Using iDye poly and a MICROWAVE to dye PBT keycaps !!!

#1
We've all see Mendez's Video on how to dye PBT keycaps, well here's my own minimalist approach >: )
The principal is heat up dye in a container, put caps in dye, take caps out and dry. There's nothing that says it has to be done in a pot on a stove with a strainer. It just makes it easier to do if you have the stuff needed lying around.

Uy9c0dd.png
All of the methods I've seen on the internet involve a lot of preparation, effort and equipment. This got me thinking there must be an easier way, one that isn't so involved and much more simple. Essentially, the general premise of dying plastic to heat the material up so the pigment has an easier time to penetrate and dye it. I chose to use the microwave approach because of the science behind a microwave; water molecules in the dye solution + electromagnetic radiation = hot liquids. The goal was to create as little mess as possible, using as little resources as possible.

All I needed was:
- Plastic Disposable Water bottle (Recyclable OFC)
- Wooden paddle-pop stick (Biodegradable)
- Microwave
-1/2 teaspoon of dye

No need for pots, strainers stove ect

SQiIV0J.png
I've seen people use the whole packet, but being stingy I didn't want to use the whole 14g -- the amount of solution it makes is excessive IMO. I ended up using less than 1/2 a Teaspoon -- add more if you want a stronger more vibrant colour.

Ic83qCW.png

The image above is a cut disposable water bottle with a small amount of solution in it (less volume means quicker time to heat up cause enthalpy)

RqO0MXn.jpg

Keep in mind your mileage WILL vary depending on how much solution you've made.
The key caps should be completely submerged in the solution.

2INvCZz.jpg
I only needed to microwave it for 30 seconds before it started to bubble. Please keep an eye on anything you put in the microwave, no aluminum foil, metal forks or spoons.

The dye solution is known to smell, so please keep that into consideration. Don't let the water get to hot and start overflowing.

6q4yfbe.png
Take care when removing the plastic bottle as it becomes softer with heat. The immediate result, no rinse. I used the stick to "flick" them out because the solution was H O T.

U8oTTiX.png

Close-up after I rinsed them. There are no scratches as I did not have to stir. Since the solution more-or-less heated up at the same rate the pigment penetrated consistently. A stove top will always be hotter towards the center of the base because that where the heat transfer is occurring.

nj8DptF.jpg
Bonus: I also used this method to dye Acrylic and some nylon screws. No deformities at all !!!

ggu9KEv.png
I've always wondered how dye would effect a "shine-through" translucent cap.​
 
Edited:
#2
Nice writeup mate. Looks like a good alternative to pots. Maybe a microwave safe container for a a whole batch of keycaps next time?
 
#3
We've all see Mendez's Video on how to dye PBT keycaps, well here's my own minimalist approach >:)

Uy9c0dd.png
All of the methods I've seen on the internet involve a lot of preparation, effort and equipment. This got me thinking there must be an easier way, one that isn't so involved and much more simple. Essentially, the general premise of dying plastic to heat the material up so the pigment has an easier time to penetrate and dye it. I chose to use the microwave approach because of the science behind a microwave; water molecules in the dye solution + electromagnetic radiation = hot liquids. The goal was to create as little mess as possible, using as little resources as possible.

All I needed was:
- Plastic Disposable Water bottle (Recyclable OFC)
- Wooden paddle-pop stick (Biodegradable)
- Microwave
-1/2 teaspoon of dye

No need for pots, strainers stove ect

SQiIV0J.png
I've seen people use the whole packet, but being stingy I didn't want to use the whole 14g -- the amount of solution it makes is excessive IMO. I ended up using less than 1/2 a Teaspoon -- add more if you want a stronger more vibrant colour.

Ic83qCW.png

The image above is a cut disposable water bottle with a small amount of solution in it (less volume means quicker time to heat up cause enthalpy)

RqO0MXn.jpg

Keep in mind your mileage WILL vary depending on how much solution you've made.
The key caps should be completely submerged in the solution.

2INvCZz.jpg
I only needed to microwave it for 30 seconds before it started to bubble. Please keep an eye on anything you put in the microwave, no aluminum foil, metal forks or spoons.

The dye solution is known to smell, so please keep that into consideration. Don't let the water get to hot and start overflowing.

6q4yfbe.png
Take care when removing the plastic bottle as it becomes softer with heat. The immediate result, no rinse. I used the stick to "flick" them out because the solution was H O T.

U8oTTiX.png

Close-up after I rinsed them. There are no scratches as I did not have to stir. Since the solution more-or-less heated up at the same rate the pigment penetrated consistently. A stove top will always be hotter towards the center of the base because that where the heat transfer is occurring.

nj8DptF.jpg
Bonus: I also used this method to dye Acrylic and some nylon screws. No deformities at all !!!

ggu9KEv.png
I've always wondered how dye would effect a "shine-through" translucent cap.​
Damn, I wouldn't have thought this would work at all. Seems to be really evenly applied.
 

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