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 Post subject: Your professional opinions please
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:37 pm 
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Hey. im new to the forums although i hav been reading them for afew months. I hav decided that my old case is getting well...old and its time for a change. ive decided on the Aspire X-Alien without a window so i can make my own. this will be my first mod that doesnt include coloring a case front with sharpie so the 1st that requires skill. i want opinions on the design for the side panel if its not to much trouble and what would be the best method on cutting it out.

Image


Last edited by Anonsix on Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:44 pm 
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it would also be nice if sumone could help me with getting my link working. i used image bucket to store the picture.

Again thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:16 pm 
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what is your theme for the over all case? If you have a overall theme or look that you want, it will influence your window's design. If there is no theme, you just have to keep in mind that since this is your first mod that it should be simple. I'd suggest making a large rectangular window with rounded corners. It'd be just about the easiest thing to cut your teeth on IMO. as for the cutting a good idea IMO is to draw your line to cut out with a sharpie. then start the cut with a dremel and then use a jigsaw to finish cutting around the line you drew. then attach a peice of sandpaper to a block of wood and sand down the uneven edges of the cut. the block will help you make sure that the edge is nice and flat. using a piece of sandpaper or a dremel sanding bit alone may cause you to have wandering edges and it'll look sloppy. not so good if you want your mod to look professional.

EDIT: I just checked another topic from a few pages back and Chumly recommends and 80 grit sandpaper.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:33 pm 
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ultimately i wanna do the same design in the top panel above the PSU and drive rack. im fairly skillful with a dremel so would the cutoff wheel be the attachment of choice. as for the design i dont want a basic rectangle. as easy as it may be i like challenges and as i said before hav used dremels many times before just not in a pc mod. but i will try taht 80 grit sandpaper on a block. also do you no if theres any real difference in using glass or acrylic.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:47 pm 
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i dont blame you at all for wanting a challenge to start out with. I am actually in the middle of my first build too. I am building a case from scratch. but that is off topic. i dont know much about the difference that glass vs. acryllic would have, but its safe to assume that glass will be harder to work with, as a matter of fact i havent seen actual glass used at all IIRC. also i think acryllic would be easier to work with. cutting, shaping, and everything IMO would go more smoothly on something that wont shatter if you drop it or hit it wrong. plus no chipping if you ding it. that and i would think that acryllic would be easier to install in the finish side panel, due to the need of drilling bolting holes. in any case, from one n00b to another, I wish you the best of luck on your build. BTW, were you planning a theme for your case? if you were, you should post your theme ideas so people can brainstorm ideas for the side panel.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:03 pm 
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im tryin to get the link to the picture i made working. it shows a basic design of wut i would like to do. along with my motherboard pasted inside for comparison purposes. there isnt really a theme tho. just to keep the look uniform throught the case


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:23 am 
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The design you have is easy enough to cut with a jigsaw. Drill a hole (or use the Dremel) to start the cut and follow your lines closely. Use a file to smooth and deburr, then finish smoothing the edges with sandpaper.

If you aren't going to paint, be sure to cover the panel with masking tape first, so you don't scratch it.

I used real glass in my first window mod and love it. I'm not a LAN party attendee though, so the weight made no difference to me. If you plan on carting it off to LANs, you might prefer acrylic. The shape of your cutouts means that your window material would be square or rectangular anyway, so glass or acrylic will not matter.

Take a look at the objects behind your window before you commit to a shape or design. In your example, it appears that the PSU and a goodly portion of the drive cage would show. This might not be desirable. Either make the design smaller or change it so the opening will focus more on the motherboard area. It's up to you.

I'll repeat that last sentence because your question is one I see so much of. What design or shape window you use is up to you. No one can tell you what will look good to you. There are far too many website galleries and forum worklogs to browse through for you to be asking such a subjective question as this. It's your taste that you're asking about and we don't have a clue what you like. If you can't make a decision or can't be innovative enough to plan your own window shape, perhaps you should consider a different project.

I have a simple guide for cutting cases you might find helpful --> HERE.

Good luck,

Grump
TheMadModder.com


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:59 am 
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Looks like they got ya pretty squared away really. What I'd like to add to all this, is something that was not mentioned, or not made clear. You can cut the sheetmetal out in any bizaar fashion, and still use one square piece of Lexan or glass. If you're thinking that cutting the lexan out to match is going to be a pain, then forget that and think a little different here...

