Author Topic: [IC] Besides Studio Alu Metal Keycaps set - GB 23rd July 2021  (Read 47194 times)

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Offline well_cooper

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[IC] Besides Studio Alu Metal Keycaps set - GB 23rd July 2021
« on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 07:30:49 »
Are you ready for a keycap revolution ?
DISCORD LINK - Join to see our progress
GB Post HERE
https://forms.gle/AZLv5yJJ5gJPyjru7
It is happening! Pre production samples have arrived CLICK HERE
Hi fellow keeb and cap lovers, I'm helping a friend out with their upcoming project that they are keen to seek your feedback!

Introducing Besides Studio - 5 truly nerdy old boys who worked in the computer peripheral industry for many years, we designed computer cases, keyboards, gaming mouses, and headsets.  Currently, we have two industrial designers, two mechanical engineers, and one electronic engineer.


Inspiration
The inspiration of creating a full set of machined aluminum keycaps was at one stage just some drunk talk between the 5 of us since we already have full aluminum custom keyboard cases why not go all out and have a full set of metal keycaps to match.

While we are not the first to think, design, and make CNC aluminum keycaps but at the price point ($30 Ė 50 USD per 1u keycap) has restricted full sets to only be enjoyed by a few, on a commission basis. With a madmanís (that is me :p ) encouragement, we set a goal to make them more accessible at a somewhat obtainable price.



The first round of samples

Design
The full sets of keycaps will be based on the popular cherry profile (R1 Ė R2 Ė R3 Ė R4 Ė Space) with some design tweaks added for better user experience. During our first prototype we found that at fast typing situations, fingers can hit the edge of higher row keys, with plastic material (ABS or PBT) this is not much of a big deal. With much harder material it can be unpleasant therefore during our second prototype we decided to round the edge off the front-facing surface to lower the possibility for that to happen. The same applies to the space bar as well (no more thumb resting marks!)



The first round of samples


Kitting v1.2 - UPDATED FEB 2021 (MOD & BAR kit pricing will be updated)

Blank Set

Legend Set


Kitting v1
More
At the moment with kitting, we have taken a leaflet out of KAT Refine kitting style to cater for different keyboard layouts. We aim to be compatible with 60%, 65%, 75%, TKL and full 104 keys
 
We plan to introduce Alpha, F Row, Function Numpad, Arrow, Modifiers and Space bar - 7 separate kitS so no matter how serious or sceptical you are there is a kit that you can purchase at various price points to give them a try.

Blank Set

Alpha - $199 USD


Modifier - $150 USD



F Row - $89 USD



Numpad - $95 USD | Function - $29 USD | Arrow - $19 USD



Space bar - $55 USD

Legend Set


Since many people have request caps with legends, we thought about offering a laser engraving service rather than opening up another IC. (Laser engraving cost is EST to be $35 USD for a full set)







Colours

Black, Silver, Pale gold, Red, Navy,


More








Render Gallery

Red with Black on M60-A - case file courtesy of RAMA WORKS


More
Black and Gold, never grow old - case file courtesy of proto[Typiest]


Silver with Navy on U80 - case file courtesy of RAMA WORKS


Black with Gold on SP-111 - case file courtesy of TKC


Black with Silver on Klippe T R3 - case file courtesy of Mekanisk



Laser etched samples







Delivery time frame


Estimated 1.5 months for 100 full kits (TBC)
We are working very closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure capacity can be met and finish product quality is up to standard.



Material
The full set will be made of 6063 Aluminum, different colour sets will be achieved through anodizing. Capsí cross stem is MX switch compatible (tightness can be easily adjusted)
More

[/m]
  • 1u cap weight = ~2g
  • 2.25u cap weight = ~4.5g
  • 2.75u cap weight = ~5.5g
  • 6.25u space bar weight = ~12.5g
We engineered the cap to be light so that (to us) there is little need to change to heavy spring weight switches or spring swap. So far it has been tested on 62g Everglide Teal v2.5 linear switches and 42g Oreo tactile switches.
Potato sound test setup with Cyberboard & Banana Split 62g Switches
More prototype pictures can be found here


Banner

Code: [Select]
[url=https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=109843.0][img width=501 height=120]https://i.imgur.com/Iy6UWy6.png][/img]



To do list:
  • Renders for all 5 available colours - Uploaded (100% completion)
  • Laser engraving sample - Uploaded (100% completion)
  • Final Kitting update - completed (100%)
  • GB! - Soon

