A thought on 3d printing overlays

I think the idea of trying to print overlays using some kind of flexible material on the 3d printer is actually - as Sensel found in their own research - less than ideal. Instead, what I’m gonna try is to print a negative image design of the overlay in standard PLA but then pour silicone moulding compound into the negative. This should create a thin yet flexible overlay that ought to work much better. My Ender 3 can do 230mm wide so I should be able to just about cover the Morph. Of course, by default, the silicone is pink unless you purchase the clear catalyst, but you can buy pigment, so I’ve ordered 100g of blue, that should end up quite a nice colour. In theory you could also pour a layer in one colour to fill the pads then allow to partially cure, then pour another layer in a different colour to make the base, or even use different colours on different pads. I do wish the magnet situation would be clarified; there seems to be a real reluctance on Sensel’s part to disclose this. I believe there are 8 (I think) magnets which are positioned with north and south pole placement to identify particular overlays but the exact details remain a secret at present, which is regrettable. However you can of course download any one innovator’s overlay to the Morph at any point without having that overlay so it’s not a big deal at present.

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Hi ajay m,
What kind of overlays you will print?
I’m just curious, I will try with neoprene, one day…

Hi Nico. I want to start with a two octave piano keyboard with the keys modelled on the kmi qunexus I have designed it and it looks playable i.e one octave stacked on top of the other. But now I have to wait until Sensel fix the 48 area limit which I didn’t know about when I purchased my device.

Neoprene works great! Have printed (or better: ordered in a print-shop) several overlays.
Downside: They don’t stick to the Morph, my workaround was to make them big enough to be able to put weights left and right of the morph on the overhanging parts. Doesn’t win a beauty price but works :slight_smile:

Did anything ever come of this? I’d like to figure out if thin neoprene 3D sheets to fit the Innovator Overlay have been successfully and practically created… thanks!

Regarding the magnets - there was a discussion with my extrapolations on how it’s configured. From what I gathered looking at the Morph & multiple overlays, I believe there are only 4 magnets that encode the magnetic ID. One magnet is placed in each “quadrant”, in one of 4 places, with the orientation either North or South.

The key issue though is that they haven’t opened up the Morph firmware & app to allow for custom magnetic IDs. Because of that all we can do is copy magnetic IDs for existing Overlays. If they ever open up a block of IDs for users to customize then they might be more forthcoming with details that either confirm/deny my assumptions. Here’s hoping

You mean to glue it on top of the Innovator overlay? Or just using “no overlay” in “Innovator’s overlay mode” to create a custom map for a neoprene overlay?
The latter - yepp, have done this (e.g. in the Continuano thread you already know about), some Linnstrument-like grid overlays from the “best of grid layouts” thread and some others.
Gluing neoprene on top of the Innovator’s layout might become a little thick? Haven’t tried though (still need my Innovator overlays for paper experiments).
And nicking the material to make a “haptic 3d surface” (with chisels?) - not sure whether it would survive that. The half centimeter neoprene I use has nice haptics though, but it’s uniform with printing on top, no 3d carvings.

I was actually thinking about simply placing a very thin neoprene overlay in the well in the Innovator Overlay, without gluing it in place, so it could be easily swapped.

I’m just trying to get my head around using the Innovator Overlay in a repeatable and non-permanent fashion… gluing seems extreme, and just putting paper under it or on top of it seems messy, crinkly, or kludgey…

hm, sounds interesting. Perhaps cutting out the majority of the plastic “on top” material so you can touch the nicer-feel neoprene, just leaving e.g. a cm border to keep the neoprene in place? A source for a thinner neoprene would have to be found then - and someone willing to sacrifice an Innovators overlay - for science :slight_smile:

This would actually work. I wonder if I could talk the Sensel folks into selling me a half dozen Innovator overlays at cost so I can take an XActo knife to them? :slight_smile: