The following is based on my experience with the Rivals TE2…
You don’t HAVE to get the Plexi that Art offers, but if you look in the TE2 thread, you will find that people prefer it hands down.
The TE2 is designed to accept artwork without having to remove the buttons, so the artwork cover provided with it is cut to go around the button lips. Art Hong opted to offer artwork and a Plexi that is designed to sit UNDER rhe buttons, and his reasoning makes sense as indicated on his page… So keep in mind that if you get your artwork printed from him, it will be cut to the size of the button holes, not the size of the outer button lip. That being the case, you will either have to use the existing cover as a guide for cutting the additional material around the laser cut holes, or remove the buttons from the lid to complete the installation of the artwork.
The cover provided with my TE2 seems like it’s Lexan as opposed to Acrylic (Plexiglass) to me, but I may be wrong, and yours may be different, given that it’s a different model. In either case, the 1/16th Plexi that Art sells will be much more durable, and locked down due to the fact that it will be held down by the buttons. The stock cover is essentially floating, held down only by the bezel edges and the stick’s washer.
Since you have to remove the buttons, you should have a pair of needle nose pliers to firmly grab the quick connects, making sure that you’re squeezing the little tab on the connectors after sliding off the insulation for easy removal.
Also, it seems to me that the Sanwa buttons provided with these sticks have really flimsy tabs compared to buttons I have purchased just a few years ago. I barely touched a tab on one of my yellow buttons from my Rivals stick, and the tab snapped. So if you’re gonna replace the buttons anyway, no worries - if you’re not, be aware that you might break a few tabs taking them out.
Sorry - a little long, but I hope it was informative.