This DIY Split Mechanical Keyboard Is Controlled By a Raspberry Pi

Gosse Adema has designed a Raspberry Pi-based split mechanical keyboard that you can build yourself.

Cameron Coward
3 months ago3D Printing

If you do a lot of work on a computer then it’s absolutely imperative that you use a quality keyboard. Not only can a good keyboard dramatically improve your typing performance, but it can also do a lot to reduce your risk of suffering repetitive stress injury (RSI). The keyboard layout that is most comfortable for you is a very personal matter, but one popular style is the split keyboard. These keyboards are divided into two pieces that can be positioned independently. If that interests you, Gosse Adema has designed a split mechanical keyboard that you can build yourself.

Split keyboards allow you to angle the two halves however you like and to place them as far apart as is comfortable for you. The only real downside is that they require that you type properly, because you won’t be able to do “improper” typing like reaching the Y key with your left hand. That small caveat aside, a split keyboard’s adjustability can be very beneficial. Gosse’s design is minimalist and built for productivity over flashy aesthetics. There are no distracting LEDs or gaudy graphics, just high-quality key switches that should be very comfortable to type on.

Those key switches are Cherry MX Low Profile Red models. They shave more than 6.5 millimeters off of the height of standard Cherry MX Red key switches. They don’t, however, come in a silent version at this time and use different keycaps (which means selection will be very limited). Those switches are mounted onto a pair of custom PCBs designed in Autodesk Eagle. Unlike most other DIY keyboards that use microcontrollers to connect to a computer, Gosse’s project uses a Raspberry Pi Zero W configured as a USB HID. It might seem like overkill to use an entire computer just to monitor a keyboard matrix, but the Raspberry Pi is nearly as inexpensive as a microcontroller and offers more configuration options. The enclosure was designed in Autodesk Fusion 360 and can be 3D-printed. If you’re interesting in improving your typing experience, this would be a great project to tackle.

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