Prepare the Sticker Graphic
Prepare the final graphic by removing all but the final drawings and legends. Hole markings are not needed for every control or LED, but some should be included to align the label to the pre-drilled enclosure.
Create a high-resolution actual-size file of the final graphic in the format specified by your vinyl label printing vendor. When you order, request dimensional accuracy and a minimum border size.
Attach the Drilling Guide
- Attach a pre-printed drilling guide to the enclosure face using a glue stick. Align and thoroughly secure the guide, particularly the outer edges. Press the guide in place with your fingers.
Drill the Enclosure Layer
- Use a small, sharp center punch to create an indentation in the exact center of each hole. The indentation will help to guide the pilot drill.
- Drill a pilot hole for each of the component mounting and index pin holes using a 1/16-inch drill bit. After drilling the pilot holes, enlarge the holes with a 1/8-inch drill bit.
- Using a step drill bit, drill each of the holes to the size printed on the drilling guide. Pro tip: place some tape around the step drill bit to visually note the desired hole diameter.
- Use a countersink or small file to remove burrs left over from the drilling process. This is an important step since irregularities may show through the label.
- Head to a sink and run lukewarm water over the enclosure drilling guide. The paper will soften and the washable glue will start to dissolve. Remove the paper and rub the remaining glue with your finger until it completely disappears. Dry with a paper towel.
- Check for any remaining burrs around the holes and remove with the countersink or a small file.
With the drilling completed, it's time to attach the vinyl label and the components to the enclosure. The new front panel will be ready soon!
Attach the Label
- After verifying that the label size and hole placements are correct, remove the sticker's backing sheet. Carefully align the sticker so that the component mounting holes line up with label.
- Once aligned, apply pressure to the center of the label with your fingers and gradually work out towards the edges.
- Double check the alignment before continuing to the next step. Remove and reposition the label if necessary.
- Using a very sharp hobby knife, cut away the label covering each component mounting hole. A clean edge on the inside of the hole will help the component seat properly.
Install the Components
- Mount and secure the components. Apply a washer between the shaft nut and the vinyl label to keep from damaging the label.
You now have a nifty new front panel! We'll be looking forward to seeing your project's new front panel on the weekly Show and Tell show!