Author Topic: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox  (Read 1039 times)

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Offline coolsax

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So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« on: Tue, 18 August 2015, 00:48:08 »
A friend of mine shared the secrets of the underground keyboard lovers to me recently and I have to say...I'm going deeper down the rabbit hole than I expected. I have a CNC router, Romaxx WD-1, and he wants me to build him a case for the ErgoDox he wants to build. So I look at the design and I'm intrigued. I'm going to be making one now too but I'm going to start out with the case. The simplest thing to do, for me anyway, seems to be using Litster's Acrylic layered design with layers of plywood. I'm sure anyone who's familiar with trying to convert anything from mm to inches in the local American wood (or any medium) selection knows it's a pain. So I'm going to try making layer's 1,2, and 5 with 3mm (1/8") plywood and layers 3,4 will be 6mm (1/4") plywood. I'm thinking it should work out but I figure I'd consult the keyboard masters for any input. Also if you have any pointers or things to note when I start making the board that would be nice to :)
Corsair K70 (Cherry MX Red)
     

Offline coolsax

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 21 August 2015, 14:25:32 »
Well look what arrived today :)

Corsair K70 (Cherry MX Red)
     

Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 22 August 2015, 04:07:42 »
If you're making a layered case the most important thickness is usually the one for the switch plate - if it's too thick the switches won't clip in, this is not so much of an issue when you're using a PCB though.  The plate could also be really too thick - the max is 5mm before the switches don't sit flush on the PCB.  Then you have to be sure there's enough space inside for the switches and PCB, and lastly that it's not too tall to be comfortable to use.

Unit conversion is not fun, I hope this works out :)
                               
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 22 August 2015, 10:31:29 »
Litster's case design with integrated "plates" was not made for the switches to clip to the plate. They are just force-fitted in there.

You won't need to CNC-route any thick plates though. You could instead cut all of that out. I see two options:
1) If you instead use switches with fixing pins then those would mount sturdily to the PCB without the need of any plate.
I see that those white PCBs even support Cherry's PCB-mounted stabilisers if you would want them.
2) Get metal plates from Falbatech. They were not designed to be part of the case sandwich but to be inside the keyboard case in-between its walls. The plates seems to be the right thickness for switches to clip into them.
Falbatech also has a 80-key version (Thumb keys are all 11 - sized).
« Last Edit: Sat, 22 August 2015, 10:33:20 by Findecanor »
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Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline AKmalamute

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 22 August 2015, 17:19:34 »
Litster's case design with integrated "plates" was not made for the switches to clip to the plate.

 I can say first hand, that if you use those .dxf to cut .06" 304-SS it is indistinguishable from a normal keyboard plate. Switches click in just like you'd expect.

 It's all about the material, and thickness.

I've heard of some folks making the 1/16th inch acrylic plate, then another with larger cutouts to support the switchplate. The total plate is supported by the PCB reducing cracking, and you can use plate-mount everything if you wanted to. But I have no 1st-hand experience with that route; only litster's files with some augmentation from JDcarpe.

HHKB-lite2, Dvorak user

Offline coolsax

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 24 August 2015, 18:11:37 »
I'm really loving the feedback! It's helping me out a lot. I'm thinking of just attaching the switches to the PCB and bypassing the Layer 3 Plate altogether. I'm trying to wrap my head around the project and I know without your help I'll miss something.
Corsair K70 (Cherry MX Red)
     

Offline coolsax

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 25 August 2015, 15:41:32 »
Alright, so I'm not going to bypass the plate layer because it will be nice to have something there to keep it clean from dust. I'm trying to keep everything sourced locally, for me in the U.S. I'm going to try a 3mm version of the plate and a 6mm version. For me the Plate will only function as something to fill up space and doesn't need the switches to snap to it since I'll be PCB mounting them.
Corsair K70 (Cherry MX Red)
     

Offline Findecanor

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Re: So I'm going to be making an ErgoDox
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 25 August 2015, 17:18:39 »
I've heard of some folks making the 1/16th inch acrylic plate, then another with larger cutouts to support the switchplate.
Well. I have used 0.5mm acrylic plate for my ErgoDox, but I also used switches with fixing pins and through-hole diodes. The plate did crack in one spot but that was because of my careless handling, not because of flex in the keyboard.
Smoking is assault. I defend myself.
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)