Author Topic: Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout  (Read 1836 times)

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Offline Nlight

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  • Location: France
Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout
« on: Sat, 16 June 2018, 17:57:22 »
Hi,

I am currently planning on making my own keyboard, and I think I got a good idea of the whole thing... that remains to be confirmed, but in other threads. Right Now, I have a good idea of the layout I wanna achieve, and come with some way to actually roughly check if what I think is ok to me or not (beside the experience acquired with owned keyboards) :

  • get a piece of particle board with melamine finish on it
  • place your hands the way you would like it to be on home row, draw the spots of your fingers with a stencil
  • repeat for every key you want on your keyboard
  • get keycaps from an old keyboard, and hotglue them (anything that will stick them in place temporarily)
  • try the courses for your fingers
  • tweak it if necessary
  • translate it in CAD, with measurements and everything

This is the method I think I will use when I have the occasion, and you, how do you make it ?

Online Findecanor

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Re: Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 16 June 2018, 18:43:42 »
I got some Cherry G81-series keyboards with Cherry MY switches.
I harvested the keycaps for use on Cherry MX keyboards.
Then removed the MY switch modules and cut off the nubs on the bottom. I now had modules that were flat on the bottom, took Cherry MX-compatible keycaps and had the same height as Cherry MX switches. The bottoms are also square but a little bit smaller than 3/4" so you would have to us card spacer.
However, I don't know if G81-series are so available and affordable as they once were. They were super-cheap when I got mine.
Smoking is violent assault.
Daily driver: Phantom (Lubed Cherry MX Clear, Lasered Cherry PBT keycaps with Row A. Plastic "Frankencase". Custom firmware, Swedish layout)

Offline Nlight

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  • Location: France
Re: Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 16 June 2018, 19:30:03 »
hmmm... intersting, you would have a closer rough preview feeling. I'll have to see if I can 3D print some bases and acquire cheap small springs to kinda emulate this approach, or maybe I can create some with stainless steel 28 awg wire as it is rather springy... sweet  :thumb:

Offline joesventek

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Re: Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 04:53:29 »
Here's what I do with keycaps and switches already at hand:

  • Reproduce the desired design in Keyboard Layout Editor.
  • Create a CAD file of the plate for this layout with Swill's Plate & Case Builder.
  • Print the plate to scale on paper.
  • Optionally glue the printout on a piece of cardboard.
  • Put double sided duct tape on top of the printout.
  • You can now stick the keycaps on top of it. They'll stick good enough to test the layout while being able to move them to physically improve the layout.
  • Apply the changes to your layout in KLE and repeat until satisfied.
  • When everything feels right I basically do the same as above but instead of sticking the bare keycaps on top with double sided tape I cut holes in the cardboard (with an utility knife) where the switches go. This might sound like a lot of work but since the holes don't have to be perfect this is actually done in no time.
  • Now put the keycaps on your switches and put them in the holes.
  • If you bend the borders of the cardboard you can actually type on this just like on the finished board. This should reveal problems with the layout you'll not be able to notice otherwise.




Offline Nlight

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  • Location: France
Re: Ways for planning your ergnomic keys layout
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 17 June 2018, 08:41:58 »
Pretty pretty nice methodology, inspires me a lot. I would say that if you happen to have polystyrene board, it would be even easier. Thanks  :)