Fri, 06 Oct 2006

Mark IX keyboard

This is the first keyboard produced from measured drawings. I have a little Python program which generates a full-size postscript drawing. I print that to sticky paper and stick it on a sheet of plastic. Then I cut the plastic to the drawing. In this case, I wasn't using exactly the right plastic. It's .040 polyester. Polyester is a little flexible, and .040 is a little thin. It's 1mm thick, and the switches really need 1.2mm to lock in well.

This keyboard is a direct descendant of the Mark VIII keyboard. That one used a flat plastic platform for the keys just as this one does. However, it was cut by hand from cardboard and hot-melt-glued together. This one was cut in a reproducible manner.

I botched this particular keyboard because I cut some of the key holes too large, and the keys fall out. Worse, the thinness of the plastic bears on the hand in certain places and makes it fairly uncomfortable. This design simply will not work.

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