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geekhack Marketplace => Vendor Forums => Matias => Topic started by: therecorder on Fri, 05 July 2013, 11:08:20

Title: Keycaps
Post by: therecorder on Fri, 05 July 2013, 11:08:20
Are replacement keycap sets available for the QuietPro?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 05 July 2013, 11:23:03
Not that I know of. I know Matias is trying to set up new sets. Maybe an AT101W will fit it?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: therecorder on Fri, 05 July 2013, 11:27:42
Not that I know of. I know Matias is trying to set up new sets. Maybe an AT101W will fit it?

I'm referring to a set from Matias, with correct legends, perhaps also in black on white.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 05 July 2013, 11:36:48
At the moment, there's no sets for sale from Matias. You could buy another board and swap caps?

Edit: Was on my phone and didn't see what sub-forum this was under. My bad.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: therecorder on Fri, 05 July 2013, 13:27:41
At the moment, there's no sets for sale from Matias. You could buy another board and swap caps?

Edit: Was on my phone and didn't see what sub-forum this was under. My bad.

I have the PC version - white on black keycaps.  Would be nice if, like Realforce, you could get other color keycaps.  He has the molds...  Not much of an investment, but there's definitely profit to be made.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Techno Trousers on Fri, 05 July 2013, 17:30:53
It would definitely have a nice symmetry for Matias to start producing custom (or at least different colored) Alps key caps for sale. Since they are the sole maker of Alps switches, might as well be the sole maker of Alps key caps.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 16 July 2013, 22:24:51
We've been focusing on getting the Mini Tactile Pro and Mini Quiet Pro completed, but you can expect to see coloured keycaps in the near future.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Techno Trousers on Wed, 17 July 2013, 17:41:43
Great news! I hope CPTBadAss saw this. I know he's always looking for Alps caps.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 17 July 2013, 23:21:01
Great news! I hope CPTBadAss saw this. I know he's always looking for Alps caps.

He posted to this thread, so he probably did.

I'll post again when we're close to having the keycaps available.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: danielh on Thu, 18 July 2013, 05:48:54
We've been focusing on getting the Mini Tactile Pro and Mini Quiet Pro completed, but you can expect to see coloured keycaps in the near future.

Mac-Dvorak keycaps, with accented characters and symbols, like the TactilePro? :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Burz on Fri, 30 August 2013, 05:47:00
I would be interested in some different-colored modifier caps, in medium or charcoal grey or maybe even something like dark blue.

The Mini Quiet Pro, I'm finding out, just seems like its sucking up all the light in its vicinity, making it a bit slower to position my hands on the thing (that, and the F-J bumps are more subtle than normal). I need something to break up the monotony.

If not new caps, then maybe painting the case is in order. I'm tired of having all my computer equipment ending up with only black to choose from. Even beige/khaki would be an improvement at this point.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 30 August 2013, 15:11:15
Thanks for all the comments.

We're doing 3D drawings for thick PBT keycaps now, so feel free to post any comments or requests.

Thanks!

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: polpo on Fri, 30 August 2013, 18:09:25
thick PBT
Yesss!!! I can't wait!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Burz on Fri, 30 August 2013, 23:36:47
I'm not sure if this is any good as a suggestion, but Cherry have started making MX switch keyboards bearing lower-profile keycaps. That might be nice to have on a Matias board.

Sort of related-- Even the ThinkPad brand has switched to lower-profile caps with broader surface area (some people are calling them 'chicklet', but they are still sculpted). Even if lower-profile isn't feasible for ALPS switches, making the cap surface a bit larger might be nice as I really enjoy the size/shape of the new ThinkPad caps.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 30 August 2013, 23:40:04
Great news! I hope CPTBadAss saw this. I know he's always looking for Alps caps.

He posted to this thread, so he probably did.

I'll post again when we're close to having the keycaps available.

I just saw this!! I'm excited but I've gotta say, I'm a little disappointed it's going to thick PBT. Regardless, new Alps caps are going to be incredible :D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 31 August 2013, 13:31:02
I'm not sure if this is any good as a suggestion, but Cherry have started making MX switch keyboards bearing lower-profile keycaps. That might be nice to have on a Matias board.

Sort of related-- Even the ThinkPad brand has switched to lower-profile caps with broader surface area (some people are calling them 'chicklet', but they are still sculpted). Even if lower-profile isn't feasible for ALPS switches, making the cap surface a bit larger might be nice as I really enjoy the size/shape of the new ThinkPad caps.

To do this, we'd have to eliminate the staggered heights.  The keycaps would be all the same height, and essentially flat like a laptop keyboard.


I'm excited but I've gotta say, I'm a little disappointed it's going to thick PBT. Regardless, new Alps caps are going to be incredible :D

Why disappointed?

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Belfong on Mon, 16 September 2013, 02:39:05
I'm curious as to the material of the key cap for the Quiet Pro. Are they PBT or ABS?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 16 September 2013, 06:08:22
I'm excited but I've gotta say, I'm a little disappointed it's going to thick PBT. Regardless, new Alps caps are going to be incredible :D

Why disappointed?

Personal preference. I generally like ABS more than PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: therecorder on Mon, 16 September 2013, 06:10:06
I'm curious as to the material of the key cap for the Quiet Pro. Are they PBT or ABS?

Comes with ABS.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dorkvader on Thu, 19 September 2013, 15:59:20
POM would be great, too. but thick PBT is hard to beat.

I can't wait, this will be an exciting announcement when it comes out.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Belfong on Thu, 19 September 2013, 18:28:27
Yeah.. I'd like to see PBT caps too and will invest in a set myself.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bazemk1979 on Thu, 26 September 2013, 21:04:19
 Thick PBT is good mainly for dyesub legends, laser etched on top will wear off due to Matias using black keycaps and they cant dyesub black color. Maeby Matias should offer side laser etched ones for people that are not touch typers.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hazel on Tue, 01 October 2013, 12:55:22
Mac-Dvorak keycaps, with accented characters and symbols, like the TactilePro? :)

To do this, we'd have to eliminate the staggered heights.  The keycaps would be all the same height, and essentially flat like a laptop keyboard.
appointed?

The nice thing about uniform-profile keycaps is that you can easily support alternate layouts.  Just include a flat F and J, and a homing U, H, T, and N - instant Dvorak and Colemak support!  (Bonus points for a capslock-sized backspace for Colemak users.)

I realize I'm talking about a niche of an already-niche market, but it might be a good way to further distinguish your product.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 01 October 2013, 14:08:00
Thick PBT is good mainly for dyesub legends, laser etched on top will wear off due to Matias using black keycaps and they cant dyesub black color. Maeby Matias should offer side laser etched ones for people that are not touch typers.

We'll need to see how well lasered PBT holds up in testing.  More likely we'll use UV printing on black caps, which is a mixture of paint and UV material.  This gives you vibrant colour and wear resistance.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 01 October 2013, 14:15:51
The nice thing about uniform-profile keycaps is that you can easily support alternate layouts.  Just include a flat F and J, and a homing U, H, T, and N - instant Dvorak and Colemak support!  (Bonus points for a capslock-sized backspace for Colemak users.)

I realize I'm talking about a niche of an already-niche market, but it might be a good way to further distinguish your product.

Yes, this is true.  It is also MUCH less expensive to do uniform profile caps.

However, we have a product in development that requires staggered caps, so we'd have to do them anyway.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Binge on Thu, 10 October 2013, 13:03:44
I eat through pad printing even with a great deal of hand-washing / sanitizer.  I would pay a premium for better quality keys.  What comes standard on the matias keyboards (laser etching) works out fantastically.  Best of luck to you for coming up with a cost effective method.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 10 October 2013, 15:02:41
BTW, see attached.

This is a sneak preview of what you can expect.  The left one is a CNC of one of the new caps.  The right one is our current keycap.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Belfong on Thu, 10 October 2013, 19:58:02
I already love how thick it looked. Can't wait!!
Title: Re: new Matias PBT Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 10 October 2013, 20:18:32
I already love how thick it looked. Can't wait!!

Thanks Belfong!

BTW, sorry about the picture quality.  It was a quick photo -- I didn't have proper lights setup.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Thu, 10 October 2013, 20:40:44
They live!! What material did you guys end up with Matias?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 10 October 2013, 21:43:43
They live!! What material did you guys end up with Matias?

We're making the tooling to support both ABS and PBT, so we'll be able to offer either option.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 11 October 2013, 13:28:42
Would I be over stepping my bounds if I told you I love you Matias???
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 12 October 2013, 00:20:15
Would I be over stepping my bounds if I told you I love you Matias???

Haaa, no one else needs to know...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: mashby on Tue, 15 October 2013, 12:46:56
Mine if I jump in on this love fest?

(http://uga.edu/gm/ee/images/feature_photos/dogpile.jpg)

Fantastic news Matias. I can't wait for when we can purchase a set. Thank you!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 15 October 2013, 16:05:29
Mine if I jump in on this love fest?

Fantastic news Matias. I can't wait for when we can purchase a set. Thank you!

:-)

Thanks, we're pretty excited too.  I had no idea how difficult and time-consuming it was to design keycaps.  It explains why there are so many awful caps out there.

We also have a few surprises coming, which you'll have to wait to see.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: BucklingSpring on Sat, 19 October 2013, 16:24:54
Boner alert!
Can't wait to upgrade my keyboards with those.

Will you dare showing the font soon?

BTW, see attached.

This is a sneak preview of what you can expect.  The left one is a CNC of one of the new caps.  The right one is our current keycap.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 19 October 2013, 17:12:39
Boner alert!
Can't wait to upgrade my keyboards with those.

Will you dare showing the font soon?

You'll have to wait and see...  :-)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Tue, 22 October 2013, 12:41:57
Matias,

If Diatec (Filco) or Ducky came forward and said "We'd love to build Alps boards with your switches but our supplier no longer has the keycap tooling for these switches" would you be able to sell them?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 23 October 2013, 06:00:15
Matias,

If Diatec (Filco) or Ducky came forward and said "We'd love to build Alps boards with your switches but our supplier no longer has the keycap tooling for these switches" would you be able to sell them?

Yes, of course.  No problem at all with that.  In fact, they are buying keycaps from the same vendor we buy ours from currently.

Once our tooling is complete, they will have two independent sources for ALPS keycaps, both of which are good.  For Cherry caps, they only have one source.  They are more "locked-in" on the Cherry side than they would be using our switches.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: frvrngn on Fri, 25 October 2013, 12:05:12
Just found this thread, I cant wait!  I am really loving my new QP and would really love some new caps for it!  Any ETA on releasing these in case I missed it?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: AKmalamute on Fri, 25 October 2013, 12:49:23
well, I'm committed ... if not to this upcoming keycap set specifically, then pretty close to it. I've ordered switches from 7bit, and right now I have no keycaps I can scavange.

 I for one am thankful for the recent surge in interest in the matias switches that's necessitated you guys making caps for us weirdos.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 25 October 2013, 14:58:15
The new caps should be available around February/March.  We'll be setting up group-buys to gauge interest in specific sets.

There are a few projects already underway, including one that I'm running...

http://geekhack.org/?topic=50037

http://geekhack.org/?topic=44851.msg932446#msg932446

http://geekhack.org/?topic=49930.0

I'm hoping to help support these projects with various caps options.  Pretty excited to see all the positive momentum.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Halverson on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:09:50

The new caps should be available around February/March.  We'll be setting up group-buys to gauge interest in specific sets.

There are a few projects already underway, including one that I'm running...

http://geekhack.org/?topic=50037

http://geekhack.org/?topic=44851.msg932446#msg932446

http://geekhack.org/?topic=49930.0

I'm hoping to help support these projects with various caps options.  Pretty excited to see all the positive momentum.

Can't wait!

If you need any prototype testing, lemme know ;)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Fri, 25 October 2013, 15:15:10
We'll need to see how well lasered PBT holds up in testing.  More likely we'll use UV printing on black caps, which is a mixture of paint and UV material.  This gives you vibrant colour and wear resistance.

How is the UV-impregnated paint applied to the keycap?

I'm still trying to get my head around the two different types of pad printing, and I think you suggested previously that the "non-decal" pad printing might be "UV printing". Another company suggested that possibly a mixture of epoxy and pigment was used in the past (late 80s/early 90s keyboards).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 25 October 2013, 16:19:04
We'll need to see how well lasered PBT holds up in testing.  More likely we'll use UV printing on black caps, which is a mixture of paint and UV material.  This gives you vibrant colour and wear resistance.

How is the UV-impregnated paint applied to the keycap?

It's silkscreened on, usually the whole keyboard at once, but in small quantities, you can also silkscreen individual keys by hand and then run them through a UV machine.

In really small quantities, you don't even need a UV machine.  A UV lamp is enough -- a desk lamp with a UV lightbulb.

The advantage of the machine is the conveyor belt, that ensures consistent exposure times and simplifies handling, but if you're just doing a few caps, there's nothing to stop you from just putting them under a fixed UV lamp for a set amount of time.


I'm still trying to get my head around the two different types of pad printing, and I think you suggested previously that the "non-decal" pad printing might be "UV printing".

I can't imagine why anybody uses the decal method anymore.  It looks terrible and is twice as much work (in terms of labour).

Though, I've only seen it still used on really cheap keyboards, so perhaps it's still cheaper in terms of material cost and labour if it's a robot doing it.


Another company suggested that possibly a mixture of epoxy and pigment was used in the past (late 80s/early 90s keyboards).

Probably true.

Industrial processes and chemicals have advanced quite a bit, since that time, but there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 25 October 2013, 16:20:08
If you need any prototype testing, lemme know ;)

Thanks!  Will do.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Fri, 25 October 2013, 16:31:02
It's silkscreened on, usually the whole keyboard at once, but in small quantities, you can also silkscreen individual keys by hand and then run them through a UV machine.

Hm … the plot thickens. EliteKeyboard's website claims that Tampo (pad) printing is superior to silkscreen printing, and I've been asking around about this — no company I've spoken to has been convinced that anyone would ever use silkscreen printing for keycaps. Key Source China also allege that most keyboards are silkscreen, with pad printing being the superior option, but no-one is able to affirm this statement.

EliteKeyboards have told me (in essence) that they're referring to the use of silkscreen printing in novelty keycaps, which seems more in line with the general sense of disbelief.

But now you're suggesting that batch silkscreen printing is viable …

It's actually extremely rare to see a NON decal consumer keyboard — the only exceptions I've seen in any recent products are a Fujitsu laptop and Dell Latitude E-series laptops (both non-decal thick ink printing, like vintage NTC keyboards), and of course Apple use laser etching. There's also an Acer keyboard in the office (quite a few years old now) with the thick ink printing.

As such, it's very hard to gauge the wear resistance of the thick ink printing. Is the ink laid on thick in the intention that it will abrade from top to bottom slowly (instead of flake off), with the extra thickness extending its longevity? I honestly don't know. It's surprisingly hard to find out anything for certain about how 99.9% of keyboards are labelled! It's very rare to see wear on vintage NTC keyboards, but it's just as likely that those that did wear, simply got binned! (Pad printing—which we assume 99% of keyboards use—seems to either last forever, or all come off in short order.)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 25 October 2013, 17:02:30
I don't know where EliteKeyboard's website got their info, but in Asia at least, laser is by far the most popular printing method for keycaps, followed by silkscreen if you need colour legends.

I don't know what SP uses.  You could always ask them.  They are based in the US, so there are no language barriers.

Industrial equipment is expensive and pretty much lasts forever, so perhaps there are still companies using pad printing, but I've never seen one.  Most of the factories in Asia are not that old, so they are less likely to have older equipment.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Fri, 25 October 2013, 17:14:25
SP offer pad printing, but not silkscreen (and are not aware of the existence of the latter). EK believe that silkscreen is manual labour only, with no UV protection option. Devlin would be surprised if anyone used silkscreen. Cherry ridiculed the claims of silkscreen printing.

I'm going by products sold in the UK — it's virtually all "decal" style. That's virtually all I see, from any consumer or business brand, year upon year. It's some sort of hardened coating (which isn't, as it comes off easily, and the writing along with it) over flat painted legends.

Filco keyboards are claimed to be pad-printed too, but I've never seen any official word on their printing technique. The all-over spray coating though is evident from examination of a keycap (you can see all the spray splatter on the underside). Most high-end brands now prefer laser, and recently laser has reached the point that vivid white on black is possible. The only company who ever pulled off the scorched gold-on-black look is Topre, where it looks more like gold thick ink printing.

Depending who you ask, you get a completely different story, and nothing anyone says accounts for reality. Part of the problem is that all the companies accessible to English speakers, are high-end and specialist companies!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 27 October 2013, 07:12:18
SP offer pad printing, but not silkscreen (and are not aware of the existence of the latter). EK believe that silkscreen is manual labour only, with no UV protection option. Devlin would be surprised if anyone used silkscreen. Cherry ridiculed the claims of silkscreen printing.

It seems like they all operate in a bubble, continuing to use whatever approach they initially settled on or invested in equipment for.  Not surprising, considering how expensive industrial equipment can be.


I'm going by products sold in the UK — it's virtually all "decal" style. That's virtually all I see, from any consumer or business brand, year upon year. It's some sort of hardened coating (which isn't, as it comes off easily, and the writing along with it) over flat painted legends.

The decal approach works better if it covers the entire top of the key.  That gives it a more matte appearance, and doesn't look like a weird sticker over top of the legend.  Of course, covering the whole surface also uses more material ( = more expensive) so it's rarely done that way.


Filco keyboards are claimed to be pad-printed too, but I've never seen any official word on their printing technique. The all-over spray coating though is evident from examination of a keycap (you can see all the spray splatter on the underside).

Another variation on the full coverage decal approach I mentioned above.


Most high-end brands now prefer laser, and recently laser has reached the point that vivid white on black is possible. The only company who ever pulled off the scorched gold-on-black look is Topre, where it looks more like gold thick ink printing.

Yes, laser has come a long way.  I was very much against it in the gold-on-black days.  I'm curious to see how well it does on PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sun, 27 October 2013, 07:22:03
"Gold-on-black" actually looks really nice on Topre boards — it looks entirely deliberate and very refined, especially with their charcoal keyboard colour.¹ Aren't Topre caps all PBT except for spacebar? Topre reportedly also coat the keycap to protect the laser etching.

(¹ According to Wikipedia, "charcoal" is dark cyan (!) and "jet black" is in fact dark grey. I think they'll find that most people use "jet black" to refer to, like, actual black … though dictionary.com refers to it as "deep black", as though there were more than one shade of black …)

I'll ask SP about their pad printing anyway, just out of curiosity.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 27 October 2013, 07:40:11
"Gold-on-black" actually looks really nice on Topre boards — it looks entirely deliberate and very refined, especially with their charcoal keyboard colour.¹ Aren't Topre caps all PBT except for spacebar? Topre reportedly also coat the keycap to protect the laser etching.

Yes, used in the right context, gold-on-black certainly can look good, but we needed white-on-black.  :-)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dorkvader on Mon, 28 October 2013, 13:21:10
As such, it's very hard to gauge the wear resistance of the thick ink printing. Is the ink laid on thick in the intention that it will abrade from top to bottom slowly (instead of flake off), with the extra thickness extending its longevity? I honestly don't know. It's surprisingly hard to find out anything for certain about how 99.9% of keyboards are labelled! It's very rare to see wear on vintage NTC keyboards, but it's just as likely that those that did wear, simply got binned! (Pad printing—which we assume 99% of keyboards use—seems to either last forever, or all come off in short order.)
I work at the second (or maybe third, counting fujitsu themselves) largest fujustu repair place in the US.
 Their keyboards are nice, and I have seen them with varying stages of wear. After seeing several hundred fujitsu keyboards, I would say that after four years of heavy use, only a few percent show faded legends.

If you like, I can dig up an old one to take pictures of.

Keep in mind: fujitsu changed their keyboard entirely for the T901/T731 update, with a different printing process. We'll see how well it holds up.

If you can do white on black, like cherry's no infilled POM, it will be one of the best keycap sets available for any platform, and I'll be getting a  DIY matias for sure in that case.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Mon, 28 October 2013, 15:37:47
I'm thinking of a Lifebook A512. I never got chance to take a photo of the keyboard, but essentially it's just thick ink printing.

What would be nice (for the DT wiki) is some nice close-ups.

It would certainly be interesting if this thick ink printing did represent a harder-wearing, longer life process. SP aren't able to offer any insight, only that they use an epoxy+ink mixture that they feel is just how it's done everywhere.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 29 October 2013, 05:02:32
It would certainly be interesting if this thick ink printing did represent a harder-wearing, longer life process. SP aren't able to offer any insight, only that they use an epoxy+ink mixture that they feel is just how it's done everywhere.

Do they run it through a UV machine?

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 29 October 2013, 05:08:57
I'm thinking of a Lifebook A512. I never got chance to take a photo of the keyboard, but essentially it's just thick ink printing.

The keyboard on the Lifebook A512 is a nice size for something with a number pad, but I'm not a fan of the single-width modifier keys.  They make my thumbs get all lost and confused.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 29 October 2013, 05:14:05
If you can do white on black, like cherry's no infilled POM, it will be one of the best keycap sets available for any platform, and I'll be getting a  DIY matias for sure in that case.

White laser on black caps is definitely do-able.

Laser requires no tooling, so it's a viable option for small runs, as long as the injection material is high quality.  Needless to say, it would be.  :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Tue, 29 October 2013, 18:45:36
Do they run it through a UV machine?

Either all-over spray coating, or UV-cured selective image ("decal") coating. Both are optional.

The keyboard on the Lifebook A512 is a nice size for something with a number pad, but I'm not a fan of the single-width modifier keys.  They make my thumbs get all lost and confused.

I just remember that the switches were reasonable, but not a patch on those in the Latitude E4310, my current gold standard for scissor switches. The customer was thrilled with the keyboard — she made a special point of mentioning how good it was (with no prompting on my part).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 30 October 2013, 03:04:39
The keyboard on the Lifebook A512 is a nice size for something with a number pad, but I'm not a fan of the single-width modifier keys.  They make my thumbs get all lost and confused.

I just remember that the switches were reasonable, but not a patch on those in the Latitude E4310, my current gold standard for scissor switches. The customer was thrilled with the keyboard — she made a special point of mentioning how good it was (with no prompting on my part).

The keyboard on the Latitude was most likely made by Sunrex.  They are the main supplier of scissor modules to Dell, Apple, and others.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Wed, 30 October 2013, 14:59:27
The keyboard on the Latitude was most likely made by Sunrex.  They are the main supplier of scissor modules to Dell, Apple, and others.

I always felt that Apple chiclet keyboards were uniquely limp, with Sony chiclet keyboards being subtly but distinctly crisper. Dell is crisper again. There might be different switch travel ranges for different laptop thicknesses or something.

The Latitude E4310 was distinctly better than all other Dell E-series machines — even my colleagues remarked on how nice the keyboard was on that laptop. The Kensington Pro-Fit keyboard is also really good — being a wireless keyboard, it's more "desktop" scissor (more travel).

I've got a brand new Dell laptop to hand; I really can't tell what they've used for the legends, other than that it's matte white, very smooth, and flat (vintage non-coated pad printing is gloss and sometimes heavily raised). It's raised above the surface about as much as Filco pad printing: you can feel it, but not see it.

By comparison, Matias white-on-black lasering has a rougher texture and is quite visibly raised. Otherwise, they are very similar textures, and it may well be that Dell are using a heavily perfected laser process. The test would be in how fast it stains; my Quiet Pro sees very light use and the legends are visibly blackened already (though the guy using it is a smoker ;-) The same guy here has a similar Dell laptop — I'll have to compare it next time he's in (off sick at the moment).

Possibly they're using epoxy/UV+paint silkscreen for the additional colours?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dorkvader on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:11:58
I just went outside and took a picture of some of the demo unit's keyboards.

Some notes:
Lenovo's enture line, and fujitsu's tablets both use those letter-shape pad printing things. Dell and HP seem to be using a matte keycap with the legend lasered through it, though the surface roughness is different between the two. I can't tell what the microsoft surface pro uses, but I got some pictures anyway. I will take pictures of a few generations of fujitsu tablet keyboards when I get home (If I remember) They are interesting, as my T4220 should have some wear on it.

Thanks for all the cool insider information, matias. I'm always interested in OEM's and especially manufacturing processes. I will have to look into sunrex I think.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:19:36
These are my two current examples of "non-decal" keys:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:Acer_Aspire_1362LC_keyboard_detail.jpg
http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:Dell_Latitude_E6430_legends.jpg

I just figured that both were pad-printed. The Latitude E6430 was brand new when that photo was taken, so it could easily be lasered. The Acer Aspire 1362LC is a fair few years old (big old laptop) — did anyone have white-on-black laser etching back then?

This is vintage thick, gloss printing:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:NTC_KB-6251EA_--_pad_printing_detail.jpg

I've seen the ink even more raised than that.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:23:14
Thanks for all the cool insider information, matias. I'm always interested in OEM's and especially manufacturing processes. I will have to look into sunrex I think.

No problem.

BTW, feel free to post any of the keycap pix you took. May as well head all the way down the rabbit hole. :-)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:24:48
I'm having trouble keeping up with all the active vortices …
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:28:37
These are my two current examples of "non-decal" keys:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:Acer_Aspire_1362LC_keyboard_detail.jpg
http://deskthority.net/wiki/File:Dell_Latitude_E6430_legends.jpg

That Dell looks really good.  These are both most likely UV printing.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:33:08
What's "UV printing"? No-one has actually defined it yet. The only thing defined is that certain unspecified substances alter upon exposure to UV light to some unspecified degree of hardness, and that one or more of these substances are transparent and can be used as a protective layer above pad printing. SP's pad printing is epoxy+ink, with optional UV "selective image" ("decal") clear coating or all-over spray coating. (I don't know if "selective image" is an industry term or not.)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:55:21
What's "UV printing"? No-one has actually defined it yet. The only thing defined is that certain unspecified substances alter upon exposure to UV light to some unspecified degree of hardness, and that one or more of these substances are transparent and can be used as a protective layer above pad printing. SP's pad printing is epoxy+ink, with optional UV "selective image" ("decal") clear coating or all-over spray coating. (I don't know if "selective image" is an industry term or not.)

If you're looking for an official industry standard definition, I don't think you're going to find one.

Also, remember that for most of the vendors using these manufacturing processes, English is their second language.  In my experience in China and Taiwan, they lump together the decal and all-over spray coating method under the general term "UV coating".
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sat, 02 November 2013, 16:59:30
You said: "These are both most likely UV printing."

Do you have insider knowledge that Dell use something called "UV printing"?

Does "UV printing" have some sort of specific visual characteristic that you recognised in the photograph?

You must know something that allowed you to draw that conclusion.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 03 November 2013, 01:34:13
You said: "These are both most likely UV printing."

Do you have insider knowledge that Dell use something called "UV printing"?

I don't have any specific insider knowledge of what Dell's keyboard module supplier is doing -- we don't use them.  However, it's reasonable to assume that since they are in China, it's more likely that they are buying the same keycap printing material as others in the area, than say what SP in the US or Cherry in Germany have available locally.


Does "UV printing" have some sort of specific visual characteristic that you recognised in the photograph?

You must know something that allowed you to draw that conclusion.

The lack of a decal look, and the fact that they were both made in China, led me to that conclusion.  Same supply chain = same production methods.

The all-over coating approach uses a lot more coating material than decal, so it's unlikely they would choose that.  It's fine for SP -- their profit margins are huge -- but mass produced keyboard modules would not have such a costly extravagance.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sun, 03 November 2013, 06:35:53
The problem is that I cannot really document that Dell use "UV printing" and simply pretend that anyone knows what it is, or that there's any way to recognise it and differentiate it from other methods (for example, dorkvader is implying that he thinks that the Dell legends are lasered — how do you tell?)

