Our grip, now made in the EU

In the beginning, as you could see on our first few blog posts and social media pictures – we used a standard, off-the-shelf solution as to adhesive grips for the Antgrip. The decision process behind this was quite simple – they were easiest to source and be provided in quantities sufficing the development process of Antgrip products.  With that, came some compromises – the adhesive paper was thicker than we needed it to be – resulting in more difficult application process on the mouse itself, as well as a tendency to produce air gaps that were below the standard we set ourselves. Additionally, it was not quite black. It was more gunmetal gray than black.

Now that we are moving closer to production and final launch of the product, we began looking at other suppliers that would fulfill the below listed requirements from us:

  • Made in the EU: as it is more environmentally conscious as well as helps to guarantee the product quality and consistency across multiple batches of product
  • Thin, yet durable: the thinness and additional flexibility allows us to create more intricate designs of the Antgrip products, as well as makes it easier for the end user to apply it
  • Higher grit rating, yet better grip: The first version of the grip has a standard sandpaper-equivalent grit rating of around 80-100, that we felt was a bit too harsh for most users. Therefore we wanted to find a product that was more in the 130-150 range, yet would improve upon the actual grip provided to the user

First, we were almost set to use the golden standard of abrasive tapes, a grip from 3M – the world reknowned work material and gear production company that makes high quality products in a variety of fields. Yet it does not comply with our first demand of the product, as it is made in the USA. The carbon tax to be shipped just a sheet of paper is much greater to our selected tape that is sourced from the United Kingdom. As far as the second and third demands go, we tried out a plethora of different materials and textures, some of the most vibrant ones are attached in the pictures below – and we chose an aluminium oxide based solution that has a mineral hardness rating (MOHS) of 9 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being diamond). When compared to silicon carbide, also commonly used in grip tapes, it offers better consistency across products as well as is not at all irritating to the skin. For the back side, we decided on a silicon glue-based solution that guarantees a solid fit that will not move around at all, yet will also not leave any residue when removing the grip, should the situation arise.

Should you have any further question as to our material choice and the thought process behind our designs – we will be happy to discuss them with you.

One of the last design mockups made from our development material choice – the Jessup grip tape.
The difference in material might not be apparent from the get-go, yet it dramatically changes the feel of the product in hand. The middle part is made from the new grip tape, while the sides are from the old version. Notice the difference in color hue.
Some materials we were looking at – from foam inserted, to white-silica based solutions and rubberized options. None felt as good as our primary pick.
See the back side on the Asus ROG Gladius has many more tiny “bumps” on it, resulting in a better grip, as well as smoother surface when compared to the side, made from the previous material
A more telling picture of the Asus ROG Gladius, the left button is made from the silicon carbide cover, while the whole right side sports the new aluminium oxide solution that feels much better in hand.
Just some additional template shots that will be used for the sides on Asus ROG Gladius – more posts on the aformentioned mouse model will be posted shortly.