Case Modding with 3M Di-Noc

So I finally finished my exterior case mod using 3M Di-Noc and Scotchprint 1080 air release vinyl on my Xcilio 787.
I will briefly explain my process and give a little insight of what I learned.

I used about 6 sq ft of the wood, 3 sq ft of carbon fiber in matte black, and about 2 sq ft of brushed steel.
I also used 3 of the 3M adhesive promoting wipes.

Heat gun
Olfa snap blade knife
30 Degree angle snap blades (these are infinitely better than the standard blades well worth the extra money)
Sand paper 100 and 220 grit
sanding block
A hard squeegee with felt tape on the edge to eliminate scratching
metal straight edge (plastic would catch the blade once in a while)

1st I disassembled all panels from the case and sanded off all of the triangle shaped raised parts on the front vents and moldings using the 100 grit 1st to remove the triangles or raised spots then I used 220 to smoth it out. I used a sanding block after I screwed up using a Dremmel at first. The sanding block allowed for level surfaces after sanding. I was able to use a tiny amount of Bondo to fill in the part I messed up and then sanded it level again.

Next I washed off the sanding dust and used Isopropyl Alcohol (90% seemed to reduce the amount of whitening of the black plastic) to prep the surfaces for the adhesive promoter. I used the adhesive promoter wipes around the edges and any sharp corners (be sure to test the wipes on inconspicuous parts of the case because it will take off some types of paint, such as lettering on my optical drive).

While the adhesive promoter dried I laid out the Di-Noc and cut the materials into pieces slightly larger than what was needed to allow room to wrap around the edges. Also being sure to cut materials so the grain or design would line up or at least be the same direction.

Next I started the fun part applying the film. I started with the flattest pieces to warm up with. I recommend squegeeing in small sections so if any contaminants get under the film there isn't as much risk of leaving glue behind when lifting the film. If bubbles are left behind no worries just slowly go over them and the film will allow the air to be released. If the film is creased or distorted, slowly peel it back and heat it up a little bit and the film will reshape back to like it was new. For the corners I made a 90 Degree cut opposite of the corner of the case.

If there were any hard corners or curves, I used the heat gun to warm the film and it was much more maneuverable. Don't be afraid of trying stuff because if the film gets screwed up, It can almost always be fixed with a little heat. Just be careful not to burn the film (happens quickly) or the case components
After the film is all squeegeed on I used the heat gun and warm up the film as this will activate the adhesive.

Lastly I trimmed any excess film using the olfa blade. Being sure to trim where any case parts connect, the parts will be thicker with film on and may not fit once the film is applied. Also, always use a freshly snapped blade, you don't want to miss the cut!

All in all this project turned out very well. I am extremely satisfied with the 3M Di-Noc and Scotchprint 1080 material. It is extremely forgiving, I actually ended up being able to use balled up material I had thrown in the trash by just heating it up and removing contaminants using Sprayaway glass cleaner. 3M material had way better end result over the Ebay brands I've used. If anyone wants to try this out I would recommend playing with some scrap stuff 1st and getting used to how warm to get the film and fixing creases and such.
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  1. Which would you recommend for wrapping a GPU, 3M Di-Noc or Scotchprint 1080?

    Thanks and nice tutorial!
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