Brass Key Caps
This was my first attempt making machined key caps, and although they turned out alright, there are definitely a lot of improvements I want to make before I attempt to do a whole set. Since I'm not a masochist, all key caps will have a the exact same profile.
Machining these caps was a major pain in the ass for one reason: work holding. The nature of injection molding a product is that it sucks to machine, and this part was no different. The keycap itself has only one flat surface, and that is the bottom. Therefor the bottom was finish machined first and then flipped over for OP 2. The bottom of the keycap needs two main features, the pocket that creates the keycap stem, and the cross pattern that interfaces with the standard cherry key switch stem. Using a 2D pocketing tool path to create the stem would have been the easiest solution, and would have allowed for a step to be used in the fixturemto help prevent the key cap from rotating during OP 2. So naturally I decided to 3D machine it using a 1/8" ball end mill and it looks sick as fuck. The cross pattern was created by drilling out the corners and center, and then knocking out the web after the keycap was completed. The center hole was drilled and tapped for a 4-40 screw which was how it was secured during OP 2.