Author Topic: My DIY Caps  (Read 159138 times)

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Offline Krytone

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My DIY Caps
« on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:10:46 »
Hi guys, been reading around a number of threads here specially on Keycap molding/casting and decided to try it for my own.

Im still in the process of perfecting the ways to mold correctly and create a bubble free cast.

Due to limited supplies here in Malaysia, or i just dont know how to search properly, i am only using silicone rubber for molds and epoxy resin for the casting. Since i dont have experience yet, i can only rely on the internet for instructions and hopefully able to create a cast with my own design.

First wasted design  :(
- Used stock abs keycap from ducky shine 3
- Used polymer clay as design base (uncooked)
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This is wasted due to incorrect molding and since the polymer clay is uncooked, it broke down after taking it out of the unusable mold.

2nd design
- Used the same materials
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This came out ok but the key wall is too thin and i put too much clay under the cap which made it unusable again and would not fit deep enough in the switch.

Now i am in the process of recreating the male part mold using a bit thicker wall cap and thinner clay under the cap which should atleast give me an idea of the basic requirement of a keycap.

Next is knowing how to have a clean mold as it sticks, after curing, to the keycap when removing and creating blemishes in the outer walls. (I think because the cap is ABS and shiny which made it stick). ALso need to know how to create a bubble free resin as my cast cap have micro bubbles in it.

Will be using this thread for any future updates on my casting and hope to get better soon. ALso maybe get some insights from the community here who already have experience in doing this stuff.  :thumb:
« Last Edit: Wed, 13 August 2014, 02:12:47 by Krytone »
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Offline rowdy

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 05:22:32 »
Welcome to Geekhack!

Interesting results - if you stick with it you'll definitely get something great coming out!

And you have come to the right place - lots of people and advise her to keep you innovating :)
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thats incorrect. Its in HHKBs slogan, but when Americas cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

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Offline AGmurdercore

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 05:32:24 »
This cap looks nice, please continue with your experiments and keep us updated with the results :)

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 13 August 2014, 20:46:40 »
Thanks!

now i am trying to recreate the mold and usually need 2-3 days per part which making my progress really really slow  :-X
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 02:22:15 »
Just a small update on my progress....

Finshed the male part of the mold but have a flaw cause of the keycap used to do the mold moved and now the keycap is longer. One thing I learned is that never try to use more hardener for the silicone rubber when doing the stem part cause when i did, cause of excitement to cast quickly, the silicone didnt go through the inside of the keycap making the mold unusable. This happened to me 3x  :'(

But in the end, i was able to create a workable mold which resulted to these....
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The one in the left is the 1st one i created but not usable as you can see the stem is too short to fit the switch deep enough. The 2 translucent are created based on the new mold which is having so much bubbles and the wall is too rough. Also stem has a bit of bubbles in it so i am trying how i can prevent those.

Tried the working one on a keyboard with green leds.
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Also, since i need to recreate my design from scratch to create a better mold, the one below is what comes out of it.
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Now i need to buy more silicone and find a lower viscosity to have better detail.

Need to improve on preventing bubbles for the mold and the cast which is really a pain for me right now.  :-[
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 11:41:33 »
Watched the thread!

Seems like you're making some great process and the keys are looking great! If you ever decide to sell I would be interested if you manage to eventually get it just right :)

Great work!

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #6 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 20:12:12 »
One big update!

Am able to produce an almost bubble free, working key!  :cool: :p ;D

But need to get more silicone to get the molding part defect free. Cause my current mold have bubbles which also reflect to the casted cap and need to clean it up afterwards.

And now, i present my first produced, almost issueless, stem working keycap  :thumb:
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Tried fitting in a mkb and it sits almost perfect but not as tight as my current caps.
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Now i dont know what is better, the 2nd design, or this one.  :rolleyes:
« Last Edit: Sun, 17 August 2014, 20:22:14 by Krytone »
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #7 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 20:27:32 »
Just want to show the top view for this cap. really like how i sculpted the eyes and how it came out in the key  :p

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Offline WiNloSt

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #8 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 20:50:58 »
Great work man. I really hope I have enough time to do some research and make my own caps someday. :P

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #9 on: Sun, 17 August 2014, 21:17:06 »
Thanks everyone.

Now doing research on multi color caps while trying to order some more silicone rubbers. getting high after i got the hang of this casting style.

hopefully i can create different styles for my mkb  :p

But because of work, i can only go to the shop on saturday to check different kind of materials for dyes/pigments.  :(
Since i can only cast after work and letting it dry for 24hrs (3days for silicone), its taking me a long time to perfect this hobby.  :-[
« Last Edit: Sun, 17 August 2014, 21:22:43 by Krytone »
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 19 August 2014, 22:07:03 »
Time for another update.

Was trying to work with doubleshots and then decided to continue and make it tripleshot.  :))
please forgive the color combination as i was just trying multiple colors.  :p

The middle one is the 1st working cap i ever made and the one on the left is the keycap base i use for this design.

