Author Topic: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype  (Read 8498 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
[PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 00:26:49 »
Hi all. I've lurked a little and have gotten bit by the bug and so here is my prototype full size left hand ortho EVE-Project. Custom PCB, fixed backlight, standard ANSI keys (except for the 3u split spaces) in ortho layout, a little split in the middle for aesthetics and a pen maybe, QMK. The Alu frame is in production with a little bit of a delay so I used a rejected PCB as a stiffening bottom plate as I wait for delivery. Still to do: frame acrylic top and bottom cover plates. PROJECT COMPLETE onward and upward.

Full build log, in reverse order, here: https://imgur.com/a/PMHg3

Update 4: 2018-02-11: Right, EVE-Project is complete so this is the final update and a bunch of glamour shots. Maybe some messing around in the future to tweak but it's pretty much done as-is. Inspiration from PS2 aesthetics, some 80s stereo styling, apparently a bit of Sith retro-techno-doom, and fundamentally the ortho-ising of standard keys with a left-hand arrows and numpad.





















Fin

Update 3: 2018-02-10: laser cut acrylic top and bottom cover plates. A little more to do to get the magnets glued on, in the meantime, the 99% complete shots:

Update 2; 2018-01-22 - Feeling the black a lot more, as Sith as it looks right now it should soften with the acrylic top and bottom covers.


The board was designed with SA in mind - looks much better with the chunkier keys, and even the odd silver coming through the scratches adds something. If only SA came in shine-though. Needs the top and bottom acrylic sheets to finish off for the proportions - currently too thin and I'm not a fan of visible switch tops.

Aside: Has anyone had any success with Plasti Dip?


Update 2018-01-22 - 90% there

Finally got some time after the XMas break to get back to this - the frame was a little loose on the fit for the switches so I did some heavy-handed spray painting to tighten the holes up. Even with primer the paint isn't sticking too well to the alu, and I'll be honest it's not my best spray job, and I'm not convinced by the all-black as the details in the frame are lost. No matter, I can fix that up further down the line - the good news is it's almost there.

Enough talk, here are some new images!

Some splotchy paint, and already it's chipping off the edges. The top and bottom will be hidden by an acrylic plate (piano black). Keycaps are a temporary placeholder while I find some shine-through caps that look nice enough, and also sourcing 3u keys is a lot harder than I had expected.

The back - the aviator cable termination was fiddly as heck, and I don't actually like it - any leads on a female USB-C plug I can install instead? I'm really happy with the notch/cable stub detail though. One thing I'd change is the corners of the frame - I had a larger diameter but tightened it up, probably should have left it as-is.


Update: 2017-12-19 - Frame delivered!

A little rougher around the edges than I would have liked but it's a freebie and overall looking good! Switches go in tonight.
« Last Edit: Sun, 11 February 2018, 20:15:36 by emenelopee »

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 03:53:55 »
A really nice keyboard and a very talented designer.

Looking forward to see it complete with the case.

Nice job.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 12:59:38 »
Thanks for the positive vibes!

I'm also looking forward to the case - it's been a long time coming.

As an aside, I've installed Gateron Yellows in the prototype. Quick review - nice and smooth but the last couple days with the board puts me in the "too stiff for my liking" camp.

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 13:57:26 »
Try Gateron Blacks, they are also linear but intermediate between Yellows and Reds. They are also available in the Silent version.

Again, double thumbs up to your creation.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline MatchstickMan

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
  • CAD Jockey - YOLO Enthusiast
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 14:05:18 »
Very nice! I'm looking to do something somewhat similar. Split, full-size, numpad on the left.

What did you use for your rendering? I might try some of that over the break.
Current Projects:
- SouthPad -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 14:47:06 »
Modelling and render with Rhino and Flamingo. I just upgraded to the latest Flamingo which broke all my materials so the final version doesn't have any nice renders boo hiss.

My split is more notional/aesthetic than strictly ergonomic, though it does force a better fingering on alphas. I couldn't have them too far apart as I do a lot of one-handed keying in my day-to-day FEA/CAD/Excel.
« Last Edit: Mon, 20 November 2017, 14:50:29 by emenelopee »

Offline MatchstickMan

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
  • CAD Jockey - YOLO Enthusiast
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 20 November 2017, 16:21:09 »
I totally get that. I'm in CAD and Excel most of the day, so having the numpad and function row is super important to me.

