Author Topic: swill's minimal case design  (Read 101702 times)

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Offline swill

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swill's minimal case design
« on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 09:56:11 »
NEW: Launched a website to cover some of the prototyping and such...

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PROTOTYPING...
These sessions are in reverse order.  The newest is at the top...



Back to business.  This is the most minimal case I have come up with so far.  It is simply a single sheet of acrylic with holes tapped for mounting the PCB.  I can get away with this because all the components are about the same height and acrylic is not conductive.  I may put a silicon sheet in between the PCB and the back plate, but I will put about 100 hours on this board like this before I decide what I want to do.  I added rubber bumpons on the back to add a little tilt and a strip of no slip tape along the front edge (not pictured).  It is pretty solid and a comfortable typing feel, so I may stick with it like this for a while...

73309-0 73311-1 73313-2



Something for fun.  Here is what I did to my 40% board.  It is basically an all silicon case.  The PCB sits on the inside silicon layer and the PCB is hugged by the top layers.  This is a SUPER stable case because it is a full sheet of silicon making contact with the desk surface.  I was actually planning to put the backplate on, but I got this far and fell in love.  :)

73303-3 73305-4 73307-5



In this second round of tests, I did not use any brass threaded inserts or any brass standoffs.  Instead, I just tapped the acrylic directly and put a silicone sheet between the PCB and the backplate.  I have not yet tested the solid core silicone sheets.  In this case I used a closed cell silicone foam sheet.  It has a very low durometer (I think its like 20A), but since there is so much surface area touching it has a pretty comfortable typing feel.  So far this is the best feeling setup.  On this one I also added rubber bumpers on the back and I wrapped the front edge with an aircraft tape that has a reasonably high coefficient of friction.  It sticks to the desk about as much as my Filco does with this setup, so that is pretty good considering it is a 60%.

70726-6 70728-7 70730-8



The first prototype with an acrylic base plate, brass threaded inserts and male/female brass standoffs...  I am pretty happy with the initial result...
68206-9 68208-10 68210-11

Tried tapping 5mm acrylic (just over 3/16") and I am super happy with the result.  I was able to strip the screw without any damage to the threads.  I will be doing more tests with 1/8" acrylic as I think that will be a really nice thickness.
68566-12


Basic description of my case (images attached):
- 1/8" Aluminium bottom plate || 1/16" Stainless Steel || Wooden wedge
- 1/8"-3/16" Silicon pad; Thickness TBD based on max component height; Cutouts for taller components
- PCB + optional plate
- Rubber stick on adhesive feet to control the prefered keyboard angle.
- Bolts to hold the three layers together.

Motivations for my design:
- I want the solid feel of plate mounted switches, but without having to use a plate (can if you want to).  By having the PCB bolted to the back plate via the silicon pad, I should be able to get a very solid feeling PCB mount.
- I wanted to get some of the benefits of PCB mounted switches.  Easy access to open switches.  I also want the dynamic feel of a PCB mounted switch.
- By using the silicon, I hope to achieve lots of the benefits of the Trampoline Mod.  Basically, it will be quieter than most cases and should have a little bit of a bounce/spring/feedback on bottom out.
- I want a super simple and rugged design that can be easily adapted to different PCB layouts.
- I want a very low cost case that is very accessible for prototyping.  The total for this case should be in the ballpark of around $30.
- I want a relatively low profile, but with the ability to increase it by adding larger feet.  Gotta have a low profile for my new SA caps that are coming.  :)

I am targeting smaller boards with this case.  It could potentially work on a TKL, but I will be focusing on designing for boards in the size range of 40%, 60% and 75%.

Here are some very basic renderings (I am a noob with CAD so forgive me).  They are still very rough and none of the dimension are final, but I used the GH60 layout for the initial design.

Metal back plate and rubber feet:
(the holes in the metal plate will be threaded so the pcb will be bolted directly to the back plate.)
49488-13
49490-14
49492-15
49494-16

Wood wedge base:
(this would have threaded inserts mounted into the wood, like this)
49498-17
49500-18
49502-19

Acrylic/Plexiglass base:
(this would have threaded inserts mounted into the plexiglass for the screws)
49577-20
49581-21
49579-22

And a shot of the silicon pad.  This is what I currently have, but I have a supplier for this already because we use this at www.kiteaid.com to distribute iron pressure.
49496-23
« Last Edit: Tue, 17 November 2015, 09:44:16 by swill »

Offline Photekq

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 09:57:17 »
solidworks

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 09:58:17 »
I've seen files in Solidworks, AutoCAD, and Sketchup. You could use Inventor as well and it's free. I prefer and have Solidworks. AutoCAD was mostly for drawings. It's not good for a 3D visualization.
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Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 10:01:26 »
I use librecad to do 2D designs.

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 10:01:40 »
Solidworks gets my vote.  If you are a student you can get a copy for about $150 or if you are a veteran you can get the student version for $20.  Keep in mind that the student version is only a 1 year license and does not include updates or formal tech support.  The full version if I heard correctly when I was talking with one of their reps cost in the realm of $43,000.  But that includes free updates for life, and full tech support along with all the features available.  Some of the more advanced stuff is blocked on the student version to my knowledge.  But it is what I use being a vet.
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Offline agodinhost

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 10:09:17 »
Sketchup mainly, OpenScad for compositions and DoubleCad XT for 2d stuff.
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Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 10:24:29 »
I thought Sketchup was mostly for making models of buildings and bridges and stuff like that?

Offline swill

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 16:41:56 »
Thanks everyone.  There are definitely ones in here I did not know about, so I will have to go check them out. 

Not sure that I can afford solidworks right now.

When I drew up plans for my two level deck addition for my house to be submitted to the city, I used Sketchup.  It was pretty easy to use and that was what I was planning to use if there was not something that was obviously better.

Another question...
Is there a resource somewhere that describes the exact dimensions of the most common PCBs?  I am assuming there must be some common knowledge about that considering now many Poker cases there are.

For now I am most interested in the GH60 dimensions, but any specific dimensions would be welcome just so I have something to start from.  My design should be able to support many different sized PCBs very easily.

Thanks...