Update Log
26 Feb 2021 - Kitting update
21 Jan 2021 - Pre production sample photo added
14 Jan 2021 - Laser etched sample photo added
07 Jan 2021 - renders ++
02 Jan 2021 - More renders added
29 Dec 2020 - All colour render added, To do list updated
21 Dec 2020 - Legends sets render uploaded, added To do list
15 Dec 2020 - Tidy up post, Sound Test uploaded
13 Dec 2020 - Caps render, Kitting, Prices uploaded. Discord link and IC form link available
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 July 2021, 08:32:21 by well_cooper »

Offline tzoyo512

  • Posts: 11
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #1 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 07:42:17 »
 :thumb:

Offline yui

  • Posts: 986
  • Location: 127.0.0.1 (in azerty)
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 07:48:34 »
very nice, if you manage to get alu key caps to an "affordable" price it would be great.
i am a sucker for raw machined aluminum, would you think that could be an option? or that could even work on a keyboard? and i would need iso support, else i'll settle for just the spacebar.
and do you have plans for international buyers (i am guessing that you are based in the US)?
that is a loads of ifs but if you stay close to the teased pricing, ship to Europe and support iso i would most definitely get a set, and if you can get raw machined alu that would be even better
in any cases, good luck.
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline krzank

  • Posts: 87
  • Location: Warsaw
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #3 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 07:54:03 »
I want it.
Maybe I'll be able to afford full set.
 :thumb:

Offline sup3r170va

  • Posts: 234
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #4 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 08:33:51 »
Very interesting idea. Definitely keen to watch this space.
For my info, does the mod kit include at least one spacebar? While I understand the need to break up to reduce the per kit price, Iím hoping I donít need 4 kits (alphas, mods, space, arrows) for a 65% board :)

By the way do they come with legends? Yes right?
« Last Edit: Thu, 26 November 2020, 08:55:59 by sup3r170va »

Offline Rossman360

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 08:37:18 »
wow, looks way less obviously metalic than other metal caps I've seen

Offline bigfishkb

  • Posts: 20
  • Location: Rochester, NY
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 12:47:03 »
Wow, great looking set. If the price can actually get low enough I would totally grab some. The nice teal color in the pictures isn't listed under available options though. I would want those and navy to make match hammerhead colors.

Offline Anthixious

  • Posts: 257
  • Location: Ohio, USA
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 20:22:16 »
These caps can be done in a mint anon green?! Ugh, I might have to reconsider this <3 hoping I can save up for this in the future.

Offline johnnysstash

  • Posts: 28
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 26 November 2020, 20:24:24 »
these look pretty insane, ill have two sets please!

Offline Jaxxstatic

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 01:53:55 »
sound test?

Offline CrlaoSvloadr

  • Posts: 39
  • Location: Canada
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #10 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 04:18:04 »
Wonderful idea and goal you all have- I'm hoping to hear more from this, and if things go the way they're planned to- I'd absolutely love a set!


Offline lush_bunny

  • Posts: 661
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  • TBR Prime | 7V | BOCC
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #11 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 04:24:02 »
HEAVY METAL

Yes, I want this.

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #12 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 04:56:30 »
very nice, if you manage to get alu key caps to an "affordable" price it would be great.
i am a sucker for raw machined aluminum, would you think that could be an option? or that could even work on a keyboard? and i would need iso support, else i'll settle for just the spacebar.
and do you have plans for international buyers (i am guessing that you are based in the US)?
that is a loads of ifs but if you stay close to the teased pricing, ship to Europe and support iso i would most definitely get a set, and if you can get raw machined alu that would be even better
in any cases, good luck.

Thank you, we are trying tho. We have done processes to reduce the amount of machining hours and release price is looking good so far (needs tweaking)
We will have ISO support, metal keycaps will work just like normal keycaps. Group buy will be available to international buyers.

In regards to Raw alu, the problem is that if the surface left untreated it will oxidize overtime (unless that is something you are willing to deal with) we currently don't have plan to have raw machined sets available

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #13 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 04:57:33 »
I want it.
Maybe I'll be able to afford full set.
 :thumb:

 :D That is why we here! Stay tuned

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 04:59:49 »
Very interesting idea. Definitely keen to watch this space.
For my info, does the mod kit include at least one spacebar? While I understand the need to break up to reduce the per kit price, Iím hoping I donít need 4 kits (alphas, mods, space, arrows) for a 65% board :)

By the way do they come with legends? Yes right?

We are working on the kitting atm, currently we plan to include 2 Space bars in the ALPHA kit (6.25u & 7u), Space bar kit will have other sizes for split space support

Lengends fonts can make or break a set, given everyone's taste is different we are thinking about doing a blank sets. You will be able to vote in the IC form when it becomes available
« Last Edit: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:08:55 by well_cooper »

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:02:07 »
Wow, great looking set. If the price can actually get low enough I would totally grab some. The nice teal color in the pictures isn't listed under available options though. I would want those and navy to make match hammerhead colors.

