How's WP-43S Project Going?
12-29-2013, 02:03 PM
Post: #1
 Waon Shinyoe Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
How's WP-43S Project Going?
I noticed there is some discussion in the old forum about a prototype WP-43S. I'm curious about the details of the great device. And I'm very willing to find OEM factories in China to put it into mass production! And Made in China will be surely cheaper.

And there is another DIY calculator project called ArithMax 233, mainly designed & coded by Zweb, a member of cnCalc.org. A prototype is already made, and now we are discussing about further modification, improvements and mass production. Therefore we are considering about building the whole cover and keyboard all by ourselves, since my father own a plastic factory.

So I have another plan, called Project Renaissance, to rebuild the 48s-style keyboard based on 1991-06 HP Journal and the patent documents. (No double injection though)

If you are interested about ArithMax233, please check:
http://zweb.clanmark.com/
https://github.com/nbzwt/ArithMax
12-29-2013, 02:12 PM
Post: #2
 Geoff Quickfall Senior Member Posts: 771 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
Check out the forum under "not quite hp calculators" there are polls and active discussions down there.

Not quite hp calculators link

Cheers, geoff
12-29-2013, 02:24 PM
Post: #3
 Waon Shinyoe Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
Thank you Geoff
In fact I want to know more about the hardware and software design, and I've already read several posts of the keyboard layout.
12-29-2013, 06:50 PM
Post: #4
 walter b On Vacation Posts: 1,957 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
(12-29-2013 02:03 PM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  And there is another DIY calculator project called ArithMax 233, mainly designed & coded by Zweb, a member of cnCalc.org. A prototype is already made, and now we are discussing about further modification, improvements and mass production. Therefore we are considering about building the whole cover and keyboard all by ourselves, since my father own a plastic factory.
Very interesting news

I didn't find anything about the outer dimensions of ArithMax 233, however, maybe due to my limited knowledge of Chinese characters. Can you tell us anything about the overall size of the calculator you want to build? Do you want to stay with the Casio-like layout as shown? What about its function set?

d:-)
12-30-2013, 04:07 AM
Post: #5
 jwm Junior Member Posts: 17 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
What I would like to see is an open hardware standard, nice, calculator case and board with blank keycaps that can be flashed by different communities with different firmware. RPN, RPL, old school casio, dedicated beer pong score keeper. Pre-die-cut label sheets that can be fed through a standard inkjet/laser printer could also be made in bulk.

The HP 30B is the closest thing to this now and I have been playing with writing alternate firmwares. Right now I have one based on the joy language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joy_(programming_language) ) and the lambda calculus. The screen is a real limitation though. 2 lines dot matrix a la 42s,35s is my sweet spot.

I would love to be able to reprogram something like the HP 35s form factor from complete scratch with no HP firmware and pure open source, but it's too expensive to repurpose for a lot of people. it has a nice shape and physical design but the firmware oversights just grate on me, I'm gonna return mine.
12-30-2013, 10:29 AM
Post: #6
 Thomas Radtke Senior Member Posts: 778 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
FWIW ...

(12-29-2013 02:03 PM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  And I'm very willing to find OEM factories in China to put it into mass production!
Means you'd need a product for the masses, not the classes (after a famous Jack Tramiel quote) - and investors, of course.

At the lower end, we have lots of inexpensive Casio-clones (very popular was the Casio fx-3600p target, unfortunately without fractions), usually ending up on eBay for less than a handfull of Euro. Difficult to sell I imagine. Now you want to enter the market for high-end graphing calculators. Larger investment needed, higher risk. And no recognized brand and no idea how to communicate the product I suppose?
12-30-2013, 11:02 AM
Post: #7
 Waon Shinyoe Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
(12-29-2013 06:50 PM)walter b Wrote:  I didn't find anything about the outer dimensions of ArithMax 233, however, maybe due to my limited knowledge of Chinese characters. Can you tell us anything about the overall size of the calculator you want to build? Do you want to stay with the Casio-like layout as shown? What about its function set?

d:-)

The case of the current prototype is based on a CASIO fx-95es plus (or other fx-es plus series) case. So it's exactly the same size of a typical scientific calculator.
The dimension is:
13.8H x 80W x 162D mm
(In order to contain the large touchscreen, the upper part is cut larger)

Our custom keyboard layout is still in discussion, but it's likely to be based on a CASIO instead of a hp one

The prototype has only 100k+ RAM and it runs Eigenmath.

