Custom TKL Mechanical Keyboard

Over the pandemic, I spent my additional free time towards developing a custom TKL mechanical keyboard from scratch.

PCB Design

I wasn’t able to find a reasonable TKL PCB with programmable RGB LEDs for each key, so I designed my own. I starting with the open-source layout XMMX, and modified it to include RGB LEDS (WS2812B) for each key. You can find the PCB layout on EasyEDA as LED XMMX

Case Design

I also wasn’t able to find an affordable PCB case, so I also designed my own that I laser cut out of acrylic. The SVG files are available here. I also included the PCB plate in the laser cut pieces.

Parts

I spent a large amount of time (arguably too long) sourcing my switches and keycaps. So in case you are interested, I will list the parts I bought here. Note that the prices do not include shipping.

Part Name Qty Needed Source Price
Drop Halo Clear Switches 87 Drop $45
Keycaps 108 Key Set Ducky $39
Stabilizer 60 Set KBDFans $12
Aluminum Feet 1 KBDFans $5

Prototype

Firmware

I flashed my keyboard using QMK Firmware. There already existed a XMMX configuration on the public repository, but because I added the LEDS to my keyboard, I needed to write a new configuration. I named this new keyboard led_xmmx, and wrote the new firmware which you can find in a separate repository.