Colour you see in the photos are the prototype sample set I currently have, Teal is chosen as a demo colour and before GB we will have an IC form to take on colour suggestion and you can vote for the colour you want

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #16 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:03:36 »
These caps can be done in a mint anon green?! Ugh, I might have to reconsider this <3 hoping I can save up for this in the future.

mint anon green....possible but it might be done in just Limited 1/1 sets  ;D

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #17 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:04:30 »
these look pretty insane, ill have two sets please!

Thank you, keep an eye on this place for IC form when it's ready to be released

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #18 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:05:35 »
sound test?

It's been planned, will have them available together with IC form link later on

Offline lush_bunny

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #19 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:05:52 »
These caps can be done in a mint anon green?! Ugh, I might have to reconsider this <3 hoping I can save up for this in the future.

mint anon green....possible but it might be done in just Limited 1/1 sets  ;D

Depending on the price and color options, I might get more than one set. Good luck you guys.

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #20 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:06:12 »
Wonderful idea and goal you all have- I'm hoping to hear more from this, and if things go the way they're planned to- I'd absolutely love a set!

It WILL happen  :thumb:

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #21 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 05:06:31 »

Offline Anthixious

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #22 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 14:35:34 »
These caps can be done in a mint anon green?! Ugh, I might have to reconsider this <3 hoping I can save up for this in the future.

mint anon green....possible but it might be done in just Limited 1/1 sets  ;D

Alright I have no idea why I typed that, I'm pretty sure I meant anod for anodised, whoopsthies.

Offline UberPlatypus

  • Posts: 41
  • Location: New York
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #23 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 15:45:36 »
Now this. This is something I will pay for... Assuming it isn't more than $400 for a TKL layout... If it can be $300 for a TKL layout I'm sold.

Sent from my HD1925 using Tapatalk


Offline Nyeezy

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 21:10:04 »
Following


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Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #25 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 21:18:19 »
Love it.  I have rough fingers from peeling dry skin in the cold months.   These caps would feel so comfort to type on.   :thumb:

Offline yukitoki

  • Posts: 49
Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 27 November 2020, 22:08:56 »
I want this  :thumb:

Offline pixelpusher

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #27 on: Sat, 28 November 2020, 01:02:01 »
Also, thinking about color.  I think sticking to natural metallic and neutral colors like silver, gray, bronze, and black make the most sense.  We have a ton of options with color when it comes to plastic keycaps.  I'd love to see something that reflects the natural beauty of the material, at least for the first round  ^-^

Offline hiddensong

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #28 on: Sat, 28 November 2020, 01:51:57 »
It all comes down to the price. Will you be the ones to do it!? I think you can.

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #29 on: Sat, 28 November 2020, 03:14:05 »
Love it.  I have rough fingers from peeling dry skin in the cold months.   These caps would feel so comfort to type on.   :thumb:

They are smoooooooth  ;)

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #30 on: Sat, 28 November 2020, 03:15:33 »
Also, thinking about color.  I think sticking to natural metallic and neutral colors like silver, gray, bronze, and black make the most sense.  We have a ton of options with color when it comes to plastic keycaps.  I'd love to see something that reflects the natural beauty of the material, at least for the first round  ^-^

That's is my goal, would also like to make some easy to pair colours available so it can be easy to pair up with your soon-to-be endgame boards

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #31 on: Sat, 28 November 2020, 03:17:52 »
It all comes down to the price. Will you be the ones to do it!? I think you can.

We have improved CNC process dramatically and the feel on the prototype feels.....man that's something else

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #32 on: Sun, 29 November 2020, 05:58:34 »
Pricing is availabe
Kitting is available
Colour option now added
IC Form is LIVE
Discord link addedLegend sets addedTo do list added
« Last Edit: Mon, 21 December 2020, 06:06:14 by well_cooper »

Offline yui

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio Full CNC Aluminium Cherry Profile Keycaps set
« Reply #33 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 05:22:36 »
In regards to Raw alu, the problem is that if the surface left untreated it will oxidize overtime (unless that is something you are willing to deal with) we currently don't have plan to have raw machined sets available
well it was only a bonus :) i will take silver anodized if raw is not available.
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline beigeandbrown

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #34 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 06:14:44 »
I'm not too knowing about this type of stuff but IIRC, aluminum oxide is actually a type of protectant from oxidation itself. unlike flaky iron oxide on regular steel, aluminum oxide forms a durable layer over raw aluminum almost immediately, creating a natural barrier to further oxidation. Therefore I don't think there will be an issue in terms of oxidation over time. I'm not sure how skin oils react to this  aluminum oxide but I'm pretty sure the stuff is non reactive and very tough.

