Jump to content

gordon s

Building a control panel.....

Recommended Posts

By the way 

 

my latest panel is 3mm dibond in white 

 

this is then drilled for 3mm flat top leds that lie flush with the surface Using a copy mimic as a drilling template 

 

the mimic is printed on transparent acrylic vinyl and glued to the dibond 

 

hence no holes in the vinyl means easy cleaning , no rough edges and the precision of the holes  doesn’t have to be exactly precise 

 

Dave 

  • Informative/Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to complete the circle, DHL have just delivered my first panel from Germany. Really well packed and the product is first class. It comes with metal plates on the back and two huge circular magnets that will hold anything in place. The panel has a lovely satin sheen and the printing is first class.

 

I really cannot fault it and at £28 including delivery it would be hard to beat,

 

The panel size is 600 x 200 and it's made from 3mm Dibond material, which is two thin sheets of aluminium separated by a black plastic separator.

 

Total cost £28 including DHL delivery. Perfectly flat and strong in 3mm material. Just a shame to have to drill 200 x 3mm holes in it....:D

 

It will be interesting to see how it compares to a second version of the same panel from a cheaper supplier.

 

£21.14 for the same size, same plan, same material, delivered.

 

DSCF1214.jpg.a708a54bb173670986c0db661a2ce555.jpg

 

DSCF1216.jpg.c37091f4b1f2aac9962d7c94e52e521f.jpg

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gordon,

looking good, and like others, I’m keen to learn from your experience. But I’m unlikely to be as lucky as you with the overall dimensions, in that the standard size options won’t fit my panel. What’s your view about the practicality of cutting the dibond, and how? Knife, saw?

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ITG said:

....... I’m unlikely to be as lucky as you with the overall dimensions, in that the standard size options won’t fit my panel. What’s your view about the practicality of cutting the dibond, and how? Knife, saw? ........

 

These printed panels are not limited to standard sizes.

You just choose the custom size option and they will produce whatever size you want, down to the mm, subject to minimum and maximum sizes.

 

IMHO, whatever you do, don't consider trying to cut the panel down to size.

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron,  I can’t see any sign of custom sizes on the Optimalprint website. Which supplier(s) did you have in mind?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Optimal print look the least likely company to use IMHO.

There are quite a lot of others, who almost all offer custom size options.

 

For example...

https://www.supersizeprint.co.uk/material.aspx?BaseProductID=32

 

Sizing can be done in metres, cm, mm, inches or feet. 
Just choose the unit of measurement, when selecting the custom dimensions.

 

 

..

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys

 

I see we've moved on since I last posted. I hadn't realised Optimalprint didn't offer custom sizes, but they have a wide range. Maybe I was just lucky.....

 

The Supersizeprint panel has just arrived and there is nothing to choose between them. The outer packaging from both companies was superb with a heavily glued box that really was a challenge to get into. I suspect there is little chance of damage to your panel, so 10/10 for both companies.

 

Print wise, I cannot separate them....both 10/10 again....

 

DSCF1222.jpg.3a1b3d000d6c0bc6a5aa3f81ca7d5a92.jpg

 

Optimalprint at the top, Supersizeprint at the bottom. The only difference is that Optimalprint leave 'sharp' corners, which I like. Supersizeprint radius their corners.

 

DSCF1225.jpg.8bebc63232ae1a65c0a8e83a2e1735a2.jpg

 

Overall, I cannot fault either company. £28 from Optimalprint or £21 from Supersizeprint. Just one word on pricing though. Like many high volume companies these days pricing can change at any time. Both companies offered significant 'discounts'. Whether this was a first order basis or driven by volume etc, I don't know, but clearly the prices can change and probably does depending on how they are and who you are.....;)

 

These really are very good panels. Strong. lightweight, good print quality and to my mind exceptional value.

 

I have yet to drill them out for led's as it's been too hot and in any case I need to choose one to fit led's with the other one as a backup when I drill holes in the wrong place.....:D

 

Take your pick. You could use either company and expect in return a quality product. Of course the end result is subject to the quality of the print file you send them, so very much in your court.

Edited by gordon s
  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Gordon and Ron,

by chance, as I had to enquire about a print job for a charity I’m involved with, I asked a local printer if they did this work. The reply was they had an associate locally who did, and who would pre-drill holes for LEDs and buttons/switches, on custom size panels. I’m just waiting for an price estimate based on my guesswork of how many holes would be needed. I have two 450x220 mm panels I need; one for the just laid twin track mainline circuit, reverse loop and storage roads, and a second for the high-level terminus station which isn’t built yet, and therefore may be subject to evolutionary fine tuning.

I’ll keep folk updated.

Ian

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great information, thanks everyone.

I've recently been pondering how to build my control panel, so this is very timely :).

I'm thinking of having the enclosure made up as a custom job by one of the laser baseboard suppliers.

For the mimic and switch panels I'd settled on the ply, paper, acrylic sandwich idea but the dibond looks to knock that into a cocked hat.

I've just placed an order with PremierPrint (https://www.premierprint.co.uk/) so I'll post a photo when it arrives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GWR, I obtained my consoles from Model Railway Solutions as a laser cut 6mm ply kit. No connection other than as satisfied customer. So my plan is to get the panels as per this thread, and either overlay on top of the ply, drilling larger clearance holes (For LEDs, buttons etc)  in the ply underneath the dibond, or, even replace the ply with the dibond completely.


I’ve now had the local quote, £24+VAT for each panel, and another £19 each panel if they drill all the LED/button holes. I don’t think Gordon had holes drilled in his, so the base price is similar to his cost. I probably will let them do the drilling as the precision and cut is likely to be better than I can do. 
I will post progress reports, but there may be a delay as I have still to determine the best way to produce the digital artwork. My layout plan was drawn in Anyrail, so will start there. Any other suggestions any one?

Ian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends how many holes in your panel, but £19 sounds very reasonable. When searching around I was quoted prices up to a £0.60 per hole and with 150-200 holes in my panel, that wasn't an option. The biggest problem when drilling by hand or in a bench drill is the alignment of holes and it doesn't take much to be a fraction of a mm out. Normally that's not an issue, but once you get into possible 'route illumination', one hole out of line in a line of 6 really sticks out. Still working on a way to overcome that possibility.

 

Going back to pricing, I saw this paragraph on the Supersizeprint website this morning, so you will get similar prices every time.

 

1111131380_Screenshot2020-08-15at09_34_39.png.7599e7bc1f41cb891c1f9e7ffbbfe279.png

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, ITG said:

GWR, I obtained my consoles from Model Railway Solutions as a laser cut 6mm ply kit.

 

Unfortunately Model Railway Solutions are not taking any orders for bespoke work at present, nor is Tim Horn.

 

3 hours ago, ITG said:

I will post progress reports, but there may be a delay as I have still to determine the best way to produce the digital artwork. My layout plan was drawn in Anyrail, so will start there. Any other suggestions any one?

 

I drew mine up in QCAD and saved it as a pdf to send to the printers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.