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Introducing DCL Profile Keycaps

DCL (Drop Cylindrical Lumen) is our latest keycap profile added to the portfolio here at Drop. You’ve seen these keycaps already—they are included with the CSTM80 and CSTM65, our most recent keyboard launches. 

Overview The goal with DCL keycaps is to offer a high-quality shine-through-compatible keycap profile that is fully compatible with south-facing switches. Not only for the sake of physical interference, but perhaps more importantly, the functionality of shine-through.  In addition to a premium look and feel, we also wanted to ensure that the sound of the keycaps is not negatively affected by any design choices. The end result is a thick ABS keycap coated in an opaque outer layer which is then laser-ablated to remove the top layer, creating front-facing legends for optimal shine-through.  Comparison To help illustrate the importance of properly-oriented shine-through keycaps and show the full range of offerings, here is a quick family photo of all of Drop’s current cylindrical profiles. 

DCL, CTRL (Skylight), DCX, DCD
Only DCL shines through effectively, coming as little surprise. The Skylight keycap is facing the wrong direction (hence why some keyboards have north-facing switches, to allow these keycaps to shine-through), and DCX & DCD are simply not designed for shine-through capabilities.  Here is another comparison with the Skylight Esc rotated for proper shine-through. 

DCL, CTRL (Skylight), DCX, DCD
Looking from beneath the keycaps, we can see how similarly DCL and DCX are designed/shaped. Both feature thick walls, resulting in a pleasant sound profile when typing. 


Customization Because the front legends are lasered off, this process can be customized with unique legends or shapes/designs. Keycap designers will be able to create unique creations for the community using DCL as a platform, allowing for new custom keycap sets compatible with shine-through.  What colorways or designs would you like to see brought to the DCL profile? 

Mar 1, 2024
"(hence why some keyboards have north-facing switches, to allow these keycaps to shine-through)" - actually nearly all backlit (and non-backlit) keyboards have had north-facing switches for years, and the vast majority of backlight-friendly keycaps have worked perfectly. It is only the relatively recent shift to south-facing switches to solve an alleged problem of keycaps hitting switches (something I've never experienced with about 30 different keyboards and more than 50 different keycap sets) that has resulted in nearly every backlight-friendly keycap set not working on such keyboards. Having legends placed lower would look weird, so keycaps like these side-lit DCL keycaps are a welcome option. I am anticipating buying a couple of sets for my SENSE75 keyboards. My only criticism of the SENSE75 is the south-facing switches, which have rendered all my backlit keycap sets useless, so I'm looking forward to trying these new keycaps.
RowdyHah, fair point - it is definitely most back-lit keyboards that have north-facing switches. The article was written from the context of all of Cherry MX keyboard history, which for the longest time only featured south-facing switches (the Cherry logo is oriented as it is for this reason), and is dominated by south-facing keyboards on the whole. You can see it in old WYSE boards, and all of Cherry's boards.

Credit: Deskthority user 7bit All that said, yeah, I've typed on north-facing switches with Cherry profile keycaps, and even if I know that "technically" there is some interference, I've never actually noticed it in real-life use.
Mar 6, 2024
HoffmanMysterLOL all these years of collecting keyboards and I never noticed the orientation of the logos on the Cherry switches. I have an old Link serial terminal of a similar vintage and design to the Wyse terminals, and its keyboard has south-facing MX black switches! Now I'll have to check most of my old keyboards and see if any of them also have south-facing switches. The Ducky ones are north-facing, but the others? I stand corrected :)
What is the height of this profile? Similar to DCX? More like OEM?
BabblingBafoonLooking at the product page it would seem to be the same height and sculpting of both DCX and DCD keycaps, which are both similar to "Cherry" height (e.g., GMK CYL, etc.)
Feb 28, 2024
Would be nice to see skylight keycaps with the legends moved down to allow for better shine-through with south facing switches
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