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  • Designing a custom keyboard

    April 19, 2020 - Dieter Brehm

    tags: keyboards, diy, design,

    Keyboard Render without top case a concept render of the keyboard

    This semester at Olin, I'm designing and producing a mechanical keyboard as an exercise in manufacturing, computer aided design, electrical design, and embedded firmware programming.

    The first step was to sketch model a prototype macro pad.

    progress photo of macro pad soldering mid soldering progress

    progress photo of macro pad soldering and switches done for now! the next step is the controller

    Once we had it constructed, Sam Daitzman and I cadded up a case for it to fit in!

    Using platform-io, we programmed the necessary matrix functionality, and added keybindings so it could say some silly phrases whenever we pressed a key.

    Our next step is to go full speed ahead on the full-size keyboard now that we better understand the inner workings of the typical hardware and firmware of a mechanical keyboard.

    progress photo of macro pad soldering and switches picture of the big case cad prototypes

    In the past week or two I've now drafted a potential option for the keyboard case. Alternatively it could offer a mood or motivation for future iterations.

    Keyboard Render without top case keyboard render without top case

    Keyboard Render with top case keyboard render with top case

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