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Best way to label small project boxes ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Joe, Jan 18, 2005.

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  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Hi guys,

    I'm looking for way to label some input and output ports on a small
    aluminum project box. It doesn't have to be professional quality, but
    I'd like it to look nice at least.

    Any suggestions for the best way to label these?

    Thanks!
    Joe
     
  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    Rub on lettering looks neat but you need to carefully align the text if you
    are using individual letters as opposed to words. You'll also need a
    burnishing tool.
     
  3. I use P-touch by Brother,it can be use to identify wire too.
     
  4. How about printable sticky lables?
     
  5. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    The best combination of looks and ease of use that
    I've seen is clear laser-printer film with a sticky backing.
    I haven't used this myself, but a buddy makes a lot
    of custom research equipment for the local university
    using this method for his front panels. The results
    are very professional looking. The only downside is
    that the toner is not scratch-proof, so the index lines
    around pots, etc, eventually get scratched by fingernails.

    The film covers the entire front panel in one sheet, so
    there is none of the fiddling with alignment that you
    normally need with rub-ons... everything is as perfect
    as it was in your original layout (CAD program, etc).

    Hope this helps!



    Bob Masta
    dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
     
  6. I've done that, but I print a mirror image of the legend, then glue it
    on the panel toner-side-down to protect the toner.
     
  7. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    i did try one thing and it seem to work. (also for Circuit boards) :)
    create your image on a computer graphics program of the face labels.
    using a laser printer, print on Photo Ink Jet. clean the surface of
    the box face, iron on the image. run under water to free the paper
    leaving only the image on the face of the box, then spray
    with a clear coating for protection.
    this works good because you can even use this method to mark your
    drilling spots.
     
  8. Somebody posted this a while ago. I haven't used them.

    http://www.frontpanelexpress.com/home/index.htm

    --
    Regards,
    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
     
  9. For appearance, I'd echo Lord Garth. I've never found any method
    superior to rub-down transfers ('Letraset' etc; many brands). But it
    certainly does require some patience and a steady hand.

    Here are some examples, all done with that method. Usage over 20 years
    or so has plainly taken its toll on some of them!
    http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/Images/Cases.jpg

    More recently I've made a few by inkjet printing onto a transparency
    (reversed), carefully cutting to size, and sticking to the surface. I
    guess that with practice, I could get to like that method too.
     
  10. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Great idea! What kind of glue did you use?

    Thanks!




    Bob Masta
    dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
     

  11. 3M "Super77" spray adhesive - comes in an aerosol can.
     
  12. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Wow!! Thanks a lot for all the great suggestions guys!
     
  13. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    We used spray-on clear coat to protect the burnished lettering.
     
  14. Rileyesi

    Rileyesi Guest

    I'm looking for way to label some input and output ports on a small

    I use labels that I got from
    www.rippedsheets.com .

    They have a baot load of label sheets. I have a product that is housed in a
    fiberglass NEMA box that is left outdoors. I talked to the folks at ripped
    sheets and they have a prosuct that was designed to be put on 55 gallon drums
    of toxic waste stored in outdoor fields. I have product in the field for three
    years and the labels look just fine.

    I make my labels by using Word and print them on a laser printer.

    Anyway, they might have a product that will meet your needs.

    Good luck.
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Guest

    Not sure if you want to do this, but learning the art of Silk Screening is
    easy, and leaves professional results.
    Speedball has several starter kits.

    Most people swear my prototypes were store bought off the shelf.

    Richard
     
  16. Richard

    Richard Guest

  17. But they do look good and the printing won't wear off. Have you got a more cost
    effective supplier for milled front panels?
     
  18. What exactly is Silk Screening?
     
  19. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    Usually only appropriate for large runs. You
    have a fine mesh screen, formerly made of real
    silk but now often polyester or even stainless steel.
    It's typically mounted in a wooden frame with
    a hinge on the back. You coat the screen with
    a sensitizing emulsion. Your panel artwork master
    must be opaque black on a clear background.
    You lay the artwork over the (dry) coated screen
    and expose with a UV lamp (sun lamp, etc), which
    hardens the emulsion wherever it hits. Then you
    spray the unexposed emulsion away with water.

    To screen a panel, you put the piece under the
    frame, squirt a line of paint along the top edge
    of the screen (above the art part) and then
    squeegee the ink down the screen, forcing paint
    through onto your piece. Once you have done
    all the hard work of making the screen, you can
    "pull an impression" (print a new panel) in only
    a few seconds per panel.

    You can get exquisite resolution with this method
    using really fine-mesh screens. You can use
    multiple colors by using "block out" solution to
    paint over the regions of the screen you don't want
    to print. Print the first color, let it dry, wash the
    block out away and reapply in a new location,
    replace the panel in the exact location, and print
    again with another color.

    And you can do T shirts in your spare time!


    Bob Masta
    dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
     
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