madbeanpedals::forum

General => Open Discussion => Topic started by: jimmybjj on December 04, 2013, 12:24:19 PM

Title: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: jimmybjj on December 04, 2013, 12:24:19 PM
I know your vote will depend on the cost, assume for the sake of the poll the cost will be in your desired price range.

At this stage it is only a idea (one that is in serious consideration) because of start cost involved and the xfactor of how much demand there might be.

If you have any comments please write them below. Tell me if you think it's a good idea or if I'm a complete idiot. How much you would pay for the service. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

My intentions would be to offer my own powdercoated enclosure as well as offer the etching service alone.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: DutchMF on December 04, 2013, 12:29:39 PM
Hey Jim,

Great idea! I think I would only use this service occasionally, but thats mainly because of the time/costs that are involved with shipping overseas. If I were to build a pedal that would most likely become a mainstay on my board, then I most certainly would........

Paul
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: croquet hoop on December 04, 2013, 12:34:09 PM
Not voted yet; I would have chosen "on occasion" (say, one or two per month), but that would also depend on the shipping cost (I live in Europe).

If you also offer powdercoated enclosures, and if the price of the enclosures + shipping (without the price of engraving) is competitive with PPP, yeah, I would certainly choose you over them.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: haveyouseenhim on December 04, 2013, 12:49:11 PM
That would be awesome. I was having my enclosures done locally, but they thought it would be a good idea to change the price on me from $5 to $25 without warning. And they didn't tell me until after they did an enclosure. Needless to say I just walked out without paying. >:(
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: jimmybjj on December 04, 2013, 01:24:25 PM
My enclosure prices and powdercoating would be on par or better than PPP. I won't have the selection of enclosures, just the standard sizes.

International shipping is still something I have to figure out.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: Droogie on December 04, 2013, 01:37:45 PM
Since I'm not set up to do much in the way of finishing boxes, this would be awesome. I'm totally ignorant as to how involved etching enclosures is though so I don't quite know how to price it out.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: pk1802 on December 04, 2013, 02:23:28 PM
If you had various color options, common box sizes, and non-etched enclosure pricing comperable to PPP or Mammoth, I would be in to order some.

The main question I have is, what of us guys who suck at designing graphics? If you could supply some templates we could work with, I feel that would take most of the guess work out of it for me. I can handle copy and pasting into a template.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: pickdropper on December 04, 2013, 02:55:40 PM
I think this is a great idea.  There would be a bit of a learning curve for purchasers in figuring out what would look good as an etch and what wouldn't, but I think a guide could be put together to help people figure that out.  I'd probably be willing to help, depending on my available free time.

I think the real benefit is offering enclosure + powder coating pricing.  That will bring it down to the cost of just the engraving instead of people having to pay to send in their box.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: selfdestroyer on December 04, 2013, 02:56:43 PM
I'm in the "on occasion" category. Price is obviously a factor. I really like that look but I would not do it for every pedal at this point.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: jubal81 on December 04, 2013, 02:57:46 PM
I think this is a great idea.  There would be a bit of a learning curve for purchasers in figuring out what would look good as an etch and what wouldn't, but I think a guide could be put together to help people figure that out.  I'd probably be willing to help, depending on my available free time.

I think the real benefit is offering enclosure + powder coating pricing.  That will bring it down to the cost of just the engraving instead of people having to pay to send in their box.

I agree. It'd be the double (triple?) shipping that would hurt. I'd love to see this work.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: jimmybjj on December 04, 2013, 03:37:01 PM
If you had various color options, common box sizes, and non-etched enclosure pricing comperable to PPP or Mammoth, I would be in to order some.

The main question I have is, what of us guys who suck at designing graphics? If you could supply some templates we could work with, I feel that would take most of the guess work out of it for me. I can handle copy and pasting into a template.

I think a basic template would be a requirement. I could probably do some basic formatted designs for people that just wanted a ready to go enclosure. As far as actual design, that is something i cannot help out with, my artistic skills are limited and surely aren't broad enough to help others.

I think this is a great idea.  There would be a bit of a learning curve for purchasers in figuring out what would look good as an etch and what wouldn't, but I think a guide could be put together to help people figure that out.  I'd probably be willing to help, depending on my available free time.

