|MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS|
|In The Lab
TRON Case Mod Part 1
At the end of my article in February's In The Lab, I mentioned that for a unique one-of-a kind case, you will have to build or modify it yourself. If you have read some of our other case mod articles, you know that some of the modifications you can do can be very simple, such as adding a window, installing case lighting, or replacing air cooling with water cooling. You also probably noticed that some of my case mods have been very elaborate shells over a standard frame or chassis - everything from carved wood with stained-glass inserts like the Art Nouveau Case (Part 1 & Part 2), to engraved and bejeweled limestone in the EgyptMod Case. My latest case mod project is inspired by the Disney movie "TRON" and the computer game "Tron 2.0." As change of pace, I decided to build one that requires a bit more conservative alterations for those of you that can't run out to buy all sorts of specialized tools to play with.
Build 1.0 - The Shell
For a TRON-themed case mod, I started with a Silverstone Kublai case and disassembled the front bezel and side panels for modification. The case is steel except for the solid aluminum front cover.
The Logo Panel
The solid side panel was prepared for the addition of a back-lit TRON logo, based on the original TRON movie poster, but updated with the TRON 2.0 game characters. To start, the original poster design was scaled to fit the panel, and the outline transferred to the inside of the steel panel. Using a plasma cutter, I quickly cut out the irregular-shaped opening. The sharp edges were ground down and the large circle outline smoothed out with the grinder. A piece of 1/8" polycarbonate sheet was cut to fit inside the side panel.
Next, a piece of 1/4" acrylic was clamped inside the logo hole, and the edge of the hole was traced onto the plastic with a colored marker. The outlined shape was cut out on a scroll saw, and then rough-finished with some cutting burrs. The game characters were cut out of another piece of 1/4" acrylic and rough-shaped using a Dremel tool with a router bit and cutting burrs in the flexible shaft. The concentric rings the figures stand on were cut from a third piece of acrylic which was ground down to taper from thick in the front to a thin edge behind the figures. The "TRON" letters were shaped from 1/4" UV-reactive acrylic. All of the shapes were then glued together. Once the glue on the figures had set, the entire logo was glued to the polycarbonate sheet. The surface of the figures was then coated with several coats of black paint; carving through the paint coating exposed the clear plastic, allowing the back-lights to shine through.
The Top Panel
My original idea for the top surface was to create a geometric pattern of plastic shapes out of UV-reactive plastic sheet, but my free-hand sawing and sanding skill just weren't up to it. After wasting most of a 2 square-foot sheet, I ordered a selection of glass tiles and attached these with epoxy to the surface. More tiles will be placed on the side panels and inside the case to carry the theme throughout the project.
The Window Panel
[System User: TRaceOFF]
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