I can’t offer any advice on pcb design, I’ve just handwired a few builds so far. My most recent build is a simple 3x4 key macropad and my process for designing it was as follows:
Make your layout on Keyboard-layout-editor, probably easiest to use the 104 key from the presets and just use your mouse click-and-drag to select the blocks of keys you don’t want (the F-row and such)
When you have a layout you’re happy with, you can copy the contents of the ‘Raw Data’ tab and…
Paste it into the input area on the Swillkb plate generator(generates a plate, and stacked case parts if necessary), or Ai03 plate generator (which only does the plate). From there you can print out the .dxf files to test how the layout feels IRL.
If your ready to move forward with the design, you can find a local machine shop that can cnc or laser cut the parts for you, or use one of a number of online services. I’ve used Sendcutsend a couple times now and it was pretty straight forward, just upload the .dxf files and select material.
I imagine 3d printing could also be used to make a plate and/or case, I don’t know anything about that though but perhaps someone else will chime in. Looking forward to seeing what you make!
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a something just like you mentioned on the MK subreddit, not sure about being WKL but it definitly was 40% with added length for the arrow keys part.
Edit: an IC for exactly what you’re asking for called Arrow40, no idea if the IC went live though .
Ah, I see that there were similar boards. Not really bummed out because already knew that it was likely to make something like this.
Thank you for the replies so far; looks like handwiring a pcb would be more friendly to someone who’s never done this stuff before. I’ll take some time fiddling around with it to see if I can get anything that I like
Handwiring is not as scary as it looks, and if you like soldering it can actually be fun! I forgot to mention in my first reply, but Golem is an excellent resource for getting started on designing/handwiring a keyboard. There is a lot of really helpful articles and links to resources that you would otherwise have to search for across multiple forums.
Arrow 40 never went through but I had my eye on it for a long time - it eventually became the eclipse which is just FRL TKL - i think WKL optional. I think snurrebassen said Arrow40 might be revisited in the future.
Totally agree! As long as you’re patient and willing to take your time and pay attention, you should be able to handle it. Just remember that the more informed you are when you start, and the slower and easier you go, the better your results will be.