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Where to get MOTM-style silkscreened panels made?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Where to get MOTM-style silkscreened panels made?
sempervirent
I want to take a few effects pedals and perhaps a couple of Euro modules and convert them into MOTM format modules.

What are my options for getting powder-coated silkscreened panels that match existing MOTM modules? Not really interested in FPE or other CNC-engraved panel makers. I checked with the company that actually does the panels for SynthTech and it was very expensive. It will probably be expensive no matter what but I wanted to see what other companies do panels like this.
J3RK
sempervirent wrote:
I want to take a few effects pedals and perhaps a couple of Euro modules and convert them into MOTM format modules.

What are my options for getting powder-coated silkscreened panels that match existing MOTM modules? Not really interested in FPE or other CNC-engraved panel makers. I checked with the company that actually does the panels for SynthTech and it was very expensive. It will probably be expensive no matter what but I wanted to see what other companies do panels like this.


I believe Paul uses a baked enamel on his panels, so I'd be on the lookout for someone that does that. You may ask Scott at Bridechamber where he gets his done as well.
Orbless
maybe you could get the panels made blank and do the silk screening yourself, or find a local source to do just the silk screening? May be cheaper that way
seriously, i just don't get it
I only have experience with getting panels made by FPE, so I am not familiar with other manufacturers
ultrashock
I'm pretty sure that screen printed panels in amounts of a few pcs. will cost you even more expensive that FPE or other cnc-based manufacture.
However I strongly recommend you to check Re:synthesis - they offer different interesting techniques - no CNC or silkscreen but etching and dye-transfer which look just gorgeous and could be way similar to metalphoto and even in technicolor Marge Simpson
sempervirent
J3RK wrote:
I believe Paul uses a baked enamel on his panels, so I'd be on the lookout for someone that does that. You may ask Scott at Bridechamber where he gets his done as well.


I think older MOTM modules were baked but newer ones are powder-coated. Scott mentioned that it was uneconomical to do less than 30 panels with the company that makes his...

Orbless wrote:
maybe you could get the panels made blank and do the silk screening yourself, or find a local source to do just the silk screening? May be cheaper that way


Yeah, I have someone that will do the machining work for nothing, just need to find someone who can match the finish on the MOTM panels. I could try to find a local shop, just wanted to see what companies people might have dealt with in the past.
JohnLRice
One alternative is to get blank MOTM panels and then send them to FPE for engraving and filling.
sempervirent
JohnLRice wrote:
One alternative is to get blank MOTM panels and then send them to FPE for engraving and filling.


Yeah, but because I'm insane person who spends much of his workday worrying about the minutiae of typography, FPE's engraved style and standard "CNC" font isn't what I'm going for.

I actually just talked to the guy in Michigan who used to make the Stooge panels and he's still in business. I'm going to send him a couple of drawings and see what he quotes.
daverj
Because silkscreening requires a photographic screen made, and framed, the setup for doing it costs a chunk. When doing multiple panels it gets spread across those panels and doesn't seem too bad, but for single panels it's expensive.

Powder coating can be done as a batch, reducing the cost per panel if doing several panels at once. But if each panel has a different silkscreen, that's going to cost some money because of screen making and fixture changing.
paults
The original MOTM panels and current Bridechamber panels use Sherwin-Williams Polane paint (this is a 2-part polyurethane that requires oven baking).

My vendor dropped that process in 2005 and went to powder coat (I think it's made by Cardinal).
zomgw00t
sempervirent wrote:

Yeah, but because I'm insane person who spends much of his workday worrying about the minutiae of typography, FPE's engraved style and standard "CNC" font isn't what I'm going for.

I actually just talked to the guy in Michigan who used to make the Stooge panels and he's still in business. I'm going to send him a couple of drawings and see what he quotes.


I'm the same way about front panels. I can't stand the look of anodized aluminum and CNC'd text next to powder-coated and silk-screened panels.

I've been thinking about trying to use this method for my own one-off panels: http://www.instructables.com/id/Screen-Printing%3A-Cheap,-Dirty,-and-A t-Home/. I'm looking forward to seeing what you hear from the guy in Michigan.

One thing I've been wondering is if it would somehow be possible to make the screens with a laser cutter using some sort of fine metal screen coated with a material that could be easily and cleanly melted away. I'll ask the guys at the hackerspace about that tonight.


~Chappie
sempervirent
zomgw00t wrote:
I've been thinking about trying to use this method for my own one-off panels


Watch the most recent teaser for I Dream of Wires and you'll see Mr Modcan screening his own panels, pretty neat. I've always meant to figure out silkscreening to make shirts and stuff but never got around to it. Perhaps it's time?
limpmeat
It's no that hard, I've made a few t-shirts. Getting the exposure time right for the screen was the hardest part for me, but that was because i was just using sunlight.
JohnLRice
sempervirent wrote:
JohnLRice wrote:
One alternative is to get blank MOTM panels and then send them to FPE for engraving and filling.


