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What is the typing surface made of?

Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 11:16
by Max
Does anyone know what the typing surface on a Touchstream is made of? If you wanted a custom layout printed on a similar material, where would you go for a one-off?

Re: What is the typing surface made of?

Posted: 23 Dec 2013, 11:55
by The00Dustin
I think it's a thin layer of lexan, but I'm not sure where you'd get it. Also, that is based on my memory from a long time ago, probably in the official forums, and even if I am remembering correctly, someone may have used the terms lexan and plexiglass interchangeably even though they aren't exactly the same thing.

Re: What is the typing surface made of?

Posted: 12 Jan 2014, 15:22
by TorbenGB
I can confirm this; I also remember that it's lexan. It was mentioned on the original website which also stated that the lexan is clear and the layout is printed on the underside to make you you won't ever be able to rub it off during use.

The sample Digitouch I received came disassembled and included one Qwerty layout and one Dvorak, so I have one left over. It's _very_ thin, perhaps 0,5 mm, and almost as flexible as an old-skool 5.25" floppy disk. The finger-alignment dimples are actually dents made by pushing into it from the underside.

If you want to make your own, you can use any material you want as long as:
  • it's electrically non-conducive,
  • it's reasonably thin (1mm could probably work too without getting weak readings of your gestures,
  • it's tough enough to withstand moisture (ambient air, moist fingers),
  • it's reasonably scratch-proof,
  • it's reasonably slippery (for easy gesturing),
  • it should probably be transparent so you can print the layout on the underside.
I've experimented with printing custom layouts on thick paper (card stock) and the overall experience is that the print wears off quickly, the paper absorbs too much moisture (and becomes dirty), and the very thin layer of air between the paper and the original surface interferes with gestures. The last point proves that thinness is important; the other points indicate that you need something sturdy.

Good luck! Let us know what you're up to.

Re: What is the typing surface made of?

Posted: 08 Mar 2015, 13:14
by Meesters
I used some sticker paper and printed another layout on it but it doesn't last very long. It is easy replaced but after a while it does not look very nice anymore.
I thought about removing the lexan surface and changing it with hpl (high pressure laminate) but I could not find anything to print something on it. hpl does look very durable and can be very thin.
Just some thought on future projects for my ts.

Re: What is the typing surface made of?

Posted: 08 Mar 2015, 19:15
by TorbenGB
Removing the lexan might be tricky. I know from the Digitouch that I received disassembled that the lexan is adhesive, so I expect that regular TSLP's have it glued on. The sensor board is pretty sturdy so pulling the lexan off it probably won't hurt it - but I don't think the lexan can be used again afterwards. Consider this if the original print is important.

(And welcome back, Meesters!)