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Crafty Curios

My keycaps have improved!

After a lot of trial and error, I finally realized if you put more resin in the bottom of the two part mold, you’ll avoid the massive air bubbles. Now I can consistently make keycaps without gaping holes (and without a pressure pot).

Here are my “cucumber mint” and “watermelon” keys.

keycaps on keyboard

keyboard close up

 

Recently, we’ve been talking a lot about video games with our friends. It reminded me 11 years ago I made a game for the Nintendo DS Lite.

I don’t have any of the assets anymore except for these two screenshots:

title screen

game screen

It was neat to learn about all DS Lite hardware and thinking about processors and CPUs. Reminds me a little of Android development.

I’ve been watching the L2K tutorials on Youtube to learn to cast keycaps.

While the tutorials are fantastic, I had to watch several times to compile a list of materials. I’m starting from scratch so I needed to acquire everything.

For the Two-Part Silicone Mold

For the Resin Keys

  • Polyurethane resin (I accidentally got epoxy resin, but they have similar properties)
  • Resin dye (any solid/mica dye or a liquid dye)
  • Mold release (see above)
  • Sand paper (to polish the keycap bottom)
  • Pressure pot (I don’t have one but the videos strongly recommend this)

General supplies

  • Graduated syringes (you’ll need to mix 1:1 ratios for silicone and resin; catheter tips are better than Luer locks or needles)
  • Disposable containers (I’m using plastic egg cartons and other household plastic refuse)
  • Stirrers (any small stick will work)

 

I recently started casting keycaps as a quarantine hobby.

I’m making one a day.

IMG_3779_600

I’m pleasantly surprised the quality of the mold registration. It captured the matte texture on the tops of the keys while keeping the sides smooth and shiny.

I’m using a two-part silicone mold made with L2K adapters. Since my keyboard has DCS sculpted keys (every row of keys is shaped differently), I’ll need to make a mold per row.

IMG_3783_600

The keycaps are susceptible to giant air bubbles. I’m taping the mold to release trapped air but I might purchase a pressure pot in the future.

IMG_3770_600

Once I master the fundamentals, I’ll attempt to make embeded keys like Jelly Key.