A project log for Sol-20 Reproduction

I am making a full sized Sol-20 reproduction, the first fully assembled microcomputer with a built-in keyboard and television output.

Michael GardiMichael Gardi 10/23/2021 at 00:420 Comments

One of the things that makes the Sol-20 so memorable is the logo bar of yellow/orange lettering that runs the full width of the body.  Stunning. Needless to say I wanted to do a good job of reproducing the logo.

Again I have to thank redjr16 who sent me a great picture of the logo from his machine.

With his picture, and knowing the dimensions of the logo (width 446 mm), I brought the image into Fusion 360 as a Canvas and calibrated it within fusion to it's actual size. Using Fusion drawing tools (mostly splines) I "traced" the letters and icon and ended up with a sketch of the logo.

My plan at this point was to save the sketch as a DXF file, bring it into Inkscape, add the colors, and print the logo onto cardstock which is what was done on the original Sol-20. I even had a piece of acrylic cut to size to go in front of it to protect it, again like the original.

I have had some success in previous projects "drawing" text by extruding the letters and printing them in a different color by pausing the print at the appropriate layer and switching the filament. So I decided to give this a try. To my delight this worked better than expected.

The small amount of  relief afforded by the extrude characters makes them really pop. So as not to waste, I am using the acrylic piece as a backing for the printed logo which is only about 1 mm thick. 

Here is a sneak peek at the logo bar in place. I have only just started printing the top panel.

You might be asking "Hey Mike what's with the two different blues?". I tried the lighter blue on the top panel and I like it better, so I will eventually be reprinting the keyboard panel to match.