Author Topic: Casting is Complicated  (Read 2498 times)

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Offline yuppie

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Casting is Complicated
« on: Mon, 16 April 2018, 11:25:56 »
This last weekend I was able to go meet up with a friend of mine and work through the entire process of making an artisan keycap, aside from sculpting it myself. With the master key made, we still needed to create silicon molds in order to cast more than one cap at a time.



What I found out was that every step of the process was incredibly sensitive and for two n00bs, we were pretty error prone. If we didn't use enough release, we used too much. If we got the silicon mix right, we didn't glue the sticks down well enough. If we got the colors looking super good, we screwed up the stem somehow.





Creating anything out of this medium is time (and money) consuming, labor intensive, nerve racking and scientifically complex. But more than any of those things, it's fun. Cracking open the pressure pot after a half hour or an hour and pulling apart your mold is super exciting. Then, if your creation came out good is an excellent sense of accomplishment.





After going through this process a few times, I feel like I gained a huge amount of respect for every artisan in the scene. It truly is a labor of love and looking at the caps I've collected over the last couple of years, I'm inspired by the amount of creativity, patience and care it must have took to create them.

Thanks all.

Offline hayt

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Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 16 April 2018, 12:13:53 »
Thanks for sharing! Looking forward to seeing more updates from this thread and to see the fruits of your labor

Offline Ruwey

  • Posts: 3
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #2 on: Sun, 22 April 2018, 11:04:06 »
I'm never going to say a $20 artisan keycap is overpriced again.

Offline Binge

  • Island of Sandy Beaches
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Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 22 April 2018, 14:41:06 »
Enjoying seeing this phase of learning all over again.  Seems like you did a tour of the work and made good progress.  The setup is most excellent.  I see good machines and organization.
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline Novice

  • Posts: 4
  • Location: California
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Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 23 April 2018, 16:14:44 »
Hey! Who dat sexy ass foo in the first foto? dam  :eek:
I'm not superstitious but I am a little stitious.

Offline mangoes

  • Posts: 21
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 06 June 2018, 23:40:13 »
Good news at least is that the cap itself looks like a nice sculpt! I'm interested in seeing where this goes, hopefully y'all get the hang of it!

Offline Astrasa

  • Posts: 29
  • Location: CA
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 02:01:55 »
Cool to see their workstation and the process you guys went through. As someone who started making blanks recently (and not very good ones lol) it really puts into perspective the love, care, and dedication that goes into making artisans. Looking forward to seeing what you do next!

Offline DirtyMonkey43

  • Posts: 26
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 08:37:15 »
Looks cool! excited to see how you progress :D

Offline HOBI3CAT

  • Posts: 32
  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Fraktal Kaps
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 11:26:37 »
Been getting into resin casting myself, although I have just done some blanks so far. You are right though when you say it is a precise science and a labor of love! I have already thrown away 5 molds, and probably around 60 defective caps (around 50% of all I've made I say). As frustrating as it can be, damn if it isn't fun :)

Offline Kilgarah

  • Posts: 41
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #9 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 12:47:24 »
I've recently been casting a bit as well. It has certainly been an adventure. Somehow, even though half of my molds and caps fail and have to be redone, I still get excited to demold the resin. The feeling of success when you finally get a good one is worth all of the struggle.

Offline anatworkaccount

  • Posts: 26
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #10 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 12:50:37 »
Very cool man. I'm just starting out myself. Yours stuffs looking great.

Offline hideyourholes

  • Posts: 21
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #11 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 14:32:15 »
I bought my girlfriend the stuff to get started on sculpting as she is into artsy things like that. If she picks it up quickly I'll probably get into molding and casting as well.

Offline Dennyroxsox

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Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #12 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 19:57:50 »
Seems like you two had a decent amount of gear in the way of a vacuum pot and a pressure pot. Really goes to show the hours of time put into making quality caps is more on experience and knowledge of the chemistry than fancy gear.

I'd like to try casting at some point, but I don't see it happening with my current living situation.


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Offline hyperlite218

  • Posts: 21
Re: Casting is Complicated
« Reply #13 on: Thu, 07 June 2018, 19:58:12 »
I've been reading these threads and getting more and more excited after buying all the stuff to make my own caps.