YouTuber builds working keyboard inside of Altoids tin

Sayem Ahmed
Altoids Tin keyboard on a white backgroundYouTube: flurples

YouTuber Flurples recently shared a project where they fit an entire working keyboard inside of a tiny Altoids tin, kitted out with a USB-C port and microswitches.

YouTubers are constantly in a race for coming up with interesting content like content creator Glarses creating the biggest keyboard we’ve ever seen. A year later, YouTuber flurples challenged themselves with a tiny keyboard project, which fits inside a tiny Altoids tin.

The YouTuber begins his journey by measuring out exactly how much space there is to work with, and then researching the microswitches that would fit into the keyboard itself, hoping to pack in a full 40% layout into the Altoids keyboard. They originally played around with the idea of a 60% layout, but there were simply too many keys to think about.

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Altoids keyboard PCBYouTube: flurples

From there, the board was designed with a PCB, with support for a microcontroller, and an on/off switch, complete with bespoke logo. The Microcontroller was based on the NiceNano, which uses ZMK firmware, which is a wireless-first controller, meaning you won’t have to constantly plug the board in to use it.

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You probably don’t want to use it as your main board

Some soldering later, including attaching a battery, the first prototypes for the plate and keycaps were printed, where some kinks were ironed out with keycap spacing to allow them to actuate freely. Then, it was as simple as cutting holes in the Altoids tin itself, and the prototype was complete. After printing out a legend for the keycaps, they were stuck on via decals and a lick of top coat for protection.

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In the final build, Flurples was left with a fully functioning keyboard inside an Altoids tin. While it’s easy enough to use with your thumbs, you probably don’t want to use this tiny keyboard full-time. In a short typing test, the board also has a satisfying click, but we doubt that you’ll be able to get the deep thocks of the best keyboards around with this one. It’s a unique build and absolutely one of the coolest keyboards we’ve ever seen.

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About The Author

Dexerto's Hardware Editor. Sayem is an expert in all things Nvidia, AMD, Intel, and PC components. He has 10 years of experience, having written for the likes of Eurogamer, IGN, Trusted Reviews, Kotaku, and many more. Get in touch via email at sayem.ahmed@dexerto.com.