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 16:46:04 »

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 16:46:39 »
This is the upcoming SmallFry 40% Keyboard:

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Offline swill

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 16:50:39 »
I love it. You guys are so fast.

Alright that gets me going for what I wanted to get done tonight.   Thx...

Offline swill

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 04 December 2013, 22:23:39 »
Thank you for your input so far.  I have introduced my case design in my entry in Glissant's giveaway, so you can go check it out there.  I will be creating an actual thread specifically for this case design so I can field questions about it.

On that note.  Should I just change the title of this thread and change its intent to be specific to my case, or should I create a new thread specifically for my case design and leave this thread as is for people to discuss case cad topics?

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 10:11:11 »
On that note.  Should I just change the title of this thread and change its intent to be specific to my case, or should I create a new thread specifically for my case design and leave this thread as is for people to discuss case cad topics?

Rename the title and keep talking about your case here is my vote.
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Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 10:13:43 »
Thank you for your input so far.  I have introduced my case design in my entry in Glissant's giveaway, so you can go check it out there.  I will be creating an actual thread specifically for this case design so I can field questions about it.

On that note.  Should I just change the title of this thread and change its intent to be specific to my case, or should I create a new thread specifically for my case design and leave this thread as is for people to discuss case cad topics?

Very interesting concept.  I've totally done that with a half-assembled PCB and a mouse pad.  It's a good idea.

Offline swill

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #14 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 10:56:15 »
One thing that I am unsure about so far is if the PCB will be held in place well enough with just the mount points that are in the PCB.  I am assuming it will, but if not, I will have to do something around the outside edge to stabilize the pcb.  We will see, I will only add that sort of detail if the initial design does not work because my goal is to keep this as simple as possible.

I need to build some prototypes first to see how they feel.

I am going to start out with aluminium sheets because I think they will probably have the closest 'feel' for what I am looking for, but if I have problems with warping, I may have to switch to steel.  I have considered using wood as well (something like 1/4 inch russian birch), but I think a metal will be a better fit.  The great thing about the design is that the bottom plate is the only thing that needs to be machined and it is done with standard sheet material, so there is totaly room to play with different mediums.

A question I have to the machinists out there.  If I do the bottom plate in steel, I was considering just using a tap and die set to thread the holes in the bottom plate so no nuts are needed on the back side.  This way the bolts would go through the PCB and screw directly into the bottom plate.  If I use aluminum, will it be solid enough for me to tap and die the holes to thread them (sorry I can't remember which is the tap and which is the die right now)?

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #15 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 10:59:14 »
Yes you can thread aluminum with a tap and die.
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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #16 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 11:47:41 »
Aluminum will be fine.  Taps very easy just don't over tighten the screws.  I wouldn't go with anything thinner than 1/16".  I believe this is pretty close to 16 gauge.  I don't usually work with stuff that thin at work aside from precision shim stock which comes down to .001" and is exactly what they say it is.  For the most part I work with 1/8" up to 2" plate.
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Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #17 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 12:03:40 »
One thing that I am unsure about so far is if the PCB will be held in place well enough with just the mount points that are in the PCB.

I think it will.  Once that thing is snug against the foam, it isn't going to want to move.  There is also the issue of catching the corners, though.  It would be easy to lift it and break things.

Offline swill

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 12:07:48 »
Aluminum will be fine.  Taps very easy just don't over tighten the screws.  I wouldn't go with anything thinner than 1/16".  I believe this is pretty close to 16 gauge.  I don't usually work with stuff that thin at work aside from precision shim stock which comes down to .001" and is exactly what they say it is.  For the most part I work with 1/8" up to 2" plate.

I got a quote from a local place for $6/piece of .09" (~3/32) of 6" x 12" cut offs.  I picked that thickness originally because I thought it would be thick enough, but I was really just guessing.  Maybe I will start out by getting a piece at 3/32 and one at 1/8 and see which I prefer.

When I tap, I should probably try to use a higher thread count in order to minimize the possibility of stripping the threads, is that right?  Or should I just try to get as much thread depth as possible?  I am not sure which is more durable.  Higher thread count makes it easier to know that you are tight enough without putting too much pressure, but the threads are usually not as deep in the plate walls.

Offline swill

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 12:09:58 »
One thing that I am unsure about so far is if the PCB will be held in place well enough with just the mount points that are in the PCB.

I think it will.  Once that thing is snug against the foam, it isn't going to want to move.  There is also the issue of catching the corners, though.  It would be easy to lift it and break things.

I agree, I was thinking of doing corner caps, but I have not looked into how feasible that is yet...  Please link anything you think would help solve that problem.  I have a couple ideas, but I am still undecided how I would attach them..

Edit: Maybe even just a non-structural vinyl cap could work to keep the edges protected: http://www.dgpcaps.com/ENG/ENGcnc.html
« Last Edit: Thu, 05 December 2013, 12:12:21 by swill »

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 12:10:40 »
I would probably just go with whatever is easy to find, for example 4-40

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 18:01:03 »
Aluminum will be fine.  Taps very easy just don't over tighten the screws.  I wouldn't go with anything thinner than 1/16".  I believe this is pretty close to 16 gauge.  I don't usually work with stuff that thin at work aside from precision shim stock which comes down to .001" and is exactly what they say it is.  For the most part I work with 1/8" up to 2" plate.

I got a quote from a local place for $6/piece of .09" (~3/32) of 6" x 12" cut offs.  I picked that thickness originally because I thought it would be thick enough, but I was really just guessing.  Maybe I will start out by getting a piece at 3/32 and one at 1/8 and see which I prefer.

When I tap, I should probably try to use a higher thread count in order to minimize the possibility of stripping the threads, is that right?  Or should I just try to get as much thread depth as possible?  I am not sure which is more durable.  Higher thread count makes it easier to know that you are tight enough without putting too much pressure, but the threads are usually not as deep in the plate walls.

