Dactyl Manuform 5x6

March 15, 2020

A build guide for Dactyl Manuform 5 x 6

The dactyl manuform is an open source ergonomic split keyboard. This board is a mixture of two other open source split ergonomic keyboards: namely the dactyl and the manuform. Thus you can see where it gets its name from.


This guide is a work in progress. I'm currently working through building it so don't take it as gospel until it's done. I'd rather publish things incrementally than leave it all until the very end to make sure I capture all of my thoughts.


Material Description Quantity Cost Link
1418 diode
Amoeba single switch pcb Keebio
Elite C micro controller
Female Lemo socket
Harajuku pink filament
Mill-Max Manufacturing Corp. 0305-2-15-80-47-80-10-0 Digikey
Kester leaded solder
Male Lemo socket
Male TRRS connector
Female TRRS jack
Male USB-C connector


Tool Use Link
Cutting mat
Soldering iron
Desoldering pump
Wire stripper
Alligator clips

Part list breakdown

We'll discuss why we chose each part

Some names

Before we begin I want to make sure that we're on the same page. Let's give some names to a few things to make it easier to communicate throughout the guide.

Board orientation


board top


board bottom



Don't go following these tips quite yet. Just peruse through before beginning your build.

Bending diode legs
Breaking up the amoeba boards

Breaking the boards can be difficult. Sometimes it can feel like you're going to break it the wrong way. I've found the easiest way to break off the individual pcbs is to let one row of the board hang off of a table.

breaking board

Once you do that push down on the row that is off of the straight edge until it breaks off.

breaking board after break rows after break individual break individual after



Choosing your model
Remove plastic supports
Make sure the case is level

Soldering resistors

Note the orientation of resistor

resistor placement

Soldering holtites

holtite placement holtite placement bottom

Placing amoebas on the board

Insert switches
Insert amoebas

place amoeba before place amoeba after

Sand down amoebas

One internal

tight fit

One on thumb cluster

pcb protuding

Soldering rows

Soldering columns

Soldering micro controller headers

Attaching columns to micro controller

Attaching rows to micro controller

Assembling cables

Attaching connections to case



  1. abstractthat dactyl manuform repo
  2. tshort dactyl manuform repo
  3. adereth dactyl repo
  4. jeffgran manuform repo
  5. kaarukun's dactyl-manuform build guide

© 2023, Built with ❤️ by Blake Dietz