That's like me repeating the apparent wisdom that any Alps clone switch with four tabs is an "XM", whatever that means. (In most cases, the evidence suggests that they were made by Himake, but there are plenty of other companies including Taiwan Tai-Hao and "ATW", whoever they are.) I had to put a stop to that blind repetition — fortunately in that case, you knew what "XM" meant, and we've unravelled that mistake and found real knowledge.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dorkvader on Sun, 03 November 2013, 16:36:15
The rough texture  dell looks similar to the dells we have on the sales floor, I have a decent picture of those. It's hard to take macro photographs with a phone, but here's what I have (uploading now will edit when done.)

Dell: (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170508.jpg)
In the above, notice the "S". This example was not fromt eh XT3, but one of the larger current notebooks. I can get the exact model number if you like.
Fujitsu (please ignore green tint caused by display being on): (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131103_130522.jpg)
^The above keyboard was used in all fujitsu's larger convertible tablets from about 2006 until they replaced it for the T901/731 and again for the T902/732. Models that include it are: (T4210, Tt4220, T5010, T900 and many of their notebooks)
Fujitsu T902: (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170612.jpg)
HP 8760: (this keycap technology is used basically across HP's board, from the ultraportable revolve to the huge 8760) (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170634.jpg)
MS Surface Pro: (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170547.jpg)
Lenovo X230: (http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170521.jpg)
The above keyboard is similar to the X220's in terms of keycap printing. The same keyboard is used on the T430 and W530; certainly the same technology on the previous models, X220, T420s& T420, W520

If you look closely at the fujitsu, you can see a little wear on this example, though I have seen examples that are completely shiny and have the printing still visible. Also notice that edges of letters are sometimes darker or lighter.

We also have a bunch of IBM POS registers (that still use SDL to PS2 cables!) The keyboards (I've had to repair a few) are rubberdome over steel backplate (like the silent M's). I'm almost positive the keycaps are lasered and can get a picture at work if you like.

Seeing the full resolution of these makes me think I can get more detail. I want to take some "glare" photos that show the surface roughness and any raised portion on the keycap really well.

I've seen a LOT of keyboards, and am excited to finally start learning more about them. I think the fujitsu's are especially nice. Larger keys are stabilized with both a dummy scissor and wire stabilizers. My least favourite in terms of feel was from a consumer Toshiba.

edit: the Dell's we have are E6530's and E6330's. based on the name, I would imagine they are from the same year (current) as the E6430.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Sun, 03 November 2013, 19:08:18
Looking forward to the pics :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Daniel Beardsmore on Mon, 04 November 2013, 02:29:48
I see what you mean now about the lettering being recessed on a Dell, like they've burnt away the outer surface with a laser. I felt sure that on a previous Dell that we had in, the white (main) lettering was visibly raised (you can only tell from the photo I took that the red writing is raised, and that is very unlikely to be laser). Certainly with the Dell we had in the other day (E6530), you could feel the raised lettering, but it looked flat.

One pertinent question is this: if it's not pad printing and it's not silkscreen printing, how is the lettering of "UV printing" actually applied to the keycaps?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Burz on Tue, 05 November 2013, 11:19:17
Lenovo X230:
Show Image
(http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l38/dork_vader/Keycaps/20131102_170521.jpg)

The above keyboard is similar to the X220's in terms of keycap printing. The same keyboard is used on the T430 and W530; certainly the same technology on the previous models, X220, T420s& T420, W520

I believe those key caps are fairly unusual on recent Thinkpads... Non-backlit, right? The caps on my T430s backlit keyboard are the same shape, but there is none of the UV coating look. The printing looks like the HP you posted.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 18 January 2014, 22:13:51
[note: moving my comment from http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=47946 since this seems like a better place for it; for anyone who hasn’t read that thread, there’s a bunch of keycap related stuff that got mixed in.]

Since the legends will be printed/lasered, not double-shot, it should be theoretically to do custom designs with custom fonts/icons without any expensive tooling, right? Any chance we could order small-to-medium batches of caps with custom legend designs? (Or in other words, any idea what the MOQ would be for lasered/printed caps?) Also, what kinds of plastic colors can you handle? Thick PBT sounds lovely. Can you silkscreen/laser on the sides of caps, or just on the top?

Also, let me second the request for some kind of uniform-profile caps (i.e. all same-sized keys the same shape), if it’s possible to make them. The alps based projects I'm working on have quite unusual layouts that don't work too well with the standard set of cap profiles. It’s probably unlikely, but my favorite would be to see some spherical (like SP's SA row 3) caps.

Finally, it would be awesome to have some options for blanks!

Thanks! Keep up all the awesome work!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 18 January 2014, 22:37:56
Since the legends will be printed/lasered, not double-shot, it should be theoretically to do custom designs with custom fonts/icons without any expensive tooling, right?

Lasering requires no tooling.  It's just a matter of setting up the machine.  For printing, we'd need to have film made.



Any chance we could order small-to-medium batches of caps with custom legend designs? (Or in other words, any idea what the MOQ would be for lasered/printed caps?) Also, what kinds of plastic colors can you handle? Thick PBT sounds lovely. Can you silkscreen/laser on the sides of caps, or just on the top?

Current plan is to do Black, White, and Red caps. Red may be limited to a few specific caps.  In the past, we've only printed on top.



Also, let me second the request for some kind of uniform-profile caps (i.e. all same-sized keys the same shape), if it’s possible to make them. The alps based projects I'm working on have quite unusual layouts that don't work too well with the standard set of cap profiles. It’s probably unlikely, but my favorite would be to see some spherical (like SP's SA row 3) caps.

You can get uniform caps simply by using all R1 keys (bottom row).  All keycap sizes are available in R1.



Finally, it would be awesome to have some options for blanks!

Blanks are easy.  We can certainly make those available.



Thanks! Keep up all the awesome work!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Wed, 22 January 2014, 01:50:29
One more question, though maybe it can’t be answered yet.. What are the switches like on the reduced-size arrow/etc. keys on the upcoming ergo board? Do they still use an alps mount? Seems like a typical Alps-alike switch is going to be at least a bit too big to fit under that amount of space. If it’s a unique switch / unique keycap, would some of those be for sale, and would the keycaps be compatible with any earlier switches, e.g. the old half-depth linear Alps switches used on some laptops?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 22 January 2014, 02:58:08
One more question, though maybe it can’t be answered yet.. What are the switches like on the reduced-size arrow/etc. keys on the upcoming ergo board? Do they still use an alps mount? Seems like a typical Alps-alike switch is going to be at least a bit too big to fit under that amount of space. If it’s a unique switch / unique keycap, would some of those be for sale, and would the keycaps be compatible with any earlier switches, e.g. the old half-depth linear Alps switches used on some laptops?

The switches are exactly the same as the others.

Vertically, they are mounted right up against each other, to accommodate the tighter 0.75u vertical spacing.  Horizontal spacing is standard.

The keycaps will be available for sale as soon as we have the tooling done.  They will fit any ALPS-compatible switches.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Wed, 22 January 2014, 04:31:51
Awesome. Thanks for the answers.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Wed, 22 January 2014, 08:04:49
The keycaps will be available for sale as soon as we have the tooling done.  They will fit any ALPS-compatible switches.

Someone insert a happy dance gif here for me!! This is a happy post for me :D.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: SpAmRaY on Wed, 22 January 2014, 08:13:32
(http://i.imgur.com/9pVlLd2.gif)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Wed, 22 January 2014, 23:08:16
Yeah, I’ve been curious for a long time about whether a keyboard would work if most of the keys were about 75-80% as deep (front-back distance) as the normal square format. I think it might be possible to fit keys into a smaller space, or fit more of them in the same space and still have everything reachable. [Of course, this would take some getting used to for a user, but I expect not too long.]

In other words, it would be interesting to try to make a full keyboard out of just the reduced-depth keys.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dorkvader on Thu, 23 January 2014, 23:06:22
Yeah, I’ve been curious for a long time about whether a keyboard would work if most of the keys were about 75-80% as deep (front-back distance) as the normal square format. I think it might be possible to fit keys into a smaller space, or fit more of them in the same space and still have everything reachable. [Of course, this would take some getting used to for a user, but I expect not too long.]

In other words, it would be interesting to try to make a full keyboard out of just the reduced-depth keys.
The datalux spacesaver does this.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 23 January 2014, 23:23:06
Yeah, I’ve been curious for a long time about whether a keyboard would work if most of the keys were about 75-80% as deep (front-back distance) as the normal square format. I think it might be possible to fit keys into a smaller space, or fit more of them in the same space and still have everything reachable. [Of course, this would take some getting used to for a user, but I expect not too long.]

In other words, it would be interesting to try to make a full keyboard out of just the reduced-depth keys.
The datalux spacesaver does this.


There's been research done on this.  The safe limit seems to be 17mm horizontal x 16mm vertical spacing.





Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Thu, 23 January 2014, 23:43:57
I’m not too convinced by the few papers I’ve seen though. They stuck with the same basic keyboard layout, and just changed the key shape. My in-progress prototype has a finger section that looks like this (ignore the specific keycaps; they just happened to be from the right rows from an old Apple donor keyboard):
(http://i.imgur.com/ihsLMdz.jpg)
With this layout, every key is very easily reachable with no overall hand movement or wrist twisting required.

I think such a layout would work pretty well with keycaps the size of the new ones from the Matias ergo board, and then could fit an extra row of keys in the same space (and therefore still reachable). But it would take some testing, for sure
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 24 January 2014, 00:19:33
I’m not too convinced by the few papers I’ve seen though. They stuck with the same basic keyboard layout, and just changed the key shape. My in-progress prototype has a finger section that looks like this (ignore the specific keycaps; they just happened to be from the right rows from an old Apple donor keyboard):
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/ihsLMdz.jpg)

With this layout, every key is very easily reachable with no overall hand movement or wrist twisting required.

Yeah, their research would probably not apply in this situation.



I think such a layout would work pretty well with keycaps the size of the new ones from the Matias ergo board, and then could fit an extra row of keys in the same space (and therefore still reachable). But it would take some testing, for sure

You could do a quick & dirty test by mounting just the switches (no caps) onto a piece of cardboard (double-sided tape is your friend :thumb: ) at your desired spacing, and then try typing on the stems.

The top of the stems would be a placeholder for the caps.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 17 February 2014, 20:31:47
Since the legends will be printed/lasered, not double-shot, it should be theoretically to do custom designs with custom fonts/icons without any expensive tooling, right?
Lasering requires no tooling.  It's just a matter of setting up the machine.  For printing, we'd need to have film made.
It’s probably too early to say here, but do you have any idea what the MOQ / prices would be for custom-legend caps, either for lasering or for printing? If figuring that out is a few months away, no worries.

Also, what would be the best way to make the designs for those? Could some kind of template PDF file (or whatever) be set up for folks to use in setting up a design? Also, are there any licensing issues around the fonts that could be used? For example, could you folks print legends using fonts that ship with OS X, or does that require some special dispensation from a font foundry? (Specifically, the Avenir Next font that now ships with OS X has great support for small caps, old-style numbers, and a bunch of fun symbols, and I think it could be used as the basis for some really sweet legends)

I’d be happy to help set up some templates/etc. if that would be helpful, if you have a format that would be most useful to submit, and if there are known parameters for what the size/shape of the key tops should look like in a design file to properly transfer to actual use. [I’m not exactly clear how it works to transfer a 2-dimensional design to curved key tops, etc.]

Your planned thick PBT Alps caps look like they should feel better than can be obtained from other vendors these days, so I’d love to help make them look better too, and help any community design projects along. For instance, I’d be happy to design some nice custom legends for the group-buy 60% board you’ve been talking about (even though I don’t particularly want one of those myself :).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sun, 16 March 2014, 02:34:55
The keycaps will be available for sale as soon as we have the tooling done.  They will fit any ALPS-compatible switches.
Just out of curiosity, is there any publicly mentionable ETA on the tooling? I guess we know it should at least be “before august”. :-)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 16 March 2014, 04:14:23
The keycaps will be available for sale as soon as we have the tooling done.  They will fit any ALPS-compatible switches.
Just out of curiosity, is there any publicly mentionable ETA on the tooling? I guess we know it should at least be “before august”. :-)


Short answer...  before August for keys needed for the Ergo Pro.

Longer answer...  We're doing the tooling in stages.  We've never done PBT injection before, and it's a little tricky for longer keys like the spacebar, so we're tooling those first.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 17 March 2014, 03:43:23
Awesome, thanks! Good luck with the tooling.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 17 March 2014, 14:17:25
So the aftermarket caps Matias will be selling are going to be PBT?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 17 March 2014, 14:58:45
That’s what he’s said above. It sounds like nice thick PBT, in black, white, and maybe some in red, with various different sizes of spacebars available (sounds like those will also be PBT?), laser or some fancy durable kind of printing, and some interesting new keycap shapes needed for their ergo board. Very promising.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 17 March 2014, 15:00:23
There goes my hope that I could cut out all PBT caps except for IBM boards. Oh well, despite the fact I don't really like PBT, aftermarket Alps caps are sorely needed. I was asking for confirmation.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 18 March 2014, 01:36:37
Yes, the new caps are thick PBT.

The old caps will still be available in thin ABS for those who are into that.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hyde on Tue, 18 March 2014, 19:57:43
Longer answer...  We're doing the tooling in stages.  We've never done PBT injection before, and it's a little tricky for longer keys like the spacebar, so we're tooling those first.

Sweet at least you guys are doing PBT spacebar.  Most company just cheap out on spacebar because PBT spacebar is too hard to make (warping).

And my birthday is in August.  Perfect time to get myself some PBT keycaps.  :D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 18 March 2014, 21:49:46
Yes, this is new territory for us, on multiple levels -- so we are proceeding with a little caution.  Pretty exciting stuff, though.  :-)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: QuadGMoto on Fri, 21 March 2014, 11:34:51
What's "UV printing"? No-one has actually defined it yet. The only thing defined is that certain unspecified substances alter upon exposure to UV light to some unspecified degree of hardness, and that one or more of these substances are transparent and can be used as a protective layer above pad printing. SP's pad printing is epoxy+ink, with optional UV "selective image" ("decal") clear coating or all-over spray coating. (I don't know if "selective image" is an industry term or not.)

In another thread I saw a video someone posted about "UV printing" being used to print graphics on Zippo style lighters. There was an actual print head moving back and forth over the tray of lighters, acting almost exactly like inkjet printing using inks that could be UV hardened. A UV light source was also part of the print head assembly.

So that's what I think of when thinking of "UV printing", though the method of applying the ink can obviously vary. It seems to me that a setup like that could be ideal for a custom key caps company. Though I could imagine the curve of the key caps and varying profiles could play merry hob with proper focus of the ink jets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: intelli78 on Tue, 01 April 2014, 04:25:12
Yes, the new caps are thick PBT.

Can't wait for replacement sets for the Mini models.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Wed, 09 April 2014, 18:07:02
As soon as I can grab some Alps 2.75x spacebars, I’ll try to start making stuff like:
(http://i.imgur.com/DVaFptM.png)
and
(http://i.imgur.com/hZQf1ow.png)

Small spacebars are the best. :-)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Thu, 08 May 2014, 17:12:24
Yes, the new caps are thick PBT.

The old caps will still be available in thin ABS for those who are into that.

I think you have already answered this, but I just wanted to double check.

Will you guys be selling these new PBT key caps separately also?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 09 May 2014, 04:06:10
I think you have already answered this, but I just wanted to double check.

Will you guys be selling these new PBT key caps separately also?


Yes, we'll be selling the PBT caps as well.  You can see attached photos of the two we've done so far... a 1.5x2.5 spacebar and an R4 1x1.25:


[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Fri, 09 May 2014, 04:18:01
I think you have already answered this, but I just wanted to double check.

Will you guys be selling these new PBT key caps separately also?


Yes, we'll be selling the PBT caps as well.  You can see attached photos of the two we've done so far... a 1.5x2.5 spacebar and an R4 1x1.25:


(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Nice.  Do you think you will of white key caps with black legends also?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 09 May 2014, 04:38:46
I think you have already answered this, but I just wanted to double check.

Will you guys be selling these new PBT key caps separately also?


Yes, we'll be selling the PBT caps as well.  You can see attached photos of the two we've done so far... a 1.5x2.5 spacebar and an R4 1x1.25:


(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Nice.  Do you think you will of white key caps with black legends also?


Yes, we plan to offer both Black and White caps.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Fri, 09 May 2014, 04:42:42
I think you have already answered this, but I just wanted to double check.

Will you guys be selling these new PBT key caps separately also?


Yes, we'll be selling the PBT caps as well.  You can see attached photos of the two we've done so far... a 1.5x2.5 spacebar and an R4 1x1.25:


(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

Nice.  Do you think you will of white key caps with black legends also?


Yes, we plan to offer both Black and White caps.


Great.   I'm planning on getting the KBParadise V60 MTS with matias switches. Do you think your new caps will fit that key board?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 09 May 2014, 20:04:57
Great.   I'm planning on getting the KBParadise V60 MTS with matias switches. Do you think your new caps will fit that key board?


The 1x1, 1x1.25, 1x1.5, and 1x1.75 keys should fit easily.  For bigger keys with balance bars, I'm not sure.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Fri, 09 May 2014, 23:43:02
The 1x1, 1x1.25, 1x1.5, and 1x1.75 keys should fit easily.  For bigger keys with balance bars, I'm not sure.
Are you planning to make PBT caps for your other keyboards as well sometime (and ideally offer those keycap shapes to other folks), or just the ErgoPro?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Elrick on Sat, 10 May 2014, 00:14:59
The keycaps will be available for sale as soon as we have the tooling done.  They will fit any ALPS-compatible switches.
Just out of curiosity, is there any publicly mentionable ETA on the tooling? I guess we know it should at least be “before august”. :-)


Short answer...  before August for keys needed for the Ergo Pro.

Longer answer...  We're doing the tooling in stages.  We've never done PBT injection before, and it's a little tricky for longer keys like the spacebar, so we're tooling those first.

Extra keys for the ALPs switch how brilliant is that  :thumb: .  Good to have a variety of switches now to support, got to get me some matias keyboards......
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 10 May 2014, 17:29:20
Extra keys for the ALPs switch how brilliant is that  :thumb: .  Good to have a variety of switches now to support, got to get me some matias keyboards......


Yeah, basically, there are things you can do with ALPS switches and caps that are impossible to with Cherry.



Are you planning to make PBT caps for your other keyboards as well sometime (and ideally offer those keycap shapes to other folks), or just the ErgoPro?


The new PBT caps will be made available for sale as soon as they are completed.

We'll also use them on models that need them -- the Ergo Pro for example, needs the bigger and smaller caps that didn't exist before.  For other models, we plan to make them available as an upgrade.

Title: Re: Keycap photos... 1.5x2.5 spacebar
Post by: Matias on Sat, 10 May 2014, 17:34:50

Here are some more photos I just took of the PBT 1.5x2.5 spacebar...



[attachimg=1]


[attachimg=2]


[attachimg=3]


[attachimg=4]


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: OverKill on Sat, 10 May 2014, 22:43:56
Those sure do look nice. Glad my next board are gonna be matias switches and there will be caps available for them :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: mkawa on Mon, 12 May 2014, 18:32:11
man, those are extremely geometrically clean for thick PBT tooling. nice job. commendations to your toolmakers  :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Elrick on Mon, 12 May 2014, 18:49:49
The new PBT caps will be made available for sale as soon as they are completed.

We'll also use them on models that need them -- the Ergo Pro for example, needs the bigger and smaller caps that didn't exist before.  For other models, we plan to make them available as an upgrade.

Dear Sir,

How will the font be applied to the key-cap?  Will you be using dye-sub or will you be burning the letters/numbers into the PBT?

I'm completely in the dark with how you will make these caps other than knowing they will be made out of PBT.  Please remember also you are speaking to someone with a very low IQ, so I would appreciate an easy explanation that won't strain what little brain cells are left inside my skull  ;) .
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 12 May 2014, 18:51:04
man, those are extremely geometrically clean for thick PBT tooling. nice job. commendations to your toolmakers  :thumb:


Thanks!

I probably should've cross-posted to the keycaps forum, but didn't think of it.  Actually, I'm not sure that the board software supports it.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 12 May 2014, 18:57:54
How will the font be applied to the key-cap?  Will you be using dye-sub or will you be burning the letters/numbers into the PBT?

Most likely we'll use a process called UV printing.  Legends will be printed using paint infused with UV coating material, and then run through a UV machine.

This allows us to print white on black caps, which is not possible using dye-sub.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Elrick on Mon, 12 May 2014, 19:04:49
Most likely we'll use a process called UV printing.  Legends will be printed using paint infused with UV coating material, and then run through a UV machine.

This allows us to print white on black caps, which is not possible using dye-sub.

Will you also be using GREY coloured PBT, because I would buy the White and Grey Key-sets giving your Matias Keyboard an old style layout similar to a Cherry/IBM.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 13 May 2014, 14:08:31
I wonder how the UV machine affects later applications of dye. If it’s possible to dye (e.g. with RIT dye) the white caps and not harm the black legends, then making gray (or whatever other color) should be plenty achievable for the DIY crowd.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 13 May 2014, 15:50:10
I wonder how the UV machine affects later applications of dye. If it’s possible to dye (e.g. with RIT dye) the white caps and not harm the black legends, then making gray (or whatever other color) should be plenty achievable for the DIY crowd.


Yes, you can run them through the UV machine more than once.  The UV light just hardens the paint while it's wet.


Will you also be using GREY coloured PBT, because I would buy the White and Grey Key-sets giving your Matias Keyboard an old style layout similar to a Cherry/IBM.


Not sure if we'll keep grey caps in general inventory, but we can certainly do group buys for them.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: mkawa on Tue, 13 May 2014, 16:09:05
man, those are extremely geometrically clean for thick PBT tooling. nice job. commendations to your toolmakers  :thumb:


Thanks!

I probably should've cross-posted to the keycaps forum, but didn't think of it.  Actually, I'm not sure that the board software supports it.


yah, we don't have a cross-posting mechanism yet. i'm sure someone will catch on eventually and link this ;)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Tue, 13 May 2014, 16:15:30
Cross posted here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58228.0)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 13 May 2014, 16:40:31
Cross posted here (http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=58228.0)


Awesome, thanks!

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: intelli78 on Wed, 14 May 2014, 13:07:47
Can you speak to the durability of UV printing vs. dyesub?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 16 May 2014, 04:08:42
Can you speak to the durability of UV printing vs. dyesub?


I don't have much experience with dyesub (beyond using them).

However, on the keyboards we've used UV printing, we haven't had any reports of the printing wearing off.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Belfong on Fri, 16 May 2014, 04:43:16
Hi there Matias, what about the 60% or it will be the Ergo Pro first at this moment seeing that the availability of Ergo Pro is 3 more months to go.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 16 May 2014, 21:09:38
Hi there Matias, what about the 60% or it will be the Ergo Pro first at this moment seeing that the availability of Ergo Pro is 3 more months to go.


Thanks for asking...

The 60% keyboard shares a lot of keycaps with the Ergo Pro, so it's going to have to come after.  It also needs 3 more keycaps which the Ergo Pro doesn't have, so there will be some additional keycap tooling required.

I've been trying to decide how soon to do the IC for it.  I figured it would be better if the IC were closer to the eventual release date.  As always, I'm open to suggestions.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Belfong on Sat, 17 May 2014, 07:57:16
Back in the other thread, I remember around 10, including myself, who are interested. Probably more. At that time you said that it will be in Jan. I think we all can wait. Take your time to fine time the ultimate 60% board!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Sat, 17 May 2014, 13:59:12
Hi there Matias, what about the 60% or it will be the Ergo Pro first at this moment seeing that the availability of Ergo Pro is 3 more months to go.


Thanks for asking...

The 60% keyboard shares a lot of keycaps with the Ergo Pro, so it's going to have to come after.  It also needs 3 more keycaps which the Ergo Pro doesn't have, so there will be some additional keycap tooling required.

I've been trying to decide how soon to do the IC for it.  I figured it would be better if the IC were closer to the eventual release date.  As always, I'm open to suggestions.

What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: riotonthebay on Sat, 17 May 2014, 14:03:57
Hi there Matias, what about the 60% or it will be the Ergo Pro first at this moment seeing that the availability of Ergo Pro is 3 more months to go.


Thanks for asking...

The 60% keyboard shares a lot of keycaps with the Ergo Pro, so it's going to have to come after.  It also needs 3 more keycaps which the Ergo Pro doesn't have, so there will be some additional keycap tooling required.

I've been trying to decide how soon to do the IC for it.  I figured it would be better if the IC were closer to the eventual release date.  As always, I'm open to suggestions.

What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?

(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/doc/hhkbp2_basic_layout.png)

(http://media.giphy.com/media/jxqSgd1TtHu4U/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: daerid on Sat, 17 May 2014, 16:05:18
If it's a programmable ANSI 60% board manufactured by Matias, I am ALL OVER IT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: luisbg on Sat, 17 May 2014, 16:12:16
Nice! Very promising
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 17 May 2014, 16:13:23
What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?


The case would be minimalist -- as small as we can make it.  The layout would be something like this...


[attachimg=1]


This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: luisbg on Sat, 17 May 2014, 16:20:23
What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?


The case would be minimalist -- as small as we can make it.  The layout would be something like this...


(Attachment Link)


This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.

The page up/down and home/end placing is interesting. I would remap it to have the backspace one key down.

What size is that space bar?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 17 May 2014, 16:26:22
What size is that space bar?


1.5x4.5 units.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: daerid on Sat, 17 May 2014, 18:54:13
The page up/down and home/end placing is interesting. I would remap it to have the backspace one key down.

What size is that space bar?

HHKB backspace placement would be a deal breaker for me. That layout makes my right hand hurt in like 5 minutes :(

Easy solution: programmability!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Sat, 17 May 2014, 18:59:23
I've been trying to decide how soon to do the IC for it.  I figured it would be better if the IC were closer to the eventual release date.  As always, I'm open to suggestions.

It'd be cool to see the interest check closer to the release date. Just a personal peeve but I don't like long IC waiting periods.

What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?


The case would be minimalist -- as small as we can make it.  The layout would be something like this...


(Attachment Link)


This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.

Hm, interesting layout. I like how you're trying to save the nav pad but I'm not sure about the half sized keys. Still extremely interested though :D.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: luisbg on Sat, 17 May 2014, 19:15:05
The page up/down and home/end placing is interesting. I would remap it to have the backspace one key down.

What size is that space bar?

HHKB backspace placement would be a deal breaker for me. That layout makes my right hand hurt in like 5 minutes :(

Easy solution: programmability!

Having your pinkie travel all the way to the corner is more comfortable for you?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 17 May 2014, 22:28:58
Having your pinkie travel all the way to the corner is more comfortable for you?
I’m pretty sure most people use their ring finger to hit the backward delete key.

But anyway, Matias: have you considered just using the same width spacebars as on the ErgoPro, and having 2 of them? (Then one can be used as backspace, which is better than using anything in the top right corner.)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: daerid on Sat, 17 May 2014, 23:55:21
Having your pinkie travel all the way to the corner is more comfortable for you?
I’m pretty sure most people use their ring finger to hit the backward delete key.

But anyway, Matias: have you considered just using the same width spacebars as on the ErgoPro, and having 2 of them? (Then one can be used as backspace, which is better than using anything in the top right corner.)

This. My hands have gotten used to the ANSI layout for so long that hitting the BS key with my ring finger is super relaxed and doesn't require moving my wrists. Swapping that position over to where the \ key is makes my wrists hurt because of how often I have to hit it.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: luisbg on Sun, 18 May 2014, 00:38:44
Having your pinkie travel all the way to the corner is more comfortable for you?
I’m pretty sure most people use their ring finger to hit the backward delete key.

But anyway, Matias: have you considered just using the same width spacebars as on the ErgoPro, and having 2 of them? (Then one can be used as backspace, which is better than using anything in the top right corner.)

