Why go to Staples for a keyboard when you can print your own?
The Planck is a compact (40%) Ortholinear keyboard designed with ergomnomic thumb placement. For those unfamiliar the kits, the plate layouts are relatively the same as a traditional keyboard with the exception that the keys are all the same size. Recently, Maker Adam Forland 3D-printed and assembled a fully-functioning Planck-inspired mechanical keyboard.
“I just got into mechanical KBs a month ago but I was immediately drawn to the idea of a [DIY] keyboard. The plate, feet and key caps are all 3D-printed on my desktop printer,” Forland writes.
As you will notice, upon first glance, the keyboard may appear to be just like the ones you use regularly. However, this gadget omits an elongated space bar, and instead, uses a series of five yellow keys along the bottom to serve as navigation arrows and a function button.
To bring this idea to life, Forland employed his Lulzbot Mini 3D printer. The Maker notes that he needed to divide the main case of the device into two sections in order to accommodate its size, which measures approximately 9cm x 25cm x 3cm. Using a 0.5mm nozzle, he printed the board at a 0.3mm layer height and the actual keys at a 0.18mm layer height using ABS thermoplastic.
The keyboard itself is powered by a Teensy 2.0 USB dev board (ATmega32U4) and programmed with a few different custom layouts. Beyond that, the project is equipped with some 20-gauge copper wire, 1N4148 doides and 48 Cherry MX green switches.
Interested in a 3D-printed mechanical keyboard of your own? You can download all of its design files on Thingiverse here.