DIY Computer Case Window Project


Photos and writeup by Trevor Freeman. June 2005.

THE PROJECT
Dell Dimension with custom case window My computer started its life as an ordinary Dell Dimension 4100 desktop. Over time I have added more RAM, a CD burner, 10/100 Ethernet card, new sound card, a TV tuner card, and a second hard drive. Tired of my boring beige case, I decided to add a custom plexiglass window to the side panel. I was largely guided by the directions on the website 7volts, and I ordered 3 feet of window gasket from frozencpu.com.

I was pretty nervous about doing this from the start, but I figured I could always pick up a new case at Fry's for $40 bucks if this thing didn't work out. I bought a piece of plexiglass from Home Depot, and measured out an 8x10-inch window with rounded corners. I traced it onto the side panel and put duct tape on the panel to keep it from getting scratched.

A dremel tool was very handy to have, especially a variable speed one like mine. I found that going about 8- or 10,000 rpm was good, any slower and the plastic just melted without cutting away. It didn't take long to create a gaping hole in my computer case. I used the cutting wheel for the dirty work and the sanding attachment to smooth out the edges.

Cutting the plexiglass window was not as easy as I had hoped. Lucky for me I had a large piece, because I ended up cracking the first window I cut out. It took great care and patience for this part, but I finally had a window. The rubber gasket from FrozenCPU was 3 feet long, which also had to be cut. It took two people to make the gasket, window, and case fit together, but we eventually got it.

Overall, it looks pretty good. It's not as nice and clean as the pre-modded cases you can buy these days, but it's still something to be proud of.

-Trevor Freeman
Created: 12 June 2005
Revised: 19 August 2008

THE PICTURES





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