Author Topic: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.  (Read 7426 times)

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Offline mustcode

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Hello!

First of all, I'd like to put it out there that I'm no pro at this... I'm a game developer that knows a little bit of CAD and love to design crazy things that pops into my head. I have no real experience with manufacturing except for a few 3d-printing projects I did for fun. So if enough people actually like the idea, I'll probably try to collaborate with an experienced pro to bring this to life.

Alright, with that out of the way, let's get to the meat!
220456-0
220458-1
220460-2
As you can see, except for some retro vibes, fancy aesthetic is not the main focus of this design (I called it "Fat Boy" simply because it looks kinda fat). This is a keyboard designed to be customized like no other boards that I know of.

Let's start with the first unique point of the board, the bottom:
220462-3
No screws! Yup, this is why there are screws on the sides. I've always hated having to flip a keyboard upside down whenever I need to open it up to tinker with it. So, this board is designed so that you'll never have a reason to flip it over, ever. As a bonus, you also get a completely flat bottom that lets you easily attach custom dampening material instead of standard bumpons.

Next let's look at the main pieces of the assembly since you're probably wondering how the board opens up:
220464-4
The image above shows all the custom pieces for the case, the rest are standard McMaster-Carr hardware. There pieces are: Main Body, Top Cover, Back Cover, and two weird pieces that are part of the mounting system, I'll get to that in a bit... But first, let me talk about the Top Cover and the Back Cover.

You couldn't see the seams for the covers in the previous images because the perfectness of CAD rendering hides it, but hopefully, you can forgive the seams for the benefits that you get from having the top and back covers - customization.
Like this clear cover for example:
220466-5

The top cover can be secured with screws from the sides or from the top. Top screws allow simple customization using just laser-cut flat panels. The side screws are designed to be more discreet, but required more complicated top panel.

The back cover is also a simple flat panel covering up a large opening on the back of the keyboard:
220468-6
It is designed this way so that you can easily customize it to fit whatever connector(s) you want for the keyboard. This also future proof the case if your connector of choice becomes obsolete. For example, here's a render with some weird ass connector I found:
220470-7

Of course you also can customize the top cover to do the same thing, if you want something more unique:
220472-8

The screw holes on the back also happens to fit Neutrik's D-size connectors, so it is possible to do crazy stuff like this?:
220474-9

Now let's get to the internals. I'll start with this render:
220476-10
The image shows the mounting a little bit more clearly, and also the controller PCB (I rendered it as a clear panel because it was easier for me to see through it during development), which is the next unique point of this board that I wanted to talk about.
Inspired by IBM's Model F and Beamspring keyboards, I thought the removable controller is such a cool thing because it allows us to keep using these old keyboard even though the controller is completely obsolete, thanks to some clever engineers in our community. Even though one might argue that it is easy enough to just replace the whole PCB with today's technology, I'm still intrigued by possibilities such as being able to easily change the switches while keeping the same controller, or switch out a broken controller for repair if an smd component fell out.

Here're some more renders that shows the controller:
220478-11
220480-12
220482-13
I'll be honest that I haven't really learned how to properly designed the PCB yet, but if I can, I'd like to have two USB-C on each side of the board to help with cable routing. The card edge connector I used here has 32 contacts, seemed like plenty of contacts for each row and column of the matrix. All you experts out there please let me know if this looks like it can work, I'm just assuming that this will work based purely on my experience with Nintendo cartridges and graphic cards.

Finally, the mounting system.
Highly customizable, a little crazy and hard to explain, so I'll explain by showing to how the whole assembly is put together. But keep in mind that this is just one of several ways that you can use this mounting system. It is designed so that you can experiment and try out new ways to improve your typing experience.

We'll start with just the Main Body:
220484-14
It might be a little hard to see but the little circles are a bunch of strategically placed bumps and screw holes. I designed it this way so that in the future I (or you) can use the same pattern for a variety of different mounting solutions. The bumps are mostly for alignment of connecting pieces. I realized that it might not be very economical to have unnecessary features from a machining stand point because it can add complexity and extra machine time; but since I'm more or less clueless when it comes to CNC machining, I decided to just dream big and scale down later when I have more information.
Btw, every screws I used in this designed are M3 (same size as most screws you found in computer cases). I feel M2 is a little small for my comfort zone when used in a heavy keyboard and anything bigger takes up too much space.

Let's continue. Now we add what I called the "Male Pieces"
220486-15
220488-16
These Male Pieces are the core of the mounting system. They basically allow you to stack whatever you want to cushion the PCB and the plate. This is actually all you need for a simple gasket mount setup. Drop in some o-rings, follow by the the PCB/plate sandwich, and finish-off with some more o-rings, and you're done. But I'd like to take us further, to show how versatile and interesting this is.

