5 Things To Know About Custom Membrane Switches

There’s a lot of work that goes into making custom membrane switches. If you’re part of industries such as those dealing with consumer electronics, medical devices, and automobiles, it’s advisable to learn more about those components since you’ll likely need them. Here are some of the things you should know about custom membrane switches: 

  1. What A Custom Membrane Switch Is 

This is a user interface machine also known as a membrane keyboard. It comprises different layers of adhesives and films that assist in turning a device on or off momentarily. This is quite different from mechanical switches that are mostly assembled and made with plastics and copper. Custom membrane switches are specially designed as printed circuits on films. 

The top layer of a custom membrane switch is known as the graphic overlay. It’s created by making screen prints with a customized pattern on the second plane of a clear polyester film. A graphic is then added to the circuit with the use of an adhesive. 

Once some tactile devices have been incorporated into a custom membrane switch, it’s able to provide feedback to the operator about the switch activation. You can also incorporate other electronic components such as LEDs and connectors that’d enable easy integration of the membrane switch into other devices. 

  1. What To Consider When Designing A Custom Membrane Switch 

When turning to any of the membrane switch manufacturers out there in order to design own your custom membrane switch, you should take the following into consideration: 

  • What’s the quantity you’re after? 
  • What type of connector is required? 
  • How many keys would you want on the switch, and what will their functions be? 
  • Will you need other additional electronic components such as LED or other sources of lightning? 
  • Is there a need for visual feedback? 
  • What graphic touch are you incorporating? 
  • What’s your personal graphic overlay style? 

Answering these questions will allow you to determine the final outcome of your custom membrane switch. 

  1. Types Of Custom Membrane Switches Available 

There are two common designs for this component. Each of them is made for different purposes. 

  • Tactile Switches: As the name implies, tactile switches respond when they’re touched with a finger. They’re made from metal domes or stainless steel. These metal domes are held in place on the circuit board with the use of an adhesive. There’s usually a cover over the switch with either numbers, letters, or symbols to assign functions to each key or switch. When you press your desired switch or key, the metal dome under the overlay presses against the conductive print. This communicates to the device and results in an action. 
  • Non-Tactile Switches: Unlike tactile switches, these don’t need a snap action to trigger a response. Usually, this three-layer switch is composed of: 
  • A graphic overlay 
  • A circuit spacer 
  • A screen-printed silver ink circuit 

Non-tactile switches are connected to the conductive pad and are self-contained units. They create an electrical connection with the silver conductive ink that’s printed at the back of the cover. 

A non-tactile switch isn’t only simple to implement, but also cost-effective. It’s mainly employed as a means of reducing costs in the total design. But because one’s fingers don’t feel the activation of non-tactile switches, there’s usually a sound or light component to signify activation. Depending on your custom specifications, you may add certain features to protect your device from electricity surges. 

  1. Benefits Of Custom Membrane Switches 

Here are just a few of the advantages of having custom membrane switches made for your products: 

  • Low Cost: Depending on your specifications, membrane switch technology is relatively the most economical option compared to mechanical keys or touch screens. You can get the lowest price for your membrane switch through the per-piece option available.  
  • Cleaning Accessibility: Membrane switch panels are incredibly easy to clean. This is why most hospitals and dentists optimize the use of membrane switch technology. 
  • Graphics Integration: A custom membrane switch allows for easy integration of simple and complex graphics alike. You can utilize membrane switch technology to incorporate features like logos, fades, and multicolored designs. With this, your customized switch can stand out from the crowd. 
  • Ability To Resist Moisture: The combination of the adhesives and thin polymer films that comprise membrane switches allows for solid moisture resistance. This prevents easy spoilage and helps individual keys to function optimally. 
  • Flexibility: With a membrane switch, you can tweak its shape, size, and feel to ensure you get your custom specification to detail. For instance, your gaming keyboard would go great with a custom membrane switch. 
  1. How To Get The Perfect Custom Membrane Switch 

Follow these steps so you can acquire the exact custom membrane switch you want: 

  • Find Out The Purpose Of The Custom Membrane Switch 

One of the things to know prior to the production of a custom membrane switch is where it’ll be required. You need to know if it’ll be in a hospital, an industrial establishment, or a kitchen. The place where the membrane will be used would determine the custom design to a great extent. 

It’d also help establish the features that’ll be added to the membrane switch. For instance, if you’re working in a water-based factory, the switch needs to be moisture-resistant and waterproof.  

  • Check Who The Users Will Be 

You must put in mind the thought and feelings of your users when producing your switch. It’s equally essential to be conscious of the purpose of the device. Putting all these into consideration will help you come up with the right custom membrane switch. To help your user easily identify the purpose of each key, the symbol of each key function should be placed on the key overlays. 

  • Determine Your Specific Dimensions 

One of the advantages of membrane switches is their adaptability and flexibility. They can adapt to any surface, making it easy to design and customize them to any size. The important thing is to ensure that your keypads will be able to meet the end user’s purpose. 

  • Provide Your Users With A Unique Experience 

The beauty of custom membrane switches is that you can provide your users with a unique experience by customizing the switch to their taste and specifications. You can create details that suit your products and your customers’ expectations. For a wonderful experience, you can add some of the following details: graphic overlay material, design keys, LED lights, and embossing. Just ensure that those suit the functions of the device. 


A custom membrane switch is a crucial component of numerous devices on the market today. To make a good one for the particular product you have, you must know the purpose of the device and the specifications of the users. Also, remember everything you’ve read in this article so you can acquire high-quality custom membrane switches that’ll work for you and your customers. 

June McGown