Of course, being me, i had to go out and immediately buy a massive pile of parts. Step one was to find something to be the buttons. we spoke about laser cutting or 3d printing parts, but that would take too long, and be way too much effort.
I had an idea involving some nice plate glass, which would feel better than acrylic and look very sexy when side-lit. Scouring the internets i found a super cheap supplier of 10cm x 10cm white-backed glass tiles, at £5 for a box of 20! At such a cheap price I couldn’t say no 🙂
Next problem, making the buttons pressable. Springs were my first idea, but can end up hugely fiddly when you’re trying to put 256 of them in place while closing the unit up and oh I’d better just move that trapped wire SPROIIIINNGGGG!! So to hell with springs. I found some closed-cell sticky-backed neoprene foam, which is good because it returns to its correct width after being squished, its pretty cheap, and feels all awesome and squidgy. Yay.