I like compact keyboards layouts but I need my arrow cluster, that’s why I never adventured in sub 65%… until now. I tried to find a PCB that supported all the features that I wanted but couldn’t find one, so had to resort –once again– to hand wiring.
I get often asked why I handwire my keyboards, the answer is simple: it’s the fastest way to prototype a new keyboard. Sure a PCB is desirable, but it takes time to design and manufacture. With 3D printing I can have a case and a plate very quickly and in a day or two I can have a fully functional keyboard. It’s a very rewarding prototyping strategy, and I find it relaxing.
The layout is very close to an HHKB but with a split spacebar and arrow keys.
I’m using this keyboard since a few weeks now and it’s really lovely, but I think it still needs a little bit of work. It took me about 3-4 days to get used to the arrow cluster position, but now it’s like second nature. The problem is the left spacebar that is used both as modifier (left GUI) and spacebar, but QMK has some issues with that. If you are typing too fast it can’t decide if you want to use the key as modifier or spacebar. To be honest mine is a bit of a boderline usage (I use it on Linux with i3 window manager) and I’m positive it would be totally fine in a standard scenario.
Anyway I put together a quick making of video and the 3D files for the case and the 3u spacebar are freely available. Have fun!Download the 3D files!