This. My hands have gotten used to the ANSI layout for so long that hitting the BS key with my ring finger is super relaxed and doesn't require moving my wrists. Swapping that position over to where the \ key is makes my wrists hurt because of how often I have to hit it.

I secretly have my backspace remapped to the capslock key at the left pinkie.
Evil genius, I know.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Shayde on Tue, 20 May 2014, 00:08:51
This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.

Mmm, that's an interesting layout.  I wasn't sure about the 60% but I could get used to this.  Any chance this can be offered with the clicky switches?  I guess that's a question for the IC.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 20 May 2014, 02:57:47
This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.

Mmm, that's an interesting layout.  I wasn't sure about the 60% but I could get used to this.  Any chance this can be offered with the clicky switches?  I guess that's a question for the IC.



Yes, we'd offer both quiet and clicky switch types, and perhaps include support for Cherry switches where possible.

We're also considering offering an aluminum case option.



But anyway, Matias: have you considered just using the same width spacebars as on the ErgoPro, and having 2 of them? (Then one can be used as backspace, which is better than using anything in the top right corner.)


I hadn't considered that, though it wouldn't fit.  We only have room for a 4.5u spacebar -- doubling 2.5u spacebars would add up to 5u.

In any case, I suspect most people would prefer a normal spacebar.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Tue, 20 May 2014, 19:52:56
Yes, we'd offer both quiet and clicky switch types, and perhaps include support for Cherry switches where possible.

We're also considering offering an aluminum case option.

In any case, I suspect most people would prefer a normal spacebar.

I say YES PLEASE, to all of these things :D.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Shayde on Tue, 20 May 2014, 20:18:25
Yes, we'd offer both quiet and clicky switch types, and perhaps include support for Cherry switches where possible.

We're also considering offering an aluminum case option.

Very cool!  I'm looking forward to it.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Thu, 22 May 2014, 10:22:41
This is great news(just discovered this thread)! Cant wait to get hold on those keycaps! I have an dell at102w that I want to use it on(with matias standard clicky).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 27 May 2014, 23:15:03
If you’re finished figuring out the 2.5x1.5 spacebars, is there any way I could buy like 10 of them, in whatever color?

Also, I’m very interested if/when you can handle 2.75x1 spacebars, 1x.75 caps of whatever profile, or bottom row 1x1.5 caps.

Other shapes I can pretty much experiment with using various existing sets of keycaps, but all of those would be quite interesting to play around with.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zxz on Thu, 29 May 2014, 17:10:00
Hi Matias,

All very exciting stuff! But as an ISO layout user please tell me you'll release the PBT caps in ISO too...

I've got a mini quite pro and really like the layout but find that the noise is slightly louder than my o-ringed mx browns.

I had a bit of a tinker to see how the keys were being silenced and saw that there is a rubber insert on either side of the slider to reduce the noise on bottoming out and recoil of the switch, this is when I realised most of the noise that I hear is from the stem moving inside the housing. This also leads to the well known key wobble, is there any particular reason the tolerances on the stem and the house can't be increased to reduce the wobble and noise?

I added some dental bands to the tops of the stem where it meets the housing and this definitely did reduce key wobble and acted in reducing the noise. But this also had two other side effects, one was that it made the keys feel stiffer and some times you can feel the dental band passing the leaf spring.

It'll be good to hear your thoughts.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 29 May 2014, 17:16:25

If you’re finished figuring out the 2.5x1.5 spacebars, is there any way I could buy like 10 of them, in whatever color?


Sorry, but all I have is a few samples from the T1 tooling.  They're not even textured yet.  We are still a little ways off being able to sell caps.



Also, I’m very interested if/when you can handle 2.75x1 spacebars, 1x.75 caps of whatever profile, or bottom row 1x1.5 caps.


Probably around August for the PBT caps.  For ABS caps, we expect to be up and running soon.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Thu, 29 May 2014, 17:17:14
Probably around August for the PBT caps.  For ABS caps, we expect to be up and running soon.

There are ABS caps and coming soon???!!! YES!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 29 May 2014, 17:32:53

All very exciting stuff! But as an ISO layout user please tell me you'll release the PBT caps in ISO too...



Thanks for asking...

Eventually, we expect to have the entire gamut of keycaps for all layouts in PBT.  The ones needed for the Ergo Pro will be first, likely followed by the ones for the 60% keyboard.

I hope to have the complete tooling for all caps done by the end of the year.  The ones needed for the Ergo Pro should be available around August.  The ones needed for the 60% board will depend on how soon we do the IC (interest check).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: barihunk on Thu, 29 May 2014, 22:07:41

All very exciting stuff! But as an ISO layout user please tell me you'll release the PBT caps in ISO too...



Thanks for asking...

Eventually, we expect to have the entire gamut of keycaps for all layouts in PBT.  The ones needed for the Ergo Pro will be first, likely followed by the ones for the 60% keyboard.

I hope to have the complete tooling for all caps done by the end of the year.  The ones needed for the Ergo Pro should be available around August.  The ones needed for the 60% board will depend on how soon we do the IC (interest check).

Don't forget folks who have the tactile pro/mini pro/quiet pro/laptop pro! Would love some nice PBT caps for my Laptop Pro & Tactile Pro :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 29 May 2014, 22:57:17

There are ABS caps and coming soon???!!! YES!


Yes, they're already in production.  We'll list them as soon as they arrive.




Don't forget folks who have the tactile pro/mini pro/quiet pro/laptop pro! Would love some nice PBT caps for my Laptop Pro & Tactile Pro :)


Rest assured, we didn't forget.  Like I said, we hope to have all layouts covered by the end of the year.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Fri, 30 May 2014, 13:12:39
cant wait
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: prox on Thu, 12 June 2014, 04:21:22
Long time lurker, first time poster  ;)

What method/s will be the best/quickest way to get hold of the keycap sets when they're ready to go? GH GB? MassDrop? Matias webstore?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 12 June 2014, 16:31:48

Long time lurker, first time poster  ;)

What method/s will be the best/quickest way to get hold of the keycap sets when they're ready to go? GH GB? MassDrop? Matias webstore?



We'll have everything up on the Matias webstore first.  GH GB will be for custom legends or custom colours.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Thu, 12 June 2014, 17:36:04
What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?


The case would be minimalist -- as small as we can make it.  The layout would be something like this...


(Attachment Link)


This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.


You should have well grounded reasons for the design, however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options, the same that non mechanical keyboards are. The main reasons some prefer MX based keyboards is precisely the choices for different keycaps. I am sure you know that, but for certain reason you are ignoring it. You should know your business better than us for sure.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Thu, 12 June 2014, 19:01:15
however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options,
There’s no “standard” set of keycap shapes on Alps keyboards, because most of the interesting ones are from the 80s or early 90s. They almost all have various funny layouts, and many keycaps end up not being interchangeable.

Would you prefer a layout similar to the main section of an Apple M0115 or M0116, or similar to a Dell AT101, or one of the various Chicony or NTC keyboards, or one of the Northgate Omnikeys? These are all different from the shape that has come to be the accepted “standard” post–Windows 95 keyboard layout, and almost all different from each-other.

Where do you plan to source these “standard keys” from? Signature plastics only makes Alps keycaps that accept Cherry-style stabilizers, so those are going to be right out no matter what layout Matias chooses, unless you want to figure out how to 3d-print some specialized stabilizer inserts. Are you going to just stick with Tai Hao alps keycaps? Personally I’m not much of a fan.

The keycaps that Matias is planning are going to be hopefully better than most anything else you’d be able to get new today. Do you have some specific other set you have in mind? Otherwise, I don’t think your complaint has much meat to it.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 12 June 2014, 19:03:27
What will the layout & case look like on the upcoming 60%?


The case would be minimalist -- as small as we can make it.  The layout would be something like this...


(Attachment Link)


This gives you all the most important keys, without having to go through an Fn layer.  It's essentially a Tenkeyless without the function keys.


You should have well grounded reasons for the design, however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options, the same that non mechanical keyboards are.



The goal of this design is to provide the functionality/productivity of a TKL in the size of a 60% board.

In particular, you have arrow keys, the nav cluster, and both tilde & Esc in mostly standard locations. Other 60% boards lack some or all of these features.





The main reasons some prefer MX based keyboards is precisely the choices for different keycaps. I am sure you know that, but for certain reason you are ignoring it. You should know your business better than us for sure.



We plan to offer different keycaps, so I don't see this as a major problem.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: barihunk on Thu, 12 June 2014, 22:40:32
I may have said this somewhere else, but IMHO your current 75% layout (laptop pro, mini pro etc) would be perfect for a FC660C/M style 60% board. Just get rid of the function row, move that function key from above the right arrow, switch the case design to a more minimal case, and it would be perfect. No more odd-sized keys to be concerned about.

Please make this.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 12 June 2014, 23:11:36

I may have said this somewhere else, but IMHO your current 75% layout (laptop pro, mini pro etc) would be perfect for a FC660C/M style 60% board. Just get rid of the function row, move that function key from above the right arrow, switch the case design to a more minimal case, and it would be perfect. No more odd-sized keys to be concerned about.

Please make this.



I can understand the attraction of this, but the FC660C/M has already done it, so I don't see much point in us doing it.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Fri, 13 June 2014, 00:01:17
Woo hoo, Pop Rocks!  Thanks, Bunny! <3

Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/DDD5czZ.jpg)



I may have said this somewhere else, but IMHO your current 75% layout (laptop pro, mini pro etc) would be perfect for a FC660C/M style 60% board. Just get rid of the function row, move that function key from above the right arrow, switch the case design to a more minimal case, and it would be perfect. No more odd-sized keys to be concerned about.

Please make this.



I can understand the attraction of this, but the FC660C/M has already done it, so I don't see much point in us doing it.

But the FC660 series does not have Matias switches
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 13 June 2014, 00:07:34

But the FC660 series does not have Matias switches



True that....  :-)


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 13:43:39
however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options,
There’s no “standard” set of keycap shapes on Alps keyboards, because most of the interesting ones are from the 80s or early 90s. They almost all have various funny layouts, and many keycaps end up not being interchangeable.

Would you prefer a layout similar to the main section of an Apple M0115 or M0116, or similar to a Dell AT101, or one of the various Chicony or NTC keyboards, or one of the Northgate Omnikeys? These are all different from the shape that has come to be the accepted “standard” post–Windows 95 keyboard layout, and almost all different from each-other.

Where do you plan to source these “standard keys” from? Signature plastics only makes Alps keycaps that accept Cherry-style stabilizers, so those are going to be right out no matter what layout Matias chooses, unless you want to figure out how to 3d-print some specialized stabilizer inserts. Are you going to just stick with Tai Hao alps keycaps? Personally I’m not much of a fan.

The keycaps that Matias is planning are going to be hopefully better than most anything else you’d be able to get new today. Do you have some specific other set you have in mind? Otherwise, I don’t think your complaint has much meat to it.

While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 13:44:41
.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 13 June 2014, 13:45:44
While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.

What new board are you referring to? I believe jacobolus' statement is just aimed at keycaps.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 13:48:39
While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.

What new board are you referring to? I believe jacobolus' statement is just aimed at keycaps.

Mine is not. I quoted the new Matias 60% layout and asked why it should have half size keycaps instead of full 1u or larger sizes.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 13 June 2014, 13:53:09
Who else is making Alps keycaps besides Matias right now? Matias is making a board and the keycaps to customize it later. SP and Tai Hao *could* but SP has mold issues and Tai Hao has MOQ issues. And like jacobolus said, both of those companies have stabilizer issues. So Matias will sell the boards and then the caps to customize if I understand correctly. Seems like you should be able to customize later.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 14:14:02
Who else is making Alps keycaps besides Matias right now? Matias is making a board and the keycaps to customize it later. SP and Tai Hao *could* but SP has mold issues and Tai Hao has MOQ issues. And like jacobolus said, both of those companies have stabilizer issues. So Matias will sell the boards and then the caps to customize if I understand correctly. Seems like you should be able to customize later.

That's my point. Why develop layouts that are not "compatible" in between them?...Or maybe they are. I took a look at the ergo and it appears to share most of the keycaps with the new ~60% layout.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Fri, 13 June 2014, 14:19:06
And that's the other point of jacobolus' post. There is nothing standard in Alps. What do you consider standard in the Alps world? It's not as easy as saying ANSI or ISO like in MX. Are you saying it would make more sense to have caps that are similar to the rest of the Matias line?

Matias has said that much of the caps are like the ergo and that's why the PBT caps are coming out later.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jdcarpe on Fri, 13 June 2014, 14:23:09
On that note...

Anyone have a CAD drawing of a stabilized key switch hole for Alps? You know, the little rectangle cutout below and offset to the switch hole...
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 13 June 2014, 14:43:31

While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.



Mine is not. I quoted the new Matias 60% layout and asked why it should have half size keycaps instead of full 1u or larger sizes.



I can understand your concern.  Let me try to explain better...

The ALPS keycap market right now is chronically underserviced.  With so few ALPS board makers, this is unlikely to change unless somebody steps up and fills the void.  So, we will be filling that void ourselves -- but also going a few steps further...

Keycap tooling is extremely expensive, so you need to plan very carefully and design it for what your present (and future) needs are.  Once you have it, you want to use it as much as possible.  Otherwise, you've just spent a pile of money for nothing.

The 3/4u caps open up a whole new set of options for keyboard layouts that aren't possible with Cherry. The Ergo Pro is the first to use them, but we would not do keycap tooling for just one keyboard.  The proposed 60% also uses them, and we will sell standalone caps as well.

We're investing big in tooling.  It would be insane not to use it as much as possible, so you can bet that there will be lots of keycap options available once it's done.

Having said all that, for keys 1.75u and smaller, no stabilizers are required, so you can safely buy those from any current source.



Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jdcarpe on Fri, 13 June 2014, 14:48:09
Matias, can you provide a drawing, or even just measurement reference, for those stabilizers holes for the switch plate? I'd like to be able to use your keycaps with my plate designs.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 13 June 2014, 15:09:50

Matias, can you provide a drawing, or even just measurement reference, for those stabilizers holes for the switch plate? I'd like to be able to use your keycaps with my plate designs.



Yes, see below...


[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jdcarpe on Fri, 13 June 2014, 15:14:38

Matias, can you provide a drawing, or even just measurement reference, for those stabilizers holes for the switch plate? I'd like to be able to use your keycaps with my plate designs.



Yes, see below...


(Attachment Link)

Awesome! But I think I'm missing a dimension...the horizontal dimension from switch centerline to stabilizer centerline.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 13 June 2014, 16:12:15

Matias, can you provide a drawing, or even just measurement reference, for those stabilizers holes for the switch plate? I'd like to be able to use your keycaps with my plate designs.



Yes, see below...


(Attachment Link)

Awesome! But I think I'm missing a dimension...the horizontal dimension from switch centerline to stabilizer centerline.



Depends on the width of the cap...

28mm for 2u, 2.25u

36mm for 2.75u

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 16:21:39

While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.



Mine is not. I quoted the new Matias 60% layout and asked why it should have half size keycaps instead of full 1u or larger sizes.



I can understand your concern.  Let me try to explain better...

The ALPS keycap market right now is chronically underserviced.  With so few ALPS board makers, this is unlikely to change unless somebody steps up and fills the void.  So, we will be filling that void ourselves -- but also going a few steps further...

Keycap tooling is extremely expensive, so you need to plan very carefully and design it for what your present (and future) needs are.  Once you have it, you want to use it as much as possible.  Otherwise, you've just spent a pile of money for nothing.

The 3/4u caps open up a whole new set of options for keyboard layouts that aren't possible with Cherry. The Ergo Pro is the first to use them, but we would not do keycap tooling for just one keyboard.  The proposed 60% also uses them, and we will sell standalone caps as well.

We're investing big in tooling.  It would be insane not to use it as much as possible, so you can bet that there will be lots of keycap options available once it's done.

Having said all that, for keys 1.75u and smaller, no stabilizers are required, so you can safely buy those from any current source.

Makes a lot of sense from an operational cost point of view. However, It is not known if keyboards with that size of caps may get attention from Cherry users that are comfortable with full size keys. If ALPS keyboards may get a share of current board market, unless current keyboard aficionados change from other switches to ALPS, the only other alternative may be to get the attention of rubber dome users, which is not an easy task, considering pricing braket gap.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jdcarpe on Fri, 13 June 2014, 16:26:30

Matias, can you provide a drawing, or even just measurement reference, for those stabilizers holes for the switch plate? I'd like to be able to use your keycaps with my plate designs.



Yes, see below...


(Attachment Link)

Awesome! But I think I'm missing a dimension...the horizontal dimension from switch centerline to stabilizer centerline.



Depends on the width of the cap...

28mm for 2u, 2.25u

36mm for 2.75u



Ah, thanks again!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 16:43:54
Awesome! But I think I'm missing a dimension...the horizontal dimension from switch centerline to stabilizer centerline.
Depends on the width of the cap...

28mm for 2u, 2.25u

36mm for 2.75u
Ah, thanks again!
Also note, this one doesn't have to be too precise. The little holes just have to be inside where the bent corner of the stabilizer wire goes. The little clips clip along the long side of the wire, so in general they could safely move 5mm or something. Just eyeball a maximum dimension based on the specific keycap size, and then pull in a bit from there.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 13 June 2014, 17:03:20

Makes a lot of sense from an operational cost point of view. However, It is not known if keyboards with that size of caps may get attention from Cherry users that are comfortable with full size keys. If ALPS keyboards may get a share of current board market, unless current keyboard aficionados change from other switches to ALPS, the only other alternative may be to get the attention of rubber dome users, which is not an easy task, considering pricing braket gap.



You make good points...

We can either compete solely on the advantages of ALPS switches on boards that are otherwise exactly the same as Cherry, or we can offer something unique.

We've followed the latter strategy so far, but there are risks to both approaches.  IMO the biggest risk is not getting noticed.  If you have something that's too similar to the incumbent, it's easy to get overlooked.  If you have something that's too crazy, too few people will buy it and you've wasted a lot of effort for nothing.

Quiet switches and superior Mac support have been our main differentiators so far, and things have worked out pretty well.

To that, we'll soon be adding the Ergo Pro and superior keycaps.

Our 60% keyboard design may fall into the "too crazy" category.  I'm not sure yet.  We'll know after the IC.

In any case, I certainly appreciate your feedback, and the feedback of others here on GH.  We're doing our best to breathe life back into the ALPS market.  It's a long game we're playing, and we're taking some risks -- but life without risks is a little boring.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 17:44:38

Makes a lot of sense from an operational cost point of view. However, It is not known if keyboards with that size of caps may get attention from Cherry users that are comfortable with full size keys. If ALPS keyboards may get a share of current board market, unless current keyboard aficionados change from other switches to ALPS, the only other alternative may be to get the attention of rubber dome users, which is not an easy task, considering pricing braket gap.



You make good points...

We can either compete solely on the advantages of ALPS switches on boards that are otherwise exactly the same as Cherry, or we can offer something unique.

We've followed the latter strategy so far, but there are risks to both approaches.  IMO the biggest risk is not getting noticed.  If you have something that's too similar to the incumbent, it's easy to get overlooked.  If you have something that's too crazy, too few people will buy it and you've wasted a lot of effort for nothing.

Quiet switches and superior Mac support have been our main differentiators so far, and things have worked out pretty well.

To that, we'll soon be adding the Ergo Pro and superior keycaps.

Our 60% keyboard design may fall into the "too crazy" category.  I'm not sure yet.  We'll know after the IC.

In any case, I certainly appreciate your feedback, and the feedback of others here on GH.  We're doing our best to breathe life back into the ALPS market.  It's a long game we're playing, and we're taking some risks -- but life without risks is a little boring.

Thank you for the sounding explanation. The 60% market may be the one where you may explore an intermediate strategy, with an offer that may attract the attention of some users. Based on the demand for small keyboards, and the fact that no one of them seems to be an actual market leader you may find a niche with good sales potential. Thank you for listening, and I really hope you hit a home run.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Fri, 13 June 2014, 18:06:04
Matias is a awesome company that listens to it customers :). Counting on many different spacebar sizes!
.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Fri, 13 June 2014, 20:14:29
however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options,
There’s no “standard” set of keycap shapes on Alps keyboards, because most of the interesting ones are from the 80s or early 90s. They almost all have various funny layouts, and many keycaps end up not being interchangeable.

[...] Do you have some specific other set you have in mind? Otherwise, I don’t think your complaint has much meat to it.

While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.
Hey Ideus,

Sorry, I didn’t mean for my comment to be quite so aggressive/dismissive sounding. Mainly, I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from, and what your goals are.

For instance, are you just worried that you’d purchase a keyboard and then not have as many aftermarket keycaps as you’d like? Or are you trying to use a specific set of old keycaps you already have? Or...

From my perspective it seems like any choice for a new Alps-like switch keyboard is valid, because there aren’t really any existing “standards” (beyond the shape of basic 1x1 keys), especially among keyboards still being made.

For stuff like spacebars, what I’d personally want to see Matias make is as wide a variety of sizes as they’re willing to, and in particular as many sizes in the 1.5–4 unit range as possible. I personally think spacebars bigger than about 3 units long are a waste of space, so I’ll be really happy once I can get hold of some of those 2.5x1.5 spacebars, and it sounds like maybe 2.75x1 as well. I’d also really like to see some spacebar sizes like 2.5x1, 2x1, 1.5x1, but I understand that every additional keycap shape is hugely expensive to make tooling for, and those might not have enough demand.

Among other keycap shapes, what I mostly want to see is: various small-ish keys like 1x1, 1.25x1, and 1.5x1, available in as many row profile shapes as possible. (I’d be overjoyed if there were spherical caps available, but several choices of cylindrical rows is great too.) I want to get a handful of each available shape, so I can figure out which ones I need to complete existing fun old sets of keycaps, so I can use them on new layouts.

Since I mainly want to make my own shaped keyboards, I don’t much care what layouts Matias offers for full keyboards or group-buy kits, except insofar as they use interesting keycap sizes that I can take advantage of.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ideus on Sat, 14 June 2014, 10:48:49
however non standard keys makes the board to have a fixed layout with no customization options,
There’s no “standard” set of keycap shapes on Alps keyboards, because most of the interesting ones are from the 80s or early 90s. They almost all have various funny layouts, and many keycaps end up not being interchangeable.

[...] Do you have some specific other set you have in mind? Otherwise, I don’t think your complaint has much meat to it.

While I really appreciate your comments, I'd better like to read the reasons behind the design logic Matias has. In regards with your comments, the motivation for the question is beyond current ALPS keycaps availability, and it mainly relates with the lack of standardization of caps and stabilizers for ALPS. I would like to know the reasoning for this new board just adding variety to a new ALPS board. Maybe you are right, and if someone wants ALPS she must know no customization options would be available ever.
Hey Ideus,

Sorry, I didn’t mean for my comment to be quite so aggressive/dismissive sounding. Mainly, I’m just trying to understand where you’re coming from, and what your goals are.

For instance, are you just worried that you’d purchase a keyboard and then not have as many aftermarket keycaps as you’d like? Or are you trying to use a specific set of old keycaps you already have? Or...

From my perspective it seems like any choice for a new Alps-like switch keyboard is valid, because there aren’t really any existing “standards” (beyond the shape of basic 1x1 keys), especially among keyboards still being made.

For stuff like spacebars, what I’d personally want to see Matias make is as wide a variety of sizes as they’re willing to, and in particular as many sizes in the 1.5–4 unit range as possible. I personally think spacebars bigger than about 3 units long are a waste of space, so I’ll be really happy once I can get hold of some of those 2.5x1.5 spacebars, and it sounds like maybe 2.75x1 as well. I’d also really like to see some spacebar sizes like 2.5x1, 2x1, 1.5x1, but I understand that every additional keycap shape is hugely expensive to make tooling for, and those might not have enough demand.

Among other keycap shapes, what I mostly want to see is: various small-ish keys like 1x1, 1.25x1, and 1.5x1, available in as many row profile shapes as possible. (I’d be overjoyed if there were spherical caps available, but several choices of cylindrical rows is great too.) I want to get a handful of each available shape, so I can figure out which ones I need to complete existing fun old sets of keycaps, so I can use them on new layouts.

Since I mainly want to make my own shaped keyboards, I don’t much care what layouts Matias offers for full keyboards or group-buy kits, except insofar as they use interesting keycap sizes that I can take advantage of.

I was trying to understand the R&D logic of Matias' market plan, that relates with decisions for their product designs - mainly boards - that he already explained deeply enough for us to understand it. From the consumer's perspective, the issue is just a matter of deciding if a product fits your needs and likes, or not, which I consider trivial as it is as diverse as our community. Besides, GH is not the main part of the KB market, and our views are biased as we are willing to pay hefty premium prices for specialty KB, but Matias seems to be on target to capture the attention of a much broader public like Apple users, which we do not necessarily understand, nor share its needs, neither its wants. Thus, it is not a matter of what I want, but how this special vendor is approaching the endeavor of develop this segment of the M-KB market.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 14 June 2014, 20:21:47

Thank you for the sounding explanation. The 60% market may be the one where you may explore an intermediate strategy, with an offer that may attract the attention of some users. Based on the demand for small keyboards, and the fact that no one of them seems to be an actual market leader you may find a niche with good sales potential. Thank you for listening, and I really hope you hit a home run.



Thanks!  We're pretty excited about the stuff we're working on.




Awesome! But I think I'm missing a dimension...the horizontal dimension from switch centerline to stabilizer centerline.
Depends on the width of the cap...

28mm for 2u, 2.25u

36mm for 2.75u
Ah, thanks again!

Also note, this one doesn't have to be too precise. The little holes just have to be inside where the bent corner of the stabilizer wire goes. The little clips clip along the long side of the wire, so in general they could safely move 5mm or something. Just eyeball a maximum dimension based on the specific keycap size, and then pull in a bit from there.



Yes, this is true.  You could easily use the same 28mm spacing for both.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grapenutster on Thu, 26 June 2014, 10:36:54
We'll have everything up on the Matias webstore first.  GH GB will be for custom legends or custom colours.

Hi Matias,

Any chance for transparent or translucent keycaps?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 28 June 2014, 00:00:18
We'll have everything up on the Matias webstore first.  GH GB will be for custom legends or custom colours.

Hi Matias,

Any chance for transparent or translucent keycaps?



Yes, but first rounds of caps are solids.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: g012 on Sun, 29 June 2014, 10:03:05
Hello, I'm new here and would like to build a keyboard using Matias switches. I'd need keycap sets similar to ergodox ones.
I see this thread has been going for a while, but I didn't see any actual more or less vague date as to when Matias is going to sell their own keycap sets. Is it a matter of weeks, months, or next year ?
Thank you.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Sun, 29 June 2014, 10:45:29
It's stated earlier this thread that Matias is releasing the keycaps this year. However, there's no set dates since they're focusing on the ergo pro release first. ABS is coming "soon". The PBT caps were coming after August, most likely in Q4. Should also have a GH gb for special colors/translucent caps and a 60% board. Of course, I'm not a Matias rep so this is just my own understanding. The timing could still change.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 01 July 2014, 00:11:50

It's stated earlier this thread that Matias is releasing the keycaps this year. However, there's no set dates since they're focusing on the ergo pro release first. ABS is coming "soon". The PBT caps were coming after August, most likely in Q4. Should also have a GH gb for special colors/translucent caps and a 60% board. Of course, I'm not a Matias rep so this is just my own understanding. The timing could still change.



Yes, this is essentially correct.

The ABS caps are already made and are being printed now.  They will go on sale probably in a month or so.  Blanks will also be available in both in black and white.

PBT will be available towards the end of the year.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: sangdaekim on Mon, 25 August 2014, 01:13:05
Wow!

I'm using Laptop Pro and I love it!!  :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :thumb:

Will you support Keycap for Dvorak layout as well?

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Altis on Mon, 01 September 2014, 22:59:23
Yes, this is essentially correct.