I would use a coarse thread for this purpose.  I realize that this isn't a high strength application but fine thread doesn't usually stand up as well in softer materials.  Plus fine thread is a lot easier to cross thread in these smaller sizes.
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Offline swill

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 05 December 2013, 19:23:02 »

Aluminum will be fine.  Taps very easy just don't over tighten the screws.  I wouldn't go with anything thinner than 1/16".  I believe this is pretty close to 16 gauge.  I don't usually work with stuff that thin at work aside from precision shim stock which comes down to .001" and is exactly what they say it is.  For the most part I work with 1/8" up to 2" plate.

I got a quote from a local place for $6/piece of .09" (~3/32) of 6" x 12" cut offs.  I picked that thickness originally because I thought it would be thick enough, but I was really just guessing.  Maybe I will start out by getting a piece at 3/32 and one at 1/8 and see which I prefer.

When I tap, I should probably try to use a higher thread count in order to minimize the possibility of stripping the threads, is that right?  Or should I just try to get as much thread depth as possible?  I am not sure which is more durable.  Higher thread count makes it easier to know that you are tight enough without putting too much pressure, but the threads are usually not as deep in the plate walls.

I would use a coarse thread for this purpose.  I realize that this isn't a high strength application but fine thread doesn't usually stand up as well in softer materials.  Plus fine thread is a lot easier to cross thread in these smaller sizes.

Thank you. I was a bit concerned about that too. I will try to stick to a relatively standard thread. I have to check what I have in my tap and die set.

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #23 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 21:10:34 »
Anyone know the length and width of a 75% PCB?  Thx...

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #24 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 21:13:39 »
Anyone know the length and width of a 75% PCB?  Thx...

A 75% doesn't have to be a specific width/height.  However, the numbers you are looking for are these: 12" width x 4.5" height.

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #25 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 21:33:55 »
Anyone know the length and width of a 75% PCB?  Thx...

A 75% doesn't have to be a specific width/height.  However, the numbers you are looking for are these: 12" width x 4.5" height.

Thats perfect, thanks...  I putting together some sourcing for the silicon and I want to reduce waste as much as possible, but still be able to support both 60% and 75% with my initial order for prototyping.

I need to play with a few different durometers as well so I can try to produce a really solid typing feel.  We will see what I come up with...

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #26 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 23:36:49 »
Thanks everyone.  There are definitely ones in here I did not know about, so I will have to go check them out. 

Not sure that I can afford solidworks right now.

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Offline metalliqaz

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #27 on: Sun, 15 December 2013, 23:39:10 »
I've designed a whole 3d printer with it.

Mega geek-cred.

Also, Solidworks can be had for the low-low price of free if you know where to look...

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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 02:54:38 »
I've designed a whole 3d printer with it.

Mega geek-cred.

Also, Solidworks can be had for the low-low price of free if you know where to look...

IMHO, Solidworks and a lot of other commercial software should change their model a bit. Free for personal use, pay for commercial is how it should be (with different prices / packages depending on shop size perhaps). That way you learn how to use a good package as a hobby and if you ever go commercial, you pay for it. They'd get a whole lot more users that way and people wouldn't have to learn some other free (and often inferior) package for hobby use. You could perhaps have a limited number of plugins / feaures for the free version (over and above the basic design package), but the user can choose which ones.

Anyhow, back on topic: Great idea! I suspect 3/32 aluminium will be a little thin to hold a good thread without nuts (unless you're very careful tightening the bolts), but 1/8 should do very well. I'd go for 1/8 for rigidity, too, but it all depends on the feel you want. 3/32 will be more "springy".
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Re: Case CAD
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 03:03:21 »
I've designed a whole 3d printer with it.

Mega geek-cred.

Also, Solidworks can be had for the low-low price of free if you know where to look...

In my experience any free version of solid works is a pirated copy.  However, if you know a veteran with a dd-214 (discharge paperwork) it can be had legally for $20.  I don't feel we should be condoning illegal activity.
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Offline swill

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Re: swill's case design
« Reply #30 on: Mon, 16 December 2013, 08:10:36 »

Quote
Anyhow, back on topic: Great idea! I suspect 3/32 aluminium will be a little thin to hold a good thread without nuts (unless you're very careful tightening the bolts), but 1/8 should do very well. I'd go for 1/8 for rigidity, too, but it all depends on the feel you want. 3/32 will be more "springy".

Ya I am planning to go with 1/8 for aluminum. Less if I use steel.

I want the bottom plate to be rigid. I will play with the durometer if the silicon to match the typing feel I want.  I am not going for 'springy', I want solid with a subtle dampening on bottom out. A bit like how a topre board feels when you bottom out. I know that is not realistic, but I want to see how close I can get.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #31 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 17:44:25 »
Added some wood wedge renderings as a potential base material...

Offline akikun

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #32 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 19:21:28 »
I really like this idea, and I think the wood base would be gorgeous. What do you guys think would be the best way to cut that slant, though? Bandsaw with a tilting table, maybe?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #33 on: Fri, 20 December 2013, 19:52:36 »

I really like this idea, and I think the wood base would be gorgeous. What do you guys think would be the best way to cut that slant, though? Bandsaw with a tilting table, maybe?

A band saw with a jig is probably the best option. 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #34 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 15:52:43 »
added plexiglass renderings and launched swillkb.com...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #35 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 16:15:43 »
Nice.  I like this idea, trying to figure out how to adapt to to board where I have stuff stuck to the bottom.  Maybe some cutouts in the bottom plate in strategic places.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #36 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 16:19:00 »
Nice.  I like this idea, trying to figure out how to adapt to to board where I have stuff stuck to the bottom.  Maybe some cutouts in the bottom plate in strategic places.

This is why I asked you about the profile of the bottom of the board in the GH60 thread.  :)

The great thing is that there is a silicon sheet between the bottom plate and the PCB, so yes, I will be doing cutouts in the silicon sheet for the components that are taller than average.  For example, the USB connector and the reset switch, etc...  For something like the reset switch, I may even do a cutout in the bottom plate as well so it can be accessed without removing the case at all...

Offline regack

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #37 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 19:30:01 »
Nice.  I like this idea, trying to figure out how to adapt to to board where I have stuff stuck to the bottom.  Maybe some cutouts in the bottom plate in strategic places.