Yeah, but because I'm insane person who spends much of his workday worrying about the minutiae of typography, FPE's engraved style and standard "CNC" font isn't what I'm going for.


You probably know this but for folks who don't, the front panel designer has several fonts to choose from: 8_) And they look much better on the panel than in this image.

zomgw00t
sempervirent wrote:
Watch the most recent teaser for I Dream of Wires and you'll see Mr Modcan screening his own panels, pretty neat. I've always meant to figure out silkscreening to make shirts and stuff but never got around to it. Perhaps it's time?


Thanks for linking to that. It looks like he actually puts several panel designs on a single screen. I guess the way to go about this will be to decide on several modules to print at a time and go from there. If we both pursue this separately, we should keep each other posted on what modules we're printing and do some panel trades.


~Chappie
sempervirent
JohnLRice wrote:
You probably know this but for folks who don't, the front panel designer has several fonts to choose from


Actually, I didn't know that. There are some good fonts to choose from but Alternate Gothic No. 2 is not among them!

zomgw00t wrote:
Thanks for linking to that. It looks like he actually puts several panel designs on a single screen. I guess the way to go about this will be to decide on several modules to print at a time and go from there. If we both pursue this separately, we should keep each other posted on what modules we're printing and do some panel trades.


I talked to Paul's vendor again and if I supply the metal they can do the powdercoat and screen for about $80. I might just go with that, although I'm definitely curious to try out my own screening (not sure how I'd do the black base coat though).

I will send the same drawings to the former maker of Stooge panels and see what his pricing is. Can't imagine it would be much different though as his business seems more boutique and less industrial than Paul's vendor. He has also thrown away all the old screens so everything would incur standard setup costs.
JohnLRice
sempervirent wrote:
I'm definitely curious to try out my own screening (not sure how I'd do the black base coat though).


BrideChamber has black blanks although they are painted, not powder coated:
http://www.bridechamber.com/Blank_Panels.html
ultrashock
sempervirent wrote:
I might just go with that, although I'm definitely curious to try out my own screening (not sure how I'd do the black base coat though).
that's a very challenging approach to you I also have same curiosity, but be aware that without some special oven baking or special epoxy inks the result will be disappointing in labels' scratch-off resistance from the surface Dead Banana
marvkaye
If you're looking for a good, solid black basecoat for aluminum panels I highly recommend PPG Shopline JP377 epoxy black primer. With proper surface prep (light scuffing, thorough degreasing) and careful application with a quality sprayer the results are impressive. No baking required. FWIW

<marv>
julian
zomgw00t wrote:


I'm the same way about front panels. I can't stand the look of anodized aluminum and CNC'd text next to powder-coated and silk-screened panels.


Can i ask you the specifics of what you dont like?

I sometimes get stuck between a rock and a hard place, as, i, personaly, like to engrave very shalow, so as, when the job is finished, it often looks like print.

However, some people have not liked this as it does not match the 'chunky' deep engraving that FPE etc. does.

I think that the deep engraving looks 'blured' - there are no sharp edges to the letters - everything becomes rounded.

I have cut panels for people before who apreciate the detail, and some of these look like they have been silk screened - the cuts are very shalow and fine, and when made with, say, white infill, onto black anodised, the panel looks completely flat, without the deep gouges that some people seem to like (i try to just do what people request of me - but i, myself, do not like the look of ugly thick cuts!)

I am wondering if this is what you do not like with engraving, or, if there is somthing different?

(in case its not clear - i am not trying to 'sell' engraving here - i am realy interested to know what the specifics are that somtimes people do not like)
Monobass
I find that for black text on silver panels, silkscreening or printing is a lot more consistent across a wide range of viewing angles and distances compared to engraving (especially in sunlight).
Low-Gain
contact Bryan Benting here on the forums.. He can print white onto a black blank... good stuff.
causticlogic
Damn straight. That man's got talent! we're not worthy
NV
sempervirent wrote:
I actually just talked to the guy in Michigan who used to make the Stooge panels and he's still in business. I'm going to send him a couple of drawings and see what he quotes.


Not to be negative, but if we're thinking of the same person (Doug Wellington) then I would consider alternate means. Last I heard he was pursuing panels for some MIDIBox projects and had taken deposits for kits/cases/PCBs for the MB-808, with no progress for 4 years on the MIDIBox panels and many people requesting deposit refunds due to repeated delays and lack of communication for 2 years on the MB-808s.
sempervirent
NV wrote:
Not to be negative, but if we're thinking of the same person (Doug Wellington) then I would keep pursuing alternate means.


No, it's someone else, thanks for the warning though.

Low-Gain wrote:
contact Bryan Benting here on the forums.. He can print white onto a black blank... good stuff.


What's his username?
Bryan B
I am him! hahah

If you can get the panels with holes and painted black, I could print them with the printer at work for you. I just printed 2 of these DUSG panels for myself (they look much nicer than this pic):

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