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Case Modding Question





weableandbob
Apologies if this isn't the place to put this.

This question goes out to anyone who has experience with case mods or anyone who has cut images out of sheet metal. I recently began wanting to make my case a little less boring, as the side panel is currently a black slab with two fans. I already have all the tools (Dremel with the correct tools, a jigsaw with suitable blades, and an old case to practice on), so it's all down to what I actually cut out. I have decided on a Cubone skull (Here's the template I would use http://i39.tinypic.com/ot3gw1.png). The problem is that when the image is printed out to the size it would be on the case, the outline is just under a quarter of an inch. That is too small to drill a hole to get the jigsaw in, so I would have to use the Dremel for all of it. Seeing as Dremeling through aluminum takes a while, steel would be a nightmare. On the other hand, increasing the width of the outline wouldn't look as good (at least in my opinion). So, my question is whether I should go through with the Dremel approach or enlarge the outline so that I can use the jigsaw.

Also, any feedback on the image would be good, too. I'm not particularly good at graphic design, so there's probably some things I could improve, especially the placement and thickness of the metal connecting the skull to the rest of the case.
ocalhoun
If you want it to look really professional, you need to...

A) Get a ton of practice in with your chosen tools.
B) Find somebody who has a computer-controlled laser or water cutting table.
(Probably water, since those are cheaper and more available.)
Using one of those, they can input your picture into their computer, and use it to make an exact copy cut into the metal.
C) Look into acid etching. Strip the paint from the whole thing, then cover it with an acid-resistant material like wax. (Being extremely careful to completely coat all of it.) Then, scrape off the coating wherever you want the metal etched away. You then (carefully!) put it in a vat of strong acid for a particular period of time -- the longer you leave it in, the more metal will be dissolved. In your case, you'd want to leave it in just long enough for the thin sheet metal to be dissolved all the way through. -- Leaving it in longer will begin to make the holes in your design wider than you intended.
Once that's finished, you clean it off with water, and perhaps some acid neutralizing base, then clean off your acid-blocking coating, then paint it the desired color.
weableandbob
Thanks for the tips, although I don't have any way of using a water or laser cutter, so it looks like I'll be spending a lot of time with my jigsaw and Dremel xD
ocalhoun
weableandbob wrote:
although I don't have any way of using a water or laser cutter,

Of course you don't... those things are pretty expensive.

Just saying, if you want really good looking results, you should find somebody who does, and pay them to do it for you.
jwellsy
Find a welding class instructor at a local community collage. They probably do have a plasma cutter maybe even a plasma CNC machine.
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