CM_modder

How to engrave your case

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CM_modder    4

Engraving your case is an incredibly rewarding thing to do to your case. It's one of the best ways of adding a totally unique feature and to make it stand out from the rest. You can engrave practically any design onto a metal section of your case. Best results are achieved with a painted/powdercoated/annodised case (most black cases have black powdercoated side panels).

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You'll need a selection of engraving tips for this task. The larger ball tips are good for engraving/shading large areas, while smaller nibs or tips can be useful for tracing outlines for crisp edges.

We'll be using the template/transfer method, whereby you print your logo or image to be engraved onto a piece of paper, and use this as a guide to engrave your design onto your case. Logos like Cooler Master are fairly easy to trace. However if you want to engrave a more complicated images, say a fighter jet, you fist need to perform a bit of photo editing. Don't worry, it's quite easy and all you need is the free editing program called Paint.net [download here]

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Install and open paint then load your image. Under Adjustments, select and apply Invert Colours. Now go to the Effects menu and under artistic, select Ink Sketch. If need be adjust the Ink Outline slider bar to reduce the noise in the photo. Now go back and invert the colours again. This will have the effect of creating bold outlines and details that are easy to follow when you're engraving.

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For our example we've used a simple Cooler Master logo. All you need to do is print it out.

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Trim the paper to size so you can tape it to your case at the edges. Ensure there are no ripples in the paper and that it's secured firmly - you don't want it moving around while you are engraving. Make sure the area you intend to engrave is flat and free of features such as grilles or windows.

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The easiest way to engrave is to use a Dremel with a Flexible attachment. This allows you to use the engraving tip like a pen, which means the rest is as easy as colouring in a picture. It also means you're able to be far more accurate as using a Dremel alone is quite heavy and awkward to use.

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Before you start work on your image, get used to the various tips and how quickly they cut into the paint and metal. If possible use a hidden section of the case or old case to practice on.

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Start in the middle of the image and work your way out. In our example we began with the letters of the logo, tracing their outlines but doing any inner details first. Once you cut the outline the letter will come loose. Use the detail tip for the edges and the large ball tip for shading in the larger areas.

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You'll gradually work your way through the paper and reveal the bear metal beneath the paint. Once you do this, move on to other areas, focussing on keeping within your template. Once you're done with the letters, move on to the external ring. Once you cut through this, the whole template will come away so it's best to do this last.

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You'll probably need to remove the template and make some finishing touches to the engraving, clearing away any old paint from the silver letters so the look the same colour all over. If you've strayed into areas you didn't mean to engrave, you can touch these up with a black marker pen or paint brush.

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That's it! The great thing about engraving is that you can do it to practically any area of your case and the more you practice the better you'll get.

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