Joint Input Club & Kono Store Statement — Box Switches & Aftermarket ABS Keycaps:
It has been brought to our attention that certain keycap sets, particularly those from GMK, can experience cracking / stretching when mounted on Box switches. It is important to note that, at this point, the precise cause is unknown. Kaihua is already changing Box switches’ cruciform stem size to match their Speed switches. Input Club and Kono Store are doing some additional analysis — it will take us some time to gather data due to the variables that are involved. Once we account for everything, we’ll decide what further actions need to be taken (if any).
Box switch cruciform mount thickness
Box switch cruciform mounts are thicker than other switches’ (ex. Kaihua Speed) in certain areas. We do not know if this is the reason keycaps are cracking or stretching — it is likely not the sole cause. The difference in thickness between Cherry stems (1.27 mm) and Box stems (1.32mm) is small (0.05 mm).
Kaihua is reducing the cruciform mount’s X axis dimensions to 1.3 mm from 1.32 mm in all Box switch molds, which may or may not affect what is happening. We’re advising them on the process — further dimensional changes may be recommended.
Aftermarket ABS keycap set mount dimensions and tolerances (GMK, SP, etc.)
ABS has varying degrees of flexibility / brittleness. We do not know the exact plastics, tolerances, or manufacturing sizes of keycaps made by vendors at this time.
We will request current mount dimensions and tolerances from all major aftermarket keycap manufacturers. ABS is widely known for its inability to maintain a tight tolerance during manufacturing so wide variations may be present in their product lines.
PBT & other plastics
PBT and POM sets appear to be unaffected by cracking, but a few reports of stretching have surfaced.
Box switches will still be available in our products and DIY packs. A compatibility note will be present wherever they are sold.
The stretching does not appear to affect WhiteFox / NightFox / Kira keycaps (which use the same molds). Testing information can be found in a post below.
Kira backers can change to switchless kits or non-Box switches by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org — replies may be slow. We are catching up from our latest international trip to finish Kira.