I Made a Tiny Touch ID Button for Mac!
I believe it was introduced in 2016., but it only works when the laptop is open, if its in clamshell mode or, if you find yourself using a desktop mac Apple, sells several of those up until very recently. Youve been out of luck now, can auto unlock and also approve password requests on your Mac with an Apple Watch, and actually it was worked quite well, but not everyone owns or finds themselves wearing an Apple Watch at all times like they do. Their fingers table saw operators excluded so Apples answer was this: the magic keyboard with Touch ID released last year and its actually great, that is, if youre, a lad or Lassie that enjoys Apples, desktop keyboards but surprise, surprise many people are not fans of this keyboard and Im amongst them, and while I certainly appreciate the inventiveness of my peers that are velcro in this keyboard to the bottom of their desk and using software to disable key input, I wanted to make a dedicated Touch ID module, one that could look good and fit into A small footprint but most importantly, one that finds itself close to where my hands actually are my keyboard, so that I dont have to reach under and Hunt around for this touch ID key. I dont really want this. I want something like this, and so we need a touch ID sensor, which means, unfortunately, a magic keyboard with Touch ID. This is the only place we can Harvest them from and because these are new theyre still relatively expensive.
I did get mine for a hundred bucks, which is 50 off retail from someone on Craigslist that didnt need theirs and got it with an iMac. Luckily, these are notoriously unreliable. So, in short order, we will see a flood of these hit, the market with crumbs and Spills and broken keys and thats fine that doesnt matter, because all we need is the logic board the battery and the touch ID sensor, or at least in theory I dont Know I havent taken one apart yet oh brand new and were gon na Harvest its guts. Unfortunately, but such is the way these things work, as you might suspect, there are no no screws under here, theres no way to get under here other than to just look at this. These might even be like molded on there we go theres, our Inn. There is a hole there, but theres no screws so were going to need to heat up the adhesive on the back of this panel to get in and were going to do that with this thing. Basically, we touch this button and it gets Mighty toasty Mighty quickly. Oh, my gosh, this is getting so warm. It is bowing isnt. It look at that. Its saying. Please stop! Wow! Look at that its not straight anymore! Oh, oh mama, beautiful, elegant, graceful, glue, isnt it great. Oh, my goodness, easy its injected molded plastic for rigidity. Weve got our battery connector, presumably right there see if we can uh pull this up first there you go.
Look at that. Yeah, no problem! Oh man! There are a lot of these, like so many like whyd, you put all of these in and then decide to glue it together. There we go. There are plastic snaps, though. On top of that, oh look at that. I was like. Oh no, I destroyed the battery nope your batterys on the back of this and look at this theres a little pull tab. We do want to use this battery. If we can I plan on using this wired, I would like to make a wireless option available. Spicy pillows are bad. We dont want any spicy pillows, so were just going to keep working this its way down without puncturing the battery there we go wow. Look at how thin this is look at it thats so thin. This is a 793 milliamp hours, wow, okay, heres, the good stuff and interesting Music. Then the one you find in the regular, smaller Apple keyboard that one is a little more square and not quite as elongated, which, for our purposes would be better. But this is what we have so maybe Ill have to take apart a small one too. Shall we Music now weve got to remove the one two three connectors one goes to the touch ID sensor itself, thats on the back of this board, the battery one weve already removed. This appears to be to the lightning connector by which you charge the case and then weve got this big, zip connector for the entire, presumably keyboard, and here is our logic, port, its very thin, its extremely flexible.
Look at that. You dont want to break that, and then weve got our Touch ID sensor right here and our lightning connector there. It is our lightning connector, the last thing remaining other than well. The entire keyboard is the touch ID sensor. Now this is held in by four T3 screws. You can actually see the key switch mechanism work. If you push on the back of the board, which is pretty funny so lets undo these perimeter screws and in theory it should come right out, drops all the way through and in fact it looks like I could entirely remove this key fascia yeah. Look at this. Not sure I want to do this, but you can there, we have it now. We have a bear touch ID sensor. You can touch the top for fingerprint recognition and then at the back, youve still got that little button and as long as something is there on the back of it to depress it, it registers a button press speaking of buttons, use the button on your mouse to Click through to todays, sponsor and reel the unreal air is a pair of lightweight high resolution. Micro display OLED panels inside of an AR glasses frame and theyve got a public beta of their nebula app for Mac, which allows you to virtualize up to three displays without actually having to have anything on your desk being able to see through the glasses through the Screens when needed keeps you in the real world, unlike VR, and the pixels per degree.
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My fingerprint keep going okay, its hard to do when the fingerprint reader sticks to your finger. Okay, now I can push done and now its enabled so lets go to the lock screen and then theoretically, I should be able to just touch this. I dont even have to push the button down and it ah it works okay, so I can do it on both. I can do it high here or turn off good. I can do it right here. Thats awesome: okay, now that weve gotten all of our pieces removed from our keyboard. It is time to make our 3D model all of these pieces are square. So why dont we start with a square or maybe we can start with a spell abracadabra alakazam, wow, 3D. Modeling is so easy. It only took me a whole week to make this part. Okay. This is actually the first 3D model I have ever made. You can see all of my failed attempts, revisions and improvements over here on the right. It took a lot of printing a lot of trial and error, but I finally gotten a part that Im pretty happy with, and a lot of that is thanks to the software that Im using shaper 3D, which was super easy for me. A total beginner that again has never modeled anything. Let me show you how shaper 3D works Im going to go into the sketch panel here with my apple pencil and I can either create a line or an arc.
