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'[EE] Inexpensive Nameplate/Decal/Graphic Overlay s'
2008\07\07@000716 by Forrest W Christian

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I'm currently laser printing product decals (legends) onto permanent,
waterproof avery labels and then using a vinyl cutter to slice them to
the appropriate shape.  This works quite well, but the labels are thin
enough that its a real pain to apply them since they like to deform, and
they are somewhat labor intensive to print and cut (although not *that*
bad).

I'd like to get some "real" lexan or similar overlays.  Unfortunately,
every quote I've gotten (7x1.45", 5 holes/cutouts, 2+ colors) is
somewhere around $1-2 each for Qty 1000 (usually closer to 2).

Has anyone come across a vendor which doesn't cost an arm and a leg to
have some of these made.

-forrest

2008\07\07@082110 by John Ferrell

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One of the things I do in my shop is make vinyl signs.
Transferring the vinyl to the sign from the substrate is accomplished by
sticking a strip (or strips) of transfer tape to the vinyl and peeling it
off in one piece, then placing it on the sign surface. Burnish it down hard
with a squeegee (a credit card will do) and carefully peel the transfer tape
away. Transfer tape is available from sign shops and looks like masking
tape. It is very cheap ($5 will buy more than you can use) and has a weak
adhesive.

I would exect that if you top your lables with clear packing tape they will
last a very long time. Thanks for the idea!

John Ferrell    W8CCW

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do
nothing." -- Edmund Burke
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

2008\07\07@155237 by Vitaliy

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Forrest W Christian wrote:
> I'm currently laser printing product decals (legends) onto permanent,
> waterproof avery labels and then using a vinyl cutter to slice them to
> the appropriate shape.  This works quite well, but the labels are thin
> enough that its a real pain to apply them since they like to deform, and
> they are somewhat labor intensive to print and cut (although not *that*
> bad).
>
> I'd like to get some "real" lexan or similar overlays.  Unfortunately,
> every quote I've gotten (7x1.45", 5 holes/cutouts, 2+ colors) is
> somewhere around $1-2 each for Qty 1000 (usually closer to 2).
>
> Has anyone come across a vendor which doesn't cost an arm and a leg to
> have some of these made.

Unfortunately, the quote you got is very reasonable. We're paying ~$1.50/ea
plus setup fees for a much smaller overlay.

Out of curiosity, which vendors have you gotten the quotes from? How many
colors are you using?

Vitaliy

2008\07\07@181414 by Josh Koffman

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On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 9:06 PM, Forrest W Christian <spam_OUTforrestcTakeThisOuTspamimach.com> wrote:
> I'm currently laser printing product decals (legends) onto permanent,
> waterproof avery labels and then using a vinyl cutter to slice them to
> the appropriate shape.  This works quite well, but the labels are thin
> enough that its a real pain to apply them since they like to deform, and
> they are somewhat labor intensive to print and cut (although not *that*
> bad).

Just out of curiosity, which Avery labels do you use?

Thanks!

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
-Douglas Adams

2008\07\07@191121 by Forrest W. Christian

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Josh Koffman wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 9:06 PM, Forrest W Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam@spam@imach.com> wrote:
>  
>> I'm currently laser printing product decals (legends) onto permanent,
>> waterproof avery labels and then using a vinyl cutter to slice them to
>> the appropriate shape.  This works quite well, but the labels are thin
>> enough that its a real pain to apply them since they like to deform, and
>> they are somewhat labor intensive to print and cut (although not *that*
>> bad).
>>    
>
> Just out of curiosity, which Avery labels do you use?
When I am running it through the cutter, I use #6575.   I also use the
6576 and 6578 for serial number labels on products that don't need to be
cut.

For completeness, I am using the Craft Robo letter-sized cutter and
their built-in software.

With laser printing, the resulting label is very durable, although we
don't subject it to abrasion - it's a "jack label" not a pushbutton
label...  See http://www.packetflux.com/images/revcsi.jpg for a sample.

-forrest

2008\07\07@191407 by Forrest W. Christian

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Vitaliy wrote:
> Unfortunately, the quote you got is very reasonable. We're paying
> ~$1.50/ea plus setup fees for a much smaller overlay.
> Out of curiosity, which vendors have you gotten the quotes from? How many colors are you using?
>  
I asked for 2 color.  The quote from Nameplates for industry was
actually something like $1.50 in qty and was CMYK process.  The setup
wasn't that bad.

There were others which were cheaper....  not overly so.   I was hoping
that there was someone who did this like they do PCB's....   utilize
cheap overseas labor to bring the price down.  Guess not...

-forrest

2008\07\07@192503 by Josh Koffman

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On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Forrest W. Christian <forrestcspamKILLspamimach.com> wrote:
> When I am running it through the cutter, I use #6575.   I also use the
> 6576 and 6578 for serial number labels on products that don't need to be
> cut.

Is the finish matte or glossy?

> For completeness, I am using the Craft Robo letter-sized cutter and
> their built-in software.

