You know.... I like to eat. Eat! eat apples and bananas.
Hip and trendy back lit logos are no longer limited to the apple crowd. You (yes, you) too can release thyself from the drab clutches of the plain boring brand. No longer shall my laptop share the same cattle brand as it's fore bearers.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Laptop bezel
- Laser Cutter
- Acrylic or other laser cutter safe plastic
- Vector file of your logo
- Xacto knife and fresh blade
- Sand Paper (coarse to fine)
- Scotch Scrubbies
- Hot Glue
- Masking Tape
- Scrap Paper
Step 2: Templates
Before you cut into anything important, make a template. Cut your vector file out of paper and check for fitment. In my case, I needed to cover the sunken in area that held the old laptop brand - this determined the size of my new logo.
NoteDon't do what I did. Be sure to check the back of the laptop LCD assembly for opaque areas that will not allow light to pass through. If you're not worried about light - then you don't need to check for this ;)
Step 3: Cut Acrylic
It's important to cut your acrylic first. It's no use cutting into your laptop bezel if you can't replace it with something suitable. Cut your plastic according to the speed and power recommendations for your laser cutter.
Of course, you don't have to use a laser cutter - but one was available to me, so I used it ;)
Step 4: Cut Bezel
Be sure to remove any electronics that may be mounted in your screen bezel. Cover the visible side with tape - a few layers is best.
Start with a low power test cut to check for alignment/location. Once you're ready to go, wipe a small amount of water over your tape. The water prevents flare ups (tape burning away) that can damage the laser optics. While it may slow down the cutting process, this is better than damaging your cutter ;)
My first cut did not penetrate - nor did my second or third. After my 4th pass at a slow speed and high power, it was clear that the laser would not penetrate the bezel.
Finish the job with an Xacto knife. Go slow and be careful to prevent damage to the bezel outside.
If I were to do this again, I would do so on the water jet that was available to me. This would provide a clean and thorough cut. Live and Learn -- one day I'll just paint the bezel :D
Step 5: Remove Reflective Tape and Clean Up
Be sure to cut away any reflective tape behind your new logo - this will allow light to pass through the new logo. A quick pass with an Xacto blade will do this.
Clean up your bezel.
Step 6: Finish Logo
Using coarse sand paper -- sand the surface of the acrylic to get a frosted look - start with coarse paper and work up to finer grit - then finish off with a scotch pad.
Step 7: Attach Logo and Reassemble
Fire up those hot glue guns. Place the logo in your bezel cutout - flush with the outside surface. Then apply a dab or two of hot glue to hold it in place.
Finally, reassemble your custom bezel :)