Sunday, March 17, 2019

Finally completed all decal work for the DSKY substitute



Having realized my error in skipping use of the hot air gun to remove moisture, I set up again and prepared for another decal of white dots. The clear film came out of the water bath intact and I left it to air dry rather than blotting.

Underside of decal, waiting to air dry before adhesive spray
I gently sprayed the adhesive over the film and began to add blue painters tape to form handling and protective masks before touching this down over the target acrylic panel. This worked well and I was able to apply the three upper dots to the target.

Panel with center dots applied
With those dots successfully applied, I made up the left and right side decals in the same manner and left them to air dry. One worked well but the left side one had the clear mylar bond to the cover layer of clear mylar in the bonding carrier that runs through the laminator, instead of to the colored image on the paper,

Decal for right hand dots, a bit rough but usable
A second try on the left hand version produced a decal which floated off without one of the dots. On to the third try I did get a good decal which was left to air dry. These two were masked with blue tape and laid down over the target acrylic panel.

Underside of decal for left hand dots
Water bath with a decal soaking to release from paper
The result was a panel that looked just like I wanted and was quite similar to the real DSKY panel. I will have to insert that panel inside the 3D printed cover and glue the sandwich together. The final step will be to glue the sandwich into the front cover of the enclosure, but I have to fine tune the height of the display board before I do these steps. 

The indicator panel decal was prepared, air dried and ready for application. The challenge is to have the right acrylic panel as the target. I frosted some, but they are sufficiently thick that they cut down the light substantially. My only clear panel had text permanently bonded to it during a prior session. Attempting to clean the text off with acetone gave me a streaky damaged finish.

Indicator panel decal ready for application
I chose the panel with the lightest frosting and applied the decal to the front surface. It looked good, particularly when stacked with the light mask and cover. Similarly to the EL side, I will need to glue up the indicator panel side to have it ready for mounting.

Text in place on frosted panel for indicator lights
I did a quick and loose stack of the parts just to see how it is going to look when everything is fully assembled. This is satisfactory to me and will meet the relaxed goals of a DSKY substitute, versus an exact replica.
Display panels, not yet glued together or fasted to the front cover

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