top-mount case, cause IMHO top-mount is best-mount :)
  • Secondly, the first and lowest or "initial" key row should be as low as possible. This is illustrated in one of the pictures down below.
  • Thirdly, height adjustability. We prefer our keyboard at a certain angle but not everybody likes the same. So I wanted height adjustability to be an integral part of the design. You can choose between different angles: 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 degrees.
  • Though the first prototype wasn't a high profile case, the initial feedback I got, plus the IC made it obvious, that it would have to be a high profile case. After making that decision, I wanted it to be a "really" high profile case, much like old keyboards. This means the bezel doesn't level with the lower edge of a cherry-profile keycap, instead it exceeds it by roughly 2mm (1,9mm measured in CAD). In other words, keycaps sink 2 mm deep into the frame.
  • No branding, nowhere, nothing.

01 SKB60-explosion.jpg
02 SKB60-angles.jpg
03 SKB60-height.png


You can find much more information about the whole process and how we got here, by taking a look at the IC thread.



PCBs, plates and layouts
Any of the popular PCBs with the USB port on the left side will fit. Don't bother about screw-hole positions on the PCB, this is totally irrelevant in this case because it is a top-mount construction, not a tray-mount.

For the 60% there is plate A that supports most popular layouts including split spacebar. The YAS PCB gets its own plate. 65% 75% each have one plate, both support split spacebar as well.

Especially providing an option for the YAS62 - a project that I really like - was important to me. I have two of these PCBs and can't wait to finally put them to use. Silentreader still has some PCBs left that you can get, just PM him. The YAS PCBs will be sent to me. In the order form you have the option to add the YAS PCB to your order to get it from me together with the case. Price is 37€.

The plate does not support switch-top removal or alps switches. Yes, I probably could have convinced some more by offering those, but I made this decision because I wanted the plate to have as much mass as possible and the switches to fit tightly. Just lube your switches before you put them in ;)
All plates are ANSI/ISO unified and only support Cherry PCB mount stabilizers.

UPDATE:
I have added another plate option to choose from. Now SKB60 is available with an ortholinear plate, which support the XD75 PCB for example.

UPDATE 2:
Small plate updates regarding split spacebar support. SKB65 now available as well. Dropped one layout -> YAS now has it's own, dedicated plate.

updated plates/layouts on imgur

Dimensions and weight
Spoiler:
SKB60:
Width: 313 mm
Depth: 123 mm
Height (center point of keycap top at lowest row): ~ 26 mm
Height (rear edge at 6 degree): 31 mm
Height (rear edge at 14 degree): 45 mm
Weight (complete build): 0.85 kg

SKB75:
Width: 332 mm
Depth: 142 mm
Height (center point of keycap top at lowest row): ~ 26 mm
Height (rear edge at 6 degree): 33 mm
Height (rear edge at 14 degree): 50 mm
Weight (complete build, estimate): ~ 1.2 kg

(all height values measured without rubber feet)


What you get
Spoiler:
Top & Bottom:
  • 2 mm thick aluminium
  • LASER cut and bent
  • bead blasted and anodized, black

Plate:
  • 1.5 mm thick steel
  • galvanized black

Accessories:
  • 12x button head screws (M3x12)
  • 12x low head screws (M3x12)
  • 12x nuts
  • 8x standoffs
  • 4x washers
  • 4x rubber feet
SKB60_sample_parts.jpg


Nit-picking
Spoiler:
I think most of the following is obvious, but I think it is important to be 100 percent honest about all details:
  • Height adjustment is not quick like flipp out feet. You have to unscrew two and loosen two more screws on the sides in order to adjust the height.
  • There are a few mini-USB cables that have a pretty bulky head. The top left screw is positioned right above the USB port and if you happen to have a bulky plug, then it might interfere slightly with the screw inside the case. Not a big deal, I just sliced a bit off the plug and then it did fit perfectly fine. I now this since the first prototype but I didn't want to change the screw position, since I think it's perfect and slicing isn't a big deal. Some cables fit right away, some need the slice.
  • The position of the USB port differs slightly on some PCBs. Depending on your PCB, the plug might not be perfectly centered in the cutout, but of course it will always fit.
  • There are PCBs like the EEPW84 which have a little controller board (Kimera core) soldered on in the lowest row. This component might touch the bottom of the case. Because of that a PCB like this might not work at the lowest 6 degree angle (probably works but I can't confirm). Angles above 6 degree won't be any problem.


