Connect with us

Membrane Switches

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Talal Itani, Sep 28, 2005.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Talal Itani

    Talal Itani Guest


    I am developing a gadget that will have a membrane switches keypad. Has any
    of you dealt with companies that make custom membrane keypads? I have
    concerns about initial costs and lead time. I would appreciate any
    information on this subject.

  2. It's a bit expensive, expect setup/tooling to be in the $thousands for
    anthing remotely sophisticated. Lead time should not be an issue. Get
    some quotes from suppliers. They'll want to know the size,
    specifications (there are hundreds of variations), number of colors,
    surface finish, lead length and termination, required windows, etc. A
    drawing and artwork is best, but if you can find a similar item to
    what you want, ask for a quote on that.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  3. Guest

  4. Guest


    I have just finished designing a product that uses a six button keypad
    that measures 2.256" x 1.237", I sourced this in China and USA. The
    best pricing I got is:
    500 $2.45
    1000 $2.16
    2000 $2.13
    5000 $1.66

    Tooling and art charges total was $1500.00 lead time 6 weeks for
    samples and 6 week for production.

  5. default

    default Guest

    I had an application for a membrane keypad for something we built
    in-house for our own use. There was a demand for the things but a
    very limited market.

    We wanted something that looked good and was water-oil-dirt resistant.
    Membrane keypad was the ideal answer but the tooling for molds was
    expensive and the device was still evolving so a newer model would in
    design before the first one sold.

    We found some tiny pushbutton switches that are used for on-board
    reset buttons etc. They have a plastic housing and sharp positive
    "feel." Price was 10 cents for the small one and 40 cents for the
    larger one (I forget the vender, but they are pretty common).

    A local sign shop came up with thin flexible vinyl plastic and
    produced the graphics for it. It was just a matter of designing the
    enclosure to hold the plastic sheet with the switches just under the
    plastic. Cheap, worked very well, no tooling costs, and the design
    can be modified with just a different enclosure, circuit board and new

    The sign shop could turn out any size graphics and was all automated.
    Arrange it on a computer screen, and a X-Y plotter gizmo cuts out the
    vinyl. They transfer and adhere to the substrate sheet with adhesive
    until they are fused together. The thing was designed for large
    signs, but would make characters down to .5 centimeters.

    Silk screening would have worked for the lettering too, but the sign
    shop solved our problems and the savings wouldn't have been that
  6. I read in that default <>
    Me, too. I made a new board that way for a chess game whose membrane pad
    had worn out through use.
  7. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Hmm, I've seen articles lately about some new electrostatic
    and capacitor sensor chips. I don't recall makes or model numbers,
    but there was an article on Capacitive Sensing Technology in the
    September issue of Circuit Cellar.

    Might be able to skip the pushbuttons entirely and just laminate
    plastic over a piece of circuit board with etched patterns. (Of
    course, there will be no click or other positive feedback... may
    need a beeper for that.)

    Best regards

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator
  8. jibberjabber

    jibberjabber Guest

    A couple solutions...
    1) QProx makes the capacitive touch sensor IC. Works very well for
    production and DIY touch panels.
    2) XYMOX has excellent quality "stock" membrane switches in many
    configurations: . They also sell a
    filler sheet of the same thickness to surround the switch giving a level
    surface for your graphics overlay.
  9. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Just got a snail-mail ad from
    Nameplates For Industry.
    They make all kinds of custom labels, front
    panels, and other laminated plastics,
    and their ad says they make membrane
    switches. Might be worth a look...

    Best regards,

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day