This is why I asked you about the profile of the bottom of the board in the GH60 thread.  :)

The great thing is that there is a silicon sheet between the bottom plate and the PCB, so yes, I will be doing cutouts in the silicon sheet for the components that are taller than average.  For example, the USB connector and the reset switch, etc...  For something like the reset switch, I may even do a cutout in the bottom plate as well so it can be accessed without removing the case at all...

Yes, Komar answered in there with some measurements, but I have some one-offs with daughterboards sticking ~7mm off the bottom, but I'd guess they're unique to me, and not really a problem for anyone else.  I just have this (probably unwise) fascination with the idea.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #38 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 19:36:54 »
Nice.  I like this idea, trying to figure out how to adapt to to board where I have stuff stuck to the bottom.  Maybe some cutouts in the bottom plate in strategic places.

This is why I asked you about the profile of the bottom of the board in the GH60 thread.  :)

The great thing is that there is a silicon sheet between the bottom plate and the PCB, so yes, I will be doing cutouts in the silicon sheet for the components that are taller than average.  For example, the USB connector and the reset switch, etc...  For something like the reset switch, I may even do a cutout in the bottom plate as well so it can be accessed without removing the case at all...

Yes, Komar answered in there with some measurements, but I have some one-offs with daughterboards sticking ~7mm off the bottom, but I'd guess they're unique to me, and not really a problem for anyone else.  I just have this (probably unwise) fascination with the idea.

 We can definitely do cutouts in the bottom plate, with the non-wedge design, to accommodate for the daughter board.  Probably easiest to prototype with 1/4" acrylic, but if the cutout is large we may want to go with aluminum or steel to make sure we don't lose too much structure...

Offline regack

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 19:48:20 »

 We can definitely do cutouts in the bottom plate, with the non-wedge design, to accommodate for the daughter board.  Probably easiest to prototype with 1/4" acrylic, but if the cutout is large we may want to go with aluminum or steel to make sure we don't lose too much structure...

They're pretty small: 46mm x 17mm and 38mm x19mm... even with the wedge made of wood, I could just chisel out some space I suppose.  Anyway, I like your ideas!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 20:08:43 »

 We can definitely do cutouts in the bottom plate, with the non-wedge design, to accommodate for the daughter board.  Probably easiest to prototype with 1/4" acrylic, but if the cutout is large we may want to go with aluminum or steel to make sure we don't lose too much structure...

They're pretty small: 46mm x 17mm and 38mm x19mm... even with the wedge made of wood, I could just chisel out some space I suppose.  Anyway, I like your ideas!

I have a couple wood wedge ones being made for me by The Beast and nubbinator.  I am about to start prototyping with 1/4 plexiglass soon.  The metal ones are going to be a bit more expensive, so I will wait till I have PCBs in hand and have tested with plexiglass first before I do any metal ones. 

I am basically waiting on getting my first PCB before I start doing real prototyping.  I expect to get Sprit's in probably about a month, so that will probably be the first. 

I am stockpiling quite a bit of material for these cases while I wait for the PCBs.  I am going to try a lot of different mediums, so I will be making a bunch right away.  Once I start prototyping I will probably start selling them at cost or giving them away so other people can try them and give me some feedback...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 20:19:41 »
The 40% designs could really take advantage of this, I imagine.  I'll make sure you get one to play with when I get some prototypes made.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 20:24:26 »
we DO NOT condone illegal activity or software piracy here. please remove references or the mod team will do it for you.

swill? what does pricing look like on those silicone sheets? those are really nice. what dimensions (thickness in particular) can your provider supply? i have a particularly cool application for them

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 22:02:40 »

we DO NOT condone illegal activity or software piracy here. please remove references or the mod team will do it for you.

swill? what does pricing look like on those silicone sheets? those are really nice. what dimensions (thickness in particular) can your provider supply? i have a particularly cool application for them

What reference are you referring to in regards to software piracy?  I don't think I have promoted software piracy, at least I never intended to.

I am going to see if I can get away with 1/8th thickness. The height difference between the average and tallest component will be my limiting factor.

For testing I am just getting from eBay cause my supplier likes quantity.  On eBay it is priced in the ballpark of $20/square foot.  I am also getting it with an adhesive backing and with high temp rating.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 22:10:24 »

The 40% designs could really take advantage of this, I imagine.  I'll make sure you get one to play with when I get some prototypes made.

I appreciate that. Jdcarpe is going to build me one when it goes to GB as payment for a keyboard I sold him on credit.

If I could get a prototype I could hopefully get a run of these sorted out by the time the GB hits. 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #45 on: Tue, 31 December 2013, 22:15:49 »

we DO NOT condone illegal activity or software piracy here. please remove references or the mod team will do it for you.

swill? what does pricing look like on those silicone sheets? those are really nice. what dimensions (thickness in particular) can your provider supply? i have a particularly cool application for them

What reference are you referring to in regards to software piracy?  I don't think I have promoted software piracy, at least I never intended to.

I am going to see if I can get away with 1/8th thickness. The height difference between the average and tallest component will be my limiting factor.

For testing I am just getting from eBay cause my supplier likes quantity.  On eBay it is priced in the ballpark of $20/square foot.  I am also getting it with an adhesive backing and with high temp rating.
mod team cleaned up the piracy reference (except for my reference to their reference)...

you should be fine at 1/8". that is pretty thick compared to the average passive component and far thicker than anything but a very large bga IC. people have been using those mesh PU sheets for shelf lining for quite a while now under pcbs here and those are more like 3/32" thick

what kind of quantities does your supplier need?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 01 January 2014, 09:46:40 »


we DO NOT condone illegal activity or software piracy here. please remove references or the mod team will do it for you.

swill? what does pricing look like on those silicone sheets? those are really nice. what dimensions (thickness in particular) can your provider supply? i have a particularly cool application for them

What reference are you referring to in regards to software piracy?  I don't think I have promoted software piracy, at least I never intended to.

I am going to see if I can get away with 1/8th thickness. The height difference between the average and tallest component will be my limiting factor.

