Laser acrylic panels FTW

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Tombola
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Laser acrylic panels FTW

Post by Tombola » Wed May 25, 2011 4:19 am

Just did my first sheet of laser cut panels from my local laser cutting place.
Really happy with how they came out.

I cutting a 420 x 720 x 3mm acrylic sheet in dark grey tint - the sheet + cutting came to just under £100, which is a lot, but you could fairly comfortably cut 420hp worth of panels from that.

The fantastic thing is how easy it is - set everything up in Illustrator - colour code the different cut lines (external cut, internal cut, scribe, etch) and send it off. It's as easy as making a drill template

Obviously I don't have 420hp worth of DIY ideas, so I cut lots of blank panels and drilled panels, and wasted loads of space.

I downloaded the templates from qu.one / Pro-Modular, and they all worked first time.

The etched/engraved panels in the pic were painted through the protective tape they use while cutting - the E350 painted with brushed white acrylic, the reverb with white spray primer.

I don't think that acrylic panels are as nice as aluminium (they attract fingerprints, dust etc), but compared with messing about with step drills or paying £££ at FPE, they seem like a good compromise.

I'm also excited about blinkenlights - an LED matrix behind one of these smoked panels looks like part of a 1970s supercomputer...
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Last edited by Tombola on Wed May 25, 2011 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Howie_Doodat
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Post by Howie_Doodat » Wed May 25, 2011 6:05 am

If you can integrate lasers that will fire in sync out of those holes like an LED would pulse, I'd be impressed.

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Tombola
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Post by Tombola » Wed May 25, 2011 6:08 am

Howie_Doodat wrote:If you can integrate lasers that will fire in sync out of those holes like an LED would pulse, I'd be impressed.

I reckon a handful of these would do the trick...
http://uk.farnell.com/lasers-diode

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EATyourGUITAR
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Post by EATyourGUITAR » Wed May 25, 2011 10:14 am

I like how you used the mask as a paint mask. I would have never thought of that.
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Post by qu.one » Wed May 25, 2011 10:29 am

i leave the masking paper on for those who wish to infill as well... I used to do it - but it can be a PITA so I offer it to the end user as an option to do on their own :^)

great job.
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Post by BananaPlug » Thu May 26, 2011 7:46 pm

qu.one wrote:i leave the masking paper on for those who wish to infill as well... I used to do it - but it can be a PITA so I offer it to the end user as an option to do on their own :^)

great job.
Yeah, picking out those tiny pieces from the loops of e, a, p, etc. can be quite tedious. Last time around I used two layer plastic. It's got a thin layer of black over white and the black is fairly matte which is nice.

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Post by giorgio » Thu May 26, 2011 8:02 pm

the white is great on those
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Post by daverj » Fri May 27, 2011 10:32 am

BananaPlug wrote:
qu.one wrote:i leave the masking paper on for those who wish to infill as well... I used to do it - but it can be a PITA so I offer it to the end user as an option to do on their own :^)

great job.
Yeah, picking out those tiny pieces from the loops of e, a, p, etc. can be quite tedious. Last time around I used two layer plastic. It's got a thin layer of black over white and the black is fairly matte which is nice.
One trick to getting the tiny fragments of sticky paper out of letters is after pulling off the big pieces, take a piece of strong sticky tape such as packing tape and press part of it onto the letters (while holding on to one end of the tape) and then pulling the tape off hard. A couple times like that and the little fragments will stick to the tape. Sometimes you have to pull the tape at an angle to get a bit of sideways pressure on the little fragments.

I remove the default paper from acrylic before lasering and apply what is called "medium tack tape" which is a sort of masking tape, except it's a 1 foot wide roll. It's used by sign makers. It sticks to the acrylic for masking, but doesn't stick as hard as the default paper backing. Actually I usually leave the default paper on the back, but use the medium tack tape on the side being engraved.

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Post by Tombola » Fri May 27, 2011 12:31 pm

That's exactly what my guy did - tape on the front, plastic film on the back. The paint picking was fine, that 'reverberation' is, like 5pt type

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Post by Tombola » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:08 pm

Got my E350 kit from MOTM, and it fits perfectly behind this - cut from the PDF template on the site
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bananeurysm
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Post by bananeurysm » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:06 pm

+1 on the laser acrylic thing. I've been doing that recently as well, through a friend with a cutter at work. Really happy with the results so far!
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Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:40 pm

Is anyone finding that the acrylic cracks over time?
I would imagine it isn't as rigid and durable as PCB material.

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Post by glitched01 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:01 pm

Acrylic is a lot more durable that one would think. 3mm is thick enough that if you are doing lots of patching, the material simply bends, but doesn't break. (The panel-mounted components usually add some stability as well.)

I'd like to try 2mm panels to come closer to the Doepfer "standard," but I'd assume they'd be a lot more fragile.

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Post by dude » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:37 pm

bananeurysm wrote:+1 on the laser acrylic thing. I've been doing that recently as well, through a friend with a cutter at work. Really happy with the results so far!
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your third arm is the real trick though :hihi:

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Post by Bricks » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:48 pm

nice looking stuff!
dude wrote:your third arm is the real trick though :hihi:
......!

HE IS THE CHOSEN ONE THAT THE PATCH PROPHECY FORETOLD

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Post by dude » Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:50 pm

this changes everything

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Post by Christopher Winkels » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:37 pm

dude wrote:this changes everything
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Post by qu.one » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:35 pm

This is not metal:

Image

2 Ply faux aluminum that etches to opaque black. Steve (BananaPlug) actually put me on to the layered acrylic a while back and I finally got a chance to get some to try. it looks even better in person. This is 1/16" (~2mm) and feels great. Vav will be testing this puppy out.
Last edited by qu.one on Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bricks
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Post by Bricks » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:40 pm

Can you say more about this magic faux aluminum? Where does one score such materials?

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Post by tailwagger » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:03 pm

On the Easel

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Post by rico loverde » Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:22 pm

That is really nice qu.one! I'd love to see a pic of it next to a normal aluminum panel.
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Post by vav » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:23 am

rico loverde wrote:That is really nice qu.one! I'd love to see a pic of it next to a normal aluminum panel.
I'll take some shots once it arrives so you guys can see what it looks like in situ.

And on a side note, Rico, now that you have the Goiks 12u, you can totally fit a Miniwave into your case!
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Post by dude » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:25 am

miniwave ftw!!!!!!!!

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Post by rico loverde » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:26 am

vav wrote: And on a side note, Rico, now that you have the Goiks 12u, you can totally fit a Miniwave into your case!
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Post by qu.one » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:27 am

tailwagger wrote:Laser engravable...........

http://www.rowmark.com/laser/metalgraph ... phplus.asp
Yes. Rowmark pretty much has the lock on great laserable material.

I'm making one for my Binary Zone today :^)
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