Creating a Blowhole

Learn how to create a blowhole over the processor in order to keep the window area from becoming too hot.
Where your side panel acrylic window is located is directly over where the processor and motherboard are located. This area is usually high in temperature due to the processor and video card working hard—this is especially true when they are both stressed in gaming situations. To counteract this problem, you can create a ventilation hole over the processor area. The ventilation hole, or blowhole, will utilize a powered fan either to bring in cool air or exhaust hot air. This example brings in cool air from the outside and is called an intake hole.

Here is what you will need to obtain before you start:

* 80, 92, or 120mm case fan
* Fan grill
* Fan screws

If the acrylic window is already attached to your panel, you should remove it now. If you used Velcro, this should be easy, and you can reattach it later.

Before you start cutting again, you need to figure out what size fan you’ll use. In this example, a 120mm fan will be installed into an acrylic window. If you follow the lead here, a 120mm fan has a clearance circle equivalent to the diameter of a compact disc. Obtain a spare compact disc and use it to trace an outline where you want the blowhole to be located. An erasable marker is fine to use for marking the outline. The placement of the hole is up to you, since each case is different, but t
he most useful area is near the processor and video card.

After you’ve drawn the outline, you need to mask off the area as before, using masking tape. This will prevent any marks that may occur if you slip while cutting the blowhole. You can use your rotary tool to cut out the blowhole.

If you decide to use a smaller-sized fan, such as a 80 or 92mm, you can use a fan grill as a guide to draw the blowhole. Fan grills are metal grills intended to stop foreign objects from moving into the fan. Grills are sized in relation to the size of the fan for which they are made.

After removing the cut-out blowhole, line up your fan grill to make sure the hole is the correct size. Use your rotary tool to smooth out the edges if needed. If you are satisfied with the design and cut, take a marker and mark four dots where the fan grill will be attached using screws. Find the correct sized drill by sliding a few bits through the fan grill’s screw holes until the size matches
. Mask off the drill area, if needed, and punch through four holes, one by one. Be sure to check between drilling each hole to make sure it is oriented correctly. After you’ve punched all the screw holes, place the grill on the outside of the acrylic window and the fan on the inside. Screw the four fan screws through and tighten until secured. You have just installed your first intake blowhole, and it should look something like this:

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