Author Topic: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case  (Read 5026 times)

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Offline Endu97

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Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« on: Fri, 04 February 2022, 11:17:39 »
Howsit everyone,

So the new board itch returned a few weeks back and it was time to start working on a new case - this time the goal was to keep things easy to produce, unlike the last case which kinda kicked my ass.  I did a bit of browsing through some of the open-sourced boards out there and ended up settling on the Sofle v2.  After a few days of playing around with different forms in CAD, I stumbled onto something that I think works and just went with it. Here it is, a pair of pantofles for your sofles  :p




Just a few crappy renders for basic visualisation.


I always start with plates and try get them out the way, they are by far the easiest part to manufacture (ty vacuum workholding)

A pair of cases fresh off the machine and ready for bead blasting.





I need to get a coarser glass bead that doesn't take so long to work out machine marks.




Currently, the cases are in a semi-finished state and the only thing that needs to be updated is the little windows which sit above the OLEDs - I didn't account for the additional height that socketing take up but it should be a pretty simple fix.
Once I have a pair of cases with the updated geometry (hopefully by the end of the weekend), I'm going to try my hand at dyeing them.
Please let me know what you think, I'd really appreciate the feedback?

Also just want to say a huge thank you to the Keyn discord homies who have been a great help, supplying me with ideas as well as letting me borrow some of their toys to get the job done.
Ty Cujo for lending me your board and PlainOldCheese for the gem of a name.  Maybe I am going a bit overboard but I honestly don't think that a more fitting name even exists for a Sofle case.


« Last Edit: Fri, 04 February 2022, 11:19:42 by Endu97 »

Offline Alejo1707

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 04 February 2022, 11:24:13 »
In in iiiiin!

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Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 06 February 2022, 08:12:14 »
I decided to spend the weekend dyeing the existing parts rather than playing around with the final, working pieces.  Very happy with the outcome and the process is extremely simple.

I mixed Rit Dyemore for Synthetics https://www.ritdye.com/type/dyemore-for-synthetics with water in a volumetric ratio of 1:3 and boiled the parts for a few minutes on a portable camping stove.  I am pretty sure that you could get away with using significantly more water or less dye and instead, increase cook time - that's something to test another day.
Originally, I had two colours for testing and intended to use a blue dye but after attempting to bring it to boil in a super cheap glass dish, I quickly learned how to clean up hundreds of tiny, hot glass pieces and a good liter of dye.  The second attempt took place in an old, mangled camping pot and it was smooth sailing from there on out.


World class dyeing setup.


1 minute


2 Minutes 30 Seconds


5 Minutes - Colour density starts to get pretty decent from around here.


10 minutes - Feet make an intro.


20 minutes - Very happy with the intensity of the colour so I decided to stop here but I do think you could probably go a few shades darker with an additional 10-15 minutes (Certain dyes may require more time than others).  Please no foot shaming.


This is the original case, dyed for 20 minutes.  The finishes and bead blasting need some work but that will be sorted on future runs.

Very stoked with the result of such a simple process.  I was concerned that in order to achieve good colour density, I would need to use a carrier such as acetone or isopropyl like some websites suggested - It doesn't look to be the case so any long-term breakdown of the acrylic due to chemical exposure shouldn't be an issue.

Offline zhol

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 07 February 2022, 14:36:54 »
looks great! (almost looks edible haha) I do like the two-part construction; Iím not too familiar with the processes for finishing acrylic, but is it possible to finish it clear, in the sense that you can clearly see the OLED through the acrylic covering the OLED?
any plans to run or open source this or is it not the time yet?
i'm zhol

Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 08 February 2022, 13:23:08 »
Cheers!   :D

I could try to polish out the remaining tool marks rather than bead blast but it's so labor-intensive that it's very hard to justify. 
The plan is for the oled to be visible through the frosted window and it's something that I am currently playing around with - I'm pretty confident that if the window is blasted with a fairly coarse bead and the display sits right up against it, it will be legible.

As for producing the cases - I may open-source the files in the future, but first, I'd like to do a few small runs in-house.

Offline F eq ma

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 08 February 2022, 19:23:05 »
Thanks for sharing!   Looks great.   Machined acrylic just does not get much play in the hobby.

Offline Cujo26

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 16 February 2022, 04:57:31 »
Endu doing the most for boards one can buy in South Africa as per usual :D :D
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Offline smollchungus

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 17 February 2022, 08:47:22 »
This is great

Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 05 April 2022, 06:54:56 »
Time for a quick update, I know it's been a while.
I have decided to make a small run of cases (10 items with a restock already in the works) and they will be for sale in the very near future.




