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2.x Skins

<< 2.x Laser

The skins are the outside surface of the enclosure. I wanted a durable, professional looking material that was still reasonably priced at low quantities and fabricatable with tools a DIY CNC'er would have access to. I also wanted it somewhat laser safe, so it would be less likes to start a fire from a errant beam than wood.

The material chosen was Alupanel from Multipanel UK. It is a 3mm thick panel with a polyethylene core clad with 3mm thick aluminum. The panels are factory painted with one side typically a gloss finish and the other matt finish. It is available in many colors with Ultra Marine Blue 5002 being the official 2.x color. I can provide other colors, but there will be a $50 premium and longer lead time.

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The skins will easily damage if you drop them on a corner. I therefore use a special packing crate. The crate has a wooden frame and foam cushioning on the edges. It is only about 1” thick. It always ships separately and I cannot add other things to the crate. I prefer not to do international shipments because of the cost and extra work of having to make a special trip to the post office.

Packing Procedure (for process control)

All layers of the stack should be taped to lower layers to prevent sliding in shipment

  • Layer 1
    • Bottom Skin
  • Layer 2
    • Window
  • Layer 3
    • Front Skin (Align bottom edge with lower edge of stack to protect small details on top edge)
    • Top Rear Skin (Align with top edge of stack)
    • Top Left Trim (Centered between other pices)
  • Layer 4
    • Back Skin (Align top of skin with upper edge of stack)
    • Top Right (Below back skin)
  • Layer 5
    • Two Sides (Orient vertically and center)
    • DSP Mounting Insert (optional: between sides)

  • Wrap in 3-4 layers of heavy plastic. Tape plastic closed.
  • Cut (2) 27” x 42.5” pieces of cardboard.
  • Frame (1) cardboard piece with 3/4” square wood. Glue and staple in place.
  • Place wrapped stack of skins into the center of the frame.
  • Place 3/4” square Styrofoam strips around entire perimeter between skins and frame.
  • Glue and staple other cardboard piece in place.
  • Allow glue to dry.
  • Wrap all edges in reinforced tape.
  • Mark package as fragile on both sides.

Unpacking and cleanup

Remove the skins from the crate. Do not use a knife because you could scratch the skins. Be careful not to drop any on a corner. The skins have a protective plastic sheet on both sides. They will look very rough and dirty until the plastic is removed. The chips from cutting are very staticy and tend to stick to everything, so there will probably a bunch of those too.

The skins cut easily with a CNC router, but the cut quality of the edge is hard to control. The material is not intended for use where a cut edge is expose, but the laser does. The aluminum edge is often sharp and often leaves a rough edge. Since the aluminum contrasts with the blue color, it often looks a little bad. There are several ways to clean it up to look a lot better.

Usually the problem is the metal surface is slightly raised up. My favorite way is to try to fold that raised burr over so it looks blue again. I usually just do it with my finger nail or a hard plastic material like a pen or tool handle. Move along the edge at an angle that would fold over the edge. Practice on an edge that is less visible. Final touch up with a permanent marker helps too.

2x/skins.txt · Last modified: 2011/11/03 14:42 by bdring