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Thread: producing front panels
www.piclist.com/techref/index.htm?key=producing+front
picon face BY : Peter L. Peres email (remove spam text)



Special paint for ABS exists, also special glue. Everything related to ABS
glue and paint is industrial use only because it needs solvents to locally
dissolve the ABS so it can bond with it. The solvents are evil
environmantally, and none of these substances can be bought in stores for
normal mortals afaik (plus the minimum quantities are in the 1 litre
range). Believe me, you don't want to smell any one of these. There are
labels on the cans according to which they should only be opened in outer
space, of farther away, to be safe.

For label adhesive, I don't know GOOP but the well known hot melting glue
ground to dust (actually bought as flakes) and applied with heat (120 deg.
C through the label) works and is chemically inert. Needs a hot jig
(copper plate with handle held on electric heater will do. Use Teflon
sheet to avoid sticking). A cold-apply label type can be bought from the
pharmacy. It is designed to withstand most liquids without coming off
(think mislabeled medicine bottle ?). It can be printed with a laser
printer. Perhaps laminating only one side of this after printing (with the
backing on) will do what you need.

In general roughened ABS (sandblasted) will accept most metal and plastic
paints as well as silkscreening. Smooth ABS won't.

imho laminating and then cutting the edges to trim is a waste on
lamination. Perhaps you can laser-print a mirror image directly on the
backing of the lamination foil (BUT CHECK WITH THE PRINTER - I suspect
that a printer full of lamination foil will result). I use a bubblejet for
similar results without the fuss (heat, warping) by printing a mirror
image on transparent bubble jet paper (expensive, 3M, others). Then I tack
the sheet on, printed side inside. I suppose one could laminate it
directly, as the tacky side seems to be thermoplastic.

imho a good bubblejet beats most 'home' lasers for this. You can buy a 720
dpi printer for ~$200 now. I have used 300dpi to do 15 mil traces with no
great problems (photoresist exposure). A 720 dpi laser will set you back
at least 3 times that much. An Epson will do a stunning 1440 dpi color
rendition on transparent foil (need to fuss with the colors and saturation
though). Bubble supplies (ink bottle) are cheaper than lasers by a LOONG
way. Just pick a well-proven one with little vertical and
horizontal jitter in the mechanism.

Peter

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