Latest Stories
Show and Tell: Destiny-Inspired Airsoft Mod!

Bill Doran of Punished Props (and Tested contributor!) stops by the studio to share a personal project modding an airsoft model into a Destiny-inspired prop! Bill talks about how he modeled a 3D-printed shell to fit the prop, which can be used for cosplay photo ops and fan films.

Custom Keyboard Spotlight: Matias Switches

Some keyboard warriors swear by Alps switches, which I talked about a few weeks back. These switches are no longer manufactured by Alps Electric, so people are forced to find used switches and salvage them. There's an attractive alternative, though. A Canadian company called Matias manufactures Alps-style switches to this very day. They have many of the same properties as classic Alps along with some modern niceties.

If you want to build a keyboard with Alps switches right now, you'll have to find used switches that are at least 15-20 years old. Many of the most sought-after Alps were produced in the 1980s, so those switches might be upward of 30 years old by now. With such old components, it's hard to know how heavily they were used. In addition, Alps were only rated for about 10 million lifetime presses, much lower than modern switches. That's where Matias switches come in. These switches have a refined mechanism that's good for 50 million presses, and you can buy them brand new from Matias.

Matias switches have the same footprint and pin layout as Alps, so they work in any PCB that accepts Alps. The stem is also the traditional Alps rectangle, so Alps keycaps fit on Matias switches without any modification. Unlike the original Alps, Matias switches account for LED lighting on keyboards. The housing is transparent, so underlighting can shine through to the keycaps. The shape of the housing is the same as classic Alps, though, so it's easy to open them up even after they've been mounted in a board. These switches aren't as complicated as the original Alps, but they're close to the newer switches Alps Electric started making in the late 90s.

Matias makes switches in the three main categories of linear, tactile, and clicky. The clicky and tactile have their peak force near the top of the press, followed by a consistently lighter feel until the switch bottoms out. So, Matias switches "fall through" like Alps. This won't appeal to everyone, but it makes the actuation (right after the peak force) feel very precise. The linear versions behave more like other linear switches, with a peak force a little north of 50 grams.

3D Printing Multiple Colors with Prusa i3's Upgrade!

We catch up with Josef Prusa at Maker Faire to learn how the latest multi-material upgrade to the Prusa i3 Mk3 is a big improvement over last year's multi-material design. We also check out the new build platforms for the Mk3, which make removing prints a snap!

Ask Adam Anything: Do You Miss Mythbusters?

Every week, Adam takes a question from the comments section below or on social media (tagged #AskAdamSavage) and answer them for the Tested member community. This week, Adam talks about what he misses from working on Mythbusters.

Challenge Accepted: Drifting with Zoe Bell, Part 1

We're thrilled to debut a project with the inimitable Zoe Bell, actress and stunt performer from some of our favorite films like Kill Bill, Death Proof, and Thor: Ragnarok! In this series, Zoe takes on the challenge of learning to drift a stunt car--a physically and mentally demanding skill she's yet to learn. Zoe embarks on the journey of developing this skill using the maxim of SODOTO: See One, Do One, Teach One. The first step: getting a feel for the car on the test track with Adam Savage.

Model Trains with Working Steam Engines!

We meet the Bay Area Garden Railway Society, a group of model train builders who build scale steam engines that actually run on tiny pieces of burning coal! During a water break for one engine, we chat with one of the builders about what it takes to make these beautiful trains work.