Tony Holcomb and Helmut Mueller also have templates that they'll share directly with developers if you PM them - they look better designed than mine but require a larger size of card. My stuff has moved to http://gtoal.com/vectrex/DIY-Vectrex-Cartridge-Box-Kit/ because I had trouble uploading the final files to the FB file area.
Bill of Materials
silvered card 11x17 or larger
white card for insert (or something a little stiffer) 11x17 or larger
Krylon Crystal Clear
Krylon Easy Tack (very optional)
Masking tape (eg Lowes)
A3 vinyl cutter (or 12in x 24in vinyl cutter)
Before making and assembling the box, you might want to practice on the easier tray insert -
also it makes it easier to fold and glue the box if you have the tray inside to provide a little
extra solidity to push against when gluing the flaps.
Cut the file vectrex-tray.mtc and fold & glue it.
When I set this up I was using 11x17 card which was the largest size I could find at the time which
would fit both my printer and my vinyl cutter. Later I discovered that 12x18 paper is available.
The unfolded box just fits in 11x17 but the tuck-in flap needs to extend right to the edge of the
paper in the area that would be in the non-printable margin in most printers. Also cutting right to
the edge of the paper can sometimes be problematic, so we just don't cut right to the edge.
So the cut file I've made does not cut all the way around the box - there are two areas where you
need to release the shape from the enclosing card by cutting it away with scissors. I'll mark up
a photo to show exactly where in case it is not obvious.
The image is sized at 300dpi and should print without hassles caused by exceeding the printable area
into the margin (you must print with the image centered). You don't need to select borderless printing,
which isn't supported on all printers.
(The old version of Photoshop 5.5 that I bought many years ago is now available for download on the net
at https://winworldpc.com/product/adobe-photoshop/5x - printing the psd file from Photoshop
would be the most reliable way to print accurately)
Turn on 'registration marks' and 'corner crop marks' in the windows printer driver. Be sure to
set paper size to 11x17in portrait, and for paper type if there is nothing better that matches,
try 'other specialty paper' which *should* slow down the printing to a speed less likely to
smudge or have alignment problems.
Make sure the "SCORE/CUT LAYER" is off. It's not accurate and is only there as a visual guideline.
The PSD file contains 3 different versions of the central image. Make sure only one of them is
selected before printing.
Print the file tailgunner-box.psd centered, with 'other specialty paper' for slow careful print at 300dpi
When you first try this you might want to turn off the image to save ink, and print in draft mode -
it may take a few iterations around printing and cutting before you get everything perfectly aligned.
The card you print to assumes 11x17 inches. If using a different size you'll need to make small accomodations
You will cut using vectrex-box.mtc
Align your cutter's origin with right edge of the card, level with bottom alignment line.
When you cut, there will be an L-shaped alignment mark '|_' which should be as close as possible
to the right-hand edge of paper
There's a printed registration mark '---' on both the left and the right of the print, and that
should be aligned to the cutter's axis/zero point.
I designed the cut file for use with "Make The Cut". If you are using another application, you'll
need to convert the cut files to your format. I've included as many exported formats as I can but
you should expect to have to put in some effort to convert to your cutter format. Please feed
back any files you create and I'll add them to this archive.
The MTC file includes an alignment layer which you can use as a rough position check when you
first start cutting. It'll score central spine an extra time. Expect to do a few cuts to get the
position right while you're getting set up.
A common printing and cutting technique is to tack the material to the cutting mat. You probably
don't want to do that here. The design is such that it will cut OK as long as the near and far
edges are taped down. Tape near edge liberally (up to 1/2 in of overlap) and the far edge more
conservatively (eg 1/10 in)
Tape the printed paper over the path of any rollers that run over the print area. (when you print on
the silvered card - you'll skip this if practicing on cheap plain card)
Clean the rollers with lens wipes and let them dry.
The cut file has a few layers. They should all be turned off and then enabled one at a time -
so enable the scoring layer first and run the cutter on very low pressure.
Next, make the actual cuts - possibly in several passes with increasing pressure. Maybe a maximum
of 3 passes to preserve alignment throughout. 25 pressure @ 50 speed, 30 @ 100, and 45 @ 150 worked
for me. But these parameters all depend on your specific vinyl cutter and you'll have to work out
what's best for you by trial and error...
When it's done and removed from the vinyl cutter, cut the 4 places on the edge of the card where the
cut lines do not extend to edge... then remove the cut-off edging.
If this is a final box, spray the flat card with fixative and wait 12 hrs before folding.
Fold and glue. Not too much glue if that gets the card wet. Clear 'mucilage' might be better than the white school glue.
When assembled and tucked in, you might notice a very slight bowing of the front of the box - if so, you
can fix this by spraying the tuck-in flap *only* with a very light coating of easy-tack repositionable
spray, so if this is wanted, mask off the rest of the box exposing only the tuck in flap, and pass a
VERY LIGHT spray of repositionable Krylon Easy-Tack over it from a distance.
When you put the tray insert in the box, be careful not to have the tray stick to any wet glue on
Please do take a photo of your box and post it on our Facebook group!
And now that you've mastered building one from this design, edit the psd file and create a new
box for your own roms! You'll need the fonts in "Poppins.zip" which are an approximation to ITC Avant Garde (LT or Pro?) Demi, which is my guess as to the family used on the original boxes.