Plate Foam?

  1. Has any one done a video or tutorial on using a plate foam or DIYing a plate foarm for a custom build?
  2. What type of Foam is used?
  3. Is the foam Adhesive backed?
  4. Where can one order uncut Foam?
  5. What are you thoughts of Foaming a keyboard?

If you have any relevant links, could you please share them with me. :slight_smile:

Thank you!

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  1. I haven’t seen any videos walking through the process of plate & case foaming, but it is very straight forward. If you buy foam stock yourself it’s just a matter of cutting the sheet to size for the plate/PCB combo you’re using with some nice big & sharp scissors. Then using a plate as a template & an exacto knife as the tool to cut out the switch & stabilizers openings.

  2. EVA & neoprene foam is the best choice for foams & sorbothane is the best choice for a butyl type sheet.

  3. Some are, but I advise to stay away from them since you will find yourself switch foams between cases & builds.

  4. Amazon like always, don’t think there is anything legal to sell you can’t find there TBH, LOL! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=EVA+foam+sheets&ref=nb_sb_noss_2

  5. Personally I love using sound dampening on all my boards. It removes most if not all pinging & unwanted noises, give keystrokes a slightly deeper sounds, & just all around make yout KB sound better IMHO.

The only big advice I have for buying any sound dampening material is be sure to order the proper thickness. You need to have a slight compression between the parts & sound dampening material, but just a slight compression. Too much & it also negatively impacts the sound dampening materials performance. Hope this info helps some!

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I’ve gone to Michaels and picked up craft foam (EVA). I usually need two sheets to fill the ~4mm gap between plate and PCB so I’ve previously glued the sheets together before cutting it. I’ve only once cut out each switch by hand and otherwise do a cutout for each row. At this point I’d just use MKUltra as the foam is perfectly cut and just the right thickness.

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On the cheap end of things I DIY’d my own “foam” by sacrificing an old mousepad/deskmat (one of those cheap 4~5mm thick one’s you can get on Amazon or Taobao). After all the work it took to cut my own switch holes with an xacto blade, I’d recommend mkultra as well, just for the convenience of receiving a perfectly cut one for a few bucks and a lot of saved time, especially if you’re looking for a between-plate-and-pcb foam. DIY would probably be way easier if I had my own laser cutter :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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A part of @MKUltraCorp’s business is plate foam. While I’m sure he’d prefer you to buy from his shop if possible, asking for advice might not hurt :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the info, I’ve been meaning to get back to this post for a while.

Is there a recommended thickness in MM, that I should be aware of?

Will I need to apply a clamping pressure when soldering?

Would love to go the precept method, but my next keyboard is the Tex Shinobi and I’m not sure how I would go about providing MKUltra the correct specification’s to have the foam cut.

@MKUltraCorp, Any chance of a plate foam for the TEX Shinobi? I’m going to need two of them.

If you can get the cad file for the board then MKUltra can work with that. Keep in mind they have a tremendous backlog right now. For the DIY method I’d say 4mm works best between plate and PCB. I do a printout of the layout I need and then use an exacting knife to trace a cutout on the print. Kinda like a reverse tracing paper.

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Caveat re MKUltra: He is dealing with some technical issues at the moment, so placing a new order now would take quite some time to fulfill.

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Honestly not sure I will be supporting Tex Shinobi. If you want to send it in I could get it measured and fit, but it isn’t one I am actively wanting to design for.

I am trying to stick to boards/layouts that are most common so that the time I do spend on design is maximized with the number of foams sold per design. I’ve had some that I’ve put quite a bit of time into that have sold maybe 4-5 pieces of foam and it ends up just not being worth it for the time invested.

@montydrei is right though - I am having some technical issues that are also slowing things down quite a bit in the shop right now. Current backlog is 3-4 weeks and getting worse by the day. I’m working on getting a replacement or repair for the new big laser I got into the shop, which was DOA. I needed it when I ordered it, and it took 2 months to get here.

I was really counting on it being operational when it arrived so I could clear up the backlog at that time, which was hovering around 200 orders. After spending a week plus trying to get that machine up and running in hopes that it would still be the best choice to clear up the backlog, it grew to over 300 and is now around 350ish. I have the small one working overtime but it isn’t keeping up, let alone catching up.

Things are looking up though - I found a local-ish (1.5 hours away) company to come out and diagnose/repair the big laser so hopefully that is operational this week for me.

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That’s a bummer with the technical issues.

Since the Tex is an odd ball and I’m not sure if Tex will share the cad file (I’ve messaged Tex, but the message has not been read as of yet.), would you be interested in selling the raw uncut foam, or have a recommendation as to what to buy?

As other people have said, you can get comparable uncut foam from michaels/amazon.

Understood, Just figured I’d make the offer of buying foam from MKUltraCorp, to help the community. :wink:

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You can also get some Silverstone PC case foam and cut it into custom bits and stick it on the plate (it has adhesive on one side). You don’t need to cover every millimeter of the plate’s surface to see a significant improvement in sound. I’ve used it to pretty satisfactory results on a couple boards.

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NP, like others have said 4mm is the recommended width for in between the plate & PCB. You won’t need to use clamps but I usually make sure I am putting enough pressure down on the PCB while soldering to keep everything properly sandwiched together. It helps big time to solder switches in on the 4 corners & a couple in the middle before installing all the switches, since you can easily apply pressure & clearly see if everything properly in place & sandwiched together while doing those few. Then the rest usually go into place easily & you just have to apply slight pressure to keep everything tight.

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