Offline Beenoman

  • Posts: 31
Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #35 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 10:27:32 »
Super interesting, do you have a sound test? It'd be interesting to hear the acoustics of it

Offline sup3r170va

  • Posts: 234
Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #36 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 14:38:56 »
I would prefer the set to have legends. GMK style would be nice.

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #37 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 18:44:02 »
I'm not too knowing about this type of stuff but IIRC, aluminum oxide is actually a type of protectant from oxidation itself. unlike flaky iron oxide on regular steel, aluminum oxide forms a durable layer over raw aluminum almost immediately, creating a natural barrier to further oxidation. Therefore I don't think there will be an issue in terms of oxidation over time. I'm not sure how skin oils react to this  aluminum oxide but I'm pretty sure the stuff is non reactive and very tough.

Check this page out
https://www.wileymetal.com/aluminum-corrosion-why-it-happens-and-what-to-do-when-it-does/

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #38 on: Mon, 30 November 2020, 18:46:11 »
I would prefer the set to have legends. GMK style would be nice.

Will have options in the IC form and GB will be base on IC results

Offline sup3r170va

  • Posts: 234
Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #39 on: Tue, 01 December 2020, 01:11:52 »
I would prefer the set to have legends. GMK style would be nice.

Will have options in the IC form and GB will be base on IC results

Thanks. Looking forward to the IC form.

Offline yui

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 01 December 2020, 01:51:22 »
I'm not too knowing about this type of stuff but IIRC, aluminum oxide is actually a type of protectant from oxidation itself. unlike flaky iron oxide on regular steel, aluminum oxide forms a durable layer over raw aluminum almost immediately, creating a natural barrier to further oxidation. Therefore I don't think there will be an issue in terms of oxidation over time. I'm not sure how skin oils react to this aluminum oxide but I'm pretty sure the stuff is non reactive and very tough.
like iron there is multiple type of oxidation, and skin oils will make it oxide quite slower and so the oxidation will not be uniform, anodization will create a strong and consistent oxide layer, and allow for tinting. and yes alu oxide is very non reactive and pretty much the 2nd strongest material known to man (after diamond)
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline zoo

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #41 on: Wed, 02 December 2020, 10:30:33 »
Thoughtful fillet

Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set - Major UPDATE & IC From LIVE
« Reply #42 on: Sun, 13 December 2020, 06:08:53 »
Major UPDATE  :thumb:

Offline yukitoki

  • Posts: 49
Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set - Major UPDATE & IC Form LIVE
« Reply #43 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 03:07:24 »
Great Update!
Looking forward to the group buy.

Offline well_cooper

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Offline well_cooper

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Re: [IC] Besides Studio CNC Aluminium Keycaps set --29.11 Proto photos added
« Reply #45 on: Mon, 14 December 2020, 21:50:26 »
Super interesting, do you have a sound test? It'd be interesting to hear the acoustics of it
Available now

Offline bobasweatandtears

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    • Discord ID: BobaSweatandTears#1659
Sound test is a lot better than I thought an all metal caps set would sound like!

Offline pool

  • Posts: 84
I would be incredibly impressed if you can maintain the alpha sets at $200 dollars. Manufacturing quality metal keycaps is not cheap, especially in high tolerances. I am curious how you're able to maintain such a low price point?

Accounting for machining, sandblasting (which I believe you have), anodizing, and other treatments, that's quite low of a cost per keycap.

I am guessing you are doing all of this in house, which can keep costs low.

Offline RIFT

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    • RiftKeys
I must succeed with the heaviest board in existence. GIMME GIMMEEee

Offline loop | esc lab

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You will have something truly special if you can offer this at the price point you say you will

But it does lead to a lot of questions on my end on what "the catch" is in how you will be achieving this price point. Will you be machining the keycaps or through metal injection molding/casting? What bead blasting level will you be using? How are you doing the anodization? What's the tolerance level you will be achievement? What does "easily adjustable stem" mean (from the look of your stems, they don't seem that much different from typical alu keycap stems). I'm going to guess you mean that typical house tools will allow one to tighten or loosen the stem to fit different stems.

I realize the questions I ask may seem slightly conflict of interest-y but as someone in the same space, that price point seems too good to be true other than if you:
1. Own the CNC machines + anodization (which seems possible considering
2. Literally just paying for material cost
3. Operating in a crazy high volume (which doing the math at 100 sets, doesn't seem super high)
4. You're running your own fulfillment and logistics
5. Not using vendors to help you sell
 
Anyways. You don't need to answer my questions if you feel you're revealing too much.

Again, if you can pull this off at the price point, I would be incredibly impressed. And I root for you the entire way.