Author Topic: Makerbot Keycaps?  (Read 6464 times)

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Offline Talfrey

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Makerbot Keycaps?
« on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 08:23:01 »
http://www.makerbot.com/

So this could be really cool, making your own custom shaped keycaps with a 3D printer.

Thoughts?

Offline SmallFry

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« Reply #1 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 08:33:30 »
The texture will be rougher. I believe they only print in ABS if that makes a difference to you. Also, if you do decide to make them, don't forget to make things roundish. Sharp keys may ruin your day.

Offline Talfrey

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« Reply #2 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 10:46:49 »
Hmm, I wonder if maybe you could make them and sand them smooth, or rough, as needed?

I certainly don't have the spare income to drop 1k-2k on a whim, but I imagine there's someone out there who might, and considering that we see some crazy prices on custom keycaps (admittedly my opinion), the ability to make your own whole set might be a genuine idea to entertain.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #3 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 11:43:21 »
I had a discussion about this in the "Make your own keycap" mod thread.

My uni's robotics soc has a 3D printer, but it's busted and they cbf to fix it. I was going to try and print some keycaps and see what would happen. But yeah, the result will most likely need some processing (sanding etc).

I'd like to own one tho, being a gundam modeller, It'd be nice to just print custom parts for projects.

Offline Barn

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« Reply #4 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 15:51:52 »
I read somewhere that it wouldn't be accurate enough - not sure if that was fact or opinion though.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #5 on: Tue, 10 January 2012, 20:28:23 »
Quote from: Barn;487487
I read somewhere that it wouldn't be accurate enough - not sure if that was fact or opinion though.

My worry would be the accuracy for the stem, It might not be perfect, but I believe it can be done (or fixed after it's printed). You can get the plastic out of the nozzle quite thin and the machinery should be quite accurate.
In any case some work needs to be done after printing to make it look right/fit.

Offline Talfrey

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« Reply #6 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 20:37:35 »
Woah. Are those metal?

We could have Metal keycaps?

Time to go back to college methinks <<

Offline Talfrey

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« Reply #7 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 22:43:13 »
I'm more excited about the prospect of CUSTOM metal keycaps.

I know metal keycaps exist, but imagine metal keycaps with crazy designs on them?

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #8 on: Fri, 13 January 2012, 23:21:09 »
Quote from: Talfrey;490054
I'm more excited about the prospect of CUSTOM metal keycaps.

I know metal keycaps exist, but imagine metal keycaps with crazy designs on them?
Shapeways will do it, though it'll be expensive.

imagine a metal vader keycap (OMG!)

Offline Talfrey

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« Reply #9 on: Sat, 14 January 2012, 00:22:08 »
Quote from: dorkvader;490066
Shapeways will do it, though it'll be expensive.

imagine a metal vader keycap (OMG!)

It would figure a fellow named "Dork Vader" would be in love with the idea of a Metal Darth Vader keycap.

Know what would be really cool? Minecraft Keycaps.

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #10 on: Sat, 14 January 2012, 01:27:55 »
You'd have to make them stackable.

I'm helping my roommate make circuits in redstone.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #11 on: Sat, 14 January 2012, 09:51:34 »
Quote from: Talfrey;490089
It would figure a fellow named "Dork Vader" would be in love with the idea of a Metal Darth Vader keycap.

Know what would be really cool? Minecraft Keycaps.

https://geekhack.org/showthread.php?25674-Custom-Keycap-Ideas-Thread-all-ideas-welcome&p=490232&viewfull=1#post490232

>.> Just to keep all the keycap ideas out of the wrong thread.

Offline captain

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« Reply #12 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 15:44:59 »
Ha!  I get frustrated with Round4 BS, so go out on the web looking for this idea... and end up right back here at geekhack.  :-P
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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #13 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 20:32:31 »
Infinite loop!

My Uni's robotic's club seems to have fixed their makerbot. I will be bugging them to let me use it to make a couple keycaps to see what it would be like. = D

Offline Dox

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« Reply #14 on: Wed, 01 February 2012, 20:35:52 »
Quote from: hazeluff;505807
Infinite loop!
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Offline captain

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« Reply #15 on: Fri, 03 February 2012, 02:06:05 »
Good one DOX!

