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SM Keyboards Case Build Instructions
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SM Keyboards Case Instructions

First off, thank you so much for the order and support.

This document exists to help you understand the build process of my cases.

I usually assemble the case prior to shipping to help keep things together as well as being sturdier for packaging and shipping. You should be able to assemble the case the same way I packaged it up.

Instructions

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ACRYLIC IS FRAGILE. YOU SHOULD HANDLE THE ACRYLIC PIECES GENTLY AND WITH EXTREME CARE. LASER CUT ACRYLIC ALSO HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING SHARP ON THE EDGES. I DO MY BEST TO SAND DOWN EDGES, TO HELP WITH SMOOTHNESS, BUT BE AWARE OF POTENTIALLY SHARP EDGES.

I also recommend wearing gloves when assembling the board, this will help keep the case layers (and if you ordered one, the metal plate) fingerprint-free.

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With every case it should come with the following layers:

Hardware included:

Build Steps

If your case came assembled, unscrew the top or bottom screws.

Prepare your PCB to have the switches inserted (stabilizers, lubing, etc.)

If you ordered a case with a 3mm acrylic plate, you should utilize the small rubber feet included with your kit. The small rubber feet are used to keep the acrylic plate the proper distance from the PCB. If you do not, you might encounter the switch plate being flush against the PCB and this will lead to problems when inserting the rest of your switches. The rubber feet should be placed toward the middle of the plate to maintain the distance from the PCB. The adhesive side of the rubber feet should be placed on the back side of the acrylic switch plate (so the non-adhesive side sits is touching the PCB).

Preonic plate with the rubber feet.

If you have a 3mm acrylic plate, I find it most useful to work from one side to the other side. I also hold the plate and PCB at the same time with my non-dominant hand. This helps keep the plate in the correct spot when inserting the switches. See the photos below of what I usually do with 3mm acrylic plates.

After you finished inserting the switches into the plate and PCB, solder if required. Once done, you can set this aside.

***If you would like to flash your PCB, please do so BEFORE continuing these steps. The reset buttons on PCBs are not accessible with my cases. It’s best to program a soft-reset key through QMK for your PCB.***

I recommend making sure the hardware used for the stand is properly fastened prior to continuing the assembly of the case. Sometimes it’s helpful to have access to both sides to ensure the hardware is properly tightened.

I also recommend using the microfiber cloth (optionally moistened with warm water) to clean off dust when placing layers down (useful when placing translucent acrylic down).

I find it easiest to have the standoffs and screws fastened on the bottom layer, and then place the rest of the case layers so they sit properly on top of the bottom layer.

Now you can start placing the open layers with the USB cutout. Make sure the orientation of the layers match where the USB port is on the PCB.

After the open layers are placed, place the switch plate and PCB layer on.

After the switch layer, you can place the top layers. The thinnest top layer should go on the top. Flare layers can be switched from being the layer directly on top of the switch layer, or the layer between the topmost layer and the layer that is sitting directly on the switch layer.

Now you’ll want to make sure your case is aligned properly with the other layers. Pay attention to the open layers during this step to ensure that the layers are aligned with the other layers.

Screw in the remaining hardware and you’re done!

Tips for maintaining acrylic:

  1. Keep away sharp objects since acrylic gets scratched quite easily. Matte acrylic has more protection due to the matte finish than glossy acrylic, but it still can be scratched.
  2. Use a soft damp (with warm water or acrylic polish) cloth to clean acrylic, try not to use glass cleaner or non-acrylic specific cleaners. These cleaners might damage your acrylic. Novus acrylic cleaner and scratch removal is what I use for maintaining my personal cases

If you have any feedback on this build guide or improvements, send an email to smkeyboards@gmail.com