Monday, December 11, 2006

Worlds First Carbon Fiber Macbook, sort of.































I was starting to get tired of people bitching about the limited availability of colors on Macbooks. I looked around to see how people are modding these things but everytime you go to a forum on the web regarding anything Mac, you end up with comments from a bunch of idiots that have never modded anything yet think they are experts on the subject. Let me say this, Colorware Macbooks look fantastic and if I were rich I would do it. However, I'm not rich, and I have serious issues with paying someone $450 to do something that I can do for $20 and a few hours of my time. I have painted a Macbook (blue) for my friend and it looks amazing. I, on the other hand didn't want to void my warranty so I thought long and hard about ways to change the appearance of my Core 2 Duo Black Macbook. This is my second one and is about 5 days old. I like this model because of its size and the power it has for a laptop. I just don't like the fact that it shows finger prints so easily. Long story short. I was at the automotive store looking for something completely different for my car (which cost less than my Mac) and I came across this stuff called "Carbon Graphix". If you aren't familiar with it, it's a vinyl sticker material that looks like real carbon fiber and it is quite durable. I had a light bulb come on in my head. This stuff can be removed, it's not paint, its tough, and it won't void my warranty. The reason that it saves the warranty is that you don't have to disassemble anything to put it on. Basically, it's a sticker, a really cool sticker. Having said all that, here are the pictures. It looks amazing and I get all kinds of looks with it now. With a lack of professional looking finishes for the Macbook, I think this will become a popular mod. Actually, its not even really a mod. It's just a sticker. This MB looks right at home next to the MBPs at the office now. I'm sure that there are tons of other patterns available at sign shops or other places that sell vinyl sticker/laminate material. You can like it or hate it but I just like the fact that mine is different now and it didn't cost me half a grand to get it that way. Don't worry about residue. I have taken this stuff off of other things already. The little bit of sticker residue comes of with a piece of duck tape dabbed repeatedly on the spots that it stays. I really appreciate all the good feedback guys and girls. I just wanted something cool and it seems I've found it. Be careful with the Apple logo. That was the hardest part about putting this stuff on. You'll need a really sharp exact-o knife and a steady hand. A lot of people have been telling me that they can't find the graphics material. If you are having any difficulty locating it let me know. I can sell you a sheet. I have a lot of extra and a good merchant account at ebay. I'll even pre-cut the outer edges for you. The Apple logo will have to be cut by you when the material is installed. The interior of this unit is not done. I started to CF it but it was really just too much. Let's face it. It is what it is. On the outside it looks good but when you plaster every inch of the Macbook with CF it kinda looks too unbelievable. I'll try to include some detailed installation photos. If you need any tips on this stuff, email me at rogotoko@comcast.net. Owners of White MBs aren't out of luck. There are other patterns and colors out there, although I'll admit CF doesn't look good on white. You'll just have to look around. The point of this whole post was to show that you aren't stuck with Apple stock colors. Will post more later.


I was gonna post more about the Carbon Graphix application but it seems that no one is interested anymore so I will be putting some other mods on here soon. Any specific questions can be directed to the email above which I check about twice a week.


UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Posted 01/30/2007
I have recieved enough emails lately to let me know that people are still interested. Please send any specific questions to my email and I will address them in this blog on soon. Due to a camera malfunction, it will be just a little longer.


First tip: Don't buy a Fuji digital camera. They are inexpensive and seem like a great deal at first. Heck, they even take great pictures but the XD media card will eventually leave you high and dry without your pics. I had one go out on me and I just thought that it was the card itself. After I purchased another card it malfunctioned too. The camera, a Finepix A345, then after I installed the 3rd card began to act wierd. The lcd went out and eventually the whole camera was useless. All this at the 18 month old mark. Yeah, I know 18months is considered old these days but still.

Anyway, for those of you that have been waiting for some tips on putting this stuff on I can offer the tips. I just can't post pics for now until I purchase a new camera. There are a few major ones listed below:

1. Calm, down. This stuff is not gonna go on perfect if you rush it.

2. Gather all of your materials which will include: Tagboard/Cardstock, Exacto Knife, Metal Straight Edge, Ruler, Masking Tape, Old Credit Card, Hair Dryer, & Paper Towels

3. Get a piece of tagboard similar to what comes folded up in a new dress shirt. I took a jumbo cereal box and used one of the panels off of it for the next step.

4. Measure the top surface of your Macbook. I recommend going only to where the bends start. That would mean, your measurements should be few millimeters less than the overall height and width of the computer.

5. Cut the tagboard to those measurements. This tagboard is a template for the more expensive graphix vinyl that you are going to cut later. You will want to use the Exacto knife and a metal straight edge to get those edges perfect. At the 90 degree corners, you should take a small diameter coin and round off those edges.

6. Ok this part is tricky. Roll out your vinyl material so that the printed side is up on a table. Then use your hair dryer to gently (on low) walk the stuff flat. That way you don't have to fight with the vinyl wanting to keep rolling back up on you.

7. Now lay your template onto the vinyl at an angle 45 degrees to the factory edge of the material. Take your masking tape and using 3cm strips, tape the template to the vinyl. You should only need to tape it in about 5 or 6 evenly spaced places.

8. Now, if you have a steady hand and a long pair of scissors you can cut out the vinyl which is taped to the tagboard. I used the exacto knife and cut it like that.

9. You should have your skin made at this point. Position it on the Macbook and get it exactly where you will want it to be. Now take a couple of pieces of that masking tape and tape one whole edge down to the Macbook. One of the side ends is preferred.

