How To Planning your window design

Explore how to design your case window, and mark the design on the case and acrylic sheet.
Adding a window to your case is somewhat like adding a new window in a wall at your house. Once the hammer hits the wall and makes the first hole, there is no turning back. This means that if your case or system is under warranty, you will definitely void it. If you are unsure about whether you want to go through with this, you might want to practice cutting a window on an older system or an empty case.
Before you make any cuts, it’s a good idea to draw out the actual window design on paper and decide where it will go on the case. The size and the placement are up to you, but the usual position is on the open side of the case. This allows ample room to place a window using any of the securing methods discussed here. Common designs include circles, rectangles, and squares; custom designs such as combinations of rectangles and ovals, stars, or lightning bolts are also easily feasible. Try a simple design if this is your first time attempting this. A square or even an L-shaped window is easier to cut than an intricate....

star. Eventually, you will feel more comfortable with cutting metal. Do not let the square design of the case limit your imagination, because a window design can be anything you want.
Marking the design

If you are working on an empty case, the first thing to do is remove the side panel of your case and place it flat on your work area. Your case may be covered by a single U-shaped case panel or individual side panels. Individual panels are easier to draw and cut into. If you have a U-shaped panel, don’t worry, because you can still make a good cut. Find a shoe box or anything sturdy enough to fill in the gap between the sides within the U-shaped cover while you have it on your work area. This will give you a bit more support while you are cutting out your design.

Assuming you have an individual side panel, turn the panel around so you can see the side that faces the inside of your case. On this side, you will draw your window design with a pencil. If you are preparing a simple square or rectangle design, use your ruler to mark down the exact dimensions you need. If you are planning a more advanced shape, with ovals and other round edges, you will need a curved edge to create the curves. A spare coffee can or a compact disc should give you a large enough curve to use while penciling in the shape, or you can use a protractor. Sometimes it is best to draw a few grid lines to make it easier to position your window placement. After you have penciled in the initial design, recheck the dimensions with your ruler. Check to see whether both the left and right edges are even and uniform on the panel. A slight shift in the angle of the window will be hard to hide later on, so measure it carefully!

With your design fully penciled in and checked and rechecked, it’s time for you to determine how much of the acrylic sheet you will need for the window. Draw the shape over the adhesive paper covering the acrylic sheet. After you have the shape laid out on the sheet, you will want to add a couple of inches to expand the outline, to accommodate the attachments you’ll use to mount the sheet to the case — such as Velcro or holes for nuts and bolts.

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