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'lectrical stuff, control panel art

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  • 'lectrical stuff, control panel art

    Judging from past posts more than a few of you rassled with modifying machine tool electrics and other applications where clear impervious signage and artwork is necessary. Among the problems encountered was making new control panels and applying control legends and maybe cautions, illustrations etc.

    Anyone with a computer and a program is capable of generating the necessary images and text (art-work to the printing trade). Most have discovered the local copy shops have laminators who for a modest price will encase your artwork in smudge-proof plastic. Problem is the paper in the artwork expands or shrinks with moisture while the plastic stays put. The result is unsightly wrinkles.

    I discovered after a long hunt using the wrong search objects: "waterproof" paper. This is matte finish white plastic sheets resembling paper but of a plastic unaffected by moisture. This is great stuff for panel art, placards, door info, storage labels, stock materials, phone lists, door labels, desk nameplates, emergency exit maps, utility labels, etc you name it where plain paper would last no longer than the first smudge or soaking.

    I also discovered double sided high tack adhesive sheets to adhere laminated placards and panel art to a clean smooth relatively flat substrate as though rivited.

    Many of you already know this but those that don't here's some cool info. All this stuff including hot hot laminatingmachines and laminating "pouches" are available in eBay, Amazon, etc, and maybe a scrounge on Google. Shop wisely.
    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-16-2012, 06:05 AM.

  • #2
    I have an old ALPS MD-5000 printer that I use for stuff like this. It is quite an amazing printer, too bad they stopped making it. What is special about this printer is it uses ribbon cartridges that thermally apply the pigment to the media. There is also a dye sublimation option for it as well for photos. The ribbons also came in a lot of varieties. In addition to the standard CMYK colors it also has white and metallics.

    The pigment is waterproof so you can print on the paper used for water slide labels like you get with model kits. That is what I did for my my mill. To give them a little more protection you can overcoat with something like clear acrylic spray. I didn't and they have held up real well.

    The printers can be found on ebay but they sell for near new prices the last time I checked (~$500)


    • #3
      I just inkjet print on self adhesive, matt photo paper and spray with acrylic laquer when dry. This give a reasonably durable label. See:


      • #4
        Or use the new labels available in cartridge format that plug into the electronic label makers. Ive been amazed at how good the inks hold up to UV and oil and such. I see Brother also sells a high Temp version as well.


        • #5
          For my panel legends including whole operator front panel layouts, I use a local Lamacoid engraver, he engraves on the reverse engrave material and it can be multi coloured.
          For example the E-stop button can have its yellow circle around it!
          The other up side being reverse engraved is it is impervious to grease and smudging etc.
          Last edited by MaxHeadRoom; 03-16-2012, 12:10 PM.


          • #6
            This got covered a while ago when Evan was printing strip labels for dials


            In post #4 I mentioned an Avery product, silver labels that didn't seem to be available in the States. Lazlo was trying to see if it was available

            Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


            • #7
              I keep it rather simple with labels and simply print them as drmico60 does. I have been meaning to try photo-etching, but simply havent gotten around to it yet.
              "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


              • #8
                You can also print waterslide decals with an inkjet. Good for restorations.