Author Topic: Key caps - Requests and Suggestions?  (Read 2890 times)

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Offline ShakeR

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Key caps - Requests and Suggestions?
« on: Mon, 21 May 2012, 14:05:27 »
We'd like to get some key caps made, but I would like to know 2 key things (pun intended) before proceeding.

#1 -- Who should we use to make the key caps.  Signature Plastics seems to be the most well known but I've read several posts knocking their QC.  Any suggestions?

#2 -- Any specific requests as far as designs, plastic types, font preference etc. -- Your vote for favorite font type is appreciated :)
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Offline dorkvader

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Key caps - Requests and Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 21 May 2012, 23:40:28 »
I vote for Dyesub PBT. Wherever you can get that made (likely China, though Signature Plastics' PBT is very nice)

As far as other places: It seems the only real non-China options are SP, WASDkeyborads, and QWERkeys (from the UK).

I'm personally interested in Dvorak kits of PBT, preferably Dyesub.

As far as SP's quality. Many complain of thin keycaps. I like the texture their shift and ESC keys (and some others) have. For ABS, the moulding mark is on the front. (PBT is on the back for them). Overall, their quality isn't bad, and their customer service is reportedly excellent.

Still, I feel that Dyesub PBT is a market that's still pretty open. Even still, getting a set of Doubleshot keycaps in large quantities (and therefore a cheaper price) mould be pretty excellent.

As far as font: Maybe once it's done you can work out a deal with GH to use the "cherry-look-alike" font. Other than that, I hear Helvetica is nice.

Offline mkawa

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Key caps - Requests and Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 21 May 2012, 23:56:53 »
imsto has nice looking caps ready to go that it seems he could probably run in quantity. check out his taobao for the varieties he has already in production. note that imsto's caps are dyesub PBT, and in particular he has access to high quality cap molds that are preferred by some on the forum for the amount of material used per cap.

getting caps from SP is very time and labor intensive. the product is high quality once they have production down exactly, but hit or miss before then due to misunderstandings/QC issues/etc. if you put more capital into production, this may be different for you, but for our smaller production runs, it's a longstanding problem. eventually they give us very high quality product, but there are often bugs along the way. unfortunately, they are the only game in town for doubleshot caps.

the korean boards at kbdmania and OTD have either run group buys or paid directly for production of some very nice looking caps from SP. sherryton is importing some of these caps into the US, but there may be more opportunities available.

imo, no need to reinvent the wheel. the ability to get one of the nicer looking for less imported cap sets into the US, or the ability to stock nicer doubleshot caps with no lead-time should cost you less and give you a bigger return in a short-run than trying to source and design your own.

re: wasd and qwerkeys. wasd seems to get their keys from the same factory that ducky, costar, and imsto get theirs. qwerkeys gets their caps from devlin in the UK. the usual suspects around here are not that into devlin caps.
« Last Edit: Mon, 21 May 2012, 23:59:41 by mkawa »

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Offline ShakeR

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Key caps - Requests and Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 23 May 2012, 18:26:00 »
Thanks for the info.  That's very helpful!
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