why are they so expensive?
We’d love to sell these for $1 each, but these are handmade, cast art keys–they take a long time and a lot of shop cat attention to make. Cast keys can have designs like no other, but they have to be expensive enough so that making them is worth our time.
If you’re used to prices for common injection molded caps, our prices can seem ludicrous. Injection molding is forcing plastic at high pressure into an industrial-grade metal mold (the machines are so cool). Almost all plastic you interact with is injection molded. It’s perfect for when you want to make thousands upon thousands of solid parts very quickly. All of your keycaps are likely injection molded, and some may have been molded in two stages (double shot) to provide a clear layer for backlit letters.
Our keys are not injection molded, but cast. This means we pour liquid plastic at atmospheric pressures and then let it cure through a chemical process. It is much, much slower–think days instead of seconds. This means we can embed art inside the plastic in a way that would be impossible with other methods.
That art also takes time and skill to make. If you’re buying one of our cherry blossom keycaps, your blossoms were carefully made by hand with tweezers!
It’s true that compared to normal, mass-produced keycaps, ours are quite expensive. The enthusiasts adding these to their keyboards aren’t looking for normal, mass-produced keycaps, though!