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ErgoBlue 2 Case

I used Ponoko for laser cutting layers for my ErgoBlue case. Ponoko offers "free" shipping but charges a fixed $14 setup fee per order. Everything below can be ordered from Ponoko though for the plate I recommend ordering 0.06" stainless steel from SendCutSend instead. I talk about that in more detail on the plate page.

Cases will fall into two separate categories. The plate can be detached from the case (higher cost, more flexibility) or integrated into the case (lower cost, less flexibility). I personally went with a detached, stainless steel plate. The main benefit is that you can replace the outer case without changing the plate layers, switches, and electronics. The difference is less significant if you use hot swap sockets for everything as you can just pull everything out. With an integrated plate, desoldering is always an option.

I would strongly suggest ordering the exact thickness that I've documented unless if you are willing to spend a significant amount of time verifying that everything fits. I recommend using acrylic but a different material with the same thickness should still be fine. The thickness matters a bit less for the top and bottom layers.

The case files can be found in the ergoblue/case-v2 repository. You need to order two of each layer, one for each keyboard half.

Dimensions

Each half measures 200mm by 155mm. See case files for specifics.

The vertical height will be approximately 21.36mm plus the keycap height. This includes the Cherry MX switch (6.6mm), top plate (0.06in), bottom plate (0.18in), PCB (1.6mm), layer 1 (0.08in), layer 0 (0.08in), and rubber feet (3mm).

Detached Plate

Use the following files with the corresponding thickness:

I personally used 0.12" (3mm) white matte acrylic for layer4.dxf. If you go order that option from Ponoko, keep in mind that only one of the acrylic sides is matte. If you want the top side to be matte on both halves, you will need to flip the file for the right half using Inkscape (or some other vector editing program).

Integrated Plate

Use the following files with the corresponding thickness:

It is also possible to use layer3-detached.dxf and layer4-detached.dxf with this configuration if one wants a "flatter" top.

Ponoko

Ponoko has lots of material to choose from. However the primary drawback of using Ponoko is that they take a really long time to manufacture your order. The standard production time is 16 days with 7 day free shipping so it will be nearly a month between when you order and when you receive it. Ponoko does offer an option for expedited production and shipping though it's quite expensive.

3D Printed Case

Some users may be interested in 3D printing the ErgoBlue case rather than using acrylic layers. While I do not have a 3D printing case design, it should be reasonably straightforward to create one from the provided laser cutting files by extruding each layers with the corresponding thickness. That said, I would recommend against 3D printing unless if you have one locally available and have ample experience using it.

The case files were designed specifically for laser cutting. I have no experience with 3D printing and can't speak to how well it would work in practice.

In particular the PCB edge cut tolerance of (+/-0.2mm) is not significant with a laser cut layered case due to the laser cutting kerf. Furthermore, individual layers are thin and can flex slightly. This may not be the case for a single piece 3D printed case, especially if printed using a stronger material.

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