Sale Rounds and Special Editions
Star Wars Edition
Lego x Keycaps
TLDR; PlayWell is a Lego-Compatible Keycap.
It started out as a search for a Stormtrooper artisan. There were a few at the time but I wanted something with more 3D pop. Then I noticed LEGO, the finest plastic product ever mass produced.
I grabbed some Lego Star Wars minifigures and placed a Stormtrooper helmet on my escape key and it was perfect. I loved all the details in Lego minifigures. And did I mention they were ABS?
I immediately went to work and designed a keycap with a head stud to hold a Lego minifigure head. A bust. From time to time I would swap out the heads to change the look of my keyboard. It was amazingly simple and I knew I had to make more to share.
On and off over the past year, I’ve went through over a hundred keycaps from different designs to materials to vendors. I am now ready to share the results of my effort with you and I am calling it Project PlayWell (from the Danish words Leg Godt).
Design and Materials
I chose to 3D print the keycaps in Nylon 12 and specifically HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) because (1) it is one of the most durable materials among options suitable for keycaps, (2) they can be printed within reasonable precision/tolerances, and last but not least (3) they approximated thick SP SA keycaps in typing tests. I believe Nylon 12 is the best material available for this purpose.
The keycap is also designed to accommodate as many minifigures as possible while remaining functional although some minifigures will not fit (for example, minifigures with long hair pieces). The stud is angled at 70 degrees to the base and positioned toward the front to achieve this.
I personally test, inspect and retouch every single keycap I ship to ensure that (1) MX stem snugly fits various switch types to my complete satisfaction and (2) the minifigure heads slide in and out of the stud exactly as they do on a minifigure with just enough friction. As you may know, Lego parts are manufactured to incredible tolerances and getting the fit just right requires the stud to be printed within +/-0.03mm in diameter. Resolving both of these tolerances to deliver the best product possible means I have to either reject a significant portion of my prints or retouch them with precision tools by hand.
Lego x Keycap
The possibilities are practically endless. According to bricklink, Lego produced over 10,000 unique minifigures over the years. There are over 3,000 unique head pieces as well as over 900 head gears available. That’s more than 2.7 million combinations! You can also order custom minifigures professionally pad or UV printed just like the real thing. More importantly, most minifigures are reasonably priced (and readily available for purchase) or better yet free if you already own them!
So there you have it.
Let’s be honest, they’re both damn expensive for plastic. And they sure as hell belong together!
I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer※ LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this product.※ The objects on sale are not toys and must not be given to children.