The ABS caps are already made and are being printed now.  They will go on sale probably in a month or so.  Blanks will also be available in both in black and white.

PBT will be available towards the end of the year.

Really looking forward to the PBT caps. A nice blank set would be great! Will they be available for the full size board?

Thanks, and regards from Ottawa!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: geniekid on Tue, 23 September 2014, 07:44:12

It's stated earlier this thread that Matias is releasing the keycaps this year. However, there's no set dates since they're focusing on the ergo pro release first. ABS is coming "soon". The PBT caps were coming after August, most likely in Q4. Should also have a GH gb for special colors/translucent caps and a 60% board. Of course, I'm not a Matias rep so this is just my own understanding. The timing could still change.



Yes, this is essentially correct.

The ABS caps are already made and are being printed now.  They will go on sale probably in a month or so.  Blanks will also be available in both in black and white.

PBT will be available towards the end of the year.

How is this going?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 23 September 2014, 18:30:08

It's stated earlier this thread that Matias is releasing the keycaps this year. However, there's no set dates since they're focusing on the ergo pro release first. ABS is coming "soon". The PBT caps were coming after August, most likely in Q4. Should also have a GH gb for special colors/translucent caps and a 60% board. Of course, I'm not a Matias rep so this is just my own understanding. The timing could still change.



Yes, this is essentially correct.

The ABS caps are already made and are being printed now.  They will go on sale probably in a month or so.  Blanks will also be available in both in black and white.

PBT will be available towards the end of the year.

How is this going?



Just got an update...

First keycap shipment arrives Oct 16.  Will take a few days to clear Customs, so they'll definitely be available before the end of Oct.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Tue, 23 September 2014, 23:48:44

It's stated earlier this thread that Matias is releasing the keycaps this year. However, there's no set dates since they're focusing on the ergo pro release first. ABS is coming "soon". The PBT caps were coming after August, most likely in Q4. Should also have a GH gb for special colors/translucent caps and a 60% board. Of course, I'm not a Matias rep so this is just my own understanding. The timing could still change.


Nice! cant wait(oh wait, I have to)!


Yes, this is essentially correct.

The ABS caps are already made and are being printed now.  They will go on sale probably in a month or so.  Blanks will also be available in both in black and white.

PBT will be available towards the end of the year.

How is this going?



Just got an update...

First keycap shipment arrives Oct 16.  Will take a few days to clear Customs, so they'll definitely be available before the end of Oct.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Wed, 01 October 2014, 09:10:52
Here's so more information about the keycaps that Matias is going to offer.

What kind of keycaps? (material and printing type?)


We'll be selling ABS caps soon, laser etched. 

We also have PBT tooling for some caps, with the rest coming over the next year.

SP has tooling for ABS doubleshots.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Tiramisuu on Wed, 01 October 2014, 17:28:09
A canadian source of keycaps and switches that I would like to use for a custom.

Now all I need is a board and plate for alps that fits in a standard 60% case and I can build an HHKB killer all my own.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Super_Six on Mon, 03 November 2014, 22:23:32
Any update on these keycaps? Still waiting.. KBParadise V60 with Matias is getting very lonely and growing restless.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 04 November 2014, 08:36:41


Any update on these keycaps? Still waiting.. KBParadise V60 with Matias is getting very lonely and growing restless.




Sorry for the delay.  A lot of stuff on the go right now, but we've received our first keycap shipment (shown below) and are sorting it all out this week.  Will be available for order very soon...



[attachimg=1]


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blackbox on Thu, 06 November 2014, 09:34:03
Sweet!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ickarumba1 on Tue, 11 November 2014, 18:28:29
Is there an update on when the keycaps will be available?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hypersphere on Thu, 01 January 2015, 12:21:44
Yesterday (Dec 31, 2014), I received an encouraging email from Steve McGowan from the Matias company. He said that Matias expects to have keycaps available on its website, perhaps as early as next week, coinciding with their CES announcement.

In the meantime, keycaps can be ordered by emailing barb@matias.ca.

Here are some of the specifics:

+ Full set for the Matias Quiet Pro, 50 USD plus shipping and applicable taxes.
+ 6.25x spacebars, black or white, 5 USD + shipping/taxes.
+ Individual 1.00x, 1.00 USD + shipping/taxes.
+ Bottom-row 1.25x mod keycap; other larger than 1.00x keycaps, 2.00 USD + shipping/taxes.
+ Keycaps with legends for PC only, no Mac-specific caps sold separately.
+ Blanks available in black or white.
+ Keycaps for the Matias 60 can be ordered separately from the Matias 60 site, but shipping could take 18 months.
+ All caps are ABS, except bottom-row for Matias 60, which are PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zxz on Fri, 20 February 2015, 16:48:54
Imagine my surprise when I saw this!

http://www.keyboardco.com/product/matias-keyset-blank-black-iso-pc-full.asp
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 21 February 2015, 04:39:33
If I want to get a bunch of the new-shape keycaps (2.5x1.5 spacebar, 1x.75 keys, etc.) in blank PBT to play around with, should I just send an email, or will those be available through a retail channel, or...?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: danielh on Wed, 25 February 2015, 07:49:26
Any chance of Mac-Dvorak keycaps for the Laptop Pro? With all those lovely extra-characters (ø©ç®ƒπ†∂µ∫≈˚œ∆) as well?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Fri, 27 February 2015, 14:04:38
Looking forward to PBT keycaps! But I guess there is no way the legend with match the actual keys on my KBP V60 unless I go with all blank keycaps. :(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 02 March 2015, 12:49:31
Where can I find Matias keycaps? I can't find it on matias.ca.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 02 March 2015, 13:02:41
Where can I find Matias keycaps? I can't find it on matias.ca.

I'd love to know myself. AFAIK, they still haven't been released.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 02 March 2015, 13:05:46
Where can I find Matias keycaps? I can't find it on matias.ca.

I'd love to know myself. AFAIK, they still haven't been released.
I mean the ABS ones, not the PBT ones. I think Matias ABS keycaps has been released. I see them on The Keyboard Company's website but not on Matias website.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Mon, 02 March 2015, 13:07:54
I mean the ABS ones, not the PBT ones. I think Matias ABS keycaps has been released. I see them on The Keyboard Company's website but not on Matias website.

I didn't even realize there were some on the Keyboard Company's site. Too bad they're in ISO/UK layout. I don't have any idea where *any* ANSI Matias keycaps are.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Mon, 02 March 2015, 13:33:08
I mean the ABS ones, not the PBT ones. I think Matias ABS keycaps has been released. I see them on The Keyboard Company's website but not on Matias website.

I didn't even realize there were some on the Keyboard Company's site. Too bad they're in ISO/UK layout. I don't have any idea where *any* ANSI Matias keycaps are.

I ordered some spacebars directly by emailing them.  As far as I know they only have blanks atm.

Info --> https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 02 March 2015, 14:12:15
I mean the ABS ones, not the PBT ones. I think Matias ABS keycaps has been released. I see them on The Keyboard Company's website but not on Matias website.

I didn't even realize there were some on the Keyboard Company's site. Too bad they're in ISO/UK layout. I don't have any idea where *any* ANSI Matias keycaps are.

I ordered some spacebars directly by emailing them.  As far as I know they only have blanks atm.

Info --> https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799)
Thank you! I guess this mean I have to constantly keep an eye on Matias to know when PBT keycaps are comming.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Wed, 11 March 2015, 08:32:37
http://www.keyboardco.com/index.asp

Matias I have a question. I see Keyboard Co now has keycaps for sale but it's in pounds and out of the UK. Will the Matias site has keycap sets for sale soon for those of us in the USA?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Wed, 11 March 2015, 08:39:34
I ordered some spacebars directly by emailing them.  As far as I know they only have blanks atm.

Info --> https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799)
Thank you! I guess this mean I have to constantly keep an eye on Matias to know when PBT keycaps are comming.

Yep.  That's what I'm doing.  Was really hoping the PBT + ABS sets would be available at the same time.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 20 March 2015, 02:34:21
Is a full set of (thick?) PBT keycaps from Matias a thing that is actually going to happen? Does it depend on the outcome of the 60% group buy with the volume upgrades? What's the status? Timeline?

More options for keycaps is only going to increase demand for the switches.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Fri, 20 March 2015, 21:25:18
Is a full set of (thick?) PBT keycaps from Matias a thing that is actually going to happen? Does it depend on the outcome of the 60% group buy with the volume upgrades? What's the status? Timeline?

More options for keycaps is only going to increase demand for the switches.
I am also curious about this. Could Matias give an answer?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Fri, 20 March 2015, 21:54:09
Where can I find Matias keycaps? I can't find it on matias.ca.

I mean the ABS ones, not the PBT ones. I think Matias ABS keycaps has been released. I see them on The Keyboard Company's website but not on Matias website.

I didn't even realize there were some on the Keyboard Company's site. Too bad they're in ISO/UK layout. I don't have any idea where *any* ANSI Matias keycaps are.

I ordered some spacebars directly by emailing them.  As far as I know they only have blanks atm.

Info --> https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799 (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45483.msg1578799#msg1578799)
Can confirm. I just ordered a full set of white with black legends this way last week, Steve was very helpful and the transaction went smoothly. The ordering process through their website is a little weird since they don't have caps listed in the store, but it worked and my keycaps are on their way.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 20 March 2015, 23:19:38
Thanks for all the interest in this.  Update below...

We have black caps and white caps available now, with legends and blanks.  The Keyboard Company is already selling them.  We held off listing them until we had balance bars in stock.  They should be on our online store soon -- but if you don't want to wait, you can call and order over the phone.

Regarding PBT, we hope to start tooling next month.  We've also got a printing jig design about 90% done, so that we can do dyesub printing.

Finally, we've spoken with Signature Plastics about getting some of their doubleshot caps ordered and kept as regular stock. They're preparing samples and will quote us soon.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CPTBadAss on Sat, 21 March 2015, 06:39:09
I love you Matias
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sat, 21 March 2015, 07:56:34
This is really great news!

Does this mean the profile for the PBTs is not yet finalized? The reason I ask is that if you're getting DCS doubleshots the profile will already be slighty different to your lasered ABS caps, so you might as well have another different profile for the PBTs. I happen to think a lower profile with sharper edges, similar to GMK/Cherry or Leopold,  would be really nice.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 21 March 2015, 09:09:17
Does this mean the profile for the PBTs is not yet finalized? The reason I ask is that if you're getting DCS doubleshots the profile will already be slighty different to your lasered ABS caps, so you might as well have another different profile for the PBTs. I happen to think a lower profile with sharper edges, similar to GMK/Cherry or Leopold,  would be really nice.


The profile is essentially the same as our current keycaps.  We wanted to be able to mix them without conflict.

Also, we spent a long time getting the surface curve just right (months), so that the tips of your fingers sit comfortably.

For other profiles, we're hoping to work with SP to fill that gap.



I love you Matias

 :)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 21 March 2015, 12:35:46
Awesome! Can't wait to see those PBT caps! BTW, since Matias is using dye sub for legends, does it mean black caps will not have legends that have easily visible colors (like white)?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 21 March 2015, 12:44:49
Awesome! Can't wait to see those PBT caps! BTW, since Matias is using dye sub for legends, does it mean black caps will not have legends that have easily visible colors (like white)?


That's a detail we'll be working out once the tooling is done.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sat, 21 March 2015, 13:16:28
In that case I'm hoping for the following five options in pbt:
White on black laser/infill.
Black on black dyesub, barely visible but extremely badass-looking.
Blank black.
Black on white dyesub
Blank white.

And I think cor sure id get a set of the black-on-black.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 22 March 2015, 00:06:50
In that case I'm hoping for the following five options in pbt:
White on black laser/infill.
Black on black dyesub, barely visible but extremely badass-looking.
Blank black.
Black on white dyesub
Blank white.

And I think cor sure id get a set of the black-on-black.


Okay, I've set up a poll to get people's preferences for new caps.  Please vote and include any additional colour details in the box.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Sun, 22 March 2015, 08:39:40
Am I dumb? Where is the poll.  I convinced myself that I absolutely must have some new caps for my Dell at101w witch will shortly have Matias switches :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: nanook_the_great on Sun, 22 March 2015, 10:50:07
Dye sub legends on Thick PBT is best PBT
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: monotagary on Sun, 22 March 2015, 12:21:32
Matias! This is awesome news.

Having some more modern choices for Alps mount keycaps will hopefully get more people using Matias switch boards and Alps boards!

Also, thick dyesubbed PBT is the only way to go!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jevvix on Sun, 22 March 2015, 20:18:20
Voted for the two classics: thick PBT/dye sub and ABS two shot.
Will you be producing the 'big-ass enter' or stabilizers for these?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sun, 22 March 2015, 21:13:57
Will you be producing the 'big-ass enter' or stabilizers for these?
Seems highly unlikely; if you’re looking for replacement keycaps for an existing keyboard, note that there are about 6 different stabilizer setups for historical Alps big-ass enter keys, so even if there were to be some made, it’s very likely it wouldn’t fit your specific keyboard.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: sethk_ on Sun, 22 March 2015, 21:23:47
What about Dolch colors?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: monotagary on Sun, 22 March 2015, 21:32:52
What about Dolch colors?

Dolch colors would be amazing!!!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:18:09
Looks like my 2 choices were the top 2 overall. Nice to know I'm thinking with the majority I guess???

I also had to throw a comment in there about a 6U spacebar for Infinity Hacker layouts.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:19:12
How am I not seeing this poll?  Am I blind?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:20:01
How am I not seeing this poll?  Am I blind?

It's at the top of the page. You're not on mobile, are you?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:29:48
Indeed I am.  Do polls not show on mobile (Tapatalk)?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:32:14
Indeed I am.  Do polls not show on mobile (Tapatalk)?

I didn't see it on Tapatalk so I got out my laptop and it's right there at the top. So I guess no, they don't work on Tapatalk.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:33:50
Fair enough though that's lame.  Ironically I do most of my posting from my phone.  I guess I'm technically typing on a keyboard though, lol
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ishpeck on Sun, 22 March 2015, 22:48:01
I love you Matias

Amen.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Sun, 22 March 2015, 23:18:17
Indeed I am.  Do polls not show on mobile (Tapatalk)?

I didn't see it on Tapatalk so I got out my laptop and it's right there at the top. So I guess no, they don't work on Tapatalk.

You could just open the page in a mobile browser, and do it that way also.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Mon, 23 March 2015, 01:36:11
Thoughts:

I see "white on blue" and "white on red" as almost "ornamental" -- I can see people getting a WASD cluster, an Esc, or a Fn key with them, but not necessarily a whole board worth.

I saw the mention of Signature Plastics, but have you reached out to Tai Hao, our of curiosity?  We know they did the doubleshots on a lot of classic ALPS boards.  Looking at the PC Tactile Pro, only a few keys would require customization (Fn, possibly the 1x Windows key, the 1x numpad tab, the higher row Num Lock, and the media keys, possibly the space bar) from their standard offerings (as seen on, say, Focus and Northgate boards)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 23 March 2015, 03:27:59
Thoughts:

I see "white on blue" and "white on red" as almost "ornamental" -- I can see people getting a WASD cluster, an Esc, or a Fn key with them, but not necessarily a whole board worth.

Thanks, if there are more opinions on this, I'd be interested to hear details.  For some reason, the comment field on the form is not visible to me.  Not sure what's happening.



I saw the mention of Signature Plastics, but have you reached out to Tai Hao, our of curiosity?  We know they did the doubleshots on a lot of classic ALPS boards.  Looking at the PC Tactile Pro, only a few keys would require customization (Fn, possibly the 1x Windows key, the 1x numpad tab, the higher row Num Lock, and the media keys, possibly the space bar) from their standard offerings (as seen on, say, Focus and Northgate boards)

We've haven't spoken to Tai Hao yet, but we will.  I suspect their MOQ requirements are higher.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 23 March 2015, 14:11:46
Thoughts:

I see "white on blue" and "white on red" as almost "ornamental" -- I can see people getting a WASD cluster, an Esc, or a Fn key with them, but not necessarily a whole board worth.

Thanks, if there are more opinions on this, I'd be interested to hear details.  For some reason, the comment field on the form is not visible to me.  Not sure what's happening.

If you can carry DCS doubleshots in stock, that makes group-buys such as this one (https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68887.0) that much more compelling. This in turn negates some of the need for you to supply coloured sets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: rsadek on Tue, 24 March 2015, 01:55:37
I love you Matias

Amen.

Yes. This news made my day. I would like to give you a great big hug.

What about Dolch colors?
Mind.Blown.  :eek:
Want. Give it to me now.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: rsadek on Tue, 24 March 2015, 02:03:36
I also had to throw a comment in there about a 6U spacebar for Infinity Hacker layouts.

I second this motion. That would be really great. I hope the infinity boards entice more folks to try Matias switches. The kit seems to encourage trying things out : building a first board, trying new layouts... Maybe the 6U would be part of their explorations. I'd buy em  :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Tue, 24 March 2015, 07:57:53
Voted...

Whatever you decide - make it thick daddy! :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 24 March 2015, 13:59:02
Thanks for the suggestions...

I'll see what I can do about Dolch.  We're doing a 6.25u spacebar, but I assume that the Massdrop guys found a source for a 6u.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 24 March 2015, 14:09:20
I also had to throw a comment in there about a 6U spacebar for Infinity Hacker layouts.
I second this motion. That would be really great. I hope the infinity boards entice more folks to try Matias switches. The kit seems to encourage trying things out : building a first board, trying new layouts... Maybe the 6U would be part of their explorations. I'd buy em  :thumb:
Do note, folks, that with the keycaps we’re talking about here, the left shift and return caps (which need stabilizers) are not going to work on the current versions of the Infinity keyboard, because the keycap stabilizer inserts are incompatible. [The spacebar should be fine though, or all the unstabilized keys.]

If you’re looking for replacement left shift or return keycaps for the current versions of the Infinity keyboard, Signature Plastics is the only game in town.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Tue, 24 March 2015, 16:56:44
Thanks for the suggestions...

I'll see what I can do about Dolch.  We're doing a 6.25u spacebar, but I assume that the Massdrop guys found a source for a 6u.

Probably Signature Plastics. AFAIK the Massdrop 6U spacebar is DSA-only. It would be awesome to get one in a curved profile.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Tue, 24 March 2015, 21:27:13
Thanks for the suggestions...

I'll see what I can do about Dolch.  We're doing a 6.25u spacebar, but I assume that the Massdrop guys found a source for a 6u.

And classic two tone black on beige  ;D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 24 March 2015, 21:29:31
Thanks for the suggestions...

I'll see what I can do about Dolch.  We're doing a 6.25u spacebar, but I assume that the Massdrop guys found a source for a 6u.

And classic two tone black on beige  ;D
That's also a great option! I am also interested in seeing that!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: smeggysmeg on Tue, 24 March 2015, 22:38:43
Lack of keycap options is my biggest disappointment in buying (well, pre-ordering) a Matias keyboard. The Ergo Pro is the first well-built and non-absurd ergonomic mechanical keyboard, in my eyes at least, but one of the big fun things about this niche market is keyboard customization.

I would love to see a Dolch color set in addition to some other color sets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 24 March 2015, 23:23:44
If we get good quality black-on-white dyesubs, then those can later be dyed any color someone wants.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 26 March 2015, 17:18:33
Though I know there is still a long time before this will be available on market, I am now having a hard time to decide whether go for black or white keycaps. To me black ones look better, but I guess black ones will have laser etched legends, which makes it feels a little different than all PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 26 March 2015, 18:34:24
Is there any chance of double shot PBT?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Thu, 26 March 2015, 21:19:49
Is there any chance of double shot PBT?

Probably not, as the tooling to do it is uncommon and expensive. This has to do with the way PBT shrinks as it cools. PBT shrinkage is much greater and less predictable than ABS so the molds need to have that margin built in. It also means the doubleshot legends tend to look a little goofy sometimes.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 27 March 2015, 01:07:15
Is there any chance of double shot PBT?

Probably not, as the tooling to do it is uncommon and expensive. This has to do with the way PBT shrinks as it cools. PBT shrinkage is much greater and less predictable than ABS so the molds need to have that margin built in. It also means the doubleshot legends tend to look a little goofy sometimes.


No plans to do doubleshot PBT.  Too many issues with it.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: vivalarevolución on Fri, 27 March 2015, 10:51:21
Wow, did not know these were not in stock at Keyboard Co.  Awesome.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 28 March 2015, 17:15:26
Are grey keycaps in consideration? Though I like black keycaps, but black keycaps are likely to come with laser-etched legends, which are susceptible to staining. I guess grey keycaps with dye sub legends is an alternative to this.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 28 March 2015, 18:12:20
Are grey keycaps in consideration? Though I like black keycaps, but black keycaps are likely to come with laser-etched legends, which are susceptible to staining. I guess grey keycaps with dye sub legends is an alternative to this.


Okay, I've added that option to the poll.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 28 March 2015, 18:42:58
Are grey keycaps in consideration? Though I like black keycaps, but black keycaps are likely to come with laser-etched legends, which are susceptible to staining. I guess grey keycaps with dye sub legends is an alternative to this.


Okay, I've added that option to the poll.
It seems you replaced the blank option with black legend on grey.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 28 March 2015, 18:44:15
A combination of black on medium gray and black on light gray for modifiers & alphanumeric keys, respectively, can look pretty good. Black dyesub legends on various pastel colors also look nice. Nice thing about black on white is that it’s relatively easy to dye white PBT to whatever color someone wants.

Which color schemes look reasonable depends heavily on the typeface and legend design in my opinion.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 28 March 2015, 18:52:32
It seems you replaced the blank option with black legend on grey.

Whoops sorry, fixed...



A combination of black on medium gray and black on light gray for modifiers & alphanumeric keys, respectively, can look pretty good. Black dyesub legends on various pastel colors also look nice. Nice thing about black on white is that it's relatively easy to dye white PBT to whatever color someone wants.

Is there a known-to-be-reliable standard way for dyeing white caps?


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 28 March 2015, 18:59:26
A combination of black on medium gray and black on light gray for modifiers & alphanumeric keys, respectively, can look pretty good. Black dyesub legends on various pastel colors also look nice. Nice thing about black on white is that it’s relatively easy to dye white PBT to whatever color someone wants.

Which color schemes look reasonable depends heavily on the typeface and legend design in my opinion.
I agree! I really like this color! (picture from WASD)
[attach=1]
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 28 March 2015, 19:13:16
I just find grey alpha-numeric with black modifiers also look great!
(http://i.imgur.com/qHhUb.jpg)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 28 March 2015, 19:18:39
I just find grey alpha-numeric with black modifiers also look great!
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/qHhUb.jpg)



Very nice!

Would probably look even better with a black case.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 28 March 2015, 20:44:35
Is there a known-to-be-reliable standard way for dyeing white caps?
People used to use RIT dye, but they changed their formula a few years ago. From what I’ve read, iDye Poly is now the best option, but people have also had success with Dylon.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=35444
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56376
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=63977
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=64191
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=66084
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=67491
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: smeggysmeg on Sat, 28 March 2015, 21:31:13
Matias, I would like the option for Green, Blue, or Red keycap sets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Sat, 28 March 2015, 21:35:04
I just find grey alpha-numeric with black modifiers also look great!
Show Image
(http://i.imgur.com/qHhUb.jpg)



Very nice!

Would probably look even better with a black case.

(http://cdn.overclock.net/7/78/787e2888_Yud9ihy.jpeg)

photo courtesy of HPE1000
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 29 March 2015, 13:15:13
Is there a known-to-be-reliable standard way for dyeing white caps?
People used to use RIT dye, but they changed their formula a few years ago. From what I�ve read, iDye Poly is now the best option, but people have also had success with Dylon.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=35444
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=56376
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=63977
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=64191
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=66084
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=67491


Good to know.  Thanks...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Tue, 31 March 2015, 16:00:15
I wonder if Omron keycaps would be compatible with Matias switches?

Link to Omron keycaps http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/partgroup/switch-cap-accessories/21944
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 01 April 2015, 12:23:42
Hi Matias,
None of your keyboards feature a "standard" 1.25u bottom row. Do you plan to include these keys in your keycap offerings, to provide support for KBParadise, Ducky XM etc?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 01 April 2015, 12:46:11
I would pay through the nose for Ergo Pro-compatible Penumbra's:

(http://cdn.keypuller.com/2014/07/penumbra-sa-detail-1280x896.jpg)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 01 April 2015, 14:46:08
I would pay through the nose for Ergo Pro-compatible Penumbra's:

Show Image
(http://cdn.keypuller.com/2014/07/penumbra-sa-detail-1280x896.jpg)


Penumbra on Ergo Pro? Fo'shizzle? OK, dream big!
Assuming you're not joking: extremely optimistically it'll be a few years before that degree of customisation becomes feasible for any most Alps boards. The Ergo Pro has a bunch of non-standard keycap shapes that you'll probably never ever see made by anyone other than Matias, so basically, fugeddaboudit.

Other options include:
1) get some white PBTs from Matias once they're released and dye them yourself. Downside, you won't get the legend colours or the tall spherical profile.
2) get some 3d-printed stem adaptors and special balance bars (both maybe coming to market soon, see various threads here on GH) and use the MX Penumbra set. Downside: the keycaps will kinda be up on stilts, and you won't have caps for the odd sized keys, especially the smaller ones.
3) Make your own keycaps. Downside: a lot of work, expensive, time consuming, difficult. Upside: the community needs more Alps artisan keycaps!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 01 April 2015, 16:55:17

Other options include:
1) get some white PBTs from Matias once they're released and dye them yourself. Downside, you won't get the legend colours or the tall spherical profile.
2) get some 3d-printed stem adaptors and special balance bars (both maybe coming to market soon, see various threads here on GH) and use the MX Penumbra set. Downside: the keycaps will kinda be up on stilts, and you won't have caps for the odd sized keys, especially the smaller ones.
3) Make your own keycaps. Downside: a lot of work, expensive, time consuming, difficult. Upside: the community needs more Alps artisan keycaps!

Thanks for the suggestions. Pretty useful and creative solutions.

1) AFAIK it's going to be a few months before Matias releases the caps. Maybe I'll just have to wait.
2) I would definitely consider this. I can't find the adapters for sale online. Do you know where I could get these?
3) I wish.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 01 April 2015, 19:19:15
I wonder if Omron keycaps would be compatible with Matias switches?

Link to Omron keycaps http://www.digikey.com/catalog/en/partgroup/switch-cap-accessories/21944

Sorry no, those won't fit.



I would pay through the nose for Ergo Pro-compatible Penumbra's:

Show Image
(http://cdn.keypuller.com/2014/07/penumbra-sa-detail-1280x896.jpg)



Beauty right there...



Hi Matias,
None of your keyboards feature a "standard" 1.25u bottom row. Do you plan to include these keys in your keycap offerings, to provide support for KBParadise, Ducky XM etc?

Yes, the blank sets will include enough caps of each size to fit pretty much all keyboards available.  We're arranging the sets now.  I'll post a complete list tomorrow.  If I miss any, let me know.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Salaryman Ryan on Wed, 01 April 2015, 21:03:20
Looking forward to see the list. Please post some photos too.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Thu, 02 April 2015, 13:36:13
Mr. Matias (or anyone), do you know if this set (http://www.keyboardco.com/product/matias-keyset-us-white-pc-full.asp (http://this set)) would at least fit the alphanumeric keys on an Ergo Pro? I know the modifiers are trickier because of their irregular shapes...

(http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_images/matias_keyset_us_white_pc_full_large.jpg)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Thu, 02 April 2015, 14:15:10
Mr. Matias (or anyone), do you know if this set (http://www.keyboardco.com/product/matias-keyset-us-white-pc-full.asp (http://this set)) would at least fit the alphanumeric keys on an Ergo Pro? I know the modifiers are trickier because of their irregular shapes...

Show Image
(http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_images/matias_keyset_us_white_pc_full_large.jpg)


yup.

