Author Topic: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps  (Read 2308 times)

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Offline EJ42

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4
Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« on: Tue, 08 August 2017, 15:30:21 »
I'm trying to create Cherry MX compatible keycaps that are shorter (vertical dimension when looking down at the keycap), similar to the G-keys, ESC, and F-keys of the Logitech G15 keyboard.  I have a decent idea how to go about 3D printing with ABS or casting with resin, but I'm not sure how to print the labels on them.

My first thought was to carve out the letters in the 3D model or a wax casting if I go the resin route.  Then, I could fill in the voids with some sort of enamel (e.g. nail polish) on the final product.

I've read about dye sublimation, but not for ABS or resin.  Is there some better method, or is my idea decent?

If my idea is good, what's the best substance to use?  In theory, if I use my 3D printer, I could leave complete voids all the way through, which I could fill with clear resin later to make a backlit keycap.  Assuming I don't want to make a backlit one, what do you suggest for white lettering on black keys?

Offline pingmaster

  • Posts: 21
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 08 August 2017, 16:04:49 »
Use a laser engraver to make legends?

Offline Malachor

  • Posts: 22
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #2 on: Tue, 08 August 2017, 16:44:23 »
If my idea is good, what's the best substance to use?  In theory, if I use my 3D printer, I could leave complete voids all the way through, which I could fill with clear resin later to make a backlit keycap.  Assuming I don't want to make a backlit one, what do you suggest for white lettering on black keys?
Why not use an opaque resin if you don't want it backlit? Or 3d print the voided part and then the rest in a different colour, instead of using resin. So instead of a double shot, a double 3d print.

Offline EJ42

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 4
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #3 on: Tue, 08 August 2017, 18:04:44 »
If my idea is good, what's the best substance to use?  In theory, if I use my 3D printer, I could leave complete voids all the way through, which I could fill with clear resin later to make a backlit keycap.  Assuming I don't want to make a backlit one, what do you suggest for white lettering on black keys?
Why not use an opaque resin if you don't want it backlit? Or 3d print the voided part and then the rest in a different colour, instead of using resin. So instead of a double shot, a double 3d print.
My 3D printer can't really handle that.  I have to do a lot of finishing work already.  My current plan is to leave a cavity in the top of the keycap, in the shape of the letter, then fill it with some form of colored liquid.

I was thinking enamel, but you think tinted resin would be better?

Offline Malachor

  • Posts: 22
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 09 August 2017, 16:26:39 »
I was thinking enamel, but you think tinted resin would be better?
I don't know if resin would be better than enamel, I suggested it because you mentioned using clear resin since the procedure for clear or opaque resin would be very similar. I imagine.
I haven't made keycaps, so I was just saying a couple of ideas I thought of.

Offline Nixon

  • Posts: 18
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 16 August 2017, 14:56:09 »
Ended up laser engraving the keycaps for my latest build. They're PBT though rather than ABS or Resin. Might 3D print a keycap in ABS and engrave it tomorrow to see if it'll work.

 176002-0

Offline LazyDog

  • Posts: 23
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 17 August 2017, 16:56:54 »
Nixon, The thin lines of those legends kind of give them an art deco feel

Offline Nixon

  • Posts: 18
Re: Printing Legends On DIY Keycaps
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 18 August 2017, 10:00:33 »
Nixon, The thin lines of those legends kind of give them an art deco feel

It's called Neoteric http://www.fontspace.com/herofonts/neoteric

Wanted a classy looking font that didn't look "gamery".