Before you even start chopping away, you can get a piece of Lexan and cut it to fit the inside of the panel you intend to mold into your design. Once it's all cut out and you call it good, you can then apply Liquid Nails around the cutouts (on the backside of course) and then put the Lexan sheet on. You may want to squeeze it down pretty tight, and wipe away any that may seep out and become viewable. Once it's good and dry, you won't be able to tell if it's custom cut or not...and it really doesn't matter because it was way easier than trying to cut each piece to fit. And after it's all done, it'll help getting the panel more rigid so you can actually open the thing without worrying if a panel will fall out.

----------------------

My opinion on cutting has pretty much been said by these cool dudes already. First, it's all in the design layout. You can do a great job and all that, but the design could still just ruin the entire look. Grump got ya a lot better, because I can get into this and start sounding like the Queer Eye for the Geek Guy:p So, picture this minus me with a limp wrist...Deal?

I think you have a good idea with a basic design, and not going with some branding label like the AMD symbol or stuff like that. Besides being un-original, this is a palette to get your art out there and on your case; so do it. That design is blocky, but THAT'S MY OPINION! I like roundy, some like blocky...big deal. It's still yours, I'm just tossing this out there. Roundies make the job a bit lengthy for some.

Grump pointed out some areas that you may not want to be seen. I'd say that the drive bay area, the part up top where the wires come out of the PS, and maybe even the bottom of the case should be left out from being open to the public. Unless you have something interesting down on the base, I'd leave it as is to hide some wiring, the boring NICs that can be in lower slots, and to hide a CCT if you use one. I'd show off mainly the pretty parts, and that's the guts of the board. These heatsinks have always been kinda pretty to me, and the circuitry of the board is neat to look at. Accent those and make 'em stand out. Just more opinion :D
---------------------------------------------

To make a roundy corner, you can use a template. A portion of an aerosol can cap, a gatoraid lid, a skoal can, a CD...whatever makes that corner.
Image
Just ensure the apex of the curve leads out to the straight edge. This can be done by placing the sharpie on the line you've already done and angling it away from the inside of the area intended to be cut out, then butting the guide (like the gatoraid cap) up to it. See, if you just line up the cap to the line, the thickness of the pen's felt tip can actually draw outside of the real area, because the Cap took up the intended line you are to cut and not the felt...get it? Just trying to point out some basic drawing stuff that may help...may not. You get something like this:
Image
and not this:
Image
To get it right, you need a decent eye. But a first, it really doesn't matter...just don't chop your fingers off or get hurt. You can be sloppy here, just get close to the line without going over it. The closer, the better because it's less detail work you'll have to do.
Image
I'd work on the flats first as stated in a prior post. A sanding block with some rough paper does wonders. just sand it down until you get on INTO that sharpie line. It's good to remember how you drew this out here. If you use a ruler (straightline), then think about where the ruler was when you drew it out. The part that was on the ruler, was the straightest guide you drew, while the back side of that line varied with the amount of pressure you applied to the pen. Some more basics there. I have the ruler on the outside of the cutout, so the outer most part of the black line is the guide, and the inside isn't something to follow...and that's why I say sand on into the black line some. When you finish it off, you'll sand on even closer right up to the line until you can't see it anymore. If you follow a curvy line, you'll get a curvy line and it'll be noticed.
The result should be this:
Image

Why a block again? Your fingers are rounded, and your hand is uneven. Think of this: when you sand a panel's surface down with just your hand and sandpaper, your fingers and palm are applying the pressure. So, if you sand this way, it's not flat because you actually sanded grooves in. A block won't do this:
Image
The edge is the same really. The block is a flat guide to help ya along getting that straight line. It's flat, so the line should be flat as long as you do it all in uniform and with even pressure. To get those sharp corners sharp, bend the sandpaper around something squared and get in there.

That's really really basic, but I hope it did something good.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 6:58 am 
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Thanks everyone for your input. i like the sound of that liqiud nails stuff thanks Chumly. The Design was just a basis to go off of. nothing is final yet. so i may change it up alittle. i could like to cut the drivecages out but that would affect that uniform design i mentioned earlier. i want the same design on the top panel and that one i do want to include the driverack.

Anyway you hav all been helpful and when i start this project i will post sum pictures of the actual layout and end result.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 8:21 am 
Little Foot
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Anonsix wrote:
i like the sound of that liqiud nails stuff...


Use 100% silicone caulking instead. It works great to adhere glass or acrylic panels and can be sliced through to remove the panel any time later without ruining your case or your window material.

Grump


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:48 pm 
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that caulking sounds perfect thanks Grump


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