Engraving Infill tip#1: Cleaning infills
  • I finally solved how to do this properly so I figured I’d share:

    If you have ever infilled engravings with enamel paint you are probably aware of the fact that despite the paper protecting the panel, you can get some messy infills sometimes. The paint thinner for enamel paint works great but leaves a residue of what ever color you are using that is a pain in the ass to clean up (this is REALLY bad on the textured white btw)

    Solution: Isopropanol to the rescue!! (probably any alcohol would work excluding the type you drink). Simply wipe the extra paint away with a paper towel with the thinner and while still wet, wipe the thinner away with a paper towel moist with alcohol. The paint thinner mess will wipe away clean but the enamel is not alcohol soluble so the lettering wont be effected.


    Mess after infill

    Wipe down with paint thinner. You will never wipe away the residue with thinner, it will just keep getting thinned out

    Final Wipe with IPA

  • on nontextured plexi id recommend using special engraving colors – or just a nonscratching wax crayon. you then can easily wipe off the excess paint. the reason why mutable instruments clear cases are engraved without the upper protective foil is, that this sheet is blue and would melt into the plexi which would be ugly when not filled with paint. matte textured cases (ambika and probably anushri) will have a deeper engraving with both foils on.

  • the clear/transparent stuff looks fine without infill but matte stuff needs it. i haven’t used the crayon stuff but i like the enamel paint since its self leveling and i have zillions of choices for color and sheen. the only thing that i didnt like about it was the clean up and the above method solves it.

  • That stuff Frank used for the WASP programmer was good, has a thin layer over a brighter colour, when etched the brighter color shows. Downside being you have to be careful not to scratch the casing.

  • Yeah, the two layer stuff is tops for sure but really expensive around here..

  • its really expensive for the material and even more expensive for the fullsize engraving. most of the cost for the programmer kits is for the toppanel….

  • Well, you could paint some plexi. Would take a lot of coats though :)

  • Getting close to finishing up a sammichSID build so this advice is very timely. Thanks, altitude!

    P.S. As soon as that’s done, I’m nabbing some nice DIN connectors and am finally installing your Monotribe MIDI kit! :D

  • pic up.

    @bleo Those deltrons are the best. Make sure you get a square file and file in the notch at the top of the hole

  • I always used these to make infills:

    Works nice and easy.

  • You can get automotive touch up paint with a fine pen type nib.

  • I used acrylic white paint on my acrylic case and just wiped off the extra with a damp cloth , 2 coats and the inlays look nice .

    I washed the acrylic first in hot soapy water to make sure it was clean , then used a stencil paintbrush and Titanium White artist grade paint
  • Probably a messy idea. But I thought silicon sealant might work :) or tile grout lol.

  • I tried it with the edding on my sammichsid… i still have to figure out how to clean the mess….

  • I’m a big fan of these – work well with engraved aluminium and plastic.

  • I second the use of isopropyl alcohol to clean away the residue from filling in the laser engravings. I used water color based airbrush paint and even waited for the paint to fully dry before removing excess. Easy to mix custom colors as well, I used a toothpick to dab the paint into the engraved text and removed excess with folded paper towels and ear cotton swabs. Here are my results with my Anushri case face.

    1245 x 934 - 248K
  • i’m now using enamel colors too. i also bought thinner but i don’t need it.
    i just paint all over the engraving with a brush and make sure it’s everywhere. then wipe over it with a dry paper cloth (toilet paper).
    then just one wipe with isopropanol (paper cloth too) and everything’s clean.
    i haven’t painted structured surfaces though, only the normal stuff like YM, polivoks, 4PM, anushri

  • Some great tips in here – thanks.

    I’m looking at using some luminous, glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint for my shiny, new Anushri – has anyone else tried this?

  • Finally did my first infills recently – it worked out quite well, me thinks. Thanks to the hints here …

    I was using Tamiya acrylic paint for the white, Revell enamel paint for the yellow. Just because I had those lying around from “a former hobby”. To clean up any possible mess I can just recommend “Mr Color Thinner”, its japanese stuff made by Gunze, I guess? THE best cleaner/thinner I ever used. Removes EVERYTHING and does not hurt anything. I used it on many different surfaces, be it PE, PP, Acrylic, pre-painted-Steel or Aluminum, all sorts of “plastics”. It never made anything turn dull or sticky. Great to remove those nasty leftovers from pricetags, as well. I don’t know how it works, but it just works. Not the cheapest price per Milliliter, but totally worth it.

  • @janniz that’s a beauty. Hopefully my Turing is now on its way after a shipping problem.

  • Thanks! Have fun with it but be careful with the clock! This thing is picky! I tried to clock it with a Volca first and it wouldn’t like it … it took me some time to figure out that it just was a bad clock signal instead of bad soldering.

  • @janniz I’ve had that problem with a few things. That’s why I just got a Pro Modular Cloq module.

  • @janniz do you have a source for those washers? My modules are getting some rash.

  • You can find nylon washers for both M3 and M2.5 at Earthenvar, there are also lots of Ebay sellers etc. Lots of modular synth dealers have them too, look under accessories.

  • Yeah, look for “DIN 125 A Polyamid M3” on ebay or in your local Baumarkt/DIY-Store. They usually come in packs of 200 … But I heard they are only used by “the guys who socket ICs” ;)

  • I saw this guide : http://sugru.com/guides/how-to-replace-and-fix-worn-off-lettering-on-appliances-or-metal
    Might be worth a try to use Sugru.
    They even have a color mixing guide to get the right color.

  • BTW, while we’re mentioning modular rash, has anyone every found a UK source of washers suitable for 3.5mm jack sockets as used by Erthenvar (spec is 6mm ID/10mm OD nickel-plated), as shown here

    Standard M6 washers are nearly always 6mm ID/12mm OD and look HUGE and ugly on Eurorack sockets :(


  • hmm…

    laquer stick, enamel paint, or sugru?

    too many choices!

  • I used water soluble Schmincke Airbrush colors.

    It does´t matter what you choose. The most difficult task for me was to stop thinking and to start with my work! The rest was easy. :-)

  • its more that I didn’t want to pick something thats really finicky if I’m gonna do it on ponoko ordered parts, and mess it up and have to order another. Then realized I should just add a testing piece with several engraved parts in order to test. Didn’t think I’d have the room for it, but I do.

  • @janniz +1 for yellow slider LEDs in Turing Machine Voltages expander. I have those in my 2nd Turing Machine.


  • I’ve tried a lot of different paints since starting this thread and really, I cant find anything that works better than hobby enamel. Acrylic does not like to be “poured” into an engraving and shrinks and cracks if you are filling a large engraving. I used to use the enamel paint pens for a while but dont anymore, tiny brush and the bottle stuff works better (the pens have additional solvents so it takes more passes to get the same amount of paint in). The more you let it dry before cleaning, the better it will come out. I have also switched to a stronger solvent (“goof off”) to clean up

  • thanks for updating @altitude !

    will see how it goes.

    I’m a big “goof off” fan. Use it for all sorts of stuff. Very handy.

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