Author Topic: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress  (Read 2548 times)

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Offline tobsn

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Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« on: Mon, 10 October 2016, 06:21:16 »
Moved to Poland a while ago, things are a bit more complicated here, especially if you don't speak the language. I asked about materials etc. in r/resincasting but got no answers. I got frustrated and just started doing things on my own... here is my progress so far:




08.10.2016

Bought:
* (115zl) Bought 1kg silicon and catalyst for the mold at the "tuluz" art store: https://tuluz.pl/pl/p/Silikon-MM-928-1kg/10294 & https://tuluz.pl/pl/p/Katalizator-MM-B5-MM-928/10297
* (20zl) Went to the pharmacy and bought a couple 10ml syringes, very wide needles (~1mm), and a box of latex gloves
* (130zl + 40zl) bought a "classic" lego 500pc set and a lego base plate at "smyk" toy store
* (12zl) bought modeling clay (or at least I think it is) and a super soft brush (oil application on keycap) at another art store - this product: http://www.fila.it/en/das/products/modelling-clay/das-color#prettyphoto[gallery1]/0/
* (3zl) bought 20 cheap throw away plastic cups


Results:
* cut a piece of square plastic from a thick plastic sheet; added normal tape at the bottom of keycap; put keycap in center of lego form on top of plastic; added little molding clay balls on top of plastic square inside lego mold; mixed 100ml of silicon with 5ml of catalyst (measured via the syringe) in plastic cup with chop stick; poured silicon into lego form; lots of bubbles came up after a while; mixed too much silicon, had half left; 20 minutes later the keycap was swimming on top of the silicon; pushed it back down; probably ruined that one; pushed it hard down 10 minutes later hoping it will stick to the plastic square at the bottom;
* got frustrated with possibly waiting 12 hours and having a bad result; created a second lego form; mixed 50ml silicon (still ~15ml too much); used molding clay at bottom of lego form; to make it as even as possible i cut another square from the plastic and made a plunger from lego to evenly spread out the clay; added little balls to the clay; put some clay into keycap and stuck it on top of clay carefully poured silicon into lego form; less bubbles; keycap didn't swim up...


In Pictures:
*
More
*
More


Research:
* (400zl) Degassing vacuum pump: http://vacuumchambers.eu/pl/p/Pompa-prozniowa-VP1RS-1%2C-71lmin-2.5CFM/29
* (390zl) Small chamber: http://vacuumchambers.eu/pl/p/Komora-prozniowa-4.2l%2C-ze-stali-nierdzewnej-VC1621S/25
* not sure about resins still - there are a bunch available online here: http://allegro.pl/listing/listing.php?order=m&string=zywica+odlewnicza - maybe someone knows if I can use any of those?
* was told artisan keycap makers use Smooth-on's Smooth-Cast 325 and 327 and "Crystal Clear" 202
* Resin supplier in Poland that has Smooth-on: http://kauposil.com/sklep/pl/c/Zywice-Poliuretanowe/31 & http://kauposil.com/sklep/pl/p/Crystal-Clear/649
* bought that soft brush because i read earlier its easier to get resin/original out of the mold when its brushed with oil (I think the person wrote olive oil but that seems weird, need to read up on that)
* probably going to buy a [CENSORED by Binge] and a vacuum pump if I'm still interested after doing it all manually... haha


Next steps:
* check silicon tomorrow
* order resin




09.10.2016

Results:
* Removed lego around silicon mold and ripped of overhanging material from the lego bricks; first one that had the floating keycap came out slightly better than expected; probably isn't usable but i'll still try later on; waiting for second mold to harden out because it still seems sticky on the top


In Pictures:
*
More
* added more pictures from tonight, second mold set and i poured the other side on both:
*
More


Bought:
* (99zl) found another classic lego pieces set for a reduced price, thought why not...




