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BLOCK by HIBI

After last week's post, Kate of HIBI got back to me with more info on her uniform BLOCK keycap profile.

KBD.news
Published March 23, 2023
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As I pointed out earlier, Deadline Studio and HIBI came up with very similar uniform keycaps with a nice retro vibe:

I had a recent conversation with Deadline Studio and we discovered that we both coincidentally created a similar profile! – Kate.

Kate began developing these caps for her SP-8 / Side Piece macropad in late 2021/early 2022.

Pic: HIBI SP-8 macropad

HIBI SP-8 macropad

Her uniform spherical keycaps were inspired not by the Siemens caps as I supposed but by a tasty cap that has been used on synths for several decades: the Marquardt 6425 – which is both a switch type and the accompanying family of keycaps.

Pic: Marquardt 6425

Marquardt 6425

The switch itself has a rather strange stem, obviously not MX compatible, however, one of the available pitches is 19mm so theoretically it could be used on nice clean ortho keyboards – if it weren't that expensive.

The Marquardt caps come in various sizes and colors, and there's even a cute version that features a hole for an indicator LED.

So much for inspiration and about the Marquardt find. With regards to the differences and availability of the BLOCK profile Kate added:

I'd say that my block caps have a deeper spherical scoop and are fully polished – I also currently don't have anything other than 1U size! At the moment I'm just testing the waters and offering a translucent white finish so there's very limited quantities.

Addressing my concern about the difficulty of removing these keycaps – well, caps with similar square base in general – Kate told me the footprint is just about the same size (with some small tolerance variables) as a Cherry cap. And she haven't found too much difficulty in getting the keycap puller in between the caps so far.

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Published on Thu 23rd Mar 2023. Featured in KBD #117.


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