Author Topic: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys  (Read 1557 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Rose

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
[Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« on: Wed, 13 May 2015, 17:08:00 »
This guide is for making a switch plate with rotated keys using keyboard-layout-editor.com, swill's plate building tool, and Inkscape. (three wonderful free resources)

Go to your design on keyboard-layout-editor and 'unrotate' your keys.  Space everything out so no keys are overlapping.  In this example I had to move my thumb cluster down and out of the way.  Take note of exactly where the center of rotation is and how far you move the groups of keys.  Basically you are going to undo every step in Inkscape.  Note: Keyboard-layout-editor uses the width of a 1x1 key (3/4 of an inch) for units.  i.e. If you move a group of keys '2 units' in keyboard-layout-editor you will need to move them back 1.5 inches in Inkscape.

100615-0  100619-1  100617-2

Now use swill's tool and make sure you select the SVG output option. Open up your SVG file in Inkscape. Delete everything except your switch holes. It's a good idea to group each individual switch first. None of the lines are connected and you are never going to move the left side of a switch without moving the rest of it. Select all the the lines that make up one of your switch holes and group them together. Repeat for each switch hole. Now highlight a group of switches that will rotate together and group them. Use Ctrl+G to group.

100621-3  100623-4

Go to 'Object' in the main menu and open the 'Transform' and 'Align and Distribute' panes.  We will only use 'Transform' in this tutorial but 'Align and Distribute' was very helpful when I was designing the other layers of my acrylic case so you may want to check it out.

100625-5

Click one of the groups to be rotated.

100627-6

Now click it again. You should see the arrows around the edges change.  From here you can grab corners and rotate the group with the cursor.  But don't do that.  Okay see those little crosshairs in the middle of your group.  That is the center of rotation and you can drag it around.  My thumb cluster was rotated around the center of my four directional keys so that's where I put it.  You may want to utilize that 'Align and Distribute' pane to line it up just right.

100629-7

Great, now use the 'Rotate' option in the 'Transform' pane to do the actual rotation.

100631-8

Move that freshly rotated group back to where it belongs in your original design and VOILA!  Obviously the same steps are repeated for any other rotations.

100633-9
« Last Edit: Fri, 15 May 2015, 10:52:54 by Rose »

Offline suicidal_orange

  • * Global Moderator
  • Posts: 3654
  • Location: England
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 13 May 2015, 18:03:46 »
Great guide, I'll be using it when I finally settle on a layout :)
                               
Ducky Zero, MX Reds    JD40, Jailhouse Blues           GH60
Soarer controller

Offline shaymdev

  • Posts: 56
  • Location: SLC, UT
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 14 May 2015, 06:28:22 »
Good stuff! I think I'll have to give inkscape a go. I was trying to do this same thing using libreCAD but was struggling with the complexity of the software.

Offline naz

  • Posts: 54
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 14 May 2015, 08:32:30 »
This is truly great. I've wanted to investigate what are the steps you need to do to build your own keyboard and then decide to make one of my own or stick to the few comercial options. But my time is really limited so is great to learn from what you have done, so thanks!  :thumb:

Now, what do you do with the plate design??? is there a website that makes them??

Regards!

Offline marianoelias.mec

  • Posts: 1
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 14 May 2015, 13:02:56 »
Will try it out.  Thanks

Offline Rose

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 62
  • Location: Raleigh, NC
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 15 May 2015, 14:43:17 »
This is truly great. I've wanted to investigate what are the steps you need to do to build your own keyboard and then decide to make one of my own or stick to the few comercial options. But my time is really limited so is great to learn from what you have done, so thanks!  :thumb:

Now, what do you do with the plate design??? is there a website that makes them??

Regards!

I brought my design to my school's library and used their laser cutter to cut it out of acrylic sheets.  You could also try a service like ponoko to have it cut. 

Offline Vizir

  • Posts: 270
  • Location: Tulsa, OK
Re: [Tutorial] Create a Switch Plate with Rotated Keys
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 17 May 2015, 10:51:13 »
Thank you for this write up.