Laser-cut face-plate for Heating System

As I’ve learned while doing home automation, it’s important for the finished project to look good, especially if it’s in a location that can be seen. 🙂

So when I was building the home-heating controller (as described here),  I decided to finish it off with a laser-cut face-plate.

I had initially stuck a couple of sticky labels on it with hand-written text, but the family were not impressed. So, I asked for suggestions on the internet. Great Idea, I thought to myself, they’ll come up with something really clever. Well, one suggestion caught my eye (Thanks a lot, John), and I even did a mock up of it in the comments section of the article.

Last Thursday I was in my usual meetup on the local FabLab, and I decided to turn the mock up into a reality.

So I fired up my copy of Adobe Illustrator CS2 (the old, free one, it’s perfectly good for this kind of thing) and did up the design.

After a trial run with some 5mm MDF on the Trotec laser engraver/cutter, I cut the face-plate. I didn’t want to get this wrong, as the my local Woodies DIY charge €7.99 for each one. Thank’s to Ger Walsh’s expertise on the Laser, we got it perfect first time. It tool a couple of passes for the engraving, but we could inspect the result after each pass without moving the part.

Here’s the end result, after I coloured in the engraved sections with permanent marker, and cleaned of the excess with Isopropyl Alcohol:

Quite a bit more professional than the previous effort, which had been in place in my house for a month at this stage.

And here’s the face-plate in it’s final location, with the switches mounted, etc.

Even the family think it’s an improvement. 🙂

So I’m happy.

Oh, and the DIY heating system is working a treat. 🙂

 

 

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One Comment

  1. dar February 3, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    simply splendid, Prof D ! cheers

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