Tag Archive | Kewlers

KWL Laptop

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.

This got the Finger treatment.

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..

Machined laptop cover..


..and the insert to fit. The edges are used for glueing.

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 :)

Stop, hammerzeit!

Insert glued and glow-in-the-dark transparency attached.

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 ;)

Backlit coffee break fun

Some of the products I repair at work use TFT LCD display elements and out of these, a 10,4″ size unit (manufactured by NEC) is of most common variety. When these parts are swapped during repairs, I’m of course left with a defunct LCD which I have to take apart and sort for recycling (plastic/metal/electronics). Two of the most usable ‘DIY bits’ in these display elements are the enclosure back plates (2x very thin aluminium sheets, can be cut with scissors) and the backlight diffusion/dispersion element. The latter is basically a piece of plexi glass that has, on the side facing the visible LCD surface, a stack of different thin plastic films (think overhead projector slides) taped together. These films help scattering the light coming from the CCFL tube evenly across the whole surface. Some of these films are pretty fun for trippy eyeglasses whereas the plexi glass is good for, well, whatever plexi usually is good for :)

Returning to the issue LCDs in a short while, I’ll shortly present Kewlers, as the group hasn’t yet been mentioned in my previous posts and it relates to what I’m getting at here. Kewlers is one of the demoscene groups I’m a member with and one of the key visual elements of the group are the Kewlers and the Finger(tm) logos designed by Curly Brace. Those of you lazy enough NOT to visit the Kewlers website through the link above, the Kewlers logo looks like this:

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