Amplified speakers plate amp project

First post - figured I would share my first real project that I am kind of proud of.

I am building some amplified speakers (I also design and build my own active electronics) and wanted a nice back plate that houses all the input/output/knobs and whatnot.

The plate itself is made of 5mm MDF and is coated with 3M vinyl (I know, I know…). It looks very real and (IMO) pretty professional.


I do have to ask… does anyone know of an easy way to print on flat surfaces? I am looking for a semi-permenant printing solution for parts such as this - all less than 24" x 24".

The laser cutter/engraver does a great job cutting out but… actually printing on vinyl is not very great. I basically have to burn through to the wood in order to get it dark enough and… then I am left with ridges from the engraving which I do NOT want.

Is there not some sort of somewhat affordable 24 by 24 inch inkjet that prints a semi-permenant ink on any reasonably flat surface?

Printers tend to be optimized for paper, so you’d venture deep into specialized hardware territory, far beyond the “Somewhat Affordable” sign, before finding anything suitable for four square feet of hardboard. :grin:

How about a sheet of two-layer acrylic, along the lines of Trolase, laminated to the back panel:{}

That would not leave a smooth front surface, but they also have a “Reverse” series intended for engraving on the back side to leave a smooth front surface:{}

If that works, then you can engrave the legends, drill the holes & slots, the cut the perimeter in one operation.

Bonus: I expect you could buy a lot of Trolase for the cost of a dedicated panel printer.