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PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend - The Kapco

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

The demand for PBT keycaps has skyrocketed in recent years, with designer keycaps becoming more affordable. Gen Z, in particular, is hungry for a keycap "revolution" as they strive to express their unique style and personality on their keyboards.

As keycap enthusiasts at The KapCo, we believe that PCPBT keycaps (or known by some as Semi-Transparent Keycap) are the future of high-quality keycaps. We have studied and discovered a lot about PCPBT keycaps, and we are excited to share our findings with the internet. In fact, we even experimented with our Kyoto Keycaps, and the results may shock you!

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

Close-up side view of Morse Code PCPBT Keycaps

From mass-produced ABS keycaps to now-affordable high-end PBT keycaps, we are excited about the new era of customizable PCPBT keycaps. You can enjoy the durability and tactile feel of PBT, as well as the vibrant customization options of polycarbonate (PC). We're confident that PCPBT keycaps will revolutionize the mechanical keyboard industry, and we can't wait for you to try them out for yourself!

 

What is PCPBT Keycap?

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

Morse Code PCPBT Keycap on RGB mechanical keyboard

In a nutshell, PCPBT keycaps are made from a unique combination of double-shot PBT plastic (Polybutylene terephthalate) and PC (Polycarbonate). The result is keycaps that have a similar appearance to pudding, with a clear and transparent base that allows RGB lighting to shine through, along with a superbly textured PBT top. The dye-sub process is used to create never-fading designs on the top of the keycaps.

There are two types of PCPBT keycaps currently available in the market: 4-sided semi-transparent keycaps and 3-sided semi-transparent keycaps.

 

PCPBT Keycap highlight

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

Close-up view of Morse Code PCPBT Keycap

PCPBT keycaps are known for their crystal-clear PC base and textured PBT top, which combine to create a unique look and feel. While PC material has been used in keycaps before, it's also well-known for being prone to yellowing and accumulating grease, much like ABS keycaps. However, PCPBT keycaps solve these issues by using a double-shot process to completely cover the top of the PC keycap with PBT material, eliminating the worries of shine and grease accumulation. This makes it easy to maintain the "new" look of the keyboard, perhaps years to decade.

The top layer of the PCPBT keycap, made of PBT material, also provides excellent texture for an enhanced typing experience. This makes the keycaps more comfortable to use for extended periods, especially for those who use their keyboard heavily. Additionally, the clear PC base of the keycap allows for vibrant RGB lighting to shine through, creating a stunning visual effect that is similar to pudding keycaps. 

 PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

Morse Code 3-sided PCPBT (Left) vs Peachy 4-sided PCPBT (Right)

As shown in the image above, the only difference between 4-sided PCPBT and 3-sided PCPBT keycaps is the front-facing material. 4-sided PCPBT keycaps have only double-shot PBT on top of the keycap, while 3-sided PCPBT keycaps create an "L-shaped" layer of PBT from the top to the front-facing surface of the keycap. The choice between them is purely a matter of personal preference.

4-sided PCPBT keycaps allow better RGB shine through, while 3-sided PCPBT keycaps (such as The KapCo. Kyoto PCPBT Keycap) provide better shape and design potential.

 

Material

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

3-sided looks better in our opinion tho.

As the name suggests, PCPBT keycaps are made of a combination of PBT plastic (Polybutylene terephthalate) and PC (Polycarbonate). You can learn more about PC plastic on keycaps by clicking here.

 

Process

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

PCPBT Keycap with ASA Profile (Left) vs PBT Keycap with OEM Profile (Right)
 

PCPBT keycaps are made using the double-shot technique and are commonly printed using the dye-sublimation process. The designs and prints on the keycaps are resistant to wear and tear.

These methods ensure that PCPBT keycaps stand out greatly compared to other keycaps, as they feature different curves and layers compared to single-surface ABS/PBT keycaps.

 

Comparing PC, PBT & PCPBT Keycaps

PC Keycaps
PBT Keycaps
PC+PBT Keycaps
Durability
Moderate
Great
Great
Texture
Smooth, shiny
Textured, matte
Smooth, semi-trasparent wall. Textured, matte top
Printing Method
Laser, dye-sublimation
Dye-sublimation
Dye-sublimation
Keycap Thickness
Thin
Thick
Thin wall, Thick top
Sound Profile
High-pitched, hollow sound
Thocky, deep sound
Thocky, deep sound
Cost
$
$$
$$
Comparison for PC, PBT and PCPBT Keycaps

Matter of fact, PBT keycaps easily outperform PC keycaps, but PCPBT keycaps are a combination of both, offering the best of both worlds

  • PC keycaps are durable but less resistant to wear than PBT and PCPBT. Grease and shine may build up over time. However, PC keycaps are less likely to crack or break than some other materials, like ABS.
  • PBT keycaps are highly durable and resistant to wear. They are less likely to develop shine or oil buildup over time. They can produce a deeper, "thocky" sound when pressed, which most enthusiast strive for.
  • PCPBT keycaps combine the durability of PBT with the clarity and smoothness of PC. They are highly resistant to wear and abrasion, and can maintain their appearance and texture over time. They produce a slightly muffled sound when pressed.

 

Profile / Style

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

PCPBT Keycap in ASA profile

The most commonly found PCPBT keycap profile in the market currently is ASA, but we are very confident that various profiles will be released into the market within the year 2023! (Hint: We are able to produce OEM profile for our Kyoto-themed PCPBT keycaps!)

 

Cost

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

3-sided PCPBT keycap compared without & with RGB

There are no crazy high price tags here; these awesome keycaps are actually in the same price range! The cost-to-value ratio is reasonable for these types of keycaps. PC keycaps, although the cheapest, offer great design and a unique transparent look. PBT keycaps are becoming more affordable as demand increases. If you want the best of both worlds, it only takes a few extra dollars to get a PCPBT keycap. As far as we know, everything is under $100.

 

Where to get?

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

3-sided PCPBT under different RGB backlit

If you're interested in 3-sided PCPBT keycaps, Keytok collection will surely fits your need. 4-sided PCPBT keycaps can be found in PIIFOX collection & Coolkiller collection, both have really great design. 

We're experimenting with PCPBT keycaps at The KapCo and we've had great success with our first set. Our Kyoto-themed keycaps have undergone their first-ever PCPBT transformation, and the visual effect is stunning. Here are some sneak peek images! The KapCo will continue to advance into the PCPBT world and offer our fans more designs in the form of PCPBT.

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

First ever Kyoto theme keycap made of PCPBT

 

PCPBT Keycap: A revolution in keycap trend

Looks & feels a lot premium compared to the PBT version

 

Comments

  • Do you sell PCPBT keycaps? Using the search function on your site to look for “PCPBT” gives no results…

    Claus on

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