Author Topic: Double shot manufacturing question  (Read 2462 times)

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Offline Thimplum

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Double shot manufacturing question
« on: Fri, 21 June 2013, 15:52:31 »
Hi,
   I've been reading a lot about keycap manufacturing, and I'm not quite sure about the method for making double shot keys such as O, D, and Q. My understanding is that the top of the cap is molded with a hole in it, to match the shape of the character, and then another piece is molded to fit that hole. But, lets say that you molded an "O". Wouldn't the middle of the O fall out before the other piece was inserted? It would be the same with D, Q, A, B and many other letters.


        Thanks in advance!
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 21 June 2013, 15:56:54 »
There is a mold that has 2 parts. That first part is the legend/letter, and the second part has the rest of the cap. The injection molder shoots the first part with plastic, which will only fill part of the mold and then the second part is filled immediately after with plastic. The legend or letter isn't moved, it's all contained within the singular mold.

Look up injection molding on YouTube. Otherwise I can find pictures of the process at SP and if you really want, take pictures from my textbooks.

Offline Thimplum

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 21 June 2013, 16:46:56 »
Ah... thanks! I feel so dumb now...  :-[
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Offline Thimplum

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 09:41:34 »
Actually, could you post said pictures of the process from "SP"(whatever that is)? Thanks.
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Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #4 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 09:56:50 »
SP = Signature Plastics. Where many keycap sets come from. Klaxon, R4 Dolch, and Raindrop are all examples that came from that company.

Pictures:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=34521.msg703103#msg703103
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=34521.msg704016#msg704016
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=34521.msg704303#msg704303

Video of Injection Molding:
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=34521.msg704343#msg704343

Offline BLJ Consulting

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #5 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 10:33:26 »
The plastics industry is terrible with nomenclature but FWIW the keycap process is better described as overmolding since there are 2 completely separate molds.  One mold makes the 1st shot (letter) and the 2nd overmolds the body.  Sometimes called plastic insert molded.

Doubleshot generally refers to the process where 1/2 half of the mold is shared between 2 cavities with different geometry.  The 1st shot never comes off 1/2 the mold until both shots are completed.

Double shot, overmold, multishot, 2 shot, insert molding are all commonly used terms that have slight differences but are frequently used interchangeability.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 10:46:37 »
So there is a transfer of the first shot/insert out of the first mold to the second mold? Or are the two molds on top or intertwined together? I just assumed that since the typical nomenclature was doubleshot, that it was in one mold like you described BLJ. Guess that's what I get for assuming.

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 10:47:36 »
So the small square plastic part containing the legend in the video, the 'first shot pieces', I don't guess they are good for anything are they? I've got a few from a crap bag! ;)

At least now I know what they are.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Double shot manufacturing question
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 22 June 2013, 10:55:55 »
So the small square plastic part containing the legend in the video, the 'first shot pieces', I don't guess they are good for anything are they?

They're probably just test pieces to show how their process works. Good for keyboard science and general knowledge :D