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Guest Robid

Backlit panel question!

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I have hunted around for a simple way to make back-lit panels without using a cnc mill to engrave the lettering into plexiglass or perspex as it's called in Australia.I am looking for a way that is simple. The lighting is not the question, it's purely just making the panels.If anyone has tried different methods, I'd like to hear about them.I know this is a big question for all builders, maybe we could pool our knowledge and come up with a simple process.Look forward to your responses.David Australia

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One which I had thought of - haven't tried, is on perspex get the stick on letters etc and place them on the persepex - spray paint the panel, and then remove the letters. Not sure how well it would work, but may be an option.

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Has anyone tried doing the artwork on Corel Draw or such, reversing the image, laser printing it on a clear sticky label (large size), then sticking it to the back of the perspex panel. Of course leaving the text unprinted or printed in white with about 75% transparency to allow the backlighting through.If so, does it work ok?David

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I have placed two negative images and a Coloured Image of my panel between a thick and thin piece of Lexan (Polycarbonate) and I think it looks pretty good. What do you think ?I still need to come up with what I need to backlight it. I definately want to go with imbedding LED's inside the thicker bottom piece of lexan. Just need to diffuse the light more because of the concentration caused by LED's.Regards,Brad Heller.

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I should have read your ideas first Mike. Good information. Do you have any suggestion or links to good tutorials on building an engraver or such.DavidPS I love the information on making instrumentation. This will be another project down the track

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Hi Brad,I believe your in Sydney, I'm on the Gold Coast.Your panel looks good. Did you use transparencies or plain paper?The other issue is I am wanting to use whatever process I decide on to do the face plate of my throttle quadrant, so whatever I use, I have to be able to bend to a smooth curve. Any ideas?David

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Good to see another Aussie Builder.I used transparencies for the negatives and glossy opaque photo film for the top layer.That picture was an experiment. Once I have my trial down pat I'll put together a Tutorial.Regards,Brad Heller.

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They look damn sweet - how did you put the two sheets of plexi together, and with the sheets inbetween.Did you print with inkjet or laser?I'm sure my local store would have hernia with all the black ink, could you possibly have a black sheet and print the black to a reduced area around each spot you want to be transparent (ie a box) on a seperate sheet??

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They will be screwed together, you should notice some small screw holes. I printed them on my home colour inkjet, and yes they'll require alot of ink.You really need the transparency as you'll need as much light to get through the top sheetBrad.

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David,RC airplane hobbyists sometimes use home made CNC machines to cut wood parts for their planes. These machines are too light weight for all but the lightest metals, but work quite well with wood and plastic. This appears the least expensive way to make an engraver. There is a HUGE thread on RC Groups.com http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=62920 that has discussed it for over a year. Also, check out www.crankorgan.com for an assortment of plans that make use of readily available, inexpensive materials.Mikewww.mikesflightdeckbooks.com

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