10. Now that it is taped into posistion on one end, lay the material back over itself and remove the backing from the taped end for about 5-10 cm. Use your credit card at this point. Wrap a paper towel around it and use it to walk down the section of vinyl with the adhesive exposed to the Macbook. Do this slowly and make sure to get all the bubbles out now, because it will look horrible if you don't. After that 5-10 cm section is down repeat steps 9 and 10 on an additional 5-10 cm section.

11. Repeat step 10 until you reach the other end of the top.

12. More steps later.



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27 Comments:

Blogger Darm said...

do you know where to buy this online? I did a search for "Carbon Graphix" and came up with this website but it's a horrible website and you can't even order what they are advertising as for sale...strange.

http://www.fabulousgraphix.com/

Can you provide a little more detail about what you bought so I can do some web search and see if it's avail. for purchase online. If not, what store did you buy it at. Maybe I can order from them directly.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Darm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Kawika said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:40 PM  
Blogger truro said...

that looks sweet, i ran a google search for "carbon fiber sticker" and found this website selling 12"x15" sticker for $10.

http://www.stickercity.com/store/product.php?productid=16148&cat=2299&page=1

12:47 PM  
Blogger Darm said...

i am just a poster trying to get a message to rogotoko the guy who did this mod to his macbook.

some confusion since people are contacting me.

1:00 PM  
Blogger akatz17 said...

Wow, thats awesome. I was actually thinking about purchasing a black macbook but the matte finish always seemed to plain for me. This might just solve my problem. Thanks.

Oh, does anyone know the dimensions of the macbook? Knowing me, if I tried to cut the exact amount of carbon sticker I would end up messing it up. It would be great if it came in the right size.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Looks sharp. Can you post close-ups of the corners? I'm interested to know how wrapping the corners and sides worked.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Hal Meeks said...

Here is another solution, it doesn't void the warranty, but costs $50.00. Good if you want a translucent red MacBook.

http://www.speckproducts.com/13mac-seethru.html

--hal

2:22 PM  
Blogger Firefox90 said...

I thought about doing this a long time ago but was scared of getting a ton of residue stuck permanently if I wanted it off. I talked to Bill (I think it is) at MNPC Tech as he has this for cheap and he told me when it is removed, it is very tough to do and leaves residue. I would also like to see some corner shots of this. You could take that hard case and paint it on the inside with a color of your choice.

9:48 PM  
Blogger ck said...

looks awesome--nice work. did you put it on the inside of the computer (surrounding the trackpad and keyboard) or underneath the computer? if you did, are there problems with it preventing the ventilation? really nice work...

1:03 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Cool look! I'd be interested in the carbon fiber look for my MacBook Pro, too.

Even though Gizmag has sort of gone and spoiled it, with your subtle hint about faking a MacBook Pro by covering a MacBook. (?)

Also, there must be increased heat buildup- already a problem with the last couple Mac laptop generations.

Suggestion: Chrome finish tape: Blinds the opposition at business meetings! Reflects heat! Useful for cosmetic touchups, hair styling! XLNT survival tool- signaling when lost in the wilderness!

Any others ideas?

Bob

5:01 AM  
Blogger AWerner said...

Did you cut out the apple logo and if so how? How did you do the Corners?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Toxicbomber said...

To everyone asking how he "did the corners", look more closely on the images when you click on them. You can see its really a sticker like he says, its not actually around the top of the MB. Its just stuck on the top and the edges were cut round. They barely go over the sides of the top.

Excellent job on this though, matches perfectly!

7:19 PM  
Blogger Caltsar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:23 PM  
Blogger rogotoko said...

Hey guys thanks for all the good input. I had no idea that I'd get so much feedback so fast. I got the material at PepBoys. It was $20 for a roll of 20x20 and it is fairly easy to apply. Stay tuned for more.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous macbooker said...

hi rogotoko,

will you be sending more post regarding this? like a detailed process... also, I most interested about the materials that can be used for macbook white.

kudos to your very nice idea :)

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi im christian from mexico and i want it!!!!!

how can i get my own sheet of carbon fiber?

i need the apple logo cut it too, man i'm just too bad for that kind stuffs.

tnx

mail me: chrisangam@hotmail.com

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, this looks mean!!
one question if you only put the sticker on the top and didn't curve it right around the side. How did you manage to get the side of the macbook black?
was just wondering cause i want to do this to my macbook

5:49 AM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

9:31 AM  
Blogger Maverick said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those wondering how he got the rest of the edges black.... he actually has the black model Macbook. That is one of the reasons why this turn out looking good. I don't think the white Macbook or Aluminum MBP would look as good.

1:24 AM  
Anonymous neon carbon fiber hoods said...

Carbon fiber should be started to use vastly.Its durability and reliability make it most popular within a short time.Hope in every aspect of our life we should start to use carbon fiber.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous jcpenney coupons said...

Thanks for shearing this amazing and extremely informative post. Thanks for writing this. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skinit has carbon fiber or make your own. I put my skinit on top of speck hard cover plastic instead of on the computer.


http://www.skinit.com/skins/textures/TXTCBFBR

2:00 PM  
Blogger ella pinto said...

Wow Great!! Thanks for sharing the Worlds First Carbon Fiber Macbook. Really a great blog!!

Carbon Fiber

8:13 AM  
Blogger Firoz Khan said...

Paint.Net for Mac-Paint.Net for Mac like MyBrushes, Pinta, and GIMP are some equivalents digital artists can choose to use Paint.Net Mac.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Kendra Hicks said...

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11:05 AM  

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