Have a mechanical keyboard? You need a Hackaday keycap.
This project was created on 06/17/2014 and last updated 3 months ago.
I have received the first prototypes of the Hackaday keycaps. The stem for the Cherry MX 'plus' connector is a bit loose. Nothing horrible, and a little bit of tissue paper could make these caps usable on a keyboard. Still, not ready for production quite yet. Some pics:
Apart from the issue with the stem connector, all the keycaps are great. The 'lofted' keycap could be a little taller, and when I go back to fix the issues with the stem, I'll probably make the 'nose and eye' cutout a little deeper.
For lack of an airbrush, I painted these with simple spraypaint. Not the best tool for the job, but the results are better than I was hoping for. When these go into production, they'll be molded in ABS. Haven't decided on a color, but the dark gray with just a hint of green I have on them now isn't bad at all.
This project will hopefully, eventually, be a product for the Hackaday store. It wouldn't make much sense to just do one key, send the file off to China, and sell the whole lot - people are fickle, and I'd probably get the dimensions of the stem wrong anyway.
To that end, I'm making a series of keycaps, each a different design, and 3D printing them. Test 'em out, and all that jazz. This is the first iteration of that design process. It consists of four keycap designs:
The Basic Skull
Just your basic Hackaday skull, planted firmly on a keycap.
The Lofted Skull
Instead of a simple skull, this keycap is 'lofted', or has a smooth transition from the square base to the... skull shaped top. OpenSCAD can't do this. But I can.
The Hackaday Prize Space Helmet
A simple space man, for all your keyboarding needs.
The Bent Wrencher
We need something with wrenches, so here's this. A few people have commented on how 'droopy' the wrenches look, but without this angle, the proportions of the Hackaday logo don't really jive with the standard keycap size. We'll see how this turns out when I have it printed.
Compatible with Cherry MX switches.
All four of these designs were sent off to Shapeways, as no one at Hackaday has a 3D printer with good enough resolution to print one of these keycaps out. I've gone with the 'ultra detail frosted' material Shapeways offers. Expensive at about $9-10/cap, but it will be more than sufficient to test out the fit of the keycap.
The next update will be when I recieve the caps, paint them (the frosted look doesn't photograph well), and slap them on a keyboard.