Sunday, July 5, 2015

Typewriter Key-top Fabrication without a 3D printer

Sunday, July 5, 2015

I had a Lettera 32 with a missing shift key-top on the left. I wish I had a 3D printer to make the keytop. But I don't have one, So I did epoxy resin casting. I made a molding from the other shift key-top on the right of the typewriter.

 In the picture above, the key-top on the left is the one I made. Painting was the hardest part in this project. The color did not match with the aged and faded plastic. I did re-painting so many times. Though the key I made is bit shinny, I can't tell much difference between them from a distance.

For molding, I used a thermal plastic which is hard and dense at at normal temperature.

I put the plastic bar in the boiled water. When the plastic bar become soft. I mold the key-top with it.

Then some epoxy resin is poured in and wait for it sets. The rubber is transparent. So if there air in side. Use a needle to let it out.

After open the mold, start scraping off excess bits with a xacto-knife or a scraper before the resin completely sets, then followed by lots of sanding.

 I think comparison is the to this process.

 After spraying some primer and some more sanding, the key is ready to be painted.

The key is back!!

I think that it would be a good idea to know things can be made/fabricated by hand, before I try 3D printing.  Also I start wondering how ancient sculptures were made and imagining about works done by hand.

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