I love my ergodox and it feels great to type on, but I don't want to get gimped by only being able to use that style of keyboard if I were to bring one to work. But I also want to bring that tent life to work with me.
Current Projects:
- SouthPad -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)

Offline luismonterieart

  • Posts: 30
  • https://miluxkey.com
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 22 November 2017, 09:58:49 »
This looks perfect! Can't wait for it to come to fruition!
Explore our world at

Website: https://miluxkey.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiluxKey

Offline metalliqaz

  • * Maker
  • Posts: 4951
  • Location: the Making Stuff subforum
  • Leopold fanboy
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 22 November 2017, 10:16:42 »
Very unique.  Looking forward to seeing it 4real

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 01 December 2017, 19:18:00 »
UPDATE: Frame is in production!



EDIT: as I move to the next phase, I'll be laser cutting a top plate to cover the switches - how much space should I leave around the switches to give them enough clearance along the sides. I'd like to get is as snug as possible but of course not too snug. Opening size, opening corner radius?
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 December 2017, 19:42:48 by emenelopee »

Offline metalliqaz

  • * Maker
  • Posts: 4951
  • Location: the Making Stuff subforum
  • Leopold fanboy
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 01 December 2017, 19:23:22 »
UPDATE: Frame is in production!

Show Image


You got your own CNC?

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 01 December 2017, 19:49:57 »
You got your own CNC?


No, not even close. I know helpful people with machines.
« Last Edit: Fri, 01 December 2017, 20:00:47 by emenelopee »

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 19 December 2017, 17:45:55 »
Update: 2017-12-19 - Frame delivered!

A little rougher around the edges than I would have liked but it's a freebie and overall looking good! Switches go in tonight.










Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 19 December 2017, 17:59:16 »
Wow. Just wow.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline MatchstickMan

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
  • CAD Jockey - YOLO Enthusiast
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 10:56:10 »
Beautiful!! I hadn't considered a reverse-shell case like that! I will probably take that idea for my own build... :P
Current Projects:
- SouthPad -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 15:13:53 »
Thanks!

Bear in mind it's not a cheap or easy way to do make a frame... More pics of the back and switch/pcb/LED  fit/finish/lighting test:


Frame backside, stiffeners


Switches in place - fit is a little loose and switches are plate-mount =/ Why don't Kailh Box come with PCB pins? LEDs are 4x3x2 surface mount, they fit perfectly into the switches from the underside. I'll prob build another PCB with PCB switches to get this to fit. LEDs will need to come in over the top in the usual fashion.


It's not small, but not as big as it looks. A little wider than a standard 100%


I'm really happy with this gap and split space (left:backspace/fn(delete), right: space, fn(del)) - it looks great, works well, and adds a little to the comfort. NB: 3u caps are great but not easy to find. If I were to go again I'd use 1u+2u - GAP - 2u+1u to have more of a selection of keycaps. It's a shame, the world needs more choice in 3u spacebars.


Tiny magnet for the polycarb cover plate fits beautifully. I have the wrong keycaps for this bottom row, these are temporary surrogates.

More pics of the PCB fit from the underside to follow - it's currently not fully mounted, supported on cork spacers for the fit/finish check.



Offline MatchstickMan

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
  • CAD Jockey - YOLO Enthusiast
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 15:24:46 »
Who cares about the cost when you've got

A E S T H E T I C S

So you've got a piece of polycarbonate that fits on top of the machined plate? Is that to help diffuse the light a bit better?
Current Projects:
- SouthPad -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 16:05:16 »
Not yet cut but yes, I have a piece of polycarb waiting for the laser treatment, once the PCB and switches are mounted on the frame that's the next step.

It's not for diffusing the light, in fact I'm considering painting the inside of the frame black as I don't like the diffusion much, I just want the keycap icons to to glow. It's more an aesthetic thing to give it some black gloss, cover up the switches, and lift up the underside, and give the board some thickness. Here's the all-black concept render to give you an idea:



And an early render before I added the notch in the corner when it looked too much like an iPhone (5?):


Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 21:23:46 »
Quick question to the hive mind: how snug should switches be in the switch plate? I'm seeing quite a bit of rotation in the Kailh switches I'm using - the up/down dimension seems fine, probably because the tab keeps it in place, but the left/right tolerance is about 0.25mm too wide making the switches rotate more than I can control before soldering. I tried it with some Gateron switches and they do the same. I want to check what should be normal before I go back to my fabricator.

