something a little different than spraypaint
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor kelsey7k's Avatar
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    Wink something a little different than spraypaint

    i scanned images of a graphic novel called "Channel Zero" by Brian Wood and used photoshop to create collages for the top and bottom. printed them and adhered them to the backs of the acrylic pieces using spray adhesive (3M Super 77). cut around all the edges with an exacto and put it together

    i knew the front design would be mostly unintelligible, due to the buttons, so i just made it busy and random for aesthetic. and then made the bottom more cohesive...

    oh, and the pics make the white parts appear yellowed...that's just my bad photography.

    ready to get this bad boy firing some sounds











    Last edited by kelsey7k; 01-11-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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  2. #2
    Tech Mentor kelsey7k's Avatar
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    In case anyone wants to try something similar, here was my process. This worked for me and I'm happy with the way it turned out, but there definitely may be better techniques or tweaks to make it better...

    The Design

    The MidiFighter face and bottom plate are 5.75"X5.75" squares. So i printed my design on regular printer paper, right in the middle, as a 6"X6" square to allow for overlap on each side. You pretty much only have one shot when laying the adhesive covered plate on the printout, so i would recommend printing the design with a little more over-hang...6.5X6.5 or so.

    Spray Station and Graphic Station

    I set up two stations. One to spray the adhesive, and another 'clean' area where the graphic was waiting face up so I could just plop the sprayed acrylic onto it. This is because when you spray the acrylic there is going to be over spray and you don't want adhesive getting anywhere except the underside of the acrylic. Putting the printout where there is wet over spray risks getting everything mucked up.

    Spraying Adhesive

    Just as if you were spray painting, make sure that the acrylic has the screw bevels facing down on the table...on clean, dry newspaper or something similar (when you do the second one, put down new paper...although the adhesive can be cleaned off with acetone, it isn't fun, so avoid getting it on the 'clean' side as much as possible). Spray the adhesive back and forth, going past the edges to get an even coat. I put a pretty heavy coat on it, which made it pretty cloudy. Once the adhesive is sprayed, the instructions say you have about 15 to 30 seconds to adhere for the best results...

    Applying the Graphic

    Pick up the sprayed acrylic by the edges, move to the graphic station, and rotate it, wet side down. Carefully align it to your design and press it down (remember, you only get one shot at the alignment). It won't look pretty at this point...there needs to be a lot of pressure pushing the paper into the adhesive to sit as closely and evenly as possible to the acrylic. I did this by quickly turning the acrylic over, which now has the printout stuck to it and now it's paper side up. The lid of the spray adhesive I used is rounded and sort of medium soft plastic...I used it to rub the paper firmly against the acrylic. I did it in every direction possible, trying to get every millimeter pushed down. This is what gives it the best, evenly finished look. The adhesive dries quickly so do it fast...but make sure not to tear the paper (honestly, the adhesive bonds so firmly to the paper that it seemed it would be hard to tear). I allowed about 30 mins to dry before I started cutting the excess.

    (Note: If your top plate design is directional, you'll need to make sure you are placing the LED holes in the proper place. So if your design is facing you, with the bottom nearest you and the top furthest away, the top plate should be wet side down, with the LED holes to the upper right of each button hole.)

    Cutting The Excess

    I used an Xacto craft knife to cut along the edges, with the paper side down, using the acrylic as a guide. I did my best to cut right against the acrylic down the sides and around the outside corners, since those will be visible edges. It wasn't too hard to be accurate, just go slow. The button holes were also pretty easy just cut along the edges...perfection for these is less critical since the button is going in there. The screw and LED holes were a little tricky. I did these from the paper side. I would just poke an "X" using the tip of the knife, then carefully carve around the edges of the hole to get the pieces out. I was afraid of causing tears that would be visible. But again, the adhesive seemed to have made such a strong bond between the paper and acrylic, it withstood me cutting right against the edge of the hole.

    Done!

    Now just assemble the MidiFighter in the standard fashion.

    Info About the Adhesive

    I did multiple tests using clear CD jewel case lids to see what looked the best. First off, I tried what I had around...rubber cement and also made some wheat paste. Both were disastrous, messy, finish wasn't great, and they were easily peeled away after drying. But they taught me some things I needed to look for. The adhesive had to bond to paper without soaking in too much. Soaking in dulls the color. In my case it made the bright white of the design appear gray. And it had to adhere well to non-porous acrylic. I also decided I wanted something that was easy to coat evenly, without danger of getting it on the 'clean' side. Web searches for bonding charts led me to craft adhesive sprays. So I went to the local art supply store and picked up Elmer's Craft adhesive spray and 3M Super 77 (3M has a bunch of different adhesive sprays, but judging by the info online, 77 was the best for putting paper to 'plastic'). I did the CD case test with both of them and the 3M simply looked better. The Elmer's spray did the job of adhering, but despite using my smoothing technique, the finish looked really spotty. You could see build ups of shiny adhesive, and areas where the black parts of the design were a different color because it wasn't fully against the plastic. You can see these same imperfections with my finished fighter using the 3M, but only under super close examination...from 6 inches away, it looks exactly as I wanted. You could see the problems with the Elmer's spray from across the room, lol. You might find something better, but at least you have the benefit what I've already tried.

    (Apologies for the huge wall of text!)
    Last edited by kelsey7k; 01-11-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Real fucking cool
    Nice overall design

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor kelsey7k's Avatar
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    thanks most of that credit goes to Brian Wood though. his art is dope.
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  5. #5
    DJTT Super Moderator midifidler's Avatar
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    That looks well dope bro!

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard doc country's Avatar
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    Big ups! this joint is nice...

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor kelsey7k's Avatar
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    glad you guys like it

    here are the actual collage files since my photography is sketchy...and without the button interruption
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  8. #8

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    immense! makes me rethink spraying my midi fighter when it arrives!

  9. #9
    Tech Convert
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    yeah sick sick sick! great idea!

    you print on regular paper?

  10. #10
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    So just regular paper and some spray adhesive stuff? That looks very artistic, you would think you bought it like that. Is the paper on nice and firm??
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