ron_swanson

Hello,

Anyone have any experience with Front Panel Express' digital printing service compared to their anodized / powder coating engraving servies? 

I've made a number of both anodized and powder coated with engraved panels with Front Panel Express with amazing results.   So, no issue here with their workmanship or quality.

I'm now trying to get another front panel for my current build that was heading north of $250 and I still wasn't done.   As such, I wanted to explore less expensive options which includes  their Digital printing service.

The panel is for a stereo compressor with a fair amount of holes, but when the engraving is added the panel  is proving to be cost prohibitive.  In reality, I just need a single background color with white identification markings and these markers could just be a simple white over print.   

My preference would to have a flood powder coat color with white silk screen printing, but that isn't an option as I undertand it from Front Panel Express.   The only options are anodized with a digital over print or a full panel digital print where I can choose whatever background color I can call out understanding that what ever color mix I choose for the background may not match exactly to what I see on my screen or on my test prints using a color printer.

Any one seen or used their digital services?    If so, what do you think of the quality compared to an anodized or powder coated product?

Cheers,
Greg


ruffrecords

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 12:22:54 PM »
For a single panel, powder coat plus silk screen will be at least as expensive as engraving.

Over the years I have had many engraved panels from Schaeffer and they have all been exceptional.

Last year, when I had a complex panel to design, I decided to try their digital print as it saves a huge cost and allows much more complex graphics to be used. I am pleased to say the quality is every bit as good as ever. The printing is very much like silk screening to feel - definitely raised, highly legible and available in many colours at no extra cost.

Cheers

Ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

ron_swanson

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 01:28:20 PM »
For a single panel, powder coat plus silk screen will be at least as expensive as engraving.

Over the years I have had many engraved panels from Schaeffer and they have all been exceptional.

Last year, when I had a complex panel to design, I decided to try their digital print as it saves a huge cost and allows much more complex graphics to be used. I am pleased to say the quality is every bit as good as ever. The printing is very much like silk screening to feel - definitely raised, highly legible and available in many colours at no extra cost.

Cheers

Ian

It's my understanding that Schaeffer is the same company as Front Panel Express here in the US, right?

Yes..  silk screening in small quantities is also not cost effective. 

Glad to hear you were happy with the digital printing process.  I'm going to go that way.


Thanks Ian!

Cheers, Greg

ruffrecords

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 06:38:15 PM »
It's my understanding that Schaeffer is the same company as Front Panel Express here in the US, right?

Cheers, Greg

Yes, I think FPE is a licensee of Schaeffer but, whatever the relationship, they provide the same product on their respective sides of the pond.

Cheers

ian
www.customtubeconsoles.com
https://mark3vtm.blogspot.co.uk/
www.eztubemixer.blogspot.co.uk


'The only people not making mistakes are the people doing nothing'

prd

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2020, 01:47:04 PM »
I have recently switched over to using the digital printing over the engraved. Saves a ton of money, especially if you like ticks marks for your pots.
Greg, I live in Oakland and work in SF so I could show you some samples if you're interested (I just received a new panel last week).

ron_swanson

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2020, 12:19:47 PM »
I have recently switched over to using the digital printing over the engraved. Saves a ton of money, especially if you like ticks marks for your pots.
Greg, I live in Oakland and work in SF so I could show you some samples if you're interested (I just received a new panel last week).

Hi prd,

Thanks for the reply. 

I've already submitted my panel for production that is scheduled for delivery next Monday, so while I appreciate your offer of taking a in person look-see,  I'll know for myself shortly. 

Cheers,
Greg

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 12:51:05 PM »
Hello

I use the digital print from schaeffer 2 or 3 years ago for about 20 fader panel (modular desk)
So far so good, especially for a section of the console where you put fingers all the time.
The print seem very strong.
This method allow in my use case to match perfectly the 40+ years old design (font/colour/lines) originally silk-screened on natural anodized alu.

Best
Zam

gar381

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2020, 11:56:30 PM »
Their digital printing service is excellent !!

I recently designed a front panel for a 9 band EQ and drew it up in photoshop.
This allowed me to use any colours and fonts that I liked which is a big improvement
over their FPE's engrave and fill process selections of colours and fonts. 
This saved me lots of $$$ !  The look is fabulous and should ware as well as silk
screening !! :)

GARY
RETIRED.....  from 51yrs in Show Biz

gar2520, gar1731,garAM10,gar918 DOAs at  http://capi-gear.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=71_72
NEW Sphere section  http://gar381interests.com/gar381interests.html

Rob Flinn

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 04:30:48 AM »
I was working at a place next to a print shop in London.   I struck up a conversation with the owner about printing front panels.   He said it was possible, but was best to do it as a multilayer print for longevity.  i.e print the same thing 2 or 3 times on top of the previous layer.    He also said that the UV cured prints are extremely resilient.     To prove it they have a large sticker maybe 2 or 3 feet by 4 feet on which they have printed a photograph.      This is stuck on the floor in front of one of their large printers where the operator would stand.   He told me it had been there for 2 or 3 years & it only showed slight signs of wear despite people standing on it.

That said, I never actually went ahead to get a panel printed there because my contract ended before I was ready to get a panel printed. 

Frank & nrgrecording offers a UV print service now as well as his cnc service, & he seems quite confident in it's durability.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 06:00:32 PM by Rob Flinn »
regards Rob

Rocinante

Re: Front Panel Express: Digital printed vs powder coated engraved
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2020, 09:36:25 PM »
FOX does pretty good work. I save Frank for special custom pieces FPD can't do.

If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.


 

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