Looking for a cheap wall display panel

I’m looking for a wall display panel like the ones used for home automation or hvac systems, preferably with an e-ink display, and something I can drive from a microcontroller. ie. not HDMI.
I’ve looked in the usual places like bangood and AliExpress but can’t find anything. This will be used in commercial installations so I can’t just 3d print or laser cut something as it would look too much like a prototype.
I could try mounting a display in a wall blanking plate, but I’m not convinced that will look any better!

How much work are you willing to put into the hardware, vs buying off-the-shelf?

If this is for making your own custom design, contact Good Display at https://www.good-display.com/ - I have their ~3" display and it’s pretty good for indoor use. I had to give up on it, though, because the client wanted their product to also work outdoors. The epaper displays don’t handle sunlight well.

The stuff is fairly easy to operate – just an SPI interface plus some power supply stuff.

You can also get them pre-mounted by looking for Waveshare on Amazon. I just discovered that there is now a multi-color version! https://www.amazon.com/5-65inch-Display-Module-Compatible-Raspberry/dp/B08J7GGRYF

Well, you can always 3D print to prototype and then send the design off to a CNC shop to get milled in metal, or you can fill-primer, sand, and paint 3D printed pieces to make it look nice.

There also are “HMI” control panels explicitly sold for the PLC market. One client of mine was planning on using this: https://velocio.net/hmi/ – I don’t have any hands-on experience with it, though.

not HDMI

For anything bigger than about 8"/200mm, you have 2 choices - HDMI and LVDS. Honestly, HDMI is easier and gives you a lot of choices that fit into “doesn’t look home built” category. Consider a RaspPi for your project.

There are micros that talk LVDS and laptop displays have the flat ribbon connector. You can find boards that support LVDS but they tend to be expensive. You might have to develop your own board.

Another option is VGA - some HDMI displays also have a connector for it. Some micros can do it - the new(ish) Pico has a VGA demo. Some limitations exist. Frankly, it’s like a talking dog - notable in that it talks at all.

Looping back to the RasPi, this is your best best for a video centric project that looks professional. HDMI gives you 10X more choices than everything else combined. Plus there is a huge amount of software available.

Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for.

Yes, I’m coming to this conclusion too. Writing a user interface for a Pi is way simpler than trying to do something flexible in firmware. I was trying to avoid the hassle/security issues of using a full linux system but I think the pros outweigh the cons. Surprisingly finding a decent wall mount kit for the official 7" touchscreen is rather difficult. They are either way overpriced or unavailable.

So for simple things I’ll just use a 4" e-ink display with text based output, as I can hack that into my current system. For more complicated/classy things I’ll use a RPI and touchscreen.

Something to consider is a vesa mounted box on the back of an HDMI display. Could be 3D printed and pass the vesa mount points to the other side of the box so the whole thing could still be vesa mounted and make for a super compact package.