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Wilba MBSeq V4 Front Panel Spacer Brackets


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A couple of days before the midiphy SEQ was announced here I started working on building my Wilba panel sequencer unaware that things were about to change and get a lot cooler.  I had prototyped an acrylic front panel on an epilog laser cutter and was thinking about ways to attach the panel to the control board.  I considered using metal spacers but have never really had luck with gluing metal to acrylic, so I though maybe use abs and use the Makerbot to print some spacers?  In the past few days I've whipped up these spacers and they have turned out really nice.  I was able to build them so they support the LCDs at the perfect depth to the panel.  My next panel will probably not even have holes for the LCDs, I'll just outline the windows with an engraving.

I still need to build a bracket for around the main encoder, but there are a lot of little parts that I need to avoid around there so I left it as the last thing to do. 

I wanted to share the files for everyone because they seem to be quite useful so far.

The spacers are 1/4" depth and I use a 1/4" Acrylic panel.  I'll post a few more pictures later today.


wilba fp brackets.pdf

mbseq bracket L.stl

mbseq bracket M.stl

mbseq bracket R.stl

mbseq bracket M2.stl

Edited by Narwhal
Added encoder bracket M2
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The brackets will be glued to the panel.

The next panel test is going to be clear acrylic with a 1/16” black acrylic laminate glued on top.  I will attempt to engrave through just the black top piece to expose the clear underneath.  I’m hoping that I can put LEDs in that will allow the lettering to glow a bit, but my primary concern is for readability.

I may do a test with a white panel with black laminate on top if clear and black fails.

Edited by Narwhal
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It looks like some of the socketed chips are sitting high enough that they are preventing the panel from touching all surfaces of the brackets.  It looks like the chips are sitting about 1/16th too high.  I can easily print some brackets a little taller, but since I'm laminating a 1/16 panel on top that would reduce the amount of available space for the buttons to raise up just proud of the face just enough to allow being pressed.

So that leaves either unsocketing the chips to lower them, or mill out shallow pockets in the panel so that the panel can sit flat on the brackets.  I  think I'm going to go with using the laser cutter to create engraved pockets for the chips, that seems pretty quick and easily repeatable.  Since I can't access the laser cutter today I may try printing some taller brackets and see where it stands.

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Success!  Yes the buttons are low but still quite usable.  If the control panel did not have any chips, or all of the chips were soldered in, then I could easily make the brackets thinner and everything would be wonderful.  It's something I'm considering for sure.

The brackets glued beautifully to the back of the panel and are held on quite strong by the glue.  This results in no screw holes at all on the front panel except for the rack mounting holes, and those don't count!

While I was cutting and engraving over the weekend, another workshop member suggested using LaserBits Pro Color Fill to fill the engravings and he allowed me to use a bit of what he had sitting around.  It turned out really great and was super easy to use.  I think I engraved all of the details about 4 times on the laser cutter just to make sure they were cut deep enough that the filler would be easy to apply and hold well.

Here are the pictures.






Edited by Narwhal
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Very nicely done, thank you!

If you want, you could add the build file to the TPD Wiki page - but only if you want, no obligation whatsoever - I just like the idea!

Best, ilmenator

edit: or, I could also do that, if you don't mind?

Edited by ilmenator
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Thanks for cheering me on.  That sounds like a good plan.  I'm just about done with the last iteration of this bracket because the one pictured above actually touches the top of one of the chips.  I also wanted to add consistent black surrounds around digit displays and nudge the BLM holes down 1.5mm.  I'll add them to the wiki when I'm on my final iteration and they are all tested.

Next up today is another main panel bracket to give a little more support around the buttons.  I'll print 4 of these and that will cover all of the possible screw holes on the main panel.


After that I'll build a similar bracket for BLM4x16 board.

Also all the color fills of the rainbow arrived today along with some CerMark so I can mark up aluminum with the laser.



Edited by Narwhal
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After 3 days of failure after failure I finally have a set of brackets for the 4x16 BLM board that I think will work well.  They are intended to be glued to a 1/8" front panel.  I'm planning on using 1/16 clear with 1/16 black laminated on top.  This will allow me to use the clear as windows above the displays and still maintain the exact same black appearance as the MBSeq panel.


I started, in usual fashion, going as big and bold as I possibly could.  But with all the button and component to account for, it took careful planning of all the board based obstacles that needed to be avoided.


After printing up that giant rectangular bracket, I found that the scaling of the buttons from the DXF were ever so slightly off and the bracket did not allow any slack to allow the buttons to be pressed.  A lot of buttons worked, but there were quite a few that got jammed on the bracket.  After trying many failed adjustments, I scaled back the design to just building supports where there were sets of screw holes and then only allowing the bracket to expand into spaces where there were no components and no button key cap.


After about 3 iterations on each bracket I came up with the designs above that fit perfectly between the buttons, avoid all the lower components, and provide sufficiently large surface to glue at least 4 points to the front panel.

This week I will test cut some panels.


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I'm pretty sure it's v2.  I just bought it from you in July.  I was making use of the dxf files to load the switch positions into sketchup.  If you know of anything updated with those files could you share that with me?  I'm about to cut the panels this week.  Even if you have hole position measurements that could help immensely in importing that dxf at the correct scale.

This week I start classes to use a Haas CNC, so a few more avenues of making things are going to open.


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Thank you.  Those measurements were spot on to what I have. Here's the BLM panel.

First there is the clear layer, with engraving around the display windows to help in alignment.


Then there is the black layer over top with all the holes.  This lets the clear layer underneath perform as an LCD window.


Looks like I need to work on a 1/4 backing piece that gives the whole structure support

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