[Photos] Dye-Sublimation artist on Etsy

Have someone checked out his (her?) work?
Not in my price range but it's definitely not original work.

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Spoiler:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/208258132/emacs-keyboard?ref=shop_home_active_1
Menuhin

Unread post11 Jan 2017, 19:50

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Fantastic job!
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Unread post11 Jan 2017, 23:27

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Sextuple dyesub? Oo Creepy Christ on a bicycle! Are ALL the lines dyesubbed then? Or are some stickered?
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Unread post12 Jan 2017, 11:49

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DanielT has bought a bunch of SUN keycaps from Decent Keyboards some time ago. I have seen one of those SUN keycaps and the quality is excelent.

You could ask DanielT more details
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Unread post12 Jan 2017, 11:49

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Yep, this guy is from Japan. He ca do any legends you want if you have the money :) The quality is excellent, a couple of years ago I made a custom order for the SUN keycaps and he did an amazing job. He now sells those caps with my design :roll:
He has also a blog where he detailed all about DIY dye sublimation, very interesting, I have to search for the link.
He made his own rig to do the sublimation, and can do it for MX OEM PBT caps, IBM caps.

Can only recommend contacting him on etsy for any custom jobs, he likes a challenge 8-)
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Unread post12 Jan 2017, 12:52

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Impressive, but I don't actually like the look of it too much. The possibilities though...
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Unread post12 Jan 2017, 13:31

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DanielT wrote:The quality is excellent, a couple of years ago I made a custom order for the SUN keycaps and he did an amazing job. He now sells those caps with my design :roll:

Is my design meant to be ironic?
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 12:02

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GEIST wrote:Is my design meant to be ironic?

Not at all, it says just that it was "my design".
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 13:11

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Maybe I didn't understand, but if you referring to this keycap, to me it seems like the official logo of Sun Microsystems. So it seems to be their design.
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 13:16

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Jeez ... yes it's the official SUN Microsystems logo, yest it's their design, like any company logo. I just did the design for the cap, combined them etc ....
It's like the Vim logo, yes it's their logo but to put it on a keycap you needed to make a "design" so it fits. Shit like that.

I wasn't ironic, I didn't make any monetary claims, I'm not butt-hurt about him selling this cap, I admire the guy and his work, he is simply amazing.

If you were around a couple of years ago when I made those 8 caps you would have understood the "my" part, it was something special for me, something that I was somewhat proud of.
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 13:56

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RO
Sorry, I didn't meant to attack you and I have no problems in using company logos. I probably just misinterpreted you initial post.
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 14:13

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GEIST wrote:Sorry, I didn't meant to attack you and I have no problems in using company logos. I probably just misinterpreted you initial post.

No problem man 8-) It's "The Internet" it happens all the time
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 15:01

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Chyros wrote:Sextuple dyesub? Oo Creepy Christ on a bicycle! Are ALL the lines dyesubbed then? Or are some stickered?

I believe that the sublimation is a single operation, using special CMYK inks in an inkjet printer deposited onto a transfer foil, which is then pressed upon the keycap using a vacuum pump and with heat applied. If anyone knows where to look, I'd be grateful for a reminder where to find the blog of Nakazoto-san, it's very informative.

Dye sublimation printing is yet another very expensive hobby: http://www.dyesublimationsupplies.co.uk/
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 16:23

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Yes, thanks! :-)
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 16:49

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Great blog! :D
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 17:17

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That is the blog, it's simply amazing! He documented all his work, it's a very interesting read
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 17:32

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RO
He did a custom set for my SSK. There are some pictures in my Flickr album, although I went overboard with depth-of-field so it's a little hard to see all the caps.

I was/am quite pleased with his work.
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 17:45

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Thanks for the link! He seems to have also encountered the issue of reproducing IBM's odd Helvetica-based typeface..
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 18:33

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He has done a couple of custom keys for me that turned out really well. He is also the same merchant that I picked these up from.

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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 20:05

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If only IBM buckling spring spherical caps were available, and with those legends too...
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tigpha wrote:If only IBM buckling spring spherical caps were available, and with those legends too...

If you only need a single mold for 1u, then maybe it is not that expensive to do if there are enough people interested? I encourage you to look into it.
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Unread post13 Jan 2017, 23:55

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seebart wrote:Impressive, but I don't actually like the look of it too much. The possibilities though...

Yeah, I feel like this would really be great for utility if needed, not necessarily for aesthetics. I do actually have a few of his BS caps though and they are quite nice and fun for a decent price (like $5 or something).
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Unread post14 Jan 2017, 16:10

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HuBandiT wrote:
tigpha wrote:If only IBM buckling spring spherical caps were available, and with those legends too...

