Unknown words and phrases

I read the latest announcement by Todd but I am not a native speaker of English and not a hardware expert. So I do not understand several words and phrases he uses. What is a milling process? What does it mean, individually milled case", “unfinished switch caps (hand crafted)” or “capped switches”, etc.

If I am to choose I need to understand first.

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Some of the specifics are not known yet, so I can only speak in general terms.

Milled means, they use a solid block of material and use a machine to remove the unnecessary bits. See for example of milling plastic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBrgn62OmHs The machine used may vary, as can the precision of the said machine and process. It is unknown how much effort after milling is used to make sure the case is perfect (there might be an errant spec that didn’t come off or a sharp corner at worst and it’s unknown if the surface gets any treatment or finish - or if it needs any).

Individually milled may mean, as I understand, that the process and/or model are developed while they do them. If they come up with something better, they might do a small change that you probably won’t notice unless you have two phones next to each other. This may also mean that the very earliest phones may later seem so have some detail missing or fixed in later iterations. It’s tricky, since even less than millimetre differences may make a difference and those are hard to spot until later when they have been used and tested. It’s unlikely that there would be anything major.

Capped switches is more difficult. We do not know what kind of caps is meant or which swithes. A cap on the switch is basically what you have on a computer keyboard: a plastic button that covers the actual key switch under it. It’s likely, that the heads of the switches that you see on the side of the prototype phone (I take it you’ve seen them on the other threads) pics will be as they are on the circuit board in the first batches. They won’t get separate covers that are more like the case. There are lot’s of caps and for example compare here the 700C switch and it’s three options (a totally different switch that L5 uses but still): https://www.e-switch.com/product-catalog/caps

Edit to add: the first two have a lot to do with quality of workmanship and it’s difficult to say anything on that yet, except that their other products seem to be pretty nice. The caps are maybe more of a visual thing but may also affect how much dust (or anything else) gets into the case via the switch openings - but this is also about how the openings are made and how easy it is to clean the case and how careless you are with your phone.


Here’s a CNC milling demonstration: