Casually mentioned my plans to the missus last night and I didn't get the response I was expecting so it's a green light Pretty much nailed down the list of games I'm going with initially and started testing a few out. Some initial teething problems as some roms seem to have files missing so I probably need to download some kind of parent roms for them. Also, up and down didn't seem to work within MAME though it does on the Emulationstation menus.
Regarding the build. I've seen several flat pack kits on ebay so will probably go for one of those as I really don't trust my ability to cut my own wood. In the long run I could see it costing me more in MDF than it would to just buy it pre-cut. At this point I think I need to consider power distribution, whether I need to dismantle my speakers to fit them in, routing USB outside the cabinet so I can plug in memory sticks, keyboard and mice for future expansion, lighting for the marque (Ikea kitchen cabinet lights look best) and then graphics.
MAde some rough as cad for the cabinet to test out some artwork im working on. Just one idea at the moment, and i think it might be a bit blue line overkill, but i want something a bit classier than splattering generic arcade characters all over it:
Top bit would be backlit, the rest would be stick on vinyl.
Can't print on vinyl buddy so a solvent printed jobby will cost elsewhere. They will only print black onto white that way so it will appear like cmyk dithering unless you go with spot colours ie pantone or equivalent which would be a bit better for the solid black but again expensive for a single run.
Can do the Sega though. Can do 1 or 2 mm solid blue on black recommended with no vanishing point.
Basically you can get some custom stickers printed to size but I can't do that. You'll need somewhere that will do counter cutting to custom shape and dark inks. No idea what that costs.
Edit: maybe it's possible to print opaque colours on black vinyl using some process I don't know about similar to how stuff is printed directly to plastics.
Makes sense, guess I should have asked you what your able to produce first. I can get proper stuff made up through work contacts (paying for it still of course) but I would rather through you as is better to support a fellow 'cadian.
If I get the rest done elsewhere, would you be able to produce the marquee strip at least? It'll just be a printed graphic that'll be back-lit, so I'd imagine a sticker on the right material would work.
I may just do this all black you know, I don't think I'd be happy with any graphics no matey how good I make them (these were a rough first stab,I can do way better than that).
Basically what I had in mind that's suitable for the cut vinyl process similar to tolex on amps or really old school texture on arcade units was matt black or some texture effect eg carbon fibre (usually used to wrap cars) and then have separate coloured layers.
Exactly the same thing you see on signs/vans. If you look closely they are made up thin layers. The advantage of this is:
Waterproof Scratch resistant Uv resistance Solid colour (no process pattern or pooling or dithering). Rated 5 to 10 years depending on the grade. No set up fees / cost associated with one off.
It's literally layers of really strong permanent adhesive Pvc, about 70 nanometers. I'll add pictures.
I can also do fluorescents, foils, reflective and glow in the dark.
That's been on there for years now with no degradation even between car trips to LAN parties.
50+ 5 star reviews so far.
So yeah, think about the graphics and your options. Personally I dig the flat colours and physically sharp, solid colours, but that's my day to day work as a vector artist.
You could go mental with something like this and get laser cut opal acrylic and light it from behind with led strip, but I use a guy for that (2 actually, the acrylic and the led).
I really should be doing stuff like this myself. I really want to get laser cutter or 3d printer in next 3 to 5 years, is the plan anyway! I want to develop my own range of light boxes and cover up jobbies for console/controller mods.