Author Topic: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards  (Read 18197 times)

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Offline cosm2000

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« on: Sat, 19 November 2011, 16:33:30 »
7/17/2014 Update: Finally I uploaded all related files (.ai files, KeyRemap4Macbook configuration file, and pictures) to GitHub and now my server's downtime won't affect their availability anymore.

https://github.com/ychw/CustomMacKeycaps

Please "star" the repository if you like. ;-)

=========================================

2/7/2014 Update: I have got many requests for the keyboard design files. You can download them from my blog: http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893. The files are at the bottom of the page.

=========================================

Since I started playing with mechanical keyboards, I always tried to find a Mac compatible one. Sure, most of the keyboards do work on Mac, but I think what I am looking for is more a "mac feeling" keyboard. I tried Matias Tactile Pro 3, but just didn't like the feeling of alps and its ping. So eventually I comprised and bought a DAS keyboard w/ blue switch. I thought if I liked it, I could buy their mac keycap set and turn it to to semi-mac-keyboard -- because their mac key caps only have opt and cmd keys.

Until I found this post from iindigo: http://geekhack.org/showthread.php?23203-Finishing-Touches-for-a-Layout

iindigo is genius. :) He designed this wonderful mac keyboard layout to match exactly the look of the original mac keyboard. All the font, position of each character, are carefully designed so that they look just like the Apple mac keyboard. And he's general enough to share his work.

(iindigo's design: http://geekhack.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=29448&d=1319258366)

So I asked him to send me the layout, and added a little extras based on the layout of current Apple keyboard (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/B). The changes to iindigo's edition are:
  • Multimedia symbols on F1-F15
  • Change the original "menu" key to a apple logo key
  • Right-align the right "control" key
  • And just for fun, I added a "pig king" from Angry Bird to the space bar! :)

I submitted an order on http://www.wasdkeyboards.com on Wednesday night. On Thursday, Weyman, the owner of wasd keyboards, told me I could pick it up on Friday (yes, I am luck enough to be close to them, ;-) ). He's also kind enough to offer me to change all the keys in his office so that I can use his wire key cap puller -- just to make things easier.

Yesterday, I went to wasd keyboards. And yeah, my key caps are already there, nicely laid out on a table, just like on a keyboard:



At first look, I was a little worried that the letters seemed a bit too thin, and not dark enough on the keys. But overall, they are very crisp, high quality print. Weyman is a really nice guy. Not only he let me do the key switching in his office, he also showed me how to lubricate the stabilizers of the bigger keys (this is my first time changing all the keys of a mechanical keyboard). The whole thing turned out longer than I thought. But once I finished, I was really amazed by the overall look of this "new" keyboard. The font is perfect, not thin at all. As to the key caps from WASD, I would say it's the same quality as das keyboard's original ones. Now I have used it for about a day, and everything is good.

My next step is to use KeyRemap4Macbook to generate a custom configuration file, to remap all the F keys to its multimedia keys. I designed the Apple Logo key (Fn key) as a black key, to give the keyboard a kick. However, it turned out not completely as I expected. The apple logo is dark brown, instead light gray I expected. But Weyman already made me an extra one with white background, which is pretty good.

OK, enough talk. Let's look at the pictures. I also attached the design layout at the end.

DAS keyboard w/o keys:


Finished keyboard


Right side of the keyboard:


Multimedia keys:




Arrow Keys:


Option and Command keys:



The black Apple Logo key:


The pig king on the space bar:


Keyboard layout:


Compare with DAS key (you can see the result of different printing technologies):



Finally, all credit goes to the original layout designer iindigo. And I highly recommend http://www.wasdkeyboards.com, it's very good company with high quality product and service.

Let me know if you have any question.
« Last Edit: Thu, 17 July 2014, 18:41:21 by cosm2000 »

Online dorkvader

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 19 November 2011, 16:40:29 »
Wow, good review, and wonderful pictures. I'm glad you enjoy WASD too!

The black key was a good idea. Sometimes I wish etching black plastic would go more predictably.

But it looks like everything has worked out! enjoy your keycaps!

Those legends really look impressive.
let me put together your keyboard! Special offer, $10 to assemble an "inifity" keyboard.
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Offline iindigo

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 19 November 2011, 17:32:10 »
Wow, looks good! I'm glad I could help.

