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CNC Milling a PCB for Cherry MX switches @othermachine #MillingMondays

The Return of Milling Mondays

I’m working on a new project that uses Cherry MX Switches. What will eventually be a custom (BLE) gamepad, I designed a very simple PCB in EagleCAD. The brains of this project will be an Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE. The Adafruit Feather will sit on top of the PCB and each switch will be connected to a single GPIO pin and ground. To get the footprint for the switch, I found a Cherry MX EagleCAD library on Github. There’s also an Adafruit Feather Wing component in the Adafruit library for EagleCAD which can be use to make your own Feather Wings.

Although I could mount the switches to a 3D printed plate and free wire them directly to the Adafruit Feather, milling a PCB is actually more efficient. It save a lot of time and makes the project much cleaner. The PCB only took 7 minutes to mill on the Othermill Pro (which beats having to wait 1-2weeks on a PCB fab house). I plan to make this project into a tutorial on how to use EagleCAD and the Othermill. Of course, there will be a 3D printed enclosure :-).

Cherry MX Gamepad

A few years ago, I made a DIY gamepad using 6mm tactile switches, Perma-Proto PCB  and a Bluefruit EZ-Key. Having been inspired by Collin’s Pseudorandom 04: Mechanical Keyboards I got the idea to make a new gamepad, but with Cherry MX Switches. Not the most practical project idea, but I think it’ll make a good tutorial and exercise in getting into PCB design, 3D printing, and CNC milling. It’s still a work-in-progress, so there’s yet to be a guide. But, I wanted to record some video of the PCB milling process and share it with you, hence “The Return of Milling Monday”.

If you’re curious to see how it’s turning out. Follow my progress on Instagram.


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