Case mod/customisation/decoration


I printed the pocketchipcover2 and the buttonsforkeys and it all fits quite well. Needed only a tiny bit of hot air rework to make the bottom and side clips to engage tightly (got them soft and formed them against the mating sides). I don’t plan on printing the keys as I like the abstract look of the square on the circle. It is a lot easier to type on and looks pretty good as well. Thanks @midheaventech for all the hard work!


Thank you, looks good, im glad it works for you. I have a few questions
regarding the print. The squares on the spacebar are they smaller than the
other buttons squares? Also I noticed the F12 button is rotated was there
any problems there as well? And the reworking of the clips do you have any
suggestions there ? Thanks again for the feed back. I am hoping to get my
print delivered by wednesday .


The squares on the space bar do look look smaller but are actually ~3mm just as they are on the round buttons.

The F12 button is rotated because the bridge distance was a touch too far which made the bridges kind of weak in the middle. I had the same issue with the escape key and directional pad. I handled them as delicately as possible during assembly so I only broke the two bridges. It is a fine balance from a design perspective, too many layers and it won’t be flexible too little and there is not enough strength. I think the model is pretty close to right. If I tweaked my settings a bit more I could probably get a slightly more robust bridge.

As for the clips the ones around the screen bezel fit perfectly but did not have “retaining” power, meaning they were easily un-clipped from the bottom shell. This simply could be the material (PLA) warping due to thinness of the print in this area. So I am not sure anything could be done to make that better. Maybe slightly angling the clips in towards the bottom shell?

The bottom clip had maybe a half a mm of play where it clips to the PCB. This caused the bottom keys to raise the face plate slightly when pressed which gave the keys a different feel (a lot more travel). By heating that up and curling the tab over I took that play out.

The tolerance between the buttons and the holes in the face plate is perfect. The alignment of the face plate buttons to the underlying dome switches on the pCHIP are also perfect. The outline of the LCD and fit around the bezel (including the flat flex for the digitizer) is perfect. The alignment of the top shell to the bottom shell is also perfect.

I would say overall it is quite a good fit and well designed for 3D printing.

If your interested in any close up pictures or seeing how the keysforbuttons print up let me know.


drooolllliinnnngg… cant wait…


Would anyone mind posting or linking a high res image of the stock PocketC.H.I.P. keyboard. I’d like make and overlay for one of the keyboard face-plates. The pic on the Nextthing site is pretty fuzzy.
I was planning on printing the image to scale on acetate and adhering to the face-plate. Cutting holes for the keys to poke through of course.


I went with white and pink to stick with the theme. I used EL wire for back lighting. Had to cut a hole in the case for the inverter and button. Covered it with Apoxie Sculpt, and made a foot on the left to even it out. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough space between the keys to run the EL up and down each row. A Papermate “Sharpwriter” works well as a stand and stylus.Also writes on things. Lastly I followed the speaker tutorial but added an led to the left channel controlled with a micro switch mounted on top. Since the amp always has power the led can be used even if the device is powered down.

Light Up Your PocketC.H.I.P. Cyberpunk Style

Holy crap that looks nice.


Thats sexy…


@5t4rw1nd that looks good but what are you going to do with the letters and symbols it does not look like they are seen


The plan is to print out a scale pic of the stock keyboard on clear acetate. Cut out holes for the buttons, and adhere it the face plate with clear Elmer’s glue. Ive done something similar before on another project with good results. All I need is a high res picture of the stock keyboard.


@5t4rw1nd it looks like there is one in the ntc press kit


You’ll have much better luck using the actual art files. :+1:


Mega PocketCHIP (doesn’t feature the board outline like the above link, but the art is much cleaner)


I used Brother TZ Tape labels and a 3 hole punch to create labels for the buttons. They stick really well and TZ tape is durable. Not quiet as cool as EL back lighting, that is a awesome looking build.


I think ultimately something like that will be the best solution. There just isn’t enough room between the keys. A modified version of the print (with smaller keys) could be done to make the room, but I’m happy with this one over all. The back lighting could be done with LEDs a bit more easily. The would be no need to fit the bulky inverter. I had never used EL so wanted to try it out.

p.s. Here’s a pic in normal-ish light. Also the placing of the micro switch (top) and a hole (under the CHIP) where I mounted a switch for my previous keyboard lighting solution. Also wanted to say thanks to those that posted links to the pics and art I was looking for. It will still come in handy I’m sure.


Wanted to point out for those who may not have thought about it. Old cellphones and the like are a great place to find some interesting parts. I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate some old vibrations motors, and I pulled three micro speakers from an LG Env2. Most notably strips of horizontal micro LEDs can be pulled out of any lcd (non- amoled) screen. The strip in the picture was mounted under the stock screen bezel before I got the printed one. I’ve seen these strips have as many as 7 LEDs and as few as 1.


Guys, from my experience with retro gaming , one thing that could possibly improve the feeling in the 4 way pad is using a pivot point in the center, like the one in the snes or mega drive / genesis :


This! The d-pad on my keyboard faceplate design has a pivot point, and it really does improve the feel.


That’s a very nice looking model! I might have to give your design a try! Although, I am not looking forward to punching out and applying 54 little stickers again :confounded:. I think a pivot definitively does make a difference when you need to press two directions at the same time (like up and right).


actually, sort of, the pivot point should always touch the pcb and from your file I can see that is the same high of the other points


I’d have to put some sort of reinforcement under that pivot myself, but it is a good idea would make the pad feel better