Spherical Buckling Spring Thread

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 04:46

Techno Trousers wrote: Ooh, so exciting!! I think you got all the combos for the bottom row, except for one very special case. In lot_lizard's Model MF project, the plate supports a dual space bar setup. One of the space bars is the Code key layout. The other is, I believe, a 2.75u shift key, which has a different stem location than the code key.

I'm not sure whether it's worth your time to make a 2.75 shift key convex mold, though I have a feeling that those who are planning to use that layout on their MFs would give your their undying love!
In your excitement I think you missed it - the 2.75 "code" key is on the list and will have a modular stem system that will allow for it to install just like the right shift does on lot_lizzard's layout ;)

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

07 Apr 2017, 05:33

Oh, okay, I didn't put that together since you mentioned code specifically; and you're right I'm feeling a lot of excitement!

I'll be interested to see how that modular system will work--it sounds like you're kind of doing the opposite of IBM's original scheme of separate stems and caps for the 1u keys only?

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 05:52

Techno Trousers wrote: Oh, okay, I didn't put that together since you mentioned code specifically; and you're right I'm feeling a lot of excitement!

I'll be interested to see how that modular system will work--it sounds like you're kind of doing the opposite of IBM's original scheme of separate stems and caps for the 1u keys only?

Exactly, keep it simple and make use of factory style stems which are predictable and proven. It helps to keep the production costs down and allows for more flexibility as more customs are bound to come around. I expect that the overall demand will be relatively low in the grand scheme of things so there should not be a problem acquiring extra stems as needed. I think elecplus has over 6000 in inventory. I will probably buy a good sized lot of them to distribute with caps as needed so no one has to pay double on shipping in order to populate their board. I will however have to produce some null stems for some of the keys, but those are very simple to do.

User avatar
wcass

07 Apr 2017, 06:30

rsbseb wrote: My question centers around the bottom row. I have five keys modeled with a convex surface 1u, 1.5u, 2.75u (code), 7u, 7.25u
1u, 1.25u, and 1.5u are used on the bottom row, but these are usually concave.
7u and 5.75u are the only common convex caps. 2.75 and 7.25 are rare (take 3 keys and replace them with two!). The 2.75 probably has a future - 7.25, probably does not. You could make 5.75u, 4.75u, and 4.5u to work like the examples below ...
Spacebars.jpg
Spacebars.jpg (83.7 KiB) Viewed 1177 times

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

07 Apr 2017, 16:41

I'm liking the thought of an all convex bottom row, evocative of the old beamspring layouts. The nice thing is that by having the molds for both versions, we could choose whether to go convex or concave for the modifiers.

__red__

07 Apr 2017, 17:08

Moment of heresy...

In my view, the reason the MX is a more popular switch among those damn millennials is because of the diversity of caps that are available. I'd like to believe that bringing cap diversity to the Buckling Spring will bring them home to the "One True Switch"[tm].

I dream of space-cadet on buckling springs...

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 17:41

wcass wrote: 2.75 and 7.25 are rare (take 3 keys and replace them with two!)
The 2.75 / 7.25 layout is what's on my Wheelwriter. I don't think I've seen it anywhere else. It's not bad and I personally like bigger space bars but will probably downsize for the sake of symmetry. Thanks for the proposed configuration chart, that helps a lot.

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 17:44

Techno Trousers wrote: I'm liking the thought of an all convex bottom row, evocative of the old beamspring layouts. The nice thing is that by having the molds for both versions, we could choose whether to go convex or concave for the modifiers.
A couple of years ago I had a few people begging me to do a convex bottom row for SCM so I'm thinking I will try to make it available with this project. :)

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 20:27

Master key list for SBS, am I missing anything?

Standard Spherical Keys-
1u - 1.25u - 1.5u - 1.75u
2u - 2.25u - 2.5u - 2.75u

Special Shape Shperical Keys-
2u vertical Enter
ISO Enter

Convex Spacebar Profile Keys-
1u - 1.25u - 1.5u
2u - 2.75u
4.5u - 4.75u
5.75u
6u
7u
7.25u

That's a total of 20 key profiles :shock:

*edit - added 2u convex for F/XT layouts
Last edited by rsbseb on 09 Apr 2017, 21:16, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

07 Apr 2017, 22:42

So, for completeness, I wanted to link lot_lizards picture of the Model MF mockup with dual 2.75 spacebars. In terms of wcass's theoretical layouts, this is 1.5/2.75/2.75/1.5/1.5. Of course it also requires extra plate holes, so it would only be usable by Model MF owners. I hope this will be a growing market in the future, though, since lot_lizard plans to continue development on the MF concept.

