Instructables

Computer Case Engraving

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An old-School approach to customizing a computer paintjob. I originally posted this on PCAPEX but I decided to post it here cuz it was my first mod.

First of all, my first mod I plan on using my old alienware and beefing up its appearance alittle by etching an alien in the side of it..

Things you will need:

1) Paint(if you want your engraving surace to be a different color)
I chose Mirage paint from Duplicolor (chameleon)
2) An engraver, I chose a dremel cuz there is no substitute.
3) Masking tape
4) Chalk (I used a very soft art chalk)
 
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Step 3: Painting

Picture of Painting
I painted the thing with Duplicolor Mirage paint, found at your local auto parts store. The only thing i did different here was when painting the black base coat, I was alittle farther back then usual to create a nice texture. I actually wanted black as my color but i had some Mirage paint left over so i ended up with that... Kind of a green and black appearance... cant really tell in the pic

FYI: Its about 5 layers of paint and lots of sanding..
I ran out of the base color black for the mirage paint so... the paint I used for the later layers was a cheap 99 cent paint that you should never use because no matter how much i sanded i never got a flat surface.... but this little error actually ended up being ok... cuz it gave a nice textured surface... :)

Step 5: Etching

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Step9.jpg
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Engrave the outline you made in chalk. To make it easier, I used blue chalk to draw over what i still needed to engrave, because white chalk was confusing. I also washed the area with windex and a towel that I already etched.

Step 6: Chalking again

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Fill in the rest of the image details with chalk as before.

Step 7: Engraving and finishing up..

Engrave the remaining detailed areas and clear coat the whole thing.

(I went over the bigger areas with some sandpaper about 220 grit to soften up the engraving lines)
--scare--4 years ago
i have a problem with my dremel... :( 
it has an auto-speed-adjuster chip, or sensor, or both, witch makes the dremel speeds up when it senses a strain caused by friction...
witch translates to me going bonkers over the damn thing flying out of my hands!!! lol YOU my friend, did an awesome job!!! except for the dry erase part...

i think i'm gonna break open the damn thing to gut out that awefull setting...
even if it means losing the led display... i'll put a rotary pot straight on the motor power instead of going trough that chip or thigny... (have not  actually opened it yet...)

your project was nice to start with but how it came out looks REALLY nice from here... especially with the big patch, meaning the alien head... looks flawless
ionix (author)  --scare--4 years ago
Thanks! I actually went over the head part just a bit with some sandpaper to smooth it out slightly. Not too much though cuz I did still want it to have that engraved look.

I haven't been on instructables in almost a year. perhaps I will begin a new project. So thanks --scare-- for bringing me back.
ionix (author)  ionix4 years ago
And dry erase is not my friend.
N1CK4ND05 years ago
Thought I already commented this, but I geuss not. This is a GREAT project if you want to build your own case for your computer. I'm building my own case out of all plexiglass. Then I will most likely spray paint it black, then engrave it. Also I will but LED/neon lights in there so it will shine through the engraved areas. Your instructable gave me the alien idea, so I may do something like that and put green LED/neon inside.
I think the alien is meant to be the Alienware logo...
ionix (author)  N1CK4ND05 years ago
sounds cool... go for it... great idea... send me a link when done.. i am excited to see how it turns out...
Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
Great Job! And i agree, there is NO substitute for a dremel! +
Black and decker make great 3 speed ones, mine FLYS!
nguyen_a6 years ago
What kind of dremel tip did you use? P.S. your design was awesome!
Pie_eata6 years ago
pretty tight dude
thunder77 years ago
I have a massive full tower. I want to do some Modds to.

(1.) There is this big 'blue light' on the front that I would like to replace with a digital display. (The big blue light is in fact just that a light!!.)

(2.) And as you did I would love to dress it up with some graphics.

Here is a link to my PC in day and in the night Thunder7.info PC Day and Night
Thuder7bckgrd.JPG
ionix (author)  thunder76 years ago
thats a pretty stock pc with much potential... as for the lcd you have quite a bit of options... heres my opinion...

Option 1 (fan controller)
http://www.frozencpu.com/products/5316/bus-94/AeroCool_GateWatch2_Fan_Controller_LCD_Display_Port_Replicator_-_Black.html?tl=g36c17s286

Option 2
go to <insert local game supply store here> and buy yourself a mini lcd for the xbox/ps2/ps3/gamecube ect..that they sell for travel and usually goes right on top of the system.... and mod it into your 5 1/2 bays...

either way its gunna be some work...
dinsterzz7 years ago
what dremel bit did u used?
ionix (author)  dinsterzz7 years ago
105 and 107
Ciwan ionix6 years ago
When you say clear coat the whole thing, what do you exactley mean ? sorry I'm a newbie. do you mean you apply some sort of liquid on top ? Thanks
ionix (author)  Ciwan6 years ago
yes... you can actually buy spray on clear coat... its the same if not similar to the clearcoat on automobiles... it protects the paint you can get it at any hardware or automobile parts supply store... usually
Gnaw7 years ago
-Very cool, another great addition to the 'inspirational-laptop-collection'... I weep whenever I get a chip on mine. - Next build, I plan to use a vinyl-dye. - Let me know if you find a way to protect the finish.
BlueFusion7 years ago
dude. you have modded alienware. where do you live, 1337 boy? ;) it's not so much envy, as "ok God. I'll give you a year's supply of free crack if you let me be him.")
ionix (author)  BlueFusion7 years ago
haha... thanks man...
how did you transfer the design to the case, or did you just draw freehand with the chalk?
ionix (author)  thematthatter7 years ago
freehanded it...
japala7 years ago
ionix (author) 7 years ago
thanks everyone.. BTW the dremel bits I used were a 105 and 107... which seemed pretty easy to keep in a strait line...
phoenix1247 years ago
Hey very nice!!! i tried engraving aluminum and i couldn't get a streight line to save my life lol. great job!
u definatly belong in my group: http://www.instructables.com/group/modthis/
happy modding
tech-king7 years ago
cool!!! i'm a case modder. generally, i engrave the plexi though. the metal can send the tool spinning wildly off the lines
LasVegas7 years ago
Very nice job. Good work!
ionix (author) 7 years ago
First instructable (how many have said that before me)