For testing I am just getting from eBay cause my supplier likes quantity.  On eBay it is priced in the ballpark of $20/square foot.  I am also getting it with an adhesive backing and with high temp rating.
mod team cleaned up the piracy reference (except for my reference to their reference)...

you should be fine at 1/8". that is pretty thick compared to the average passive component and far thicker than anything but a very large bga IC. people have been using those mesh PU sheets for shelf lining for quite a while now under pcbs here and those are more like 3/32" thick

what kind of quantities does your supplier need?

The shelf liners are not being used as structure to support the board though. They are just used to reduce noise.  We will see once I start bolting pcbs to it. :)

Last time I had to order 100 sheets from my supplier.  I found a new supplier in the US that does not require a minimum which I can send you the details for.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 01 January 2014, 12:41:11 »
please do

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 01 January 2014, 18:10:39 »
I plan on making my own cases for Sprit's internals. 

This looks interesting. 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 01 January 2014, 19:00:33 »

I plan on making my own cases for Sprit's internals. 

This looks interesting.

Shipping should not cost much to you. What size pcbs did you get?  I got 60 and 75, so I will be making cases for those.  Once I get prototyped together I will take some pictures/videos. I would send you one for the cost of materials.

I am trying very hard to make sure the cost of this case is VERY affordable. That is one of the main reasons for this design. There will be more expensive versions done in nice wood and metal, but I am hoping to have a super inexpensive version as well.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #50 on: Wed, 01 January 2014, 20:37:35 »
2 x 75% boards.

Awesome, thanks.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #51 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 20:18:19 »
All the raw materials for the prototypes are starting to slowly trickle in.  The only thing I am missing to get started is the silicon sheets, which are stuck in the postal system.  I will start prototyping with my Filco TKL to see how things go.  The metal back plates will wait till I make sure the kinks are worked out with the materials which are easier to work with.

Here are some shots of some of what I have already...

50042-0 50044-1 50046-2 50048-3 50050-4

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #52 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 20:23:00 »
All the raw materials for the prototypes are starting to slowly trickle in.  The only thing I am missing to get started is the silicon sheets, which are stuck in the postal system.  I will start prototyping with my Filco TKL to see how things go.  The metal back plates will wait till I make sure the kinks are worked out with the materials which are easier to work with.

Here are some shots of some of what I have already...

(Attachment Link) (Attachment Link) (Attachment Link) (Attachment Link) (Attachment Link)

Sweet!

Offline metalliqaz

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #53 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 23:05:59 »
noice

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #54 on: Mon, 06 January 2014, 23:07:28 »
Interested!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #55 on: Tue, 07 January 2014, 05:20:55 »
Definitely interested in this work, swill.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #56 on: Sun, 19 January 2014, 22:36:50 »
Me too!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #57 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 00:49:52 »
Do you have an estimate of how much one case would cost?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #58 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 17:04:19 »
Do you have an estimate of how much one case would cost?

It depends on which one.  I am expecting the Acrylic one to probably be in the ballpark of $25-30.  The metal back plate one, $30-35.  The wood ones are going to be much more expensive because I am getting The Beast and Nubbinator to make me the wedges.  I will probably just keep those for my own use.

I am trying to put together a DIY version for the acrylic case and I am trying to get the costs down to like $20 so it gives people a very cost effective way to put together a case...

Offline dagdrivaren

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #59 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 01:26:30 »
A question from a newbie: that layer of silicon, how durable is that? It won't break down after a few years?
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #60 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 10:04:09 »
A question from a newbie: that layer of silicon, how durable is that? It won't break down after a few years?

This stuff is designed for gaskets in extreme conditions.  It will outlast your keyboard...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #61 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 10:18:51 »
Hum, count me interested for a 60% case with a plate!
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #62 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 10:48:29 »

Hum, count me interested for a 60% case with a plate!

I will not provide plates, but you can use one from somewhere else.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #63 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 10:51:22 »

Hum, count me interested for a 60% case with a plate!

I will not provide plates, but you can use one from somewhere else.


So the plate would not be anchored to the case itself then ... anyone know if it would be a problem? I suspect not since 60+ switches will anchor it, but still.
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #64 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 11:31:29 »


Hum, count me interested for a 60% case with a plate!

I will not provide plates, but you can use one from somewhere else.


So the plate would not be anchored to the case itself then ... anyone know if it would be a problem? I suspect not since 60+ switches will anchor it, but still.

If you use a plate, yes, it would be bolted to the back plate of the case (in the same way the pcb only option would be bolted to the back plate).

My point was only that I do not want to get into the hassle of getting plates cut for all sorts of layouts and sizes, so I will not be producing/providing plates.  I will do my best to support plates from existing plate providers (as long as I don't go broke trying to get samples of them all).

I think the bread and butter of this case design will actually be the pcb mounted approach. Because of the silicone sheet, the pcb mounted option will have a much more solid feel than a traditional pcb mounted case. By adding a plate I suspect that  we will lose some of the 'feel' properties that the silicone will provide.

We will see once I have some different prototypes together. :)

Offline dagdrivaren

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #65 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 11:58:40 »
This is wonderful. I'll make sure to follow your project closely. As for the silicone sheet, does it have name?
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #66 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 12:35:36 »


Hum, count me interested for a 60% case with a plate!

I will not provide plates, but you can use one from somewhere else.


So the plate would not be anchored to the case itself then ... anyone know if it would be a problem? I suspect not since 60+ switches will anchor it, but still.

If you use a plate, yes, it would be bolted to the back plate of the case (in the same way the pcb only option would be bolted to the back plate).

My point was only that I do not want to get into the hassle of getting plates cut for all sorts of layouts and sizes, so I will not be producing/providing plates.  I will do my best to support plates from existing plate providers (as long as I don't go broke trying to get samples of them all).

I think the bread and butter of this case design will actually be the pcb mounted approach. Because of the silicone sheet, the pcb mounted option will have a much more solid feel than a traditional pcb mounted case. By adding a plate I suspect that  we will lose some of the 'feel' properties that the silicone will provide.

We will see once I have some different prototypes together. :)


I get it. Well since I only have plate mount switches available and don't intend to get anything else for now, I will find myself a plate if I get this case. Anyway, I aim for a poker layout, so nothing hard to find.