Enters the "Female Pieces"
220490-17
The image shows the Female Pieces plus some flat-circular springs from McMaster-Carr's catalog as cushion. The springs can be replaced with many other components for cushion, this is just one way to do it. At this point, we're ready to drop in the PCB sandwich.

220492-18
Here we add the PCB, mid plate, switch plate, and some o-rings on top of our mounting stack.

Next we'll secure the mounting stack
220494-19
Here we keep the whole stack in place with another Female Piece, some washers, and some M3 pins. Now we can close to top cover which will push onto the pins slightly and keep and the whole mounting stack in place.

Here are a couple more views of the mounting:
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To help you visualize the whole assembly a little better, I also put together this simple explode view of the keyboard as a video:

Some quick words on the layout.
I realized that 60% + F-Row is not a super common layout in the community, but I also want this designed to share as much elements as possible to the bigger layouts, so that when I translate the design into TKL or 1800 or even full-size, I can just increase the width and reuse the exact same mounting hardware. Also, I think HHKB + F-Row is a lovely combination :)

And that's all for now folks! I know this may not be enough details to bring it to production yet, but if there's interests, I'll definitely continue to keep working at this. It'll be a dream come true if this becomes the start of a platform for a family of keyboards that people can enjoy and also use as test beds to create even cooler stuff.

If anyone with machining experience find this design interesting and would like to collaborate with me, I'll be more than happy to. Also, I have no problem sharing my CAD files. If we get to a point where the design is at production-ready quality, I do plan to make all the source files open-source.

Finally, even if the Fat Boy doesn't make it into production due to my own incompetence or whatever reasons, I hope at the very least this IC can inject some new ideas into the community and advance keyboard design even if by only a little bit. Have a great day y'all :D



Updates

Update #1 - 1st July '19

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K. These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!

Update #2 - 1st Aug '19

Ha! Did you think the project is dead? Not at all! I was just giving myself time to make sure that the design is stable. I was deciding on too many different ways to reduce the manufacturing cost while still keeping parts that I value the most in the original design. And I'm finally done! The main body didn't change much, but the number of the smaller custom parts are reduced from 20 to 4 and relying more on standard McMaster-Carr parts. With these tweaks, the prototype should be within my budget, and the final price shouldn't be too crazy.

Here's a look of the new simplified mounting design:
[images in the actual post down in the thread]

Not as crazy looking as the original design, but still not too shabby. Updated 3D files are already on Github: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K. This time I've exported all of them into STEP files based on a recommendation that it has good compatibility with CNC machines.

The next challenge to resolve is to finally find someone who can help me manufacture this thing. After taking some advice from friends in the community, I think the best way is to try to get in touch with designers or engineers in the community who has experienced with custom keyboard rather than my previous approach of finding a local CNC shop. Small shops don't want complicated project, big shops wants quantity... I just can't satisfy them. I was going to try finding something on Alibaba, but I'm told that it's pretty much a gamble unless I get a solid recommendation. On the other hand, if I can get in touch with someone in the community, then we're already on the same page, and it'll be so much more confident that the quality of the final product will be what the community expects.

That's all for now, See you in the next update!
P.S. If anyone knows someone that would like to work with me on the Fat Boy, please let me know :D
« Last Edit: Thu, 01 August 2019, 14:53:16 by mustcode »

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:39:25 »
The last few images didn't show up, I'm assuming I'm hitting some sort of limits in the number of attachments, so I'll just add them here:

Offline Kokaloo

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 16:46:51 »
absolute unit

Offline Asbrodeus

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I like this a lot I'm sure more questions will come to me when I'm not on mobile.  Would the case be cnc or stamped/rolled aluminum? What other customizations are you thinking of (rotary knobs and the like?)

Offline tex_live_utility

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:15:25 »
At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?

That said, there are some "interesting" design choices here. I can't imagine this will be wildly popular, but I'm sure a few people will want one. This keyboard evidently will be fun for people who have a laser cutter at home.

Offline OtherAndrew

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:19:03 »
we get it, you can use fusion 360

Offline realxmlforce

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 17:43:59 »
that is the most ridiculously over engineered board i have ever seen. i like it

Offline thearctican

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we get it, you can use fusion 360
More designers should display such detail in their designs.

Looks awesome. Curious to see if the mounting mechanisms would work well in a more compact case, and concerned for longevity.

