hi friends , sorry but total newbie question


15 Nov 2020, 20:13

i want to build custom shape keybord with custom sized 3d printed capkeys , its for college projest , i am dealing only the design part(product design student) . not so elctronic friendly...
, i was think to use amoeba pcb with brown cherry mx switches
my questions is do i need only to buy the amoeba pcb`s from here
and to hand hire them to the cherry switches and to each other .
and after that i connect them to the teensy 2.0 ( https://www.amazon.com/Swiftflying-Deve ... B077TQD5HB )
and from teensy to the pc .
did i forgot somthing?
is it sould simply work ?

User avatar

15 Nov 2020, 23:56

If you are dealing with design part only then do not bother yourself with internals like PCBs, controllers and how it might look inside the case. Make the part you are responsible for: the outside design/look of the keyboard. Let the rest to the students which study electronics. If you are supposed to take care also about the internal shape of the keyboard case then get the requirements for it from the students doing the electronics. First you provide them with the outside shape. They will tell you whether they can fit electronics in or not. If they can fit it in then they will give you requirements for the mounting points etc. If they cannot fit then you will need to redesign to give them more space.

Do not do electronics at all as part of your assignment. Talk to your teachers if they think you should do it. I hope your teachers are reasonable enough not to force you into electronics when you study design. It would be too much work doing also electronics when you do not know/study it and when it is only a school assignment.


22 Nov 2020, 01:15

i only do design , but its my project
so even for electronic part , its my job ,
i was think to hire some freelancer , but even so i prefer to understand what to ask for

User avatar

23 Nov 2020, 13:14

Ok, if you insist to do also the electrical part then here is the most easy way how to do it. Find an open source project which publishes both firmware (e.g. a C source code) and electrical design (e.g. complete kicad project files). Do not focus on controller (i.e. teensy 2.0) first. Use the same controller from the open project you selected. The controller does not really matter provided you can buy it and you already have a firmware written for it. If you are hand wiring then you do not even need any single switch PCB. A simple matrix with diodes only is easy enough. Single switch PCBs may be useful if you want also backlighting but even in such a case you do not really need them. Look at this as a sample of keyboard without single switch PCBs.

Try to find an open project with published files which has the same amount of keys as you plan to use on your keyboard. Preferably also the same layout as well but this is not strictly needed. The reason for that is so that you do not need to adjust the schematic and the firmware. If you cannot find an open project with the same amount of keys then you will need to adjust schematic and the firmware as well. If you can find a project with the same amount of keys but a different layout then you will need to modify only the default key map in the firmware. This is fairly easy. First ask for help the mainteners of the open project you are going to use. You have a good chance they will respond. Then search for help elsewhere, e.g. create a thread for it here publish initial schematic, firmware and the changes you did to it, ask whether it looks right ...

You can try to hire somebody. If you can find some student who already did this then he may do it for you for a reasonable price. Professional help is an option but that would be way too expensive.


23 Nov 2020, 22:29

Amoeba PCBs are pretty straightforward, but not exactly easy especially if you haven't soldered before.

I would strongly consider working with an existing PCB (standard 60% or tenkeyless) unless the unique layout is an important part of the design.

I used a Teensy and Amoebas, and got a mostly functional prototype running QMK. There are tools that make the coding part easy, but getting QMK set up on a windows machine still takes a bit of time.
20200309_233455.jpg (3.31 MiB) Viewed 99 times

User avatar

24 Nov 2020, 11:33

@Rayndalf: A contoured DIY keyboard! Nice! Post some pictures of the overall shape when you are ready.

Post Reply

Return to “Keyboards”