They'll fit *most* of the keys on your Ergo.
Profile should be a perfect match too.
Note that they're ABS and are exactly the same as what's already on there, except for the colour, and I don't think you'd be able to dye them because they're ABS, not PBT.
For replacement Alps keycaps right now that's by far the easiest option.
The only other realistic option for right now is to buy an old Alps keyboard on ebay and take the keycaps off it. There are some really nice caps on certain older boards, but the good ones tend to be spendy, so it might take a while to find a good deal. It's also a lot of work cross referencing ebay with deskthority to find out if a particular sale is of interest.
I still think your best option if you want some real eyecandy on the ErgoPro would be to wait for Matias' PBTs and dye them.


Yes, the blank sets will include enough caps of each size to fit pretty much all keyboards available.  We're arranging the sets now.  I'll post a complete list tomorrow.  If I miss any, let me know.

I love you Matias

Same goes for me!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 04 April 2015, 13:45:43
Mr. Matias (or anyone), do you know if this set (http://www.keyboardco.com/product/matias-keyset-us-white-pc-full.asp (http://this set)) would at least fit the alphanumeric keys on an Ergo Pro? I know the modifiers are trickier because of their irregular shapes...

Show Image
(http://www.keyboardco.com/keyboard_images/matias_keyset_us_white_pc_full_large.jpg)


Yes, the letter keys will all fit the Ergo Pro.

Aside from the obvious keys that won't fit, the Left-Shift, Tab, and Tilde keys also won't fit.




They'll fit *most* of the keys on your Ergo.
Profile should be a perfect match too.

Yes, profile is exactly the same.




Note that they're ABS and are exactly the same as what's already on there, except for the colour, and I don't think you'd be able to dye them because they're ABS, not PBT.
For replacement Alps keycaps right now that's by far the easiest option.
The only other realistic option for right now is to buy an old Alps keyboard on ebay and take the keycaps off it. There are some really nice caps on certain older boards, but the good ones tend to be spendy, so it might take a while to find a good deal. It's also a lot of work cross referencing ebay with deskthority to find out if a particular sale is of interest.

Replacing just the letter keys is an easy way to get a two-tone look.  Since the Ergo Pro is all black, pretty much any donor board with lighter colour keys should give you decent results.

Not sure if there are any issues dyeing ABS.




Yes, the blank sets will include enough caps of each size to fit pretty much all keyboards available.  We're arranging the sets now.  I'll post a complete list tomorrow.  If I miss any, let me know.

I love you Matias

Same goes for me!

 :)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 04 April 2015, 13:58:48
Here is the list of keycaps we are planning to include in the set of Black or White Blanks available for purchase -- with qty listed in the first column, followed by keycap profile/size...

   40   R4_1
    2   R4_1_LED
    1   R4_2

   20   R3_1
    2   R3_1.5

    1   R2-3_LEnter_2x1.5
    1   R2-3_2x1

   16   R2_1
    3   R2_1_Blind
    1   R2_1.75_LED
    1   R2_2.25

   22   R1_1
    8   R1_1.25
    4   R1_1.5
    1   R1_2
    2   R1_2.25
    1   R1_2.75
    1   R1_2x1

    1   R1_Spacebar_7
    1   R1_Spacebar_6.25

All of the above will be available in a package for $50.  You'll also be able to buy individual keys separately.

Note that for some of the unusual keys used on the Ergo Pro, we'll be selling those separately.

Let me know if you have any questions / comments...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 04 April 2015, 17:03:25
Here that is in keyboard layout editor: http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/305f012884fe5bda044e3dcc09ebca99

(http://i.imgur.com/vGCCtIM.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/wr2YfLp.png)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sat, 04 April 2015, 17:04:01
Here is the list of keycaps we are planning to include in the set of Black or White Blanks available for purchase -- with qty listed in the first column, followed by keycap profile/size...

   40   R4_1

   20   R3_1

   22   R1_1
TIL F-key-row and number-row are same profile on Alps. I count 2 extras. Seems legit.
R3 and R1 seem kinda high. Am I missing something?

    1   R2-3_LEnter_2x1.5
    1   R2-3_2x1
Is this numpad? Or big ErgoPro keys? Just curious.
edit:NVM I get it. LEnter means ISO enter, and the other one is for numpad +.

    2   R1_2.25
TIL - Matias-Mini shift-keys are R1 profile.
This could come in handy for a custom build project I'm thinking about but not really planning yet.
Seems fair enough to provide easy support for the special layouts of your own keyboards when you don't know at this stage where most of the demand will be coming from.

I'm in favour of the "make it easy for everybody by selling them slightly more keycaps than they need no matter what their layout" approach. Easy is easy. Price seems ok for a big juicy "easy" kit with thick PBT. (NB you're effectively a monopoly here so I wouldn't begrudge you for gouging!)

Selling single/individual keys == amazing!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 04 April 2015, 17:06:26
Price seems ok for a big juicy "easy" kit with thick PBT.
We’re currently talking about standard ABS keycaps as far as I know.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sat, 04 April 2015, 17:08:44
Price seems ok for a big juicy "easy" kit with thick PBT.
We’re currently talking about standard ABS keycaps as far as I know.
Standard ABS is already for sale (http://www.keyboardco.com/product/matias-keyset-blank-black-ansi-pc-full.asp). Seems a bit weird to rejig the sets now.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 04 April 2015, 17:41:23
Matias: I highly recommend adding a 1.75u shift profile keycap.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 04 April 2015, 22:06:45
Awesome! It is possible to buy a 60% set for a lower price? Also is it possible to have a set of legended alpha-numeric keys with blank modifiers?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 05 April 2015, 16:18:37
Matias: I highly recommend adding a 1.75u shift profile keycap.

Thanks.  We only use that one for JIS boards, so I don't believe we have 1.75u in stock at the moment, but will check.




This could come in handy for a custom build project I'm thinking about but not really planning yet.
Seems fair enough to provide easy support for the special layouts of your own keyboards when you don't know at this stage where most of the demand will be coming from.

I'm in favour of the "make it easy for everybody by selling them slightly more keycaps than they need no matter what their layout" approach. Easy is easy. Price seems ok for a big juicy "easy" kit with thick PBT. (NB you're effectively a monopoly here so I wouldn't begrudge you for gouging!)

Selling single/individual keys == amazing!

Since there are lots of layout variations with the different boards out there, and since there are no legends to worry about with a blank set, we thought it best to just support every layout with one blank set (if possible).  Also, there's lots of manual labour that goes into assembling these keycap sets, so we're trying to automate things as much as possible, by covering most options with one kit.




Awesome! It is possible to buy a 60% set for a lower price? Also is it possible to have a set of legended alpha-numeric keys with blank modifiers?

Our current thinking is to sell complete blank sets and complete printed sets.  Would it be better to sell the alphas and mods as separate sets -- so you can mix & match colours if you like?



Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Sun, 05 April 2015, 16:25:45
Matias: I highly recommend adding a 1.75u shift profile keycap.

Thanks.  We only use that one for JIS boards, so I don't believe we have 1.75u in stock at the moment, but will check.




This could come in handy for a custom build project I'm thinking about but not really planning yet.
Seems fair enough to provide easy support for the special layouts of your own keyboards when you don't know at this stage where most of the demand will be coming from.

I'm in favour of the "make it easy for everybody by selling them slightly more keycaps than they need no matter what their layout" approach. Easy is easy. Price seems ok for a big juicy "easy" kit with thick PBT. (NB you're effectively a monopoly here so I wouldn't begrudge you for gouging!)

Selling single/individual keys == amazing!

Since there are lots of layout variations with the different boards out there, and since there are no legends to worry about with a blank set, we thought it best to just support every layout with one blank set (if possible).  Also, there's lots of manual labour that goes into assembling these keycap sets, so we're trying to automate things as much as possible, by covering most options with one kit.




Awesome! It is possible to buy a 60% set for a lower price? Also is it possible to have a set of legended alpha-numeric keys with blank modifiers?

Our current thinking is to sell complete blank sets and complete printed sets.  Would it be better to sell the alphas and mods as separate sets -- so you can mix & match colours if you like?

Split color alphas/mods is super common. I think selling them separately makes sense. You could then fulfill a full-set order by throwing one bag of each into a box. Seems simple enough.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sun, 05 April 2015, 16:26:16
Awesome! It is possible to buy a 60% set for a lower price? Also is it possible to have a set of legended alpha-numeric keys with blank modifiers?

Our current thinking is to sell complete blank sets and complete printed sets.  Would it be better to sell the alphas and mods as separate sets -- so you can mix & match colours if you like?
That would be great! Thank you!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Mon, 06 April 2015, 00:12:11
I'd say "shut up and take my money", but I'm typing this on a Tactile Pro, with a bucket of your switches sitting behind me waiting for the GH-122 project to get into production, so it's obvious you HAVE my money. :)

Doing the sets as two mini-packs (modifiers and base keys) lets you hit a lot of popular colour waves without a lot of "stranded" inventory if some of them prove unpopular.

Specifically, with white, grey, and black packs, you can do three solid colour sets, classic two-tone, Commodore-style inverted two-tone, psuedo-Dolch, inverted psuedo-Dolch,  and two high-contrast sets.  Even if, say, "all grey" doesn't sell well, you can always use the component packs to satisfy "classic two-tone" and "psuedo-Dolch" orders.

Also to consider:  What font do you want to use for lettered sets?

Your current font is distinctive, but it has the drawback of matching nothing else.  If it were italic but otherwise the same, it would be blendable seamlessly with cheap AEK II keycaps.  Helvetica legends on the top left would fit with old Dell/Focus/Northgate/Chicony boards.

With ALPS caps, you're always going to be herding cats when it comes to layouts.  However, a neutral design-- both colours and fonts-- lets you say "You can use 95 percent of the kit and your existing weird Enter or shift or |\ key, and it won't look like unicorn vomit!"
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 06 April 2015, 00:43:48
I wouldn’t worry about new legends until after getting thicker PBT caps made and a dye sublimation setup going. At that point, it should be possible to do a bunch of fun stuff, especially if you can handle two colors.

As a couple silly examples,
(http://i.imgur.com/bQQyUU3.png)
(http://i.imgur.com/MhaOd7e.png)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Applet on Mon, 06 April 2015, 07:58:17
Matias: I highly recommend adding a 1.75u shift profile keycap.

Thanks.  We only use that one for JIS boards, so I don't believe we have 1.75u in stock at the moment, but will check.

I'd also like it if there was a 1.75u shift. It's common on custom 60% boards, which hopefully will be more common with your switches now that caps will be produced.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 11:40:05
Okay, below is the revised list -- split into separate sets for Alphanumeric and Modifiers.  Let me know if these work...



Blank Alphanumeric Keyset with Spacebars

      26   R4_1
       1   R4_1_LED

      16   R3_1

      12   R2_1
       3   R2_1_Blind

      15   R1_1
       1   R1_2

       1   Spacebar_7
       1   Spacebar_6.25
       1   Spacebar_5.5   (not yet available)



Blank Modifier Keyset

      17   R4_1
       2   R4_1_LED
       1   R4_2

       5   R3_1
       2   R3_1.5

       1   R2-3_LEnter_2x1.5
       1   R2-3_2x1

       4   R2_1
       1   R2_1.75_LED
       1   R2_2.25

       7   R1_1
       8   R1_1.25
       4   R1_1.5
       2   R1_1.75         (not yet available)
       2   R1_2.25
       1   R1_2.75
       1   R1_2x1


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 15:16:10


Here are the proposed Alphanumeric Blank Set and Modifier Blank Set, in one image...



[attachimg=1]



(Layout link (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/##@@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS;&=&_x:1&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=;&@_w:1.75&l:true;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_x:1.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=;&@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.75;&=&_x:1.5;&=&_x:1.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:7;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&w:2;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_x:7.75&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_w:1.75;&=&=&_x:0.75&w:1.25&h:2&w2:1.5&h2:1&x2:-0.25;&=;&@_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:6.25;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=;&@_w:1.75;&=&_x:2.25&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:5.5;&=))



Okay, below is the revised list -- split into separate sets for Alphanumeric and Modifiers.  Let me know if these work...



Blank Alphanumeric Keyset with Spacebars

      26   R4_1
       1   R4_1_LED

      16   R3_1

      12   R2_1
       3   R2_1_Blind

      15   R1_1
       1   R1_2

       1   Spacebar_7
       1   Spacebar_6.25
       1   Spacebar_5.5   (not yet available)



Blank Modifier Keyset

      17   R4_1
       2   R4_1_LED
       1   R4_2

       5   R3_1
       2   R3_1.5

       1   R2-3_LEnter_2x1.5
       1   R2-3_2x1

       4   R2_1
       1   R2_1.75_LED
       1   R2_2.25

       7   R1_1
       8   R1_1.25
       4   R1_1.5
       2   R1_1.75         (not yet available)
       2   R1_2.25
       1   R1_2.75
       1   R1_2x1




Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Mon, 06 April 2015, 16:20:43


Here are the proposed Alphanumeric Blank Set and Modifier Blank Set, in one image...



(Attachment Link)



(Layout link (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/##@@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS;&=&_x:1&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=;&@_w:1.75&l:true;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_x:1.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=;&@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.75;&=&_x:1.5;&=&_x:1.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:7;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&w:2;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_x:7.75&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_w:1.75;&=&=&_x:0.75&w:1.25&h:2&w2:1.5&h2:1&x2:-0.25;&=;&@_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:6.25;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=;&@_w:1.75;&=&_x:2.25&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:5.5;&=))



Okay, below is the revised list -- split into separate sets for Alphanumeric and Modifiers.  Let me know if these work...



Blank Alphanumeric Keyset with Spacebars

      26   R4_1
       1   R4_1_LED

      16   R3_1

      12   R2_1
       3   R2_1_Blind

      15   R1_1
       1   R1_2

       1   Spacebar_7
       1   Spacebar_6.25
       1   Spacebar_5.5   (not yet available)



Blank Modifier Keyset

      17   R4_1
       2   R4_1_LED
       1   R4_2

       5   R3_1
       2   R3_1.5

       1   R2-3_LEnter_2x1.5
       1   R2-3_2x1

       4   R2_1
       1   R2_1.75_LED
       1   R2_2.25

       7   R1_1
       8   R1_1.25
       4   R1_1.5
       2   R1_1.75         (not yet available)
       2   R1_2.25
       1   R1_2.75
       1   R1_2x1




Would the be in the color scheme pictured or is that just for illustrative purposes? Looks great!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 16:49:06


Here are the proposed Alphanumeric Blank Set and Modifier Blank Set, in one image...



(Attachment Link)



(Layout link (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/##@@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS;&=&_x:1&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&=&_x:0.5;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=&_x:0.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=;&@_w:1.75&l:true;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_x:1.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=;&@_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.75;&=&_x:1.5;&=&_x:1.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&=&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&h:2;&=;&@_w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:7;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.5;&=&=&_w:1.5;&=&_x:0.5;&=&=&=&_x:0.5&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&w:2;&=&=;&@_y:0.5&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40;&=&_x:7.75&c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&w:2.25;&=&_w:1.75;&=&=&_x:0.75&w:1.25&h:2&w2:1.5&h2:1&x2:-0.25;&=;&@_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:6.25;&=&_c=#618a40&t=#eee2d0&p=DCS&w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=&_w:1.25;&=;&@_w:1.75;&=&_x:2.25&c=#eee2d0&t=#618a40&p=DCS%20SPACE&w:5.5;&=))


Would the be in the color scheme pictured or is that just for illustrative purposes? Looks great!


Colours shown are just to illustrate the breakdown of the two keyset groups...

      White = Alphanumeric Set

      Green = Modifier Set

Initially, we'll have each keyset available in White and Black.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 06 April 2015, 17:18:42
This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Mon, 06 April 2015, 17:36:42
There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
Time for a new project!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Mon, 06 April 2015, 18:24:42
This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 19:39:47
This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.


Yes, that's because keycap tooling is generally designed to do all the keys together -- including ones you don't need.

If you had separate tooling for each keycap size and profile, it would be insanely expensive.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Mon, 06 April 2015, 19:52:19
This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.


Yes, that's because keycap tooling is generally designed to do all the keys together -- including ones you don't need.

If you had separate tooling for each keycap size and profile, it would be insanely expensive.
I understand. Hope my comment didn't sound like a complaint. I was just observing the facts of life.

One day we'll all have replicators. Then I can go up to it when I want a new cap, like, "T, grey, doubleshot."
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 19:56:18
This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.


Yes, that's because keycap tooling is generally designed to do all the keys together -- including ones you don't need.

If you had separate tooling for each keycap size and profile, it would be insanely expensive.

I understand. Hope my comment didn't sound like a complaint. I was just observing the facts of life.


Well, I expressed the same complaint when I first learned they did it this way.  :)



One day we'll all have replicators. Then I can go up to it when I want a new cap, like, "T, grey, doubleshot."

We can only hope...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Mon, 06 April 2015, 20:37:45

This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.


Yes, that's because keycap tooling is generally designed to do all the keys together -- including ones you don't need.

If you had separate tooling for each keycap size and profile, it would be insanely expensive.
I understand. Hope my comment didn't sound like a complaint. I was just observing the facts of life.

One day we'll all have replicators. Then I can go up to it when I want a new cap, like, "T, grey, doubleshot."
I c what you did there.  Also that would be awesome.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Mon, 06 April 2015, 20:49:05

This division looks great. But I still find it a little wasteful to buy a full set for my 60% keyboard. There are almost half of the set that I will not use and I can't think of something to do with these caps.
That's just how buying keycaps works. We all end up with leftover keys, esp. when its a group buy.


Yes, that's because keycap tooling is generally designed to do all the keys together -- including ones you don't need.

If you had separate tooling for each keycap size and profile, it would be insanely expensive.
I understand. Hope my comment didn't sound like a complaint. I was just observing the facts of life.

One day we'll all have replicators. Then I can go up to it when I want a new cap, like, "T, grey, doubleshot."
I c what you did there.  Also that would be awesome.
Yes, it would. Although I think even the Enterprise D's main computer would crash trying to make sense of the historical Alps stabilizer situation.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 06 April 2015, 21:17:48

One day we'll all have replicators. Then I can go up to it when I want a new cap, like, "T, grey, doubleshot."

I c what you did there.  Also that would be awesome.

Yes, it would. Although I think even the Enterprise D's main computer would crash trying to make sense of the historical Alps stabilizer situation.


Fortunately, it's a problem that only needs to be solved once.  :-)


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 13 April 2015, 10:47:50
Will these caps be compatible with infinity stabilizers?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 13 April 2015, 12:31:48
Will these caps be compatible with infinity stabilizers?

Only the Signature Plastics ones / doubleshots
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 13 April 2015, 12:52:07
Will these caps be compatible with infinity stabilizers?

Only the Signature Plastics ones / doubleshots
Sad to know this. I am using a KBP V60 with Matias switches. In general it's a great keyboard but it's not programmable. I was hoping to get an infinity PCB to replace the current PCB.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 16 April 2015, 19:45:47
How is the tooling going? :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: KRKS on Fri, 17 April 2015, 02:03:54
I noticed that this set perfectly(including correct rows) fits in a 75% (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/24c62ca6f1eaa5db77db1a3f27204d77) and in a 40% (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/99e2c84da1427df58d6433092cd80325).

I imagine Matias switches could become more popular because of those two sizes becoming more popular and Cherry sets having problems with caps for them.

EDIT: fixed 40%(now 41% i guess)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: cryptowillem on Fri, 24 April 2015, 11:31:18
I noticed that this set perfectly(including correct rows) fits in a 75% (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/24c62ca6f1eaa5db77db1a3f27204d77) and in a 40% (http://www.keyboard-layout-editor.com/#/layouts/99e2c84da1427df58d6433092cd80325).

I imagine Matias switches could become more popular because of those two sizes becoming more popular and Cherry sets having problems with caps for them.

EDIT: fixed 40%(now 41% i guess)

I was just thinking the same thing, actually. And if you were going for something ortholinear, like the Planck, then you could fill that with just the alphanumerics, since that nice R1_2x1 is there for the numpad 0!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 16 May 2015, 08:26:35
Hi Matias. Any update on the keycaps?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Applet on Wed, 27 May 2015, 03:58:52
So, if I have understood it correctly, the first launch of new keycaps will be thick blank PBT? Is there a approximate time schedule for the releases? I'm really looking forward to thick doubleshot nordic ABS-caps ^_^ (will that be for real?).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: IAmTheGuy on Thu, 28 May 2015, 18:21:29
Hi Matias. Any update on the keycaps?

Yes, I've been waiting this for quite a while O.O.  Is it coming this year?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Fri, 29 May 2015, 07:42:40
Hi Matias. Any update on the keycaps?

Yes, I've been waiting this for quite a while O.O.  Is it coming this year?

Someone on Rededit said they contacted Matias and was told not until next year.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Sat, 20 June 2015, 05:04:18
Any updates for the availability of PBT Blank Black keycap sets?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 21 June 2015, 17:36:44
Any updates for the availability of PBT Blank Black keycap sets?

Our PBT tooling is already underway!  We expect to have samples in about a month.

I'll probably be going to China again in August or Sept.

FYI, we have ABS Blanks available now.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Sun, 21 June 2015, 22:33:48
Thanks for the update! looking forward to seeing the PBT caps, I'm already using ABS ones at present,  but they've gone shiny on me. :(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 22 June 2015, 01:21:03
Thanks for the update! looking forward to seeing the PBT caps, I'm already using ABS ones at present,  but they've gone shiny on me. :(

Yeah, ABS will do that.

We're VERY excited about the new caps.  PBT will be a big improvement...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Touch_It on Mon, 22 June 2015, 01:29:35
If you know or can talk about pricing would the price be similar to your ABS offerings?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 22 June 2015, 01:41:57
If you know or can talk about pricing would the price be similar to your ABS offerings?

Blanks will be similar in cost, but printed sets will probably be more due to the extra cost/complexity for dye sub.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: geniekid on Wed, 24 June 2015, 16:52:35
You really need pictures of the caps on the website Matias. :mad:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sun, 05 July 2015, 14:15:04
Hi Matias, what legend options are considered for black PBT caps? I really want a set of black caps with legends, but top-printed laser-etched ones are so prone to stain that they look dirty after a while.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: danielh on Wed, 08 July 2015, 07:00:50
Any chance of Dvorak keys with Mac legends and extra symbols? Don't really care what the material is!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: DYSEQTA on Wed, 29 July 2015, 20:51:31
I think I'm going to die waiting for these PBT caps to become a reality. I just want blanks and some of those sexy mini spacebars for my custom design. C'mon Matias you can do it!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Thu, 30 July 2015, 07:59:48
Matias pls
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 30 July 2015, 13:34:34
Don't worry and (of course) don't die.   :)

The tooling for PBT caps is well underway.  I'm spending most of Sept in China, and reviewing the new PBT keycap samples is one of the things I'll be doing.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: pyfgcrl on Thu, 30 July 2015, 17:30:38
Edgar,

What would I have to do to get you to make PBT keys for my two Laptop Pro keyboards with a Dvorak layout?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 30 July 2015, 19:28:18
What would I have to do to get you to make PBT keys for my two Laptop Pro keyboards with a Dvorak layout?


PBT Dvorak sets are definitely going to be available.

PM me your contact info and we'll notify you when they are ready.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Thu, 30 July 2015, 21:32:18
PBT Dvorak sets are definitely going to be available.

!!!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Fri, 31 July 2015, 08:03:34
With Blank PBT Keycaps, they can be Any layout I want!  :p
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: pyfgcrl on Fri, 31 July 2015, 10:24:48
With Blank PBT Keycaps, they can be Any layout I want!  :p
This is true.  Some like legends, though — I especially appreciate the secondary option-key legends on Matias' Mac keys — and am really looking forward to a set that has them in the right place.  I've been waiting for over ten years for a legitimate Matias-made set of keys with a DSK layout.  PBT just makes it a bonus.  Super stoked.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Fri, 21 August 2015, 14:50:20
Can we already order the PBT blanks?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: chalks on Sun, 30 August 2015, 20:06:30
Matias, are there any plans to make PBT keycaps available for the Ergo Pro? And if so, would it be ANSI only or would you also cover UK ISO?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 01 September 2015, 03:44:31
Matias, are there any plans to make PBT keycaps available for the Ergo Pro? And if so, would it be ANSI only or would you also cover UK ISO?


Yes, it's being done now.  We'll have ANSI, ISO, and Dvorak.  I'm spending most of this month in China to finalize the tooling.



Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 07 September 2015, 16:09:46
Matias, are there any plans to make PBT keycaps available for the Ergo Pro? And if so, would it be ANSI only or would you also cover UK ISO?


Yes, it's being done now.  We'll have ANSI, ISO, and Dvorak.  I'm spending most of this month in China to finalize the tooling.
How are the legends printed? I am especially interested in black keycaps. Are they going to be black on black dye-sub or some other method? Also, will there be ctrl keycap that fits caps lock place?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blueangel2323 on Sun, 20 September 2015, 21:23:29
I'm surprised more people aren't interested in backlit keycaps. That would be my first choice, followed by double-shot (although double-shot is the best way of making backlit keys, as opposed to painting over translucent keys). I would say make all the double-shot keycaps with translucent  inserts; that way the caps can be used on both backlit and non-backlit boards.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Sun, 20 September 2015, 23:11:16
Personally, I think it's because a lot of backlit options sort of suck.  The ones that are "thin skin over clear cap" tend to wear through, and overall it tends to limit your positioning and choice of legends.  Probably a bit less with Matias (and Gateron) switches than Cherry, as they can diffuse the light a bit.

The backlit feature also tends to be mostly on "gamer" focused boards, and I suspect ALPS-style switches as a whole are more a "grown up" taste.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blueangel2323 on Sun, 20 September 2015, 23:28:41
I agree that most backlit keycaps suck - no matter how good the paint is, it will still wear out unlike double shot. But if Matias is going to be making double shot keycaps anyways, it makes sense to make them backlight compatible; whether users want to take advantage of that or not is their choice. Using a translucent material for the legends doesn't affect the quality.

Haha I don't know how "grown up" I am in most ways, but I definitely have "grown up" tastes in keyboards. I've never had an appreciation for the "gamer" aesthetic in PC hardware, including all those multi coloured LEDs. But I think some simplewhite backlighting, like on most higher end laptops these days, would be quite useful. It's not uncommon for people to work on a computer without the lights on.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 21 September 2015, 09:10:05
I'm surprised more people aren't interested in backlit keycaps. That would be my first choice, followed by double-shot (although double-shot is the best way of making backlit keys, as opposed to painting over translucent keys). I would say make all the double-shot keycaps with translucent  inserts; that way the caps can be used on both backlit and non-backlit boards.
I think the main problem is there are so few ALPS boards with backlit.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Mon, 21 September 2015, 21:07:52
I agree that most backlit keycaps suck - no matter how good the paint is, it will still wear out unlike double shot. But if Matias is going to be making double shot keycaps anyways, it makes sense to make them backlight compatible; whether users want to take advantage of that or not is their choice. Using a translucent material for the legends doesn't affect the quality.

Haha I don't know how "grown up" I am in most ways, but I definitely have "grown up" tastes in keyboards. I've never had an appreciation for the "gamer" aesthetic in PC hardware, including all those multi coloured LEDs. But I think some simplewhite backlighting, like on most higher end laptops these days, would be quite useful. It's not uncommon for people to work on a computer without the lights on.
It may not affect the quality, but clear legends are not appealing. Most doubleshot sets use interesting colors, and clear is not an interesting color.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blueangel2323 on Mon, 21 September 2015, 23:33:03
It may not affect the quality, but clear legends are not appealing. Most doubleshot sets use interesting colors, and clear is not an interesting color.
Maybe I'm just boring, but I don't want "interesting" colours on my keyboard. I just want professional looking legends that won't wear out, and backlighting for when I'm working in the dark.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 22 September 2015, 01:21:10
AFAICT the molds being worked on currently are for PBT blank/dyesub. The only doubleshots mentioned in this thread (to the best of my memory - I didn't re-read the whole thing) were from Signature Plastics. Has anybody asked SP if they can do transparent (POM?) legends?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 22 September 2015, 12:02:19

Yes, the tooling we're doing is for PBT blank/dyesub/laser and also for ABS blank/laser/backlit caps.  I'm in China now.  We hope to have it all done in another month or so.

