Deciding to choose a new and unfamiliar material was maybe a bad idea at first, I was a out of my comfort zone and was putting off getting started with using it.
Well that was until I made my very first cut... from then on, I knew aluminium composite was going to be a great choice of material to use for not only this but also future projects. It's strong, has a professional metallic finish and is very easy to work with.
The top of the case is all but finished, some tidying up needed but overall I'm happy with the outcome. There's a few minor faults and places where the dremel went too deep, but as a first time use of a new material, going by instincts alone on how to approach the desired results I feel the outcome is positive.
It's a marked sheet..
A problem halved... For the first few cuts, I went with scoring through the aluminium on both sides and into the polycarbonate core then snapping along a straight edge.
It's in the detail... For the detail cuts, I started off trying to use the dremel with the twist bits; It soon got messy so I tried carrying on with the knife, It turns out that the polycarbonate core is very soft and it's easy enough to cut straight through.
Send it to the mill!!.. Not wanting to have to be perfect in matching the half moon shape of the translucent acrylic, I set about slowly but surely scraping away the polycarbonate from the underside hoping to leave just the thin aluminium outer that would mask off a roughly cut cut shape. The dremel and a selection of engraving and milling bits were the choice of weapons!!
A glimmer of silver light!!
Rough but good enough... I'm shocked at how easy this was!!
Moons galore!! The rough cut acrylic resting lazily on top of it's predecessor. It's time to say hello to your new life.
Finding it's place. The rough acrylic doesn't have to fit perfectly, from the other side it should be masked into a perfect half moon by the thin layer of aluminium left behind. The metal grille also finds it's place. Troughs were made around the edges of the flaps with the dremel and milling bits so the edges will fold neatly down.
A last look.. It's time to peel off the protective cover and see the final result.. There's evidence of the dremel being pushed too hard around the edges where the folds are going to go.. pah!! hope it works out..
Pulling the cover.. The protective film is off showing the final result, there's some minor repair work needed but altogether a good result for a first run.
The flaps around the edges have been pushed into place, most of the damage caused by the dremel cutting grooves smoothed itself out as they were folded down!!
A final detail check, trying to get an idea of how the complete unit is going to look.
One last look before it's time to start on the other parts of the case. There's still a bit of work to do with this piece and undoubtedly some attempt at tidying it up and restoring or hiding some of the damage, I have some ideas to hide those dings around the edges from becoming too complacent with the dremel but it's a happy success for this first piece..