During the pandemic lockdown, people have been looking for ways to become more self-sufficient. Whether by growing our own food or attempting to cut our own hair, we have all had to cope on our own where we would normally rely on others to get the job done.
We have seen a similar shift take place at ONEofZERO. Unable to travel, and with many of our manufacturing partners operating at reduced capacity, we decided to invest in a 3D printer to help us prototype and iterate designs faster.
The results thus far have been game changing from a product development standpoint. We were able to put this project together in just a few weeks and at a greatly reduced cost. Without the need to travel, courier samples around the planet, or invest in costly tooling, we are now able to conceive an idea, design, prototype, test, re-design, and even produce finished products in-house.
Because of the speed and reduced cost of the design process, we’ve also decided to release the .STL file to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License so anyone with access to a 3D printer can print one for themselves at home. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, the switch openers are also available for purchase on our website. Depending on the popularity of this product we may also eventually decide to tool-up and mass produce these at scale through traditional manufacturing methods.
The product itself is a switch-opener for MX-style mechanical keyboard switches to allow access for performing modifications or lubrication. They are printed on a Formlabs Form 3 with Tough 1500 resin, which we feel should be strong enough for its intended use.
Our hope is that this new “light-weight” design process will allow us to try more things and test the market for products that may otherwise have been too costly and never seen the light of day. Please let us know what you think of our design, send us your ideas to improve it, and tag us on Instagram to show us your own prints!