A quick fix could be to powder coat the frame which would eat up some of that wiggle, otherwise I'm not sure what to to remedy. The alternative is to rebuild the pcb with PCB switches and just use the plate for rigidity with through-switch LEDs.

Thoughts and knowledge appreciated.

Offline BlindAssassin111

  • Posts: 1016
  • Location: My Mind
  • I design keyboards and stuff.
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 22:53:30 »
If I remember correctly the cutout should be 14mm X 14mm with a +-0.1mm tolerance or +-0.05mm tolerance, not sure which it was but it is tight.

EDIT: Measured a few switches to see what I would make the cutouts given the dimensions. I would say make them 13.95 +-0.05mm if possible. I was getting between 13.90 and 13.96 for the Outemu, Kailh, Gateron and Cherry switches I had laying around and they are batches ranging as far back as 2010. So That is a nice tight fit that should never have issues.
« Last Edit: Wed, 20 December 2017, 23:08:45 by BlindAssassin111 »

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 20 December 2017, 23:33:43 »
I have the dims off the spec sheets, I was hoping to get a more subjective opinion on how wobbly the switches should feel. My only reference is PCB mounts, or switches already soldered on a working board. Should plate mounts feel at all wobbly before soldering? Even a little?

As an aside, plate mounts have no place in 2017. There is no benefit that I can see, drillings in the PCB are free and easy.

Offline BlindAssassin111

  • Posts: 1016
  • Location: My Mind
  • I design keyboards and stuff.
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 21 December 2017, 00:49:43 »
They should barely wiggle or not at all, And I mean just barely to the point you can begin to notice, which occurs at about 0.05mm to 0.10mm, at 0.2mm to 0.25mm that wiggle is more noticeable, rattles a bit and is likely to solder crooked. I would say the max you would want is the 0.15mm, over that and it is quite loose and is more likely to solder crooked than straight. But for the best outcome the 0.05mm to 0.1mm is the range you would want to be in. All measurements are added to the base dimension of the switch, if the switch is 13.91mm then the range for the cutout should be 13.96 to 14.01mm. If you have calipers you can use a loose switch to feel how much wiggle is expected, I gave numbers to help you better understand the difference firsthand. Hope this helps more.

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 21 December 2017, 01:11:03 »
Yeah, as I thought, they're more wobbly than they should be. I don't have calipers to check the precise amount but subjectively there is an issue.

Incidentally, I'm finding the Kailh Box looser *by a smidge* than Gateron Yellow and Gateron Clear (both PCB mount) - by a small immeasurable margin the Kailhs are slightly smaller. In either case, they should't fall out if I turn the board upside-down. Need to hatch a plan...

Offline Sylvestyeo

  • Posts: 63
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #23 on: Mon, 25 December 2017, 06:29:16 »
This is so beautiful! Merry Christmas🎄🎄🎄

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #24 on: Mon, 22 January 2018, 21:01:04 »
UPDATE 2018-01-22 [see OP for more!]

Keycaps are temporary shine-through I had lying around. Switches are Kailh Box red - they feel great - with 4x3x2 LEDs mounted straight on the PCB, switches slip over the top.



Some splotchy paint, and already it's chipping off the edges. The top and bottom will be hidden by an acrylic plate (piano black). Keycaps are a temporary placeholder while I find some shine-through caps that look nice enough, and also sourcing 3u keys is a lot harder than I had expected.



The back - the aviator cable termination was fiddly as heck, and I don't actually like it - any leads on a female USB-C plug I can install instead? I'm really happy with the notch/cable stub detail though. One thing I'd change is the corners of the frame - I had a larger diameter but tightened it up, probably should have left it as-is.

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 02:13:56 »
Update 3: 2018-02-11: laser cut acrylic top and bottom cover plates. A little more to do to get the magnets glued on, in the meantime, the 99% complete shots:


A little shifting of the cut-outs for some reason - caught before the final cuts were made!


