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key switch as "compliant mechanism"? What do you think?


Dear makers! I was lately introduced to "compliant mechanisms", which is basically mechanics without pieces, just one piece of plastic functioning like a complex mechanism. Which lead me to the question, why not have a compliant mechanism for a keyboard switch? Would that be possible? On-off-switches do exist and that's nothing difficult, but a bouncy and tacticle switch may be a challenge, if you try to create it from one single plastic piece? But if it's possible, this would open a whole new world: way cheaper, easier to maintain, printable by any john doe, customizable, and and and ...

I feel like I’d be wary on the basis of.. wear. Key switches have potentially may thousands of actuations per day. Springs are capable of handling that, as is a rubber dome, but a compliant mechanism, hmm, I wouldn’t rate it on the basis of this con from that wiki article:

“This, combined with the fact that mechanisms tend to perform cyclic or periodic motion, can cause fatigue and eventual failure of the structure”

Maybe one of those on-off-switches combined with a metal spring? That would decrease the risk of wear-out ...


membrane keyboard IS compliant mechanism


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