The only problem is that seeing this makes me want to get a white keycap set for my own keyboard! My black ones look good but I think white might have been a better choice.

Offline cosm2000

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 19 November 2011, 17:38:06 »
Quote from: iindigo;455746
Wow, looks good! I'm glad I could help.

The only problem is that seeing this makes me want to get a white keycap set for my own keyboard! My black ones look good but I think white might have been a better choice.

Thanks for your help!

Weyman told me the white ones are more resistant to scratch. I also think white ones have a more authentic apple feeling. :)

Offline Input Nirvana

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 19 November 2011, 18:42:19 »
Awww....look at that! Nice! Too bad I'm against legends otherwise I'd do exactly the same thing...looks sharp.

Thanks for showing, pics are good too. WASD does good work as always :)
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Offline Atenacius

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 26 November 2011, 02:41:15 »
Do you happen to know how the legends will hold up over time? Is it a lasered burn/etch?

It looks really awesome. I'd buy an aluminum housed keyboard like the Corsair ones and slap this set on it for a nice mac feel.
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Offline cosm2000

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 27 November 2011, 16:24:57 »
Quote from: Atenacius;459131
Do you happen to know how the legends will hold up over time? Is it a lasered burn/etch?

It looks really awesome. I'd buy an aluminum housed keyboard like the Corsair ones and slap this set on it for a nice mac feel.

Since I got this set about two weeks ago, I can't really say how long they will last. Yes, it is laser etched. And according to WASD keyboards, white key caps tend to last longer than black ones, which is another reason I want a white set.

Which Corsair keyboard were you talking about? I love to take a look.

Offline Atenacius

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 27 November 2011, 19:09:33 »
Quote from: cosm2000;459706
Since I got this set about two weeks ago, I can't really say how long they will last. Yes, it is laser etched. And according to WASD keyboards, white key caps tend to last longer than black ones, which is another reason I want a white set.

Which Corsair keyboard were you talking about? I love to take a look.

http://www.corsair.com/vengeance-k60-performance-fps-mechanical-gaming-keyboard.html

I bet this would look great with these keys.
Das Keyboard Model S BLUES w/ Cherry Doubleshots[/size]
Noppoo Choc Mini BLACKS
IBM Model M
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Offline cosm2000

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 27 November 2011, 20:59:21 »

Offline Atenacius

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 29 November 2011, 00:37:49 »
Yeah they skimped on a bunch of keys arguing that they aren't used as often as other keys so mechanical switches aren't crucial. It's unfortunate because I really like the design
Das Keyboard Model S BLUES w/ Cherry Doubleshots[/size]
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Offline lenakira

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 28 December 2011, 17:48:57 »
Wow it fits !

Offline CyberDave

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #11 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 06:32:47 »
This looks great!

cosm2000, did you ever get around to creating that KeyRemap4Macbook custom config file?

I'm contemplating ordering this set of keys myself, and I noticed that your positions for the multimedia keys don't line up with the defaults in KeyRemap4Macbook (so I think I wouldn't just be able to enable the existing options there...I'd have to create those options manually). So at the moment I'm trying to decide if it'd be easier to create the custom configuration file or edit your layout to move the multimedia symbols around. But if you have a custom config, and are willing to share it, then I don't have to do either :)

Offline CyberDave

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 22 January 2012, 08:27:17 »
NVM, found your blog post http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893 with your configuration file.

But I would like to request the vector file (as much as I like Angry Birds, I think I want to put something else on my space bar :)

Offline drezha

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 24 January 2012, 10:20:57 »
Was sent here by GeorgeStorm - frankly this is fantastic and exactly what I'm after for my Filco.

A shame mines a UK layout and therefore the keys aren't quite the same or I'd be ordering this now! I don't suppose WASD support UK layouts but I've dropped them an email to check.

Online prava

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #14 on: Tue, 24 January 2012, 10:49:38 »
Quote from: drezha;497593
Was sent here by GeorgeStorm - frankly this is fantastic and exactly what I'm after for my Filco.

A shame mines a UK layout and therefore the keys aren't quite the same or I'd be ordering this now! I don't suppose WASD support UK layouts but I've dropped them an email to check.

They actually do, although they may have to update their website ;) And I must say that I'm working on a group-buy for a local forum and going through Wasdkeyboards is just fantastic ;) They do really take care of their customers...

Lets hope they release TKL boards soon so I can get a few for myself, it won't be soon enough!

