Clear enclosure project box legends

Not a project per se but a technique for enclosure fabrication.

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Concept for enclosure fabrication with wear resistant legends; no laser cutter required. Legends are placed on the inside of a clear project box and then the inside of box is spray painted.

The garage in my house was pre-wired with two connections for the wall mounted garage door opener controls. The primary location was by the man door into the house; the secondary location was next to the garage door. The second location provides a convenient way to close the door instead of the awkward run and jump to get under the door but over the safety-beam sensor.

The garage door manufacturer only included one wall mount control panel with my package. The control panel has a back light LED, a vacation lock-out switch, a button to control the door operation, and a button to control the lights integrated into the opener. A quick review of the opener PCB shows the door control button shorts the two control wires, while the light control button connects the two control wires through a resistor.

A quick little project was fabricated to implement the door control and light control functions for the secondary wall control. Two different push buttons were used for a distinct tactile feel between the two functions. A very low quality clear storage box was selected for the enclosure. This box was the right size for the project but the lids did not fit very well. Wrapping the base of the box with electrical tape provided the extra material for the lid to fit securely.

I was going to print out a sticker to put on the lid to mark the button functions and hide the inside of the enclosure. A sticker in the garage environment might not hold up all that great. As the lid was clear, printing a paper insert to sit inside the lid was next solution considered. While this would have worked the final solution was conceived. Draw the button functional icons on the inside of the lid with a sharpie and then spray paint the inside white.

The spray paint caused the pen markings to crackle a bit, adding some character to the legends. Maybe the ink wasn't fully dry. Otherwise this proved to be a long lasting, good looking enclosure. With the lid installed, the spray paint is protected from scratches. The sharpie marks are likewise protected from wiping off or smudging by the lid. No need for extra step to apply clear coat. Overall, a very professional finish for a quick and dirty project.

  • Ultimate Cart Case Prototype

    mulcmu11/20/2016 at 02:46 0 comments

    Got the cold toner transfer to acrylic working well. Transferred cut marks and decals to 3mm acrylic sheet. Cut layers out by hand and glued up the case. Sloppy application of the acrylic solvent messed up the logo a bit.

  • More Acrylic Testing

    mulcmu03/09/2016 at 02:04 0 comments

    Tested transfer of a full letter size sheet to a 12"x12" sheet of 3mm acrylic. Heat from iron warped it instantly. Not so much due to the size or soft surface from the last test. Attempting to transfer pattern to plastic for cutting.

    Started using Hammermill color laser gloss paper instead of the of the prior gloss inkjet paper. Much better transfers and release than the prior stuff I was fighting with. After 2 minutes of soaking the paper had floated away from the acrylic on its own.

    Messed around with some cold toner transfer using mixture of acetone and denatured alcohol. Didn't keep good track of the ratio. Works great to acrylic so far. One transfer had some crazing, but this might have been due to stress from excessive clamping force and not the solvent.

  • Toner transfer test

    mulcmu01/19/2015 at 02:14 0 comments

    Tested toner transfer to 1/8 thick clear acrylic sheet using glossy photo paper. This was done with iron on fabric covered ironing board. The plastic heated enough that it deformed a bit. A flat heat resistant surface should work better. The iron was cranked up to the linen setting. Might not need the iron as hot as for PCB fab. The plastic toner might fuse quicker with the heated acrylic than copper. Transferred ok, a few spots had holes due to the print as well as being a little too aggressive in brushing of the paper after soaking in water.

    Spray painted the back with silver spray paint as I planned to mount this tag to a white door. (Sometimes there is confusion over the primary function of the room that also houses the clothes washer and dryer. This little plaque will be used to clarify.)

  • Future ideas:

    mulcmu12/06/2014 at 18:39 0 comments

    Toner transfer the markings to the internal side of a clear project box. Flat acrylic face plate could be used. Toner transfer with color laser printer for full color legends or just unique way to frame a picture? Weld-on 4 to glue LEDs to the face plate for indicators before spray painting.

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