The quick project for today, an addition to the Kewlers product range.
Some months ago, I got a couple of broken laptops from a colleaque and eventually managed to piece together a working dual core system from the parts. The only new item I had to buy was a bigger harddrive.. Sweet, more computing power for next to nothing! Naturally, a new laptop calls for some branding action ;)
The modding workflow pretty much followed my first laptop branding project with a few minor exceptions, so I’m not going to repeat that stuff here. This time around though, no HP logo to worry about and even the display cable is off-center. In other words, I finally got to make The Finger Logo ™ glow and place it dead center \o/
After cutting the logo there was still a little bit of original Toshiba brand logo visible on the cover, so I gave it a layer of black matte spray. If this gets scratched later down the road, the matte color is more forgiving to spot-overpainting scratches.
I also lightly sanded the reverse side of the clear acrylic insert, giving a slightly milk glass-ish look. The sanding texture (600 grit) is visible up close, but nothing too bad. Putting the parts didn’t require hammering at all, as with the first laptop. Must be learning something..
That’s it. Catch “the glow” at Stream Nine this weekend!
Figuring out a use for ‘50 digital wood joints‘ I posted about earlier sure didn’t take too long.. Simply ‘extremely inspirational’, and I doubt the content provided can be over-advertised ;)
The actual project this time around is a pair of Auratone 5C clones by DaveP @ GroupDIY, complemented by the aforementioned woodworking finesse.
Breaking from my norm of writing multiple work stage posts, I decided to try rolling everything to a single post. Since the bulk of work is pretty much sourced from the internet and around the ‘drawing board’, there’s only build related details to write about. Once I had the part design figured out and CNC’d, the assembly was a snap.
I’m just so excited about all the CNC ideas available at Flexible Stream I can’t resist plugging it a little bit more. So in case you missed this site from my tweets, go check it out NOW! The ‘50 digital wood joints‘ looks much like something I definitely have to draw inspiration from with a loudspeaker project I’m about to start working on (hopefully) sometime soon :)
Oh and Flataalto is so <3
After getting familiar with the CNC drill on the laptop project, I decided to try cutting ASCII. Our demoscene club space needed a door sign so I figured why not do it in proper style ;).
H7 sketched the logo for me and converting it to a format suitable for the drill took quite a bit of testing. I first tried exporting the artwork from CorelDraw as AutoCAD project, failing horribly. The CAD software used at the CNC computer interpreted this as thousands of tiny lines that would’ve needed to be manually joined for the routing export to the drill control sofware to work.
I don’t know if it’s just me or the CAD software on the CNC computer, but I find it a very cumbersome and illogical piece of turd. This app has f.ex. very limited undo that is available only on certain tools. Yes, some tools have no undo history whatsoever! So, make a mistake and you’ll spend a while deleting the mistakes one by one and starting all over again. Editing tools seem to have no keyboard shortcuts either, so you’ll spend quite a lot of time selecting stuff from the pulldown menus.
Not that I’m exactly an expert with CAD sofware, but WTF anyway! What kind of a fucking dick designs software like this? Sure hope functionality (or moreover, the lack of it) like this is not de-facto CAD :).
I eventually managed to get the text imported somewhat ok-ish and so it was cutting time! Not sure what’s up, but the CAD program seemed to pick the contoured side for the characters at random. This resulted in some misaligned characters, messing up the ASCII a bit. No idea if the machining route could be forced somehow.. Anyway:
Thanks to H7 for the ASCII! Wonder if this is the first ASCII art door sign ever in the world..? :)
Been lately receiving some training for the CNC drill at work, so it was just about time when these newly acquired skills would get used for some after-hours DIY sessions. The topic: Kewlers branding :)
We’ve been jokingly talking about a Kewlers branded laptop with the rest of the crew about ever since Apple started introducing laptops that utilize the TFT backlight lamp for the “glowing” Apple logo. A really simple thing to implement and totally useless in regard to laptop functionality, but a great branding detail. In my books, something one might expect from the Apple hardware design department that will be of high appeal to the zealots. It’s a logo and it glows, yay.
Too bad that with my design, the Apple-route wasn’t applicable at all. You see, my laptop had a HP logo that I wanted to get rid of.. Not going to share brands! ;). This meant that the Finger logo had to be made big enough and positioned off-center for the HP logo to be cut out altogether. Just so as it happens, my laptop also had the display cable running right about where the cutout got positioned, so the ‘glowing’ bit of this built had to be ditched.
As a sidenote, I sometimes think of ‘HP’ in finnish as ‘Haista Paska’ (sth like ‘Eat Shit’ in english). Sort of reminds about all the useless OEM bloat that you have to uninstall when putting a new (HP) laptop to use or clean installing its OS.
ANYWAY :D.. After a couple of sessions with the CNC drill, I had laptop cover and the Finger insert ready. For the latter, it was “second time’s the charm” as the drill bit crapped out whilst the first one was being cut, fracturing that piece of acrylic. Still in the midst of learning do’s and don’ts of CNC, I suppose..
To have at least a bit of glow on some rare occasions, I decided to spray paint a sheet of overhead transparency with some glow-in-the-dark paint instead and tape this over the acrylic. I also decided to try sanding the insert in order to attain a ‘milky’ look, but it didn’t turn out too good. Should’ve maybe kept working on it a lot more to obtain a smooth finish.. Luckily enough, the painted transparency slide “covers up” some of my beautiful sanding work :)
The insert turned out such a snug fit that I had to hammer it in. Not that it helped with the overall stiffness though, the size of the Finger cutout made the laptop cover a bit flimsy. Too much tension lost, or something.. And so:
Whenever I upgrage the laptop, I will definitely want to try taking a different approach. The most likely way would be to remove a brand logo by trimming / sanding it away, then cutting a custom logo (smaller-size and centered) and painting the cover to mask up marks left from removing the brand logo. Getting a vinyl sticker printed might be one option too.
When the upgrade happens, this piece of Kewlers hardware might be up for grabs. Offers welcome ;)