Made in Germany
Spoiler:
I live in Germany and here we have plenty of companies that specialize in this kind of metalworking. I have designed parts which are laser cut and bent before and was always very satisfied with the result I got from the local companies.
I trust them, communication is smooth and they deliver quickly.


Pricing
Spoiler:
at 40+ units:
  • all 60% (SKB60) versions cost 148€
  • the 75% (SKB75) version costs 168€

at 70+ units:
  • all 60% (SKB60) versions cost 136€
  • the 75% (SKB75) version costs 154€

at 100+ units:
  • all 60% (SKB60) versions cost 128€
  • the 65% (SKB65) version costs 136€
  • the 75% (SKB75) version costs 145€

at 170+ units:
  • all 60% (SKB60) versions cost 115 Euro
  • the 65% (SKB65) version costs 125 Euro
  • the 75% (SKB75) version costs 135 Euro

Extra plate is 20€.

PayPal fee and shipping will be added
MOQ = 40 (all versions have reached MOQ, they will all be made!)


Shipping
Spoiler:
I will ship with DHL. Here you can find a detailed price table for international shipping from Germany.

Destination Option 1 Option 2
Germany 6€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 500€
7€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
Europe
(including the UK)
15€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 500€
17€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
International
(most countries including USA)
21€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 50€
38€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€
International
(some countries like Australia and Japan)
21€
tracking
weight up to 2kg
insured up to 50€
47€
tracking
weight up to 5kg
insured up to 500€


UPDATE, added new shipping option:
15€ international shipping, fits up to one SKB, tracked, insured up to 100€


Timeline

  • GB start (2018.04.10)
  • collecting orders via form (2018.04.10 - end of payment phase)
  • payment phase (2018.08.04 - 2018.11)
  • placing the order (2018.10.20)
  • production (~ 1 Months)
  • shipping ~ November 2018
  • GB concluded ~ December
( grey = past / red = present / blue = future )


Updates



Renderings
Spoiler:
I want to make sure you know exactly what you are getting. Renderings can be misleading and I wanted you to be able to make a decision based on the real case. So I decided to get samples made. That pushed the GB back another two months but I thought it was worth it.

SKB60 standard and HHKB versions were made. Samples for all the different versions would have been too expensive for me. So there are renderings for some versions, but the impression you get from the samples translate to the rest.

You can finde much more renderings in the IC.

Sorry just lost my patience uploading pictures one at a time here. I'll provide the renderings via external source link later. Most are shown in the IC already, just a few new ones.

Finally found the time to make new renderings, here.
Last edited by PlastikSchnittstelle on 13 Oct 2018, 00:51, edited 48 times in total.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:13

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Finally! Sorry it took so long. Still so much I wanted to get arranged before GB start like better pictures, another build with other switches and typingvideo. But there is always something missing. I'll add all this, step by step.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:19

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Joined, good luck with the GB!
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:37

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in for a wkl skb60, I hope this'll reach 100 orders for a good price :)
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:39

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Got my order in, Good luck with the GB
Anakey

Unread post10 Apr 2018, 17:42

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Good luck with the GB, nice to see the result of the IC.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 18:33

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does 40+ Units mean 60% & 75% combined or each?
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 20:04

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faxe wrote:does 40+ Units mean 60% & 75% combined or each?

combined
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 20:43

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Jizzed...!!!
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 21:08

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HHKB Pro 2 black blank // ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint (SK-8855)
[Typing slowly at ~80WPM, in love with Emacs]
In for two 75%.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 21:15

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I put in my order yesterday but I never got a verification email, Would you mind checking that my order was registered? I was on mobile at the moment and I just wanna make sure I didn't mess it up.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 06:31

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I ordered 2 cases yesterday (60% standard plate a and 75%). Is is possible to get an additional 60% standard plate b, so i get 2 cases and 3 plates at all?