I will wait to get the pcb and stuff anyway before I do my move!
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #67 on: Thu, 23 January 2014, 14:38:06 »

This is wonderful. I'll make sure to follow your project closely. As for the silicone sheet, does it have name?

Not really, there are many different producers with lots of different specs. I am focusing on the ones with high temp ratings as I know some components like the controller are likely to get hot.

Offline goobafish

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #68 on: Fri, 24 January 2014, 17:42:20 »
I would love one of these to re-case a QFR.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #69 on: Tue, 28 January 2014, 21:46:16 »
I'm very interested in this as a case for prototype designs that I have in my head. Doing a custom pcb would make it possible to have the keyboard lower-profile than hardwired plate-mounted prototypes.

Ideally I might like it to be deeper than 4.5" though, maybe up to 5.5"? It might be fine to just make the pcb slightly larger than the base though, and it could hang slightly over the front or back or both.

Keep us posted!!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #70 on: Wed, 29 January 2014, 09:06:17 »
I had a similar idea to this, but inside a full case, and without all the thought behind it. :rolleyes:
I'm interested to see how this turns out :D

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Offline Razer1987

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #71 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 04:55:25 »
Hello,

Do you know where i could find big half cylinder rubber feet like the one in your prototype ?
It seems to be the perfect combination to add weight and stability.

I find "laptop lifts" but they are too thin, they could only work for the front side to keep a low height.

Thank you for your concept, i am gonna work on something like that for my future keyboard.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #72 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 10:01:46 »
Hello,

Do you know where i could find big half cylinder rubber feet like the one in your prototype ?
It seems to be the perfect combination to add weight and stability.

I find "laptop lifts" but they are too thin, they could only work for the front side to keep a low height.

Thank you for your concept, i am gonna work on something like that for my future keyboard.

I got them from here: http://www.bumperspecialties.com/

They are a bit expensive, but I was having a hell of a time finding them in the sizes I wanted...

Offline Razer1987

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #73 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 11:51:20 »
Thank you for your reply but i didn't speak about the ones you bought but the one you imagine for your design (first picture on the opening post)

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #74 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 22:08:48 »
Thank you for your reply but i didn't speak about the ones you bought but the one you imagine for your design (first picture on the opening post)

Oh.  Good luck.  :)  I looked for a while and was not able to find them easily.

I think it is possible to find them, but I could not find them initially, so I moved to half sphere bumpers for now.

If you are able to find them, please post back for me.  :P

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #75 on: Thu, 06 February 2014, 22:39:24 »
Cool ideas! 

Regarding the black rubber cylindrical feet: can they just be made to specification?  Rubber rods of certain diameter, cut to specified section lengths, then split in half.  Double-sided adhesive tape od some sort to attach them to the case.
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #76 on: Fri, 07 February 2014, 13:32:26 »
Cool ideas! 

Regarding the black rubber cylindrical feet: can they just be made to specification?  Rubber rods of certain diameter, cut to specified section lengths, then split in half.  Double-sided adhesive tape od some sort to attach them to the case.

Yes, I am considering this, but for initial prototypes I am going to just use what I can get easily.  I can use multiple half sphere bumpers in a row to give me an idea of what that concept will feel like.  Once I do that, I will make a decision about making some...

I can source very high quality double sided tape easily as I have a company which works in that industry. 

We will see what I end up with once I get my boards and get prototyping. 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #77 on: Fri, 07 February 2014, 13:40:45 »
i would be quite interested to see how polyurethane die springs work as bumpons :D

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #78 on: Thu, 20 February 2014, 18:13:19 »
Swill, what's the latest?
My butterfly keypad arrived sans case, so I need to build one.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #79 on: Thu, 20 February 2014, 18:56:41 »
Swill, what's the latest?
My butterfly keypad arrived sans case, so I need to build one.

I am waiting for my first of 5 pcbs headed my direction. Once I get the first one I will add a lot more details including images etc.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #80 on: Fri, 21 February 2014, 04:43:20 »
I am waiting for my first of 5 pcbs headed my direction. Once I get the first one I will add a lot more details including images etc.

Lovely!  Let me know if I can help.
« Last Edit: Fri, 21 February 2014, 07:48:13 by tjweir »

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #81 on: Mon, 26 May 2014, 15:56:58 »
Now that I have received some PCBs, I will soon be prototyping this case and adding pictures to this thread.

Stay tuned...  :)

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #82 on: Mon, 26 May 2014, 16:00:48 »
Site looks great swill -- very excited to see where this goes. Good luck!
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #83 on: Mon, 26 May 2014, 17:45:12 »
Site looks great swill -- very excited to see where this goes. Good luck!

Thanks...  I have a couple additional ideas I am going to try as well.  I am getting some brass standoffs as well which I am going to try in place of the silicon to see how that feels as well.  The nice thing is that I will be able to easily switch between the standoff solution and the silicon solution without any changes to the back plate.  Its going to be fun to test all the different setups...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #84 on: Tue, 27 May 2014, 17:13:43 »
Very nice thread. I was thinking of making a minimal "case" for my Pure Pro or rather, bolt its PCB to a simple 2mm aluminium plate with rubber feet underneath and a silicon pad under the PCB as an insulator, to get a super low profile keyboard. I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll come up with!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #85 on: Mon, 16 June 2014, 22:58:42 »
Updated the OP with this prototype.  I will post the pictures here too.

Acrylic back plate, brass threaded inserts, brass male/female standoffs.  I will do a silicon pad instead of the standoffs soon, but I will start with this for now.  I will also be adding feet at some point soon as well.






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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #86 on: Thu, 19 June 2014, 16:26:53 »
Updated the OP with this prototype.  I will post the pictures here too.

Acrylic back plate, brass threaded inserts, brass male/female standoffs.  I will do a silicon pad instead of the standoffs soon, but I will start with this for now.  I will also be adding feet at some point soon as well.

Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Are the standoffs screwed into the case or did you glue them?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #87 on: Thu, 19 June 2014, 16:40:53 »
Updated the OP with this prototype.  I will post the pictures here too.

Acrylic back plate, brass threaded inserts, brass male/female standoffs.  I will do a silicon pad instead of the standoffs soon, but I will start with this for now.  I will also be adding feet at some point soon as well.

