I made a keycap called Gravity Keycaps, but I'm having a hard time mass-producing a certain amount with a 3D printer.
Desktop injection molding machine "TAIYAKI"
This TAIYAKI is designed to be space-saving and injection-molded so that it can be made even at home. Since it is an assembly kit, it is reasonably priced.
The wonderful thing about TAIYAKI is that you can use a mold base to create a mold with a stereolithography 3D printer. Normally, a mold made with a 3D printer breaks quickly, but by using a mold base, you can reinforce it and increase the number of shots.
There is also concern about the cost of suddenly making a mold by cutting metal such as aluminum. It seems that it will be possible to develop with peace of mind by first making a model with stereolithography, and then making it out of aluminum once the shape has been determined to some extent.
This time, for the three patterns in the middle of the Gravity Keycaps, we had stereolithography molds made, and received the actual injection-molded ones.
The existing model is made assuming a 3D printing method called MJF, which allows for a fairly high degree of freedom in design. It was necessary to modify it to use it as an injection mold as it is. It wasn't that I hadn't considered injection molding until now, so I had a little knowledge about it, but in the process of changing the actual model to a model that is compatible with injection molding, I think I was able to grasp the characteristics a little more. . What I modified was only the core part of the model, so I thought that I could deepen my understanding by designing runners and so on. (I learned that the parting line is important for the draft angle.)
Injection molded key cap
The introduction has become long, but let's take a look at what you molded. This time, the burden on the mold will be high, but we asked you to make it with ABS, which is often used for keycaps.
Since the mold was created by stereolithography, there will be a 0.05mm pitch difference, but the touch feeling is not as noticeable as it looks.
We attach to keyboard promptly and use. There is almost no sense of incongruity. Good finish.
As a trial, I lightly polished one keycap with a file. The traces of lamination disappear immediately and the matte feeling is good. It seems to be good if the mold is made of aluminum and textured.
Also, you should pay attention to this Choc's legs. Accuracy is still good. Most of them fit in like commercial Choc keycaps. This is good. Some of the key caps themselves are large and thin, but I think this can be resolved by improving the model. Overall, I thought it would be okay to design the legs a little thicker, so that might solve the problem. It's a pretty good impression at the time of the 3D printer mold.
When I think of injection molding, I had an image that it would require knowledge and be expensive, so it was difficult to choose.
I am very grateful to HAL900 for their kind offer. We will continue to use 3D printing for manufacturing, but injection molding is a very effective means of stably providing products at a reasonable price, so we would like to proceed with this as well.
I want TAIYAKI. Do you think you can do this with 100,000? It would be nice if there was a place nearby where stereolithography could be used. I will try to find it.