If you only need a single mold for 1u, then maybe it is not that expensive to do if there are enough people interested? I encourage you to look into it.

I did consider it, and a few practical considerations gave me pause:

Making the caps can take advantage of the two-piece key design of the Model M, so that the fiddly bit which acts as the plunger and spring guide can be salvaged from a donor keyboard. The caps could be made in resin, using silicone moulds to duplicate the inside shape of the cap, but I'd have to be a very skillful sculptor to make the appropriate outside form. Either that or obtain the outside shape from a different make and model of key cap. I have an old HP terminal keyboard that could serve the purpose, it's the only one I have with spherical caps.

The other consideration is the dished shape of a spherical cap, and that the transfer foil needs to conform to the dished shape. Cylindrical caps can accept the transfer foil without creasing, but the dish shape of a spherical cap will distort the film by either stretching in the wrong way, or creasing. This is probably the most challenging problem. It might explain why spherical caps are less frequently found in new production than the older spherical shape. Double-shot legends are also more challenging since the form of the moulds need to match, which may be trickier with a sphere shape than a cylinder shape.
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tigpha wrote:The caps could be made in resin, using silicone moulds to duplicate the inside shape of the cap,

I meant proper injection molding. Since it is an M where the rows are curved via means of the backplate and not via differing keycap shapes, you only really need to design a single keycap shape (if you are okay with sphericals just for the 1u keys). Plus, as you say, you already have the tight tolerance stem part in place. So it is a much less involving endeavour than having to design viable keycaps for an entire flat plate keyboard.

So maybe just a single mold will be enough (or perhaps two if you want a deep dish cap as well).
tigpha wrote:but I'd have to be a very skillful sculptor to make the appropriate outside form. Either that or obtain the outside shape from a different make and model of key cap. I have an old HP terminal keyboard that could serve the purpose, it's the only one I have with spherical caps.

For the cap shape, you could look around in threads here for people who designed various keycap shapes with the goal of injection molding, there are a few spherical keycap design/redesign manufacture/remanufacture initiatives around as far as I can recall. Maybe you can cooperate with those people, or at least ask for their input.

Spoiler:
Or maybe you can just CAD something yourself. This is just something I threw together in a few hours (for Cherry MX compatibles) for playing around with looks and sizing for a CNC-milled wooden case. (This is a gateway drug keyboard for getting off from flat notebook keyboards, so I was deliberately going for a single row shape, shallow and slightly edgy design - but since its all parametric it's easy to adjust side angle, dish depth, edge radiuses, etc.)

keyboard study 1 2.JPG

keyboard study 1 4.JPG

keyboard study 1 7.JPG

keyboard study 1 8.JPG

keyboard study 1 9.JPG

tigpha wrote:The other consideration is the dished shape of a spherical cap, and that the transfer foil needs to conform to the dished shape.

Yes, not really knowing the dye sublimation process I indeed did not consider this. Maybe you could ask Nakazato-san what the possibilities are there? Maybe he sees a challenge (or value) in working out a good transfer process for spherical caps, and then we created something new and useful for the world. We will never know if we don't ask.
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Unread post15 Jan 2017, 01:28

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This is a big challenge when trying to organise a production run of enough parts to build, for example, a dozen or so sets of caps for keyboards.

The injection moulding process (and molding, my spelling is tinged with French influences: moulage) has very low cost per part, but has a very high up-front tooling cost. This guide mentions costs starting from at least £3,000 up to £20,000. This makes it prohibitively expensive except for production of 100,000 key caps or more. That's an awful lot of keyboards! I would need to consider creating a business plan and invest a lot of time and money, both of which I simply do not have, and I doubt many among us either. I have utmost respect for Ellipse, who is doing exactly this, at great risk of not recovering the investment cost, let alone making a profit.

The other option is the method used by makers of artisan key caps, using resin and silicone moulds. Here the cost per piece is very high due to manual labour, and the skill and experience necessary. It can amount to more than £10 per key cap, but the initial cost in tools and materials is much lower than injection moulding. The production runs range from single pieces up to a hundred, but not a lot more. This makes the production cost of a full set of caps for just one keyboard reach £500 or more quite easily.

I haven't yet found a production process that fills the void in between, with enough production scale for dozens of keyboards, but without the huge up-front investment. I'm not convinced yet that 3D printing is anywhere near good enough to produce results of the same quality as the vintage Model F keys made by IBM in the 1980's. Key caps are in contact with the most sensitive skin on the tips of fingers, and imperfections will not go unnoticed. The mechanical tolerances necessary for smooth operation are not within the reach of reasonably cheap 3D printers.

