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Case Engraving: Star Wars

Case Engraving: Star Wars Etch-a-Sketch
This article is all about me engraving a Lian Li PCV1000B, to turn it into a Star Wars tribute case. Doing engravings with a Dremel is something that just becomes more and more popular, so after a successful Hellraiser mod, I'm back for another go. I'll be giving some tips and pointers in this article that will hopefully be of some help, and maybe will inspire you to start doing some Dremel-work yourself.

(Editor's Note: If you're interested, you might also like to check out our Engraving - A Modder's How To article.)

Case Engraving: Star Wars Etch-a-Sketch
This is the raw canvas for this project, the Lian Li PCV1000B.


Choosing the image

Choosing the right picture to etch is very important. If you are a beginner try and choose images without any shadows and too much detail - a simple, clean line is a lot easier to get right, so stick to clear, line-based designs. If you want to do something a little more difficult, try adding in some very fine detail. A good way to play with an image is to use Photoshop - you will be able to use the various tools to trace over a very complicated image on a new layer and create a simple line drawing from it.


How do I get my sketch onto the chassis?

When you've got your image printed and ready to engrave, you'll need to apply it to the case so that you have some lines to follow - the easiest way to do this is by using carbon paper. It's a simple technique: put the carbon paper where you want your etch, take the line drawing, and use a (tough) pen to trace over it. This will transfer it to the carbon paper, which is very thin and should transfer the tracing to the case's surface. If you've got some major artistic talent you could do it by freehand, but that is much harder.


Other things to Consider

  • Make sure that you have a good working position - a kitchen table or something like that works fine for me.
  • Don't rush, take it slow and be careful, because one mistake can be the difference between a great engraving and a poor one.
  • If you have some pieces of left-over plexi or even an old chassis, use that for practice before you attack your main case.