Alcohol Inks and Mica Powder

When I first saw a koi pond keycap by Jelly Key, I was amazed. I’d never considered keycaps could be anything other than single color plastic. I was suddenly open to all the possibilities. Think of a cat keycap! Or a dim sum keycap! Although I have some experience 3D modeling on a computer, I lack finesse with physical crafts, and never pursued making my own keycaps.

When COVID ramped up, and forced me to give up aviation, I needed a new hobby. Around that time, one of my friends started machining his own mechanical keyboard plates. That was the final push to send me ordering all sorts of key casting supplies.

I learned the basics from Youtube. Since I don’t have strong physical intuition, I did a lot of trial and error experiments. I still don’t have a great success rate yet, but I’ll keep iterating. I’ll write a separate post on everything I’ve learned.

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll see I went from single color keys to two layers of color to embedded cat key. Right now I’m experimenting with alcohol inks and mica powder. Alcohol inks can give you the watery effect in koi pond keys. Mica powder gives a metallic shine. After I’m able to reproduce the effects I want, I’ll apply them to embedded shapes.

In the meantime, check enjoy these progress photos

cold water

sea scale

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