Beamspring Factory process - How to

DMA

13 Jul 2019, 04:33

Needle-nose pliers are da shit.

As for the bending tool - plastic is likely too soft for that. Metal will probably deform it.
Also this being spring steel - to give it a shape you must bend it _beyond_ that shape. And if it's not - it might have trouble holding the shape for long.

I like the idea of pliers though. There's some real love there.
You'll fuck up first 20 and probably cut yourself with the sharp edges couple times, but then you'll have a wonderful half a day of bending the metal to your will, and as a result you'll have a set of springs for the best keyboard you'll ever have.

After 2 years I still find it strangely satisfying to type on the keyboard which has parts _made_ by me.
Doesn't happen every day, but it comes across my mind every now and then (usually when people like "..and I thought _my_ keyboard is clicky") and puts a smile on my face.
Every time.
But software engineering is not for everyone, and flashing the firmware in a part you received in the mail just doesn't count (although, I admit, it _is_ a matter of perspective).

And bending springs is a thing that requires skill, yet is not beyond reach of the person reasonably willing to learn it.

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SneakyRobb

20 Jul 2019, 01:13

Hi,

I have due to a stencil manufacturer error only about 50 flysprings in these packs. I tried for 0.003 inch thick steel this time. I think it will allow for a nicer* feel. We will see.

I will be begin bending these and combining them with my carbon 3D printed feet. I still don't know if I like the screw mount or the press mount better. I don't think it matters too much for the capacitive foot. The beamspring mount is much more critical.
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I have now received... Hopefully... please.... please?... my 4th pcb revision for the 60% beamspring keyboard. I think this one will work. I ordered it to the specs and requirements that DMA laid out for me. I think it will finally 100% work.
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After this pcb, I will be begin working on my end game. The Full Sized model M style beamspring keyboard with 100% new construction parts.

I have procured silicone molding materials and will begin casting full beamspring housings soon. I will also update my 3d Models gallery in this thread.

For stabilizers I have now decided on a policy of "only space bar." The beamspring is so robust and side to side stable that basically the only key that needs stabilizers is the spacebar.

This crude drawing is how the rest of my stabilizers will work. I will either cast these parts or 3d print them.
Spoiler:
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Will update on my flyspring bending adventures soon.

DMA

20 Jul 2019, 04:48

I don't think you need such stabilizers - the switch is under the key center everywhere.
The stabilizer is there so it pulls down the other side of the key when you press off-center. To achieve this, it must be held down at the other end.
Suppose you press the left end of your spacebar. Downforce on the left is converted into stabilizer rotation, which twists the stabilizer stem, and tries to convert that rotation back to downforce. But it needs an anchor there - otherwise the stem will just raise towards the key, not press down on it.

Your scheme has no anchor, so it won't help much there. The only benefit is a bit less bending of the keycap socket - not sure how much of a problem is that. For shitty keycaps it's a big problem I guess.

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SneakyRobb

21 Jul 2019, 03:57

DMA wrote:
20 Jul 2019, 04:48
I don't think you need such stabilizers - the switch is under the key center everywhere.
The stabilizer is there so it pulls down the other side of the key when you press off-center. To achieve this, it must be held down at the other end.
Suppose you press the left end of your spacebar. Downforce on the left is converted into stabilizer rotation, which twists the stabilizer stem, and tries to convert that rotation back to downforce. But it needs an anchor there - otherwise the stem will just raise towards the key, not press down on it.

Your scheme has no anchor, so it won't help much there. The only benefit is a bit less bending of the keycap socket - not sure how much of a problem is that. For shitty keycaps it's a big problem I guess.
Hi this does make sense. The main problem is that for original beamspring switches, the metal stamped stem that the key sits on is very tall, very thick and very sturdy steel. The keycap socket holds onto that stem with thick walls that really brace against rotation. You would only ever break your keycap socket if you used excessive force to rock the keycap sideways when removing it.

The sort of rotating "left down/right down" motion that a stabilizer would correct for basically doesn't happen because of this. It is so strong that the only key on the original with a stabilizer is the spacebar. Even then, you can honestly remove the spacebar stabilizer and they keyboard is still mostly useable.

For cherry mx mount, the stems being plastic, and in this case 3d printed by me, they are in fact much less durable. This is just due to the 3d printing method I have used where the layers go across. So rotational force, can break the stem off while inside the keycap socket.

So the stabilizers I am printing are not actually stabilizers, they are stress relievers. They are designed to relieve stress on the cross of the stem, not the keycap. So that I don't have more keys that end up like


Like this.
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DMA

21 Jul 2019, 07:51

"keycap support structures" :)

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SneakyRobb

22 Jul 2019, 06:30

DMA wrote:
21 Jul 2019, 07:51
"keycap support structures" :)
Hi, yes very close to it!

I will assemble the 60% now. and hopefully post next day with everything together.

I will try to update more on the more regular everyone sorry for recent slowness.

Flyspring bending.
So for the beamspring flysprings. The 3d printed aparatus works just fine. ALL it takes to make beamspring flysprings is the metal and the 3d printer object to shape them on. The real key thing, is to get them square. This can be done by eye and just requires perpendicular angles. Once you get that. You can align them to perfection. The final shaping here was slightly off.

I think ill just make the bending tool which is just a quick 10 minute 3d print, have alignment slots.

Pretty okay/10
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For some reason after a lot of back and forth with JLCPCB, I didn't see it at first, but all the flysprings I just ordered were delivered as 0.15mm which is about 5 mi. So they are too thick :/ I wanted 3 mill which is about 0.08mm. Most unfortunate.

So hopefully I will get the correct thickness stencils soon. I don't think JLCPCB is the best long term partner...
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-Not original.
Finally one last thing that I have been trying to experiment with. This is something I sort of came across by happenstance but that I think could be big. When I was cutting beamsprings by hand with my hole punch I had a lot of issues getting the center holes just right. So frustrated I put the flat hole-less spring in the flyplate. The feeling? The best. Why does the beamspring need this hole in the middle anyway? Alignment?

If I could have one issue with IBM Beamsprings. This is not an issue you would ever really come across unless you were experimenting with them. Beamsprings are known as perhaps the best "Clickly" switch. They have this massive 20mm long plate spring. If you look at this spring though. It has a giant plastic rivet in the middle with a huge square hole. This hole/rivet almost cuts it in-half. You would never guess this, because they are known as the #1 switch. But that hole takes them from absolute best switch, to best switch.

What if that hole wasn't there? Maybe the spring can just slide into the stem? Instead of a 20mmx3mm spring with a huge hole in the middle for riveting or for me, screws. We just get, a captive spring of full length, with no interuptions? I will now try to also find this out.
Spoiler:
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This project started as a recreation. I intend to finish that, but what if. What if we can take the #1 switch, and make it #1+..?

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