Have you ever experienced stress occasioned by normal broken keycaps in mechanical keyboards? For example, broken custom keycaps in a computer keyboard can be a source of real frustration!
You may easily overcome the challenge of getting a replacement keycap by turning to your in-house 3D printing skills.
A designer using 3D technology can design mechanical keyboard keycaps using CAD software and 3D print the design. It is a process that ensures you print without touching the material.
- Can You 3D Print Keycaps?
- 8 Amazing Keycaps 3D Models You Can 3D Print
- 3D Printed Keycaps vs Artisan Keycaps
Can You 3D Print Keycaps?
Yes, you can print 3D keycaps!
Keycaps are plastic pieces that you press onto a keyboard for use using your fingers’ middle. Searching for a single desired custom keycap is difficult and costly. Subsequently, you can print it yourself in a personal way.
Significantly, the cost of 3D printing keycaps averages 50 percent of the artisan ones.
8 Amazing Keycaps 3D Models You Can 3D Print
The artisan design keycaps are an art and beautification piece for the keyboard. Additionally, Artisan keycaps take spots not often used like escape, function, mode, and layer-shift-keys.
Like PUBG Cherry MX keycaps, gaming keycaps are critical parts of the artisan keycap. You can use standard keycaps to replace regular keycaps. A customizable keycap is a typical example of a standard painted keycap available.
Here are eight amazing keycaps 3D models you can 3D print;
1. Two Versions of PUBG Cherry Mx Keycaps
The iTz Ominous Tic has two versions of PUBG Cherry Mx Keycaps. Manufacturers customized it for the “Battleground game player.”
Importantly, it is a version that replaced letters on the keycaps with symbols for in-game items and actions.
Additionally, the second version has keycaps that appear comparatively cleaner. Equally, it boasts of extra keys in the collection.
2. Mimic in Training
The Mimic in Training is a very popular model with many likes and downloads on the website. The Obieteu company are its designers.
You can obtain this model at Thingiverse. It is s great model that retains a lot of detail in a keycap, and replacing it with other models can be tricky.
Importantly, using a variety of material colors during printing makes the Mimic in training fit many keyboard color schemes.
Additionally, the designer uses Vat polymerization to pre-support the pre-printing of all the letters. Designers achieve it by installing printer settings aimed at maximizing color use.
3. Portal Keys by TheFlyingRaccoon
TheFlyingRaccoon designed these portal keys as replacement keys for the Alt-keycaps on your computer keyboard. If you’re tired of seeing your Alt-keycap, replace it with the symbols provided with the portal keys.
Portal key symbols will not only replace your Alt-keys but make your whole keyboard look different and outrightly outstanding among many keycaps with a smooth polish.
Notably, TheFlyingRaccoon is not the only manufacturer of portal keys. Zen 1 is another major known producer of this model. Portal keys can also replace other keycaps on the keyboard with the same dimensions as the Alt-keycaps.
4. 3D Benchy
It is an amazing artisan keycap available in the market and quite popular with a mechanical keyboard than other designs.
3D printed keycaps manufacturers “Thingiverse makers PBX23” attached the iconic Benchy boat model to keycaps to fascinate and make you enjoy.
Importantly, the designer printed the module using resin 3D printing to give it a smooth finish. The design makes the model appear shinny and shows greater details.
5. Star Wars MX Keycaps
It is a great gaming keycap model. You’ll find FedorSonin, a keycap designer at Thingiverse or Cult site.
The Thingiverse website is best known for referring traffic for products like the Star wars MX keycaps. Darth Rader, Storm Trooper, and Boba Fett/Mondaloria represent the three helmets in these keycaps.
The set of three helmet keycaps fascinates gamers who love Star Wars and provides a real source of fun and enjoyment because of the different weapons.
Significantly, the set of three helmets has a great look and bears enough details for the Star War fans to readily recognize them for use. Also, they enjoy a great base that offers support to the helmets and acts as a background.
6. Adafruit’s 3D Printed Custom Cherry Mx Keycaps
Adafruit manufactures the model that has both skull and Adafruit flower designs created on the keycaps. Equally, Kylemohr and Mmontee are the other manufacturers of this model.
The model is a customizable cherry MX keycap that enables users to mod individual keyboards that follow their specific tastes.