Flat patten of the box inserts for safe shipping.  These were kinda fun to design and while the sheet metal workspace in Fusion360 is not exactly the best choice of software, it worked wonders and they turned out better than I could have hoped.


Literally the best sketch you have ever seen.

We got stickers.  The sketch worked wonders  :p





10 boards are almost ready to go.  You'll be able to pick a colour from the Rit dye colour formula page and I will mix the colour to order (or you could do it yourself.  Its pretty fun)





Offline Alejo1707

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 13 April 2022, 08:38:22 »
Sir, do you happen to have a Discord server? I want to buy this as soon as it goes live for 10 units is pretty low and I have a low success rate when it comes to limited GBs :(

Offline Versaknight

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 13 April 2022, 09:00:54 »
Cool project!

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 15 April 2022, 03:47:10 »
Great project, I think I prefer the brighter colour at 5 minutes but that's personal preference.  Impressive abuse of the sheet metal feature too - would take a very bad postman to damage it in there :thumb:
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Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 29 April 2022, 11:44:39 »
Great project, I think I prefer the brighter colour at 5 minutes but that's personal preference.  Impressive abuse of the sheet metal feature too - would take a very bad postman to damage it in there :thumb:

Thanks for the kind words and we are definitely on the same page regarding colour.  Good thing we have the best postmen here in South Africa  ;) :))

Cool project!

Appreciate it!  :-*

Sir, do you happen to have a Discord server? I want to buy this as soon as it goes live for 10 units is pretty low and I have a low success rate when it comes to limited GBs :(

I don't have a discord but I am fairly active on the main South African Keeb Discord - Keyn.  The current boards will be going live this weekend on my store - worthmfg.co.za - with a restock of a few more boards already in the works.


Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 29 April 2022, 11:56:07 »

The first board is out in the wild - this one went to Cujo.


And here's my personal board in its final form. Still coming to grips with typing on it but seriously enjoying the new layout.

Offline Alejo1707

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 03 May 2022, 09:32:44 »
Show Image

The first board is out in the wild - this one went to Cujo.

Show Image

And here's my personal board in its final form. Still coming to grips with typing on it but seriously enjoying the new layout.
My friend I tried buying a case from your site but I am unable to ship it to the US, is this an error or you are keeping it local for the moment?

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Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #15 on: Tue, 03 May 2022, 15:41:26 »
Show Image

The first board is out in the wild - this one went to Cujo.

Show Image

And here's my personal board in its final form. Still coming to grips with typing on it but seriously enjoying the new layout.
My friend I tried buying a case from your site but I am unable to ship it to the US, is this an error or you are keeping it local for the moment?

Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk

Yeah sorry about that, Iím still working out the kinks regarding international shipping. The local demand isnít super high so Iím sure there will be a couple left and if not, the first restock is already in the works. As soon as I have an update regarding international shipping with reasonable shipping costs, Iíll post an update here. Lmk if youíd like me to send you a pm so that you are among the first to know?

Offline Cujo26

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 06:00:31 »
Here are some pictures of the Pantofle fully built up.

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Offline fortissim2

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 14:04:53 »
That looks so freakin' good, holy cow! I would totally get one if I had a Sofle though.
Do you think you'll make some similar cases for the Corne in the future?

Offline Alejo1707

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 12 May 2022, 14:09:12 »
Here are some pictures of the Pantofle fully built up.
It looks gorgeous! Fingers crossed the boss can make it available for the US soon!

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Offline Cujo26

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 16 May 2022, 03:57:19 »
Here are some pictures of the Pantofle fully built up.
It looks gorgeous! Fingers crossed the boss can make it available for the US soon!

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Based on my experiences with shipping, the main concern is that you'll run 50%-90% of the price of the board shippping it overseas, so it becomes a little bit difficult to justify to foreign buyers
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Offline firimp

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #20 on: Wed, 27 July 2022, 05:02:29 »
Any updates? I'm stuck in this keyboard, open source or international sale is important to me.

Offline Cujo26

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 05 August 2022, 11:17:32 »
Any updates? I'm stuck in this keyboard, open source or international sale is important to me.

The current production run is all sold out, not sure when he's going to run round 2
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Offline Endu97

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Re: Pantofle - Machined acrylic Sofle case
« Reply #22 on: Mon, 15 August 2022, 07:10:27 »
Any updates? I'm stuck in this keyboard, open source or international sale is important to me.

Hey Firimp,  Pantofle v2 has been restocked and another 10 boards are ready to ship!   :thumb: