Introduction: Custom Computer Case With Internal LED Lighting
I wanted to come up with a creative, low cost way to customize my computer to make it look cooler. I have an old eMachines desktop computer and it looked really boring. I decided I was going to design a pattern on the case cover. In this instructable I will be going over how i did this project.
Step 1: What You Will Need
For this project I needed:
The computer (of course)
A disposable drawing of the design (I obtained mine from Google, but if you're confident in your own drawing abilities you can make one yourself)
A drill (I used a Craftsman, but any brand is fine)
A drill bit (Due to the scale of my project area I used a 5/64")
Safety glasses (We are drilling through metal after-all)
Something to keep from drilling through the floor, desk, self, etc. (I just used an old wheel since the cover fit nicely over it. Although there are probably better ways, but I was on a low budget.)
Tape (If you end up using a paper design as a guide, you'll need this to hold it in place while drilling)
Step 2: Prep Time!
If you don't already have an image printed or you're not a natural artist, I would suggest going to Google Images and searching for the desired design. I would also search for things that com in line drawings to save on ink and make the design easier to work with.
Now, you print the image (I printed it into a smaller version so it would fit on the case).
Next, Tape the subject to the medium (case cover) on at least three sides so that it doesn't move.
Step 3: Drilling...
This is pretty simple. Start by making sure the bit is nice and tight. When you start drilling, make sure to start with major points, corners, and intersections as these are easier to work from.The work your way around the design until you are finished. If you have a design that works with it and the tools to do so, you can just cut it out entirely and have a window. I chose not to.
Step 4: Additional Modification...
Another modification I did was putting an LED light inside the case so that light would come out of the new design. (Use caution in this step, as you are dealing with potentially dangerous equipment) The LED was obtained from a site that provides free samples of LED related products. To power the LED I originally search for some voltage regulators, but none of the were in reach price-wise. I did, however find out the the LED I ordered was rated for 3.2V and a 4V Max. It turns out that there are already positive leads within that voltage range from my power supply. So, all I had to do was connect the LED to that and the ground. Now, I had to find a plug that had the +3.3V wire (which turned out to be the orange ones). It turns out that my PSU has an extension that attaches to the Main ATX power plug that is perfect for holding the LED. I just popped the LED into place and fired it up and it worked!
I have received more LEDs, and rather than connect then directly to the PSU I decided to use a General purpose PCB I purchased at Radioshack. The LEDs are arranged in parallel and the PCB is attached to one of the screws on my CPU fan. It works great. Pics will be uploaded soon.