Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod

Written by Chris Newman

October 2, 2006 | 15:57

Tags: #macroman #x-fi

Companies: #creative #mod

Customizing the Front

In order to emulate the Orac look and feel, I decided to fabricate some plates for the front of the system. Instead of green like Pete used, I decided to go UV blue. I needed to duplicate the laser cut holes for 120mm fan and Bulgin switches, which is no easy task - unless, of course, you know a few tricks.

Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front
First, I cut a panel on the tablesaw to be the same size as the front bezel. I then clamped my new piece to the original bezel, which will act as a template. Next up, I drilled starter holes in each cut I needed to transfer to my new blue front plate. Finally, it was on to the router to make the final cuts - I installed my 1/4" flute bit, which has a bearing on the end of it. This bearing will run along the laser cut parts below, guiding the router bit without damaging the original bezel.

Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front
Here you can see it in action - the bit follows the edges cut by laser at C3 perfectly, leaving us with a nearly identical copy. The great thing about this technique is that the smooth edge that the router leaves on the acrylic is pretty close to the one a laser creates (unlike jigsaw, tablesaw and dremel blades, which are usually very rough in comparison).

Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front
Next, I created some customised fans. I won’t bore you with the minute details, but I started with AOC aluminum fans, then cut some perforated aluminum sheet material and painted it metallic-flake black. Then I used some silicone adhesive to attach this to the fans. Finally, I sleeved the fan wires with some UV-blue sleeving.

Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front
Then, I used the router trick again to duplicate the fan hole on the top of the case. I had been envisioning a layered top that glows, but I had this problem with cold cathodes being visible. Choosing a completely clear case doesn’t help things, so I had to be “creative".

Creative X-Fi Gaming Mod Customizing the Front
Since I had the top blowhole already cut and planned to stack some layers on top of that, I chose to use some ring cold cathodes that are normally used for UV fans. In order to make the wires fit, I used the router to cut a notch in the top blowhole of the case.
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