With the recent release of the BAMFK-1, I thought it was a good time to get some thoughts from the creator himself! NovelKeys features the Big Switch, and the community needed a new aesthetic case for it. Our founder, Danny, had just the case in mind… thus the creation of the BAMFK-1!
The BAMFK-1 is our latest drop, as we’re still prototyping the Iris Rev. 7. A lot of modifying has to happen before anything can be released. As the founder of Keebio, Danny holds himself and all our work to a high standard of quality. We have to get it polished before we launch anything.
Danny remarked that the creation of the PCB itself was something he wanted to bring to the community, as it is something that has been asked for.
I couldn’t resist asking, as it was the first thing that struck me when I saw the design: was the face intentional? He said no, it wasn’t intentional for the rotary encoders to act like eyes. Despite that fact, I absolutely enjoy that part of the design. It is particularly visible with the 3D printed parts. The rotary encoders were sticking out from a blue backdrop for the holes to poke through.
Danny went further to say that the PCB was the easy part, but the case was the tricky part. Here in the Keebio office, we have three 3D printers and four if you include our resin one. (What should we name them? Or am I the only person who names their devices?) Danny did a lot of thorough testing before doing a test production run of the BAMFK-1 case. Always a good idea to test things out before rolling out the real deal.
However, some snags still happen from time to time. Something Danny found annoying was the fact that there is a difference between the stated size of the acrylic the manufacturer had versus the actual size of it in reality. Their 6mm acrylic is really 5.6mm instead. This was a challenge that he adjusted the design for. Some more testing, time and 3D printing work went into achieving just the right effect.
He notes the fact he’s a bit uneasy over the fact that the PCB is just levitating inside the case. It most certainly works, as Emily and I move the BAMFK-1s around the office from time to time. Understandably, Danny would like it to be more sturdy, though. The PCB hanging off of the two switch pins made it a bit floppy.
Danny advised that WoodKeys had a PCB for a Big Switch but the community needed a replacement for that. Apparently the WoodKeys founder has mysteriously disappeared… Did zombies eat him? Did his desk plant eat him? There are none who know.
Danny isn’t sure where the idea for the design came from, but he was inspired to make a stacked design that involved layering.
“The tricky part,” Danny says, “...was attaching all the pieces of the case together.” Entirely fair when there are 13 layers tapering upward getting smaller.
Click at First Sight
I recall the first time I saw it stacked together when the acrylic pieces finally arrived, and was enamored with the look. After the first test run, Danny figured out that it would likely help people to be able to easily distinguish between each layer. Which layer goes where? That question was answered with registration holes. And it looks outstanding when viewed from the side! With the registration holes visible, it created a fascinating effect of a triangle tapering downward toward the bottom.
I’ve worked at Keebio for more than a year now and have seen a lot of the innovative work Danny has created. He is best defined through his drive and self-starter energy. It was just that way with this project too. As soon as it started, it was only a matter of time until it was completed with an elegant shine. Danny has brought up that it was quite the journey to complete this masterpiece; it took a lot longer than he had wanted to complete the project as it was initiated last October. If you’re curious about the full breadth of the travel it took to completion, here’s your link!
Make Lights the Best Part
Danny is happiest that the lights can be seen all throughout the layers and illuminate the entire case. It has lighting that balances brightness between what is comforting in a dark room and cheerful in a lit room. With a lot of challenging things happening in the world, Danny and the Keebio team work to bring many lights to our community.
How to Build Your Own
Built by yours truly, take a gander at how the whole shebang comes together with me!