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Online Surefoot

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 19:09:32 »
At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?
Seconded.
And i love the over engineering that goes on the mounting solution. If it was 75% i'd get one in a heartbeat.

Offline equalunique

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This is marvelous

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Offline rondg

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 04 June 2019, 20:45:35 »
So many pieces.. I like...

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 01:10:23 »
Thanks for all the feedback! Looks like the feedback are better than I expected :D

At least add an extra column for a typical 75% layout?
Seconded.
And i love the over engineering that goes on the mounting solution. If it was 75% i'd get one in a heartbeat.
I hear you :) I designed it so that I easily create larger layouts by just increasing the width. If there're demands, I'd love to expand the line up all the way to at least a TKL or a 1800. So, let's see how this go.

I like this a lot I'm sure more questions will come to me when I'm not on mobile.  Would the case be cnc or stamped/rolled aluminum? What other customizations are you thinking of (rotary knobs and the like?)
The case will definitely be CNC'ed, I don't know of a better way to create something like this. As for other types of customization, it's still too early to say what options I'll be able to offer at GB, but I'm sure a competent modder could do a lot with the interchangeable parts. There are plenty of room in the case to fit all kinds of knobs and other electronic components.

Looks awesome. Curious to see if the mounting mechanisms would work well in a more compact case, and concerned for longevity.
Regarding longevity, can you elaborate a little bit more on which parts that you are concerned about? Longevity is one of my main focus, so I'd like to address your concern if I can.

Offline woodruff

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 02:00:00 »
I don't like big bezels around keyboards because I tend to rest my hands on those, and it's quite dangerous and painful at the end of the day. Yeah, I do it automatically, there's no way I can stop that  :p

Online Anakey

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 07:40:02 »
Like this board a lot especially if it would come in a larger layout 1800 would be good. I will ask the dreaded question, will this ingenious and exquisitely designed board support Iso?
« Last Edit: Wed, 05 June 2019, 07:59:52 by Anakey »

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 09:42:56 »
Like this board a lot especially if it would come in a larger layout 1800 would be good. I will ask the dreaded question, will this ingenious and exquisitely designed board support Iso?
If there's enough interest for ISO, I'll definitely make it happens. It's cheap to support multiple layout when the controller is separated from the switches  ;)

Offline Hadi

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 14:38:08 »
Have you factored in machining costs into your design? The mounting mechanism is really interesting, but I think it would easily be the most expensive keyboard within the hobby to date.

Offline Photekq

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 17:49:57 »
The mounting of this is really similar (in spirit) to something I'm working on at the moment, but you've approached it in an entirely different way that I never would've dreamed up. Love the work so far, I'll keep my eye on this.

Offline ihalatch

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 22:12:30 »
I like it a lot :) Can you please make the keycaps recessed in the body of the keyboard at least a few mm. I had enough of otherwise beautiful floating caps boards?

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 05 June 2019, 22:12:57 »
Have you factored in machining costs into your design? The mounting mechanism is really interesting, but I think it would easily be the most expensive keyboard within the hobby to date.
Yes, cost is one of my concern as well. We're gonna have to fight that with volume. I also decided to not include brass weight to hopefully balance out the cost a little.

The mounting of this is really similar (in spirit) to something I'm working on at the moment, but you've approached it in an entirely different way that I never would've dreamed up. Love the work so far, I'll keep my eye on this.
Glad to see I'm not the only one :D I'd love to see your design whenever you're ready to share.


Offline Bruek

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 07 June 2019, 20:11:15 »
yes yes YES! this looks amazing. totally in.
cronch

Online juusu

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #20 on: Sat, 08 June 2019, 02:33:46 »
This is very unique and interesting.  Do you think it would be possible to mount a Raspberry Pi in the case beneath the keyboard assembly with the USB/ HDMI connectors pulled out the back to make a full computer in a case?

Also, +1 for ISO support

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #21 on: Sat, 08 June 2019, 03:37:50 »
This is very unique and interesting.  Do you think it would be possible to mount a Raspberry Pi in the case beneath the keyboard assembly with the USB/ HDMI connectors pulled out the back to make a full computer in a case?

Also, +1 for ISO support
It should fit all variants of the smaller RasberryPi Zero in the space at the back. :thumb: (The space in the back is about 34Wx290Lx24H mm, the Pi Zero is 30x65mm)


Quick update: All feedback has been really great so far. Thanks to everyone for all the support and news coverage (Thank you Manofinterests, Top Clack, and all others for help spreading the words about this project). I'm currently contacting several local CNC shops to see if I can get a prototype made.  :)


Offline parityb1t

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #22 on: Sat, 08 June 2019, 06:37:22 »
uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
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Offline sl70309

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #23 on: Sat, 08 June 2019, 11:53:20 »
is prototype under production?