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Now i am trying out something different.  What do skulls need?

BRAINSSS!!!
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Hoping to get a good result for this one.

Thats all for now!  :cool:
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 20 August 2014, 08:10:00 »
Brain implant complete  :))

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Offline feizor

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 20 August 2014, 08:38:20 »
Wow good work man. The brain one is very original design!

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #13 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 02:57:49 »
Just trying out different colors. These are created from my only mold that has bubbles which you can see that the imperfections on all the caps are the same.

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Now getting a thick base keycap for creating a new mold and after that, will try to create a bubbles free workable mold.
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline theeattre

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #14 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 03:00:29 »
bahahaha! brain one is awesome!

Offline Auryon

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #15 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 03:16:32 »
Just trying out different colors. These are created from my only mold that has bubbles which you can see that the imperfections on all the caps are the same.

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Now getting a thick base keycap for creating a new mold and after that, will try to create a bubbles free workable mold.

Keeping an eye on these, keep up the great work the brain one is awesome!  :thumb:

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #16 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 03:47:09 »
Thanks guys!  ;D
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Offline hoggy

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #17 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 04:56:09 »
Wow!

When you start taking commissions, let me know.
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Offline rowdy

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #18 on: Sat, 23 August 2014, 06:24:49 »
Anything translucent red is fine by me :)

Brain injection bwahahahaha :))  Nice one - originality plus!
"Because keyboards are accessories to PC makers, they focus on minimizing the manufacturing costs. But thats incorrect. Its in HHKBs slogan, but when Americas cowboys were in the middle of a trip and their horse died, they would leave the horse there. But even if they were in the middle of a desert, they would take their saddle with them. The horse was a consumable good, but the saddle was an interface that their bodies had gotten used to. In the same vein, PCs are consumable goods, while keyboards are important interfaces." - Eiiti Wada

NEC APC-H4100E | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED red | Ducky DK9008 Shine MX blue LED green | Link 900243-08 | CM QFR MX black | KeyCool 87 white MX reds | HHKB 2 Pro | Model M 02-Mar-1993 | Model M 29-Nov-1995 | CM Trigger (broken) | CM QFS MX green | Ducky DK9087 Shine 3 TKL Yellow Edition MX black | Lexmark SSK 21-Apr-1994 | IBM SSK 13-Oct-1987 | CODE TKL MX clear | Model M 122 01-Jun-1988

Ị̸͚̯̲́ͤ̃͑̇̑ͯ̊̂͟ͅs̞͚̩͉̝̪̲͗͊ͪ̽̚̚ ̭̦͖͕̑́͌ͬͩ͟t̷̻͔̙̑͟h̹̠̼͋ͤ͋i̤̜̣̦̱̫͈͔̞ͭ͑ͥ̌̔s̬͔͎̍̈ͥͫ̐̾ͣ̔̇͘ͅ ̩̘̼͆̐̕e̞̰͓̲̺̎͐̏ͬ̓̅̾͠͝ͅv̶̰͕̱̞̥̍ͣ̄̕e͕͙͖̬̜͓͎̤̊ͭ͐͝ṇ̰͎̱̤̟̭ͫ͌̌͢͠ͅ ̳̥̦ͮ̐ͤ̎̊ͣ͡͡n̤̜̙̺̪̒͜e̶̻̦̿ͮ̂̀c̝̘̝͖̠̖͐ͨͪ̈̐͌ͩ̀e̷̥͇̋ͦs̢̡̤ͤͤͯ͜s͈̠̉̑͘a̱͕̗͖̳̥̺ͬͦͧ͆̌̑͡r̶̟̖̈͘ỷ̮̦̩͙͔ͫ̾ͬ̔ͬͮ̌?̵̘͇͔͙ͥͪ͞ͅ

Offline AGmurdercore

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #19 on: Tue, 26 August 2014, 17:22:32 »
Wow dude really impressive work! I really like the colors you are achieving and the idea with the brain is damn funny :D

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #20 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 00:39:07 »
Just got my new thick keycap which ill be using as a base. Also creating some new cap design which should be interesting.  ;D
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Offline Auryon

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 02:50:33 »
Just got my new thick keycap which ill be using as a base. Also creating some new cap design which should be interesting.  ;D

Whatever it is I want it  :)

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 11:28:35 »
Just a small update. Also, i dunno if someone already thought of these...

You know what this is.....
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With this....
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Then, i give you this....
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Offline Nuum

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #23 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 12:45:43 »
Nice, how did you manage to put that stem into the Lego piece that clean? I've done that myself a while ago, but it looks really messy. Also the cast looks amazing!

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #24 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 20:18:58 »
Nice, how did you manage to put that stem into the Lego piece that clean? I've done that myself a while ago, but it looks really messy. Also the cast looks amazing!

Thanks. I just took out one stem from an existing cap and super glue it on the brick. The red part is just clay to make it thicker.
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Offline HPE1000

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #25 on: Tue, 02 September 2014, 20:20:38 »
Just a small update. Also, i dunno if someone already thought of these...