An arc is a circle, so lets make a circle here and then we are going to notice that theres been a 2d object created on this infinite plane. I can tap this 2D object and if I drag it in One Direction or the other, it creates a 3D model. This is a little cylinder I can pan around it. I can see how tall it is. 57 millimeters. If I wanted to make it, I dont know: 60, there you go, it gets a little bit taller. I can choose the radius of the circle. I can choose if its tilted or slanted or what have you and then once Im happy with my shape. I go. Wow, okay, but what if I want to make a hole out of this shape or make it a different size? Well, all I have to do is double tap on it and I enter another 2D plane. I can then make my new shape. Lets make a an arc well lets make a little like. I dont know how about this, and then we draw a little yeah there. We go okay, sure that looks like a thing I I want to take out of my part. We can see again that this is another 2D part thats in 3D space. So if I tap this, I can drag it in One Direction, which would create additive manufacturing its a new piece of our model, or I can drag it in the other direction and youll see that its subtractive.
I am taking apart away from the cylinder that I just created in the shape that I modeled and thats. Really all there is to 3D modeling its additive, its subtractive and thats, pretty much it now. I can go in here and fine tune. This lets tap this Edge lets say I want to give it a little bit of a bevel there you go thats nicer lets, say I want to give it a little bit of an aggressive cut. I can do that too. The world is really your oyster, but thats, really all it is its. Its very very simple, add subtract, chamfer and fillet and, with you know, a lot of trial and error and a lot of chamfering and filleting and adding and subtracting. I got this part, and I want to show this to you, because its its pretty simple, so Ive got my 3D fingerprint sensor. That goes right here. As you can see, there is a cable that extends out, and so I wanted to create a little cavity inside my part so that it wasnt getting smashed by the board above it, then we have these two little plateaus. This is where the board sits upon. I use digital calipers to measure the location of these screw holes on the board relative to my case and then with you know, a little bit of trial and error. I put them in the correct position and using what are called threaded heated inserts, where I can take my soldering iron.
I place it inside the cavity on that brass insert which heats the brass up, which then heats the surrounding plastic and the brass sinks into the plastic and then, as it cools it solidifies with the plastic around it, meaning that I can put in a very fine Threaded Screw and its not going anywhere its extremely strong, so Im using M2 machine screws to hold my motherboard into the case, which works really really well. I did have a problem with the lightning Port. However, this is a very, very, very small part and fitting a screw or a thread insert it just wasnt going to happen. It wasnt working well, and so I decided to do what I hate manufacturers doing, but I can do it again and again again, because Ive got a 3D printer and that is create a plastic weld plastic welds are, in short, a barbarian plastic post that you heat Up and make really really really hot, and you purposely deform it to the point where, as it cools down it, grabs onto whatever it is surrounding. So I have two posts that go through each side of the connector. I heat them up, and that holds the lightning connector in place very, very well, and then, for my cover, I just created a little one, millimeter channel that Im able to slip a back cover on too the end result is something that is completely enclosed. Really quite elegant and does everything I need it to do now? There is one Omission I made very early on.
Here is my original model. You can see that I have a little bit of a tee a little cross here, because I wanted to retain the clicking functionality of the original keycap. I quickly abandoned that because I discovered that well, I probably wasnt just good enough of a 3D modeler, but I think anyone would maybe struggle with it getting stability such that I could get a replicable nice feeling key press. So I ditched the keycap all together. I got rid of the button functionality because it doesnt do anything that you cant do with your mouse or your keyboard anyway, and I left the bare sensor in this tiny little cavity. I think it looks better, I think, its very, very easy Ive just glued the thing in place, so I dont have to worry about it. Moving up and down. This is a solid piece of non moving plastic and electronic guts, and I think it works really really well. I decided to make three different models. The logic board on the 10 keyless version is quite small and petite, and so for me, who plans to use this wired because the rest of my peripherals are wired. I wanted it to be as small as I possibly could get it, and because the battery is frankly not that small, but for those that I knew would want to use this Wireless. I made a longer Wireless version as well now, on the full size. 109 key version, the motherboard actually exceeds the length of the battery, and so, rather than make a wired and wireless version, I just made one version for both models.
Frankly, I think this is going to be much less common in sight and practice than the 10 keyless version, because this is the one that comes with the iMac for free, the other one. You have to pay to upgrade, and so youll probably see more of these shorter boards, with our models created its time to finally print them, and I did so using my largest and most expensive printer, my voron 2.4 R2, that I built from scratch and it took Forever, but its finally making really nice Sprints and my least expensive, smallest printer, the prusa mini the reality is, is that this is not a part thats going to be subjected to lots of heat or UV, nor will it be subjected to stress or torsion so kind Of just get crazy with it print it in whatever material or plastic you want. We printed it in a lot of different variations and weve had a lot of fun with making these things look great and they do function great, its very dependable, its very replicable Im. Really really pleased with the way this is is turned out. If you dont have a 3D printer, you can use a service to print parts for you online, but printers are becoming so good and so inexpensive that its probably time to take the plunge Ive linked. Some of my favorite inexpensive printers down below, but look at these end results. Ah I just love it. They look fantastic Im super pleased with the way this turned out, but I also Im a really amateur modeler.
This is really the first thing Ive ever made, and so I know that our Tech Community can certainly one up my design go to printables and remix this design. I would love to see what you can do with it and then show me in the make section pictures of your finished print. If you decide to do this mod.