An ergonomic keyboard based on the Sofle Choc.
It has been quite a few years since I got interested in typing peripherals (keyboards, speech recognition…) and pointing devices (mouse, trackball, trackpad…). Since 2015, I type in Bépo, an ergonomic keyboard layout optimized for typing in French.
I then started to get interested in the different types of ergonomic keyboards : first with the TypeMatrix 2030 then the X-Bows. None suited me perfectly, both on a feature and on a layout standpoint. After lots of research, I landed on Brian Low’s Sofle Choc which I based my design on to create the first version of my dream keyboard: the Sofle GilDev.
I wanted to use the Gateron KS-27/KS-33 switches which have a low profile while keeping an important travel, like the Kailh Choc but more affordable and with a standard MX stem. I found very little keyboards using these switches. To go with them, I chose some DSA keycaps, they have a nice vintage look and are low profile which allows use without a wrist stand.
Everything mounted perfectly and worked great on the first version of the PCB.
All details are available here (French) (inspirations, bills on material, etc.).
Next version will use a new controler (probably an RP2040), a custom and more complete firmware (allow plugging the cable from both sides, complete Via support…), lower encoders, one more key on each side, no OLED display, underglow, recessed connectors to reduce the curvature radius of the cable, 3D printed case…
I will at some point publish all the design and manufacturing files (electronic, mecanical and firmware) for those who would like to build one. I’d also like to sell some kits with all the components ready to be assembled.
I presented this project at the 2023 edition of the Young Inventors and Creators Contest of Monts for my fourth (and last, I’m too old now… 👴) participation, during which I won first prize.