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PocketCHIP "Mechanical" Keyboard

by anthonysavatar Aug 20, 2017
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The difference between the normal and the backspace key is just a larger contact pad, correct? I assume this is because the domes on the PocketCHIP's keyboard are larger for backspace and enter, correct?

Yep that's right. For me the smaller contacts on the larger metal domes didn't always trigger the key. The larger contacts helped.

his looks great. I've thought about making a keyboard for the PC with bottom hinged keys like old HP calculators. You've done it. Now I've just got to reflash my PC as it is being cranky.

Is there a preferred printer for this? I ordered from one vendor and nothing fit, the tabs were super weak, holes way too small.

Sorry to hear! I printed on a prusa i3 with .2 mm layer height and in PLA. The parts are quite small and there is very little room for expansion of the plastic. I don't recommend ABS for that reason.

a tip;

you can make a nice cutting tool out of a paperclip by taking some nice snips and cutting it at an angle. then bend it sorta like a questionmark, hold it at the top , drive the tip into the print(s) while twisting for more friction :)

Good to know, thanks! I added another faceplate version that bores a hole from the left side of the row 2 keys to the dpad opening. That way removing the paperclip from row 2 is easier.

Great design!

The frame model has a single hole for the spacebar, are you using a different frame that uses two spacebar keys?

I've gone through 3 attempts now to print keys with inset chars on them. I can make it look ok for about 70% of the keys, but between the first layer sealing the openings and general challenges with the level of detail, I'm about ready to give up and use a fine tip sharpie then just put a coat of sealant over it. I'll try a couple more attempts, if I can get a decent result I'll share the OpenSCAD file and STL.

Here is what slic3r shows for the spacebar keys for me. https://imgur.com/a/dlWAv

You are absolutely right and I have been completely brain dead. Geez, you can tell I printed, but didn't try mounting the faceplate yet. I was looking at the hole for the power button and thinking it was the space bar. Duh.

Sorry about the confusion! :-(

--Tim

Thanks much!

The faceplate STL should have two separate holes for the two spacebar keys. Is that what you are seeing? They are the two double wide keys on the bottom row.

I can imagine it would be hard to print with inset characters. The keys are so small already and adhesion to the print bed can be a bit challenging. In a couple months I should get the prusa i3 multi material upgrade and may try printing letters on the keys with a different color filament.

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Wow, this is really awesome! A really neat idea, and it looks great, too. Looking forward to printing one when I have the time.

Very nice design, excellent solution for strengthening up the keypad of the original design. I happen to have various sizes of music wire on hand for r/c airplane control pushrods - should work great for the hinge wire. I'll be printing this one soon, thanks for sharing.

Nice! Straightening the paperclips can be a pain. That wire sounds perfect. I knew there had to be a better option but figured everyone would have paperclips on hand.

Would you mind enumerating how many of each key type we need to print? Im guessing that everything besides the dpad and the two space buttons and the 2 backspace enter are the same buttons?

That's exactly right. For my print I made:
2x spacebar keys
2x backspace/enter keys
48x standard keys
1x dpad

The paperclip holes are pretty small and you may want a few extra in case of print errors or difficulty assembling.

Before assembly I'd recommend pushing paperclips through all the holes to clear out any excess leftover plastic.