You know what this is.....
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With this....
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Then, i give you this....
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Looks good, pacifist wanted to do this but I think he has given up on keycap making :P

Offline slip84

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #26 on: Fri, 05 September 2014, 11:02:55 »
Quite interesting to watch this thread develop. Your design reminds me of two things:

  • The Metroids from the series Metroid (especially the cap with a brain)
  • Headcrabs from Half-Life

I don't know where it would fall legally, but I think both of those would make AMAZING cap designs. Especially if you did a transparent cap with the "brain" in the Metroid:


Offline dustinhxc

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #27 on: Fri, 05 September 2014, 12:06:46 »
Brain implant complete  :))

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Uhhhh.. That's sweet!!

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #28 on: Mon, 08 September 2014, 21:24:04 »
Tryng out some new designs.

Esc Key
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #29 on: Mon, 08 September 2014, 22:22:51 »
Spiked hair-angry face-goatee design  :p

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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #30 on: Wed, 10 September 2014, 22:38:34 »
CTRL - WIN - ALT

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Offline HPE1000

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #31 on: Wed, 10 September 2014, 23:17:45 »
CTRL - WIN - ALT

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That looks awesome  :thumb:


Offline Cottonsox

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #32 on: Thu, 11 September 2014, 04:18:45 »
CTRL - WIN - ALT

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Liking this design, Very Slick.

Offline am3amzar

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 11 September 2014, 12:22:13 »
this is pretty good stuff

Offline JinDesu

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #34 on: Thu, 11 September 2014, 14:43:46 »
Loving some of these. Would be glad to see them produced for sale!

(especially that brain one)
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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #35 on: Thu, 11 September 2014, 19:44:15 »
thanks guys! Im already creating the molds for these and probably see if anyone is interested to get them  :p
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

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Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 12 September 2014, 04:19:13 »
Was thinking of updating the design for the "Smart Skull" (skull cap with brain) due to some fitting issues when installed in a switch.

For now, below is what i came out with.

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Its not yet complete and will still try to update the design to fit the cap name  ;)
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #37 on: Fri, 12 September 2014, 11:28:58 »
stopped creating designs for now.

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TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #38 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 22:45:40 »
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« Last Edit: Thu, 18 September 2014, 22:47:46 by Krytone »
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline xxghostxx

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #39 on: Thu, 18 September 2014, 23:49:09 »
love them all  :p
Ducky shine 2(9008)-orange back lit ,MX Cherry brown

Offline kevin

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #40 on: Fri, 19 September 2014, 09:56:44 »
wow those are crazy cool, i would probably buy those  :D

WASD V2

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #41 on: Thu, 25 September 2014, 22:17:16 »
I am trying to see if i can do a small sale if anyone would like to own some of my custom caps.

For now, i am trying to create different colors for the 2 designs ive created. hope you guys like it.

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TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline Krytone

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 07 October 2014, 10:59:54 »
TGR Jane CE | TX-CP | ZZ96 | HHKB | Ducky Shine 3 | Atreus | Infinity Ergodox | IBM Model M | Smart Pad | Taobao Acrylic 96 | TGR910 SE | RGB96 | M4-A | Moon

Pending: Exent | EM7 | M-60 | Kira EXS | 910 Poly | Kn210 | Alice

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 07 October 2014, 11:00:55 »
That dragon on the CTRL-WIN-ALT keys is really fun.
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline meow a cat

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #44 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 08:32:00 »
Show Image


These all look great! Good work on these. You're making me want to try making a cap or two for myself one day.

I love this design, the spots look sweet!

Boards:
Silver 84-key KMAC LE, 62g lubed & stickered ergo-clears, GON NerD PCB, polycarbonate plate,MX lock/Phosphorglow IBM Model M SSK 1391472/White HHKB Pro 2, Hasu controller/WKL Phantom, 50g vintage blacks, MX lock
Leeku G80-1800 (build in progress)

Offline notsonerd

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 08:41:41 »
Keep it up. Can't wait to see what else you come up with.
KBParadise V60 with Cherry MX Browns | Corsair K60 with Cherry MX Reds

Offline ApocalypseMaow

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 08:55:16 »
Awesome work!
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Offline mogo

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 09:12:42 »
Great work, you've improved tons in the short amount of time you've been posting already! =D

I -love- that lego cap too. I hope I can get it whenever you get around to a first sale. Keep on rockin' it Krytone!  :thumb:

Offline ekw808

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #48 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 10:22:31 »
Clucks everywhere....
[One Keyboard at a time]

My Heatware Please comment, and I will do the same =D 

Online heedpantsnow

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Re: My DIY Caps
« Reply #49 on: Wed, 08 October 2014, 10:25:14 »
I think when most people saw that weeks ago they wondered who would be the jacka** that points it out. Thanks!
I'm back.

Espresso machine overhaul: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=78261.0

Carbon Fiber keyboard base: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54825