10.10.2016

Results:
* Other silicon half is still curing (room temperature is very low)
* As you might seen in the pictures from last night, I forgot to put in anything to allow me to pour resin into the molds later... well... it's about learning isn't it *facepalm
* I also forgot to put anything in between the two molds to make them easier separate... that might be bad, but we'll see when it's cured




10.10.2016 part 2

Results:
* silicon still hasn't cured 24 hours later, I assume I put not enough catalyst in it or didn't mix properly... no idea what to do... going to wait till tomorrow and hope it might still cure completely




21.11.2016

Bought:
* (114zl) Smooth-On 326
* (178zl) Smooth-On So-Strong Color Tints Samples
* (86zl) Mold Release Spray
* (320zl) [CENSORED by Binge] mold form
* (200zl) Pigments Holograpic/Thermo/Photo/Glow in the dark from aliexpress (11.11 sales :D)


Results:
* The silicon mentioned in my last post never completely cured, I assume it was not enough catalysator


Research:
* need to find out how much pigments i can use in one resin mix... probably tiny amounts cause they say 0.5-1% of resin - no idea how to measure that


Next steps:
* Going to make new molds tonight and see how it goes




29.11.2016

Bought:
* (80zl) 0,01g precision weigh


Results:
* first attempt with Smooth-On 326 turned out a bit ****ed up, according to mr. hunger studio it's because of the gas build up:
More

* he said I should use pools to have gas replaced with new resin - so I did build pools:
More

* second attempt went a bit better but more bubbles but still a solid smooth surface:
More

* smooth-on universal mold release applied to [CENSORED by Binge] helped A LOT to get the cap and overflow off and especially the stem out of the [CENSORED by Binge]!


Research:
* have to figure out where to buy release spray for silicion on silicon - the universal mold release from smooth-on did the opposite on silicon on silicon and fused it in the non [CENSORED by Binge] molds


Next steps:
* get vacuum chamber for bubbles or other type of smooth on 300 series that doesnt need degassing




27.01.2017

Bought:
* (~800zl) Vacuum chamber and pump
* (~80zl) MANN 205 Silicon mold release spray (silicon on silicon)
* (~200zl) various pigments (thermochromatic, glow in the dark, photochromatic, holograpic)


Results:
* things are getting a bit more clean - still need pressure pot though (first image is - thermochromatic, glow in the dark, holographic pigment, and clean white):





* went with the punches and created a overly bubble one with a solid surface:



Research:
* Need to figure out how to embed trademark into keycap :P
* Want to create my own [CENSORED] to get a more high quality version + own makers mark


Next steps:
* Order pressure chamber




Footnote

I will keep this updated as I go along... any hints or tips would be greatly appreciated, especially about:

* which resin to chose (smooth-on number X? or anything here? http://allegro.pl/listing/listing.php?order=m&string=zywica+odlewnicza)
* compressor setup?
* what to do with left over resin and resin measurement cups? trash? cleaning? with what?
* same as above with catalyst for silicon, I'm using a syringe for measurement of 5%, can I just clean it? currently I wash it out with water and keep using it
* molding clay, any specific products or which "type"?

Thanks! :)
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 February 2017, 16:25:03 by tobsn »
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Offline dfj

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 10 October 2016, 06:31:40 »
sweet - best of luck
- I used a commercial spray release which worked fine - *something* is needed, because the resin will stick a bit to the silicone and try to tear off bits at the edge.

mostly replying just to link my avatar which has my last quasi successful casting - a resin M/F stem, though teh arms were brittle and didn't last long.
sad
dfj
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 21 November 2016, 07:43:18 »
added 21.11.2016 update!
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Offline Malachor

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 21 November 2016, 09:31:55 »
Research:
* need to find out how much pigments i can use in one resin mix... probably tiny amounts cause they say 0.5-1% of resin - no idea how to measure that

I've never used resin at all, so I don't know if this idea would work, but could you decant some resin into another container, say one with a capacity of 100mL, only fill up to 99mL and the last 1mL add the pigment? Obviously, this would be without the catalyst/hardener mixed in.
Failing that what about using a syringe for the pigment?

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 21 November 2016, 11:40:31 »
well... consider how much resin you need for one keycap, using 100ml would be a total waste :D
I saw that some just use the top of a toothpick for "measurement"... I guess have to mix some 10ml of it together and then "guess" how much 1% is
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Offline Malachor

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 21 November 2016, 19:30:34 »
Okay, I guess 100mL would be a waste.
What about a 100 L syringe from somewhere like here:  http://www.sge.com/products/syringes/manual-syringes/10l-to-500lgastightsyringes

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 22 November 2016, 09:53:30 »
ha, that's pretty awesome - I have to look into that for liquids but pigments are mostly powder :/
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 29 November 2016, 19:56:53 »
added 29.11.2016 update!
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 27 January 2017, 08:47:38 »
added 27.01.2017 update!
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Offline Giorgio

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 12:24:40 »
Fantastic thread! This is what makes gh so great.

