I ordered the prototype for the cherry mx case from 3dhubs.com today - it is supposed to ship by 5th of July and will probably arrive together with the PCBs from JLCPCB. 3D printing all parts at 100% infill and 100μm resolution using FDM cost ~90 USD.
I had to make a couple of changes compared to above revision. 3d printing apparently can not reliably create threads smaller than M5. So I ordered heat insets from mcmaster.com to get M2.5 screws to work.
This version includes tenting mounts on the sides and the Ergodox EZ tents should work.
Unfortunately the TRRS jack is 5mm high so I had to extrude the frame to hide the jack inside the enclosure. As I’m planning to also make a case for choc and kailh X switches I’ll probably have to accept that the connector is exposed for those switches as the enclosure will be less than 5mm. Or find an alternative to TRRS to connect the halves. Or find a different placement for the TRRS connector where the exposure doesn’t matter too much.
Below some rendered images - I will post some real pictures taken with a macro lens once the prototype case is assembled.
- 13x M2.5 heat insets
- 10x M2.5 screws
- 3x Ergodox EZ tenting feet
- left & right upper body
- left & right bottom plate
- left inset for layer indicator LEDs
- 1.5 mm extrude around switches to allow TRRS enclosure
- 1.5 mm switch plate
- 3.5 mm space to PCB
- 1 mm pcb
- 1.85mm hotswap sockets below PCB
- 0.15mm space
- 1mm bottom plate
all in all 10.5 mm in height. For a choc version I expect 6.5mm and 4.5mm for X one.
I left a 0.05mm - 0.1mm margin around some components (PCB, OLED, TRRS, USB-C) to ensure the components can actually fit into the case - looking forward to seeing how this turns out in real life.
Also, I have a couple of open questions about 3d printing fully enclosed cases; how much infill is required to get a sturdy case, how thin/ thick do I need to make walls etc etc. If anybody has resources specific to keyboard cases I’d love read about them, as the 100% infill I picked to be on the safe side increased the price for the prototypes considerably.