Stock for Keycaps

Get stock prepped and ready for milling. Take a moment to measure and check if the surface needs to be faced on both sides.

Depending on the size of the stock, you may want to create a new GCode file for facing your material in Fusion 360. Reference the Stock CAM setup page.

To make 4x keycaps, our stock was cut to these dimensions:

127mm x 49mm x 13mm

The stock material will need resurfaced to be 8mm thick in order to properly mill the bottom and top keycaps.

Face Stock for Keycaps

Proceed to face the stock material for the keycaps using the 1/8in flat end mill. Reference the previous pages if you need.

This stock material was even on both sides. Only the top surface of the stock will need to be faced.

Remember to vacuum up any saw dust and debris after every job.

Stock Setup for Keycaps

In the Bantam Tools software, update the stock dimensions in the Material Setup tab under the Material Size section. Note, the material thickness is set to 8mm because the facing operation has already been completed. Double check the material offset Z is set to 0.2mm (The thickness of the nitto tape).

Add GCode Files for Bottom Keycaps

In the Bantam Tools software, click on the Initial Setup tab. Click the Open File button to browse and locate the three GCode files for milling the bottom keycaps.

Under Milling Tools, use the dropdown menu to select and choose the corresponding tool for each GCode file.

The bottom keycap GCode files will use the following tools.

  • 1/8in Flat End Mill – 2D Contours
  • 1/16in Flat End Mill – Adaptive Clearing
  • 1/32in Flat End Mill – 2D Pockets

Milled Bottom Keycaps

Proceed to mill the three GCode files.

Start with the 1/16in flat end mill to do the adaptive clearing.

Proceed to mill the 2D pockets using the 1/32in flat end mill.

Complete the job with the 1/8in flat end mill to do the 2D contours.

Remove Keycaps

Vacuum any saw dust and debris from the spoil board and build area.

Use alcohol to remove the keycaps from the spoil board.

Peel away the nitto tape from the keycaps and spoil board.

 

Sand Keycaps

The keycaps may have burrs along the edges. Use 220 grit sand paper to smooth out any rough edges.

Test Fit Keycaps on Fixture

Place the keycaps onto the fixture to test fit the tolerances.

The keycaps should easily press fit onto the fixture.

Test fit each of the keycaps.

Remove all of the keycaps when ready to mill the top side of the keycaps.

This guide was first published on Aug 30, 2021. It was last updated on Aug 30, 2021.

This page (Mill Bottom Keycaps) was last updated on May 15, 2022.

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