Offline equalunique

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uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
Same!

Might be worth considering keeping this first round's cost lower by having a smaller-width board. Rama for example didn't start with the U80 - those keyboards grew in size over time as interest in the brand grew.

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Offline Warrenified

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #25 on: Sat, 08 June 2019, 16:50:02 »
Love me those thicc bezels

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 09 June 2019, 00:00:10 »
is prototype under production?
I manage to convinced a shop owner to consider making the prototype. The main issue is that the project is difficult from machining complexity perspective, and many shop doesn't like low volume, high complexity project. Luckily one shop owner is being a really nice guy and is looking at all the drawing so that he can give me a quote. So, I'm really hoping this will work out :D

uhm, yeah!

Might not be popular opinion, but I really prefer the current layout over 75%. Though I'm a 'small keyboard width' person
Same!

Might be worth considering keeping this first round's cost lower by having a smaller-width board. Rama for example didn't start with the U80 - those keyboards grew in size over time as interest in the brand grew.

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The first run will definitely be in this form factor. I realized that one keyboard cannot satisfied everyone, so all things considered, I decided to start small. Not only it is cheaper to make, but I think 60% is popular enough in the community (I also love it personally) and I can (and will) create bigger ones easily if this one turns out to be a success.



Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 30 June 2019, 16:22:50 »
Update #1!

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K. These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!

Offline equalunique

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #28 on: Sun, 30 June 2019, 16:48:24 »
Wow! Thanks for following through on publishing the source files. The exploded view youtube video linked to in the readme shows an amazing design.

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« Last Edit: Sun, 30 June 2019, 17:27:31 by equalunique »

Offline Photekq

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 04 July 2019, 10:20:09 »
Update #1!

I'll try to keep regular updates for as long as I'm still working on this project, and here's the first :)
For the past few weeks I've asked ~10 local CNC shops about the project and I've concluded that most shops around here will not do low volume project of this complexity. Most low-volume shops around my area only have 2-axis machines that can only do simpler parts, while the Fat Boy require a 4-axis machine (or so I'm told), which is more common in larger factories.

Another issue is cost, I've found out that the smaller parts are pretty expensive to produce. If I can optimize the design a bit, I might be able to bring the cost down significantly, so I'll get to work on that as well.

Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to make this project open source, so I've exported some STLs and DWGs for the main parts and you can download them here: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K. These are the files that I sent to factories for quotes, so check them out if you're interested, you can also quote me if you have a CNC shop ;) The fusion360 files are still quite messy so I'll share those later when they're good enough to benefit the community.

That's all for now, I'll also put all the updates on the first post for easy reference in the future. Peace!
A 4-axis mill shouldn't be a requirement - I haven't looked too closely at the geometry so I may be missing something but a 3-axis mill should be capable of making it with the use of a jig or a manual rotary table. There are a few things that stand out to me as unnecessary and costly to machine though:

One is the large cutouts and removable plate at the rear of the case; even 4-axis mills would struggle with this if their vertical work area is too small. If you're able to rethink this part of the case and instead use cutouts that can be milled vertically (when the case is sat on its base) it should make a noticeable difference to quotes. Secondly, the fact that your top casing truly is a top casing. Since it adds very little height to the bottom casing, all of the cavities in the bottom casing are extremely deep. If you're able to split the case at a lower point while retaining functionality, it will make all of those cavities much shallower and less challenging to machine. Lastly, holes on the sides of the case that you use for attaching the top casing - these are extremely inconvenient to machine. Try and stick to vertical screws only (or near vertical, e.g at the angle of slant of the board) if you can. This is why most cases are screwed together from below.

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #30 on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:20:58 »
A 4-axis mill shouldn't be a requirement - I haven't looked too closely at the geometry so I may be missing something but a 3-axis mill should be capable of making it with the use of a jig or a manual rotary table. There are a few things that stand out to me as unnecessary and costly to machine though:

One is the large cutouts and removable plate at the rear of the case; even 4-axis mills would struggle with this if their vertical work area is too small. If you're able to rethink this part of the case and instead use cutouts that can be milled vertically (when the case is sat on its base) it should make a noticeable difference to quotes. Secondly, the fact that your top casing truly is a top casing. Since it adds very little height to the bottom casing, all of the cavities in the bottom casing are extremely deep. If you're able to split the case at a lower point while retaining functionality, it will make all of those cavities much shallower and less challenging to machine. Lastly, holes on the sides of the case that you use for attaching the top casing - these are extremely inconvenient to machine. Try and stick to vertical screws only (or near vertical, e.g at the angle of slant of the board) if you can. This is why most cases are screwed together from below.

