Dyed ABS button caps



We’ve been using a little metalized plastic button on the Bus Pirate prototypes, but the button also comes in a plain “rice white” version. We sent a couple bags to the ABS dye factory to be color matched with some classic arcade game buttons.

I think the result is excellent! The best dye job yet.

The “final” Bus Pirate will come with six button caps you can choose from to fit your mood: chrome, black, yellow, red, blue and a hydro foil dip dyed button.


Here’s the dyed button caps next to the color samples (cylindrical buttons), they did an excellent job color matching.

Blinkinlabs asked about resiliency. Scraped the dye off of a crimp with a knife, it’s only skin deep.

Might test 10k and 100k touch cycles using a “swipe right” machine.


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Bus Pirate 5 REV10 includes a “carbon fiber” button cap.

Caps are primed, pushed through printed PVA foil floating in water, and sealed for durability. Dip dye is typically used to customize helmets, car parts, and sneakers.

Check out Boss dip caps in a suit and gold watch!

Button caps are small, so we used the finest carbon fiber print available. We only test dipped one bag of caps, so there may be different patterns in the future.

Some suppliers can custom print foils, which is something I’d like to try just to see how it turns out.

Here’s an example of hydrographic dip dye foil patterns on aliexpress. I guess it’s do-able at home if you have the right activator for the foil.

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