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:08:37 »
with 1,000 views and literally only 2 comments including yours... that is more or less disappointing from my perspective but whatever... I'll keep posting to help someone looking for answers in the future ;)
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Offline SKD

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #11 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 13:32:22 »
Here's a comment bro. ;D

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #12 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 17:01:52 »
thanks :)
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Offline Kominyetska

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #13 on: Tue, 31 January 2017, 18:09:23 »
with 1,000 views and literally only 2 comments including yours... that is more or less disappointing from my perspective but whatever... I'll keep posting to help someone looking for answers in the future ;)

I think that because this is your documentation, people don't feel the need to comment. You aren't asking for feedback or information, just detailing your process. I find it nice to see what other people are doing and how they're overcoming issues, but I'm not sure I'll go into every WIP thread and drop a comment. Don't be discouraged. The large number of views is a good thing even if people aren't dropping their own comments into your work log.

 :thumb:

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 09:11:25 »
I think that because this is your documentation, people don't feel the need to comment. You aren't asking for feedback or information, just detailing your process. I find it nice to see what other people are doing and how they're overcoming issues, but I'm not sure I'll go into every WIP thread and drop a comment. Don't be discouraged. The large number of views is a good thing even if people aren't dropping their own comments into your work log.

hmm, good point I guess - btw. in the footnote are questions :P
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Offline Coreda

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 09:40:39 »
Chiming in to echo that it's always cool reading WIP posts. Seeing the keycap making process come together and reading of the breakthroughs is something that always piques my interest when keeping an eye on the Spy page :)

Offline sinusoid

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 18:20:00 »
I'm lurking in this thread too, keep it up!  :thumb:

Offline beamingrobot

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 01 February 2017, 19:29:14 »
Been following your progress on instagram, so this is where you post the details  :thumb:
 

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #18 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 06:30:50 »
Been following your progress on instagram, so this is where you post the details  :thumb:

you found me! oh no! :P
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #19 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 06:31:49 »
I'm lurking in this thread too, keep it up!  :thumb:
Chiming in to echo that it's always cool reading WIP posts. Seeing the keycap making process come together and reading of the breakthroughs is something that always piques my interest when keeping an eye on the Spy page :)

alright, that makes me feel a lot better - always thought I'm posting into the void with this :D

Thanks guys!
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Offline Giorgio

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 06:40:03 »
I don't know why there haven't been many comments. Maybe is this a very complicated process, or maybe because there have been many threads about this? Sincerely I don't know.

Offline rmendis

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 02 February 2017, 12:28:48 »
Hey!
Just wanted you to know I'm lurking here, too.
Thanks so much for sharing information on your process. I am learning a lot!

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #22 on: Wed, 08 February 2017, 16:40:08 »
Nice! Good to know that people actually read it :)


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Offline Joey Quinn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 03:29:55 »
* Want to create my own $ynth to get a more high quality version + own makers mark

What qualities of the synth make you think a redesign would create a higher quality keycap?

I'm asking as the engineer for the current synth (v1.5) and past synths
People in the 1980s, in general, were clearly just better than we are now in every measurable way.

Offline darkrocker

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 03:59:04 »
quote:"
* silicon still hasn't cured 24 hours later, I assume I put not enough catalyst in it or didn't mix properly... no idea what to do... going to wait till tomorrow and hope it might still cure completely"

How can you resolve this issue ? I have the same issue and don't know how to fix it

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 07:39:08 »
What qualities of the synth make you think a redesign would create a higher quality keycap?
I'm asking as the engineer for the current synth (v1.5) and past synths

The two part stem system, [... redacted because apparently this is all about IP even though this is a hobby ...].

Above and it's sold out for month, there seems to be no teflon version available anymore, the makers mark always leaves me with a bubble.

Hence I will take this design and make my own to adjust it so it fits my personal needs.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 February 2017, 07:57:37 by tobsn »
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 07:48:17 »
added 09.02.2017 update!

