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Custom Keyboard Spotlight: GMK Double-Shot Keycap Sets

There are many manufacturers of keycaps out there, but only a few have focused on the enthusiast community. One of the most popular manufacturers, and one you'll see mentioned a lot is GMK. This German company specializes in high-quality, thick double-shot keycaps. Many manufacturers have tried to emulate GMK, but its sets are still the gold standard for many keyboard lovers.

A double-shot keycap is known as such because it's made in two "shots" of plastic. The first one includes a lattice with the raised legend you want on the cap. Then, another shot covers the lattice and forms the outer surface of the keycap, which is a different color than the text. That text will end up completely flush with the surface of the second shot. If done properly, the two appear to be one piece. You can do double-shot molding in PBT plastic, but most of it (including GMK sets) is done with ABS as it produces sharper legends.

Double-shot keycaps are not unique to GMK, but it's arguable that GMK's quality is the best. Interestingly, GMK hasn't been at this for very long—it only started making these sets in 2011. So how can it make the best double-shot sets? Before GMK was on the scene, famed switch maker Cherry was in the business of making double-shot keycaps. However, it stopped producing the sets and sold all its keycap tooling to GMK. That allowed GMK to pick up where Cherry left off.

LEGO with Friends: Lepin Saturn V, Part 2

Our lessons learned so far from building this Lepin version of the LEGO Saturn V set: the pieces are more rigid, don't snap together as nicely, and the screenprinting is off! The price we pay for going with a knockoff! But we must continue, while Bobak, Simone, and Norm chat about the state of space travel and exciting offworld missions.

Storyboarding a Stop-Motion Animated Film

Stop-Motion Animation isn't just about puppets--traditional 2D artists visualize the action of the film with storyboards. We chat with one of Aardman's storyboard artists to learn how fast they work to create a rough sketch version of the film most people will never see.

Testing the Liftoff Drone Racing Simulator

I've written about several RC flight simulators over the years. There is no doubt that they are excellent tools for developing and polishing your piloting skills. Many sims let you fly multi-rotor models. Some also have First Person View (FPV) features. But very few programs are actually designed to emulate the specific demands of flying a high-speed FPV quad through a challenging race course. Liftoff is one of those simulators.

The Basics

Liftoff is a Steam game. I assume that most of us here are familiar with the Steam platform. The minimum system requirements are pretty reasonable. In fact, I have been running Liftoff on a mid-range laptop that doesn't quite hit all of the minimums. The game has been running just fine in single player mode. With that being said, there are still quite a few features that I have not yet utilized. It is possible that some of those features could require more horsepower to run well.

Don't expect life-like graphics here. You won't find them. However, I think that the image quality is good enough for the sim's intended purpose. What's important to me is that the game runs smoothly and without lag on my machine. It does this even at the highest video quality settings.

Flying a speedy racing quad through air gates is tougher than it looks. Training on a simulator helps.

Knowing that it isn't really practical to review all aspects of this simulator, I decided to focus on its core functionality: training to become a better racing quad pilot. For some, that might mean starting at square one. As you will see, I came in with a fair bit of varied experience flying all types of multi-rotors…and perhaps an over-inflated confidence in my abilities.

In addition to the single-player flight simulation, you can race against other people online, create your own race course, design a cyber multi-rotor, and other neat things. But those capabilities are garnish to the fundamental purpose of the sim. People who are really into gaming may have an interest in such features. I'm okay ignoring them.

Tested: Glowforge Laser Cutter Review

After using the Glowforge personal laser cutter for six months, Jeremy and Norm talk about the projects they've done, the lessons they've learned from using the machine, and caveats of its operation. The Glowforge definitely has its limitations, but being able to easily laser cut in our own homes has changed the way we think about making things.

LEGO with Friends: Lepin Saturn V, Part 1

Bobak Ferdowsi joins us this week to take on a space-themed set! But this set isn't any normal build--it's actually a LEPIN knockoff that we imported overseas. Let's see how it compares to building the real LEGO set!

Offworld, Episode 3: Sunshine (2007)

On this episode of Offworld, we revisit the Danny Boyle science fiction film Sunshine, in which a crew is sent to reignite the Sun. We're joined by astrophysicist and Professor of Astronomy Gibor Basri to discuss the science of the film and which parts hold up (and the parts that don't). What would the bomb the size of Manhattan do to the Sun?