Edit: I also got no confirmation mail.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 07:11

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Franzl
RealityCavesIn wrote:I put in my order yesterday but I never got a verification email, Would you mind checking that my order was registered? I was on mobile at the moment and I just wanna make sure I didn't mess it up.

ouch, didn't know I could turn on verification emails. just looked it up, would have required an addon. but I got you, don't worry, you're in there.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 09:01

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Afaik Google Forms does not send a confirmation mail, the author of the form has to include the option and the user has to tick the "Send me my form".
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 09:02

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I'm really happy to see this GB doing so well, it's such a great design and concept and a really really fantastic price for what you get. Especially since it's made in Germany! I'm hoping to pick up one 60% before the end of the buy.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 09:13

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Franzl wrote:I ordered 2 cases yesterday (60% standard plate a and 75%). Is is possible to get an additional 60% standard plate b, so i get 2 cases and 3 plates at all?

Edit: I also got no confirmation mail.

ordering an extra plate would not be a problem, sorry I hadn't anticipated this. I do use one for testing switches, just screwed longer standoffs on. turns out this is pretty useful to me and I hadn't expected the plate alone to be so solid, I guess this is due to the extra surface area it has on the sides. but I have to figure out a price for a standalone/extra plate. when I have I will add it to the form. until then you can just write it as comment in the form. will not be forgotten.

extra-plate.jpg


btw we are at 36 orders at the moment. so moq won't be a problem :)
Last edited by PlastikSchnittstelle on 11 Apr 2018, 09:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 09:26

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And as if it was perfect timing, my 75% PCB have just arrived.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 09:27

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:btw we are at 36 orders at the moment. so moq won't be a problem :)

And that is even before announcements on /r/Mechanicalkeyboards and /r/Mechmarket looks like that 100 moq price point might be in reach
Anakey

Unread post11 Apr 2018, 10:37

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Anakey wrote:
PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:btw we are at 36 orders at the moment. so moq won't be a problem :)

And that is even before announcements on /r/Mechanicalkeyboards and /r/Mechmarket looks like that 100 moq price point might be in reach

that's pretty optimistic, would be great of course!
I won't post on reddit until I have made a third build and have higher quality pictures.

regarding extra plate price:
extra plate will be ~30euro
you'll get a chance to choose one later/before payment phase. but it would be good to have a clue about it upfront, so if you want one, then please post/let me know here in the discussion.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 10:54

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I am a little bit dissapointed that the price has increased for about 50% since the first price assumption - for me that is a huge bummer... Now I must consider thoroughly. Missing this beauty and a german GB would be a shame, but o my budget...
How long will the GB be? Will you accept SEPA?
And don't missunderstand me please - I know "made in germany" has it's price, I don't wanna start a discussion about it. It is just that I had quite fewer bucks (Euros, there is) in mind.

Edit:
faxe wrote:And as if it was perfect timing, my 75% PCB have just arrived.

What did you order? Does it support ISO? Beside the case and the plate I have everything prepared (Non-Vintage Blacks from Wodan which feel like Vintage ones, Switch Films from Oblotzky, ISO-DE Dolch from the first ever german GMK-GB and GMK Silencers, also from a german GB), so I need an advice :)
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 12:13

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I ordered https://kbdfans.cn/collections/pcb/prod...-75-pcb-75 supports ISO, with JCEX shipping (10$) it arrived in a week to germany. I got the USB C Version
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 13:33

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So exactly the same as Plastikschnittstelle has mentioned before - as this will be my first custom I want to avoid any mistakes, so thank you!
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 13:53

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What did you order? Does it support ISO? Beside the case and the plate I have everything prepared (Non-Vintage Blacks from Wodan which feel like Vintage ones, Switch Films from Oblotzky, ISO-DE Dolch from the first ever german GMK-GB and GMK Silencers, also from a german GB), so I need an advice :)

I think you are still missing stabilizers :)
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 14:05

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Shihatsu wrote:I am a little bit dissapointed that the price has increased for about 50% since the first price assumption - for me that is a huge bummer... Now I must consider thoroughly. Missing this beauty and a german GB would be a shame, but o my budget...

