All photos below of Bauer Lite are 3D-printed prototypes.
Sorry for the length between updates. We have been trying to keep from sending emails with every tiny piece of information and overloading your inbox. We try to wait for a bulk of info to update at once.
We know many people have been waiting for updates and for this board to be ready. You are not alone. We have been working on this project way longer than we ever thought would be required, but with the nature of injection-molded parts, it takes time to ensure that no mistakes are made in the design or it could cost thousands of dollars and months to correct. We want this board to be the best it can possibly be; from the packaging and unboxing experience all the way to the actual use of the board. We are not cutting any corners in the development and are confident it will be the best product we've developed up to this point. We take pride in the details and getting things right, but we do apologize for how long it is taking. There are no words to explain how anxious we are to get this board into your hands.
In our last update, we mentioned that we found some issues that needed redesigning after the flow analysis. It took us a few more revisions and prototypes to get everything fixed. By the time we got these revisions and prototypes done, CNY was upon us so we were not able to place the order for the molds before the fabricator left for holiday.
During CNY, I spent time preparing all of our insert files for each part and finalizing the colors for the initial launch. The fab is now back from holiday and running at full force again. We are placing the final order for the molds this week and it should only take a month or two before we see our first samples.
Once the molds are complete, they will send samples to us to confirm all the details. This includes the surface finish, fitment, shrinkage, etc. Once we confirm all the details are how they need to be, we will coordinate shipping of our molds to the US (Bauer Lite will be made in the USA). We have already decided to ship via air as opposed to sea so we can get up and running as fast as possible.
We know this may be a disappointing update because it is not news that the board is ready. We are right there with you in that disappointment. However, we are so close to being ready!
Below you can find the most updated information since we haven't done this all in one place for a while.
The enclosure (including the plate) will be injection-molded polycarbonate.
The enclosure is designed to externally look the same as the Bauer 2 you know and love. However, the internal design had to be completely redesigned from scratch because injection molding has many restrictions. This means that the Bauer Lite top and bottom pieces will not be compatible with our CNC Bauer variants. We have made sure that the plates are compatible between the injection molded and the Bauer 2. So you will be able to take your Bauer Lite plate and put it in a Bauer 2 and vice versa.
The plate that comes in the kit will be a fixed split backspace layout except for caps lock (both regular and stepped positions are supported). We find that this provides the best building experience for novice customers and the best typing experience overall. However, we specifically designed our plate mold to be able to swap between split and full backspace layouts. So we will eventually have full backspace plates available. It may not be on the initial release.
Bauer Lite will also feature the plate alignment system using the taco bumpers that Bauer 2 has.
- Designed by wilba.tech
- USB Type-C
- Compatible with CNC Bauer variants
- Supports stepped caps and split backspace
- Supports stepped caps and split backspace
- The color of the Bauer Lite PCB will be the same light gray that the Bauer 1 and 2 had. We will transition the CNC boards to the dark gray color you see below.
The mounting style is based off the Bauer 2 with the primary goal being to achieve the same sound and feel you expect from a Bauer. Like we mentioned previously, we had to redesign the entire inside from scratch to comply with injection molding restrictions. Even though we had to make some large changes to the way the mounting works, it is still the same philosophy as the CNC Bauer 2. The plate is being compressed on top and bottom in order to not be in contact with any other parts.
Neoprene isolation strips are used on the bottom enclosure on “shelves”, much like the Bauer 2. They are slightly shorter than the Bauer 2 strips, but they will still be compatible the Bauer 2. We have added channels to these shelves to help with the installation of the strips. This was one of the most requested additions from the Bauer 2.
The top enclosure uses rubber bumpers instead of foam strips because there is not enough space for “shelves”. We have found that there are no negative effects compared to foam strips.
We will eventually have an optional internal weight available for anyone who wants to add some heft to the board. It is not yet determined if this will be available at launch.
The Bauer Lite kit will include the following:
- Top Enclosure
- Bottom Enclosure
- PCB w/ breakout board and JST cable
- Rubber feet
- Taco Bumpers
- Donut Bumpers [used in top enclosure – working title]
- Neoprene Isolation Strips
- Screws (Torx)
The Bauer Lite will have a completely redesigned package from the Bauer 1 and 2. We are waiting on our final round of samples to ensure everything fits and lines up correctly. Our first round (seen below) was great and only needed a few tweaks. It will not look exactly how it looks below. We are very excited about the new box and can't wait to show it off. We may show it off in some streams we do in the near future.
We have decided on the colors for the initial launch, but we are going to wait to reveal them until we have samples in hand to show off.
We've had a price goal in mind since the inception of the Bauer Lite, but we have been withholding the information until we knew for certain we could hit that price. We do not want to pre-maturely announce a price with the possibility of not being able to hit that price and disappoint everyone by the price “going up”. With that said, we can confidently say this board will be under $200.
We hope that we can launch this Summer. We are very close to being ready, but we cannot promise anything yet.
Our plan at the moment is to start off with a decent-sized in-stock drop followed by an unlimited pre-order. Everyone who doesn't get one of the in-stock units will be able to join the pre-order. Once the preorder has been fulfilled, we want to keep a default set of colors continuously in-stock. After the first pre-order, we only plan to do pre-orders for special edition colorways.