Peripheral science science: What are the height and character crafts of keycaps?


There are many learning of keyboard keycaps. In the previous article, I talked to everyone about the material and oil resistance of the keycaps. In addition, the height of the keycaps and the printing methods of characters are also different. In this article, I will talk to you about these two issues.

01 keycap character craft


The keycaps of different purposes and different materials use different processes. The most common is laser etching, screen printing, laser filling method, hollow printing method, and two -color forming method.

Laser etching and laser filler method

Laser etching method is a very efficient and low -cost way. Using the characteristics of lasers to etch on the keycap, the traces of laser burning will not fall off. The feel is naturally comfortable. Harm, pollution -free, low cost, and high yield, it is one of the best solutions anyway.

Laser etching craft keycap


But laser etching also has several fatal defects, which also determines that it cannot be used for high -end keyboard production. First of all, because the laser etch is etching and does not use the ink, it can only be printed with a single black font, so that the multi -color tone design often on high -end keyboards cannot be done; secondly, the high -end keyboard is out of the design and the appearance design and The need for durability, products with non -standard structures such as ergonomics are difficult to print them on ordinary laser etching machines. Because of this, on the product production line of large manufacturers, laser etching is only used on the low -end production line to use its fast production speed and low cost advantage; on the high -end product production line, due to higher printing quality, there is a higher print quality Requirements, so you can only continue to use traditional high -cost ink printing methods.

Logitech elite

The laser filler method is equivalent to the principle of laser etching, similar to the feeling of tattoos. First, use laser burning to burn text characters, and then print it with ink. The curing ink will slowly penetrate into the keycap plastic, which is also not easy to fall off. Its emergence makes up for the shortcomings that laser etching cannot be applied on dark keycaps, and it broaden the font choice.

The keyboard printed with laser filler technology has made up for the defects of poor laser etching fonts and cannot print color due to the second printing of ink. In simple ink printing.

Silk net printing process

Silk printing craft keycap

This printing method is relatively special, and the mechanical keyboard is not too common. The principle is to cover a special silk mesh on the keycap. The place where there is a handwriting is hollowed out, and then the ink is scraped through the hollow part of the handwriting. After printing the handwriting, brush a layer of plastic with a special silk mesh. After drying up, a plastic protective film covered on the printing handwriting will be formed. It looks like a sticker. However, due to the limitation of its printing method, the keyboard that is too complicated to print is still not printed. This technology is more common in laptops and ultra -thin keyboards. The mechanical keyboard is a niche choice.

Hollow printing method

This method is mainly used on ABS material keycaps, because ABS keycaps have good light transmittance, and the keyboard can only use this method to make the backlight effect. Transparent or translucent keycaps are covered with opaque paint (this layer of coating is very important, determining the keycap resistance and touch, often becoming a decisive factor between keyboards). The lights are scattered through the character to form a backlight keyboard effect.

MacBook Air

First of all, it is explained that this method is printed in this way almost all on the keyboard of the mobile phone. And only some Apple’s notebook keyboards have used this printing method. This printing method is simple to say. In fact, the main purpose of Apple Computer’s use of this printing method is not to be firm, but for the beauty. Because this type of hollowed out is “engraved”, it is clearer and clear than the ink printing, and like the mobile phone keyboard, the backlight circuit can be installed under the keys of the hollow text, so that the notebook keyboard has a must -have like a mobile phone keyboard. Jia’s backlight effect.

However, the shortcomings of the hollow printing method are also obvious. When this transparent material is used to make keyboards, its elasticity, hardness, and abrasion resistance are not as good as ordinary keycap materials. In fact, no matter whether it is printed with hollow text or not, the transparent keycap material has not been a kind of black and white ABS plastic that can catch up with the traditional touch.


