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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Clear Polycarbonate cases and panels
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author Clear Polycarbonate cases and panels
johnstilton
The book “The Prophet from Silicon Valley,” has a couple of pictures (p.77) of a custom clear case Sequential Circuits Poly-ONE that was manufactured for promotional purposes.

I think it is stunning looking and reminded me of clear bodied Dan Armstrong guitars and basses. The idea of clear cases and panels that show off all of the guts and workmanship of a DIY instrument is very attractive to me.

Has anyone ever encountered any other examples of designs employing clear polycarbonate or Acrylic sheets and blocks instead of metal and wood?
djs
Gleeman pentaphonic clear?
johnstilton
Oh wow it looks and sounds beautiful!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yP9K-AFHoIM
Jaytee
There were several runs of x0xb0x that had clear acrylic panels. Shruthis used to come in clear acrylic too.

https://cdn-shop.adafruit.com/medium/clearx0xb0x_MED.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4142/4927664500_8fe8ee84b2_b.jpg
johnstilton
Has anyone ever seen any DIY projects using these materials? Anyone drilling and milling their own for modular/semi-modualar builds? I am imagining hand wired Lexan panels. They are sturdy and easy to cut and drill. Cases could be milled just as easy as aluminum block
sduck
Someone built a whole 5U synth - several cabinets, with clear lexan or something similar. It was (is) stunning. Unfortunately I don't remember the user name, but there are pics on this site of it, somewhere. Maybe look in the 5U forum if you're interested.

Edit - found it, after scrolling through 3 years worth of system pics - user is Bryan B, pic here - https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=220023#220023 - there are some better ones somewhere else.
johnstilton
Oh yeah, I see it. Thanks for finding the thread.

I am curious why the user didn’t go with Lexan for the module front panels.
Randy
Most of my Eurorack cases are textured plexi, and of course I put colour-fading LEDs inside them. I have also experimented with see-through panels (and more LEDs) and glow in the dark panels. Over-the-top but kinda cool at the same time.

Plexi (or acrylic) is challenging to work with. It can shatter easily when cutting, but you can also tap it directly and it will easily hold screws, which is nice.

The reason I didn't use it very much for module panels is because it needs to be thicker than aluminum in order to not flex. It's also difficult to read labels on the clear panel. My see-through panels are not clear but you can detect the LEDs lighting up behind them.
sduck
Front panel Express offers lexan in a variety of colors as one of their options - I haven't tried this yet, but it would be fun to experiment with.
johnstilton
Yes I would think that thin Acrylic sheets would be too brittle to drill. Polycarbonate is tougher.

Randy do you have any pics of your modular builds?
skautkurt
Its possible to drill acrylic, but one has to be super careful. But one nice feature of thin(-ish) acrylic, so up to 5mm, is that you can use a laser cutter to work on it. If you have a makerspace/hackspace around they might have one. And that makes working with acrylic a breeze.
Randy
johnstilton wrote:
Yes I would think that thin Acrylic sheets would be too brittle to drill. Polycarbonate is tougher.

Randy do you have any pics of your modular builds?


I usually drill a small pilot hole and if I need a large hole, go up in small increments, doing halfway through on each side.

I did a short cellphone video so you can see the lights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEg-fxV-8os
Picard
Just for the records:
Polycarbonate == Lexan == Makrolon
(also the material CDs are made of...)
johnstilton
Randy wrote:
johnstilton wrote:
Yes I would think that thin Acrylic sheets would be too brittle to drill. Polycarbonate is tougher.

Randy do you have any pics of your modular builds?


I usually drill a small pilot hole and if I need a large hole, go up in small increments, doing halfway through on each side.

I did a short cellphone video so you can see the lights.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEg-fxV-8os


Randy this little video is an inspiration!

I have been scheming and hoarding components for an MFOS build and I think I am going to try making a polycarbonate case and panel for it all.
Randy
Thanks! If you cut the poly with a table saw, which is what I did, make a cut that goes halfway through, then turn it over and cut the rest of the way through. And wear safety glasses! When it shatters, it really goes everywhere. And it's hot when you cut it, lots of fun.
qu.one
I've built a few cases out if acrylic. I typically used 3/16" or 1/4" thickness and would laser cut everything. That works the best IMO. I'll try to find some old pics - they're probably on here somewhere.
qu.one
Here's a few from way back when...



d.simon
I found these "marketing holders lock boxes" (clear acrylic) on amazon, but not sure of the suitability for a synth case. Probably more expensive than buying raw stock:
https://marketingholders.com/ballot-suggestion-boxes/security-lock-box -and-cabinets/security-lock-boxes
Randy
qu.one very nice work! Wish I had a laser cutter. One other thing I did with some of mine is, after cutting with the table saw, if you hit the edges with a torch, the acrylic becomes clear-ish again.
shogeki
I'm currently working on a system using "edge lit" acrylic to make lit panels that can be used under any sort of lighting.

I did have access to a laser cutter before and found that a deep etch would yield very impressive results. Some of those materials were really cool as they were clear/neutral in appearance but their edge turned a very brightly colored hue once lit.

Here is a link, I will try to find some pictures: https://www.acrylite.co/extruded-blue-5b021-gt.html (Also available non-colored, fluorescent hues also work but have more "background" lightning --> See image below)

Here is a reference post: https://www.matrixsynth.com/2014/05/atomosynth-koe-desktop-v20-mini.ht ml
johnstilton
That looks nice.

I wonder if the panel graphics are laser etched or silk screened.
shogeki
johnstilton wrote:
That looks nice.

I wonder if the panel graphics are laser etched or silk screened.


Those were definitely etched (It is sort of visible on the last picture when zooming in)
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