Proto[Typist] Keyboards and Graphtec GB’s WidLaser C700 Laser

Written by GraphtecGB

March 19, 2024

proto[Typist] Keyboards is a bespoke keyboard retailer founded in 2019 by Jae Flynn, specialising in high-end, custom keyboards targeted at coders, developers, writers and gamers. The business started as a side project, quickly turning into a full-time venture due to its success and demand. At the time Jae had a full-time job and was interested in keyboards as he wanted a “nice tool to do my job with.” Says Jae. After buying some of the high-end keyboards, he believed that he could do something better himself, and after some research and prototyping, their first keyboard went on sale. proto[Typist] Keyboards sold around 300 in 30 seconds and from thereon it’s been Jae’s full time job as he develops more products and offerings.

proto[Typist]  chose to work with Graphtec GB for their laser cutting needs, specifically utilising the WidLaser C700 Co2 laser which they purchased though the Graphtec GB reseller, Perfect Colours. This partnership was essential for in-house prototyping and part production, bringing stability and control to their business. The key reason for choosing Graphtec GB, was the option to work closely with the company and enabling proto[Typist] to customise the laser cutting machine to meet proto[Typist]’s specific needs, thereby providing a level of flexibility not found with other suppliers. Price to performance ratio of the WidLaser C700’s also played a crucial role in the decision-making process. “Its capabilities were a standout feature, aligning with proto[Typist]’s requirements,” said Jae.

The C700 uses a 90w CO2 laser tube to cut and engrave a diverse number of materials and has a 1000mm x 700mm active working area. WidInovations employ their Clean Protect design to protect users from dust and smoke via its built-in extraction system and sealed construction. Wid’s high-quality build features allow the C700 to achieve cutting speeds of up to 3 times the industry standard. 

The WidLaser C700 is designed to effectively respond to the demanding needs of the laser engraving and cutting market. WidInovations have developed a compact, fast, robust, reliable and technologically advanced range of laser cutting & engraving equipment to cater for the diverse needs of all users. Wid’s Clean Protect design, with special dust-proof and smoke-proof linear modules, allows for speeds and accelerations up to 3 times higher than conventional equipment. This way, Wid can ensure that the C700 is always operational. 

The laser is utilised as a test bed for new designs, often in conjunction with 3D printing. It also serves as a production machine for certain keyboard kit components, demonstrating its versatility in manufacturing processes. Beyond the core business, the laser is also used for enjoyable creative endeavours with projects such as company signs, keyrings and other small items.

“The key challenges for us to integrate the laser were mainly staff knowledge and training. Luckily an extensive guidance programme was provided by Ellen Wain (product specialist) and her team at Graphtec GB which helped us through that, although we have since migrated away to our own software to run the machine, proving the flexibility of the Widlaser C700! Once the basics are laid down, the machine is very simple to use,” said Jae 

Since the installation of the C700 laser, bringing certain parts in-house has increased revenue and provided greater control over production and delivery “Since adding the machine to our portfolio, we have been able to bring in house production of certain parts which we were previously outsourcing”, said Jae. 
proto[Typist] has a global reach, approximately 50% of proto[Typist]’s business is international, shipping to over 160 countries and all 7 continents (including Antarctica!!) showcasing the global impact of their customised, high-quality keyboards.

proto[Typist] Keyboards’ collaboration with Graphtec GB and the integration of the WidLaser C700 Co2 laser have played a pivotal role in the success and growth of their business. The ability to customise the machine’s performance and the flexibility it offers in prototyping and production have allowed proto[Typist]  to meet the unique demands of their discerning clientele while maintaining control over their manufacturing processes. In doing so proto[Typist] Keyboards have become the go to company for high-end high performance keyboards.

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