Author Topic: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?  (Read 1007 times)

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Offline Paragon

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Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« on: Mon, 27 July 2020, 11:52:58 »

I was interested in seeing how a thicker plate would sound and I looked into having one cut out of POM or polycarbonate. I have looked online at places like sculpeto but the only option for shipping is $90 express. I was wondering if people could suggest some other vendors for having a plate lazer cut.

I am also in Canada so if there are any local places send those my was as I would like to avoid VAT / large shipping fees.

Are there any stores that sell precut 5mm plates online? is PC cutting offered anywhere?



Offline coarse

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 28 July 2020, 12:13:58 »
are you sure you want to go as thick as 5mm? that leaves zero space between the plate and the PCB for mx switches, which means that you not only have the stiffness of a 5mm plate, but also of a ~1.6mm fr4 sheet

Offline Paragon

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 28 July 2020, 14:35:18 »
are you sure you want to go as thick as 5mm?

yes, 5mm plates are available on a few keyboards and these have been done before

I realized that I might have to look into CNC milling something out of PC since I would need space for the stab wires.

The other thing to consider is just getting a piece of foam that is 3.5mm thick which just goes ontop and getting a normal 1.5mm POM plate


Offline coarse

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 28 July 2020, 20:10:11 »
The other thing to consider is just getting a piece of foam that is 3.5mm thick which just goes ontop and getting a normal 1.5mm POM plate

if youre looking to change the sound of the board, then adding foam between the plate and PCB would change the sound but wouldnt really change how the board feels when you type.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 28 July 2020, 20:30:15 »
A plate that thick must to be milled to properly allow the switches (and plate mount stabs) to lock into place, that will be expensive, no two ways about it.

What many plex cases do is a thin plate for the switches then a second thick plate underneath to support that plate, this allows it to be cheaply cut on waterjet or laser. You can possibly get this done for about 2/3rds that price, but really there's no cheap way to do this.  An added benefit here is you can use two different materials (hint Lexan or ABS top, POM/Acetal/Delrin lower), giving a softer plastic to dampen noise and vibration. Keep in mind most laser shops will not cut Lexan (not sure about ABS) so it will need to be water jetted.

One other option is if you have a 3d printer you could do it with PET, but I'd only recommend that if you already own a large one capable of doing it in one piece due to cost and precision. Notice I didn't say PLA, ABS or Polycarbonate, PLA can work however PLA can sag and deform when under load over time. ABS shrinks too much,  something this large it would be over 6mm of shrinkage, making it almost impossible to get to stick to a bed (without being extremely resourceful), you would need a large commercial specialized printer to do this and it would be cost prohibitive, same for polycarbonate. The heated bed alone on a printer this size would consume around 1000watts of power.

Yet one other option is get the top plate cut and then 3d print the lower, since this isn't as critical for precision you could do this on a cheaper smaller one and glue it together, this would allow for quite a few different materials.



One thing to keep in mind on all of this is it's not going to be as soft as you think (and it shouldn't anyhow). Also POM/Delrin/Acetal (all relatively similar) are hard enough to allow for ping to still be audible, hence my recommendation of Lexan.
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Offline Prelim

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 29 July 2020, 09:11:51 »
SPRIT sells 5mm acrylic plates (and polycarbonate in the past) to 60% boards. if you want to make it by yourself, then the design will be a bit more complicated to do, like said before (mainly to accommodate the stabs)
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Offline Paragon

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Re: Vendor for 5mm POM/PC Plate Cutting?
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 02 August 2020, 23:54:37 »
I ended up finding a 5mm PC plate from noxary https://noxary.co/products/5mm-polycarbonate-tray-mount-plate if anyone is interested for future reference.