About a month ago, I bought some vintage keycaps from a user on MechMarket in the hope they’d be MX compatible. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they weren’t so I set about trying to find a way to adapt them to use on a standard cherry switch. I’ll put my hands up and admit that this task was slightly beyond me so I enlisted the help of a friend who has a much better eye for these things!
The keycaps are from a KayPro II, which looks like this:
Credit to /u/joshu on Reddit who took this photo. I’m (very) sad to say that I don’t have the numpad keycaps!
The switches are catchily named SMK J-M0404, and they look a bit like a big MX switch. We put together a design that fits snugly into the SMK slot of the switch, and slides nicely onto the Cherry MX switch. The adaptors are 3D printed in a translucent resin using a very fancy Canon ProJet 3D printer which allows for the accuracy you need for a design such as this.
Now although these do work, there are some pretty big caveats:
- Although other boards feature these switches (check out the Deskthoritycompatible compatble boards) I cannot guarantee compatibility as it’s possible there maybe variations between keycaps.
- They are quite fragile. A couple did snap when inserting them into the switches but overall they are pretty sturdy. That said, due to the additional height these create, I would only recommend these as a fun aesthetic project as opposed to a day to day board. As such, I take no responsibility for keycaps or switches damaged by these adaptors.
These are produced to order in bags of 100. Lead time should be around 2 weeks depending on other demands on the 3D printer. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions as I know these are fairly unusual!