Lego master craftsman Jason Allemann has created a working keyboard from Lego pieces coupled with the inner circuitry of a discarded computer keyboard that had been left on the street. The resulting Lego keyboard is incredibly vibrant but also fully functioning and Allemann comments that he ‘can type just as well with this keyboard as with any other’.
He stripped the thin plastic membrane (which contains the circuitry) from the scrap keyboard and built an enclosure for it out of Lego. The biggest challenge in making this working Lego keyboard was getting the keys to accurately line up with the small pressure pads on the circuit membrane due to the limiting resolution of Lego’s nodules.
Jason Allemann overcame this by creating a grid of Lego Technic axles and this framework allows the keys to slide to a degree so that they can be positioned precisely over the contact points of the membrane. The Lego keyboard is demonstrated in this JK Brickworks video which also better details the construction process than I can here.
The creator endeavoured not to use any custom printed tiles for this keyboard project, but instead to draw upon the existing tiles that Lego have officially released over the years. Luckily a set of standard letter and number 1×1 tiles were available which satisfy a majority of the keys, but not all.
This meant that Jason Allemann had to get a bit creative with some of the keys (which get a bit cryptic at times) but this all adds to the playfulness of the Lego keyboard. For example ‘Caps Lock’ is represented by an actual cap from a Lego man next to a padlock, while ‘Home’ is symbolised by a red triangular pitched roof brick. Likewise the ‘Scroll Lock’ key is a picture of a parchment scroll and ‘CTRL’ is indicated by a control panel tile.
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