Show Image


Show Image


Show Image

I really like that barebones look!
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #88 on: Thu, 19 June 2014, 16:54:50 »
Updated the OP with this prototype.  I will post the pictures here too.

Acrylic back plate, brass threaded inserts, brass male/female standoffs.  I will do a silicon pad instead of the standoffs soon, but I will start with this for now.  I will also be adding feet at some point soon as well.

Show Image


Show Image


Show Image


Are the standoffs screwed into the case or did you glue them?

I drilled holes and screwed in brass threaded inserts into acrylic.  Then I screwed brass male/female standoffs into those threaded inserts.  At some point soon I will remove the standoffs and do a silicon pad and just screw directly to the acrylic plate using the threaded inserts. 

In the second picture, you can see one of the male/female brass standoffs loose in the top left hand side.  That is what is screwed into the brass threaded inserts which are installed in the acrylic sheet...
« Last Edit: Thu, 19 June 2014, 16:58:32 by swill »

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #89 on: Fri, 20 June 2014, 23:58:56 »
Tonight I tapped an M2 hole in acrylic to see how the threads would hold up.  I was able to tighten the screw enough to strip it completely and the threads did not budge.  After removing the screw (from the other side with pliers), I was able to use a new screw in the hole as if nothing had happened. 

I have to admit, I was not expecting this to hold up nearly as well as it has.  I was fully expecting to have this fail dramatically.  This is a really promising result because it simplifies the acrylic version of this case dramatically.  The threaded inserts were a total PITA, so if I don't have to use them, that is awesome.  The threaded inserts were hard to find (in M2) and they were not cheap, so that is a huge bonus.

The tap was $7 on ebay (I already had a handle that works), so that is a pretty good investment.  This is how I planned to do Aluminum and Steel anyway, so its nice that I can just use the same process...

Now I need to see how thin I can go with the acrylic before the threads become a problem.  I don't think it is realistic to do the acrylic less than 1/8" anyway, so I actually expect this to work pretty well.  This test was with 5mm acrylic (just over 3/16"). 

Here is a pic...
« Last Edit: Sat, 21 June 2014, 00:07:49 by swill »

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #90 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 02:52:47 »
Tonight I tapped an M2 hole in acrylic to see how the threads would hold up.  I was able to tighten the screw enough to strip it completely and the threads did not budge.  After removing the screw (from the other side with pliers), I was able to use a new screw in the hole as if nothing had happened. 

I have to admit, I was not expecting this to hold up nearly as well as it has.  I was fully expecting to have this fail dramatically.  This is a really promising result because it simplifies the acrylic version of this case dramatically.  The threaded inserts were a total PITA, so if I don't have to use them, that is awesome.  The threaded inserts were hard to find (in M2) and they were not cheap, so that is a huge bonus.

The tap was $7 on ebay (I already had a handle that works), so that is a pretty good investment.  This is how I planned to do Aluminum and Steel anyway, so its nice that I can just use the same process...

Now I need to see how thin I can go with the acrylic before the threads become a problem.  I don't think it is realistic to do the acrylic less than 1/8" anyway, so I actually expect this to work pretty well.  This test was with 5mm acrylic (just over 3/16"). 

Here is a pic...
Show Image


The minimum thickness I would recommend would be about 3mm or 1.5x fastener diameter for tapping into acrylic.  For threads in steel you don't gain any extra pull out strength once you get over 1x the diameter in length of the threaded hole.  So the 1.5x just includes a bit of a safety factor.  Though if I remember that was with drilling the hole for a 75% thread depth.  There is almost 0 gain in pull out strength going over 75% thread depth though there can be some benefits depending on application.  I would also limit acres removal and insertion in strength critical areas with acrylic threads.

For what its worth in an old project from an old hobby, I had to tap a hole that was an inch deep.  Material was 1/16" aluminum (and countersunk) on both sides of a piect of 7/8" of hard maple.  I threaded this with 6-32 and I stripped the hex head before the threads let go.  And the screws only went half away through.
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #91 on: Sat, 21 June 2014, 06:31:55 »
Tonight I tapped an M2 hole in acrylic to see how the threads would hold up.  I was able to tighten the screw enough to strip it completely and the threads did not budge.  After removing the screw (from the other side with pliers), I was able to use a new screw in the hole as if nothing had happened. 

I have to admit, I was not expecting this to hold up nearly as well as it has.  I was fully expecting to have this fail dramatically.  This is a really promising result because it simplifies the acrylic version of this case dramatically.  The threaded inserts were a total PITA, so if I don't have to use them, that is awesome.  The threaded inserts were hard to find (in M2) and they were not cheap, so that is a huge bonus.

The tap was $7 on ebay (I already had a handle that works), so that is a pretty good investment.  This is how I planned to do Aluminum and Steel anyway, so its nice that I can just use the same process...

Now I need to see how thin I can go with the acrylic before the threads become a problem.  I don't think it is realistic to do the acrylic less than 1/8" anyway, so I actually expect this to work pretty well.  This test was with 5mm acrylic (just over 3/16"). 

Here is a pic...
Show Image


The minimum thickness I would recommend would be about 3mm or 1.5x fastener diameter for tapping into acrylic.  For threads in steel you don't gain any extra pull out strength once you get over 1x the diameter in length of the threaded hole.  So the 1.5x just includes a bit of a safety factor.  Though if I remember that was with drilling the hole for a 75% thread depth.  There is almost 0 gain in pull out strength going over 75% thread depth though there can be some benefits depending on application.  I would also limit acres removal and insertion in strength critical areas with acrylic threads.

For what its worth in an old project from an old hobby, I had to tap a hole that was an inch deep.  Material was 1/16" aluminum (and countersunk) on both sides of a piect of 7/8" of hard maple.  I threaded this with 6-32 and I stripped the hex head before the threads let go.  And the screws only went half away through.

Great. Thanks for the info. After my test, that is pretty close to what my instincts were saying, so it's nice to get some reassurance from people who know what they are talking about. Thx. :)

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #92 on: Tue, 01 July 2014, 00:38:46 »
I need to do a bit of an update in this thread when I have a chance to take some pictures.  I have done the silicon sheet version as well as the standoff version and I have also added bumpers to make it really solid on the desk.  I will take some pictures and update this thread when I have some time.