Perhaps in the near future the combination of very precise 3D printing to manufacture steel moulds for small-scale injection moulding production runs will bring down the initial investment cost of customised keyboard manufacturing? I believe that the automotive and aeronautic industries have pioneered this method, but it's not available to the general public yet.
tigpha

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Hmm... Maybe an industrial prototyping service might offer a solution?
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HuBandiT wrote:Yes, not really knowing the dye sublimation process I indeed did not consider this. Maybe you could ask Nakazato-san what the possibilities are there?

Update: He said PBT sphericals for M is a great idea, and if we can give him PBT spherical keycaps (not ABS), then he can print them.

Here is the old thread: keyboards-f2/decentkeyboards-keycaps-t10140.html?hilit=etsy
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jaseg had several OpenSCAD mockups you could draw from as an easy start. The following would be the keycap in question. I did validate some things I have done against his models, and haven't always ended up with the same conclusions, but this one would be a safe bet I would think.

Code: Select all
//measures are in millimeters
AY=18.5;
AX=19.0;
BY=12.5;
BLX=14.5;
EZ=11.0;
FLZ=14.0;
H=12.75;
CYL_OFF_Z=50;
CYL_DEPTH=0.1;
CLIP_X=2;
CLIP_Y=0.75;
CLIP_H=3*CLIP_Y;
CORNER_RADIUS=2;

WallThickness=0.75;
ClipWidth=2.2;
ClipDepth=0.75;

//ascfront=FLZ/sqrt(pow(FLZ,2)-pow(H,2));
//asctop=(H-EZ)/sqrt(pow(BLX,2)-pow((H-EZ),2));

alpha=asin((H-EZ)/BLX);
beta=asin(H/FLZ);
gamma=90-asin((0.5*(AY-BY))/EZ);

module keycap(){
   scale([AX/(AX+2*CORNER_RADIUS),AY/(AY+2*CORNER_RADIUS),1])
   translate([CORNER_RADIUS,CORNER_RADIUS,0.01])
   minkowski(){
      difference(){
         cube([AX,AY,H]);
         rotate(a=gamma,v=[1,0,0]) cube([100,100,100]);
         translate([0,AY,0]) rotate(a=90-gamma,v=[1,0,0]) cube([100,100,100]);
         translate([0,0,EZ]) rotate(a=-alpha,v=[0,1,0]) translate([-50,0,0]) cube([100,100,100]);
         translate([0,AY/2,EZ+CYL_OFF_Z]) rotate(a=90-alpha,v=[0,1,0]) cylinder(h=100,center=true,r=CYL_OFF_Z+CYL_DEPTH,$fa=1);
         translate([AX,0,0]) rotate(a=beta-90,v=[0,1,0]) cube([100,100,100]);
      }
      cylinder(h=0.01,r=CORNER_RADIUS,$fs=0.6);
      //rotate(a=90,v=[1,0,0]) cylinder(h=0.01,r=1,$fs=0.3);
   }
}

module clip(){
   difference(){
      cube([CLIP_X,CLIP_Y,CLIP_H]);
      translate([0,CLIP_Y,0]) rotate(a=asin(CLIP_Y/CLIP_H),v=[1,0,0]) cube([100,100,100]);
   }
}

i=1;
j=1;
translate([i*(AX+WallThickness),j*(AY+WallThickness),0]){

translate([(AX-CLIP_X)/2,WallThickness,0]) clip();
translate([0,AY,0]) mirror([0,1,0]) translate([(AX-CLIP_X)/2,WallThickness,0]) clip();

difference(){
   keycap();
   translate([WallThickness, WallThickness, 0]) scale(v=[1-2*WallThickness/AX, 1-2*WallThickness/AY, 1-WallThickness/H]) keycap();
}
}
In regards to a single mold though... you are going to need more than one unfortunately. All the 1u could use the single mold, but you are going to need 5+ more molds if you are wanting to do all the caps around the board as well. I would think you would want to. Certainly 1u is the place to start though... just plan on doing all if you want people to really buy-in
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Unread post16 Jan 2017, 19:27

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tigpha wrote:This guide mentions costs starting from at least £3,000 up to £20,000.

Even at £3,000 if 100 people buy, it will only be £30 per person. But I think you can find considerably cheaper. US-China ICOMold for example starts at $995 USD. And I've heard even lower than that.
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