Introduction: DIY GPU Backplate No Power Tools
Hi everyone, in this Instructable I'm going to show you how to make an Addressable RGB Custom Graphics Card Backplate using WS2812b LEDs (Aka Neopixels). That description doesn't really do it justice, so go check out the video above! Please note that Addressable RGB lets you have many different Modes of lighting with the help of ARGB header present on almost all newer Chipset motherboards. So, you can control this backplate by using any RGB lighting software like AURA or MYSTIC.This DIY backplate drastically changes the look of your setup and its super easy to make. Here is how to do it -
MATERIALS REQUIRED -
- Acrylic Sheet (8mm thickness is preferred, here I have used 4mm acrylic)
- Vinyl Wrap (Choose the color you want, I have used Matt Black )
- A4 Photo paper for Backing (I have used White Vinyl)
- 2mm thick Sunboard (foam board)
- ARGB WS2812b LED Strip
- Male & Female Header strip
- 3 core wire
- Acrylic Scoring knife (or Hacksaw)
- Cutting knife
- Exacto knife
- Soldering Iron & Wire
- Waterpaper/Sandpaper (100 grit & 220 grit)
- Double Sided Tape
- Ruler and Marker
Step 1: Acrylic Cutting
- First Take measurements of your Graphics Card using a ruler
- Take your Acrylic sheet and mark the dimension using a marker
- Take your Acrylic Scoring knife and drag along the straight line taking the help of your ruler
- Snap Off the Acrylic
- Make 2 such pieces so that the total thickness becomes 8mm
Note : you may also use a Hacksaw to cut the acrylic
Step 2: Coarse Sanding
After the Acrylic pieces are cut to proper size, Sand the edges using a 100 grit Sandpaper.
A better techniques is to clamp the two pieces of Acrylic together and then do the sanding so that both pieces are of exact size.
To diffuse the LED light we need to sand the face of the Acrylic pieces. To do this there are 2 steps of sanding required. First sand using a 100 grit sandpaper. When it looks frosty proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Fine Sanding
In this step we will use a 220 grit sandpaper to turn the surface super smooth. This gives a better overall finish and better led diffusion. Use a piece of scrap wood and attach a piece of sandpaper using double sided tape (and your DIY sanding block is ready). Use this to sand all the Edges and Surfaces of both the Acrylic Piece.
Clamping the pieces together will help a lot but one can also use double sided tape to attach them temporarily.
Step 4: Perfecting the Edges
This is a Additional Step of Filling the edges using a hand file to make them perfectly sized. This step gives a better overall finishing and makes the Backplate look professional.
Step 5: Joining the Two Pieces
Using small pieces of Double sided tape we will now join this two Pieces. Before doing this, please wash the pieces of Acrylic to remove any dirt or oil and wait for them to dry off.
Note: Make sure you don't put Double sided tape at a place where your Logo will be placed. If you do not do it properly then the tape may become noticeable due to light.
Step 6: Reflector Backing
For the light to give a better Glow we have to use a reflector backing to reflect all the light upwards. You can use photo paper (glossy side facing Acrylic) or white Vinyl (again glossy side facing Acrylic) for this purpose.
Note: One may also use other reflectors but the color has to be proper white.
Step 7: Sunboard Cutting
Cut a piece of sunboard to mach the size of the Acrylic (this is to add additional thickness so that it matches the thickness of led strips.
Step 8: Cover the Borders
Cut a 3-4cm thick Strip of Black vinyl and cover the edges of the sunboard.
Step 9: Attach the Sunboard
Attach the sunboard and acrylic together with the reflector sheet in between them. You can use Double sided tape for this Purpose.
Step 10: WS2812 ARGB Strip
Cut the Addressable RGB strips WS2812b to size and Solder 3 core Wires on both the sides. The WS2812b has 3 pins namely GND SIGNAL VCC. WS2812b are unidirectional device, look for a small arrow on the strip to know the direction. The wire on the other side is used for daisy chaining multiple such devices together.
Search Google for more information on WS2812 LED strip.
Step 11: Installing LED Strips
Cut a 6cm thick strip of black Vinyl. Attach one edge of this vinyl strip on the top side of acrylic maintaining a thickness of 2cm to 1.5cm. Now, remove the backing of the LED strip and attach it to the Vinyl (LEDs Should face the acrylic when folded) and then fold the vinyl strip over to the back.
This Step is Easier to visualize in the video, So please give it a watch.
Step 12: Black Vinyl Cover
To make this project cheaper, we will use Vinyl wrap for the top surface. This also assures a uniform color.
To attach the vinyl, first clean the surface properly. any dirt particle will be visible if not removed.
Now, Slowly peel the backing of the vinyl and gently apply pressure to secure it. Take time in this stage as it will determine the outcome of the finished product.
Step 13: Stencil Preparation
Choose your favorite design and get it printed on a A4 sheet. This will be our stencil in the next step.
Note: Print Different sizes of logo and also make a spare copy (in case the first try turns out bad).
Step 14: Cutting Out the Design
Use an Exacto knife to cut out the design. Place the printed A4 sheet on top of your Vinyl and use a ruler & knife to cut out the design. Peel of the parts you want the LED to shine through.
Step 15: Detailing
Add more details if you want and YEAH ITS DONE!!
Step 16: Final Product
HERE IS HOW IT LOOKS!! MAKE YOUR OWN CUSTOM BACKPLATES AND MAKE YOUR SETUP STAND OUT!!
Thanks For Watch : )
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