Author Topic: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount  (Read 1235 times)

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Offline fpazos

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Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 05:54:16 »
Today I bring my last project.
As always something cheap for those who haven't the money to enter into a group buy but want a nice keyboard.

I changed the case of my first keyboard, an EEPW84 with stock Gateron browns and steel plate.

I leave a link to the files to the Fusion 360 file and also to the stl files, I'll write notices on some parts for those who want to print / create his own version.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mX9nkzz0NMSJT24znpZKwae8Wjkls4HF/view?usp=sharing
I printed everything using standard PLA.

The new case uses an isolated gasket mount system instead of the bottom mounting. First step, saying bye to my noisy plywood case.



I started printing the part that goes between the plate and the pcb. This part exactly adjusts with the outermost plate switch cuts. You can notice that there are cuts for the spacebar stabilizers, these should be bigger as I needed to widen them later using a cutter.

I covered the plate parts. I used standard EVA foam that I glued using superglue that worked really well. I didn't glue both halves.





Now to mount it, that part was a bit tricky, I used a knife to pass the foam under the plate.



With the bottom part printed I tried the fit. It was a success.




As the EVA foam is quite soft, you have better margins to work with, however I found that the plate wasn't completely aligned into the teorical center where it should be. If I were doing this again I would take in consideration the small gap between the left control and the escape keys, as well to try to completely cover the plate parts, including the inside, to do this add 0.5 mm margin to the inside of the parts.

If you are doing this process try to make a wider margin on the case top, like 1mm more, being a total of 4.025 mm between the case and the outer switch cuts instead of the more normal 3.025.

I asked for help to my girlfriend to create the bottom windows using epoxy resin. We used acetate tape to prevent the resin from going outside, be careful with this step as it is possible that some parts don't stick well together.



We used two components, jewelry resin as it is very fluid and worked really well, with very few and small bubbles.

Mix carefuly.


Pour it first on the corners.


That helps to remove the bubbles.


The final result the next day. You can see two imperfections due to bad tape adhesion and also that is is a bit wavy. I didn't minded this as it won't be visible. I love the finish that using the tape creates, as if it were a bit frosted.



Now the last step, to mount the inserts and the legs, I make a little hole on the top case with my iron.



The final result.





I can say that this has been a huge improvement compared to my previous case, now it has 7 tenting and the sound is low and nice compared with before.

I hope you all like this process. If someone wants to replicate it I will be pleased on helping with whatever I can.



P.S: A bit more info:
That's posible the best case that you can create for under 20$. It uses aproximately 300gr of filament.

Inserts:
M3 x 4.6 x 4.0
https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32810852732.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.1ea463c0iUYeoD

Bolts:
Legs: M3 x 6
Case M3 x 10
https://es.aliexpress.com/item/4000826134336.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.1ea463c0iUYeoD


 

Offline fpazos

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Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 06:11:04 »
I forgot to mention some details.

The files haven't any tolerance, that's something that you can setup before printing usign both Fusion 360 or the printer slicer. Google how to setup this if you don't know how to.

The top halves and bottom case halves are glued together, you can use either superglue or two components glue.

I printed everything using a 50% infill, that makes the pieces very sturdy and reduces the hollow sound, also with 3 walls but I would use one or two more as the inserts will remove one or two.
« Last Edit: Sat, 27 June 2020, 06:13:23 by fpazos »
 

Offline nevin

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  • Location: US
Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 09:08:47 »
Nicely done! Really like how you locked the two bottom parts together. Resin can be tricky if you don't get the mix right, glad you got it right and it hardened well for you. Looks good.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline fpazos

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Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 27 June 2020, 14:22:00 »
Thank you.

I wanted to also add a preview of the model for everyone to been able of see the complete model, the top case also uses the same inserts than the legs.



 

Online Maledicted

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  • Location: Wisconsin, United States
Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 13:24:27 »
This is really cool. Nice job.  :thumb:

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 30 June 2020, 18:08:53 »
Better design work here than on most customs  :thumb:

I have to apologize though, I'm mostly commenting to ask about the keycaps. They are at once beautiful and ridiculous, but functional dual legends and use of aesthetics to accent function (instead of the other way around) are surprisingly rare to see. I assume they're from WASD, what template did you use?

Offline fpazos

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Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 01 July 2020, 01:09:20 »
This is really cool. Nice job.  :thumb:

Thank you!


Better design work here than on most customs  :thumb:

I have to apologize though, I'm mostly commenting to ask about the keycaps. They are at once beautiful and ridiculous, but functional dual legends and use of aesthetics to accent function (instead of the other way around) are surprisingly rare to see. I assume they're from WASD, what template did you use?

Thank you. You are right. I made the template using Windows ProFont (if I can remind it well) of common use for programming. Also I tried to do it more easy to understand as it is a keyboard that I share with my girlfriend and my mother that has visual impairment, so readability was a must. I made myself most of the symbols too and it is inspired on retro and industrial aesthetics. You can download it here if you want to adapt it to your language / prefered layout.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11qqTvMQG_xwL86sa9uqDNLe8lm1Gssdy?usp=sharing
« Last Edit: Wed, 01 July 2020, 01:13:35 by fpazos »
 

Offline nevin

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  • Location: US
Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 01 July 2020, 10:12:19 »
very nice. thanks for sharing.
Keeb.io Viterbi, Apple m0110, Apple m0120, Apple m0110a, Apple 658-4081, Apple M1242, Apple AEK II, MK96, GH60/Pure, Cherry g84-4100, Adesso AKP-220B, Magicforce 68

Offline JCraftCables

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Re: Converting a cheap chinese keyboard to isolated gasket mount
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 03 July 2020, 01:52:59 »
This is so cool, thanks for sharing!