Project North Star Lens Update 2019 Dec 11th
If you’ve been following our Project North Star efforts, we’ve got some great news for you! Everything is finally back in stock, and some dramatic improvements have been made.
Let’s start with the biggest and most important change: we’ve switched suppliers for the combiners.
Thanks to our new supplier, who specializes in automotive and avionics HUDs, now we can really say that our lenses come with top-notch semi-reflective and anti-reflective coatings. These new coatings produce a bright, crisp image, with no evident secondary reflection (if you’ve used the original combiners, or followed discussions on the North Star community Discord server, you’re probably aware of the secondary reflection caused by the lack of anti-reflective coating on the outer surface).
They are, dare I say, perfect.
A new batch of slightly thinner combiners with these new coatings is going to be ready in the first week of February! In the meantime, what we have available for sale is a couple hundred sets of combiners from the original mold with the new coatings. For those of you who purchased the originals, we’ll get replacement lenses inexpensively into your hands after working out on the details.
The other big changes are to the 3D-printed plastics in headset Kit B and Kit C. Most of the early headsets and plastic part sets were printed with a beautiful matte black filament. As it turns out, this filament has a much higher density than your average spool of PLA, resulting in much heavier parts. Simply switching from this filament to eSun PLA+ reduced the weight of the parts by a whopping 140g!
On top of that, we used Simplify3D’s multi-process capabilities to generate different infill densities in different regions of the same part, allowing us to both further reduce weight and improve part strength where it was needed. The combined weight reductions make for a huge improvement in comfort during prolonged use of the headset.
Additionally, here have been several updates on the headset design itself:
1) We’ve begun to use the most recent iterations of the parts designed by Leap Motion, including more resilient headgear sides that were previously prone to breaking, and keyed parts to reduce potential confusion during assembly, and
2) To address the number one complaint we received, about the plastic part tolerance being too tight (and the laborious removal of excess plastic from the optics bracket tab wells it required for most kits), we’ve made some minor alterations so that both the combiners and display trays can be mounted without any manual trimming. Yes, this will make things easier for you... but having assembled about a hundred of these headsets myself at this point, this particular improvement was made for totally selfish reasons. ;)