We have overhauled our packaging process; starting by completely ditching stamps and inks for the box surface designs with pen-drawn designs.
The designs are now done by a CNC machine just grabbing a pen and drawing the design of the box by itself. It completes the job in about the same time as we did, but has better quality, and requires no manpower for operating it. We just place cardboard packaging in, start the program up, and come back to a finished design a couple of minutes later.
The inside of the packaging foam got also replaced by a pre-cut piece of cardboard. This is used as an insert for protecting the Grid module by not letting it rattle around in the box. The cardboard insert approach is also a lot more eco-friendly, generating a lot less waste -since we used to cut those foam pieces by ourselves- and giving the whole package more of a uniform look and feel.
We have changed our front panel supplier -and with it- so did the front panel design itself. The new design has a metallic, rugged finish that's more shiny than matte. You can see the new look on the right for a quick comparison.
The new front panel has notches on the side to support the walls of the housing, making the whole module more durable and enforcing uniform shape across all modules. Since using multiple modules as a control surface is a core feature of Grid, consistency in shape is a really important metric for us.
We're now using additional parts in our PO16 and PBF4 modules. The new part is a plastic bushing and it sits between the potentiometer and the front panel. You can see them on this PBF4 module slotted into the front panel.
This cylindrical plastic ring supports the shaft of the potentiometer, making it feel more robust, while also give feeling of turning them have just a bit of extra resistance. The bushing is made of the plastic material called POM, making this a self-lubricating part. This also means, that these newer modules will require active usage to break in, but will make them much more durable in the long run.
Recently we have started to include some cleaning supplies in the Grid packaging. These are for everyday maintenance and cleaning the electrical contact parts of the modules. While they are not a final solution, it should be a good starting point for users trying to solve typical electrical connectivity issues caused by wear and tear.
We have our new branded cables included in every package now. One meter long USB-C to A cables with the company logo on one side of the connector and Grid logo on the other.
We're quite pleased with how these turned out.
We have upgraded our production line with better CNC machining equipment. This enables us to work with more precision and a tiny bit faster as well.
The Grid housing is made with additive-subtractive design, in two main steps. First we 3D-print the housing, and then we adjust the size with CNC milling to precision. In the past few months we started milling the backside of the Grid housing as well, netting it this nice, vinyl disc-like design.
You can also spot the four gold-colored threads, that hold the whole Grid assembly together.