DEC switch handles (use FDM?)

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Mon Aug 27 10:48:24 CDT 2007

On 8/27/07, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> On 26 Aug 2007 at 21:10, Vincent Slyngstad wrote:
> > Here's a nice side view of one of the ones for some of the PDP-8's.
> > There is also a long rocker style, and a sort of triangular style
> > that was used on some of the PDP-11's.
> >
> >
> Ah, many thanks--now I understand.  Would it be possible to mill out
> the profile in a big hunk of polycarbonate and then slice the paddles
> off like slices of bread?  The result could then be painted.

As Vince pointed out, it would take a lot of post-processing to make
that work, as the parts have indentations to work around the pivots on
the switches, and do not have parallel sides.

> I wonder if you could cast some out of zinc-aluminum alloy using a
> lost-wax process?  Metal ones would be more durable.

I think that would only work if you also drilled out the pivot point
and replaced it with steel (as is sometimes done with plastic
actuators), since I think the soft metal of the pivots wouldn't last
long grinding around in the bare holes of the switch frame.

I also don't see how that's less work than plastic, but it _is_ an
interesting approach to consider.


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