Tai-Hao has double-shot PBT tooling.  We've requested samples with transparent legends.  I'll post photos once we've received them, along with photos of our own PBT keycaps.

I'll also be posting another update on the 60% keyboard soon.  The 3D drawing is mostly done.   :)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 22 September 2015, 14:28:45

Yes, the tooling we're doing is for PBT blank/dyesub/laser and also for ABS blank/laser/backlit caps.  I'm in China now.  We hope to have it all done in another month or so.

Tai-Hao has double-shot PBT tooling.  We've requested samples with transparent legends.  I'll post photos once we've received them, along with photos of our own PBT keycaps.

I'll also be posting another update on the 60% keyboard soon.  The 3D drawing is mostly done.   :)

So does that mean I can get a couple PBT dyesub sets for Christmas? 2015? Sounds great!
Safe journey!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: njbair on Tue, 22 September 2015, 14:30:32
It may not affect the quality, but clear legends are not appealing. Most doubleshot sets use interesting colors, and clear is not an interesting color.
Maybe I'm just boring, but I don't want "interesting" colours on my keyboard. I just want professional looking legends that won't wear out, and backlighting for when I'm working in the dark.

I'm curious, where did you find a backlit Alps keyboard that's made with the workaday professional in mind?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: blueangel2323 on Tue, 22 September 2015, 15:52:18

Yes, the tooling we're doing is for PBT blank/dyesub/laser and also for ABS blank/laser/backlit caps.  I'm in China now.  We hope to have it all done in another month or so.

Tai-Hao has double-shot PBT tooling.  We've requested samples with transparent legends.  I'll post photos once we've received them, along with photos of our own PBT keycaps.

I'll also be posting another update on the 60% keyboard soon.  The 3D drawing is mostly done.   :)



Lots of awesome news!

More
It may not affect the quality, but clear legends are not appealing. Most doubleshot sets use interesting colors, and clear is not an interesting color.
Maybe I'm just boring, but I don't want "interesting" colours on my keyboard. I just want professional looking legends that won't wear out, and backlighting for when I'm working in the dark.

I'm curious, where did you find a backlit Alps keyboard that's made with the workaday professional in mind?

I didn't - I'm going to be building my own - not uncommon around these parts :)
If I can pull off backlighting then I'll order a custom PCB. Otherwise it would be easier and cheaper to just hand wire everything.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 23 September 2015, 11:18:04

Yes, the tooling we're doing is for PBT blank/dyesub/laser and also for ABS blank/laser/backlit caps.  I'm in China now.  We hope to have it all done in another month or so.

Tai-Hao has double-shot PBT tooling.  We've requested samples with transparent legends.  I'll post photos once we've received them, along with photos of our own PBT keycaps.

I'll also be posting another update on the 60% keyboard soon.  The 3D drawing is mostly done.   :)

So does that mean I can get a couple PBT dyesub sets for Christmas? 2015? Sounds great!
Safe journey!


Thanks!  There's still a bit of work to be done, but Christmas-ish is quite possible...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 23 September 2015, 22:09:49
Are the blank ones going to be available at the same time as legended ones or earlier?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Wed, 30 September 2015, 11:39:31
Are there going to be replacement keycaps for the ergo pro available?

PLEASE! I love this keyboard so ****ing much but my keycaps are getting really really shiny and feeling awkward
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 30 September 2015, 22:15:00
Are there going to be replacement keycaps for the ergo pro available?

PLEASE! I love this keyboard so ****ing much but my keycaps are getting really really shiny and feeling awkward
Are the laser etched legends susceptible to stain or are they still pure white?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Thu, 01 October 2015, 00:30:29
Are there going to be replacement keycaps for the ergo pro available?

PLEASE! I love this keyboard so ****ing much but my keycaps are getting really really shiny and feeling awkward
Are the laser etched legends susceptible to stain or are they still pure white?

The WoB lasered legends on my Quiet Pro are starting to get stained after a year or so, and I assume the technology used would be identical with the new PBT caps. They are faring much better than my lasered PBT Leopold caps tho.
I think I would prefer UV print for WoB (because doubleahot isn't happening anytime soon) over laser infill. And Dyesub wherever possible, like BoW.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Thu, 01 October 2015, 05:14:44
Are there going to be replacement keycaps for the ergo pro available?

PLEASE! I love this keyboard so ****ing much but my keycaps are getting really really shiny and feeling awkward
Are the laser etched legends susceptible to stain or are they still pure white?

on a few of my keys the letters started fading away but my main problem is the fact that the keys just feel glossy and shiny if you know what I mean. I just really dislike the feel of abs keycaps after a period of usage. I compare the feeling with a few leopold pbt sets I own and the pbt granites. It's a whole other world and that's why I would love to use decent pbt keycaps on my ergo pro!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 01 October 2015, 13:14:07
Hmm... That's kind of a problem. I like black keycaps but I really hate stained legends.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Thu, 01 October 2015, 13:33:44
Hmm... That's kind of a problem. I like black keycaps but I really hate stained legends.

I plan on getting a BoW set and dyeing them black, so it's black legends on black caps. Unless Matias sell these black-on-black caps directly, that is.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 01 October 2015, 13:48:26
Hmm... That's kind of a problem. I like black keycaps but I really hate stained legends.

I plan on getting a BoW set and dyeing them black, so it's black legends on black caps. Unless Matias sell these black-on-black caps directly, that is.
Great idea! If I dye the caps in different batches (I don't think I can find a large enough container to fit an entire set), is it likely that they end up in different shade?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Thu, 01 October 2015, 13:53:35
Hmm... That's kind of a problem. I like black keycaps but I really hate stained legends.

I plan on getting a BoW set and dyeing them black, so it's black legends on black caps. Unless Matias sell these black-on-black caps directly, that is.
Great idea! If I dye the caps in different batches (I don't think I can find a large enough container to fit an entire set), is it likely that they end up in different shade?

Haven't tried it yet, but my guess is yeah, they'll be different shades. Buy a cheap pot to dye them in. Maybe from a charity shop or something.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: chingdaotze on Thu, 08 October 2015, 10:07:19
Currently own a Quiet Pro for work, and looking to get a Tactile Pro for home.  Very excited for these keycaps!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: AfterPad on Thu, 08 October 2015, 10:45:15
I use a Laptop Pro with my iPad, definitely looking forward to these!

Grabbed some of the doubleshot ABS Alps caps on Massdrop, and they're quite good, but I'd gladly trade them out for PBT Matias caps
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ImbaHue on Thu, 08 October 2015, 11:25:22
I use a Laptop Pro with my iPad, definitely looking forward to these!

Grabbed some of the doubleshot ABS Alps caps on Massdrop, and they're quite good, but I'd gladly trade them out for PBT Matias caps

How's that working out for you? Since it's ABS, does it feel the same as the stock ones? Can't bring myself to get one from MD. 
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: AfterPad on Thu, 08 October 2015, 13:15:44
I use a Laptop Pro with my iPad, definitely looking forward to these!

Grabbed some of the doubleshot ABS Alps caps on Massdrop, and they're quite good, but I'd gladly trade them out for PBT Matias caps

How's that working out for you? Since it's ABS, does it feel the same as the stock ones? Can't bring myself to get one from MD.

It's working well so far - I LOVE the feel of the new caps. They're ABS, yes, but they don't have the bumpiness of the laser etchings on the stock caps. They're a bit smoother, but in a good way - the grain of the plastic feels finer, if that makes sense.

My only issue is the fact that the layout doesn't perfectly translate to the Laptop Pro board. The modifiers fit, but they're slightly staggered, and only one shift key fits. Which is a shame, because the stock caps look far worse alongside the replacements.

It was my first time buying anything on MD, but no regrets
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Tue, 27 October 2015, 05:12:33
I also picked up a set of the Doubleshot ABS Dolch keycaps off MD, they are much better than my original Filco keycaps which started showing wear on the legends then went shiny within 8 months of use.

I'm still waiting for these PBT caps to come out, I've been waiting for a long time for a blank black PBT set!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: fuzzycuffs on Wed, 28 October 2015, 01:41:30
Any updates on these real PBT keycaps?  I feel the last update was "spending time in China" but yet still no ETA on release.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 07 November 2015, 15:44:18
Matias, is the production going well?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grav3serker on Tue, 10 November 2015, 23:18:41
I sent an email asking about these and the response was:

"Thanks for your email.
We are working on PBT key caps and hope to have some next year.

Please check back in the spring."

So let's hope Spring brings us PBT!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Wed, 11 November 2015, 08:46:03
Im pretty sure thats exactly the same answer as last year :(
I really hope they are going to be released asap
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 09:42:41
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 11 November 2015, 13:54:22
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.

It's a little bit scary how quiet Matias has been about it since the trip to China. No news is good news... right...?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 11 November 2015, 14:21:23
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.

It's a little bit scary how quiet Matias has been about it since the trip to China. No news is good news... right...?

I don't know why Matias has to do everything. There have already been two Alps keyset buys just that I know of. There's no reason we can't do a GB (maybe through SP?) for thick PBT Alps blanks.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 15:32:48
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.

It's a little bit scary how quiet Matias has been about it since the trip to China. No news is good news... right...?

I don't know why Matias has to do everything. There have already been two Alps keyset buys just that I know of. There's no reason we can't do a GB (maybe through SP?) for thick PBT Alps blanks.
I think SP only makes think PBT. Also I don't seem to see SP doing ALPS PBT that is not in DSA profile.
Title: Re: Keycap Tooling UPDATE
Post by: Matias on Wed, 11 November 2015, 16:39:40
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 11 November 2015, 16:42:13
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.

It's a little bit scary how quiet Matias has been about it since the trip to China. No news is good news... right...?

I don't know why Matias has to do everything. There have already been two Alps keyset buys just that I know of. There's no reason we can't do a GB (maybe through SP?) for thick PBT Alps blanks.
I think SP only makes think PBT. Also I don't seem to see SP doing ALPS PBT that is not in DSA profile.

We don't want thick PBT?

Not wanting DSA I understand.
Title: Re: Keycap Tooling UPDATE
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 11 November 2015, 16:42:56
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...

Blanks solve all these problems.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grav3serker on Wed, 11 November 2015, 16:57:48
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...
Thanks for the update! I'm excited to see these. Is there going to be a black on black (HHKB style) set available by any chance?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 17:27:34
Hopefully this will not be like Unicomp's SSK. I really want PBT on my ALPS board.

It's a little bit scary how quiet Matias has been about it since the trip to China. No news is good news... right...?

I don't know why Matias has to do everything. There have already been two Alps keyset buys just that I know of. There's no reason we can't do a GB (maybe through SP?) for thick PBT Alps blanks.
I think SP only makes think PBT. Also I don't seem to see SP doing ALPS PBT that is not in DSA profile.

We don't want thick PBT?

Not wanting DSA I understand.
Sorry that was a typo. I meant thin PBT.
Title: Re: Keycap Tooling UPDATE
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 19:00:59
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...
One way to have white on black dye-sub is to print a black legend mask on a white keycap and then cover the legend part and dye the entire keycap to black. I learn about this method from here https://www.etsy.com/listing/217761281/wasd-keycap-set-for-cherry-mx-switch?ref=shop_home_feat_3. Not sure if this is too time consuming for producing in mass quantity.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 11 November 2015, 20:22:08

Thanks for the update! I'm excited to see these. Is there going to be a black on black (HHKB style) set available by any chance?

It's unlikely to be a standard item -- but we do have a plan that could make it happen...

A major goal of ours is to facilitate group buys organized by the community.  That means more group buys, and lower MOQs for those group buys.



One way to have white on black dye-sub is to print a black legend mask on a white keycap and then cover the legend part and dye the entire keycap to black. I learn about this method from here https://www.etsy.com/listing/217761281/wasd-keycap-set-for-cherry-mx-switch?ref=shop_home_feat_3. Not sure if this is too time consuming for producing in mass quantity.

That is one of the ways we're considering, but it is more labour intensive -- because we'd have to separately dyesub the sides of the keys first, and then dyesub the legend.  It's an extra step, further complicated by the fact that the keys are not all the same shape.

It also has potential for longer life backlit keys.



Blanks solve all these problems.

I wish it were that simple...  :rolleyes:


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 20:32:16
For the legend part, any plan to make caps lock keycap with Ctrl legend?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 11 November 2015, 22:12:33
For the legend part, any plan to make caps lock keycap with Ctrl legend?

Yes, absolutely.  The Ergo Pro already supports swappable Caps/Ctrl, and so will our 60% keyboard.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 11 November 2015, 22:30:42
For the legend part, any plan to make caps lock keycap with Ctrl legend?

Yes, absolutely.  The Ergo Pro already supports swappable Caps/Ctrl, and so will our 60% keyboard.
Awesome!! Love to see Ctrl at the right place.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zeroswitch on Sat, 14 November 2015, 01:07:22
Have you considered any option for front printed thick PBT keycaps?
Title: Re: Keycap Tooling UPDATE
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 07 December 2015, 05:57:25
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...

Hi Matias,
If the only cause of delay is the WoB colourway, could you not just go to market with the other colourways sort of now-ish, and release the WoB's later when they're ready?

How about a cheeky little Black-on-Dark-Grey Group Buy, before the official release, while we're waiting?

How do those Tai-Hao PBT doubleshots sound? I tried their ABS doubleshots but didn't like the sound - it's higher pitched (relative to stock thin ABS) and makes my Click switches sound more like MX Blues - do the PBT's do the same thing?
Title: Re: Keycap Tooling UPDATE
Post by: ctm on Mon, 07 December 2015, 19:40:26
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...

Hi Matias,
If the only cause of delay is the WoB colourway, could you not just go to market with the other colourways sort of now-ish, and release the WoB's later when they're ready?

How about a cheeky little Black-on-Dark-Grey Group Buy, before the official release, while we're waiting?

How do those Tai-Hao PBT doubleshots sound? I tried their ABS doubleshots but didn't like the sound - it's higher pitched (relative to stock thin ABS) and makes my Click switches sound more like MX Blues - do the PBT's do the same thing?
+1 for Black-on-Dark-Grey GB!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grav3serker on Mon, 07 December 2015, 22:48:58
Sorry for the radio silence -- lots of interesting stuff happening!  (and all taking longer than expected).  Anyway, on with the update...

I'm happy to report that the keycap tooling is essentially done -- with only a few minor things left to fix.

We've done sample injections in both ABS and PBT.  Both feel really great, and match up nicely with our previous caps -- so there's no issue mixing & matching new and old caps.

The main thing left to work out is how best to handle White legends on Black PBT.  Dyesub can't do this, so we're working with some material vendors to try and solve it.  It's the most common keycap colour, so it's really important that we find an acceptable solution.

We also received PBT doubleshot samples from Tai-Hao.  They're very nice, but they only cover the standard 101 keyset.  We're still waiting on the samples with transparent legends.

Let me know if there are any questions...

Hi Matias,
If the only cause of delay is the WoB colourway, could you not just go to market with the other colourways sort of now-ish, and release the WoB's later when they're ready?

How about a cheeky little Black-on-Dark-Grey Group Buy, before the official release, while we're waiting?

How do those Tai-Hao PBT doubleshots sound? I tried their ABS doubleshots but didn't like the sound - it's higher pitched (relative to stock thin ABS) and makes my Click switches sound more like MX Blues - do the PBT's do the same thing?
+1 for Black-on-Dark-Grey GB!
+2! :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 08 December 2015, 00:57:49

Okay, good news...

Samples of the few remaining problematic keycaps arrived yesterday.  I will check them tomorrow.  If they are good, then the tooling is officially done.   :)

Also, it looks like we now have laser-etching working for White on Black PBT.  I'm waiting to receive samples.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 08 December 2015, 07:57:22

Okay, good news...

Samples of the few remaining problematic keycaps arrived yesterday.  I will check them tomorrow.  If they are good, then the tooling is officially done.   :)

Also, it looks like we now have laser-etching working for White on Black PBT.  I'm waiting to receive samples.
Awesome! Can't wait to see!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Wed, 09 December 2015, 17:07:06
Excellent news! One step closer to those thick blank black PBT Keycaps!

Any approximate timeline for when production will kick off assuming the tooling is indeed officially done?
 ;D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 09 December 2015, 18:08:52

Keycap tooling is officially DONE!   :cool:

Still waiting on samples of the White laser on Black PBT.  We won't be selling PBT caps until the legend printing process is worked out.  Best guess is Feb/March.  I'm booked for China mid-to-end of January.

Exciting things ahead...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 09 December 2015, 19:30:25

Keycap tooling is officially DONE!   :cool:

Still waiting on samples of the White laser on Black PBT.  We won't be selling PBT caps until the legend printing process is worked out.  Best guess is Feb/March.  I'm booked for China mid-to-end of January.

Exciting things ahead...
ALPS revival!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 09 December 2015, 19:31:45

Keycap tooling is officially DONE!   :cool:

Still waiting on samples of the White laser on Black PBT.  We won't be selling PBT caps until the legend printing process is worked out.  Best guess is Feb/March.  I'm booked for China mid-to-end of January.

Exciting things ahead...
Is dye-sub working?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 09 December 2015, 19:51:26
Keycap tooling is officially DONE!   :cool:

Still waiting on samples of the White laser on Black PBT.  We won't be selling PBT caps until the legend printing process is worked out.  Best guess is Feb/March.  I'm booked for China mid-to-end of January.

Exciting things ahead...

ALPS revival!

It will be more than a revival.  We're working on things never before seen.   :)



Is dye-sub working?

Dye-sub is a solved problem.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 09 December 2015, 22:47:11
This is great news! Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen, Matias.
So what about thick ABS? Is that happening? If so, would it use lasered legends for all colourways?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 09 December 2015, 22:57:57
This is great news! Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen, Matias.
So what about thick ABS? Is that happening? If so, would it use lasered legends for all colourways?

We can do thick ABS and thick PBT.  We can also do backlit caps.

ABS would be laser or UV printing.



Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Thu, 10 December 2015, 01:37:11
This is great news! Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen, Matias.
So what about thick ABS? Is that happening? If so, would it use lasered legends for all colourways?

We can do thick ABS and thick PBT.  We can also do backlit caps.

ABS would be laser or UV printing.

Great! I assume you'll be selling both, but my preference for ABS would be for UV over laser+infill. The legends on my QuietPro and V80 became stained fairly quickly, and AFAIK there's no way to remove the stains.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 10 December 2015, 16:26:46
So when shall we have the group buy up and running? :cool:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 10 December 2015, 19:13:30
So when shall we have the group buy up and running? :cool:

Can't answer that until we have the legend printing worked out.  Best guess is around March/April.  We're gearing up for CES now and Chinese New Year wipes out most of February.



This is great news! Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen, Matias.
So what about thick ABS? Is that happening? If so, would it use lasered legends for all colourways?

We can do thick ABS and thick PBT.  We can also do backlit caps.

ABS would be laser or UV printing.

Great! I assume you'll be selling both, but my preference for ABS would be for UV over laser+infill. The legends on my QuietPro and V80 became stained fairly quickly, and AFAIK there's no way to remove the stains.

Okay, noted.  BTW, for anyone who hasn't already voted, the poll is still open.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Sat, 12 December 2015, 06:09:56
Thick PBT blanks in white will be amazing. Can then be easily dyed to any color.

Thick PBT caps with black dyesub on white would also be awesome. (Again, can then be dyed any color.)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Sat, 12 December 2015, 14:42:07

Great! I assume you'll be selling both, but my preference for ABS would be for UV over laser+infill. The legends on my QuietPro and V80 became stained fairly quickly, and AFAIK there's no way to remove the stains.

Have you tried "Retro-bright?" It's a DIY concoction of 3% - 5% Hydrogen Peroxide, Oxyclean and some corn starch, followed by short exposure to sunlight and some scrubbing.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 12 December 2015, 15:38:31

Great! I assume you'll be selling both, but my preference for ABS would be for UV over laser+infill. The legends on my QuietPro and V80 became stained fairly quickly, and AFAIK there's no way to remove the stains.

Have you tried "Retro-bright?" It's a DIY concoction of 3% - 5% Hydrogen Peroxide, Oxyclean and some corn starch, followed by short exposure to sunlight and some scrubbing.
Will retro bright also whiten the black keycap itself?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 14 December 2015, 02:12:47

Great! I assume you'll be selling both, but my preference for ABS would be for UV over laser+infill. The legends on my QuietPro and V80 became stained fairly quickly, and AFAIK there's no way to remove the stains.

Have you tried "Retro-bright?" It's a DIY concoction of 3% - 5% Hydrogen Peroxide, Oxyclean and some corn starch, followed by short exposure to sunlight and some scrubbing.
Will retro bright also whiten the black keycap itself?

So I need to retrobrite my stock WoB lasered caps every 3 months? Not keen :(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Mon, 14 December 2015, 08:24:23
Will retro bright also whiten the black keycap itself?

No, it doesn't bleach black keycaps, it maybe could if you use some very high (lab grade) concentration of hydrogen peroxide, but even then I doubt it.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 23 December 2015, 01:20:55

Okay, I've got the lasered PBT samples.  Legends are still a little dark and not white enough, so we're going to keep working on it.

Will keep you posted...


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: BlindLemonLipschitz on Wed, 23 December 2015, 06:14:32
I am willing to beta test. A blank set would do swimmingly on my Quiet Click® Planck.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 23 December 2015, 07:37:05
Keycap tooling is officially DONE!   :cool:


So when shall we have the group buy up and running? :cool:
Can't answer that until we have the legend printing worked out.  Best guess is around March/April.  We're gearing up for CES now and Chinese New Year wipes out most of February.


Is dye-sub working?
Dye-sub is a solved problem.

Since the tooling is done, I assume you would want to get started on a production run as soon as possible, to get those expensive toys to pay for themselves sooner rather than later.

Since you have your dye-sub setup working already, I don't see why you couldn't do a quick dye-sub (black-on-dark-grey / black-on-white / blank-black / blank-white, you pick one) run / GB right now. Other than the obvious limit of there being only 24 hours per day :-)
Couldn't you put up a GB / order form, with expected delivery before (or just after?) Chinese New Year?
No Pressure ;-)


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hypersphere on Wed, 23 December 2015, 12:27:35
@Matias: It will be great to see PBT keycaps from your company!

My own preferences:

+ Dye-sub PBT sets, including options for non-Matias keyboards such as the KBP V60MTS.

+ Blank PBT caps, including sizes and profiles for non-Matias keyboards such as the KBP V60MTS.

+ Sculpted profiles -- that is, not flat.

+ Blank PBT caps in various colors, including sizes and profiles for non-Matias keyboards such as the KBP V60MTS.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 23 December 2015, 19:23:21

Okay, I've got the lasered PBT samples.  Legends are still a little dark and not white enough, so we're going to keep working on it.

Will keep you posted...
Not sure how white the samples are, but IMO a little darker colors (like poker or type heaven keycaps) are more resistant to stain. Pure white legends are nice, but do not last long. (anyway I still don't prefer laser etch. I will go with dye-sub or blank PBT).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Thu, 31 December 2015, 05:42:30
Does this mean the blanks are about to go on sale?  ;D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 14 January 2016, 18:15:31
Regarding the black on black dye-sub caps mentioned previously, will they be made from regular black PBT caps? The Topre "black on black" is actually "black on dark grey". If the cap itself is also pure black, I wonder if it will be too dark so the legend becomes not visible even under good lighting conditions.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Thu, 21 January 2016, 07:07:34
any updates?

Im way to hyped
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: FLFisherman on Thu, 21 January 2016, 07:34:16
any updates?

Im way to hyped

Choo choo, all aboard the hype train! Next stop: disappointment hopefully not.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: kuwan on Thu, 21 January 2016, 20:59:54
I'm itching to have blanks in white and gray though my KBP v60 with Matias clicks is still on transit.

The stock front-printed ABS caps on the KBP v60 will be good enough in the meantime but I do hope it will be replaced soon.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: RyanArr on Thu, 21 January 2016, 21:09:00
How about just some PBT replacements for the nonstandard keys on your existing boards? The ABS spacebars on my Ergo Pro shine so bad I can almost use them as a mirror.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Sun, 24 January 2016, 08:26:10
How about just some PBT replacements for the nonstandard keys on your existing boards? The ABS spacebars on my Ergo Pro shine so bad I can almost use them as a mirror.

if I understood it correctly they will offer full replacement sets for the ergo pro.

Would love to get that officially confirmed tho!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 24 January 2016, 09:18:30

How about just some PBT replacements for the nonstandard keys on your existing boards? The ABS spacebars on my Ergo Pro shine so bad I can almost use them as a mirror.

if I understood it correctly they will offer full replacement sets for the ergo pro.

Would love to get that officially confirmed tho!


Officially, confirmed.

The tooling for PBT caps is done, but getting a White-on-Black legend printing method is proving a difficult nut to crack.  I'm in China now.  We're waiting on the next round of samples.

Some problems just need to be ploughed through...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: furosuto81 on Mon, 25 January 2016, 15:16:16


Quote
Officially, confirmed.

The tooling for PBT caps is done, but getting a White-on-Black legend printing method is proving a difficult nut to crack.  I'm in China now.  We're waiting on the next round of samples.

Some problems just need to be ploughed through...

I guess you will have to settle for doing double shots instead ;-) ;-) ;-)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: kuwan on Mon, 25 January 2016, 19:55:16

Officially, confirmed.

The tooling for PBT caps is done, but getting a White-on-Black legend printing method is proving a difficult nut to crack.  I'm in China now.  We're waiting on the next round of samples.

Some problems just need to be ploughed through...

I and some of others are more than happy with a blank pbt ones..  :)

Will you be also making standard-sized PBT caps say for example the bottow row for us who have 60% boards other than the Matias 60%.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Wed, 27 January 2016, 03:39:22
If the caps themselves are ready, why not release a few batches of the Blank PBT keycap sets to your adoring fans whilst working on the labelled ones?  :D

Personally I don't even care about packaging, you can ship them to me jumbled in a sandwich bag (which is, btw the way Vortex ships their caps on Massdrop.)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: BlindLemonLipschitz on Wed, 27 January 2016, 15:34:12
If the caps themselves are ready, why not release a few batches of the Blank PBT keycap sets

That is an excellent idea. I prefer blanks.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: phoible on Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:40:46
I would love a set of PBT blanks for my v80-MTS
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grav3serker on Fri, 29 January 2016, 12:59:55
If the caps themselves are ready, why not release a few batches of the Blank PBT keycap sets

That is an excellent idea. I prefer blanks.
I second this!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Fri, 29 January 2016, 16:33:19
+1 for blanks.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 02 February 2016, 08:55:26
A side topic. Matias, you may want to add a switch tester to your product line. It's always good to try before buying a whole board.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 04 February 2016, 07:53:47

Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.

We've also done backlit ABS caps which I've signed off on.


[attachimg=1]


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 04 February 2016, 08:08:02

Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.

We've also done backlit ABS caps which I've signed off on.

Great! :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 05 February 2016, 04:21:13

Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.

We've also done backlit ABS caps which I've signed off on.


(Attachment Link)

Looks nice. Off-white, but readable and classy.
Will you be doing other colours of infill, or just white on dark?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Tue, 09 February 2016, 11:40:15
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.

Also, I've been eagerly refreshing daily to look for the separate post announcing blank keycap sales/orders, but I think it's not posted yet?  :-\

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsVeLPnMEzbNf7Ta0sPIZ1z-8a3jtU3tEEXUoa85JM2xs4Kqxr)


Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 09 February 2016, 12:12:07
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.
If it’s laser, then any design should be possible. That was clearly just a test.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 09 February 2016, 13:43:41
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.

