Keycap durability test

A project log for The Mathboard

A side keyboard for scientists and engineers

magne-lauritzenMagne Lauritzen 01/17/2023 at 13:390 Comments

I investigated the durability of the UV-printed keycaps of the Mathboard. The results were surprising.

I wanted to know if UV printing is a feasible method for creating the custom keycaps for the Mathboard. The process works well, but I did not know if the prints are durable. It would be a shame if the keycaps lose their decals from normal use.

I placed four Mathboard keycaps on my regular keyboard. I spaced them out evenly so that they would get roughly the same amount of use:

After only one week of normal use, the colored keycaps had nearly completely lost their decals. The white keycaps were in perfect condition.

I think this an interesting result. If anyone knows why UV prints applied to the keycaps made from colored plastic seems to adhere worse, let me know. For now, it tells me that UV printing is not feasible for the colored keycaps, but that it appears to work very well on the white keycaps. Even after months of daily use, they are looking like just came out of the printer.