Zambumon Verne: custom TKL keyboard


After designing some keycap sets, and since I’ve been using CAD software for a while now, making my own board was just a matter of time. So here it is Verne.

Design philosophy

I wanted to make what by definition we’d say is a custom keyboard: a product tailored to my own needs and specifications. This results in an extremely personal design, that might not be even attractive for many. But that’s exactly what I was up to. A personal design is far more powerful and meaningful for me than a standard box design, and having it made up to my specs allows me to have full control on every single aspect of the keyboard.

Verne has been basically been constructed focusing on these two cornerstones:

  1. Less is better These keyboard doesn’t have a weight, or visible branding, and it definitely doesn’t RGB. These features were not essential for me. It doens’t have an universal plate, because a fixed one was much better for my own requirements.
  2. Functional design A design must speak for itself, and looking good isn’t good enough. The side profile allows the user to easily adjust the keyboard, pick it up and move it around; the USB-C cable goes parallel to the table and doesn’t bend, there aren’t any sharp corners; the case openings and bezels have been designed to match Cherry profile keycaps; the PCB components have been carefully being placed and the traces have been done with good care, as they alwasy should be…

Technical specs

  • “Compact” tenkeyless layout, with function and navigation cluster 0.25U away from the alphanumerics section.
  • Top-mounted fixed ANSI or WKL plate, in either brass or stainless steel. Having a fixed plate was crucial for me, not only because of an aesthetic choice, as I want the keyboard to be as minimalistic and clean as possible; but because I want a nice tight fitting with the switches. With many universal plates, I usually have aligment issues, more than what I’d like to admit.
  • 6 degree slope.
  • Programmable Verne PCB designed by Wilba, with USB-C daughterboard. The daughterboard sits parallel to the table surface, preventing the cable from bending down. It also allows having a better placement for the USB-C port.
  • Around 2.5 Kg (5.3 lbs)

Tentative options

I’m planning to offer the keyboard in deep blue, dark gray, and motorsport (ferrari) red anodizations, as they fit very well with my keysets. I’m also considering the idea of a powder coat finish. However, I’m not happy enough with the quality of the pieces I’ve received, and neither would you. I’ve shortly chatted with @norbauer about it, we enthusiasts see anodization and powder coat not as a protective coat, but as an element that provides aesthetics and textures to a keyboard. However, factories see powder coat purely as some coat that prevents the aluminum from deterioration.

Regarding the plates, and layouts. There will be two plates: standard ANSI, and WKL. Both of them will be fixed and offering in either stainless steel and brass. I’ve been thinking of adding the option of a winkey blocked top piece, which would grant compatibility with many vintage Cherry keysets.

Photo Gallery

Thank you for your time.

[IC] Samurai Blue


the real question is what price point do you think it will hit?


I wouldn’t say that it’s finally happening, tho. There’s lots of stuff to test and figure out before I can even think of offering the keyboards to the public.


fair enough, but at least there’s an official IC to hype on!


My dude, you have to slow down with all these products, my wallet can only pay so much T_T
Fixed plate :ok_hand:


:heart_eyes: :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes:


Oh man the fact that this has a fixed plate just brought this to the top of my list of boards I need to get. And you know I gotta get my hands on that red.


Have been tracking this in IG. Looking forward to this! Love the soft edges, overall shape, and the position/centering of the screws in the bottom.


I like that all the decisions you have made are personal preference. A lot of keyboards start losing their charm when it attempts to cater to the masses. You do you Señor Jamón!

Also… Verne in Spanish sounds weird to me. Do you pronounce it in Spanish or English? :thinking:


man this thing looks nice.


Those curves are sexy. :heart_eyes:


Oh wow I thought this was just a render and not going to be made. Love those smooth edges.


lookin good… those curve… hnnngggffff


oof dem curves.


wow, that’s a good looking TKL! May be my next one (or maybe the one after the next one if it runs long) .


It looks so cozy… The curves are just comforting somehow lol


Looks great. Looking forward for more updates.


Looks awesome!


best looking tkl case I have seen in a long time


Please confirm if this is a /veɾne/ or a /vɝn/

Also, please make this larger than a 30 unit raffle