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How to add icons to my new center console from aluminum


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Hi all,

I am working on my Center console. My current one is made of wood:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e66c120ffc09b2b489c8720653f13a42.jpeg

 

It works fine but now I want to make it more fancy! My wishlist:

  • Optimize the layout: I am now creating a CAD model in solidworks.
  • Make it from aluminum
  • I like it in black
  • Add dashboard icons above the buttons for the fuel pump, fog light front/rear and fan so you know what is what (I know but I just like to add it!). See below an example of the icons I refer to:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.dd0deab12b390ec1c519262d90ea6e3c.jpeg

 

 

I know about several techniques to cut the material (laser/water cutting) but the difficulty are the icons:

  • Laser engraving: it only works if you leave it bear aluminum (so no black center console)
  • Mechanical engraving: that would be nice to first cut and paint the panel and then engrave the icons. But on the internet I have found that this technique is less detailed... Any experiences?
  • Printing: I don't know a lot about this technique.
  • Put stickers above the buttons and cover with clear coat

 

Any recommendations or other suggestions? I am also still thinking about adding a seperate gauge pod on my dashboard to create some extra room in my center console for cup holders. 

 

 

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1972 BMW 2002 (Verona)

 

 

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'59 Morris Minor, '67 Triumph TR4A, '68 Silver Shadow, '72 2002tii, '73 Jaguar E-Type,

'73 2002tii w/Alpina mods , '74 2002turbo, '85 Alfa Spider, '03 Lotus Elise

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One option is waterslide decals. You can get custom ones printed or you can print it yourself using waterslide decal paper (link at bottom of post). There are laser printer versions of the paper too. You can also get decals from @mo02 Here's one of their most recent posts in the classifieds. They do a bunch of different designs. 

 

 

WWW.HAYESPAPER.COM

Hayes Clear Inkjet Waterslide Decal Paper is ideal for all your craft projects. Instructions are included in the package. Paper size is A4 or A3 and comes in pack options of 20 sheets or 100 sheets. Hayes Inkjet white paper can be loaded into any Inkjet printer. Free shipping for...

 

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In a former life, I designed some custom electronic instruments for a client of mine.  I was always a fan of how older electronic instrument panels looked..  They were all done by engraving and then filling the letters/numbers/images with paint.  You will also see this technique used on military equipment and aircraft.  This method is very durable because you cannot rub off the engraving and paint (the paint is recessed in the engraving).

 

I found an engraver near me who not only did engraving for trophies, etc but also did electronic instrument panels.  He did my panels which included a logo and letters.  The detail and appearance was exceptional.  Much nicer than a silk screened panel or decals.  Cost was in the neighborhood of $50 per panel.  My panels were aluminum, though he did all the proofs in plastic.

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I rescued the pantograph engraver ("Hermes") at work when there was a purge.  But in the computer age, 

computer driven engravers are certainly the way to go.  If you like that look.  I do, but nothing

I own stays that static...

 

t

 

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"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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How about 3D print the icons in black and stick them on. That would be a nice touch, raised icons, understated. (Handy if you have any blind friends who drive your car ;))

I actually like this idea 🤔, if I had somewhere that needed icons it’s what I’d do.

Phil

1975 1602 with an M42 engine.

Project thread http://www.02forum.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=14853#p107713

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