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[personal profile] xiphmont

The control panel for my Chinese K40 laser cutter is very very Chinese. That's not a truism, condemnation, or praise. It is what it is.

To be fair, it works, and that's no backhanded compliment. But it has a number of functional and design sins my Western eye simply can't leave be.

First and foremost, it spreads precious little functionality over the entire available space. I need to add additional controls and an entire DSP panel, and there's simply no room to do so.

And that's not for the jam-packed functionality. Pretty much the entire 7x5 square in the middle is doing the job of a single knob or thumbwheel. But a single knob would not be 'cool', and so we have this monstrosity of an ampre control that's not even calibrated in amperes/milliampres (despite the legend).

It has three (three!) 'ON' switches wired in series. A rocker, a key switch, and a stop paddle. They all do the same thing.

The temperature gauge, at the top, is simply a little LCD-readout battery powered number. It works, and it's reasonably accurate. But it is hard to read. And it's smack in the middle of space that could be used more efficiently.

I will give this particular kudo: It uses sans-serif fonts, which gets a 'well done!' And there's no Comic Sans.

I won't even complain about the pastel lavender gradient, except I just did.

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