Best method for cutting side panel?

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Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 1:56 pm

Hey guys,

I am planning on getting my case side panel cut with a custom design: perhaps some cool text or something abstract.

I was wondering what the best method of cutting is?

I want a real smooth edge around the cut with as little damage to the panel as possible, but it can't be ridiculously expensive.

I have heard about laser, water jet, cnc, jigsaws and dremels - but I am not sure what would be best.

Any input from people who have done mods in the past would be a great help.

Also, I will want to cover the cut with some acrylic (most likely) and wonder would it be better to mount it behind the cut or at the front? With screws or with adhesive?

Thanks a lot guys.

Matt
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mjallan123
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:05 pm

mjallan123 wrote:Hey guys,

I am planning on getting my case side panel cut with a custom design: perhaps some cool text or something abstract.

I was wondering what the best method of cutting is?

I want a real smooth edge around the cut with as little damage to the panel as possible, but it can't be ridiculously expensive.

I have heard about laser, water jet, cnc, jigsaws and dremels - but I am not sure what would be best.

Any input from people who have done mods in the past would be a great help.

Also, I will want to cover the cut with some acrylic (most likely) and wonder would it be better to mount it behind the cut or at the front? With screws or with adhesive?

Thanks a lot guys.

Matt

What tools do you have? You don't sound like the kind of guy who has access to or any experience with a CNC machine of any kind, so LASER, waterjet, CNC, etc. at all out. That leaves jig and dremel. If you have a dremel, use the router attachment with a metal cutting bit. To prevent damage to the panel, cover the whole thing in masking tape. You can draw your patter directly on the tape, too. You have to be careful though, so you don't rip up the tape as you cut. There are good ways to use a jigsaw, but the dremel is easier to do details and not wreck anything. Remember to finish up with a file.

I would suggest putting the plastic (use glass if you can! it stays clearer longer and doesn't scratch as easily) on the inside with adhesive. This way you get your cutout pattern by itself with no exterior mess to muck up the look. If you want something colored, use a theater gel.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:13 pm

There are companies I can send my panel to. I have already contacted some laser and water jet companies who said they can do it for me, but I want to know which way gives the best finish.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:38 pm

mjallan123 wrote:There are companies I can send my panel to. I have already contacted some laser and water jet companies who said they can do it for me, but I want to know which way gives the best finish.

Both are good. Go by what is cheaper. Worst case scenario you have to file the edges yourself. BTW what case are you cutting? It better be a nice case to start if you're putting this kind of money into it.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:47 pm

The case is a Lian Li V2010b: http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/directron/pcv2010b02.jpg

It's a very good case and I thought it deserves some special treatment.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:49 pm

For what it's going to cost you to get it cut with a laser or a waterjet you could buy yourself a Dremel and do it yourself. (might even be some $$$ left over) It's not hard to do yourself, you just have to take your time and be patient. Just out of curiosity.....what's the cost for getting it done the other ways?

Here's a couple of tutorials for you......

Link 1
Link 2
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:59 pm

Well in the UK I can get my panel water jet cut for about £40 including tax, excluding postage. That's about $60 for you Americans.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:12 pm

Hoser wrote:For what it's going to cost you to get it cut with a laser or a waterjet you could buy yourself a Dremel and do it yourself. (might even be some $$$ left over) It's not hard to do yourself, you just have to take your time and be patient. Just out of curiosity.....what's the cost for getting it done the other ways?

Here's a couple of tutorials for you......

Link 1

That one is great. That's pretty much exactly how I do it. I have one minor correction though. For lettering on a case, you can do more than just regular stencil style letters. You can do a regular O,D, etc. by gluing the inside solid portion to your window. It looks great and removes a major limit in your design. I also suggest gluing all weaker portions of your cutout to the window, I had a buddy who bumped his case at a LAN and a piece of his cutout bent out. Not cool.

I did the whole edge molding thing before, too, and I decided it looks cleaner without it if your metalwork is good.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:40 pm

I have decided I'll get it water cut, but still don't know what text I want. I am looking for something cool and unique but can't find any inspiration.

If you were getting this done, what text would you guys get?
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:12 pm

mjallan123 wrote:I have decided I'll get it water cut, but still don't know what text I want. I am looking for something cool and unique but can't find any inspiration.

If you were getting this done, what text would you guys get?


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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:26 pm

I would not do text or some crazy design. You need to stay with the theme of a Lian Li; simple elegance. A simple case window only exposing the motherboard is the best choice. Anything else is a injustice to you and the case. Also every wire must be hidden and out of sight.
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Re: Best method for cutting side panel?

Postposted on Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:44 am

I can only tell you what I've done: make a cardboard template, trace it in pen on the inside of the case panel, then take it slow with a dremel. Cut just inside of the lines and sand it down where necessary.
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