I have to say that I am really happy with this case so far.  It is super solid and so smooth.  I almost feels like typing on Topre.   :eek:

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #93 on: Sun, 13 July 2014, 22:14:22 »
Finally added a few more prototype shots.  I need to do some more tests with the solid core silicone sheets to see how that feels.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #94 on: Mon, 14 July 2014, 03:36:01 »
whoa, this would go well with the square caps! gj dude
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #95 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 12:06:16 »
This looks awesome! 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #96 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 12:10:15 »
This looks awesome!

I have a whole bunch of new pictures I need to upload when I have a chance...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #97 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 12:14:22 »
I look forward to the pictures.. and being able to buy some of these perhaps!  It would be nice to be able to pick up a nice minimalist 'case' that doesn't cost more than my keyboards! 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #98 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 13:48:37 »
I look forward to the pictures.. and being able to buy some of these perhaps!  It would be nice to be able to pick up a nice minimalist 'case' that doesn't cost more than my keyboards!

Better yet, you could make your own for 10$ of materials at your local hardware store.   :eek:

Well, assuming you have a 2 or 3mm tap to tap the holes. 

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #99 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 14:01:14 »
Make something.. myself??   :eek:






I imagine it would go something like this!

« Last Edit: Fri, 01 August 2014, 14:03:45 by cmadrid »

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #100 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 14:07:22 »
Nice.

Have you though about a thin layer of sticky rubber underneath the wedge?  That would keep the keyboard absolutely still on a desk.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #101 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 14:21:17 »
Nice.

Have you though about a thin layer of sticky rubber underneath the wedge?  That would keep the keyboard absolutely still on a desk.

 - Ron | samwisekoi

I basically did that with my 40% case (kind of by accident).  I built the case expecting to put the bottom metal plate on again when I was done.  Then I tested it with just the PCB in the silicon case I made and it felt so good I just left it like that...

Here are some pics of that.  I will update the OP later...

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #102 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 21:08:37 »
I'm designing a gamepad with some subset of a 36-key matrix, and I'd very much like its profile to match a keyboard, which means a wedge shape.  Cost is very much an issue, so CNC and similar methods are right out.  But YOUR design concept could work very well; certainly much better than any of the acrylic sandwich designs running around.

But what acrylic does have in its favor is cost.  I wonder if there is a way to get the wooden wedge made cheaply from plastic. You could have a piece of acrylic or aluminum to hold the PCB, so structural strength would not be needed for the wedge itself.

We do need to find a more, um, attractive form of the silicon layer, however.

Does it come in basic black?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #103 on: Fri, 01 August 2014, 23:00:39 »
We do need to find a more, um, attractive form of the silicon layer, however.

For myself I think the hazard-orange is part of the charm of the whole thing. I very nearly made something like this for my Ergodox (links in the IC thread I started, IIRC). Then I sorta roped myself into buying stainless layers instead. Thanks, JD ... I'd have done that if he hadn't written up the spacers.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #104 on: Sat, 02 August 2014, 07:21:55 »
I'm designing a gamepad with some subset of a 36-key matrix, and I'd very much like its profile to match a keyboard, which means a wedge shape.  Cost is very much an issue, so CNC and similar methods are right out.  But YOUR design concept could work very well; certainly much better than any of the acrylic sandwich designs running around.

But what acrylic does have in its favor is cost.  I wonder if there is a way to get the wooden wedge made cheaply from plastic. You could have a piece of acrylic or aluminum to hold the PCB, so structural strength would not be needed for the wedge itself.

We do need to find a more, um, attractive form of the silicon layer, however.

Does it come in basic black?

 - Ron | samwisekoi

Yes, it comes in different colors and black is one of the available colors. I can recommend durometer and silicon types if you have questions. I have been testing lots of different options.

As for the wedge. I recommend getting it done in wood on a band saw. You can build a jig to give you the angle you need. I still need to do this for my case prototyping.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #105 on: Sat, 02 August 2014, 07:24:32 »
We do need to find a more, um, attractive form of the silicon layer, however.

For myself I think the hazard-orange is part of the charm of the whole thing. I very nearly made something like this for my Ergodox (links in the IC thread I started, IIRC). Then I sorta roped myself into buying stainless layers instead. Thanks, JD ... I'd have done that if he hadn't written up the spacers.

Ya. I am excited to make my ergodox case. Thanks for the GB so I could get a minimal case. :)

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #106 on: Sat, 02 August 2014, 08:00:42 »
I think I'll be ordering a Sprit 60% white pcb, and I really like the idea of putting it on to a 'topless' case like the ones pictured here.  Could use more info about the silicon sheets too!

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #107 on: Sat, 02 August 2014, 09:54:01 »
I think I'll be ordering a Sprit 60% white pcb, and I really like the idea of putting it on to a 'topless' case like the ones pictured here.  Could use more info about the silicon sheets too!

Ok. I will get more details about the silicon in here.

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #108 on: Sat, 02 August 2014, 10:24:10 »
I think that even I will be able to handle making a case with the acrylic/silicon pad design.. Can order a piece of acrylic cut to size in w/e color, just need to get the silicon pad and then drill/thread some screw holes?

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #109 on: Sun, 03 August 2014, 22:49:43 »
Added the most minimal case possible to the OP.  This is the case I am currently rocking on my 75%.

Teaser...






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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #110 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 07:11:11 »
Really digging that case swill, nice job :D
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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #111 on: Thu, 14 August 2014, 19:13:38 »
Really digging that case swill, nice job :D

Ya, I am really enjoying this case.  I do like the ones that I put silicon in, but for some reason being able to see all the details on the underside of the board is really pleasing.  It kind of showcases your work and makes it easier to appreciate.  Super simple case, but so gratifying.  :)

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Re: swill's minimal case design
« Reply #112 on: Sat, 30 August 2014, 08:58:46 »
That case is beautiful! Very nice work.

Also, that's one happy USB Cable  :D :D

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