Also, I've been eagerly refreshing daily to look for the separate post announcing blank keycap sales/orders, but I think it's not posted yet?  :-\

Show Image
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsVeLPnMEzbNf7Ta0sPIZ1z-8a3jtU3tEEXUoa85JM2xs4Kqxr)

Haha, same here. Refreshing every this page day. But I haven't decided whether to go with black on white or black on black. I think black caps match better with my black case, but black on white legend is more visible.

Btw, for the black on white set, is the entire set going to be white, or are the modifiers grey?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 09 February 2016, 22:53:23
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.

Also, I've been eagerly refreshing daily to look for the separate post announcing blank keycap sales/orders, but I think it's not posted yet?  :-\

Show Image
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsVeLPnMEzbNf7Ta0sPIZ1z-8a3jtU3tEEXUoa85JM2xs4Kqxr)

Haha, same here. Refreshing every this page day.

That's funny.  I've been refreshing everyday to see if there were more questions.   :)

Okay, here we go...


Btw, for the black on white set, is the entire set going to be white, or are the modifiers grey?

We're going to have the modifiers separate from the 1u keysets.  That way, you'll be able to mix and match colours.



Looks nice. Off-white, but readable and classy.
Will you be doing other colours of infill, or just white on dark?

Yes, there will be different colours.  We just focused on white-on-black because it's the most difficult to do (and the most popular).  The other colours will be easy.

Also, as mentioned, the photo is just a test sample.  We will NOT be using that hideous font.  I don't know where they got it.

Let me know if there are any other questions...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: grav3serker on Tue, 09 February 2016, 22:56:11
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.

Also, I've been eagerly refreshing daily to look for the separate post announcing blank keycap sales/orders, but I think it's not posted yet?  :-\

Show Image
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsVeLPnMEzbNf7Ta0sPIZ1z-8a3jtU3tEEXUoa85JM2xs4Kqxr)

Haha, same here. Refreshing every this page day.

That's funny.  I've been refreshing everyday to see if there were more questions.   :)

Okay, here we go...


Btw, for the black on white set, is the entire set going to be white, or are the modifiers grey?

We're going to have the modifiers separate from the 1u keysets.  That way, you'll be able to mix and match colours.



Looks nice. Off-white, but readable and classy.
Will you be doing other colours of infill, or just white on dark?

Yes, there will be different colours.  We just focused on white-on-black because it's the most difficult to do (and the most popular).  The other colours will be easy.

Also, as mentioned, the photo is just a test sample.  We will NOT be using that hideous font.  I don't know where they got it.

Let me know if there are any other questions...
Awesome!! Stoked to see what's to come!!

I really dig the fact you're selling alphas and modifiers separately. Good call!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: rs232 on Tue, 09 February 2016, 23:24:12
The color looks fine IMO, but I'm not a fan of the font.

Also, I've been eagerly refreshing daily to look for the separate post announcing blank keycap sales/orders, but I think it's not posted yet?  :-\

Show Image
(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSsVeLPnMEzbNf7Ta0sPIZ1z-8a3jtU3tEEXUoa85JM2xs4Kqxr)

Haha, same here. Refreshing every this page day.

That's funny.  I've been refreshing everyday to see if there were more questions.   :)

Okay, here we go...


Btw, for the black on white set, is the entire set going to be white, or are the modifiers grey?

We're going to have the modifiers separate from the 1u keysets.  That way, you'll be able to mix and match colours.



Looks nice. Off-white, but readable and classy.
Will you be doing other colours of infill, or just white on dark?

Yes, there will be different colours.  We just focused on white-on-black because it's the most difficult to do (and the most popular).  The other colours will be easy.

Also, as mentioned, the photo is just a test sample.  We will NOT be using that hideous font.  I don't know where they got it.

Let me know if there are any other questions...

I'm new to the mechanical keyboard game, and bought a Mini Tactile Pro as my first new keyboard.  I'm typing on an AEK right now, but will be switching to my Mini Tactile Pro for the first time in a couple of days.

Since coming across this thread, I have been refreshing it every few days to look for news also.

Will you be selling a replacement keycap set for the Mini Tactile Pro that includes the secondary and tertiary legends, and with a caps lock key that has a notch for the LED?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 10 February 2016, 03:05:34
Let me know if there are any other questions...

Any update on when these'll start shipping?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 10 February 2016, 07:46:52
We're going to have the modifiers separate from the 1u keysets.  That way, you'll be able to mix and match colours.
What colors are going to be available? Is there going to be more than black and white?

Also, regarding the black on black dye-sub caps mentioned previously, will they be made from regular black PBT caps? The Topre "black on black" is actually "black on dark grey". If the cap itself is also pure black, I wonder if it will be too dark so the legend becomes not visible even under good lighting conditions.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 10 February 2016, 16:19:43
Another question, how white are the white caps?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: obfuscated on Sat, 13 February 2016, 13:10:11
Do you have plans to make molds for every size (at least 1.25x, 1.5x and 2.0x) for every row?
This way you can provide (blank) caps for custom boards similar to the ergodox.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Sat, 13 February 2016, 14:45:17
I really like what I read here ! Please, pretty please, Matias, also plan to offer blank sets as well 😍
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hypersphere on Mon, 15 February 2016, 11:07:52
+1 for Blanks!

Would also like to see some color options for blanks. I am looking for red or blue 1.00x number row and red or blue 1.25x bottom row.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: SenorCit on Thu, 18 February 2016, 03:55:04
If you make Nordic - or even better yet, Swedish/Finnish - PBT dye-sub sets, I promise I will get a new Tactile Pro PC and a key set immediately. This is the main thing keeping me away from Matias boards, as the stock ABS caps rubbed off very quickly. Pretty please? :)

Oh and while you're at it - get more Nordic distributors. KeyboardCo are a total rip-off: 200+ EUR for a Matias keyboard shipped? Come on.

.sc
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: KHAANNN on Tue, 01 March 2016, 13:10:09

Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.

We've also done backlit ABS caps which I've signed off on.


(Attachment Link)

Wow, any chance of being able to order custom laser-printed PBT's?

Something like WASD's custom UV-printed ABS's
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 02 March 2016, 03:27:05

Thanks for all the comments.  I will address them in a separate post.

For this post, I want to pass along some good news...

We think we have a workable solution for Light-on-Dark PBT printing -- see below.  This is our latest laser etching attempt.  It's well within the acceptable zone IMO.  There's still a little work to be done in terms of scratch resistance but colour-wise, it's very good.

We've also done backlit ABS caps which I've signed off on.


(Attachment Link)

Wow, any chance of being able to order custom laser-printed PBT's?

Something like WASD's custom UV-printed ABS's


Yes, that's one of major goals in getting laser done properly on PBT.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 03 March 2016, 22:25:11
Any estimated shipping date?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 05 March 2016, 21:59:35
Any estimated shipping date?


No estimates yet.  We should receive the new laser material next week.  If it passes durability tests, we're good to go!

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 05 March 2016, 22:03:42

Also FYI, we're designing a new stabilizer clip to make it easier to use ALPS caps with Cherry stabs, especially for use with Spacebars.

It's a Cherry stab clip that plugs into the square ALPS stab clip socket...



[attachimg=1]

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Sat, 05 March 2016, 23:12:08

Also FYI, we're designing a new stabilizer clip to make it easier to use ALPS caps with Cherry stabs, especially for use with Spacebars.

It's a Cherry stab clip that plugs into the square ALPS stab clip socket...



(Attachment Link)

Very cool.  I can't wait to hear when these are available  :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 07 March 2016, 05:56:23

Also FYI, we're designing a new stabilizer clip to make it easier to use ALPS caps with Cherry stabs, especially for use with Spacebars.

It's a Cherry stab clip that plugs into the square ALPS stab clip socket...



(Attachment Link)

So this will allow the use of old "classic" Alps spacebars on newer Matias and KBP keyboards that use Cherry-style stabs for their spacebars, is that right?
Is this also a hint that your new PBT spacebars will have rectangular Alps-style stabilizer mounts?

Will black-on-dark-grey thick ABS (or PBT) be available from day one, once they're ready?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 08 March 2016, 18:21:55

Also FYI, we're designing a new stabilizer clip to make it easier to use ALPS caps with Cherry stabs, especially for use with Spacebars.

It's a Cherry stab clip that plugs into the square ALPS stab clip socket...

(Attachment Link)


So this will allow the use of old "classic" Alps spacebars on newer Matias and KBP keyboards that use Cherry-style stabs for their spacebars, is that right?
Is this also a hint that your new PBT spacebars will have rectangular Alps-style stabilizer mounts?

Yes on both counts.

In retrospect, it would probably have been easier to put the Cherry sockets on the new spacebars, but the above approach is more flexible.



Will black-on-dark-grey thick ABS (or PBT) be available from day one, once they're ready?

Once everything's done, we'll be able to support virtually any colour combo.  Probably we'd do keycap GBs in collaboration with Massdrop.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Wed, 09 March 2016, 00:19:55


Once everything's done, we'll be able to support virtually any colour combo.  Probably we'd do keycap GBs in collaboration with Massdrop.

Don't forget to add blanks to the possibilities and I will be one of the happiest men on Earth (and probably one of the poorest too by the way 😛)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 09 March 2016, 00:57:10


Once everything's done, we'll be able to support virtually any colour combo.  Probably we'd do keycap GBs in collaboration with Massdrop.

Don't forget to add blanks to the possibilities and I will be one of the happiest men on Earth (and probably one of the poorest too by the way 😛)


Yes, blanks will be included of course.  Blanks are easy.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Wed, 09 March 2016, 04:14:16


Once everything's done, we'll be able to support virtually any colour combo.  Probably we'd do keycap GBs in collaboration with Massdrop.

Don't forget to add blanks to the possibilities and I will be one of the happiest men on Earth (and probably one of the poorest too by the way 😛)


Yes, blanks will be included of course.  Blanks are easy.
I can't wait !
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Wed, 09 March 2016, 09:43:42


Once everything's done, we'll be able to support virtually any colour combo.  Probably we'd do keycap GBs in collaboration with Massdrop.

Don't forget to add blanks to the possibilities and I will be one of the happiest men on Earth (and probably one of the poorest too by the way 😛)


Yes, blanks will be included of course.  Blanks are easy.


YAAAASSSSSSSS
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: KRKS on Wed, 09 March 2016, 14:58:49
in collaboration with Massdrop.
I guess it's time to rethink using Alps in my custom since both Tai-Hao and vintage sets are extremely rare here.

Also thank you for telling this now and not when you started, just so I could waste a lot of hype.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: KHAANNN on Thu, 10 March 2016, 07:54:11
in collaboration with Massdrop.
I guess it's time to rethink using Alps in my custom since both Tai-Hao and vintage sets are extremely rare here.

Also thank you for telling this now and not when you started, just so I could waste a lot of hype.

Nice to see another MD-hater, not that we are rare, after getting burned one way or another by every GB I joined, I also skip them entirely

My suggestion to Matias is to manufacture keycaps and build a keycap shop of their own, a keycap shop where non-standard keycaps and blanks can be bought individually, with the option to order custom keycaps too, for the hype part, just post keycap photos to GH/Reddit regularly, especially r/mk

For example, come up with a unique color combo + layout every week, post it to every social channel you can find

Massdrop's only trick is generating R/MK hype, just do it on your own, don't struck a deal with the devil please :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: bcredbottle on Thu, 10 March 2016, 17:11:00
Massdrop is an existing and, in most cases, reliable distribution platform. Why should Matias take on the cost of building his own?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Thu, 10 March 2016, 18:54:12
I guess it's time to rethink using Alps [...] Also thank you for telling this now and not when you started, just so I could waste a lot of hype.
This is a pretty whiny, passive-aggressive kind of response.

My suggestion to Matias is to manufacture keycaps and build a keycap shop of their own, a keycap shop where non-standard keycaps and blanks can be bought individually, with the option to order custom keycaps too, for the hype part, just post keycap photos to GH/Reddit regularly, especially r/mk ¶ For example, come up with a unique color combo + layout every week, post it to every social channel you can find

This sounds very unlikely. It would take hiring multiple full-time staffers just to deal with this one experimental thing, which might not even turn out profitable enough to cover those salaries.

By contrast, going through Massdrop is relatively cheap and low risk.

Matias is a keyboard vendor with a small staff and relatively standard OEM and distributor relationships (they don’t just sell direct to worldwide customers), long product cycles, etc. Massdrop are specialists in marketing, high-touch support, and distribution for niche aftermarket keyboard add-ons. Their group buy platform leads to up-front payment and no need to keep inventory or handle complicated distribution, which is great for vendors.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Thu, 10 March 2016, 20:55:01
I agree with you about the structure of the problem.

I think some of the "big small orders" -- a hundred or two boards with custom lettering for an app or a big group buy-- might be big enough to be worth trying to do themselves, but I don't doubt they'd be tossing money out the window trying to cope with a hundred ALPS enthusiasts here all saying things like "I want Hangul lettering and the Southern Pacific logo instead of the Windows logo"

For those, it might make sense to make a partnership with a third party who can do small-scale lettering, like WASD.  Then they can ship complete sets and whole crates of standard caps out, and let the print shopthat knows how to do small orders sort it out.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 10 March 2016, 21:32:20
I basically don't care which platform to go with. I just want Alps PBT caps on my Alps64 ASAP. Black on black dye-sub will be the best. I will probably get another set of a different color for my incoming Infinity 60.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 11 March 2016, 02:58:10
I have no problem with Massdrop. The one time I bought from them there was a problem and they put it right with a minimum of fuss. I'm not in love with their shipping rates to non-US locations, but for something small and light like a set of keycaps I can get my in-laws to forward them to me.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: DYSEQTA on Mon, 14 March 2016, 02:46:39
...I'm not in love with their shipping rates to non-US locations...

Yeah... It's ridiculous. I have bought several things via MD and haven't had a problem with the orders themselves but the shipping costs has me thinking I won't be doing it again. On three orders the shipping ranged from 30% of item cost, best case, to 60% in worst case. It's just pathetic.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 15 March 2016, 02:13:18
Regarding Massdrop, their platform and large community of users already buying keycaps make them an easy way to start with keycap buys.  Anyone here who wants to organize one is also free to.

We can certainly do small runs -- but the bigger the order, the lower the unit cost = the more viable the GB.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 15 March 2016, 02:16:41

I just got photos of the samples of Cherry Stab Clips for ALPS mount (below).  I should receive them in about a week.  More photos when I receive the actual samples...


[attachimg=1]

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Tue, 15 March 2016, 04:08:01
Regarding Massdrop, their platform and large community of users already buying keycaps make them an easy way to start with keycap buys.  Anyone here who wants to organize one is also free to.

We can certainly do small runs -- but the bigger the order, the lower the unit cost = the more viable the GB.
Seems legit to me !
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Wed, 16 March 2016, 13:34:42
I haven't had any issues with Massdrop, and though their shipping prices internationally could be better, they are generally not horrible, and comparatively almost always lower than Amazon for the same single item. Their customer service is better than many online retailers also.

I understand the fear and mistrust of having a middleman suddenly appear and start "strangling off" the group buys that used to be organized by the community, but I feel this is a worthwhile sacrifice as long as the prices are comparable at the end of the day. They have to earn a profit, but at the same time they are reaching a larger audience and generating more volume than most community organized group buys.

Payment is easier to orchestrate, there is more transparency, less risk and there is less hassle in general, I don't think they will be going away any time soon...

Additionally, any tentative prices and ship dates for Blank PBT Keycaps yet?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: notmybongos on Tue, 29 March 2016, 08:28:09
Any thoughts on keycap typography?
I've been curious about what fonts perform best for the laser etching process. Seems like thin weights with little stroke modulation tend to look good.
For example (especially the Light weight): http://www.monotype.com/fonts/neue-haas-unica/
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: salvanipour on Thu, 31 March 2016, 11:24:12
Definitely excited to see some other options for Filco Zero owners.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 15 April 2016, 02:16:17
Refresh my memory - will these new THICK keycaps be available in ABS as well as PBT?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Sat, 30 April 2016, 15:59:53
and now its already may :(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 16 May 2016, 02:32:12
Hi Matias, do you have any update for us? How are the samples looking? When's the first production run? How long until I can get these on my desk?
thx, z
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Mon, 16 May 2016, 04:41:36
Yes, zombimuncha. It has been too long since the last update... :-(

Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 16 May 2016, 12:12:49

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Mon, 16 May 2016, 13:32:14

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...
Great news !! Thanks !

Sent from my A0001 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 16 May 2016, 14:12:06

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

Thanks Edgar. A no-update update is better than no update at all!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Mon, 16 May 2016, 18:55:06
You mention laser?  I thought these were going to be dyesub?  Or is a laser used in the dyesub process?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 17 May 2016, 01:56:40
You mention laser?  I thought these were going to be dyesub?  Or is a laser used in the dyesub process?

Laser is for white-on-black, or similar. Dyesub can only do darker-onto-lighter, remember?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Tue, 17 May 2016, 08:41:02
You mention laser?  I thought these were going to be dyesub?  Or is a laser used in the dyesub process?

Laser is for white-on-black, or similar. Dyesub can only do darker-onto-lighter, remember?

Not to sound disrespectful unless that lasering is front printed it sounds like a waste of money/time.  The lasering on the ABS caps is garbage so to put lasered legends on top of nice PBT keys is like putting ketchup on a nice steak.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Tue, 17 May 2016, 08:58:07
You mention laser?  I thought these were going to be dyesub?  Or is a laser used in the dyesub process?

Laser is for white-on-black, or similar. Dyesub can only do darker-onto-lighter, remember?

Not to sound disrespectful unless that lasering is front printed it sounds like a waste of money/time.  The lasering on the ABS caps is garbage so to put lasered legends on top of nice PBT keys is like putting ketchup on a nice steak.

Honestly at this point, I don't even care. I just want the steak asap
It's not much longer and I can see my face reflection on my Ergo Pro Keycaps, I just need some PBT Keycaps to finally stop missing my leopold keycaps so ****ing much
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: jacobolus on Tue, 17 May 2016, 13:01:24
Not to sound disrespectful unless that lasering is front printed it sounds like a waste of money/time.  The lasering on the ABS caps is garbage so to put lasered legends on top of nice PBT keys is like putting ketchup on a nice steak.
Matias explained that white on black is their most popular color for keycaps, so they need to have a solution for it.

If you don’t care about white on black, then you can safely save your breath and ignore this whole part of the discussion.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 18 May 2016, 04:36:52
Not to sound disrespectful unless that lasering is front printed it sounds like a waste of money/time.  The lasering on the ABS caps is garbage so to put lasered legends on top of nice PBT keys is like putting ketchup on a nice steak.
Matias explained that white on black is their most popular color for keycaps, so they need to have a solution for it.

If you don’t care about white on black, then you can safely save your breath and ignore this whole part of the discussion.

Except that the WoB seems to be the biggest cause of delay here :(
Which is why it'd be great if we could have a quick BoW dyesub (or blank!) GB, before the official launch.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Luminair on Tue, 31 May 2016, 23:22:37

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

thank you for your work and thank you for not just sticking to ABS!!!  :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: MarvX on Wed, 08 June 2016, 06:21:14
A couple of questions for Matias:

1) Considering blanks are the second most popular option in the poll, could you confirm it's planned to be produced?
2) If so, what about its material/colour choice?
3) Will the keycaps be compatible with your Quiet Linear switches (http://matias.ca/switches/linear/)? I have the Low Force edition of the Ergo Pro and would love to use some replacement keycaps on it.
3) Are there any plans to make them available for purchase in China? For example, thorough this Taobao seller (https://zhouzism.tmall.com/p/rd842421.htm?scene=taobao_shop), which sold nearly 1,000 keyboards of yours, claiming to be an authorized dealer here. Given that the production will take place in China, it'd be a pity (and a waste of time and bucks too) if we Chinese folks had to place international orders to get them shipped back to where they are initially created.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Wed, 08 June 2016, 08:23:08
As much as I can't wait to be able to finally order a blank PBT keyset, I hope DCS profile won't left on the side of the road. :fingerscrossed:

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: S1llyC0ne on Wed, 08 June 2016, 08:47:41


1) Considering blanks are the second most popular option in the poll, could you confirm it's planned to be produced?

I can answer this since I asked about it and I have been answered that, yes, we should be able to get our hands on blanks ^_^

PBT and various colours should be on the menu if I remember correctly.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Woolybully67 on Fri, 24 June 2016, 08:56:56
Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

Any news on the keycap front? Been waiting to hear back here before I try to go hunting around computer recycling centers or buy another abs set.

Speaking of, anyone here used the tai hao cap sets on a stock matias board? Wondering if they have full coverage and how they compare to the default caps https://mechanicalkeyboards.com/shop/index.php?l=product_detail&p=1362
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Fri, 24 June 2016, 18:48:24
If those  are the same as thr Massdrop set, the big issues are:

* The bottom ros are different.  Matias is 1.5x modifiers, 7x space; Tai Hao is 1.25x modifiers, 6.25x space.

* The tab in the numlock position is not a standard thing, but I think the profiles may be swappable.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: commandlinedesign on Tue, 05 July 2016, 14:43:45

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

"This week", "Next Week", "I'll post samples" - I don't think those phrases mean what you think they mean.

Just kidding, I appreciate your work and I'm not trying to hound you, but it's seriously been months since we had a meaningful update from you and it would be awesome if we could get some idea of how far things have progressed.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Tue, 19 July 2016, 02:01:10
this is starting to get frustrating honestly. This thread is now in my bookmarks bar for over a year and every post I feel like something is finally happening (almost done/very close) only to be disappointed in the following months.

Are there some serious problems? Just tell us, I would really prefer a "its not coming out for the next 6months" to the way it is being handled the pasts months
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: frenchtoasters on Thu, 21 July 2016, 09:51:26
With the latest Planck Group buy on massdrop they were able to provide PBT keycaps for matias switches, will we ever get a chance to buy the caps just by themselves???? Not sure the numbers for how many of these were sold but I was slightly disappointed in the fact they didnt even come with homing keys :/.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 22 July 2016, 03:21:12
With the latest Planck Group buy on massdrop they were able to provide PBT keycaps for matias switches, will we ever get a chance to buy the caps just by themselves???? Not sure the numbers for how many of these were sold but I was slightly disappointed in the fact they didnt even come with homing keys :/.

Those were Signature Plastics DSA caps, which you can usually get here: http://pimpmykeyboard.com/dsa-alps-mount-1-space-pack-of-10/ altho currently out of stock, probably because of the recent Planck buy. They're a different, lower, profile than the caps Matias are working on.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 23 July 2016, 23:26:01
With the latest Planck Group buy on massdrop they were able to provide PBT keycaps for matias switches, will we ever get a chance to buy the caps just by themselves???? Not sure the numbers for how many of these were sold but I was slightly disappointed in the fact they didnt even come with homing keys :/.

Those were Signature Plastics DSA caps, which you can usually get here: http://pimpmykeyboard.com/dsa-alps-mount-1-space-pack-of-10/ altho currently out of stock, probably because of the recent Planck buy. They're a different, lower, profile than the caps Matias are working on.
Interesting. I did not notice SP has put it on sale on their website. I also find they are offering DCS alps, but not sure if that's ABS or PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sat, 23 July 2016, 23:33:50
All I want now is a set of blank ALPS caps. I don't care about legend anymore.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Sun, 24 July 2016, 09:38:15
All I want now is a set of blank ALPS caps. I don't care about legend anymore.

100% agree, I just need any PBT set for my ergo pro and I am a happy man
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sun, 24 July 2016, 11:19:10

Yes, it's been a while since the last update...

I'm in China right now.  I think we're close to being done.  We're doing another test injection this week and then another laser test.  Still can't believe it's taken this long.  I can see why most manufacturers stick with just ABS.

Anyway, fingers crossed for this week.  I'll post pictures of the samples when I have them.  Thanks again for your patience...

Hi Matias, 2 months since the last update. Er... hows it going?  ;D You keeping quiet to build up the hype? Also I heard a rumour you're tinkering with your switch molds again. Is there any info you'd care to share?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Sun, 24 July 2016, 14:21:04
Any ETA on Blank black 104 key sets? :(

Many of us don't need any fancy options like lettering or packaging. ;)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 28 July 2016, 19:04:15
Matias, since you said the PBT tooling was finished, I really hope you could start selling blank first. I am sure there are many people who want to buy blanks.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Wed, 17 August 2016, 08:12:18
3 month now already ...


anyone knows anything new?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hypersphere on Wed, 17 August 2016, 08:33:52
Matias, since you said the PBT tooling was finished, I really hope you could start selling blank first. I am sure there are many people who want to buy blanks.
Yes!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Fuzzybear on Mon, 05 September 2016, 11:33:55
*crickets*

:(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 06 September 2016, 03:40:32
*crickets*

:(

Excited but increasingly disappointed crickets. Probably the Germans have a word for it. But with crickets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Woolybully67 on Tue, 06 September 2016, 08:29:22
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=65528.msg2256322#msg2256322

Just an assumption but based on that email response it seems like the letter test shots we saw from Matias here might not have been up to par and they had to go back to the drawing board? I thought the keycap character process had basically been finalized since the spring. Looks like it's at least another 3 months out :(
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Reloaded on Thu, 15 September 2016, 22:08:26
https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=65528.msg2256322#msg2256322

Just an assumption but based on that email response it seems like the letter test shots we saw from Matias here might not have been up to par and they had to go back to the drawing board? I thought the keycap character process had basically been finalized since the spring. Looks like it's at least another 3 months out :(

honestly I'm really disappointed that we just don't get any answer here for over 4months! Every time it sounds like everything is almost finished and now its production start in early 2017 ...

With this trend I would be really surprised if anybody here receives any PBT-caps in the next 12 months

I'm just gonna sell my Ergo Pro and that's it. I'm sick of waiting for the PBT-caps
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: RyanArr on Tue, 27 September 2016, 18:39:58
Argh, just sell us blank replacement PBT caps for the oddball caps already (serious shiny ABS syndrome on my Cmd, Opt, and Space) and forget the legends! I can get the rest of the keys from AEKS on EBay.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Nootz on Fri, 04 November 2016, 04:34:39
Is there any update on this? It's been a while...
I want to buy another Matias board but I'm waiting for these keycaps before committing.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hypersphere on Sat, 05 November 2016, 11:48:48
My Matias-switch keyboards are V60s from KBP. I put dye-sub PBT alphas and numbers keycaps on them from vintage keyboards, such as IBM 5140 or SGI Granite. For mods and the spacebar, I use blank black ABS from the Matias web site. This combination works very well. I don't really notice the ABS on the mods.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 22 December 2016, 08:36:23
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: pyfgcrl on Thu, 22 December 2016, 09:49:08
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
Any updates for us, Edgar?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Thu, 22 December 2016, 10:18:00
Sigh. One year ago at this time, I was thinking I will get Alps PBT very soon.
Any updates for us, Edgar?

He's here!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 26 December 2016, 12:28:13

Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...

We got lost in the weeds of the problem of printing white legends on black PBT.  It's a lot harder than I thought it would be.  We have a process worked out, but our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.

We also had some mechanical issues to deal with, getting ALPS to play nice with Cherry stabilizer mounts commonly used for spacebars.  We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.

(Sorry the photos are not better.  They were taken on a hotel sink basin in China -- flew back the day before yesterday.)

We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.

Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.


[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: pyfgcrl on Mon, 26 December 2016, 12:39:53
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
First of all, thanks for the update, Edgar!

Glad to hear things are starting to roll forward.

I have a Tactile Pro FK302 (white keys) and two Laptop Pro FK303QBT (black keys).