Offline drezha

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 25 January 2012, 03:46:25 »
Yeah, got a reply back and they said they were just waiting for the website to be update and to check back in a few days, though I'm struggling to figure out how to order a custom set - from looks I go to Products > Keycap Set and select the set I want (currently no ISO but for sake of argument we'll use ANSI here), select 104 set (and laser etched) and then under Products > Custom Keycap options I upload my own version?

Now to decide if I want white or black keys!

Offline reardencode

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 14:00:22 »
Quote from: CyberDave;496149
But I would like to request the vector file (as much as I like Angry Birds, I think I want to put something else on my space bar :)


I too would love a copy of the vector graphics file -- WASD will be getting my business as soon as I get a layout I'm happy with whipped up.

Offline jellowiggler

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 27 January 2012, 14:17:32 »
Quote from: drezha;498493
Yeah, got a reply back and they said they were just waiting for the website to be update and to check back in a few days, though I'm struggling to figure out how to order a custom set - from looks I go to Products > Keycap Set and select the set I want (currently no ISO but for sake of argument we'll use ANSI here), select 104 set (and laser etched) and then under Products > Custom Keycap options I upload my own version?

Now to decide if I want white or black keys!


You go into the custom keyboard section and lay out the keyboard, then you click the keycaps only button and it will place the order for the caps you have specified without the keyboard.

To avoid individual graphics charges you can use there templates, such as this:

http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/media/wasd_v1_104_classic_template.pdf
« Last Edit: Fri, 27 January 2012, 14:26:54 by jellowiggler »
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Offline cosm2000

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Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 11 February 2012, 14:03:19 »
I have updated the post. Now the .ai file is included. enjoy! :-)

Offline Grr8

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 30 August 2012, 09:30:34 »
I have updated the post. Now the .ai file is included. enjoy! :-)

Geekhack has lost that old attachment, but I found it on your site here:

http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893

Thanks :)
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Offline Alessandro

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 30 August 2012, 14:13:36 »
Wow! That's a very nice set you have! Really like it!
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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 30 August 2012, 23:30:48 »
I have updated the post. Now the .ai file is included. enjoy! :-)

Geekhack has lost that old attachment, but I found it on your site here:

http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893

Thanks :)
Thanks for sharing the file again here. You really uphold the community.
let me put together your keyboard! Special offer, $10 to assemble an "inifity" keyboard.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 19 June 2013, 09:31:21 »
The end product looks amazing, except for one detail: why did you label the key above Forward Delete "insert"? On the Mac, that key is "help".

I will likely make a set of these for the Filco I just got. Or at least once the caps look dirty. :P

Offline applky

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 24 September 2013, 06:28:16 »
Hi all,

The clingmarks webpage doesn't seem to be loading. Is someone able to share this attachment another way?

Thanks!

Offline applky

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 26 September 2013, 19:06:46 »
^ Anyone?

Offline JapaneseKnotweed

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #25 on: Mon, 14 October 2013, 05:15:18 »
I'm keen to get a keyboard with Apple keys on it. Can anyone upload a template that I can use?

Many thanks :D

Offline kreso

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #26 on: Mon, 03 February 2014, 16:45:37 »
Hey guys, the links for this post are dead. It makes sense since it's very old.

Here is my template file for WASD Keyboard, Mac layout: https://github.com/kreso22/WASD-keyboard---MAC-layout

Since this address pops up first in google, I thought I should link here. Hopefully save someone 30mins or more of their time.

Kreso

Offline cosm2000

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 07 February 2014, 01:01:55 »
Actually you can still download the original design file from my blog: http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893 . The link to the files is at the bottom of the page.

Offline nammkit

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 08 February 2014, 03:51:38 »
nice keyboard, just wondering how much did they charge you for the whole set?

Offline tooki

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Re: Custom Mac Key Caps from WASD Keyboards
« Reply #29 on: Tue, 11 February 2014, 19:31:08 »
Actually you can still download the original design file from my blog: http://www.clingmarks.com/custom-mac-mechanical-keyboard-lets-have-some-fun/893 . The link to the files is at the bottom of the page.
Again, the end product looks amazing, except for one detail: why did you label the key above Forward Delete "insert"? On the Mac, that key is "help".
« Last Edit: Tue, 18 February 2014, 17:45:31 by tooki »