A500 Mini II Part 6 – past the half way mark! – keycaps

Quite a lot of progress, but it doesn’t look like a lot of progress.

Firstly, I’ve had to re-do most of the keyboard CAD – I simply didn’t like the ‘blocky’ effect of the wider topped keycaps I’d created – as you can see below they look a lot more square in real life than they did in CAD…

I’ve now clocked well over 200 hours developing this set of keycaps, likley there’s going to be tens more tweaking / optimising!

So, along with the less blocky (more slopey) keys, I’d discovered my workflow in CAD had created tapered keys – the tops when viewed from above look like parallelograms, wheras the original Amiga had more square keys – it was quite a lot of work to alter this – see the parts below by the red arrows – the bottom bit is in towards the middle more than the top bit.

Tops not parallel with bottoms
Tops are parallel with bottoms

I’ve also finalised (subject to successful printing) the keycap holding mechanism!

A quick play with the keycaps – showing the size of them!
Fusion360 can be ‘fun’ when trying to create offsets

I had quite a few issues creating the stems to hold the keycaps on the keyboard , was almost impossible to ‘automate’ to any extent, so it mostly became a repetitive process of

  • create a key latching mechanism
  • copy it
  • drag it over the relevant keycap
  • merge
  • repeat 94 times
  • noting to adjust heights and angles of mechanism every row to avoid it sticking out

But – Now we have………..

Looks no different to that one I posted a fortnight ago – here –

The above doesn’t look much different to the picture I posted a while back – but, it’s an almost ground up re-work! – have some more details

Note the spaces between the tops of the keys are now wider (over 1mm wider!), the slopes on the sides and fronts are a little steeper. I’ve also BOLDED all the text on the keys, made some smaller, some larger – this is the most difficult thing to ‘get right’ as there’s a fine line for legibility when printed….

Close up of the keycaps and slopes –
And, the ‘final’ shot – the internal keyswitch capture

As of typing, I have the keycaps printing on my Anycubic Photon-X – first time i’ve used the printer during warm weather, I suspect most of my previous failures were due to low temperature, I can’t stress how important it is to ensure it’s around 25 degrees inside your print chamber to give you the best chance of success.

Now, if you’ve gotten this far……..There’s also some more great news…..

THE PROTOTYPE PCB’S HAVE ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!……..

I’ve soldered a Raspberry Pi Pico on the back and will be testing over the next few days. I’m not sure if the production version will have the Pico in this position, I think it’ll be easier to install if it’s on a seperate PCB – hence the ‘just out of shot’ 40 Pin unpopulated FPC connector. I’ll give more information about this later….loads to do!!

Author: Bleugh

Early Fourties, Wife, two kids in primary school. Both of us work full time...5 years now we’ve been Back in Blighty after a decade away...It's a new country for everyone! Still finding time to tinker!

One thought on “A500 Mini II Part 6 – past the half way mark! – keycaps”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: