Let's Split Keyboard Plate & Case

by mesohuannny, published

Let's Split Keyboard Plate & Case by mesohuannny May 22, 2017
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This is a plate & case I built for a "Let's Split" keyboard. In the photos I used translucent filament.

PCB's will eventually be restocked here:

I use these screws:
M3 x 0.5 mm Thread, 6 mm

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The case was not deep enough for me. I followed nicinabox's guide, available here: https://github.com/nicinabox/lets-split-guide

The case is 11mm deep, but the distance from the bottom of the plate to the microUSB port is about 13mm, which means the case requires a depth of at least 13mm. I'll be editing these designs and getting them reprinted. Updates to come.

Update: I edited the files today and sent them in to get printed. Attached are the files I am printing. I will attach pictures and talk about how well it fits once I get case.

Update 2: got the new model printed. I've uploaded pictures of the old case and the new one for a comparison. The new model worked like a charm.

it works a lot like most mechanical keyboard cases. The switches snap into the plate and then the they're all soldered onto the pcb, technically the switches could come apart from the plate, but they're on there pretty tight.

How does the pcb stay together with the case? I feel like it would just fall to the bottom.

The plate is sandwiched by the the PCB and the switches. Then the whole thing is screwed onto the bottom enclosure

So like the switches are soldered to the pcb and that holds them together and they just kinda squeeze the plate in between?

I like this design so I bought the components and printed it, but there are two issues I need to point out.

1) On the left-hand bottom side, the slot for the arduino micro doesn't have a indent like the right side to allow the board to fit snug so I had to cut away some of the material.
2) The right-hand bottom side is not deep enough to take account for the arduino micro being upside down, sticks the top up from the case approx. 3mm.

I had the same problem, so I edited the model to be a little deeper. Here are the files. I printed them and it fits much better, as you can see in my photos. I've included the photos for the original case and my edited model.

Thanks! Maybe the Arduino micro is a little thicker than the pro micro? I'll make an indentation and maybe go a little taller. Did you clip the pins after you soldered the arduino micro on?

My apologies, I meant the pro micro. Pins are clipped. I'll take a picture a little later tonight.

Where's the Spacebar?

The bottom inner most buttons are used for space. You can map space to anything you like though. The software that goes onto the micro controller is very customizable.

Lol. I did not know that's where 4chan comes from. You learn something new everyday!

Yesssss! I'm not the only one, haha.

Does this case allow you to use plate-mount switches, or are pcb-mount switches still preferable?

In my experience that depends on the PCB. I've used cherry and gaterons switches. The only difference between plate and pcb mount switches are that pcb mount switches have an extra two plastic prongs that fit into the pcb. Where the two different types of switches mate to the plate is exactly the same. I prefer PCB mount switches since they align better but of course if your pcb doesn't have the holes for the prongs, they won't fit. But you could easily just snap the prongs off to make them fit in this case. Hope that helps!

So I understand, but it's my impression that plate mount type switches, lacking the stabilizers through the pcb, benefit from extra support provided by the case; I was wondering if this case provides that.

No there's nothing additional in this print that would provide stabilization, the switches fit snug into the plate but I wouldn't say that it is as secure as a metal plate. The soldering to the PCB helps keep everything secured and supported but that said, I always prefer PCB mounted switches still. Those extra prongs help keep everything perfectly aligned.

FYI if you're doing hand wiring, 3D printed plates are tough to use in my experience. There will always be some flex to them and that flex is enough that when you go to pull the keycaps off of the switches the switches may come off the plate.

Do you have the design files for the case still? I want to add a hole for a reset button for the Pro Micro

Yea, I have it in blender though, would that be fine?

Is this printed with PLA and how much flex is there any kind of flex when typing?
Thinking about getting a copy of this

Yes I printed with PLA. There is nearly no flex, the PCB makes things pretty stiff.

Hi, is this case compatible with the V2 let's Split PCB? Cheers

I think only v2 is supported. I didn't buy the PCB myself so I'm not 100% sure but I think it was a v2 that I built this with

Hi can you tell me where you buy the keycaps? Thank you.

The keycaps are SA Industrial from PMK: http://pimpmykeyboard.com/sa-industrial-keyset/, but they are currently sold out. You might be able to find a set on /r/mm.