Everybody loves LCD monitors because they are so portable and perfect for LAN parties, but I am always afraid of something falling and damaging the soft screen when I travel with my LCD. After purchasing a nice 19 inch Dell display, I decided I needed something to protect my investment. I cut and molded a piece of acrylic plexiglass to form a cover for my LCD monitor.
Step 1: Measure Monitor and Cut Plexiglass
In the image, you can see my plan for this project. I measured the dimensions of my monitor, and added 1.5 inches extra around each side. After cutting out the corners, I had to somehow bend the plexiglass on the dashed lines.
Step 2: Bending the Plexiglass
I talked to a few glass stores in town, but I couldn't find anybody who would bend plexi. I did some research online and found that some people had successfully used a heat gun and very gentle pressure, so I decided to try it. After borrowing a heat gun from my roommate's girlfriend's mother, I set up a crude heating and bending mold with a piece of wood and a metal level. I applied the heat gun to the gap between the block and level, and very, very carefully, the plexiglass started to soften and melt. As the acrylic starts to melt, the pressure from the block will start bending it. I needed to tack down the level, because it had a tendancy to scoot to the right as the bend progressed. Eventually, you will need to apply pressure to the left edge towards the level. Once the plexi is bent at 90 degrees, turn off the heat gun and let it cool right here before moving it. I moved the first edge before letting it cool, and it flexed back to about an 80 degree angle.
You can see in the last image my progress after bending two of the sides.
Step 3: Final Results
Here is a collection of images of the finished product. The first five images are of the cover mounted on my monitor. You can see some cracking at the corners that happened during the bending process. I think I may have pushed with too much force before it was heated enough. I may try to fill in the cracks with glue someday.
In the last two pictures, you can see that I put a pillow case over the monitor to prevent the new cover from bouncing around.
Someday I would like to add something to hold the cover to the monitor, such as bungee cords or velcro.