I've got a Cessna 172R sim that I built and I used 1/4" MDF for the instrument panel with manually cut holes with a hole saw. I'm using a 24" LCD to display the instruments. The panel looks okay... but not great. I am considering getting panels cut for me from MDF or maybe acrylic, if I can find a place that will do it within reasonable cost. My question is, what thickness should I go for? I know that I want to embed rotary encoders for the OBS knobs on the VOR gauges. I was thinking 1/2" MDF. What are your thoughts? I plan to use this DWG file from simkits for the cuts: http://www.simkits.com/downloads/documents/cessna.dwg