Author Topic: First Time Making Artisan Key Caps  (Read 1927 times)

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Offline applebutter

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First Time Making Artisan Key Caps
« on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 02:52:33 »
Hey guys!

I'm pretty new to crafting key caps but the idea of it has caught my attention. I've done a bit of research on materials and am locking in on mold star 30 for silicone, smooth cast 326 for resin, and an l2k adapter to make it all happen. What are yalls thoughts the material? The main goal  for me is quality here and I want to make sure i'm working with the right goods. I'm also confused on the color pigments, can I use just any kind of pigment to color my resin? And how did you guys create your designs for your key caps? Super interested in the hobby and looking to create some really good stuff in the future, any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Offline Bishop186er

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Re: First Time Making Artisan Key Caps
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 12 August 2020, 10:45:31 »
Hi Applebutter,

I haven't made custom keycaps, but I work as a special-effects artist/modelmaker so do a lot of casting and mouldmaking.

The smoothcast 326 has a potlife (working time) of 9 min. Depending the amount of keycaps you want to cast you may want something slower to have a bit more time and  prevent airbubles.

Also most polyurethanes have shrinkage , do a test to see if the keycap still fits the swith.

Another thing to consider is UV stability. These colormatch resins yellow over time.

You can pigment the resin intrinsicly with smooth-on so strong Pu pigments. Pu resins are sensitive to moisture so make sure you use special Pu pigment.

One last thing, Pu resin does not stick to silicone so a release agent isn't mandatory but it will extend the llife of your mould.

Have fun!

Offline applebutter

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Re: First Time Making Artisan Key Caps
« Reply #2 on: Thu, 03 September 2020, 17:40:25 »
Thanks for the reply Bishop!

Is there actually a difference between using the smooth-on so strong Pu pigment and using just standard Let's Resin Epoxy pigment? I've gathered up all the materials but I'm curious if epoxy pigment will mix well with the smoothcast resin I already got

Tanks mang, I'll post up some pictures of my keys once I get some prooooduction goin