Monday, December 18, 2017

Stenomod Changes

I'm finding 3D printing to be somewhat of a nightmare. Sure, it's a great way to make a prototype quickly. But to rely on it for manufacturing, even at the small-scale of the stenomod, is probably a mistake. The printer needs too much maintenance and baby sitting. If it quits working suddenly, what am I supposed to do?

Well, what I'm doing right now is starting to phase out 3D printing. I'm going back to using a drill press on the wood deck for the bottom part of the keyboard. For now I'll still make the top half with a 3D printer. Maybe eventually I'll have acrylic parts made for the top half, but for now I'm just minimizing the need to use a 3D printer, not eliminating it completely.

This applies to the hinge model as well as the classic. I've made a prototype of a wood bottomed hinge model for my own use. If I like it well enough in the next week or so, then I'll start making them all this way. I expect to like it just fine, by the way.

Here's what the prototype looked like as I put it together:

I used a drill press to make space under each solder joint so the PCB can fit flush to the deck and be well supported.

Now the PCB fits nicely.

The plastic top fits over the PCB, flush with the deck.

And finally the hinge is installed. In the prototype here I've used bolts that are a quarter inch too short, so the nuts don't quite fit. I'll fix that soon.

The classic model looks much the same, but I'm still using a 12 x 5 1/2 inch deck. For the hinge I'm using 3 1/2 inches wide instead. This older deck looks about the same, except now I'm using the drill press for all the cutting and not using a router at all.

I hope you like the change! It's going to make my life easier I think, even with all the drilling and lacquering. A drill press pretty much runs forever and needs very little maintenance. A 3D printer is something else entirely!