Design & Engineering for Membrane Switches

Technomark Design & Engineering

At Technomark, our artists are engineers and our engineers are artists. Our design skills and processes are targeted toward meeting the two critical goals for a membrane switch, overlay, or lighting product.

 First, you want it to look good. The face of your product is the face of your company. It should be laid out for simple and intuitive operation by the end user and faithful to your corporate look and feel.

 Second, you want it to work well. Technomark designs are based on decades of experience, shaped by extensive in-house functional and environmental testing, and built using best-of-industry materials. 

 Beautiful and Reliable. That’s what you can expect from us.

Ask us about

  • Material sourcing
  • Circuit board layout
  • Graphic design consultation and art production
  • ADA industry requirements
  • User interface best practices
Overlay layout and digital prototypes

Overlay layout and digital prototypes

EL backlit overlay panel

Samples available for request

Full color switch designs

Full color switch designs

Digitally printed overlay with braille embossing

Digitally printed overlay with braille embossing

Stock EL panels in circles, squares and rectangles

Stock EL panels in circles, squares and rectangles

We Understand Human Interface Design & Accessibility Requirements

CAD engineer creating a circuit board layout

Our team has solved thousands of design problems and specializes​ in Human Machine Interface design. Ask one of our experts about user interface or ADA best practices.

Based on our industry experience, we’ve seen how many user interfaces perform and work to ensure elements are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions.

Things to consider

  • Input control size: buttons and text
  • Tactile touch: domed buttons, touch interactive interface
  • Backlighting: LED and EL
  • Embossing and Diecutting: embossing and braille

Complete Design Service from Layout through Prototypes

We’re more than just a manufacturer. Our team of engineers and designers support companies from consultation​ to complete design. Have a technical question? Ask one of our experts about membrane switch layout, interface capabilities or print preparation​ files.

Engineering Tools & Capabilities

  • Adobe Illustrator: Our primary tool for graphic design, part layout, and both internal and external documentation.
  • Autocad: All workstations have full Autocad for mechanical and dimensional design. We work primarily in 2D but also have 3D capabilities.
  • Photoshop: Professional bitmap editing and high end RIP software ensure consistent image quality.
  • Electronics: We have the capability to integrate and program various development boards and sensors for testing and one of a kind systems. Successful projects include keypad-to-USB, capacitive touch sensing, complex LED lighting effects, and EL animation.
  • 3D printing: We can fabricate plastic parts up to 11” x 11” x 9”, handy for in-house production jigs and unique part accessories like wiring junction enclosures for waterproof EL lamps.
  • Color matching: Spectrophotometers in both our digital and screen printing departments ensure an exact initial match to samples or color standards, then help us to hold the color for the remaining production runs of the part.
  • Light measurement: We can measure, control, and certify the brightness and color of LED lamps.
  • Coordinate Measuring Machine: Commonly used to verify dimensional tolerance of laser and die cuts, our CMM is also ideal for reverse engineering parts, even complex shapes.
  • Environmental Chamber: Temperature and humidity testing help us select the best materials and processes for longevity in demanding applications

Tips

  • Consult Technomark early. A preliminary review of your concept can save headaches and money further down the road.

  • Use PMS solid colors or physical samples to specify colors. CMYK colors vary with material and process.

  • Avoid designs that put membrane switches on curved surfaces.

  • Be sure to tell us about any environmental exposure the product will see.

  • Polyester embossed tactile domes are less expensive than metal domes for high volumes and large numbers of keys. They can be formed either in the graphic layer or an internal circuit layer.

  • A primary factor in switch reliability is ensuring sufficient space between keys and from keys to borders.

  • For any lighting application, be sure to distinguish between backlighting for visibility in dim situations, bright lighting for effect, and switchable lighting for indication.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask for the unusual. If it’s unworkable, we’ll tell you and try to steer you toward a practical alternative. Here is just a sample of projects where we’ve pushed the envelope!:

    • A 28” x 28” membrane switch with metal backer and embedded LEDs
    • High density two layer switches with printed through-holes
    • Switches with keys that light different colors depending on their current state
    • EL lamp strips that can be daisy chained together for hundreds of feet
    • Backlit membrane switches with embedded phototransistors for adaptive brightness
    • Switches with NVIS backlighting and indicator LEDs for military avionics
    • Circuits with hundreds of addressable LEDs, all controlled by a single trace
    • A museum display with dozens of digitally animated lighted segments
    • Resistive touchscreens bonded to overlays with optically clear adhesive or transparent spacers to prevent Newton’s rings

Techniques

  • Counter drawings: Before producing any part, we send you an approval drawing with dimensions, colors, circuit layout, pin assignments, component part numbers, and any other information to be sure the part will meet your requirements. We will note any deviations from your drawings.
  • Graphic design: If you’re more comfortable with engineering than art, ask about our design services that give you the best of both worlds.
  • Digital proofs: Digital printing makes it easy to preview your graphic overlays.
  • Mechanical mockups: Nervous about a leading edge design? We can help with that. Where appropriate, we can laser cut and assemble mockups to test key feel, adhesion, or dimensions. With these mockups, you’ll know what you’ll get.
  • Lighting effects: We have experience you’re looking for in many kinds of lighting effects. We can often laser cut stock EL panels to your desired shape. And when designing light guide film, we have developed proprietary tools and techniques to optimize and test the lighting pattern even before the prototype phase.
  • Samples: Technomark has designed more than 15,000 parts. There’s a good chance we can find a sample of one that helps illustrate the features you may be considering.
  • Rigorous design verification: Every new design, whether an overlay, membrane switch, or lamp, is cross checked at the engineer level and reviewed by our QA, production, and materials managers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Human Interface Design?

Human Interface Design (HID) is the interaction when a user interfaces with an object, such as a membrane switch. When interacting​ with a computing​ device, the user has to cognitively​ decide to touch, press, or speak to achieve the​ desired outcome​. At Technomark, we use the best HID practices for the optimal touch interface.

What does HCI stand for?

HCI stands for Human Computer Interface. HCI is the device that interacts with a machine or computing device. Human Computer Interface Design is also interchangeable​ with Human Interface Design, which is the design and layout of device interfaces​.

Can I print a full-color graphic on a membrane with our company's identity?

Yes, we have full-color silk screening​ and digital manufacturing capabilities. We also have graphic design professionals who can help prep artwork optimized for production. Our Design and Engineering staff are fully versed in graphic design, and circuit board layout.

Request a Quote Online

Our team can get you started on your next project.

The Technomark design and engineering  team will work with you to fully understanding your needs, from collaboration, design verification, sourcing the best materials, prototyping, and manufacturing to your exacting standards.

Before delivery, parts are visually inspected and electrically tested for functionality.

Technomark, Inc. 

11574 Encore Circle
Minnetonka, MN 55343

800.352.3493
952.912.1700

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