That would be awesome.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: gtr2 on December 04, 2013, 04:06:43 PM
While I feel it would be a great service to the community, you'd need to figure out if the potential headaches outweigh the profitability.  ;)

Josh
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: patrickbrose on December 04, 2013, 04:21:00 PM
Even just a few layouts (2 knob, 3 knob, 4 knob 125B) where we could add text to text boxes for each knob and then a place to put a graphic in the open space on the top. An Adobe file (fill in the blank style would be great). Simply type in your text, choose a font, drag and drop a graphic and then email the file to you. That would be sweet. As for cost, If it is as easy as taking a file and sending to the engraver, then charge $10 on top of the cost of the enclosure.
So:
125B Powdercoated: $11 (cost for most expensive option at mammoth)
Engraving: $10
Shipping: $4
Call it $25 per box shipped. I could see that. Much more and it would be too costly for me.
-P
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: gordo on December 04, 2013, 09:19:11 PM
I'm in.  I'd love to have access to a Versa lazer but this would be a second best option. 
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: culturejam on December 04, 2013, 10:38:25 PM
If you had some basic layouts ready to go so that people could just indicate what label they want on each control and maybe a pedal name, that would work. Getting really custom could be a nightmare. There is reason that screenprinters and promotional items companies charge a setup fee (it's a headache dealing with people who know nothing about graphic design and file formats).

Maybe if you targeted some layouts to match Brian's existing products, that would give some traction.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: jkokura on December 05, 2013, 11:36:21 AM
There's the possibility too that you'd end up with people who make orders and then aren't satisfied. Consider what sort of policies you'd have in place for 'disgruntled' or 'dissatisfied' people?

Jacob
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: rullywowr on December 05, 2013, 11:58:10 AM
Laser etching certainly is a lot of trial and error, and that can get expensive.  There are also many picky customers out there so it would be very inconvenient to etch something and they say they don't want it.   I know this first hand from trying to do various projects here at work with the laser here.

The other variable is that most laser etchers (30w) are not strong enough to mark metal by themselves.  They can only remove paint or other material on the surface.  This can often result in exposing the metal below the surface which has been discolored or is just not shiny.  Depends a lot on how the box was prepped before coating.  There are special marking tapes and surface coatings you can apply first before you etch, but I have had mixed results with these (http://www.rowmark.com/ (http://www.rowmark.com/)).

You may be able to dip your toe in the water by doing things such as cutting acrylic light plates, or even etching special "laser adhesive" metal labels for people for knob marking.  The shipping and cost to get into those would be a lot lower than powdercoated enclosures.  I like your idea, you just want to think through the feasibility and all the things that can "be a challenge."
:) 
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: electrosonic on December 05, 2013, 12:21:32 PM
Why not etch metal plates to fit over boxes - held down by pot and  switch nuts. Have a couple of standard Hammond sizes - and templates that people can use. The shipping would be much cheaper.

This is the basic idea ( I found some metal plates in a recycling store that are about the right size for a 1590BB)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30050282/LDR%20Meter%20top.jpg)

Andrew.

Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: pickdropper on December 05, 2013, 12:28:37 PM
Laser etching certainly is a lot of trial and error, and that can get expensive.  There are also many picky customers out there so it would be very inconvenient to etch something and they say they don't want it.   I know this first hand from trying to do various projects here at work with the laser here.

The other variable is that most laser etchers (30w) are not strong enough to mark metal by themselves.  They can only remove paint or other material on the surface.  This can often result in exposing the metal below the surface which has been discolored or is just not shiny.  Depends a lot on how the box was prepped before coating.  There are special marking tapes and surface coatings you can apply first before you etch, but I have had mixed results with these (http://www.rowmark.com/ (http://www.rowmark.com/)).

You may be able to dip your toe in the water by doing things such as cutting acrylic light plates, or even etching special "laser adhesive" metal labels for people for knob marking.  The shipping and cost to get into those would be a lot lower than powdercoated enclosures.  I like your idea, you just want to think through the feasibility and all the things that can "be a challenge."
:)

These are all valid points.  Managing expectations will be the most important, and possibly most difficult part, of offering laser etching services.  Photos of good and bad colors to etch would be a good start.

But the best thing may be to simply not offer colors that don't etch well.  Since he is doing the powder coating, this is controllable.  People may lament the lack of light color options, but it will likely save headaches.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: pickdropper on December 05, 2013, 12:48:02 PM
Why not etch metal plates to fit over boxes - held down by pot and  switch nuts. Have a couple of standard Hammond sizes - and templates that people can use. The shipping would be much cheaper.

This is the basic idea ( I found some metal plates in a recycling store that are about the right size for a 1590BB)

(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30050282/LDR%20Meter%20top.jpg)

Andrew.

This definitely looks cool, but you can't do it with the CO2 lasers that Jim is looking at.  To do that with a laser, you need a YAG or Fiber laser, which are significantly more expensive.
Title: Re: Considering offering laser etching service for enclosures, what say you?
Post by: aballen on December 07, 2013, 02:49:25 PM
I would definitely be interested in this.  I'm actually working on a diy laser engraver myself, with a small laser, I'm just hoping I can etch through paint.  If it all works, I may scale up a little.

I think you would need to provide a template for each enclosure with a pre-sised border that you know will fit.  For me that means downloading your template, adding my graphics, and mailing my copy back in for an order.  It should be fairly easy to get repeatable results that way while reducing costly errors.  I can always remove the border, but I know I should stay within the lines.

Then you need some way of making sure there was no scaling of the image before you try to etch.