[sdiy] PCB faceplate large hole creation?

Pete Hartman pete.hartman at gmail.com
Thu May 27 21:22:23 CEST 2021

On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 1:58 PM Tim Parkhurst via Synth-diy <
synth-diy at synth-diy.org> wrote:

> Has anybody tried using aluminum PCBs as panels? There's an informative
> thread about it here:
> https://modwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=180347&sid=cb70d7a755740e33b2aaee77ec6068e5
> And the manufacturer of choice seems to be PCBWay:
> https://www.pcbway.com/

I should probably try PCBWay before I give up entirely, but I tried this
with some aluminum PCB material at AllPCB and the results were not good.
Mounting holes were rough, but more importantly, slikscreen directly on the
raw aluminum panel did not work very well.   Not sure if I still have my
examples around or if I just chucked them.  Silver was what I was going
for, I suppose if I were to go with colored solder mask and silkscreen onto
that it would probably be OK.  At that point I'm not sure the extra cost
for aluminum is justified though; I've seen a lot of very nice FR4 panels.
My favorite was the one where the designer of an alternate panel for Rings
put the Lord of the Rings tree circled by the engraving of the one ring in
copper under the soldermask, so it's just raised a bit.  Looks really sharp.

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