June 20, 2024


Sapiens Digital

Cityscape Multi-Level Keyboard Really Stacks Up

2 min read


Keyboards with wells like the Maltron, the Kinesis Advantage family, and everything dactyl-esque out there are great. Trust us, we know this firsthand. But if you want to build your own curvy girl, how the heck can you implement that shape without 3D printing, clever woodworking, or access to tooling and plastic molding equipment? Well, there is another way. Over on twitter (translated) (Threadreader: Japanese, English), [tsukasa_metam] has achieved the key well effect by stacking up PCBs to create a skyline of vertically-staggered keys.

The boards of Cityscape are all screwed together for mechanical integrity, but those screws are working overtime, providing electrical connections between the layers as well. We particularly like that there is an impetus for this build other than ‘I thought of it, so let’s do it’ — [tsukasa_metam] tends to typo in the double key press sense, hitting Q for instance at the same time when A was the intended target. Between the 3.2 mm of key travel, the 2.8 mm step height, and those flat F10 keycaps, that is no longer an issue.

Instead of the popular low-profile Kailh choc switches, [tsukasa_metam] went with TTC KS32s, a new switch introduced in 2020. Unlike chocs, they’ll take Cherry MX-style keycaps, as long as they’re wearing short skirts. Cityscape isn’t totally open source, but the idea is now out there nonetheless, and we happen to have an Odd Inputs and Peculiar Peripherals contest running now through July 4th.

Do stacked PCBs seem kinda familiar? Hey, it’s easier than winding transformer coils.

Via KBD #79


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