But it's just a prototype anyway...
Zweb told me that due to the lack of power management and some other factors, he would continue the project with a A10 core board which has a 1.5GHz CPU and 512MB DDR3 RAM.

You can contact him at: nbzwt at live dot cn
12-30-2013, 06:17 PM
Post: #8
 brouhaha Member Posts: 142 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
(12-29-2013 02:03 PM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  Therefore we are considering about building the whole cover and keyboard all by ourselves, since my father own a plastic factory.

That's certainly a great help.

What I've found so far is that the really big cost isn't the injection molding per se, but rather the cost of having the molds made, i.e., getting from my Solidworks CAD files of the case parts to the hardened steel mold. (Or even aluminum, though an aluminum mold isn't good for nearly as many injection shots.)
12-31-2013, 05:32 AM
Post: #9
 Waon Shinyoe Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
(12-30-2013 06:17 PM)brouhaha Wrote:  What I've found so far is that the really big cost isn't the injection molding per se, but rather the cost of having the molds made, i.e., getting from my Solidworks CAD files of the case parts to the hardened steel mold. (Or even aluminum, though an aluminum mold isn't good for nearly as many injection shots.)

Yes that's exactly the point. A die cast can cost about RMB 300000 yuan.

(Well the good news is that there is another person, who owns 3D printer, interested in keyboard making and seems quite rich agreed to pay at least part of the cost~)
(He rebuilt a TI-89 ti keyboard with the 3D printer but it's nearly unusable.)
12-31-2013, 07:45 AM
Post: #10
 brouhaha Member Posts: 142 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
(12-31-2013 05:32 AM)Waon Shinyoe Wrote:  (Well the good news is that there is another person, who owns 3D printer, interested in keyboard making and seems quite rich agreed to pay at least part of the cost~)
(He rebuilt a TI-89 ti keyboard with the 3D printer but it's nearly unusable.)

I've used four different 3D printers to make case parts for various calculator prototypes. I got the best results with a Stratasys Dimension 768BST, which was a commercial printer that cost somewhere around USD $25,000. The worse problem was that Stratasys uses the same sort of supply lock-in as inkjet printers, with a chip in the cartridge to track how much material is believed to be in the cartridge. The printer also keeps a log of cartridge serial numbers and how much material it thinks should be in the cartridge. That gives them an effective monopoly on material for their printers, so they charge more than 10x the market value. I purchased a MakerBot Cupcake, then a MakerBot Thing-o-Matic. Both had only a single extruder, so could not print with support material (breakaway or soluble). The Thing-o-Matic had somewhat better output quality than the Cupcake, but not anywhere near that of the Stratasys, and generally barely suitable for prototyping (in my opinion). Also neither had a large enough build volume. (Stratasys has since acquired MakerBot.) The only complete calculator case I have made (top and bottom shells and keys) was for the DIY3, was printed on the Stratasys at a cost to me of about$120, and was adequate for a prototype but wouldn't be acceptable for a commercial product.

I've recently sold both MakerBots and bought a LulzBot TAZ 3. It also has only a single extruder, though there may be a dual extruder upgrade in the near future. The output quality is much better than the Thing-o-Matic, approaching that of the Stratasys. There is also now support in the slicing software for doing breakaway support using a single material, though it doesn't work nearly as well as using a second material (ABS/polystyrene copolymer as Stratasys used for breakaway, or HIPS as the RepRap folks uses for soluble).

I'm going to do prototyping with the TAZ 3, and maybe sending out some stuff to be done on a Stratasys, but the endgame is definitely injection molding. I may have a line on getting molds made for substantially less money than the RMB 300000 yuan you quote.
12-31-2013, 09:20 AM
Post: #11
 Waon Shinyoe Member Posts: 76 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: How's WP-43S Project Going?
Wow you are so experienced brouhaha. I never successfully persuaded my father to buy one. Maybe he is a little conservative or 3D printer just doesn't meet the need of the factory.

(12-31-2013 07:45 AM)brouhaha Wrote:  I may have a line on getting molds made for substantially less money than the RMB 300000 yuan you quote.

Well the "300000 yuan" budget is quite inaccurate. It should be 30000 or so but the cost still can vary a lot. XD
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