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Buttons for electronics

Buttons for electronics

Buttons for electronics


I'm designing a housing for a circuit board with push buttons on it. I have looked everywhere on the internet for button caps. They are nowhere to be found. Can someone help me understand how they are to be designed? Is there a website I can look at for design examples? I've never had to do anything like this before.


RE: Buttons for electronics

Every button manufacturer offers a slew of cap options... what's wrong with what's already offered? If you have to design something unique, look at the CAD drawings for the switches and go from there.

Dan - Owner

RE: Buttons for electronics

You say that... but I've only found caps for large push buttons. I'm designing a small battery powered, handheld option. I can't find any caps for said switches.
I understand that I can look at CAD drawings and get measurements for the switches. What I'm asking is for design ideas. How does the cap make contact with the switch? What holds it in place? What material should be used? What are my options?

RE: Buttons for electronics

Your easiest option is, as I said, to look at the CAD drawings. There's nothing magical about the physical connection between the plastic cap and the top of the switch, so the CAD drawing of the switch post should very readily show you what surfaces are available to attach to. If there are any barbs or indents, print your switch to take those features into account and use them.

If you're 3D printing, you're limited to the materials your printer can handle, typically ABS (suggested) and PLA.

Dan - Owner

RE: Buttons for electronics

Interchangeable caps for switches are typically injection molded with snap fits. The precision required of the parts is beyond what current 3d printing can do, unless I missed another meeting.

I suggest you pick a switch that meets your other requirements, print your buttons as overlays, and install them with glue.

The other option that occurs is to print your buttons with integral hinges that flex, and attach the fixed ends of the hinges to the back of your fascia panel (somehow) with the buttons extending through punched holes, and mount the actual pushbuttons on a second panel behind the fascia. This is a _much_ more difficult test of your design skills than using glue.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Buttons for electronics

I imagine a few test runs will net some very workable press fits, Mike... certainly good enough for one-offs and prototyping.

Dan - Owner

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