It might seem that way on first sight, but actually it isn't. Let me explain:

the first price estimate was mentioned in the opening post of the IC, this:
Expected pricing:
20 Units: ~135€
50 Units: ~105€
100 Units: ~92€

These prices are meant for exactly one version x20, x50 and x100.

Over the time I gave updates regarding the pricing, like here and later more precise there (sorry, forgot to post that here as well).

So the last estimate before the GB launch said "between 130 and 160€". This turned out to be pretty exact. Now consider the following: five different versions are made! This means much less then 20 units of a single version (what I estimated in the first IC post) at the MOQ of 40. MOQ 40 will btw only work if I personally add 10 cases that I would have to sell as extras later on. So you have to understand, that just a few of the same part cost much more to manufacture then a lot of the same part. The overall amount does not mean anything in this case because it is accumulated by many different parts.

So if you look at the numbers, then you will realize, that it is actually significantly cheaper then the first estimate. If I really only get 40 orders, then this would be nothing less then a disaster for me, considering the time and effort I put into this and also keeping in mind that I payed for a prototype and samples already.

Lower prices are only possible if every single version gets produced at least 20 times, 50 would be better. That's why I will continue to work on this, with some more renderings, another build, typingdemo and hq picture to advertise it better than just with the phone pics.

So I hope you understand and are still on board for this :)
Last edited by PlastikSchnittstelle on 11 Apr 2018, 15:02, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 14:42

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Shihatsu wrote:How long will the GB be?

mentioned in the timeline. but maybe I will have to extend the order phase in order to make up for my expenditures for the prototype and the samples. MOQ 40 is not about getting any money from this, it is more about making it happen at all.
Shihatsu wrote:Will you accept SEPA?

wanted to keep it simple for me and do everything via paypal. if more want sepa, then I'll consider it.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 14:49

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PlastikSchnittstelle wrote:
Shihatsu wrote:How long will the GB be?

mentioned in the timeline. but maybe I will have to extend the order phase in order to make up for my expenditures for the prototype and the samples. MOQ 40 is not about getting any money from this, it is more about making it happen at all.
Shihatsu wrote:Will you accept SEPA?

wanted to keep it simple for me and do everything via paypal. if more want sepa, then I'll consider it.

I want to boycott PayPal, and was planning to have a lawsuit confronting them.
PayPal offers zero *seller* protection against scamming buyers, while it is a good way to offer *buyer* protection.

I just trust you in this project, so I am willing to pay using SEPA, without so much protection on my side.
It is also a head-sup for the trustworthy sellers against PayPal. You have to think about why 7bit tries to use SEPA for all European buyers. This may possibly be one big reason.
Menuhin

Unread post11 Apr 2018, 15:14

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I'm not a big fan of PayPal myself, just thought it makes everything simpler.
So decision made: I'll offer SEPA as well.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 15:19

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What do you think the chances are of a plate option for mounting an XD75RE into one of these? With the hot-swap sockets it is hard to get a good fit in a regular 60% case but in this being top mount, I think it would be perfect! I'd be in for 2 if there was a plate for us ortho users.
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 17:22

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IchiBalzac
 
Posts: 8
Joined: 30 Nov 2017, 02:30
Location: US-CA
Main keyboard: 96KEE
Main mouse: G603
Favorite switch: Kailh BOX Heavy Dark Yellow
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Nice! Can’t wait to build this bad boy. Going to do my head in trying to figure out switches and keycaps.
Ail
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Unread post11 Apr 2018, 17:37

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Ail
 
Posts: 281
Joined: 17 Jan 2016, 21:17
Location: United States
Main keyboard: TADA68
Main mouse: Zowie FK2
Favorite switch: Gateron Blue
DT Pro Member: -
 
+1 for SEPA!
faxe
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5711 4 life

Unread post11 Apr 2018, 17:37

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faxe
5711 4 life
 
Posts: 193
Joined: 24 Jun 2015, 10:32
Location: Cologne, Germany
Main keyboard: KBDfans 8x, Box Royal
Main mouse: MS Intellimouse Classic
Favorite switch: Cherry Clear
DT Pro Member: 0124
 
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