How to label a custom device case?
April 15, 2010 1:21 PM Subscribe
I am building an electronic device which will be housed in a black ABS box. I want to label the buttons and knobs on the front panel. I don't want to stick anything onto the plastic - I want to apply the ink directly to the plastic. What are my options?
posted by Mars Saxman to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Anything based on black ink is out, obviously; the ink should be silver, white, or red. I am imagining some kind of process where I print the design on paper, copy it onto some special transfer material, then apply it to the plastic and heat or rub or something to attach the ink. Or maybe some kind of fancy label printer machine. Or maybe a laser-cut stencil that I carefully brush ink through - but such tiny details! I don't know. Anyone done anything like this before?
Looks really are important here. I play live-PA improv electronica, using a custom-built console that holds all my gear and arranges it in a convenient control panel. It's a unique system and people love watching me twirl the knobs ("how do you remember what they all do?"). The device I'm building is a new kind of sequencer, and it needs to look like it fights right in next to all the other devices.
I've gone to a fair bit of trouble ordering just the right knobs and buttons, and I don't want to spoil the effect with a bunch of cheap plasticky taped-on labels, or smudgy hand-lettered ink, or whatever. If it comes down to it I'll just leave the controls blank - I know what they all do, after all! But I really want it to look polished and perfect, and that means it needs panel graphics, and I have no idea where to start. Help!