By now the news is out but it’s time to make it official.
If you follow my Discord you know that MTNU (pronounced emty-new) is the code name of the new profile I’m working on since a few months. You haven’t heard much about it since the initial announcement because I was busy finding the right manufacturer.
I’m happy to announce that I not only found a manufacturer but also the perfect partner with years of experience in the keycap industry. The moment I reached out GMK they showed great interest in my new profile and I feel incredibly honored that they are willing to take this project under their wing.
So, yeah, GMK will be officially working on MTNU.
I know what your concern is, it was mine too; how can GMK work on a new profile when they can barely handle the cherry orders? Does it mean that MTNU will have a 2-years ETA?
The short answer is: GMK is expanding. Unfortunately these kind of improvements take time, it’s not just switching the power to a new machine, but by the time MTNU will be ready I’m sure we will all benefit from a more steady and prompt release schedule.
Does it mean that the Cherry Profile orders will impact on MTNU orders and vice versa clogging production again?
I don’t speak for GMK here, but as I see it, having two profiles it means that production can be split between different tooling, so technically should make things better.
I heard recently GMK had some quality issues, how can you ensure a high quality product?
I’m absolutely 100% positive that with GMK we can reach the highest quality level this profile deserves. With no other company on the planet (read China) I’d have the same control over production. So far they’ve showed a contagious enthusiasm and unmatched professionalism. MTNU will be developed with GMK not just manufactured by GMK. It means that on top of my know-how you have years of experience in injection molding.
I trust them and I sincerely believe things are going to be great. Considering the amazing products they gave us in the past years, you should give them some slack.
When will the first set come out?
We officially started working on MTNU just yesterday. I already have a couple of months of development on my shoulder but I want to do things right and take all the time that is needed. I guess the goal is Q1 2023, by then hopefully GMK will also have production sorted out.
Will this be a GMK “exclusive”? How can I order MTNU keycaps?
First of all don’t dash to GMK asking for a production slot now! It’s too early and they will hate me forever for making this public too soon.
Secondly, GMK is one of the most open and designers’ friendly company in the keyboard industry. Vendors all around the world will be able to get MTNU as they do with the Cherry profile. GMK is of course the sole manufacturer but you’ll be able to buy MTNU all over the world from your trusted local vendor.
Also I hope we’ll be able to work on stock availability for a number of successful sets.
Will it be ABS or PBT, doubleshot or dyesub?
It will surely be double-shot but I don’t know yet about the material. The options are PBT, PBT blend or ABS. My preference would be to work with a PBT blend, so that’s where I’m pushing. From a quick talk with GMK a PBT blend tooling would also let us inject ABS, while a pure PBT tooling would be exclusive to that material.
Dye-sublimation is something that we may explore later.
In the coming days I’ll post some more juicy details on the profile itself together with some renders.
Exciting times, I hope you agree. Before I go let me thank Christoph from GMK that made this collaboration possible and the good Oblotzky who facilitated the initial meeting.
I am so happy that I could use a DeLorean just to relive this moment in a continuous loop.
amen to that my pizza fellow
Lets hope the price is as affordable as MT3 are. The one thing I always enjoyed about MT3 was that it was extremely high quality, always in stock and cheap which is why I never decided to go with GMK. However if the price point is correct I would be willing to get a GMK X MTNU set.
theres no way that will happen, 150-200$ base sets and 1 year wait times i can imagine – cool profile but even with expansion im curious to see how this develops
GMK is expanding, yeah, heard that same speech like 3 years ago
If there’s a choice still for material, I’d vote for pure PBT. Probably the #1 reason people get PBT is to avoid the typical shine you’d eventually get with ABS. Assuming the blend is ABS+PBT that would just kill the reason to make it PBT in the first place.
Am I the only one that likes shine?
I’m praying GMK is able to retain those sweet Cherry legends on that profile
Not if it comes at the cost of variety! Virtually every Cherry/OEM profile has legends that are not meaningfully different from GMK.
Centred retro-style MT3/SA legends in a low profile? Almost impossible to find.
Based on the filename the picture in the header is only a mockup, but this is exactly the kind of thing I’d love to see in production.
Assuming they’ll cost the same as cherry GMK, this is terrible news.
Happy to hear that GMK allows for third-party vendors to sell them! And excited to see these come into production!
However, one of the reasons I personally was hoping for you to license the design to more than one _manufacturer_ is that maybe that would allow some company to fill the niche market for international keycap sets. I do understand each new double-shot key requires making a new mold, which is very costly indeed, so it’s completely reasonable for e.g. Drop to not want to do it. But maybe if there isn’t a monopoly, someone else could gamble on it and give it a go. I personally wouldn’t mind paying a premium price-per-keycap cost compared to the standard ANSI keys.
I personally use a Nordic keyboard layout, which I am currently only able to do by mixing an MT3 Dasher set (the one I really love and want) with blank keycaps (MT3 /dev/tty) for all the non-ANSI keys. Looks a bit wonky, perhaps, but the contrasting colors (blue/cyan vs two shades of gray) isn’t too bad. If only they did have labels in a matching font, I would consider it perfect, despite the color mismatch.
Of course, maybe I’m naive regarding the costs for something like this to be possible.
pretty sure GMK is very pro-ISO :)
Licensing to multiple manufacturers is hardly an option because the investment is substantial and manufacturers are not willing to work on an “open” profile. Breaking even would be extremely slow.
Anyway that is something I’m exploring with another flat/uniform profile. I’ll talk about that in the coming months.
How does the profile compare to SP’s DSS profile, which also has spherical top surfaces and also (mostly) follows the height/angle pattern that Cherry profile does?
I’ll post comparison soon with other profiles. MTNU is pretty different to DSS anyway both in shape and row angles.
Great news that you found a good quality manufacturer.
I’m still hoping they’re receptive to R5.
Are you currently working with ImperfectLink to get MTNU integrated into KRK so designers will be able to start designing for MTNU?
As soon as the profile is finalized
I would be more excited by all of this if MT3 wasn’t already the perfect set.
you managed to insult and compliment me at the same time :D
Damn this sucks. If this will be PBT I’ll need to replace my GMK Dolch Set on my work setup after all (the shine. the feel. PBT is just so much better). On my home setup I have dev/tty – and I just don’t see how this would ever become old or in need of a replacement.
What about final curvature? I am rooting for 0-1-2-3-4-5. I am really happy with flat 5th row of my MT3. Actually I am using a mix – arrows are angled 4s, modifiers are flat 5s and that feels amazing.
the first release will probably be 1-1-2-3-4-4, if the profile will be successful we’ll do more.
Will there be a shine-through option? Had long hoped for a dev/tty shine-through.
I’ll study the feasibility
If this is feels just like MT3 on the fingers but only lower this would be the perfect set! If you can collab with previous GMK designers (especially RedSuns for red samurai) to be able to use their colors that would be killer!
Support for Ortho and Colemak?
I hope that you are right about them fixing things over there. I went with Domikey keycaps because they seemed to be a higher quality keycap than I have seen from some of the GMK sets. I absolutely love my Domikey Circuit set. I wish I could get it in MT3!
I do love my Susuwatari set. I like the large legends; they are easy to read in low light. Comfortable to type on.
If GMK can produce MTNU for a reasonable price and keep them in stock, I’ll buy as soon as I see a colorway I like.
I will not waste $250-$300 on a single set of keycaps though. That is absolute nonsense.
I hear ya!
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