Dear Karl and fellow cockpit builders,
I would like to share with you an alternative technique for "labeling" handles and knobs.
It is possible to use a special "engraver filler", wich is a cheap wax marker used to color etchings and engravings by filling them with a wax-like substance.
You need an engraver filler like one of these:
https://www.markingpendepot.com/Markal-f-paint-markers.aspx (actual non-permanent wax)
https://www.edding.com/products/edding-950-industry-painter/ (permanent wax-like marker)
I used the Edding Filler available here in Italy through amazon/ebay.
For best results the engraved text should be 0.6-0.8mm deep and 0.5-1mm thick.
The process is very easy:
- Carefully sand the surfaces of the part using sandpaper&water. You want to have fairly smooth finish on flat surfaces were the text lies, otherwise the wax marker will highlight crevices and 3d-print layers.
- you can use use masking tape to protect the areas far from the text to be marked
- Wipe the tip of the engraver filler across the part, so to completely fill the engraved text using with the wax.
- wipe off the excess of filler on the surface using a paper towel (remove the masking tape if you used it). If you are using a non-permanent marker you've finished. Otherways you need to complete an additional step:
- let the wax dry for a couple of hours then sand the surface with a fine grit sandpaper in order to achieve a clean finish.
I've tested the process with my 3d printed handles using Edding 950 markers, pls see the pics (the last one is from my actual cheapo saitek-based TQ). The result is permanent and quite satisfying:
Credits to these guys for the original idea: https://markforged.com/resources/blog/engraver-filler-labeling