I use DSK exclusively, and no one ever gives any love to us Dvorak users. As you know, the sculpted layout on the FK302 does not lend itself to repositioning those keys; I would rather have sculpted DSK layout similar to what the existing QWERTY keys provide with appropriate option legends in the right place, but I'm not sure I will get my key dreams fulfilled    :(

I would only be purchasing blanks if that was the last option.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:05:46

Thanks for posting, pyfgcrl...

Dvorak keycaps will definitely be offered.  We've been focusing our efforts on black caps -- but white (which is much easier) will also be available.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: pyfgcrl on Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:07:53
Dvorak keycaps will definitely be offered.
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! :D
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:28:01
I would love blank caps. One great thing about white blank caps is that they can be dyed, which means custom Alps keycap can become a real thing!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Mon, 26 December 2016, 13:43:13
I tried throwing money at my monitor, but J shouldn't have used coins.  Now I need a new monitor,
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: MandrewDavis on Tue, 27 December 2016, 10:18:23
I would not purchase pad-printed PBT, but blanks or dye-sub caps(maybe too much to ask) are an insta-buy. Would be fun to pick a layout that isn't centered around the caps themselves.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 27 December 2016, 13:51:19
Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...
Apology accepted :-)

our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.
How long do you expect that to take? And after that you have more testing to do?

We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.
Cool. So if I'm planning a custom hand-wired Alps-based monstrosity I should use Costar style stabs, so as to have the most flexibility in choice of keycaps.
Does this also mean that for future Alps keyboards you'll be using exclusively the Cherry/Costar style stabs? Are you hoping to kill off the old Alps-style stabs?

We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.
Not sure I fully grok. Does this mean you're *already* making new ABS sets with the new thicker tooling? And keyboardco has these in stock when??!?!?

Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
I like legends.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 27 December 2016, 19:04:48
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: menuhin on Tue, 27 December 2016, 19:15:21
I know more effort has been in printed PBT, and PBT is nice material for keycap, I appreciate that.

Just out of curiosity: have you ever considered POM caps?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 28 December 2016, 17:25:58
Just out of curiosity: have you ever considered POM caps?

POM has a much higher shrinkage ratio than PBT and ABS, so would require another set of tooling.  With ABS and PBT, we can use one tooling to support both.




Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).




I would love blank caps. One great thing about white blank caps is that they can be dyed, which means custom Alps keycap can become a real thing!

Yes, true.




I would not purchase pad-printed PBT, but blanks or dye-sub caps(maybe too much to ask) are an insta-buy. Would be fun to pick a layout that isn't centered around the caps themselves.

We'll likely be working with Massdrop to organize dye-sub group buys.  PBT blanks and laser-etched caps would be available from us directly.




Sorry this has taken a lot longer than it should have.  An explanation is in order...

Apology accepted :-)

Thanks.  :-)




our main factory's laser machine is not up to the task, so they are buying another one.

How long do you expect that to take? And after that you have more testing to do?

A few months to get the new machine.  We've already done quite a lot of testing.




We've designed and tooled up a hybrid clip (photos attached). These will fit onto any ALPS keycap and allow you to use Cherry-style mounts (with appropriate balance bar).  I've posted photos of prototypes before, but these are now in production.

Cool. So if I'm planning a custom hand-wired Alps-based monstrosity I should use Costar style stabs, so as to have the most flexibility in choice of keycaps.
Does this also mean that for future Alps keyboards you'll be using exclusively the Cherry/Costar style stabs? Are you hoping to kill off the old Alps-style stabs?

The Costar style stabs we made for spacebars only.  You could use them for other keys, but that would require non-standard balance bar wires.

We are still using ALPS stabs for the 2u to 2.75u keys.  The provides the most flexibility of keycap choice.




We've already started transitioning to our own keycap tooling, and PBT will follow.

Not sure I fully grok. Does this mean you're *already* making new ABS sets with the new thicker tooling? And keyboardco has these in stock when??!?!?

Not yet, but will be starting soon.




Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.

I like legends.

Me too.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: klennkellon on Wed, 28 December 2016, 18:47:51
IMO any PBT for me is good. I would prefer dye-sub but I can settle with lasered or blanks as long as it's nice and dry PBT.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Wed, 28 December 2016, 20:43:59
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.
Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).
Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Loonie on Wed, 28 December 2016, 23:29:52
I'm using a heavily customized layout so blanks are the best for me!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 29 December 2016, 06:04:48
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Thu, 29 December 2016, 12:54:27
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.
With the UV layer, does the cap still feel dry? How much different is it from ABS? I am not very sure about the scratch resistant part. From what I have heard of, PBT is much more resilient to shining than ABS. Isn't keycap shine the result of wearing down the keycap? If PBT is more resilient to wearing down, why is it less resilient to scratch?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 29 December 2016, 13:25:13
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

Yes, for the laser-etched PBT caps, there is a UV layer applied to prevent staining and scratching.

The blank PBT caps are just straight PBT (no UV).

Sounds great! I have seen long opposed of laser etech legends because their vulnerability to stain. If this is no longer a problem, I would really love to have white on black caps. For me, though black on black or blank looks more geeky, printed ones are still more practical.

Will the UV layer change the texture and feel of PBT though?

Traditionally, PBT caps have always had a UV layer.  PBT is highly resistant to sun damage (preserving its colour over time) but it is porous and prone to scratching/staining (hence the UV layer).

If you're using PBT blanks without UV, the porousness makes them feel really nice and dry.  This porousness also makes White PBT more vulnerable to staining -- which of course can be an advantage, if your plan is to stain them or dye-sub them.

ABS is the flipside to PBT, in terms of strengths/weaknesses.  ABS is highly resistant to scratching and staining, but is vulnerable to sun damage.

With the UV layer, does the cap still feel dry? How much different is it from ABS? I am not very sure about the scratch resistant part. From what I have heard of, PBT is much more resilient to shining than ABS. Isn't keycap shine the result of wearing down the keycap? If PBT is more resilient to wearing down, why is it less resilient to scratch?

Yes, matte UV is still dry but not as dry as direct PBT, but still dryer than ABS.

PBT is a harder material than ABS, so it won't turn shiny.  ABS is softer.  It's kind of like the difference between bone and cartilage.  ABS is like cartilage, more likely to bend than break.  PBT is more like bone; it's stiffer but will break when stressed.

Hope that helps.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: infodroid on Mon, 02 January 2017, 11:59:00
Our experience selling normal ABS caps has been that most people buy blanks.  I don't know if that will be the case with PBT.  Would love to hear people's opinions on that.

I prefer the feel of PBT and I like legends on keycaps.

I will probably pick up one of each new Alps keycap sets that has legends.

I don't mind laser etched keycaps, the grooves don't bother me that much and I have no issues with staining.

But if the sets only differ in the printing method and are otherwise identical, then I would go for the dye-sub set as my first choice.

Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Mon, 02 January 2017, 14:00:17
Given my previous experience with laser etched caps, I probably will only go for dye sub or blank. The white laser etched legend on my stock KBP V60 stained very quickly and was impossible to remove. I appreciate the effort of making white laser etched legend on black caps, but I can't persuade myself to getting another set of laser etched keys unless there's some special tech that prevents the legend from being stained.

What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.

FWIW, the lasered caps on my Quiet Pro got slightly stained fairly quickly. Same with the orig caps on the V80-MTS, which appear to be exactly the same except for the legend font. It's weird because I bought the MQP used, so someone used it before me but the legends didn't stain, but with my grubby fingers all over them they stained up rapidly. I guess it reacts differently to different peoples sweat chemistry. And btw, soap and/or denture tabs didn't remove the stains.

So yeah, Imma wait for mah dyesubs. Or thick ABS.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Mon, 02 January 2017, 14:01:53
The lasered caps on my Ducky 1008XM wore *horribly*.  The whole board was sort of a fiasco quality-wise, but the caps... the lettering rubbed off over time, leaving at best a groove in the cap where it was.  The Matias lasered caps held up better, but I replaced them with some SGI dyesubs pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Mon, 02 January 2017, 17:15:11
What are you doing to your keycaps that they become stained? Have you tried soaking them in fizzy denture cleaning solution?

I have been using a KBP V60-MTS as my daily driver for over a year now. There is no sign of staining on the white laser legends. There are a few dark patches of dirt or dust, but these are easily removed with soap and water and rubbing with a fine cloth.
Just regular typing. I have sweaty hands though. Legends on keys that are frequently used shows have an uneven stain that makes them appear lighter than white (especially compared to pure white legends on side of keycaps). It's not obvious in every light condition but kind of bothers me a bit. I have tried soap water, dish washing liquid, laundry detergent, denture tab and even ultrasonic cleaner but no luck.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Fri, 13 January 2017, 10:46:51
The lasered caps on my Ducky 1008XM wore *horribly*.  The whole board was sort of a fiasco quality-wise

To be fair to the Ducky XM when it was released in 2011-2012 it retailed for $50 which was unheard of.  If I recall correctly the next cheapest keyboard was a $100 Leopold FC200R.

Since then Chinese manufacturers have figured out how to improve the quality on a budget.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Nootz on Thu, 26 January 2017, 06:09:23
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: MandrewDavis on Thu, 26 January 2017, 14:16:03
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...

Lol
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: gentlegiant1972 on Sun, 29 January 2017, 01:46:54
I noticed you've just put up sets of blank ABS Planck keycaps for sale, is there a possibility of a PBT variant?
I'm hoping it wouldn't be too hard, since it's just a bunch of 1U caps with a 2U thrown in...

It would be nice to have a planck specific option, but if there's a full 104 key option then you can use that to fill a Planck pretty easily.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Tue, 31 January 2017, 12:59:41
Are the new caps going to have letter at lower left corner of the keycap like current Matias boards, or upper left like more common boards? I prefer upper left.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:22:54
Are the new caps going to have letter at lower left corner of the keycap like current Matias boards, or upper left like more common boards? I prefer upper left.

I'm guessing the lasered ones will be the same as the existing legend, and the dyesubs will be whatever meets MOQ(s).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: csmertx on Tue, 31 January 2017, 15:15:59
Whoa, a poll for pbt. I like where this is going :)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Nootz on Fri, 10 March 2017, 02:58:01
Any PBT update since December?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 10 March 2017, 08:12:59
Any PBT update since December?

Good news...

I'm in China now, and have signed off on the Black PBT caps.  We are arranging the production schedule now.

We'll start with raw blanks in Black, and then do Black with White legends.

I'm waiting on White PBT samples next, but those shouldn't take long.

Anymore feedback anyone wants to provide, now is the time...  :-)

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: menuhin on Fri, 10 March 2017, 09:09:36
What keycap profiles will these caps have? I prefer Cherry more than the Filco / 'OEM' Profiles.

I am also excited about having some new sets of dyesub thick PBT caps for Alps.
Please think about supports such as 1.75u R_Shift, 1.5u R2 delete, and bottom row 1.5u Alt Ctrl modifiers, as well as various spacebar options, because these key cap sets are long awaited by both the new and the old Alps mounted switches enthusiasts.

Will definitely buy if you offer any RGBK / CYMK modifier sets, or RGBW / CYMW sets (Laser-etched to get the white PBT out again, like how EnjoyPBT do it).
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: csmertx on Fri, 10 March 2017, 10:38:48
[attachimg=1]

Nice!
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 12 March 2017, 08:12:38
Latest update below.

To support popular colour combinations, we plan to have each keyset composed of 2 subsets (which will be available separately):  a Main Set and a Mod Set...

The Main Set is dominated by alphanumerics, plus other keys that share the same colour.

The Mod Set includes all modifier keys, plus additional keys of the same colour.

There are also a few duplicate keys that appear in both sets, to satisfy varying tastes.  This approach offers quite a bit of flexibility.  For example, you could combine a Black Mod Set with a White Main Set, or get both Main and Mod Sets in Black for all Black keys, etc.

Some keys will have duplicates in multiple sizes (e.g., 1.25u and 1.5u for Ctrl, etc.).

A rough list (by row) is shown below...


Main Set

   F1-F4   F9-F12   NumLock   3 volume keys   F16-F18   Eject   4 pairing keys

   `~   1-0   -_   =+   Insert/Fn   Home   PgUp

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As always, comments welcome...

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 12 March 2017, 08:22:24
What keycap profiles will these caps have? I prefer Cherry more than the Filco / 'OEM' Profiles.

They are our own design.  Our aim was to make them look modern, while still maintaining the sculpted comfort of traditional caps.



I am also excited about having some new sets of dyesub thick PBT caps for Alps.
Please think about supports such as 1.75u R_Shift, 1.5u R2 delete, and bottom row 1.5u Alt Ctrl modifiers, as well as various spacebar options, because these key cap sets are long awaited by both the new and the old Alps mounted switches enthusiasts.

See my previous post.



Will definitely buy if you offer any RGBK / CYMK modifier sets, or RGBW / CYMW sets (Laser-etched to get the white PBT out again, like how EnjoyPBT do it).

Yes, looking forward to doing some interesting set combinations.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sun, 12 March 2017, 15:40:12
Can you give us an idea of the pricing?

Will it be quicker for me to get them from Keyboardco here in the UK or direct from you in Canada?

Are thicker ABS keycaps in the pipeline too?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 12 March 2017, 18:37:40
Can you give us an idea of the pricing?

It will likely be $30 for each subset in PBT (so $60 total if you replace all keys on the keyboard).



Will it be quicker for me to get them from Keyboardco here in the UK or direct from you in Canada?

Quicker from us, but cheaper from them (due to high shipping costs to Europe from Canada).

Also, if you need them with EU legends printed, probably only The Keyboard Company would have those.  We'll also have blank sets that cover all layouts in 2 subsets (Main & Mod).



Are thicker ABS keycaps in the pipeline too?

If there's interest, we can do them.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: chalks on Sun, 12 March 2017, 20:19:11
Is there any chance of a mod kit for the ergo pro?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ctm on Sun, 12 March 2017, 20:31:13
Looking forward to PBT caps becoming available. Though I am still deciding between black blanks vs black on black dye-sub.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: MandrewDavis on Sun, 12 March 2017, 21:35:26
I will probably buy a set of blanks but if you put out anything dyesub that isn't in an italic font, I will buy at least two.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Nootz on Mon, 13 March 2017, 06:32:37
Thanks for the update!

This is really tempting me to buy the next OLKB Preonic drop and get some lovely white PBTs
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Tue, 14 March 2017, 04:56:03
Is there any chance of a mod kit for the ergo pro?

Yes, there will be a Mod kit for the Ergo Pro

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Wed, 15 March 2017, 02:31:20
A few pages back you were talking about custom dye-subbing on the white PBT caps, possibly with distriburion via Massdrop. Is this still happening? Have you thought about pricing and MOQs for those?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: smithyithy on Thu, 20 April 2017, 06:22:48
Holy crap this is exciting news, I'd heard that something like this was in the pipeline ages ago, it's great to hear that it's coming to fruition.

What keycap profiles will these caps have? I prefer Cherry more than the Filco / 'OEM' Profiles.

They are our own design.  Our aim was to make them look modern, while still maintaining the sculpted comfort of traditional caps.


On this topic, can you allude to which existing profile they would be closest to, just for our reference?

If they were close to DCS for example (or at least closer than the traditional Alps-fitment keycaps) then it would make it much easier to put together custom combinations of alphas and mods. I think that's something the custom Alps community is missing right now..
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Fri, 21 April 2017, 06:46:11
They're the same profile as Matias' existing caps. Very similar to DCS and OEM.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 21 April 2017, 09:33:28
Holy crap this is exciting news, I'd heard that something like this was in the pipeline ages ago, it's great to hear that it's coming to fruition.

On this topic, can you allude to which existing profile they would be closest to, just for our reference?

If they were close to DCS for example (or at least closer than the traditional Alps-fitment keycaps) then it would make it much easier to put together custom combinations of alphas and mods. I think that's something the custom Alps community is missing right now..

Yes, we're very excited about the possibilities.  High quality lasering on PBT (via the new process we devised) opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for custom sets.

The keycap profile is similar to DCS.



A few pages back you were talking about custom dye-subbing on the white PBT caps, possibly with distriburion via Massdrop. Is this still happening? Have you thought about pricing and MOQs for those?

Yes, we'll be talking to them as soon as have the sets sorted out, and a rough production schedule arranged.  As for pricing and MOQs, we're not at that stage yet.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 21 April 2017, 09:36:15

A quick update...

I'm in China now.  We're doing test samples of White PBT.  It's looking pretty good so far....


[attachimg=1]

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: zombimuncha on Sat, 22 April 2017, 07:43:20

Good news...

I'm in China now, and have signed off on the Black PBT caps.  We are arranging the production schedule now.

We'll start with raw blanks in Black, and then do Black with White legends.

I'm waiting on White PBT samples next, but those shouldn't take long.

Anymore feedback anyone wants to provide, now is the time...  :-)




A quick update...

I'm in China now.  We're doing test samples of White PBT.  It's looking pretty good so far....


(Attachment Link)



The BoW shown, is that dyesub or laser?
Detail, clarity, contrast looks lovely. I should ignore that slight misalignment, right?
Will the black legends on BoW caps be a darker black than that? It looks a little grey on my screen.

So, the next thing after BoW sign-off is a production run of blank black - is that right? So the first round of blanks could be only a couple months away?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Hak Foo on Sat, 22 April 2017, 11:49:03
How do they feel?  I know a lot of lasered caps will feel rough on the lasered surface.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: dante on Thu, 27 April 2017, 11:43:27
Why not black on black dyesub?

(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/images/th/87UB_led1000_th0x0.jpg)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 27 April 2017, 11:49:34

How do they feel?  I know a lot of lasered caps will feel rough on the lasered surface.

They're smooth.  No roughness at all



Why not black on black dyesub?

Show Image
(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/images/th/87UB_led1000_th0x0.jpg)


Yes, black on black is easy.



The BoW shown, is that dyesub or laser?
Detail, clarity, contrast looks lovely. I should ignore that slight misalignment, right?

They are laser, and yes you should ignore the misalignment.  It's just a test run.



Will the black legends on BoW caps be a darker black than that? It looks a little grey on my screen.

Haa, we're actually trying to make them more grey.  :-)

Anyway, yes they can be made more black by adjusting the laser.  I find there's too much contrast if the black is too dark, but tastes vary.



So, the next thing after BoW sign-off is a production run of blank black - is that right? So the first round of blanks could be only a couple months away?

Yes, blank black and blank white.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: menuhin on Fri, 28 April 2017, 04:47:29
Why not black on black dyesub?

Show Image
(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/images/th/87UB_led1000_th0x0.jpg)

+1

The HHKB also took the black dyesub on asphalt road, but not the laser-printed one.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 28 April 2017, 08:19:32
Why not black on black dyesub?

Show Image
(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/images/th/87UB_led1000_th0x0.jpg)

+1

The HHKB also took the black dyesub on asphalt road, but not the laser-printed one.


In fairness, that photo is actually Black on very dark Grey.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: MandrewDavis on Fri, 28 April 2017, 13:02:08
Will these new PBT caps use Alps or MX cruciform style stabilizers?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 29 April 2017, 02:27:01
Will these new PBT caps use Alps or MX cruciform style stabilizers?


They support both types -- see below...


[attachimg=1]


[attachimg=2]


With these new stabilizer clips, any ALPS keycap can use Cherry stabilizers.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: commandlinedesign on Sat, 06 May 2017, 14:48:24
Why not black on black dyesub?

Show Image
(https://elitekeyboards.com/proddata/images/th/87UB_led1000_th0x0.jpg)

+1

The HHKB also took the black dyesub on asphalt road, but not the laser-printed one.


In fairness, that photo is actually Black on very dark Grey.

No, it's actually very dark grey on dark grey.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ripdog on Fri, 16 June 2017, 22:05:21
Waiting warmly for these. Is it too soon to ask for another update? :)

Oh, almost forgot: Will there ever be a possibility of double-shot PBT caps with transparent lettering? It's a shame that matias switches are capable of backlighting, but no appropiate caps exist.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: reececonrad on Tue, 20 June 2017, 14:10:21
I see pimpmykeyboard is about to release granite alps!  Just figured I would mention this here. I'd still be down for some classy double shot white on black
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: teraflame on Sat, 24 June 2017, 11:22:53
Are you not doing dye sub at all?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sat, 24 June 2017, 23:06:57
Are you not doing dye sub at all?

Yes, we're doing dye sub also.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Petch on Fri, 11 August 2017, 04:01:39
Are you not doing dye sub at all?

Yes, we're doing dye sub also.

Are you just doing a standard set of keys, or something more akin to GMK sets?

(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0267/1905/products/R_291_2017-01-18_1024x1024.png?v=1497078263)
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Fri, 11 August 2017, 11:58:43
Are you not doing dye sub at all?

Yes, we're doing dye sub also.

Are you just doing a standard set of keys, or something more akin to GMK sets?


More akin to GMK sets, but a little different...

We're splitting each set roughly in half (according to the keys that share the same colour).  This way, you can mix and match colours by simply buying the appropriate half-sets.  There's also a little overlap, with a few keys appearing in both half-sets.

I've already signed-off on Black PBT, and we're colour matching White PBT now.

We'll also be doing shades of Gray, by mixing Black & White PBT material together in the appropriate ratios -- see below, from my last trip (sorry the photo isn't better). 

Eventually we'll do colours too, but we're starting with Black, White, and shades of Gray.



[attachimg=1]


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: ripdog on Sat, 12 August 2017, 23:46:14
I know it's a long shot, but any chance of double-shot caps with transparent lettering?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: menuhin on Sun, 13 August 2017, 02:34:36
Hi Matias,

I know you are building a little empire instead of just running around to earn some quick cash like many of the Groupbuys here.

But at this stage, can you give us a brief time estimation of when we can expect some nice final production PBT caps and some dye-sub, sitting and waiting to be purchased and shipped?
If you say late 2018, I will still wait of course - for the thick PBT dye-sub for Alps.

p.s. By the way, I have a bunch of "pine" vintage Alps switches, and I have to let you know for the key feels, "pine" (with slits on upper housing) are way superior to their "bamboo" (with slits on upper housing) counterparts at least for me.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Nootz on Sun, 13 August 2017, 13:58:22
I know you are building a little empire instead of just running around to earn some quick cash like many of the Groupbuys here.

But at this stage, can you give us a brief time estimation of when we can expect some nice final production PBT caps and some dye-sub, sitting and waiting to be purchased and shipped?
If you say late 2018, I will still wait of course - for the thick PBT dye-sub for Alps.

Agreed, an estimated date would be really great. Hopefully it wont be late next year if you've already signed off on the black PBTs...
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Sun, 13 August 2017, 15:14:58

I know you are building a little empire instead of just running around to earn some quick cash like many of the Groupbuys here.

But at this stage, can you give us a brief time estimation of when we can expect some nice final production PBT caps and some dye-sub, sitting and waiting to be purchased and shipped?
If you say late 2018, I will still wait of course - for the thick PBT dye-sub for Alps.

Agreed, an estimated date would be really great. Hopefully it wont be late next year if you've already signed off on the black PBTs...


For thick PBT blanks or laser, certainly before the end of this year.

For dye-sub, we've only started doing samples, so I'd say sometime next year.  Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone from buying blanks and doing their own dye-sub GB before we do.



I know it's a long shot, but any chance of double-shot caps with transparent lettering?


From us, no -- but Tai-hao has double-shot tooling for ALPS, so they could do it.  We've suggested it to them before, but I suppose there are not enough backlit ALPS keyboards for it to be worth it to them.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: teraflame on Fri, 15 September 2017, 11:58:57
What profile are these? Would you do cherry profile?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Elrick on Wed, 11 October 2017, 21:48:30
For dye-sub, we've only started doing samples, so I'd say sometime next year.  Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone from buying blanks and doing their own dye-sub GB before we do.

Then next year it is, I'm presuming it's during 2018 not 2028?  Just extremely suspicious of any info coming from you in regards to any releases of actual PBT key-sets.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Wed, 11 October 2017, 23:49:46
What profile are these? Would you do cherry profile?

No plans to do Cherry profile.

Ours are similar to OEM profile but thicker, and with better spacebars.

We're also considering doing a low profile keycap, but those are just at the testing stage at the moment.



For dye-sub, we've only started doing samples, so I'd say sometime next year.  Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone from buying blanks and doing their own dye-sub GB before we do.

Then next year it is, I'm presuming it's during 2018 not 2028?  Just extremely suspicious of any info coming from you in regards to any releases of actual PBT key-sets.


Sorry, but this is how things are with manufacturing sometimes.  New developments can take a long time to complete.  This is mostly hidden to consumers, because most products aren't announced until they are completed.

Having said that, we have the material on order already.  We also have another manufacturer that will be selling a high-end mechanical keyboard with our switches and PBT keycaps.  I expect they'll announce it formally early next year (probably at CES).

I'm leaving for China on Friday.  I expect there will be more updates from this trip.


Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Elrick on Thu, 12 October 2017, 01:20:06
Having said that, we have the material on order already.  We also have another manufacturer that will be selling a high-end mechanical keyboard with our switches and PBT keycaps.  I expect they'll announce it formally early next year (probably at CES).

This would be great, to finally buy a full ALPs based keyboard using all PBT key-caps and I hope it won't sell at the same category as authentic Made in USA PBT Dell's for $1000+  :)) .

We all need to see MORE of your key switches, I know they aren't complicated Alps but it's better than nothing or suffering with anymore Cherry-soulless switches  8) .

Besides Matias, you need to install all PBTs on all of your keyboards because what's on them now, is so lacklustre and boring it only helps to devalue your switch instead of making them feel and sound great when used.
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: CommonCurt on Thu, 12 October 2017, 07:49:32
What profile are these? Would you do cherry profile?

No plans to do Cherry profile.

Ours are similar to OEM profile but thicker, and with better spacebars.

We're also considering doing a low profile keycap, but those are just at the testing stage at the moment.



For dye-sub, we've only started doing samples, so I'd say sometime next year.  Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone from buying blanks and doing their own dye-sub GB before we do.

Then next year it is, I'm presuming it's during 2018 not 2028?  Just extremely suspicious of any info coming from you in regards to any releases of actual PBT key-sets.


Sorry, but this is how things are with manufacturing sometimes.  New developments can take a long time to complete.  This is mostly hidden to consumers, because most products aren't announced until they are completed.

Having said that, we have the material on order already.  We also have another manufacturer that will be selling a high-end mechanical keyboard with our switches and PBT keycaps.  I expect they'll announce it formally early next year (probably at CES).

I'm leaving for China on Friday.  I expect there will be more updates from this trip.

Can you give any hints on who the manufacturer is that's going to be using your switches?
Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: Matias on Thu, 12 October 2017, 20:48:21
We all need to see MORE of your key switches, I know they aren't complicated Alps but it's better than nothing or suffering with anymore Cherry-soulless switches  8) .

Besides Matias, you need to install all PBTs on all of your keyboards because what's on them now, is so lacklustre and boring it only helps to devalue your switch instead of making them feel and sound great when used.

Would love to do that -- but not sure if the margins allow for the extra cost, in all cases.  Will have to see.



Can you give any hints on who the manufacturer is that's going to be using your switches?

Sorry, I can't say.  I don't want to mess up their marketing plans.  It's up to them to announce.

Title: Re: Keycaps
Post by: euphxenos on Mon, 13 November 2017, 01:40:36

I know you are building a little empire instead of just running around to earn some quick cash like many of the Groupbuys here.

But at this stage, can you give us a brief time estimation of when we can expect some nice final production PBT caps and some dye-sub, sitting and waiting to be purchased and shipped?
If you say late 2018, I will still wait of course - for the thick PBT dye-sub for Alps.

Agreed, an estimated date would be really great. Hopefully it wont be late next year if you've already signed off on the black PBTs...


For thick PBT blanks or laser, certainly before the end of this year.

For dye-sub, we've only started doing samples, so I'd say sometime next year.  Of course, there's nothing to stop anyone from buying blanks and doing their own dye-sub GB before we do.


It's been a few months since you mentioned dates, so do you still think you're on track to deliver lasered pbt keycaps by the end of this year?  Do you have more information about what the planned sets will look like?