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[IC] Derivative R1 | 60% o-ring, top, relief mount | v1 Prototypes

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Derivative R1

This is the interest check for Derivative, a 60% keyboard. While there was an very small run of in-stock initial units (Round 0) during Fall 2021, there've been some design changes I've contemplated since then. I also wanted to share this IC in case some were looking to pick up the board - this is basically to say that there WILL be another run, and I hope to make it far more available than it currently is.

In addition, as a result of discussions with vendors, I would really like to get an idea for the demand of this project to ensure I'm able to make this as available as possible while still being within reason. So if you're interested in this project, make sure to fill out the extremely quick IC form (just check the box and submit - feedback is optional). There are also some key design changes that I would like feedback on, so please fill out form if interested!


* Layout: 60%, WK / WKL / HHKB
* Mounting: Top / Relief / O-ring Gasket
* Materials: Aluminum 6063, Brass / Copper?
* Weight:
* Typing: 6.5 degrees
* Front Height: varies, 22.4mm EKH
* Pricing: ~$4xx

GB / Sale Info

TBD - still working on some design changes. Will confirm more information with time & feedback.

Design Info

Whenever I sit down and begin a new design, I always look to incorporate at least one distinct feature that gives the keyboard a sense of identity. One of the biggest challenges in keyboard design for me is creating something that is unique / different, while keeping design cues intentional and avoiding too overbearing complexity. Derivative features a sleek and layered side profile with contrasting curves mirroring one another. These are some key details that were considered in Derivative's design.

On the top face is a long, sweeping front lip that bows gently outwards towards the center. It gives Derivative a defining feature visible from a working angle, while reducing the front height of the board ever so slightly.

One of the most common pet peeves that prevent me from incorporating a classic Cherry lip is the feeling that it interrupts the proportions of a side profile - often times, a 45-degree lip plopped onto the front of a keyboard design feels 'wrong' from a side angle. It's a sudden, disproportionate break in the otherwise straight leading lines on the side of a keyboard.

With Derivative, I've added an accompanying bevel (similar to Geon's awesome Frog) on the side profile that lines up directly with the front-lip to avoid that.

The board's side profile is basically a shelf design, curved downward into the table. Beneath the shelf, there's a secondary curve in the base that turns away from the table - the two opposing curves work nicely together. The secondary curve is not a result of a stepped side profile, but a direct transition into the large filleted corners.

To keep the design interesting, I opted to leave the top edge of the board free of any chamfers / bevels. As a result, the side bevels exposed the fillets from a side angle. I added a fillet along the entire rear edge to match it perfectly - this small detail explains the rounded rear edge, as some have questioned this decision before.

The R1 weight has been greatly simplified to reduce pricing, down to a one-piece weight (no polished logo insert) - so those who have an R0 unit and are interested in new colors, you can plop your 2-piece weight in a new case color to keep that special feel.

I'm not an engineer by day - so custom keyboard case design may be the one of the only things I dabble with where fractions of a millimeter make such a core difference between having a functional case and a complete headache.

The side profile of Derivative features a shelf design that cuts directly into the bottom of the case. In order to have a shelf design, there's a minimum thickness required for the shelf otherwise the side profile cuts  a hole straight into the bottom case (that is, if I want to keep the super thin side bezels). This became a careful, frustrating battle between three things - keyboard height, internal clearance beneath the PCB, and minimum shelf thickness to retain the 'shelf' side profile. If you've designed a keyboard, you know exactly what I'm talking about :D

In the end, I opted to give the modifier switches minimal internal clearance - this buys the case more material for the shelf to cut into. Towards the center, the case internals opens up and give additional room for the alphas to flex where it actually matters.


Derivative's compact plate design allows for three practical mounting styles to choose from - classic top mount, a far more flexible relief mount (only viable on materials such as aluminum, carbon fiber, etc), and large o-ring gasket mount.

I anticipate the following plate materials will be offered:

* Aluminum Half / Full
* Carbon Fiber Half / Full
* FR4?
* Polycarbonate Half / Full
* Polypropylene?

These colors will be much bolder than my typical preference. The design is a bit flashy so I think it deserves a striking red, the rest follow.

Typing (full alu plate, 35a o-ring):
Typing (half alu plate, 35a o-ring):
More typing tests:
Build stream from Lulzthax:

Prototypes for R1 arrived.

Purple is a bit too bright / vibrant for my eyes, so probably will have that toned down slightly.

Other two colors are as I hoped.

IC Form:



Really happy to see HHKB for the groupbuy. Derivative so lit.

very nice, filled the IC form  :D

You love to see it. Although I do think a copper weight would look a little nicer with some of these colors. Great job as always  :thumb:

PP good, hoping for more units, more is better


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