How to DIY your own mechanical keyboard

How to DIY your own mechanical keyboard

[Partner Content] The internet is full of 3D printing mechanical keyboard tutorials. But what if you don’t have a 3D printer? Or what if you want to learn about the process of making a keyboard from start to finish? This article is for you!

The internet is full of 3D printing mechanical keyboard tutorials. But what if you don’t have a 3D printer? Or what if you want to learn about the process of making a keyboard from start to finish? This article is for you! We’ll cover the basics of 3D printing and mechanical keyboard design and then walk you through the steps of making your keyboard. In the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to start designing and 3D printing your custom mechanical keyboard!

History of mechanical keyboards

Mechanical keyboards date back to the early days of personal computing. One of the earliest examples is the IBM Model M, which was introduced in 1980. The Model M was notable for its high-quality construction and its use of spring-loaded switches.

In the early 2000s, there was a revival of interest in mechanical keyboards. This was partly due to the popularity of the gaming industry and the growing trend of PC modification and customization. Several companies have begun producing mechanical keyboards aimed at the enthusiast market.

Today, mechanical keyboards are more prevalent than ever. They are widely used by gamers, as well as by people who value the superior typing experience that they provide.

Advantages of building your own custom keyboard

A custom keyboard can be a great feature for several reasons. First, you can customize the keyboard according to your own needs and preferences. For example, you can choose the layout, size, and type of keys that best suit your needs, whether you’re a programmer who needs extra keys for shortcuts or someone who wants a smaller keyboard to save space on your desk.

Secondly, a custom keyboard can be the best way to show off your personality and skills in making things yourself and your style. You can choose a sleek and professional-looking keyboard, or you can go for a more fun and funky design. You can also choose the materials, keys and keycaps you like, allowing you to create a perfect keyboard. And because you build it yourself, you can be sure that it will last.

How to 3D print a mechanical keyboard

3D printing on a mechanical keyboard can be easy and fun if you follow the steps correctly:

Step 1: Brainstorm and plan

First, you need to brainstorm and write different ideas on what kind of mechanical keyboards you can make that meet your requirements. You should consider their size, color, material, and features, along with various other aspects, including the type of mechanical keyboards.

Step 2: Choose the right size

The advantage of DIY keyboards is the freedom to choose any size you want! Generally, they are available in Full Size, Small Size 1800, Tenkeyless, 75%, 65%, 60%, 40%, and Macropads.
You can also look for custom sizes, but the availability of parts and the convenience of their use must be taken into account.

Step 3: Choose Features

It may take time to choose the right features for a mechanical keyboard. These features can enhance functionality and aesthetic appeal. Some of the notable features that you can choose include:

  • RGB lighting: It can be under each key, on the sides, to give a bottom glow.
  • USB port: You can add one or more USB ports. It would be better if it was USB Type C, as it is reversible.
  • Omk firmware: You can add this feature if you want the keyword to be programmable and easily reset.
How to DIY your own mechanical keyboard

Step 4: Order your parts and gather your materials

Once you have completed your DIY mechanical keyboard design, features and size, it is time to order the required parts. If you own a 3D printer, you can print the parts yourself. Otherwise you will need to order it as well.

Some of the general ingredients required are:

  • Costar style keyboard stabilizer (1 set)
  • rubber feet (4 pcs)
  • Micro USB cable (1 piece)
  • single core wire (one roll)
  • Twisted rainbow wire (1 roll)
  • 1N4148 Diodes (68 pcs)
  • keys (2 sets)
  • soldier
  • 3D printer filament
  • 32″ x 6″ Phillips machine screws (6 pcs)
  • Micro USB microcontroller development board (1pc)
  • electrical tape
  • Keycaps (if you don’t want to 3D print the components)
  • Keyboard and case board (if you don’t want to 3D print the components)

You will also need tools such as a soldering iron, wire cutters, and a Phillips screwdriver.

Step 5: Assemble the Components:

Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients, it’s time to put them together. But before that, you need to 3D print the keyboard case, keyboard and keycaps. You can design it from scratch or consider ready-made designs available online.

3D printing the case and other components is more difficult than it looks, so different factors have to be considered.
Once you have your case, install the keys. Start assembling it at the top by pushing it against the board until it clicks. Also, make sure they are facing the same direction.

Next, you need to connect the diodes to the pins of your switches by selling. Then connect each row and column of switches with a wire. This process is a bit complicated, and you should watch a video tutorial to do it right.

Once the adapters are connected using the network wires, it’s time to connect the other end to a small USB microcontroller. After connecting, you must program the console by connecting it to the computer. Once you’ve finished programming, you can test the keyboard to see if each key works correctly.

After testing, you can open the fasteners and switch covers, neatly bend the wires and components, and close the enclosure. Attach rubber feet to all four corners of the bottom of the keyboard for grip. Alas! Your DIY 3D printed mechanical keyboard is ready to go!

We know using a mechanical keyboard can be fun, but you will need a 3D printer and enough printing skills to print the main components of the keyboard. And we know that not everyone can buy a 3D printer to print a DIY keyboard or several keyboards.

On the other hand, off-the-shelf mechanical keyboard cases and other 3D-printable components available on the market may not meet all of your personal needs. So should you kill your desire to have a keyboard the way you want it if you don’t have a 3D printer? of course not! Elcro 3D model can print your DIY keyboard design into reality in just a few steps. All you need is to upload your 3D design files, choose your materials and then enjoy our website 3D printing service.

Elecrow also saves you PCB manufacturing service and PCB assembly service for your mechanical keyboard projects, it is Special Promotion Month Offer for Elecrow Mechanical Keyboard 2022 Between November 17th – December 17th, 2022, you can enjoy free assembly cost for mechanical keyboards PCBA orders 50pcs, 50% off for order quantity>50pcs, if you have production requirements for mechanical keyboards, take this opportunity to get free PCBA assembly service PCB, Enjoy 3D Printing and Acrylic Laser Cutting Service Starting at $1!

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