Recently I was looking into the use of perspex for some elements of the cab. I was considering perspex for the following:
– Marquee (2 pieces)
– Screen protection
– Control panel overlay
– Internal box for electrical wiring
– Cover for power supply
For the Marquee, screen and control panel overlay, I was quoted close to $300 by AB Plastics in Hallam. I didn’t end up bothering with quotes for the internal box and protector as I could see the final pricing moving past the $450 mark. This was for 4.5mm thick perspex, cut to some shapes, with one piece requiring a bend (the control panel). What got me the most was $170+ GST for the marquee panels. They are just there to hold the artwork in place.
(One of the things to keep in mind with perspex is it can get ‘waves’ along the edges if you screw it into place. The best method for holding perspex in place is with pressure. This can be eased somewhat by increasing the thickness of the perspex.)
Anyway, with the pricing in mind, I decided to look at some alternatives. Bunnings have various sized PVC sheets priced between $35 and $60. There are 3mm thick, so have much more bend in them (which is bad). For the control panel, I found I could get a proper Midway one that is used in Galaga cabs for around $45 (including shipping) from the US. So I decided to grab one of those and possibly ditch the perspex overlay idea.
After looking around for some other options, something wasn’t sitting right with me about the AB Plastics quote. Going over the break down again, it cost just $69 for the screen and control panel sheets, but $170 for the two marquee sheets. That doesn’t add up since there is less material in the two marquee sheets than the rest. Then it dawned on me – the figures he wrote down were incorrect. There was an extra zero added to the height of the marquee!! No wonder! So anyway, I will be heading back to get a quoted again on the marquee. I am still considering a perspex overlay for the control panel as I think it will offer great protection for the artwork. Hopefully the metal control panel will arrive before next Wednesday, so I can take it over to show exact measurements.
Another option to consider is glass, although this would only be for the screen sheet. PVC and Perspex is cheaper and will do the job just as well. The main consideration is thickness, and having seen both 4.5mm and 3mm, I think 4.5mm wins out.