The letters "$ynth" can apparently not be mentioned together with "making my own" because that somehow indicates I want to promote my imgainary "illegal" clone product.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 February 2017, 07:53:58 by tobsn »
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Offline Binge

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 08:14:57 »
added 09.02.2017 update!

The letters "$ynth" can apparently not be mentioned together with "making my own" because that somehow indicates I want to promote my imgainary "illegal" clone product.

because you want to make your own molds and not your own $ynths, right?  Thanks for understanding.
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 08:24:15 »
because you want to make your own molds and not your own $ynths, right?  Thanks for understanding.

I removed all references of the trademarked product even though it refers to the actual trademarked product which I bought and used while writing this log.
I will from now on refer to the trademarked product as "one sided metal keycap mold" when using said trademarked product, if that is in compliance with your trademark standards.
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Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 17:12:35 »
quote:"
* silicon still hasn't cured 24 hours later, I assume I put not enough catalyst in it or didn't mix properly... no idea what to do... going to wait till tomorrow and hope it might still cure completely"

How can you resolve this issue ? I have the same issue and don't know how to fix it

more catalyst! rather overdose then underdose :)


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Offline darkrocker

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 09 February 2017, 23:52:52 »
quote:"
* silicon still hasn't cured 24 hours later, I assume I put not enough catalyst in it or didn't mix properly... no idea what to do... going to wait till tomorrow and hope it might still cure completely"

How can you resolve this issue ? I have the same issue and don't know how to fix it

more catalyst! rather overdose then underdose :)


As the information from the manufacturer, it required 2% catalyst, I had tried 5% and 10% but it didn't work.  I still don't know why? maybe it's coming from the mixing process :(

Offline sinusoid

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #31 on: Sun, 12 February 2017, 11:14:04 »
[...] it required 2% catalyst, I had tried 5% and 10% but it didn't work.  I still don't know why? maybe it's coming from the mixing process :(

Oh, don't do that.

The silicone itself is usually body-neutral, while the catalyst is often a carcinogenous, liver-destroying kidney-wrecking compound of metal salts. Most of it gets trapped inside the silicone if you observe the mixing ratios. When you add more of it, then, well, it doesn't. It also changes the properties of the silicone. If you're gonna use or sell caps made with that mix, they're gonna have this stuff trapped in their surface, coming into contact with people's fingers for prolonged amounts of time.

In the manual of the silicone you're using, it should be written what kinds of substances inhibit the setting process. Like sulfur, or rubber.
Read that, and make sure none of them are present in your model, on your hands, gloves, or in the mixing process.
Don't throw away your mixing cup with silicone residue, keep it as a setting test. For a few weeks, preferably - bad mixing (or too little catalyst) will eventually set, while contamination won't.
Mix for a few minutes at least. Try different containers and mixing sticks. If you're using platinum-based silicone, it's safe for handling, but very sensitive to contamination. It won't set in minimal presence of certain chemicals (like sulfur).

But whatever you do, try not to mess with the ratios, unless you've got specific info about that in the silicone's technical sheet, or have contacted the manufacturer.

Offline darkrocker

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #32 on: Mon, 13 February 2017, 00:17:14 »
Thanks you for a very details post, I got the point now and I will try again with the correct ratios and mixing.

Offline YabosMcGee

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 23 February 2017, 23:30:56 »
Why are various parts of your log censored with [CENSORED by Binge] ?

Online Wylte

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 24 February 2017, 12:47:40 »
Redacted

****, bad on me for not going back and reading, I hadn't looked at this thread since January and missed the context  :-X
« Last Edit: Fri, 24 February 2017, 20:46:41 by Wylte »

Offline Joey Quinn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 24 February 2017, 13:38:24 »
Why are various parts of your log censored with [CENSORED by Binge] ?

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78551.msg2359110#msg2359110

It has to do with not using Synth branding to advertise a Synth clone and an over reaction to the request.
People in the 1980s, in general, were clearly just better than we are now in every measurable way.

Offline tobsn

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Re: Keycap making in Poland - Documenting my progress
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 24 February 2017, 13:40:28 »
just makes me wonder where i advertised it or where that clone is.
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