It's not about the destination, it's about the journey

Dear MK community,

You may not know it yet, but we have something cooking for you. It is taking (much) more time than anticipated, so it's about time we let you in on the project, and write updates for those who want to follow our journey.

As you may have seen in our Interest Check thread we are developing a new keycaps customization service. Its purpose is simple:

Let everyone get exactly the keycaps they need.

And we are focusing on:

Quality, price and fast delivery

All that wrapped up in an easy-to-use website, providing powerful customization tools. Talk about ambition, uh?

What's the plan?

We have been studying the different options to produce keycaps, and while double shot keycaps are (and will probably always be) the best production process, it comes with its own constraints. MOQ are hard to reach, especially when your layout doesn't fit the base kit, and then you are basically stuck with buying 2 or 3 kits, ending up with a ton of unused keycaps, carefully stored in a drawer, somewhere.

Other options are laser engraving, pad printing and dye sublimation. We have quickly ruled out laser and pad printing, since legends wouldn't last long, and we don't want to compromise on the quality.

So we plan to produce thick dye-sublimated PBT keycaps. By automating most of the process (users prepare their sets online, and our application translates that into printable files) we have estimated we could reduce human processing time (the most costly resource) to a minimum (dye sub production steps, quality check and packaging).

Customize everything

While we are being slowed down by the preparation of the manufacturing tools, the website is mostly ready, here are some screencasts to give you an idea of where we are heading.

Configuration tool

This is where it's happening. Pick a layout, a virtual layout, some legends, colors and start from there.

In a few clicks, you should get yourself something close to what you are looking for. You can then customize each key (see below)

50 (more or less common) keyboard layouts are included (more to come), on top of the basic 40%/60%/TKL/Full default layouts. We don't want you to miss a single key.

We have prepared support for ISO, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese, Dvorak and Colemak virtual layouts. They should be available right out-of-the-box, on day 1.

Most legends will be made by designers. We are looking for keycaps designers! If you are interested, let us know via email : contact at fkcaps.com (designers will be retributed on a commission basis).

Colorways are yet to be prepared since we need our production line to be fully set up for accurate color matching.

Full customization

In order to let anyone have fun and get exactly what one needs, the customization capabilities should be quite extended.

Each key's color and legend can be customized. Legends can be either:

  • picked from one of the designers' kits
  • uploaded (SVG files only)
  • designed by entering text, and picking up a font

History

We have been working on this project for several months, probably about a year now. The first git commit dates 11th January 2019, and this is only when we started writing code.

We are a team of two, dedicated to bringing this project to life, with a huge focus on quality, as we just need everything to be perfect.

Everything hasn't happened like we expected it to, but we are moving forward, and have already got in touch with a lot of nice people from the community. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. We don't know where this will take us but we are looking forward to get started and send keycaps all over the world.

Goodies coming up

We have quite a few projects in parallel, including a brand new Choc keycap profile (IC coming soon!) and an online keycaps renderer (free custom 3D renders).

To stay in touch, leave your email address below:

Any question, comment, get in touch on Discord kartsims#7647 and don't forget to fill the IC form to let us know your thoughts on the project!