Cutting & engraving EFIS panels

Cutting & engraving EFIS panels - A Boeing 737-800 Homecockpit #30

The first task for my Solidis CNC was the EFIS panel. Here I could get some lessons about cutting and engraving. Especially the engraving was very exciting because when you want to engrave your panel after it is already cut out and painted, the engraving has to be exactly at the place it has to be. So I designed a touch plate which I cut out from aluminum to calculate the orientation of the panel to the axis of the CNC.

The panel was painted with RAL 7011, engraved and covered with some coats of clear varnish. I used 3mm acrylic glass from Plexiglas (white WN070 GT and clear 0A000 GT). The cut out was done with a 2mm single flute bit and the engraving with a 30° engraving tool. The cutting was done with 10mm/s and 0.4 mm of depth with each pass. The engraving depth was 0.2 mm.

Update: Because of the risk of breaking the 2mm cutting bit, I'm now using a 3mm bit for cutting operations and it is working good.

In the download package you will find the Estlcam files to cut out and engrave your own panel. As well as the dxf file to create your own tool pathes for your machine

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10 Responses to Cutting & engraving EFIS panels

  1. jackyang says:

    I really want to buy support, but I haven’t found the EFIS dual-axis encoder. Have you made its drawing? If so, I am willing to pay for support immediately.

  2. Andrew Prince says:

    Hi. Is there a followup video showing the rest of the EFIS build?

    • Mickey says:

      There will be a new video. This was my first panel and I tried out to make a panel. There will be an EFIS build video when the MIP is finished.

  3. Lars Nebel says:

    Hey Mickey, wie kann ich die .e10 Dateien verwenden? Ich kann sie mit keinem meiner Programme öffnen um sie zu gravieren und zu schneiden.

    • Mickey says:

      Die e10 Dateien werden von Estlcam unterstützt, mit dem ich auch meine CNC Fräse steuere.
      Ich muss hier vorsichtshalber erwähnen, dass dies mein erster Versuch eines Panels war. Inzwischen habe ich da einen deutlich verbesserten Workflow und Dateien. Da bin ich dann auch dazu übergegangen, die Dateien als DXF bereitzustellen, da diese viel flexibler eingesetzt werden können. In 2024 steht auch das EFIS und das MCP auf dem Plan. Dann wird es ein komplett funktionierendes Paket geben. Hier habe ich ja nur mal das Panel gemacht, ohne da auch wirklich Hardware einzubauen.

  4. Artur says:

    Hello Michael. What the spindle RPM is best for cutting and engraving? Thanks

    • Mickey says:

      This depends on the size and type of your tool. A smaller tool can be turned faster than a bigger tool because the truning speed on the outsides would be higher with a bigger tool. In my case I’m using a single flute 4mm bit with 5000 rpm for cutting and a 30° engraving tool with 12000 rpm.

  5. Valery says:

    Hello michey and a lot of courage I wait for the realization of the throttle and yoke boieng 737 good day

  6. David Greeley says:

    Hey Mickey, would it not be easier to engrave the buttons prior to cutting them out? If you painted the acyrilc area large enough for all the buttons you could position one panel and not have to zero out the Z axis for each button. Paint the panel, engrave it, cut it out, touch up the cut edges with paint.

    • Mickey says:

      I was afraid that it wouldn’t look good, when I had to paint the sides by hand after the engraving. You can try to make the engraving and then glue up the three parts of the button, mask the engraved top and then spray it. But I don’t know if this would result in a visible transition at the top edges. Maybe this is worth a try when I have to make much more buttons. The CDU could be one of those projects.

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