With upwards of 5.7k views and 243 individual posts, the PocketC.H.I.P. Case Mod, Customization, and Decoration threads is one of the most popular on the NTC forums.
The lengthy, and ongoing, conversation covers everything from admiring case design of existing products to sharing 3D printable add-ons to showing off successfully assembled custom enclosures.
Our forum software estimates that it would take 28 minutes to read the entire thread, but who has that kind of time? Here are some of the recent highlights.
Midheaventech was the first in the forums to introduce a keyboard design that replaces the entire front of PocketC.H.I.P.. A big advantage of augmenting PocketC.H.I.P. this way is that it’s quite sturdy. Plus, with a clever use of the snap-tabs, this mod doesn’t require any screws or glue.
As you can see in the shot of s199’s print, there are two parts to this design: the frame that connects directly to PocketC.H.I.P. and the keys that nestle between them.
You can download Midheaventech’s printable files from Thingverse. After printing this design, expect to spend a bit of time cleaning each key to make sure it fits within the frame and travels smoothly to make contact with PocketC.H.I.P.’s snap-dome keys.
Paratyphi is taking a different approach to keyboard modding. The idea with this design is that flexible buttons will sit between the PocketC.H.I.P. snap-dome keys and be held in place by the slidable keyboard cover. Paratyphi is dealing with a broken 3D printer ᕕ( ཀ ʖ̯ ཀ)ᕗ, but plans to use Polyflex filament for the buttons. Here’s hoping that printer gets back in printing shape soon.
Other options for flexible buttons include Ninjaflex (a thermoplastic polyurethane filament that prints flexible objects), or making a silicon membrane, much like you find on T.V. remote controls or calculators. Of course, the latter might be a bit pricey.
Stay tuned to the thread for updates on how Paratyphi’s approach is progressing.
Kwetiaw is a resourceful hacker. Finding a broken Kindle 3 in an e-waste bin at work, kwetiaw saw the Kindle’s keyboard as ripe for the repurposing. Unable to adhere the keys to PocketC.H.I.P. with hot glue or rubber cement, kwetiaw went full MacGyver and used some good old tape. While it’s not a long-term solution, this should do just fine for a bit of design testing.