DIY Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard with a custom layout. Acrylic body, Cherry blue switches, blank keycaps

diy

laser cutting

mechanical keyboard

Keyboards Keyboards Keyboards

I started getting into keyboards in 2016. It started when I found the mechanical keyboard subreddit . I was amazed by the huge variety of custom built keyboards out there. It seemed that everything and anything could be customized: switches, keycaps, layouts, cases and more.

The appeal of keyboards is threefold for me

Functional: I use my computer for almost everything I do, and my keyboard is my primary interface into my machine. I customize everything on my computer to suit my needs, and my keyboard is no exception.

Aesthetic: I love the intersection between technology and design. Technology can't just be usable, it has to be a pleasure and a joy to use. Mechanical keyboards embody that philosophy.

DIY: In addition to software, I love building real, tangible things. Specifically, I love DIY projects that have both a mechanical and electronic component to them.

Conceptual Design

Layout: I knew I wanted a split keyboard, since I used one at work. They're more ergonomic, and let's be honest, they look pretty badass. I was going to have no function row, which meant the escape button would be missing. To account for this, I added a vertical escape button on the left hand side.

Switches: I love the loud, tactile switches. While there are a few on the market, I went with the tried and true Cherry blues.

Keycaps: I knew I wanted blanks (keycaps with no letters on them). Pimpmykeyboard.com had the widest selection of colors so I bought through them. I really liked how baby blue and vivid orange went together, so I used baby blue for my modifier keys, and orange for my space bars.

Case: Since I was using a custom layout, I had a few options for building the case. I decided to go with acrylic, since I had access to a laser cutter for cheap.

Printed Circuit Board: HA! PCB's are for children. I decided to be a real keyboard enthusiast and handwire my keyboard. Sadly this was way more tedious then I imaged and was the reason I quit halfway through.

Execution

Coming Soon