Alex Neufeld
Project Notes

Mechanical macro-pad in an altoids tin

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I've been wanting to do something with custom mechanical keyboards for a while now. It occurred to me that a 3x4 grid of cherry style switches could just barely fit into a regular-sized mint tin. The result was a fun project that introduced me to PCB design and working with arduino-style boards. Some images of the build process are collected below. I also put the design files on Github in case anyone wants to replicate this work.

CAD design

3D printed plate, the mint tin sheet metal is too thin to securely hold the switches.

PCB ready to go.

Testing with the Pro-Micro clone.

Upper assembly soldered and ready.

Add felt pads to the bottom of the case.

Steel plate for inertia, kapton tape to insulate the electronics from contact with metal parts.

Finished! rear view with cutout for USB-in.

Kailh box jade switches and clear, blank PBT keycaps installed.



This project was inspired in part by the 2% milk keyboard.

Ruiqi Mao's Keyboard PCB guide was very helpful.