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Old 9th July 2014, 04:40 PM   #1
kouiky is offline kouiky  United States
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Default How To? LCD Screen Projected Through Plastic Face

I have an idea for an arduino project that uses an LCD readout and status updates, and this LCD readout is virtually invisible when the device is turned off. The LCD is projected through the face of the device. I see a lot of small startups and commercial products that are doing this. It would be neat to try it out on the DIY scale.

I'm wondering, in a practical manner how is this accomplished? Where does a guy find the materials or services to get these aesthetics results? I gather that it is a transparent tinted polymer or acrylic, but from there, figuring out the rest and sourcing it has me stumped. Here is an example of what I am referring to, with HK units with a hidden LCD readout.

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Last edited by kouiky; 9th July 2014 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 11th July 2014, 07:39 AM   #2
amc184 is offline amc184  New Zealand
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Looking at the pictures I'd think that these are using a VFD (vacuum fluorescent display), not an LCD. The overlay is probably tinted acrylic or something similar.

Many places sell laser cut tinted acrylic, such as ponoko, Noritake is a big supplier of VFDs, including character displays that are controlled exactly the same way as LCD character displays.
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Old 11th July 2014, 08:17 PM   #3
oshifis is offline oshifis  Hungary
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Withings Pulse O2 and similar gadgets use OLED display behind a matte black front. Very similar to what you are for.
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Old 13th July 2014, 04:43 PM   #4
kouiky is offline kouiky  United States
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Thank you for the replies. I already have the LCD screen and controller, and I'm not sure that I could find an affordable OLED display in the size/resolution that I plan to use, or how it could interface with the current controller board. I guess at this stage I'm wondering about people and companies that can cut/machine and shape (maybe top and bottom could be rounded with heat) tinted plastic and has experience making this type of thing, for a one-off project. I'm not looking for anything too complicated or imposdible complex. Basically a flat face with a single cutout for a control and rounded top and bottom edges. Thanks for any suggestions.

Last edited by kouiky; 13th July 2014 at 04:47 PM.
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