From click clack's info I get the feeling that he is using a makerbot to make his awesome art keycaps.  Does anyone know?
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Offline Jigo

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« Reply #16 on: Fri, 03 February 2012, 02:20:50 »
Makerbot doesn't have the ability to make anything with a clean appearance like an injection molded piece. The printing tip extrudes the molten plastic at a constant rate, so the only real variables are the extruder tip (smaller hole) and the speed at which the printing head moves (stretching the extruded stream very thin). They actually have a page for all the known records for a number of categories regarding makerbot, one of which is the Highest Resolution:  http://wiki.makerbot.com/hall-of-fame-highest-resolution

Just looking at the images there, the results are impressive, but you'd have to really sand it down to make it look like anything else on your board. Even then, they'd look pretty rough and obviously homebrewed. I still would love to get my hands on one of these things tho, haha.

Offline whiskerBox

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« Reply #17 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 13:08:52 »
This might be a better solution, its kind of like a mini cnc machine

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 39581[/ATTACH]

source
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Offline tsangan

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« Reply #18 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 13:14:36 »
Yeah that mini CNC machine is the way to go for keycaps i think :)
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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #19 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 13:14:57 »
Quote from: whiskerBox;508394
This might be a better solution, its kind of like a mini cnc machine

(Attachment Link) 39581[/ATTACH]

source


Makerbot > that.

You can print larger stuff. = D LARGER. BIGGER.Bigger Implies Better.

They are about the same price too.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #20 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 13:16:07 »
Quote from: tsangan;508399
Yeah that mini CNC machine is the way to go for keycaps i think :)

Well personally Id still get the makerbot and put in the time to sand. I just like to have the option of making larger things if I wanted. Also the makerbot is a self replicating machine. You can print the parts to build a makerbot.

Offline guilleguillaume

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« Reply #21 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 17:02:03 »
Quote from: hazeluff;508402
Well personally Id still get the makerbot and put in the time to sand. I just like to have the option of making larger things if I wanted. Also the makerbot is a self replicating machine. You can print the parts to build a makerbot.

Did you mangage to try the Markerbot in your Uni's robotic's club?

I'm actually interested in that machine if we can make keycaps. Also, Do you know if it have the detail to copy miniatures?

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #22 on: Tue, 07 February 2012, 18:15:46 »
Quote from: guilleguillaume;508599
Did you mangage to try the Markerbot in your Uni's robotic's club?

I'm actually interested in that machine if we can make keycaps. Also, Do you know if it have the detail to copy miniatures?

I need to get round it. I'll try 2morrow since its a half day, so everyone has the afternoon off. The time for the machine tho is scarce from what I hear, since there are people who need it for projects.

Offline Vyr1s

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« Reply #23 on: Fri, 10 February 2012, 12:00:17 »
Which makerbot is it?

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #24 on: Fri, 10 February 2012, 12:00:50 »
Quote from: Vyr1s;511096
Which makerbot is it?

The one I'm talking about in uni is one of the older ones. Without the nice casing.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #25 on: Sat, 11 February 2012, 08:07:55 »
Quote from: harrison;511458
cupcake?

Woops, Its a RepRap. == I swear they slapped on "Makerbot" on it tho.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c7/RepRap_'Mendel'.jpg

Offline mkawa

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« Reply #26 on: Sat, 11 February 2012, 09:32:08 »
anyone who lives in seattle, you have access to a makerbot and a laser cutter for 25$ a month. google studentrnd. i live 1/4 time in seattle; if someone can get me a printable file for a cherry keycap i can try this next time i'm there.

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Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #27 on: Sat, 11 February 2012, 10:38:20 »
See, this is why I wish we had a local hackerspace here. I'd sign up for that immediately.

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #28 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 08:55:23 »
Okok, Robotics society finally fixed the damn RepRap. The president says he's gonna run a crash course on it within a week or two and I'll go to it and then make keycaps! They're using google SketchUp to design.
« Last Edit: Wed, 15 February 2012, 09:01:03 by hazeluff »

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #29 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 15:17:19 »
[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 40660[/ATTACH] [ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 40661[/ATTACH] [ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 40662[/ATTACH]

Just a keycap I drew up in SketchUp.

Offline tsangan

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« Reply #30 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 16:54:57 »
Make one already, I sent them a email regarding making keycaps but got no replies ;(

I still think the mini mill machine is better :P
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Offline whiskerBox

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« Reply #31 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 17:00:04 »
Quote from: tsangan;515474


I still think the mini mill machine is better :P


Agreed
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Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #32 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 18:56:06 »
Quote from: hazeluff;515399
(Attachment Link) 40661[/ATTACH]
Just a keycap I drew up in SketchUp.
I think you should have the posts connected at the bottom for stability. It seems pretty easy that one may break off!

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #33 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 19:28:04 »
Quote from: dorkvader;515579
I think you should have the posts connected at the bottom for stability. It seems pretty easy that one may break off!

