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:~$ynth

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Binge:
<2018 Update>

The :~$ynth project has taken new life recently with the help of Joey Quin and www.salvun.com.  Everyone involved in the project has had a hand in improving the functionality of the tool for artists of all skill levels.  A few key alterations and improvements to the product and its availability are as follows:


* We have built a new lower profile MX base with a simplistic anchor point.  This format is a departure from our top-row MX/Topre friendly hybrid of the V2.1 and more like the V1 with added support for lower profile keycaps.
* Magnetic interlocking mold boxes which can replace the need for legos.
* Improved machine tolerance of crucial molding dimensions.
* Parts may be ordered a la carte at any time after launch through https://hungerwork.studio and https://www.salvun.com

Pricing (https://techkeys.us/products/synth?mc_cid=56bae52b35&mc_eid=623e3b434f):

la cartePriceMold Box:
40.70$Backing Plate:
36.30$Stem:
35$:~$ynth Base:
60.50$Mold Box, Stem, Base:
129.58$Backing Plate + Mold Box + Stem + Base:164.07$
Bad Videos:  (Remind me to update these with better vids)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/W435BbnCe8JzYmBPA

<Old Post Starts Here!>

..is..

A new opportunity for artisans and resin casting enthusiasts.  After months of collaboration between Techkeys.us and Binge from HungerWorkStudio, crucially assisted by Joey Quinn (CAD implementation), and finally machined by NudeCNC I would like to first showcase by photo the alpha and beta of :~$ynth.






The concept is to put a high quality mold part, at an affordable cost, in the hands of seasoned enthusiasts as well as folks who are brand new to casting and may want to try their hand gravity casting.  The technical features of this part include,


* All machined Aluminum construction
* Designed in part to work alongside flexible silicone molds
* Maker's mark place-holder
* large spure/gate/runner system
* Tight fitting Cherry MX stem insert for a precision fit.
* Teflon coating to ease in mold release
In addition to being one of the driving collaborators of this project, I have agreed to test and determine the necessary workflow in order to use such a part.  This means that I will be offering video tutorials and my very first HWS keycap this year will be a demonstration of this part's amazing application for artisan keycaps.

Get ready to step it up guys :)

< END.Update1 >

< START.Update2 >


< END.Update2 >

< START.Update3 >

Apply directly to $ynth!  The commercial is terrible but this product is amazing.



In earlier posts I mentioned that I would be sculpting my new HWS keycap.  In the picture above I'm laying some foundation work which will be more obvious in the future, but for now just know that sculpting directly onto the $ynth is EZ-PZ.  Brush on a very light coating of olive/vegetable oil if you are using epoxy, but something like Sculpy would not require any sort of release agent to protect the teflon coating of the mold part.

< END.Update3 >

< START.Update 4 >

A strong foundation is the key to a successful project.

I hope these pictures capture enough of what is happening to better explain myself because at times like this when I am most focused on the project my words are at best messy.  Below each picture the text will explain my intentions and observations.



The epoxy I have used has set and was easily removed from the mold without damage to the :~$ynth.  A few choice dimensions of the mold were captured in the epoxy most importantly the perimeter limit and gates.  The perimeter of the platform built into the :~$ynth is measured to best represent the dimensions of 1x keycaps.  So long as no detail of the sculpted keycap escapes this perimeter it will not have friction problems with keyboard cases and surrounding keycaps.  The gates are important for details later to come in my demonstration, but remember that it is very important that they are captured by the epoxy.



Please be aware that this part is not finished.  At some point I will have to add extra epoxy to it.  Two factors have made that difficult.  The first factor is that epoxy, if left alone, will dry with an almost glassy finish, and the second is the residual oil left on the epoxy part.  I have already washed the part with soap and water, but we need to use an old fashioned clay working technique to truly have a finished foundation piece.



After lightly applying some coarse sandpaper (250 grit) the surface of the part will better accept new epoxy applied to its surface.  Do not worry about how this looks because additional finishing work will be done later.  This is meant to be a foundation piece in the project and does not need to be pretty as much as it needs to capture the perimeter and gates of the mold.



