exploring the beauty of keycaps: two-color injection molding vs. heat sublimation

exploring the beauty of keycaps: two-color injection molding vs. heat sublimation


In today's digital age, the design and manufacture of keyboards, as the primary means of human-computer interaction, has become increasingly important. Keycaps, as an important part of keyboards, have a profound impact on the user experience due to their material and process. This article will focus on the two mainstream processes in keycap manufacturing - two-color injection molding and heat sublimation to start the discussion, in-depth study of their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, as well as the contribution to the beauty of the keycap.


Part I: The exquisite craftsmanship of two-color injection molding

Two-color injection molding is an advanced plastic molding technology that allows two different colors of plastic to be injected into a keycap at the same time, forming a variety of patterns and text through the precise control of the mold. The advantage of this process is that it can create colorful and highly accurate keycaps, which are widely used in high-end mechanical keyboards. The colors of two-color injection-molded keycaps are usually more vivid than those produced by the heat sublimation process.

The advantages of this process are mainly reflected in the following aspects:

  1. High freedom of colorful design: two-color injection molding can achieve a variety of color combinations of keycaps, so designers can more freely show their creativity and produce a unique appearance.
  2. Strong abrasion resistance: The surface of keycaps with two-color injection molding process is usually treated with better abrasion resistance and longer service life.
  3. High pattern clarity: two-color injection molding is able to maintain the clarity of the pattern when making keycaps, with better detail performance.

Part II: The uniqueness of heat sublimation

Heat sublimation process, also known as thermal transfer, is mainly used to transfer patterns or text to the surface of objects through high temperature. In keycap production, heat sublimation technology can transfer special ink onto the keycaps to form delicate patterns and text. Heat sublimation keycaps usually have a better visual effect and feel.

Compared to two-color injection molding, heat sublimation is a brand new keycap manufacturing process. The process creates a brilliant pattern by printing a design on the surface of the keycap and then permanently transferring the pigment to the surface of the keycap through heat and pressure. The heat sublimation process also has its unique advantages:

  1. High pattern richness: heat sublimation can achieve more complex and rich patterns on the surface of keycaps without the limitation of the number of colors, which has more design space.
  2. Comfortable touch: As the heat sublimation is printed on the surface of keycaps, it will not change the texture of the keycaps, which is comfortable to touch and more delicate to the touch.
  3. Strong customization: heat sublimation can be easily personalized, users can customize unique keycaps according to their own preferences.

Part III: Comparison of the two processes

  1. Appearance effect comparison: two-color injection molded keycaps usually have a distinctive color demarcation line and natural color transition. While the heat sublimation keycaps present a smoother appearance and more delicate patterns.
  2. Comparison of durability: Two-color injection molded keycaps are relatively better in terms of durability, but because their surfaces usually need to be processed, there may be wear and tear in some cases. Heat-sublimation keycaps are relatively more durable because the pattern is printed directly on the surface.
  3. Comparison of the degree of customization: Thermosublimation is more outstanding in terms of customization, allowing for more complex patterns and more color choices, making it more suitable for users who pursue personalization.


Two-color injection molding and heat sublimation, as two mainstream processes for keycap manufacturing, have their own merits. Two-color injection molding excels in appearance and durability, and is suitable for users who focus on practicality; while heat sublimation has more advantages in pattern richness and customization, and is suitable for users who focus on personalization. In the exploration of the beauty of keycaps, we can choose the process that suits our personal needs and preferences to create a unique keyboard experience.