Planning and Design
One of the things I enjoy most about window mods is you are only limited by your own creativity - perhaps you would like a round or T shaped window, the options are endless. When deciding on window size, shape and placement there are a few things one should consider:
- Which parts would we like to be showcased?
- Will I need a side panel fan for GPU cooling?
- Do I want to hide my bays?
- Sturdiness of cut side panel
For this guide I have decided to install a window into the very popular BitFenix Prodigy case. I was going to mount a triangle window for this mod, but it would have obscured the internal parts I was trying to highlight. The other major determining factor here is will the side panels keep their structural integrity once cut?
Luckily most modern case manufacturers have realised we all love to chop up their products, and this is a good thing as most companies now include fairly solid side panels, with the Prodigy being no exception. It is very important to remember to keep sturdiness in mind when designing your own windows.
We will also need a few extra materials for this project. Obviously the most vital piece is a sheet of acrylic. Acrylic comes in a variety of colours with prices dependent on the size of the piece needed. I would also recommend using 3mm thick acrylic for window mods. When purchasing your acrylic I suggest taking the measurements with you as it saves buying more than is needed. Some stores even offer a cutting service which can be handy if you are worried about cutting acrylic yourself.
The only other item you may need to purchase is some double sided mounting tape - I like 3M #4010 as it sticks forever. We will also need some U-Channel moulding for hiding those unsightly edges later.
To start off draw a few shapes on some paper, or if you are feeling adventurous, this is the perfect first sketch up project as it is just a single panel.
Once we have determined the shape it's time to move our ideas on to the panel itself, tape your panel up and mark out your window. For complex shapes where only select parts are shown measure out where the motherboard and front bays sit marking them on the side panel accordingly. This way you will avoid having unwanted bays, PSU's or other less desirable components showing through your window.