I thought of that too, I'll be changing that... I thought it was pretty cool to do it that way. Then on the bus ride to icehockey I realized the problem of the pegs splitting apart.

[ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 40696[/ATTACH] [ Attachment Invalid Or Does Not Exist ] 40697[/ATTACH]
« Last Edit: Wed, 15 February 2012, 20:11:49 by hazeluff »

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #34 on: Wed, 15 February 2012, 23:48:27 »
Make the base of the peg connector a bit thicker than the rest, that way, it won't be as much of a stress raiser. You can only get away with it being flush to the top of the keycap like that if you have a round stem, The square one that meets flush will have significantly more stresses where it meets.

It's starting to look really good. How hard was it to define the front mesh (that the finger contacts) ?

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #35 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 08:58:31 »
Quote from: dorkvader;515810
Make the base of the peg connector a bit thicker than the rest, that way, it won't be as much of a stress raiser. You can only get away with it being flush to the top of the keycap like that if you have a round stem, The square one that meets flush will have significantly more stresses where it meets.

It's starting to look really good. How hard was it to define the front mesh (that the finger contacts) ?

The front mesh was not too hard. Tho SketchUp isn't very helpful with making round surfaces. There was a little trick to it, but not too much. The rounding of the edges was done by a ruby script I DLed.

I'm not sure what you mean with the pegs tho. Is the base of the peg connector the but round the keycap, or the bit that connects to the stem of the switch?

And about the round stem...I'm not sure if the stem gets so much force that I need to design it so carefully. Also given the way the plastic is laid out, I don't think there isn't much benefit between round and square(?). Also a round stem makes some bits particularly thin.

I dunno, I'm going to print this one out first and see how that goes. Also I don't think the reprap can print the curved surface. I'm thinking in my mind that no matter that orientation I print it, I can't make the curved surface...

If I print from the base to the top, the surface becomes this roof thing dangling in the air, that the RepRap can't print. If I start the other way round, the curved surface would face the table, and once again we can't print on air...

Offline byFd

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« Reply #36 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 09:45:58 »
i really have no clue about all this stuff but maybe you can shape something with that curve and use it as base to print on?
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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #37 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 09:50:46 »
Quote from: byFd;516032
i really have no clue about all this stuff but maybe you can shape something with that curve and use it as base to print on?

I'm probably gonna make it flat, and then file off the surface till its curved.

Offline byFd

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« Reply #38 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 09:52:28 »
Quote from: hazeluff;516035
I'm probably gonna make it flat, and then file off the surface till its curved.

that will make each cap unique, but at the same time it will be a lot of work i guess.
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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #39 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 09:56:55 »
Quote from: byFd;516037
that will make each cap unique, but at the same time it will be a lot of work i guess.

I can't see a way around it, because of how the reprap makes things.

I may have to conclude that 3D printing of keycaps is not the most efficient way of making keycaps.

Offline mkawa

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« Reply #40 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 15:13:45 »
wat? why can't it make the cylindrical bit?

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Offline byFd

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« Reply #41 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 15:27:31 »
well if you think about it, how should it do it?
it can't print in the air :P
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Offline mkawa

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« Reply #42 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 15:55:57 »
the reprap isn't an extrusion printer?

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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #43 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 17:26:45 »
Quote from: mkawa;516389
the reprap isn't an extrusion printer?

I believe it is.

Offline mkawa

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« Reply #44 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 21:40:45 »
then my question stands

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Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #45 on: Thu, 16 February 2012, 23:44:04 »
Quote from: mkawa;516652
then my question stands

It can make curved surfaces. but due it putting on layers and layers, it means I have to start from the base of they keycap or the top. If i start from the bottom. I can't actually print the top of the keycap because it'll be printed on air. If i print from top to bottom, the curved bit would mean some of it is "printed on air". Again it doesn't work.

Offline dorkvader

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« Reply #46 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 00:15:37 »
Can you make it solid?

Offline mkawa

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« Reply #47 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 02:13:25 »
my impression on extrusion was that you could eg print an arch with the curved surface facing down as long as the radius was small enough.

anyway if nothing else you can print a flat key just to see if the thing can print walls thin enough for caps.

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Offline Son of Gnome

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« Reply #48 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 02:15:32 »
My best friend's dad has one of those at work I have never thought about making keycaps though hmmm...

Offline hazeluff

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« Reply #49 on: Fri, 17 February 2012, 03:05:36 »
Quote from: mkawa;516801
my impression on extrusion was that you could eg print an arch with the curved surface facing down as long as the radius was small enough.

anyway if nothing else you can print a flat key just to see if the thing can print walls thin enough for caps.
I dont think the top is angled right. But well see.