We are super excited after receiving pre-production samples of the new plastic injection-molded PFx Brick enclosures. The new enclosures are molded in a slick two-tone light and dark bluish grey colour scheme and include some awesome new mechanical features. This molded enclosure will be standard across all PFx Bricks and replaces the 3D printed enclosures which served us well for our production debut.
The new enclosures elevate the both the quality and functional performance of the PFx Brick and some of its key features are as follows:
- Technic Pin Holes - side mounted Technic pin holes allow more robust attachment options for integrating the PFx Brick into Technic models as well as conventional brick built models.
- Bottom Anti-Studs - the underside of the enclosure is both functionally and aesthetically more compatible with the Lego system stud / anti-stud connection and now permits some interconnection schemes at half-stud intervals.
- Durability - the lid now includes mechanical reinforcement features around the the speaker and IR connector ports to resist excessive bending or twisting forces on the connector. The Power Functions compatible input and output connectors include additional bracing and precision mechanical guidance for the gold-plated pins.
As always, the enclosure will continue to be secured by 4x stainless steel machine screws for optimal strength, durability, and mechanical precision. Also, all connectors on the PFx Brick use gold-plated electrical contacts for maximum reliability and performance.
As of Sep 2019, a production run of 1000 new PFx Bricks has been started by our manufacturing partners in China. This involves the assembly of electronic printed circuit boards and the precision robot-guided insertion of the Power Functions compatible connector electrical pins. These pins are automotive and aerospace grade electrical pins designed for supreme reliability with solder-less contact fastening directly into the PCB.
We expect to receive the assembled electronics in Nov 2019. After we receive the electronics, we then hand assemble the Bluetooth radios (if required for non-IR models) and the high precision lighting dock connector. After each panel of 16x PFx Bricks has finished final assembly, each PFx Brick is electrically tested and its bootloader firmware is installed. Finally, the PFx Brick PCBs are clipped out of the production panel and installed into the new plastic injection molded enclosures. Each PFx Brick then goes through an extensive automated factory test procedure before being packaged and ready for shipment.
Since final assembly and test is relatively quick, we expect to be able to offer rapid shipping turn around on all future PFx Brick orders. Once we have a clearer picture of our production schedule, we will open up our webstore for pre-order of new PFx Bricks. As of Oct 2019, we estimate the schedule will be as follows:
- Oct 2019 : Electronics assembly / Injection molding starts
- Nov 2019 : Receive electronics, start final assembly and test. / Receive enclosures / Open store for pre-orders
- Dec 2019 / Jan 2020 : Start shipping pre-orders / Open store for general orders