Image

rsbseb, before you dive into making ALL of the oddball sizes that wcass proposed, you might want to take some polls to figure out if anyone will want to use them. I do think a 5.75 space bar is important, because the 1.5/5.75/1.25/1.5 layout matches Unicomp's 104-key models, right? Owners of those keyboards (and maybe even Unicomp themselves) could potentially be a good source of cap buyers.
Unicomp_104.jpg
Unicomp 104 layout
Unicomp_104.jpg (242.51 KiB) Viewed 1068 times
I thought of one other thing too-don't you have to mold the space bar keys special because of the necessary wire stabilizer points? Or does your modular system take care of that too? I can't wait to see how that works. The code key and shift keys have stem positions that are shifted by a pretty small amount...

Again from lot_lizard. Right shift is on top, Code on the bottom.

Image

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

07 Apr 2017, 22:54

The wire stabilizers mount to tabs at the ends of the keys and will be integral to each one and not related to the stems. stem alignments on the code key will be optional for both configurations.

As for the special sizes I am open to conversation on the issue. I'm pretty sure the 2.5u and 6u keys will drop from the lineup before it's all said and done. Perhaps others as well if there is no interest.

User avatar
sgtpopwell

08 Apr 2017, 08:48

rsbseb: Just saw your post in the "F62+F77" thread. Jumping on this bandwagon because I love spherical keycaps and buckling springs. A combination of the two would make me the happiest man on earth.

User avatar
mana

08 Apr 2017, 09:17

I am totally in for a set of these (or two, or three) - I would prefer white legends on black keycaps but honestly any original colour scheme used on any beamspring keyboard I would be in for (white on grey modifiers, black on white alphas, etc).

The only request I would have re: the bottom row is for the Model F XT - it has a 2 unit Alt and a 2 unit Caps Lock both in the bottom row adjacent to the spacebar, which I think could certainly use an update (the rest of the keys would be covered by your current designs with the exception of a 2u VERTICAL enter key and 3u VERTICAL numpad +).

As it seems very much that I'll be changing to using the F62 Ellipsesaver when it arrives, I don't mind too much - but if there are enough XT users that want sphericals then this could be an opportunity to fix this as well.


Anyway - I'd even be in for a set of blanks if it's too difficult to get dye sub keys done.

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

08 Apr 2017, 19:56

mana wrote: I am totally in for a set of these (or two, or three) - I would prefer white legends on black keycaps .
I like black caps as well. Here's a little teaser picture. Sorry for the poor quality image,I had to take them outside to get enough light and then I wound up with reflections of the clouds and trees to contend with. Black keys are difficult to photograph. I was going to hold off on posting any images until I could display a full set but that will be several weeks out at this point. Enjoy, SBS is happening :D
Attachments
sbs2.jpg
sbs2.jpg (297.22 KiB) Viewed 1060 times

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

08 Apr 2017, 20:01

SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

08 Apr 2017, 20:03

Techno Trousers wrote: SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

The only good way there is - Doubleshot ;)

SBS will sit about 1mm taller than the factory caps in order to accommodate the inserts.

User avatar
Norman_

08 Apr 2017, 20:05

rsbseb wrote:
Techno Trousers wrote: SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

The only good way there is - Doubleshot ;)
Now that's a mic drop

Hopefully it's not too expensive, i might want a set. Is this still PBT we're talking about? Just to clear things up

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

08 Apr 2017, 20:16

rsbseb wrote:
Techno Trousers wrote: SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

The only good way there is - Doubleshot ;)

SBS will sit about 1mm taller than the factory caps in order to accommodate the inserts.
Image

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

08 Apr 2017, 21:10

Norman_ wrote:
rsbseb wrote:
Techno Trousers wrote: SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

The only good way there is - Doubleshot ;)
Now that's a mic drop

Hopefully it's not too expensive, i might want a set. Is this still PBT we're talking about? Just to clear things up
ABS to start with. Depending on how things go PBT may be a future development. It's already being discussed but there is no development schedule for PBT at this time.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

08 Apr 2017, 21:42

Just out of curiosity, can you let us know from a production standpoint what the differences are working with ABS versus PBT? I've read that PBT shrinks and can warp when cooling (space bar), but are there differences required in the molds, etc.?

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

08 Apr 2017, 22:36

Techno Trousers wrote: Just out of curiosity, can you let us know from a production standpoint what the differences are working with ABS versus PBT? I've read that PBT shrinks and can warp when cooling (space bar), but are there differences required in the molds, etc.?
Every material has its own unique properties when injection molded, ABS, HDPE, PC, PBT or any other. The answer is not simple because you may have a mold for any given item that might work for all of those materials listed or none of them depending on the type of mold that is being used / shape of part. For example is the mold heated or cooled? Where does the sprue(s) enter the cavity? What are the required injection pressures? and what is the desired lifespan of the tooling? All of these variables will effect the level of success with any given combination or mold and material.

