Author Topic: Front panel methods  (Read 5115 times)

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Offline Kevin.D

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Front panel methods
« on: February 08, 2013, 04:58:01 pm »
I am looking for how others go about doing front panel lettering  on metal  cases . I have got to do one ,and want an easy way.
Years ago I remember doing it with those  rub on letter's and number transfers ,then spraying over them with a clear laquer to protect .The  last one I did was in the late 90's when I used a  printer to print on some kind of clear transparency that I got ,then it was stuck to the front of the panel (that one has turned yellowish over the years for some reason.)
I wonder if a  toner transfer method might work ,laser print then transfer to the metal panel with an hot iron then protect. Do you think it would last though. ?

How do some of you guys do it.?

 

Offline lewis

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 05:50:25 pm »
I'd recommend Schaeffer for one-offs, you download the cad software from their website, design the panel, press go, and get it through the post a few days later. Excellent service and quality. http://www.schaeffer-ag.de/index.php?id=97&L=1
I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 07:02:00 pm »

I wonder if a  toner transfer method might work ,laser print then transfer to the metal panel with an hot iron then protect. Do you think it would last though. ?

How do some of you guys do it.?

I did the toner transfer method to aluminum, I printed the artwork mirrored in a transparency and then transfer it to the piece. I was happy with the results, you need to be careful about the pressure applied and also be ready to retouch some missing parts, I did retouch with Sharpie, I will post pictures when I have a chance.

Other option could be:

http://jumperone.com/2013/01/how-to-make-diy-front-panel/
 

Offline Biff383

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 07:20:15 pm »
P-touch, works well.
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 07:30:06 pm »
contains my favorite method. The panel part is a few minutes into the video so be patient.

on applying large adhesive backed pieces mentioned in the above video

Offline PaulAm

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 07:40:42 pm »
If you have a color laser, you can make full color dry transfer decals with Decalpro from Pulsar.  If you only have a regular laser, you can use the kit to make single color black/white/metallic dry transfer decals.

One of my upcoming projects is to use this to make a replacement window for my HP5334b counter.  I need to put white legends on the LED filter window.  We'll see how it goes.
 

Offline jaqie

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 08:20:26 pm »
I tend to use one of two things: either a label printer with the clear label tape, or just print out a full paper cover in my laser printer with all the labels on it, and then tape that on with clear packing tape to get a clear even sheen over it which is quite protective.  It may sound bad, but it's actually pretty good looking if you can do it well.
 

Offline jeroen74

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 09:57:50 pm »
Shaeffer aka Front Panel Express is very nice, but rather expensive too.

I used them once for this front panel and a rear panel:


The text is actually engraved, then paint filled, so it should last literally forever.
 

Offline cwalex

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 11:12:30 pm »
contains my favorite method. The panel part is a few minutes into the video so be patient.

on applying large adhesive backed pieces mentioned in the above video

Awesome video robrenz! Thanks for taking the time to make it :)
 

Online Psi

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 11:23:55 pm »
You can make the front/rear panels as part of the pcb.

You get two "colors" to use for text/logos, soldermask color (yellow,white,red etc) and track plating color (gold/silver/nickle etc) plus any shape can be routed out for mounting controls.

The one thing i do different than in this video is coloring the edges. I found when using a pen the ink always rubs off on your hands.
So instead i push the edges up against the buffing wheel of my bench grinder it blacks them quite nicely and doesn't rub off.
(I'm not sure if the black comes from burn marks or dirt on the wheel or the buffing compound left over on the wheel but it works well)

Even if your case already has a metal front panel you can use a pcb and have it sandwiched in place on top using the front panel button/knob/terminal nuts to hold it on. That way it doesn't matter if you make a mess of drilling the metal, since it covered up anyway.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 08:59:31 pm by Psi »
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 

Offline mamalala

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 04:16:55 pm »
I like to use Alucorex to make front panels:

http://www.bungard.de/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26&Itemid=77&lang=english

Easy to use, different colours available. There was a small company here in Germany were you could buy it for a cheap price, cut into the sizes you needed. The owner changed recently, so i have to check how much it costs at the "new" company. That is, if they still offer that service.

Greetings,

Chris
 

Offline robrenz

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2013, 04:50:00 pm »
Awesome video robrenz! Thanks for taking the time to make it :)

You are welcome ;D

Offline Kevin.D

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Re: Front panel methods
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2013, 05:57:35 pm »
Some excellent suggestions and videos  here guys,thnx .
 


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