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Schaeffer engrave vs print
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Schaeffer engrave vs print
snaper
Hi Guys,

I'd like to order a few panels and just realised the price diff. between engrave and print.
Do you have any closeup (real-life) pictures of the printing vs. the engrave?
mritenburg
I did this panel with print. It came out perfect. Super high quality.

ashleym
Printing is for Christmas but engraving is for life
papz
Their UV prinitng is very very solid, stronger than common silkscreen. It looks like it's for life as well.
There are some large close-up pics of a UV printed panel in http://www.portabellabz.be/images/208/panel208_closeup.zip

The engraving options in the FPD are quite limited in fonts and possibilities. The UV printing offers infinite options : all is possible since the printed image is drawn in another software and imported.
degeneratedsines
@mritenburg: how much does it cost for a front panel like this one? Was it a one-piece or did you do multiples? It looks very clean.
mritenburg
degeneratedsines wrote:
@mritenburg: how much does it cost for a front panel like this one? Was it a one-piece or did you do multiples? It looks very clean.


It was a one-off panel I did for myself (I gave away the .fpd file to the Furthrrrr users here on Muff's). I ordered in the US from Front Panel Express (same company as Schaeffer, uses the same software). I paid $66.40 in total for a one-off panel. The bulk of the cost was drilling all the holes (there are 50+ holes in this panel). The printing for this panel was only $18.90.
davebr
I have done printing on raw aluminum and am quite pleased with the results. Most of these were PAiA type panels and photos are on my Custom 4700 pages. Specifically, this panel came out nice.




The white printing on black isn't nearly as good as the engraving. It is more gray than white. I did it for a module I didn't want to spend the $$ on. It is readable but I won't do another.



The engraving is much more visible.

Dave
KSS
One thing to watch out for with the engraving, and apparently also the printing based on DJB's MOTM panel just above. If you don't physically Kern each pair which needs it, you get the gaps seen in GATE and FILTER above.

Really would think by now the software would have autokerning. It's not too hard to do manually, but is tedious. And prone to missing one or more instances. Definitely have at least a second set of eyes inspect your panel layout before ordering if modern looking text matter to you.

It may not. Many of the old school electronic device lettering systems also had awful kerning.
Synthbuilder
This was my first attempt at Schaeffer printing. You can see the slight smudging near the letters. In practice this is not visible when actually using the module.



I just used their standard text and but selected print instead of engraving. The panel was about 20 Euros cheaper since it's a one off price rather than being charged by each text item.

Tony
J3RK
As someone that never thought I'd do anything other than engrave+infill...


...I haven't engraved a panel since they started printing. It's really as good as everyone says.
snaper
I'm convinced guys grin
Norgatron
I concur with the above comments regarding white on black. Up close it can look blurry and like a bad inkjet. However, it looks mostly fine from normal arm's length distance.

I also tried a more ambitious light coloured background on this one:



Close up you can see the problem with using colours.




So you get something usable, but it's not sharp. Certainly not as sharp as doing a laser print transfer, but that's a right pain to get right and white is a whole other problem with that.


Broadwave
This is the panel from my last build... I think the print looks ok-ish from a distance, but get up close and it's a bit rough.

I'll stick with screen printing in future. It may be more expensive, but looks far more professional.



flts
Looking at some of the pictures about less than desirable UV printing results:

1) The print file should be provided in sufficiently high resolution, eg. 600 DPI for text and other simple elements, min. 300 DPI for graphics. I'm not sure if this was done already and simply the printer is to blame. Probably at least a part of it is the printer (or choice of foreground and background color), as Tony's example is using their own vector fonts built into FPD and it still turns out a bit smudgy...

2) The ugly color surfaces look like either the rasterizer in the UV printer isn't very good at its job for those particular colors, or the resolution isn't sufficient. This is one situation where it'd help to know a bit more about the exact device / process they use, to figure out if the color mix in the source file could be adjusted so that the printer would actually print solid surfaces or less silly looking dot patterns. I saw they have some bit of documentation about the desired formats, resolution, color space etc. but nothing much about how the colors should be managed to get as tidy result as possible...
Norgatron
flts wrote:
Looking at some of the pictures about less than desirable UV printing results:

1) The print file should be provided in sufficiently high resolution, eg. 600 DPI for text and other simple elements, min. 300 DPI for graphics. I'm not sure if this was done already and simply the printer is to blame. Probably at least a part of it is the printer (or choice of foreground and background color), as Tony's example is using their own vector fonts built into FPD and it still turns out a bit smudgy...

2) The ugly color surfaces look like either the rasterizer in the UV printer isn't very good at its job for those particular colors, or the resolution isn't sufficient. This is one situation where it'd help to know a bit more about the exact device / process they use, to figure out if the color mix in the source file could be adjusted so that the printer would actually print solid surfaces or less silly looking dot patterns. I saw they have some bit of documentation about the desired formats, resolution, color space etc. but nothing much about how the colors should be managed to get as tidy result as possible...


I used a .pdf file for the imported graphics in FPD. It's not clear if I could have done something to make this better resolution. I don't think so though. The export from Inkscape should be vector and the colours would be at least 16-bit, I guess.
I think it's just a rather limited printing process. I don't know, but it seems like the ink dot size is just too large or they donlt blend like they do on paper. Hopefully, later generations will be better.
mritenburg
Norgatron wrote:
flts wrote:
Looking at some of the pictures about less than desirable UV printing results:

1) The print file should be provided in sufficiently high resolution, eg. 600 DPI for text and other simple elements, min. 300 DPI for graphics. I'm not sure if this was done already and simply the printer is to blame. Probably at least a part of it is the printer (or choice of foreground and background color), as Tony's example is using their own vector fonts built into FPD and it still turns out a bit smudgy...

2) The ugly color surfaces look like either the rasterizer in the UV printer isn't very good at its job for those particular colors, or the resolution isn't sufficient. This is one situation where it'd help to know a bit more about the exact device / process they use, to figure out if the color mix in the source file could be adjusted so that the printer would actually print solid surfaces or less silly looking dot patterns. I saw they have some bit of documentation about the desired formats, resolution, color space etc. but nothing much about how the colors should be managed to get as tidy result as possible...


I used a .pdf file for the imported graphics in FPD. It's not clear if I could have done something to make this better resolution. I don't think so though. The export from Inkscape should be vector and the colours would be at least 16-bit, I guess.
I think it's just a rather limited printing process. I don't know, but it seems like the ink dot size is just too large or they donlt blend like they do on paper. Hopefully, later generations will be better.


I recommend using hi-rez, uncompressed TIFF images as the file you import into FPD. Minimum rez 300 dpi. Higher rez if your software supports it.
Norgatron
Can you explain why that is better than .pdf? Surely vector graphics beat bitmap.
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