Laser cutting schematic for a one piece keyboard

(Tyler Smith) #1

I just got my keycaps, so in theory I’m ready to build my own one-piece portable version of the keyboardio. Has anyone else put together a laser-cutting plan/schematic for the switch plate? I’d be very interested in hearing about your ideas and experiences before I cut my own.

In particular, I’m wondering about material (metal, fibreglass, acrylic), and layout. I’m thinking to try and stick reasonably close to the keyboardio, without the palm buttons, but I’m open to tweaking things a bit too.

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(Chris) #2

I am not doing the same, but I have on my project list a similar outcome.

What I will be making will be a split using the keycaps, but only taking the internal keys, so excluding the first and last columns and the top row.

I will be following your project with interest.

What are you doing about the fn key? This key adds considerable size on the keyboard, but is fundimental to a keyboardio, seperating it from other keyboards, like the ergodox, or travel boards like the microdox or ergotravel.

My two ideas on this:

  1. Have the fn key on a swivel-able arm so that it sits next on the right of the ctrl key when folded up, then can swivel out when in use.

  2. Have the whole board be able to rock forwards and back, so when the board is rested forward it is in a normal function mode, when it is rocked back it is in fn.

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(Tyler Smith) #3

Interesting! My goals are a little different. I have a 42 key atreus, and really miss the top row and outside columns. So I’m planning to keep all the keys. However, since I want to cut the size down I had planned to just drop the fn keys. As you mention, they account for a big chunk of the size of the keyboardio. I don’t actually use them that much, as I switch back and forth between standard keyboards, atreus, and the keyboardio, and haven’t gotten used to them yet.

I use the butterfly key and the escape key as function keys on my keyboardio layout. I should make up some cardboard mockups to see if I can’t find a convenient place for the fn keys. A swivel arm sounds neat, but could be fussy or breakable.

I like the idea of rocking the board to invoke the fn key, but that could be tricky when you have it on your lap. I also wondered about embedding a capacitive sensor on the front edge of the board, so that resting your hand on the edge would signal a function key press. That might also end up being a little fussy to get the sensitivity just right.

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