AMS Spring 2023

3DPrinting a 3Keyboard Shortcut for Winamp

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IMG_3265Winamp (motto: It really whips the llama’s ass!) is a media player that works across a variety of platforms and has been downloaded by millions of users over the years. It is popular because of the wide variety of file types that it can read and for its customizable skinning and visualization options.

In addition to the other benefits of this platform, a possibly unforeseen positive is the fact that it encouraged 16-year-old Bobby M to learn about 3D printing and to create his first project.winamp-classic-1

“The idea to make a Threekeyboard arose while I was watching a Linus Tech Tips video and he showcased his own Threekeyboard. I was really fascinated with it but at the time I’d had my 3d printer for only a few weeks,” Bobby M told us. “I went on Techkeys.us and saw that to order the completed keyboard with a metal case and switches already soldered was about $40 and I did not want to spend that kind of money. Instead, I ordered the PCB even though at the time I had no soldering experience or any sort of experience engineering things. However, I was excited to start my mechanical keyboard engineering experience.”

IMG_3263With the wizardry and quick mastery of technology that makes people my age want to start using words like ‘whippersnapper’ and ‘young,’ he was soon printing out his 3 key controller. The left key is for play/pause, the center key is to play the next track, and the right key is to search. In an interview with 3DPrint.com, Bobby M explained his process:

“I designed this in Autodesk Inventor 2015. The bottom piece took about 2 hours to design with an hour to print and the cover about an hour to design and 40 minutes to print. The keycaps only took about 7 minutes each. Overall the amount of parts required to make the Threekeyboard was six in total. I used ABS plastic and then spray painted the cover.”

For this creation, he used his XYZ Da Vinci 1.0, telling us: “The current 3d printer i have is a XYZ Da Vinci 1.0 hacked with Repetier Host .92.”

img_davinciShowing his entrepreneurial spirit, Bobby M shared his design on Reddit, where it has been receiving helpful feedback as he works to develop his next project: a portable USB Threekeyboard to use for a media center, games or for a music player. As someone who often resorts to lifting the needle as the best way to find the next track, I can both see the appeal of such a device and be concerned that it will, of course, lead to the a whole generation of people who are younger and cooler than I am.

Maybe to ease my mind, I’ll go make myself a mix-tape.

Are you familiar with the three keyboard idea? Do you know of other youths who have used 3D printing to solve other problems? Tell us your thoughts over in the 3D Printed 3Keyboard forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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winamp 3keyboard

 

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