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making a custom keyboard from scratch-price question

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how much would  building a custom keyboard from scratch cost
im talking only about case + pcb + plate or case + handwire + plate.
im also concerned about the handwire as i would want to change the switches and idk if handwire would totally prevent me from swapping keys.
im looking for something working cheap and reliable.
no bhdget yet cos these are plans for the future.
notes: plastic case not metal obviously.

Somebody like LeslieAnn would probably be able to give you a rough estimate if you specified exactly what your plan was. Define custom. This could mean a lot of things. What do you consider to be scratch? Do you want to design something entirely yourself? If so, what materials do you want to use? What manufacturing process?

Something I have had on the back-burner for a while now is gutting an existing cheap Chinesium board and handwiring some SMK switches into the plate. The board cost me $30, the switches were free from a recycling board that was cut in half but saved from scrapping. I already have suitable wire around I bought in bulk from a ReStore for probably $5 for a giant spool, and Pro Micros are $5-6 in places like Aliexpress. Frankenboards can often cost even less than buying something cheap off of the shelf.

Even if you mean just mix and matching compatible commercial LEGO parts, the prices could vary widely based on the parts used.

I haven't swapped switches in a handwired board, but I think it would be easier to swap switches in a handwired board than one with a PCB in all cases other than if you had a really nice desoldering pump like a Hakko FR-301. Should just be able to melt the solder on one leg, move the wire, let the solder cool and repeat for every switch. Might need some desoldering braid if the wire is pretty stiff and/or there's a lot of solder present. I believe that LeslieAnn has also handwired hotswap sockets with success if that's something you wanted to try.

i want something cheap maybe 200$ max i maybe can get something nice for the price (the budget includes switches keycaps and stabs) i dont really care about materials and manufacturing and im looking for a custom layout that i can't really get in any prebuilt/custom parts i know of (i mean 60% aith f row). something cheap im open to handwiring it just has to work and be quite reliable. maybe some complanies that do 3d printing injection molding etc. like pcbway or something can do it for cheap enough.
i care about only few things qmk/via support ,custom layout ,  good custom keyboard (preferably better than akko pc75b but for 200$ it shouldnt be an issue)

Is a standard hot swap 75% out of the question? It would be virtually the same size, and it doesn't get easier to swap switches than that. Not as bomb-proof as soldered, but everything is a give and take.

How much soldering have you done? Soldering a new board is a great beginner task, desoldering a board to swap the switches is not without a good desoldering pump. As long as the PCB isn't a terrible design, reliability should really only come down to the quality of the soldering job.

I have never paid a company to do anything custom but PCBs and plates can be relatively affordable ... if you already have a design. I would worry about the case, although 3D printing or having some acrylic sheets cut to assemble into layers might be doable. If you have a makerspace nearby, printing your own case might save some money. I don't think the switches could be super fancy boutique stuff in any case.

I'm just hoping I narrowed down your preferences enough to give somebody more knowledgeable in manufacturing specifics enough to work with.

Very few case/plate/pcb's interchange, 60% is the exception, not the rule.
75% is one of the LEAST compatible of all formats.
Basically, you're going to have to buy all matching parts regardless.

I'd seriously look at 3d printing, you can do a 75% in two parts on most printers.
You can 3d print hot swap compatible keyboards, meaning you can swap just like a normal board without re-soldering. People have already done the hard work, just download and modify.

While PCB's are "affordable", they usually have a minimum order of around 30 so one is not usually all that cheap.
Laser or waterjetted parts can be done cheap, actually cheap, however cheap is relative and each parts adds up fast. You can get a plate but not much more.


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