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Building a Mechanical Keyboard

A DIY 60% mechanical keyboard based on Cherry MX blue switches

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I’ve ordered a Satan PCB board, a case and a plate to finish my keyboard.

Initial idea was to use a laser cuter but it’s not easy to get  access to one.

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  • Using a aluminum case and PCB

    Grégory Paul08/05/2018 at 14:06 0 comments

    I’ve found some PCBs and aluminium case shell on ebay so I ordered that to finish my keyboard.

    I won’t be was i was thinking at first (using a laser cutter to build the « plates » myself) but at least, I will finalize that keyboard and make use of my Cherry switches.

  • 3 keys prototype

    Grégory Paul05/15/2017 at 20:18 0 comments

    I’m building a 3 key prototype. It’s pretty ugly since it was cut « by hand » but the idea is to test it before using a laser cutter.
    The keyboard is working using https://github.com/tmk/tmk_keyboard/

    Now it’s time to customize the keys (mute, volume up and down).

  • Wonderful webapp to design the layout

    Grégory Paul03/06/2017 at 20:16 1 comment

    I just found out about keyboard-layout-editor.comkeyboard-layout-editor.com and http://www.keyboardcad.com/.
    Theses tools allow you to design your keyboard and then generate the SVG to laser cut it.
    It makes thinks really easy. Wonderful !

  • Next, the case !

    Grégory Paul03/05/2017 at 14:48 0 comments

      The case

      The next part of the process is to design and build the case.

      The case is composed of 4 plates :

      1. the « base » plate where switches will be mounted,
      2. the « supporting » plate,
      3. the « spacer » plate,
      4. the bottom plate.

      In picture :

              _
           __|_|__
          /       \
      +----------------+
      |                | 1.5mm « base » plate
      +----------------+
      |   |       |    | 
      |   \_______/    | 5mm « supporting » plate
      +----------------+ 
      |     |   |      | 
      |     |   |      | 5mm « spacer » plate
      +----------------+
      |                |
      |                | 5mm « bottom » plate
      +----------------+ 
      

      The goal is to design 4 SVG files that will feed a laser cutter.

      Since I’m not familiar at all with that process, I'm thinking to first design a 3 keys keyboard (volume up, down and mute).

      That will limit the costs if things goes wrong.

  • Components ordered

    Grégory Paul03/05/2017 at 14:44 0 comments

    Inspiration to build my mechanical keyboard came from an article from « beastie.lesfurets.com ».

    I like the visible micro-controller (a Teensy 2.0) but I’m thinking to use a more traditional layout (without numerical pad).

    Components

    I ordered almost all parts, including :

    • 100 Cherry MX blue switches (face plate mount),
    • 100 diode 1N4148,
    • I also ordered stabilizers parts from wasdkeyboard for large keys (like space, tab, shift and backspace) :
      • Cherry MX Stabilizer Spring for Spacebar,
      • Cherry MX Stabilizer Spring for 2x+ Keycaps,
      • Cherry MX Plate Mounted Stabilizer Clips,
      • Cherry MX Keycap Stabilizer Insert,
    • and, of course, keycaps from pimpmykeyboard composed of

    DSA key means they can be placed anywhere ; other families (DCS or SA) means keycaps are different according the row, see http://pimpmykeyboard.com/key-cap-family-specs/ for further details.

    For the micro-controller, II will reuse a Teensy I already bought.

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Grégory Paul wrote 05/15/2017 at 06:00 point

I won’t use a PCB but simply solder keys one to each other like https://github.com/mathieubolla/sik_keyboard

But you may find keyboard built with a PCB in my keyboard rss feed : https://rsstodolist.appspot.com/?n=keyboard&l=100

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dylan Brophy wrote 05/14/2017 at 23:43 point

I want to make a keyboard too!  I am excited to see the PCB files.  I got everything but a PCB :D

  Are you sure? yes | no

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