For me the answer is unknown. I would start with the original mold, in this case one designed around producing ABS parts, and shoot some PBT into it and check the results. From there I would adjust what ever I could in order to obtain a quality part. It could be something as simple as dialing in some temps or hold times. Most likely it would require new or modified tooling from what I have read and observed.

The production tooling for this project is slated to be in aluminum because it is cheap and I don't expect to be needing it to produce millions of parts. I doubt I would see much life in aluminum tooling with PBT. If you look at the sample key caps shown by ellipse in his thread you can see a lot of flash on them. I don't know for sure but I believe those may be prototyped in aluminum molds that are at the limits of their clamping capacity. I could be wrong about that but I would expect a similar result injecting PBT into a soft mold like aluminum.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

09 Apr 2017, 00:00

That's really interesting. Thanks for the quick education!

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

09 Apr 2017, 04:40

Techno Trousers wrote: That's really interesting. Thanks for the quick education!
Well I wouldn't call it much in the way of education, just trying to offer some perspective that there are a lot of variables beyond shrinkage. Since I don't really have a full understanding of all the dynamics associated with molding PBT it would require some trial and error.

Tolerance on keyboard components are fairly tight and it doesn't take much variance in design specs to cause problems. I'm sure the learning curve would be pretty involved for me and I'm not ready to cross that bridge yet.

User avatar
mana

09 Apr 2017, 05:05

rsbseb wrote:
Techno Trousers wrote: SBS is looking great! Have you decided how you'll apply legends to the dark colors?

The only good way there is - Doubleshot ;)

SBS will sit about 1mm taller than the factory caps in order to accommodate the inserts.
Aww yiss.

Also, I think the taller the better as well (within reason of course - cant have keys hitting each other from the curved backplate). Those look beautiful as is, can't wait to see how they turn out with doubleshots!

User avatar
emdude
Model M Apologist

09 Apr 2017, 05:29

Wow, fantastic stuff! Those prototypes are really injection-molded ABS?

Looking forward to the doubleshot versions too! There are some beam spring colorways that I'd love to see be made.. ;)

Image

User avatar
Harshmallow

09 Apr 2017, 05:48

I WANT THEM ALL. So, yes, I too am interested in SBS. I'm not picky...I would love them in the standard IBM grey and white colours or the black with white doubleshot legends just fine.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

09 Apr 2017, 06:14

Is it too early to talk about legends? I'd vote for symbols only on Tab, caps lock (the classic lock symbol), shifts, enter, and backspace. I'd also like to have the numpad numbers without sublegends. Just numbers, the same size as the alphas. I also thought that no matter what the colorway, a white on burgundy spherical escape key would look perfectly elegant and period appropriate.

But all that said, I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with however they come out!

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

09 Apr 2017, 06:39

emdude wrote: Wow, fantastic stuff! Those prototypes are really injection-molded ABS?

Looking forward to the doubleshot versions too! There are some beam spring colorways that I'd love to see be made.. ;)

The prototypes are not ABS.

Let me explain the process we have lined out for this project.

1. Generate all the required digital models for the revised design.
2. Create pattern pieces for soft tooling.
3. Manufacture several prototype sets for testing (resin based)
4. Adjust design parameters as needed and update models / patterns.
5. Create production tooling based on proven prototypes and feedback.
6. Enter production with ABS at a level relevant to interest.
7. Expand SBS to include a PBT dye-sub offering if possible.

I believe this approach will best fit the economics of this project and allow for measured advancement that will keep it alive to completion.


As for colors, I think the consensus is and always has been in favor of the classic IBM colorways and I personally support that myself. However I would also like to do a set of brown keys at some point.
Last edited by rsbseb on 09 Apr 2017, 06:52, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rsbseb
-Horned Rabbit-

09 Apr 2017, 06:42

Techno Trousers wrote: Is it too early to talk about legends? I'd vote for symbols only on Tab, caps lock (the classic lock symbol), shifts, enter, and backspace. I'd also like to have the numpad numbers without sublegends. Just numbers, the same size as the alphas. I also thought that no matter what the colorway, a white on burgundy spherical escape key would look perfectly elegant and period appropriate.

But all that said, I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with however they come out!
It is not to early to talk about legends. It's actually a priority issue right now, and more relevant than colors at this stage of development.

User avatar
Techno Trousers
100,000,000 actuations

09 Apr 2017, 07:17

rsbseb wrote: It is not to early to talk about legends. It's actually a priority issue right now, and more relevant than colors at this stage of development.
Great! I've been assuming and hoping all along that these will have the large, centered legends for the alphas--is that correct? It's one of my favorite things about those old beamspring keyboards.

Post Reply

Return to “Workshop”