That's pretty cool. How do you align the cut with the printed area?
How much does one of those cutters run?

Thanks!

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
-Douglas Adams

2008\07\07@203444 by Forrest W Christian

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Josh Koffman wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 4:09 PM, Forrest W. Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam.....imach.com> wrote:
>> When I am running it through the cutter, I use #6575.   I also use the
>> 6576 and 6578 for serial number labels on products that don't need to be
>> cut.
>
> Is the finish matte or glossy?

I would call it "satin", if you were comparing it to paint.   It's
slick, but not overly shiny.   It's slicker and "more shiny" than a
matte paper (or regular paper), but not glossy like a print.

I would like to find a thicker equivalent media..  That is, waterproof,
laser printable, permanent adhesive, and fairly thick.

>> For completeness, I am using the Craft Robo letter-sized cutter and
>> their built-in software.
>
> That's pretty cool. How do you align the cut with the printed area?
> How much does one of those cutters run?

There are alignment marks printed on the labels by the included design
software (Which you design the labels and cut area in).  The craft robo
reads these marks to align the cutting.

The process is to design the "project" in the design software, print it
on a good quality color laser printer, and then cut it on the craft robo.

The unit I am using runs about $300 on ebay and from other online sources.

-forrest

2008\07\08@002121 by Vitaliy

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Forrest W Christian wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Awesome! Thanks for sharing Forrest, I think we'll get us one of these! :-)

Why are you not using denser labels? More expensive, or is it the limitation
of the Craft Robo?

Vitaliy

2008\07\08@023545 by Forrest W Christian

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Vitaliy wrote:
> Why are you not using denser labels? More expensive, or is it the limitation
> of the Craft Robo?

Just haven't been able to find any durable laser-printable labels which
are thicker.     The robo will actually cut cardstock, so unless the
label material is extremely hard to cut, I suspect it will cut it.
Right now, I've got the robo turned down almost as thin as it will go so
it just cuts the label and not the backer sheet enough to matter.

There are other more robust versions of machines like the robo as well.

As far as cost goes, when you're able to get 5 a sheet, even a couple of
 (or few) dollars/sheet for the labels would be acceptable, especially
when you are comparing to $1-$2 for the "real" ones.

-forrest



2008\07\08@030020 by M. Adam Davis

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You might consider pricing out each step seperately.  Get prices for
someone to cut the lexan, and get prices for a screen printer to print
the front.  You may even be able to find these two suppliers/services
locally and save on shipping.

I'm surprised the price is so high, though.  Setting up a simple lexan
panel on eMachineShop.com (7" x 1.45" x 0.160" polycarbonate, several
holes, all done with turret punch, and two color silkscreening) gives
me $1,582 for 1,000 parts, including shipping.  You should be able to
find something less costly than emachinshop.

-Adam

On Mon, Jul 7, 2008 at 12:06 AM, Forrest W Christian <EraseMEforrestcspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTimach.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\08@051450 by Dan Smith

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2008/7/8 Forrest W. Christian <forrestcspamspam_OUTimach.com>:
> For completeness, I am using the Craft Robo letter-sized cutter and
> their built-in software.

That's a cool machine!  I've only seen the large Roland vinyl cutters
before, which are much more expensive.

As a rough guide to price, here in the UK, I pay £0.57 (~$1.14) for a
3 colour 2 label set - 200 x 85mm and 50 x 30mm.

If you want to get a quote off my supplier, let me know and I'll dig
out the contact details.

Dan

2008\07\08@094309 by Peter Todd

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On Tue, Jul 08, 2008 at 12:35:21AM -0600, Forrest W Christian wrote:
{Quote hidden}

That machine would be really good for doing mockups of equipment
panels... I've layed out a few equipment panels at work, with holes for
lights and switches and the like, which then get sent off to be cut out
in metal. I always print them out 1:1, glue them to cardboard, cutout
the holes and check things for fit. But a machine like that would save a
lot of time cutting if you could directly import dxf files into it's
software.


Too bad they cost so much though, not worth it unless I do a *lot* more
panels. :)

- --
http://petertodd.org 'peter'[:-1]@petertodd.org
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2008\07\08@130038 by Marc Nicholas

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Getting a little off-topic, but I've been using http://www.protoplates.com to do
some custom panels for Hammond 1455 enclosures (for a product I'm working
on).

They fast (get my prototypes back next business day!) and reasonably priced
and they do "Lexan-type" graphic overlays.

No connection with them other than being a happy customer...and they're
Canadian which makes life easier for me (no Customs etc). :)

-marc

On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 9:42 AM, Peter Todd <@spam@peteKILLspamspampetertodd.org> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\08@165135 by Vitaliy

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Forrest W Christian wrote:
> As far as cost goes, when you're able to get 5 a sheet, even a couple of
>  (or few) dollars/sheet for the labels would be acceptable, especially
> when you are comparing to $1-$2 for the "real" ones.

To me, the biggest advantage is being able to make one overlay at a time.
Seems to be perfect for prototyping.

Thanks again for sharing the info!

Vitaliy

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