The WIP Elkhorn by Ire_tional is a stunning wireless split prototype with powder printed keywell.
KBD.news Published April 21, 2023
Creators! Feel free to tip me off about your keyboard related projects to bring them to 100K readers.
Ireh Choi's (aka Ire_tional) Elkhorn is a 3D-printed, scooped wireless split prototype along the lines of Kinesis models, MoErgo's Glove80 (minus F-row), Quentin's Scylla (different thumb cluster), AM Hatsu (plus number row), etc. – well, anything with a keywell.
While I try to avoid featuring work-in-progress projects, and try to focus on open-source keyboards, I couldn't resist to include this board in this week's newsletter. The photos shared by the author are simply mouth-watering.
So this is basically a classic 6x4 split layout with six thumb keys (resembling the Kyria) plus two extra keys for the ring finger. Ire_tional teased this board multiple times (here and here), but now there is a working prototype with real-life photos.
I'd started this project with a flat ergo keyboard for my needs and thought its easily accessible thumb cluster should be implemented to the concave keyboard. If Elkhorn goes official, I'd like to give some kind of credit to Avalanche and Scylla, as it was my main inspiration for developing it – Ire_tional.
As the project progressed, the Elkhorn became a fully wireless keyboard with Bluetooth 5 and 1.4GHz RF support, running ZMK.
The 3D plate is powder printed nylon. No displays, no encoders, just clean curves and simplicity.
Elkhorn is not about next-gen features nor hardware which we've never seen before. […] Yet our product rather aims for the better user-experience for people, by the aspects of simplicity and visual accessibility – Ire_tional.
With all the mechanical difficulties resolved, the real challenge that lies ahead is about improving the blueprint for casting mold of keyboard body parts for mass production.