NES Shortcut Keyboard

A shortcut keyboard (or macro pad), but with an aesthetic flair inspired by a classic console.

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I recently received a Wacom tablet as a gift, and have been thoroughly enjoying drawing on it. One thing I miss about drawing on paper or smaller tablets is the ability to easily rotate the canvas about. I was thinking about how nice it would be to have a little knob on the side that allowed me to rotate the canvas ... and then I got carried away.

I love the look of the classic NES, so I designed my shortcut keyboard around it. I added as many keys as I had key parts, to leave room for as many shortcuts as I might want to add in the future. Then, I created 3d models, printed everything out, and put it all together.

This project is a shortcut keyboard made using the Adafruit Feather with an RP2040. I used the Adafruit NeoKey snap-apart boards and a series of mechanical keys, as well as a rotary encoder for fun. I 3d printed all of the keycaps and the case.

P.S. I know it has more buttons than the NES actually did –it's just because I love buttons and wanted more fun


This is a shortcut keyboard dressed up as an NES controller and retro TV.

Please see the GitHub repository to find the software, CAD files, and electronics schematics details.


The shortcut keyboard is controlled using an Adafruit feather built around an RP2040. The switch on the back is used for switching between choosing a program and running a program. The rotary encoder can be used for anything, but is meant to control increasing/decreasing functions such as zoom or rotate. The keys are sub pieces of a key matrix, also from Adafruit.

Physical Design

The screen and the rotary encoder are encased in a retro TV. The keys are within the NES controller case. All parts are 3D printed on a Form 3 SLA printer using durable resin.

NES-Shortcut-Keyboard v45.step

CAD model of the NES controller

step - 2.28 MB - 07/04/2022 at 10:27


TV v11.step

CAD model of the retro TV

step - 632.40 kB - 07/04/2022 at 10:27


  • 1 × Adafruit Feather RP2040 An RP2040 with a breakout board that includes a USB-C port
  • 1 × Snap-Apart Mechanical Key Switches NeoKey 5x6 ortho snap-apart mechanical key switches for MX compatible switches from Adafruit
  • 10 × Kaihl Mechanical Key Switches Tactile brown
  • 1 × Rotary Encoder With a push button
  • 1 × OLED Screen 1.3" monochrome, 128 x 64

View all 8 components

  • Case Creation

    Wing-Sum Law07/01/2022 at 20:25 0 comments

    I've had all of the electronic hardware for a while now,  but have been dragging my feet on creating the actual housing. Well I've finally made some progress. Using an SLS Form 3 printer, I printed out the case and the keycaps. Up next: assembly and finishing the code.

    Prior to this, I actually did a brief redesign to make the whole thing more compact. Part of this was due to the fact that my first test print seemed so large as to be unwieldy. But honestly, the real reason was because it wouldn't fit on the Form 3 printer bed without the size adjustment.

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