[time-nuts] Labeling project boxes/panels - Front Panel Express

Chris Albertson albertson.chris at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 21:21:36 EST 2012

There is another company that can do good quality work.  BNP Laser,
does laser engraging.   It is not as nice as the routed paannels but
they only charge 50 cents per square inch for plastic and a little
more for aluminum.  You get a very thin engraved sheet that can be
attached using double sided tape.  They will drill pilot holes.  Drill
these after attaching with the tape.  Cost for 2x4 inch panel would be
$4.    The Front Pannel Express panels are much nicer but at 10X the

Example of the kind of stuff they do:

One experiment I want to do soon is to print out a front panel on
glossy photo paper cover the photo with some kind of glue and laminate
it to 1/8th in plexiglas. This would allow a full color panel.    A
variation is to print on a water slide decal and then transfer the
decal to the back side of plexiglas.   All the artwork has to be on
the same decal or you could see the edges.

On Sat, Jan 21, 2012 at 4:48 PM, Alan Hochhalter <alanh137 at cableone.net> wrote:
> I've used Front Panel Express a couple of times.  The software is pretty
> easy to use.  I've done rectangular, circular, "D" holes without problem.
>  Last fall I finally put my David Partridge divider board in a surplus
> extruded box with end panels that weren't usable as-is.  It cost just over
> $50 US for two different panels approx. 2x4 inches with several holes and
> engraved legends in black anodized aluminum.   The result was very
> professional looking.  They'll fill the engraving in various colors, but I
> didn't have mine filled.  The price seems very reasonable to me (I live in
> the US) considering the difficulty of accurately drilling/cutting/filing
> various holes and making durable labels to get a nice result if you don't
> have a shop capable of doing it.
> Alan
> On 1/21/2012 4:45 PM, WB6BNQ wrote:
>> Charles,
>> You could consider a company called Front Panel Express at
>> http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/
>> They have free software just like the PCB community but aimed at making
>> panels
>> and doing engraving.  I realize this is a bit over the top in most cases,
>> but it
>> may come in handy at some time.  Look at their examples pages to see the
>> kind of
>> work.
>> Bill....WB6BNQ
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Chris Albertson
Redondo Beach, California

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