Introduction: PC Mod With RGB Backplates
Easy PC modding on a budget. This tutorial will show you how to take thin acrylic and use it to make your own custom RGB backplates.
Step 1: Score Your Acrylic
Measure for, or trace your project piece. Take your piece of non-glare acrylic and use a scoring tool to score your workpiece. I used this .05 acrylic because I had limited space between the glass side panel and my SSD.
If you do not have a scoring tool, you can use a sharp knife. Just be sure to make several passes when you cut so it snaps where your cut lines are. The scoring tool I used is here.
Step 2: Snap Your Acrylic
Place your acrylic sheet on a hard, flat surface, like a countertop or table. Let the cut line overhang the counter edge and firmly press down quickly. This should give you a nice clean break where your score marks were.
Step 3: Smooth Your Edges
Use a piece of sandpaper and lay it flat onto your work surface, use it to smooth your edges. Roll the corners across the sandpaper so you get nice round corners to match your SSD, or leave the corners square if that is what you prefer.
Step 4: Place Your Decal
Use a piece of transfer tape and place your chosen decal or stencil onto your piece. Press down firmly on your decal with a blunt tool, this helps to prevent lifting when you remove the transfer tape. You can find transfer tape at any crafts store, but if you do not have any you can get by with masking tape.
Step 5: Time for Paint
Take your piece outside or to a well-ventilated area. Choose the color that best suits your particular theme or scheme and apply 4-5 coats, allowing dry time between coats.
Step 6: Remove Your Decal
Once your paint has fully cured, remove your decal using a sharp tool. I like to use an exacto knife. Ensure your paint is completely cured, if it is soft it will leave fingerprints while you're working with it.
Step 7: Add Diffuser Sheet
Cut a piece of diffuser sheet slightly smaller than your backplate. Attach your cut diffuser to the acrylic plate using hot glue or super glue, double-sided sticky tape will suffice as well. Just be sure not to get glue or tape on your design.
Step 8: Attach Your LED Lights
Attach your lights by running a bead of hot glue down the side, hot glue is transparent so this will not affect the lights. Cut off the excess at the LED cut mark. Also, you may want to add a layer of black vinyl or electrical tape to help avoid hotspots. There are a lot of light kits to choose from, I recommend using a kit that works off RF, not IR. This way your remote does not have to be in line of sight. I used a kit like this
Be aware of your LED cut lines before final placement.
Step 9: Test & Mount
That's it! Test it & mount it using your desired method. I like double sided sticky tape for an SSD. Also, you may want to take some heat shrink tube and cover those spaghetti colored wires.
I hope you enjoyed this project and found it useful.