Holy moly the acrylic is reflective - so much so the piano black looks like gunmetal


cuts made, and a few cheeky wee keyrings with the extra material. Had I known I'd have shallow-etched a design on the bottom plate, I didn't realize that was an option.
« Last Edit: Mon, 12 February 2018, 14:14:04 by emenelopee »

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 03:13:13 »
Astonishing, as always.
Is the acrylic top shortening the bottom out distance?
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 09:09:31 »
Nope, the key travel is unaffected. It's close but the acrylic openings are a hair wider than these Maxkey SA caps - if I were to go again I would make the openings wider by 1mm for that extra breathing room, the laser cut width was much thinner than I had expected.

The acrylic is actually a little thinner than advertised, and I can't find my the teeny magnets to keep the acrylic in place (they really are extraordinarily small), so the plate is currently sitting lower than planned so the switches aren't fully covered. A little more effort today and done.

Offline MatchstickMan

  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
  • CAD Jockey - YOLO Enthusiast
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 12:11:02 »
Absolutely fantastic! I love seeing updates on this project.

Are the magnets the only thing left?
Current Projects:
- SouthPad -- Left-handed Numpad
- Full Split (Currently on hold)

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #29 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 13:27:23 »
Thanks for the positive vibes! That should be it, yep. I'm still not convinced by the aviator connection so I'll probably swap it out for a female USB-C (if I can find one), and I may sand the black paint off the side of the frame to express the ribs, but these are but fiddling on the periphery.

Now where did those magnets go - funny how hard it is to find objects a little over 3mm dia. =/  Fingers crossed they're strong enough, the acrylic is a lot heavier than I imagined -- should have done some calculations...

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #30 on: Sun, 11 February 2018, 19:40:01 »
Update 4: 2018-02-11: Right, EVE-Project is complete so this is the final update and a bunch of glamour shots. Maybe some messing around in the future to tweak but it's pretty much done as-is. Inspiration from PS2 aesthetics, some 80s stereo styling, apparently a bit of Sith retro-techno-doom, and fundamentally the ortho-ising of standard keys with a left-hand arrows and numpad.





















Fin

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #31 on: Mon, 12 February 2018, 04:19:23 »
I like it a lot, especially the glossy acrylic top and the detachable cable.
This is one of the best custom keyboard I've seen so far.
Congratulations on your achievement.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 12 February 2018, 14:23:22 »
I like it a lot, especially the glossy acrylic top and the detachable cable.
This is one of the best custom keyboard I've seen so far.
Congratulations on your achievement.

Many thanks. It was a fun project, and feedback, especially positive, is always well received. I'll give it some time to settle before thinking about a V2 (perhaps a mini version?), but for now I'm pretty happy with how my first build has gone.

I've had a few people asking whether there're any plans to get a group buy happening - as much as that would be a cool thing to do, the complication is high and the current momentum in the kb world seems to be stuck on colour and case variations of the 60%, this niche of a niche is likely too narrow to make the effort and costs worthwhile. If there is anyone out there who thinks this concept has legs and has the nous, resources, and connections, to get this to market, even in a minor way, I'm all ears, but for now this will likely stay as a one-off.

Thanks for all the feedback, so long, and thanks for all the fish!

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #33 on: Wed, 07 March 2018, 11:51:04 »
Hi all! Now that EVE-Project has been finished for a few weeks, time for a shameless plug:

I'm running an [IC] for a Glow-in-the-Dark keyset called GLOW SA, come have a look in the [IC] Subforum and give me your thoughts!

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=94287.0


Also EVE-Project is up for February Keyboard of the Month, along with two other stellar boards. Come show some love!

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=94419.0

/shameless plug

Offline jimirolln

  • Posts: 282
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #34 on: Wed, 14 March 2018, 14:57:51 »
this is a very impressive board...i really like the mirror finish on the top of the board...it remind me of the arcade pads they use on esports in fighting games...tho caps are next level as well...very nice

Offline TalkingTree

  • Posts: 2452
  • Location: Italy (142)
    • My projects
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #35 on: Wed, 14 March 2018, 15:01:09 »
Congrats for reaching the final stage of the KotM. To me the EVE is nonetheless a winner.
My opensource projects: GH80-3000, TOAD, XMMX. Classified: stuff

Offline emenelopee

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 398
  • *klomp klomp klomp* I step on your house 🦖
Re: [PROJECT] mnlop EVE-Project Prototype
« Reply #36 on: Wed, 14 March 2018, 22:53:35 »
Many thanks TalkingTree. It was always going to be an uphill battle with Hyper7 in the race--a board like that doesn't come around often--but I'm happy with the votes EVE-Project generated.