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/dev/tty even more prototypes!

/dev/tty even more prototypes!

I just received a new batch of prototypes. These hopefully are the very last prototypes I’ll see before the pre-production samples.

We had some issues selecting the –hell too many– colors present in the /dev/tty set and that took more time than I anticipated. Also finding the right legend thickness took some trial and error but the manufacturer has been very helpful and I’m glad to let you know that everything is sorted out.

I’m possibly biased but these are the best keycaps ever produced on planet Earth.

All colors are finalized. Shape and surface texture are perfect. Legends are nice and crisp. Dye-sublimation job as sharp as it could be. Unfortunately I don’t have yet a full set to dress a keyboard, but what I see so far is enough to wet my pants.

And don’t think even for a second that “LUV” is an accident.

The bad news –but you already knew about it– is that we are at least 4 weeks behind. The good news is that the end of the tunnel is right there! Hold tight, Device Terminal is coming and there’s no dragonglass capable of stopping it!

PS: the “super” key in the picture above is the light blue, not the triumph teal.

/dev/tty prototypes take 1

/dev/tty prototypes take 1

It has been a quiet couple of months but the work on MT3 profile and /dev/tty keycaps is proceeding at a steady pace.

The first step was to 3D print a full set of keys to check the ergonomics of our new design. We made very few updates to make sure that everything was spot on and then we proceeded to production. What you see pictured here is the very first batch of PBT injected prototypes. They are not final by any means, the color is not finalized yet and we still have to work on the surface texture, but we are getting closer to the real deal and I wanted to share with you the progress.

Regarding the upgrades we did after the initial beta test, it’s mostly about row 1 and row 2. They now follow a more natural curve, but as you can see from the picture below the difference between before/after is minimal.

The white keycap is the previous 3D printed prototype. I’m really maniacal when it comes to my creations and I don’t settle for anything less than perfection (well, at least I’m striving to it).

The surface finish is still to be determined. Below a textured vs a smooth test.

The glossy one is actually really nice, it is very close to vintage keycaps and the nostalgia factor is strong. The final version will be satin on the sides and a little rougher on top. If you are familiar with the HHKB, that is more or less what we are aiming to in terms of surface finish.

Two rather difficult keys to sculpt were ISO Enter and stepped caps lock. The former came out simply delicious, if it weren’t PBT I would be probably eating it. ISO Enter is a bad beast, we could have done it in a dozen of different ways, but all in all it’s a fine looking key and I can call it final.

What next?

In the coming days I should receive a second batch of pre-production prototypes. This time we will be checking texture, legend printing and colors. If all goes smooth there shouldn’t be any delay. Stay tuned!

About MT3 profile and /dev/tty set

About MT3 profile and /dev/tty set

By now you should know that I’m a retro-junkie. Signature Plastics SA keycaps are the closest we can ask to a vintage looking set but I’ve always seen it as an “hack”, not to mention that it is mostly an ABS set.

Few years ago Topre released the Hi-Pro keyboard which featured a wonderful set of high profile keycaps in a retrolucious beige colorway. I knew it had to be mine!

The keyboard was indeed sexy but the keycaps seemed still wrong, too high, too sharp and anyway still limited to topre switches. That got my maker-sense tickling and it is basically how the MT3 profile idea was born.

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High Contrast Granite

High Contrast Granite

Did you think Granite had nothing more to say? Well, think again :) With the collaboration of Signature Plastics I’m happy to announce the immediate availability of Granite High Contrast.

All kits from the previous batch of Granite are available in the new dark gray + white color scheme, including the international kit and monologends. Even better you can mix and match the new keycaps with any previous gray Granite you have: they go wonderfully together!

I hope you like them and Happy Holidays!

Go grab HC Granite!

Retro goes GMK!

Retro goes GMK!

Something I thought impossible just few years ago just became reality: Retro finally goes GMK and it’s ready to be purchased on Massdrop.

All started with DSA Retro. It was the first community organized group buy in DSA family. To tell all the truth Koreans had some DSA before us but it was limited to their market. DSA Retro was one of the most successful group buy of the time (we are talking 3-4 years ago). It was so popular in part because DSA was a novelty at the time, in part because we included a hell lot of options. It wasn’t so easy back then to cover less common or custom keyboards and Retro was basically compatible with all of them :)


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About ownership of keycap sets

I feel that I failed to explain why I care so much about the work I’ve done for Granite. Many new members of the community haven’t witnessed the creation of the set and the argument about intellectual property of a keycap set comes out every now and then.

Please do understand that the following is my personal opinion, likely a copyright lawyer would see things very differently.

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Topre to Cherry MX adapter

Topre to Cherry MX adapter

It’s hardly a novelty now but I actually started working on a Topre to Cherry MX adapter back in 2014. The NovaTouch was not a thing yet and no 3D model for the slider/converter was available at the time.

It’s an incredibly simple model and I’m by no means a 3D expert, but anyway I hope you can make good use of it. Please note that everything is released under a Creative Common license, you are free to use and modify the models as long as you give credit and re-share under the same license.

Currently I have two models, they are both available on Shapeways if you want to order them directly. The first one has been already printed in various materials and it pretty much works (Keychatter reviewed it a while back). The other one is an updated revision but I never tried it yet, so use at your own risk.

Consider that for best result you should print in “Frosted Ultra Detail” that unfortunately is one of the most expensive material they have.

Many nowadays have access to 3D printers so I’m really curious to see what you do with my models; don’t be shy and please share your creations! If you can work on the 3D file I would probably make the barrel (and the stem inside) 0.5mm shorter.

Download the 3D models

Granite turns 4!

Granite turns 4!

When I first released the Granite set a few years ago I never would have thought I would have seen a Round 4.

I actually wanted to make the first round a limited edition –like all of my designs– but I’ve been accused of being selfish and if the community wanted more I should have let ’em.

So we had Round 2 and it sold twice what the first round did. Again, I thought the world had enough, but boy I was wrong! I was basically receiving a message on Reddit, Geekhack or Deskthority every other day about running the set again.

I reluctantly agreed on Round 3, sure that nobody would have cared about Granite anymore. Round 3 sold even more than the previous run. I’m pretty sure I said Round 3 would have been the last one, not because I didn’t want more, but because I thought the interest on gray keycaps was gone for good. Apparently I was wrong again.

So I’m glad to announce the forth round of Granite. I won’t say that this will be the last one, but I’d like to concentrate on something new for the next time.

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