The bases are available, and you can edit them. Thus individuals can take full advantage of it and 3D print customizable keycaps by inducing personal touch on the keyboard.
The designer uses the Thingiverse website to showcase about 463 designs of these models among them:
7. Cherry MX Keycaps By evamvid
Emavid Sharma is a designer who features on the Thingiverse website. Evamid designs the Cherry MX keycaps with a translucent material that provides incredible details to the Cherry MX keycaps with backlighting.
The printer settings, tuned on monoprice maker select printer, are based on the support needs, low resolutions, and an infill of about 15%.
The Cherry MX Keycaps by Evamid are 3D-printed keycaps. They are custom keycaps for MX keyboards and come in the form of Rose and Vader’s melted helmets.
8. DBZ Shenron
The DBZ Shenron keycaps have an incredible amount of details. DofTom manufactures this keycap. It remains a keycap where paint changes can completely change the overall appearance, making it look professional.
It remains a great way to show your love for the Dragon ball and equally adds a lot of creativity and flair to your keyboard
3D Printed Keycaps vs Artisan Keycaps
You can start printing custom keycaps to alter your keyboard’s form and standard of keycaps. Notably, two main custom keycaps are available: the Artisan keycap and the 3D printed keycap.
Here are the differences between the 3D printed keycap and the artisan keycaps:
Artisan keycaps come in all shapes, materials, and colors. These keycaps are composed of plastic resin and occupy the same volume as one unit of keycap on a keyboard.
The artisan keycaps acquired their name because they are handmade by artisans.
Artisans normally start by designing sculpting in clay. Then, the sculptures are varied in form and shape like skulls, animals, and other types or forms of art. Significantly, the sculpt creates a mod where you cast the keycap.
Keycaps can take single or multiple colors depending on the artisan’s preference. More importantly, casting designs takes numerous steps that make the entire process time-consuming.
Additionally, imperfections are bound to appear in the keycaps because the process is manual and involves the artisan using his hands. If you’ll artisan selling defective items, encounter serious challenges.
3D Printed Keycaps
Buying normal keycaps can be expensive because they are collectibles. However, the best method to acquire keycaps is to 3D print them. You can create quality in-house 3D printed keycaps at a very low cost.
3D printed keycaps can be good if you use quality resin or plastic material. Additionally, ensure they don’t have flaws to prevent the keycaps from sliding and cracking when printing.
Advantages of 3D Printed Keycaps
- You can customize and design keycaps according to your individual needs
- 3D printed keycap’s RGB lighting allows you to choose the color and transparency of your keycaps to match your keyboard
- 3D printed keycaps are only a quarter of the price of artisan keycaps
- 3D printed keycaps allow you to make molds of intricate and detailed productions
Disadvantages of 3D printed Keycaps
- Difficult to get the dimensions right
- Not all filaments have the required density for use
- Less durable
- Getting the model right is time-consuming
- Models made out of casting methods are more versatile
How Do You Make Keycaps on a 3D Printer?
You can follow the steps below to make custom keycaps on your 3D printer:
- Gather the items or material for printing
- Take measurement
- Create CAD model
- Provide a support structure for 3D printing the model
- Use your custom logo
- Sanding and finishing the keys
- Using the 3D printed keycaps
How Long Does It Take to 3D Print a Keycap?
Depending on the filament’s quantity and density, the duration of time you may take to 3D print a keycap. Such as, the full set of small flat key chains is approximately 10-20 minutes.
On the contrary, larger filaments take more time, even hours.
Can You FDM Print Keycaps?
You’ll get the best possible fine details with the resin or SLA 3D printing for keycaps. However, an FDM or PLA/ABS translucent filament will suffice for less detailed keycaps.
How Do You Paint Keycaps?
You may easily paint a few keycaps successfully. However, it becomes a tricky proposition.
Sanding and polishing a keycap surface to obtain clear and even results across all keys is tough. All the same, use acrylic paint to cover the whole area using your brush.
The article is a comprehensive guide that provides tips on 3D printing keycaps that will help you print today with the confidence of a professional.
There are numerous types of keycaps and their manufacturers.
Additionally, it is important to note that buying keycaps with logos or icons can be expensive, but home 3D printing is a very affordable and readily doable proposition.
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So what is 3D printing used for? It can be used to create parts of a car, smartphone cases, fashion accessories, organs, and many more. The choices are endless!
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