Project: Surface

Mechanical Engineering

Pensar helped Microsoft’s New Product Innovation group bring Surface to life. We are proud of our contributions, including the easy alignment and solid feel of the touch cover and it’s connection to Surface. We created self-aligning geometry and custom flex circuitry on the touch cover and Surface. We also optimized the magnetic forces that hold the two together.  Our prowess in tolerance analysis turned Surface into a high precision machine with just the right feel. Sam Biddle of Gizmodo says the touch cover is “a phenomenal engineering effort, and the most terrifically-integrated mobile keyboard ever.”

We had a lot to do with the fact that you don’t have to worry when you drop your Surface. Frankly, we like to drop stuff. This makes us masters at evaluating results from drop testing and optimizing features and framework to survive drops through structural and kinematic analysis. We used ANSYS LS-DYNA to do drop simulations before actual units were even produced. This provided direction on high level architecture, material selection and detailed design features. “First and foremost, I still firmly believe that Microsoft has built the best tablet on the planet in terms of hardware. Seriously.” – Zach Epstein, BGR media

The satisfying click when the kickstand flips out is music to our ears.  Through engineering optimization of a new custom hinge design we were able to deliver a kickstand that withstands a kick, but opens like the door on a luxury vehicle. “This is one of the most exciting pieces of hardware I’ve ever used. It is extremely well-designed; meticulous even.” – Mat Honan, Wired

We helped ensure Surface looks as slick in production as the designers dreamed by adhering to their strict dimensional requirements.  Our ability to Design for Manufacture and Assembly along with control documentation, means that the specifications we develop for each and every detail are maintained through production. This included developing a custom micro HDMI connector, USB connector, power button, volume button and camera mounts. The tight and angled spaces that create engineering challenges, also create wonderful user interaction moments. We excel at engineering in difficult spaces and we understand the importance of maintaining design intent. “The iPad feels pedestrian compared to the Surface.” – Matt Burns, Tech Crunch

Combining the disciplines of Industrial Design, Mechanical, Electrical, and Software Engineering, Pensar develops robust products that exceed expectations and are ready for the real world.  Contact us to discuss how we can help on your next project.

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