Plastic
Fantastic

behind the board

This board was my first commission and a great entry to the world of keeb building for hire. Interestingly the client was based in America, technically meaning that I’ve had international clients since I started this endeavour. Overall the board was a pretty simple build and despite being all plastic, it felt surprisingly sturdy once it was all together.

Parts

As the name would suggest, this board was entirely made of plastic, aside from the PCB contacts and switch pins but those are minor details. The case was the acrylic 65% from KBDfans and the Plate was a clear Polycarb plate also from KBDfans. The PCB was the XD68 from KPrepublic which was paired with stock Kailh Box Navies. All of this was then topped off with some side printed Grey and red Dye-sub keycaps to give it a pleasant sleek aesthetic. The simplicity of the side printed caps with the super basic colour scheme looks quite effective with the white backlighting and the Red accent.

Build process

As far as the build goes it wasn’t all too special for the most part. I had some issues with the Through-hole LEDs but aside from that everything was pretty standard. It was quite interesting to work with the Polycarb plate though as there was a fair bit of flex to it which made me think the typing experience with a reasonably heavy tactile would be mushy and not too pleasant but once the whole board was soldered down the majority of that flex had been taken out. Once I had the board all soldered up I then had a load of fun trying to figure out how to get the PCB to enable the Backlighting LEDs that I had soldered. It took a lot of googling and asking around but eventually, I managed to find a board review that showed the reviewer pressing a combination of keys that then enabled some LEDs so I tried that and it worked.

Review

I’m personally not a massive fan of tactile switches so this board was never going to be my cup of tea, that being said I still think it came out to look pretty good and from what little type testing I did, I cant complain too much about the feeling of the Navies on the polycarb plate. Despite the all-plastic build, there was only minimal flex throughout the whole board and not much vertical movement when pressing hard in the centre. The overall aesthetics of the board came out pretty well if you ask me. I’m a fan of fairly simple looking boards that rely more on small details to make them stand out which I think this board did with the side printed caps and fairly tame colour scheme.