Laser-cut wood keyboard

27 November 2015

Here's a little project I did a while ago, but haven't shared yet. Last year, I found a Lenovo Tablet folio case on eBay, it had a built-in keyboard and was going dirt cheap - the case had a regular USB connector for the tablet, so looked easy to repurpose. Here's the board freed from it's case, with a micro-usb breakout soldered onto the cut wire:

Keys and back plate extracted from folio case

I laser-cut a new outer shell from layers of 3mm MDF at Access Space, Sheffield:

Keyboard shell in the laser cutter

Then put it all together with a braided micro USB cable, and glued two little rubber feet on the back:

Completed keyboard from side

Completed keyboard from above

Keyboard in use with screen

It worked pretty much out of the box with Linux (Rasbian) including the optical track point for the mouse. I did have to remap some keys to get Ctrl to work, and I added a custom mapping for the Function keys across the top. The result ended up being surprisingly thin, thanks to the very low profile of the keyboard from the folio case.

Q: Can I get the designs?

A: No. I have no idea where they are, and this was a very much a one-off project. Hopefully it gives you some ideas though ;)