Thursday, February 6, 2020
Debranding a Laptop with a Dichroic Oculus
Some time ago I had debranded my Macbook Air with some vinyl tape, which was rather satisfying. Recently I got together with my pal who has a Cricut-brand vinyl cutter to take it to the next level. I love the way the backlight shows through the Apple logo, but I wanted to get rid of the logo! So I cut a stripe with a circular oculus to let the light through but hide the logo shape. It worked pretty well!
I cut two layers of vinyl, a black opaque one to hide the light, and a burgundy-color stripe on top to give it some personality. For the oculus, I used a small disk of 3M CM500 dichroic film. The oculus hole is 2.5cm wide so I cut the disk to be a little wider (2.9cm) to make sure the vinyl would overlap it completely.
The beautiful thing about the dichroic film is that the color changes with the angle that you see it from, which I find very cool:
To get the smooth curves around the oculus, I would up making the shape in Autodesk Fusion 360 because it fillets between circles and straight lines very nicely --something not as easy to do in Inkscape or Illustrator. Here is the DXF file and the Inkscape-compatible SVG file Feel free to download and use them! The patterns are a little longer than the Macbook Air top is tall, so the edges can be perfectly trimmed with a utility knife.