The printing method is an ancient keycap printing method. Because it is not practical and low -efficiency, it is no longer used.移印法就是使用一组字母铅字作为原始字模,通过自动机械将其上面刷上油墨以后,再将一组软橡胶块压在其上面,这样抬起橡胶块的时候,字迹油墨就会转移到On the rubber block, then move the rubber block to the blank keyboard, press the rubber block, and the ink is printed on the keyboard.


The keycap of the printing method

Before the emergence of photographic typing technology, books, newspapers, and magazines were printed like this. Compared with laser etching and screen printing, the printing method has no restrictions on printing conditions and can be used to print any form of keyboards. Therefore, except for those small factories that cannot afford to buy laser etched machines, there is no way to use such printing methods without any technical requirements, large keyboard production plants generally only use it to print those high -end products that are regardless of cost. Secondly, due to the influence of its printing process, the film covering on the printed printing method is much more difficult than the screen printing. Increase the firmness of printing to enhance the life of the keyboard.


Double -color molding process


Duja K310 RGB of Double PBT Key Cathery

Before the appearance of several other ways, it was the most reliable two -color printing method. Because the different colors on the keycaps are actually different materials, it is absolutely impossible to discolor or fall off. It may be the most powerful in terms of text effect and durability. The two -color molding uses molds to combine two different colors of plastic, and use the differences between the two plastic colors to display the font. The advantage of duo color formation is that the font color is bright, durable, and not easy to drop characters. If you make good manufacturing technology, the keycap will have a good performance. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to show thin text, color type monotonous, and low complexity of strokes, and the fixed cost of its manufacturing is expensive.


Including printed printing (heating method)

GM680 of the Heat Subtraction Craft

Immersive printing is a kind of printing method that is completely different from ordinary ink printing. It does not use a common liquid pigment ink, but a solid resin ink. This kind of ink will be sublimated into a gaseous at high temperature, and the surface of the printed matter that penetrates into the osmogeneic printing in the form of gaseous molecules will be condensed, so as to become a whole with the printing surface on the physical level, not just “sticky” like ordinary pigment inks. On the surface of printing, its printing is extremely strong. And resin ink is better in terms of luster and shape.

The most common thing in printed is the service of the ceramic cup “roasting” photo. When printing is used for keyboard printing, the ink will completely “infiltrate” the PBT and inner layers of ABS plastic, so it is almost impossible to be worn out.

02 Keycuff’s height

For most mechanical keyboards, you will find that the tilt angle of each keycap is slightly different, and it can reduce the burden on the hand. In contrast, the side of the film keyboard is flat, and only a few can be designed as high as mechanical keyboards.



Different columns of tilt angle signal


There will be 6 columns from the top of the keyboard to the bottom. The tilt angle is usually R4, R4, R3, R2, R1, R1, and some keycaps will see these notes. As for a higher level of R5, this is rare in the current keyboard. In addition, some players say that the height of the keyboard tilt is to reverse, from top to bottom to R1, R1, R2, R3, R4, R4, although the number is different, the meaning of the representative is not different.

Common keycap height schematic diagram

Common keycap heights are arranged from the order of high to low as: OEM (foundry) -SP-Cherry (original); the ball cap is divided into SA-DSA. Simply distinguish. Except for Cherry and GMK keycaps, ordinary keycaps are almost all OEM height.


SP is an American keycap production factory, which is called Signature Plastics. The keycaps produced by SP have a variety of proprietary heights, so the height of SP is also self -contained.

SA keycap schematic diagram

Ball cap

The height of the ball SA and DSA is easier to distinguish: SA heights from the side without obvious ergonomic curves; DSA has a curve that conforms to ergonomics. All in all, except for the obvious differences between SA and DSA in use, the remaining heights will not be obvious when using it.

I believe that now everyone has a certain understanding of the keycaps. The keycaps of the keyboard are one of the components of many DIY players’ fever. It can be seen that its high degree of completion is high. At present Development, so it is necessary to understand their basic knowledge. I hope you can buy your favorite products ~