Introduction: How to Make a Carbon Fiber Phone Case
- Wear vinyl gloves when handling fiberglass
- Wear nitrile gloves when dealing with epoxy
- Wear safety goggles
- Tie hair up when using Dremel tool
· Pre-exsiting plastic cell phone case (for mold)
· Plastic wrap
· Mixing cups and sticks
· Epoxy cure, resin, and hardener
· Carbon fiber cloth
· Wax paper
· Foam paint brushes
· Vacuum seal bag and vacuum
· Dremel tool
Step 1: Prep Mold
Lay a piece of plastic wrap on interior of a clean plastic phone case. Use fingers to remove any wrinkles in plastic wrap (any wrinkles in the plastic will cause bumps in the mold). Be sure to fold up flaps for any gaps in the case (button holes etc.) and leave an indent for any holes on the back of the case (i.e. camera hole, speaker hole). Tape edges and to allow wrap to conform to interior of case.
Step 2: Make Plaster Mold
(Wear safety gloves and goggles when handing plaster, avoid breathing in vapors or dust as it may cause irritation and is harmful if swallowed)
Use a paper cup to mix plaster and water according to directions. Pour plaster into cell phone case mold over plastic wrap. Let dry overnight.
Step 3: Sand Down Mold
Carefully remove plaster mold from plastic case. Use Popsicle stick or sandpaper to sand down any rough edges or parts that don’t conform to phone case dimensions, (don't sand down the bumps on the back of the case, you will use these as a reference for later to know where to cut).
Step 4: Wrap Carbon Fiber
(Wear vinyl gloves when handling carbon fiber, contact with skin can cause itching and irritation)
Tape edges of carbon fiber before cutting to prevent fraying. Cut carbon fiber cloth and wax paper with enough to wrap up around the sides of the mold. Cut corners of cloth like an envelope to fold around edges. Tape down to mold.
Step 5: Add Epoxy
(Wear nitrile gloves and safety goggles when handling epoxy resin or hardener, contact with eyes or skin can cause irritation)
Mix 2-hour epoxy resin and cure according to directions. Paint epoxy onto carbon fiber.
Step 6: Vacuum
Place carbon fiber covered phone mold, wet with epoxy into a vacuum seal bag. Seal both sides with double sided tack/tape. Place tube into vacuum hole and turn on vacuum. Vacuum seal for 1 hour.
Step 7: Hammer Time
(Wear safety goggles and gloves when breaking plaster, vapors or dust may cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Harmful if swallowed)
Take case out of vacuum. Use hammer and screwdriver to break apart plaster mold and discard all plaster. Remove wax paper from inside of the case so that only the carbon fiber case mold remains. Wash case with soap and water to clean.
Step 8: Cut to Size
(Careful when using Dremel tool, be sure to tie up hair or anything loose that may get caught in the power tool. Wear vinyl gloves, safety goggles, and safety mask when removing carbon fiber from case as pieces of fiber can cause itching and irritation to the skin or eyes and harmful if swallowed)
Use Dremel tool to cut carbon fiber case to the dimensions of your phone case mold. Use cutting tip to cut large pieces off. Drill holes on back of case for camera and speakers (etc.) using drilling tip. Use buffer tip to smooth any rough edges. Shape phone mold until you have your desired shape.
Step 9: Add Final Coat
Mix 2-hour epoxy resin and hardener according to directions and apply a light coat on finished phone case. Allow to dry for 2 hours.