Thank you for the advice! These are exactly the kind of advice that I'm looking for ;D
Strangely, the quote that I got for the main body is not too far from my expectation (300-ish), but the smaller pieces are crazy expensive. I'm getting 15-25 dollars per piece for the smaller pieces. There are currently 20 small pieces in the design (12 Male and 8 Female), so that's about 300-400 dollars not including the main body, which is pretty insane (well, people did warn me it'll be expensive, and yup, it is very expensive ^-^). So, this really opens my eyes to some of the manufacturing challenges outside of just learning a CAD program. Anyway, I'm working on some redesign and hopefully I'll get some more advice from you for the next update :)

Offline Photekq

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 05 July 2019, 13:59:32 »
Thank you for the advice! These are exactly the kind of advice that I'm looking for ;D
Strangely, the quote that I got for the main body is not too far from my expectation (300-ish), but the smaller pieces are crazy expensive. I'm getting 15-25 dollars per piece for the smaller pieces. There are currently 20 small pieces in the design (12 Male and 8 Female), so that's about 300-400 dollars not including the main body, which is pretty insane (well, people did warn me it'll be expensive, and yup, it is very expensive ^-^). So, this really opens my eyes to some of the manufacturing challenges outside of just learning a CAD program. Anyway, I'm working on some redesign and hopefully I'll get some more advice from you for the next update :)
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #32 on: Sat, 06 July 2019, 13:24:53 »
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.

Offline Photekq

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #33 on: Sat, 06 July 2019, 13:45:31 »
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.
IGES or STEP of the full assembly would be best for me if it's not too much trouble.

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #34 on: Sun, 07 July 2019, 11:53:27 »
I'm not surprised by that at all, since multiple smaller pieces require much more setup time than a single larger piece, even if the cut time is longer for the latter. If you're willing to send me the CAD assembly files I could have a look and see if there are any other things you could do to reduce costs.
Thank you! I have stl files up on the github link in the update #1. Do you need anything else? The source is in fusion360, I can export to most common formats.
IGES or STEP of the full assembly would be best for me if it's not too much trouble.
Sorry for the delay, I added IGES and STEP file of the full assembly to the github repository
https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 14:46:16 »
Update #2

Ha! Did you think the project is dead? Not at all! I was just giving myself time to make sure that the design is stable. I was deciding on too many different ways to reduce the manufacturing cost while still keeping parts that I value the most in the original design. And I'm finally done! The main body didn't change much, but the number of the smaller custom parts are reduced from 20 to 4 and relying more on standard McMaster-Carr parts. With these tweaks, the prototype should be within my budget, and the final price shouldn't be too crazy.

Here's a look of the new simplified mounting design:
223559-0
223561-1

Not as crazy looking as the original design, but still not too shabby. Updated 3D files are already on Github: https://github.com/mustcode/MC-76K. This time I've exported all of them into STEP files based on a recommendation that it has good compatibility with CNC machines.

The next challenge to resolve is to finally find someone who can help me manufacture this thing. After taking some advice from friends in the community, I think the best way is to try to get in touch with designers or engineers in the community who has experienced with custom keyboard rather than my previous approach of finding a local CNC shop. Small shops don't want complicated project, big shops wants quantity... I just can't satisfy them. I was going to try finding something on Alibaba, but I'm told that it's pretty much a gamble unless I get a solid recommendation. On the other hand, if I can get in touch with someone in the community, then we're already on the same page, and it'll be so much more confident that the quality of the final product will be what the community expects.

That's all for now, See you in the next update!
P.S. If anyone knows someone that would like to work with me on the Fat Boy, please let me know :D

Offline ecbob

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #36 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 15:24:30 »
Final price not looking crazy as in sub $200? :)

Offline ecbob

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #37 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 15:26:31 »
Also for feedback, I find the chin slightly too big for me. If would be sick if you shaved off some of the bottom bezel.

Offline mustcode

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 01 August 2019, 23:32:02 »
Final price not looking crazy as in sub $200? :)
$200 would be really nice :P But realistically, sub $400 is my target :)

Offline dexie

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Re: [IC] MC-76K "Fat Boy" - A compact keyboard for the modders among us.
« Reply #39 on: Fri, 02 August 2019, 00:09:20 »
That's absolutely crazy, but I want it. I will probably wouldn't even properly type on it, just play with it and all the customization it has
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