More nerd sets from your friendly neighborhood

More nerd sets from your friendly neighborhood

I’m still working on Susuwatari, but more sets are coming out soon. Long time ago I was contacted by a manufacturer that wanted to release some of my designs. They asked what could be our first project together and I immediately said: “Elvish! and Russian!”.

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Susuwatari BETA-1

Susuwatari BETA-1

In just a couple of days I’ve got dozens of comments, emails and people reaching out on reddit/skype/slack. Thanks everybody for the great support and feedback!

So, it looks like I’ve been a little selfish and I didn’t think that other designers and creators might be interested in releasing their creations in double-shot MT3. Some of them contacted me and asked to make the legends a bit more “vanilla” so they would be better suited for a wider range of sets and color schemes.

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Susuwatari: the first Double-shot set on MT3

Susuwatari: the first Double-shot set on MT3

So /dev/tty1 is finally out into the wild, round two is going nice and smooth and it’s time to move on to the next project.

It’s some time we are toying with the idea of a double-shot version of the MT3 keycap profile and it looks like Massdrop has just greenlighted the project.

I mostly worked on dye-sublimation lately, so I was forced on light schemes. You can’t have a legend that is lighter than the background with sublimation (yeah, okay you technically can with negative printing… but let’s leave it for now), so this time around I wanted to go dark!

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/dev/tty Round 2: Harder, Better, Faster, Sharper

/dev/tty Round 2: Harder, Better, Faster, Sharper

Long time I haven’t posted an update about the second round of /dev/tty. As you all well know I wasn’t very happy with the dye-sub quality of the first drop and –honestly– how Massdrop handled the whole development phase.

Fortunately this time things are moving smoother. I’m getting prototypes at a constant pace and the first impression is very good.

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3D Printing a Whitefox case

3D Printing a Whitefox case

Back to the roots! After a long period of high quality, high volumes fancy factory made keyboards I was missing my early DIY days. It all started from there: an idea, a bunch of hand wired switches and a layered acrylic case.

The keyboard enclosure has always been a problem. Layered acrylic (or aluminum) is definitely an option but it presents its limits and anyway you have to have access to a laser cutter. Time has passed –five year since my first custom?! gosh, time flies when you are having fun– and 3d printing finally got to a point where it’s both easily accessible and decent quality.  The problem with “home” 3d printers is that the building area is rarely big enough to host a whole keyboard so we have to be creative.

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Anatomy of a keyboard

Anatomy of a keyboard

This is the third and last introductory chapter in the How to build a custom keyboard series before turning on the soldering iron and actually build some stuff. You’ll learn how each component is constructed and the constrains we are going to face in making a keyboard. By the end of this post you should be able to pick the right keycaps, enclosure, materials and controller.

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All you need to build a custom keyboard

All you need to build a custom keyboard

Before getting our hands dirty we need to cover some basics. In this chapter we are going to dissect a keyboard into its main components and for each of them we’ll analyze cost, availability and difficulty to build.

We will also check our shopping list and make sure we have all the tools needed for our upcoming endeavor.

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How to build a custom keyboard: an introduction

How to build a custom keyboard: an introduction

I wrote multiple posts on my blog and on various community forums about mechanical keyboard making but the information is scattered, often outdated and unstructured.

Initially I wanted to release a full book, but it would take ages and I believe it would be somewhat limited. Being able to feature a video or download the source code of a firmware is crucial so I came up with a system that would let me publish my articles in a more organic way.

All chapters of the manual will be published on my blog at matt3o.com as soon as I write them. A post could cover some theory or be more practical and tutorial-like. Everything will be structured and easily accessible from the Table of Content at the top of each post so you can quickly navigate through the content.

Whenever possible I’ll add videos, source code, DWG and STL files in what I hope will become a valuable and ever growing source of information for custom keyboard makers. Even better, everything is free and released under a very permissive Creative Commons license.

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Device Terminal Round 2 AKA /dev/tty1

Device Terminal Round 2 AKA /dev/tty1

Some of you may have noticed that /dev/tty has dropped again. Waaaay sooner than I expected actually. As you know by now I don’t like to rush a product release and considering the round 1 hiccups, I would have liked a couple of weeks more to plan a good fight strategy.

Anywho. Device Terminal (that’s how you pronounce it!) round 2 is up and kicking. The official name would be /dev/tty1 (it’s 0-based) and we have approximately a month to fix the issues we encountered in the first iteration. Namely the drunken legends. MassDrop reassure me that they made so no more bold, tilted, not-centered legends will leave the factory. I hope they will let me check that before shipping to customers.

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The cost of perfection

The cost of perfection

Warning: this is a rant.

Important: the following reflects my opinion and my opinion only. I report the facts at the best of my knowledge/understanding but they are not necessarily accurate.

Of course I’m going to talk about /dev/tty keycaps set and the MT3 profile. The two are actually very different projects.

MT3 is the new profile we designed. It was a long process but it went relatively smooth. We had many iterations of the keys, I got plenty of prototypes both 3D printed and injected. We were able to fine tune the shape up to the very last minute. Indeed the profile came out beautifully, better than my expectations actually. The result is a wonderful new and original profile.

I was expecting the same process to happen for /dev/tty which is the first color scheme released on MT3.

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