Author Topic: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?  (Read 895 times)

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Offline KaptainKitsune

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How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« on: Mon, 14 September 2020, 15:19:38 »
I just curious on how it's done and I have some time to spare so why the heck not

Offline fpazos

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 14 September 2020, 16:33:04 »
That involves a lot of things. The problem is that you should have the posibillity of creating the keyboard, if not it is quite worthless work. 3d print the cheap solution and cnc the very expensive one.

First learn a CAD program. Fusion360 is quite easy and you can have a hobbist free license. If you have a 3d printer you can create easier stuff first for your home to learn about tolerances an such things.

Then you have to think if you want the case for a custom keeb or an already made one. In the first case you also need to create the plate and maybe the pcb if it isn't for a commercial one.
In the second case you need to reverse engineer the mounting and dimensions using a caliper to take meassures and also for the connection to the pc.

Next with the mounting in place. Create a case around it and make it your own style.

Just keep in mind that this is a long work even for someone that knows how to do it. But if you think you'll enjoy it go for it!!
« Last Edit: Tue, 15 September 2020, 00:54:47 by fpazos »
 

Offline Leslieann

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 14 September 2020, 21:47:34 »
It's actually a lot easier than that.

You go to Keyboard-layout-editor.com  and design a layout
Then you head over to Swill's KB builder, it will generate CAD files based on that.

From this point it gets a LOT more difficult.
Head over to the Kalerator to help automate the pcb files you need. It doesn't do everything but it helps. This means learning how to do up pcb files. The alternative is to just hand wire it. I recommend at least understanding hand wiring as it will help you understand what you will be doing in electronics CAD. there's plenty of tutorials for hand wiring, less for the electronics CAD.

From there you need to send the PCB cad files out for manufacturing (or hand wire later) and send the case CAD files for cutting or use those to generate STL files you can 3d print. This means learning cad.

Lastly you need to go over to qmk.fm and do up your firmware. This means reading a lot of documentation, which you may want to read before you start your PCB since it can only run on certain processors and use certain LEDs.


It's still a whole lot of work and learning before you get everything finished then find you made a mistake or decide to change it. it's not a 3 hour project that's for certain.
« Last Edit: Mon, 14 September 2020, 21:54:08 by Leslieann »
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline KaptainKitsune

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 15 September 2020, 16:20:53 »
It's actually a lot easier than that.

You go to Keyboard-layout-editor.com  and design a layout
Then you head over to Swill's KB builder, it will generate CAD files based on that.

From this point it gets a LOT more difficult.
Head over to the Kalerator to help automate the pcb files you need. It doesn't do everything but it helps. This means learning how to do up pcb files. The alternative is to just hand wire it. I recommend at least understanding hand wiring as it will help you understand what you will be doing in electronics CAD. there's plenty of tutorials for hand wiring, less for the electronics CAD.

From there you need to send the PCB cad files out for manufacturing (or hand wire later) and send the case CAD files for cutting or use those to generate STL files you can 3d print. This means learning cad.

Lastly you need to go over to qmk.fm and do up your firmware. This means reading a lot of documentation, which you may want to read before you start your PCB since it can only run on certain processors and use certain LEDs.


It's still a whole lot of work and learning before you get everything finished then find you made a mistake or decide to change it. it's not a 3 hour project that's for certain.

Kalerator doesn't work. It just gives me an internal server error. Any other options?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 15 September 2020, 22:11:22 »
Not that I know of.
Filco MJ2 L.E. w/hand milled Vortex case, custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, sound dampened,  Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs | GMMK TKL | Magicforce 68 | YMDK75 | KBT Race S L.E. | Das Pro (Costar model) | GH60 | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 02:17:50 »
I'd recommend building around a commercially available PCB (a standard 60% PCB or the PCBs available on KPrepublic) and plate. It isn't sexy, but life will be easier if you only have to worry about mounting a working PCB.

Offline vvp

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 15:23:29 »
I say it is easier to hand wire your first custom keyboard with some standard break out board (e.g. arduino or it's clones or teensy ...).
That allows you to leave out all the design PCB magic.

Offline looted

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 20:05:38 »
http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/ to design keyboard.

http://www.keyboardcad.com/ for an stl file to print yourself.

http://builder.swillkb.com/ other autocad site, but you can have lasergist cut it for you for average to low cost.

I have sourced other sites and they average about 100$ and several can not use the generated files from the other sites.

https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/Fairchild-Semiconductor/1N4148/?qs=i4Fj9T%2FoRm8RMUhj5DeFQg== for diodes.

https://www.pjrc.com/store/teensy.html for controller.

https://medium.com/cracked-the-code/a-complete-guide-to-building-a-hand-wired-keyboard-9d8c9cc7b041 is a 'guide' for hand wiring.

https://builder.mrkeebs.com/ for firmware / wiring diagram.

Must read https://docs.qmk.fm/#/ for any firmware design.

Key caps 35$-100$
(cherry mx) switches 20$ for 10 (unless bulk order then may have wait time of a couple months depending on source) 140$
pcb 35$
Case 30 - 100$

Avg price 240$ to build yourself.
Hand wired as low as 85$ (strip option for below keyboard and get a premade plate).

If thats too much for you....

You can also just go buy https://redragonusa.com/products/keyboard/K552-N-2/241 for 35$ to try, dissassemble (like I did) or strip for parts.



Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: Wed, 16 September 2020, 20:07:47 by looted »

Offline Rayndalf

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 16 September 2020, 20:19:59 »
Cherry MX are much cheaper at enthusiast sites ($3.50 for 10 instead of $20, $2 a switch is lubed holy panda or "rare" recolored Durock/JWK tier)

https://novelkeys.xyz/collections/frontpage/products/cherry-switches?variant=12495307669597

Amoeba single switch PCBs can also simplify handwiring

Offline fpazos

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 01:36:58 »
There is also a quite good intermediate solution. If you want to do a standard layout keyboard. Buy a commercial pcb 20€-60€ (60%, 75%, tkl are quite common) and do the rest yourself. With the custom plate you don't have to follow the pcb mounting. I have 2 keebs made for me and I spend like ~100€ on each one. I also made one for my best friend which is the cheapest one I made: 70€ + 3d printed case that was under 10€ of pla as I printed it myself

Enviado desde mi Redmi Note 7 mediante Tapatalk

 

Offline katotaka

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:18:47 »
shameless plug for my board  :p

Offline looted

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 14:26:57 »


shameless plug for my board 

not a fan, split keyboards are the worst post interruptions.



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Offline Rayndalf

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:21:24 »
shameless plug for my board  :p

Split orthos are great. I'd consider turning one half the space bar into a "backspace bar", and possibly integrating the arrow keys on the bottom row.

The integrated numpad eats desk space for breakfast, but vintage splits had the same problem

Offline AuthenticDanger

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 15:57:06 »
http://builder.swillkb.com/ other autocad site, but you can have lasergist cut it for you for average to low cost.

Don't use swill's plate gen. It produces CRAZY fractional dimensions (like thousandths or millionths of a mm). It's a nightmare to import those files and use them for a base for a case in any CAD software. Ai03 made a way better one: https://kbplate.ai03.me/
F Keys belong on the left.

Offline looted

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 17 September 2020, 16:12:19 »
Sweet good to know.

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Offline 4sStylZ

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 18 September 2020, 02:36:36 »
Don't use swill's plate gen. It produces CRAZY fractional dimensions (like thousandths or millionths of a mm). It's a nightmare to import those files and use them for a base for a case in any CAD software. Ai03 made a way better one: https://kbplate.ai03.me/

That's interesting. I never get any problem when I import them into Fusion 360. I did notice that some dimensions were a little bit « imprecize » but more something like 19mm,03 than what you described.  :)
Bépo user here : AEK64 White linear dampened, XD75 Cherry Blue Jailhoused, TypeMatrix2030 black skin, Lenovo 0B47200 w/ trackpoint, G13, G512. Kensington Expert Trackball & Orbit, Magic touchpad 2.

Offline katotaka

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Re: How do I make a 3D model of a keyboard?
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 19 September 2020, 14:39:38 »
My experience was even more worse, when I made my angled split thing one particular row was like 0.0000000000003 degree off and caused me huge pain when I need to ref dimensions from the DXF, ended up only using the generated plate as visual ref and draw my plate from scratch in CAD