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  • Creating templates of van panels, how do you make yours?

  • David Hammond

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Usually when a customer asks if we can produce magnetics to fit inside the panel, I decline, firstly the weight, and trying to get the things to fit inside the panel, and then cutting them to the correct shape/size.

    Trouble is, I didn’t deal with the enquiry, so we’re currently messing about trying to sort out a suitable template.

    I managed to get a paper template from the actual van, mark the deadlocks etc.

    We’ve then taken a photo of the template, with a 500mm rule for scale, opened it in illustrator, scaled it up, and traced the outline.

    The sides have been no issue, but the rear took numerous attempts, to get a match. We’ll still likely have to manually trim some parts, but it’s close enough that it’ll be manageable.

    Interested to know how others go about it, it’d be handy to get it refined, so we can plot some of the panel infills for the larger fleet work. :thumbsup:


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  • Iain Pearson

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    What van is it David ?

  • David Hammond

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    LWB ford transit custom, made it up now, but taken a while.

  • Hugh Potter

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    The last few sets i’ve done have been made using the impact outlines with a 20mm internal contour, they need the gap as they’re a nightmare to align if too tight. Occasionally they’ll need a little trim after test fitting but it works for us.

  • Gordon Smithard

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    Trouble with those vans is the panels aren’t flat, specially the back. I tried this 4 years ago on these vans and gave up in the end, got the sides right but couldn’t get the backs to fit due to the almost domed nature of those panels.
    The other thing to consider is sheer hassle of removing these and putting them back on again, if they get it wrong and one of them flies off on the motorway and maybe wraps itself round a motorcyclist, who’s at fault?

  • Chris Wool

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    yes as said the rear doors of a custom are not flat enough for magnetics got the t shirt

  • David Hammond

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Customer knows about the rear doors and will probably be split to fit.

    I always say we cant do that and explain why… mainly the fact they will struggle to get them to fit!

    I’m getting Wed on monday and flying to Mexico on honeymoon Wednesay so it’s my dads thing to sort 🙂

  • Robert Lambie

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    I can honestly say in the 29 years of doing this, I have created large magnetic panels for one customer and that one customer has renewed them each year or two for the past 15+ years. Other than him…

    I have not entertained a customer with cut to fit magnetic panels for just some of the reasons already mentioned.
    99/100 buy them as temporary adverts/branding to change as and when doing work or whatever. As we all know, storing the panels correct when not on the vehicle is a must. cleaning the vehicle panel before applying the panel is a must. then you have the alignment and positioning issues. next comes the blowing off for various reasons.

    do not get me wrong, we sell our fair share of magnetic signs. but the time and effort required to get made-to-fit vehicle panels just right is not worth the repercussion that come from the customer not getting it "just right". and they don’t care whos to blame when one blows off down the motorway.

    personally, I think 2ft x 3ft panels are as big as they should be sold "in one piece".
    If someone wants to pay me the extra for the time and effort and knows full well what can happen, then fair enough. But not something I see money in. Especially not these days when everyone wants things yesterday and pay near to nothing for it.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    November 1, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    Spot on Rob, and one reason we don’t really do it.

    Making an accurate template is time consuming, and rather frustrating.

  • Pete mitchell

    Member
    November 12, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    In the past I have made the paper template to start. Then I scribble across it with a couple of coloured markers, before scanning it in in sections. The scribble helps alignment in illustrator. The scanner means no perspective issues from the camera.

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