Before continuing I apply a new layer of oil to the mold as it was removed by the first application of epoxy to the mold.  Protecting the :~$ynth is important to its longevity in this project.  Always remember release agent with your good tools.

< END.Update 4 >

< START.Update 5 >

A few people have raised concerns about the utility of this system.  I'd like to assure you that we're doing our best to make it work with a number of different stems.






Looking forward to sharing more with you all.

< END.Update 5 >

< START.Update 6 >

It's been a bit since I had commented on this project and my own progress.  We started working on the Polar Ice/Glacier/whateverthemonkey combo of ultramarine, off-white, trans sapphire-sea blue and I just haven't spent the time needed on continuing my first HWS cap made with the :~$ynth.

Short update, but maybe a few people will piece together what's happening as it progresses.



I used my slow set sculpting epoxy and oil as the release agent from the :~$ynth.

< END.Update 6>

< START.Update 7 >

Pictures say 1000 words.





For everything I can't say with these pictures, stay tuned for the next update!

< END.Update 7 >

< START.Update 8 >

Blehuelelalola-blaahhhhhh



< END.Update 8 >

< START.Update 9 >

So I broke my jaw a few times today.  It's about 1mm thick in most places and the epoxy isn't exactly up to the abuse I normally dish out on a thick application, apparently neither am I.   :p  Ohhhh frustration and repairs.

While that sits and sets I wanted to illustrate how I've begun to build up the upper jaw/skull of this new design.



Rough surfaces are easier to adhere new layers of epoxy.  This step will save me some trouble of sanding and cleaning epoxy dust off/out of the part.  The part is anchored in the maker's mark hole and rear gate/runner for stability when I'm adding more material to it later.  Hope it all works out!

< END.Update 9 >

< START.Update 10 >



OMnomNOMnom.

I have not had real time to sit down and do even small alterations to this piece, but there should be enough here to show the progress.  Building up this sculpture has its challenges, but so far with enough patience and planning everything is moving forward.

< END.Update 10>

< START.Update 11 >


Everything has been moving along rather stellar like with regard to HWS :~$ynth projects.  This video illustrates how the stem insert works and provides keen insight on how to prepare the stem insert for use.

Pics of the resulting part,




aaand a little animated bit,

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCCET-AlWqL/

< ENT.Update 11 >

< START.Update 12 >

Cast the lower jaw in a delicious bone white.



< END.Update 12 >

< START.Update 13 >

I feel like I skipped a great update with the skull/upper-jaw, but it's too late to go back now...

On Wednesday-Thursday I successfully cast the final piece of the skeletal system for Hungrkey, and we were able to use Monster Clay (a polymer and wax based material) as the next layer of sculpted detail.  I lovingly call this layer the skin.

I'm very excited to be nearly done with this project.  The hours alone have made it more complicated than any other casting project to date for Bingecap/Hunger Work Studio.  As the artist it's really only important that the final piece is up to some standard of excellence.  Please bear with us a little longer as we turn this skin into a final mold and near the completion of this project.  We are honored to bring these updates to you and showcase what we believe to be the very pinnacle of capability for :~$ynth.  Hopefully that last bit will be proven a temporary truth as many more creative people acquire this wonderful tool.




< END.Update 13 >

< START.Update 14>

Project complete.  I present to you the first HWS Keycap - Hungrkey

Made a test-shot to test integrity of mold for final casting.  Below is a picture of the test shot next to the skeletal parts to Hungrkey on the :~$ynth ready for final casting.



After casting with some optically clear resin the final Hungrkey features really comes together.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCaXBYkFWkp/

It's been an absolute pleasure to complete this project after such a long term of planning and the with overwhelming support of my affiliate artists/makers/vendors.





< END.Update 14 >

aznairjordan:
What

Glenmael:
And here I thought you were posting some sweet tracks...  :cool:

nmur:
:eek:

cooldiscretion:
Oh, wow. Very cool stuff indeed.



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