[sdiy] Keyboard style switches for synth keyboards? Keys from PBT plastic?

Brian Willoughby brianw at audiobanshee.com
Sat Feb 6 03:31:49 CET 2021

Are you talking about the thermoplastic, polybutylene terephthalate?

Also, are you planning to make piano-style keys with these tactile switches? ... or are you unattached to the piano ergonomics, and just want a unique interface for triggering synth gate / notes?

I like the idea of polyphonic aftertouch using Hall effect or even optical - if anyone is making the latter.


On Feb 5, 2021, at 17:39, cheater cheater wrote:
> They don't feel like touching wood - they are varnished with something
> that doesn't have the nice texture PBT has. You're touching varnish,
> not wood. Varnish is usually a polymer of some sort nowadays, too,
> so... it's plastic again
> On Sat, Feb 6, 2021 at 1:03 AM Mike Bryant wrote:
>>> They feel like touching paper, or wood
>> Or just get a real wood key Fatar keybed (when they are able to deliver them :-)
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cheater cheater
>> Sent: 05 February 2021 23:47
>> My recent experiments also revealed to me why I hate most synth keyboards. They're made out of slick, annoying ABS. The surface is sticky and gooey. I much prefer PBT keyboards. They feel like touching paper, or wood, depending on what finish the mold has been given (I think they blast the mold with beads and it depends on the size of those). Some PBT keys feel sharp, like touching a piece of stone (eg "9009 colorway sa profile Dye Sub Keycap Set thick PBT plastic keyboard gh60 xd60" from KPRepublic on Aliexpress) while others feel much gentler (like "MP Chocolate Coloring 123 KEYS SA PBT" from Mechanical Primitive on Aliexpress, which are my favourite set right now). Playing around with a beam spring keyboard showed that there's still quite a bit of value to making things larger. By virtue of how tall the beam spring switch is alone (~3cm), it feels very smooth, because the lever action created by lateral forces exerted on the key cap has only a very small effect on the faces undergoing friction.

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list