I am looking into the initial design of a project I am working on as a hobby. I would like to use a development kit with an integrated LCD such as the 32F469I-DISCOVERY. I would like to include this screen flush mounted in a durable (read outdoor, non submersed) and professional looking faceplate.

I have access to a low power laser cutter or CNC machine but am unsure the best method to achieve a good looking product.

My initial thoughts are to use an aluminium face-plate and find thin (1mm?) acrylic stock that can be glued/bolted to the back of the face-plate as a window, with some kind of optical adhesive/fluid between the window and the LCD but this seems an overly fiddly and complicated process.

What suggestions to people have for a good method of taking an arbitrary LCD and panel mounting it in a robust and visually appealing manner.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This question is seriously off topic. At a push, ask on engineering SE with appropriate reframing of the question. Nevertheless your idea is reasonable - but for a more visually appealing approach, substitute aluminium altogether with tinted acrylic, and mask off non LCD areas on internal side of acrylic with screen printing for small runs, or a laser cut plastic sheet (or anything otherwise). The LCD section will be indistinguishable from the rest of the panel giving a modern Samsung-like look. \$\endgroup\$ – CL22 May 22 '17 at 8:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it appears to be about mechanical design rather than electrical engineering. \$\endgroup\$ – Dmitry Grigoryev May 23 '17 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it is relevant for the site as there are other questions around that deal with mounting of circuit boards which I don't see was that different. \$\endgroup\$ – Hugoagogo May 23 '17 at 21:55

A technique that I have used in commercial designs is to adhere an acrylic or polycarbonate thin film to the front of the panel, covering the entire panel. All graphics are printed on the back side of the film which is then covered with water-clear double sided 3M adhesive and attached to the panel. The adhesive can be die cut to leave larger windows for displays.

This yields a professional looking, waterproof panel and the color graphics are completely scratch proof.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ When you say thin film what kind of thickness are you referring to. \$\endgroup\$ – Hugoagogo May 22 '17 at 11:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends upon the application but generally 7 to 25 mil. Larger openings require stiffer (thicker) material to prevent sagging or punch through. Resistive touch screens require very thin material. \$\endgroup\$ – Glenn W9IQ May 22 '17 at 11:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW the trade term for this technique is second surface printing. \$\endgroup\$ – Glenn W9IQ May 22 '17 at 11:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Would you typically just have the screen pressed against the back of the polycarbonate or would you affix / couple it in some way \$\endgroup\$ – Hugoagogo May 22 '17 at 11:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you use a clear material (i.e. not diffused) then it can simply be pressed against it. If the display is large, you may want to consider adhering it but this makes maintenance more difficult as generally the panel and display must be replaced together. \$\endgroup\$ – Glenn W9IQ May 22 '17 at 12:21

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