Themed laptop case

Created by recoiller on May 3, 2018, 1:45 p.m.
  • For a long time I wanted to create a sturdy laptop case that holds all my 'daily essentials'. These 'daily essentials' include a 15" laptop and charger, several converters for monitor, utp, etc. A separate hard disk, 3 pens, business cards, a headset, a Leatherman and a small notebook.

    For this project I start with a pre-owned Pelicase 1500. It is rather heavy but it will hold the 15" laptop and will leave enough space for the other stuff. On the outside I want it themed in such a way that it will turn heads but it should not get me in trouble. I've thought about theming it based on a movie although it would be clear that it is a prop then, or worse.. a piece of merchandise. Therefore I'm thinking of theming it a bit more 'general'.

    I made a design for the outside Since I'll start on the outside..

    I could use some feedback and I'm thinking of posting my progress over here. Tips are more than welcome.

  • The rough Pelicase 1500 bought for the likes of $50,-
    It needs some good cleaning for before I can spay paint this one. I'm thinking of 2 layers primer, 2 layers white paint and 2 layers of coating. At the same time I ordered some warning stickers online. Still looking for an affordable option to get the foam on the inside with the right shapes cut out.

  • I got some stickers online that should support the theme. They tend to be a bit larger than I thought and hoped.

  • Okay, spray painting was more challenging than I hoped. Lack of experience in 'making' and used -kind of- the wrong colours.. Even so, I'm rather pleased with the result so far.

  • I had to modify the design based on the larger stickers and different colours. I also decided to get rid of the RITEG theme. Of course it won't contain a RITEG so I am going for the more generic theme 'experimental content'. Making a stencil for the RITEG letters was also challenging so I'm going with the more easy common font letters.

  • Nice! I would love to see how you are going about the storage inside. Looks great, well done!

  • Thank you Justin, I though I was all alone over here ;)

    The inside will be the real challenge since it needs to be functional and I also want to try to stay within the theme. I'm thinking of using styrofoam with cardboard glued on or EVA foam.

  • So just the outside was kind of a 'one day build'. I will put another layer of clear paint over it. The next challenge will be the inside. For that I still have to make a good design.

    The 1.21 Jiggawatts sticker is a referral to "Back to the Future" and should make it clear that it is 'fake'.
    The bottom sticker is from the "Dihydrogen Monoxide" Hoax, it is just the chemical name of common water (H2O).
    I'm still not sure if I should have left these 2 decals off and just stuck with the "Warning Biohazard". It would have kept it more legit.

  • Looking great so far! I'm curious to see how the inside turns out as well!

    Have you looked at Kaizen foam? https://www.amazon.com/Fastcap-Kaizen-Foam-57mm-Black/dp/B007J2JJYK

    It is thin layers of foam sheets, and you can trace an outline and cut out just what you need one layer at a time. Way better then pick and pluck. I Like To Make Stuff did a video using that kind of foam for a drone case (https://www.iliketomakestuff.com/drone-case-harbor-freight-tool-case/).

  • Thank you for the tip darkspace.

    For some reason it seems to be very hard to get Kaizen foam where I live. Over here there is a lot of 'pick 'n pluck' foam that I don't like. Due to your comment I took another look at Kaisen foam. I found something that is not for my exact case but should be working. I'll try to get it tomorrow.

    I'm thinking of a lower-layer with some stuff that I do't use that often. The top layer should be 2 separate parts, one for the laptop and a smaller part that is easy to lift out to reach the stuff in the lower layer. I'm thinking of plastidipping the top of the layers and add some text.

  • Kaizen foam will be delivered next week. The (several layers of) primer is not sticking that well to the plastic. I can't use tape for masking since the tape will strip the paint from the case. Therefore I'd like to put a fat layer of clear coating over it. I tried a spray can with clear coating but that only makes it shiny.. Nice as well but I need more 'protection'.

  • Kaizen foam is in.. I got 3cm and 5cm thick.. 120cm x 60cm

  • This looks great! Keep up the good work

  • Thank you.. It is still a bit too 'fake' so I'm removing the text of the two stickers that are too obvious.

    On the inside I'm going to add some test-tubes and make them light up when I open the case. I need to be careful since they are not allowed to touch the computer when it is closed.

    So far I notice that everybody has made up their own story around the case before they ask me. People are more creative than you would think.

  • Still working on the design of the inside of the lid. I won't only use test tubes with lights behind them, I will also so something with laser engraved plexi-glass.

    So far I painted some stickers over again and I did some laser engraving on the name tag of the case. And to my extreme joy... I got a lightweight alternative now for when this case is just too heavy.. It is the EDC.ONE!!! The "Every Day Carry One" from Savage Industries.

    Since I could not find a review of it yet, I will probably create one on YouTube. I can already tell that it is a very exceptional bag. The feel of the sturdy (sail) fabric makes it different from all other bags. It is almost an awkward mix between a very sturdy fabric and still it is very lightweight. When you open it up, you directly see all the contents. There is only 1 very small pocket (that I will use for some small cash). The most searched item in my bags and cases is always a pencil. The EDC.one has some loops to carry 5 pencils with different thicknesses. Size-wise it is just right for every day carry. I will make a Velcro sigh that I can stick to the patch on the outside.

    Rightfully, the images don't do it justice for the level of quality. Everybody is amazed by the fabric. I can't understand why other bags don't have magnetic handles. They make using the bag a real joy.

  • Been seriously debating getting one or not. Curious to see how it works out for you!

  • First to reply to marvin3242 on the EDC1. I love the bag even though it is a very different bag than I am used to. Most of my bags are backpacks. This one is a great bag to carry a lot of small stuff that you can easily find back due to the large opening.

    On the case.. I finally got some plastic test tubes and some decoration Christmas lights that run on batteries.

    Not finished for sure but I like the way it is heading.. Now I need to turn them on or off with a hidden switch. I'm thinking of making it automatic with a light sensor.

  • Ooooh I like that. That is awesome. I need to make one for my work laptop or such. Maybe my ipad and the stuff I carry every day.

  • Dude that looks amazing!

  • Thank you. There is now a light sensor so that the lights will automatically turn on when the case opens.

    I found some more cases, yellow and grey. So I have some idea's and I got an airbrush so that might make things easy as well.

    One of the yellow cases will be a BnL from Wall-E themed. One of the grey ones will be Mr Fusion from Back to the Future II themed.

  • Last version of the design


  • The air plane seatbelts are in. They only cost about 8 euro a piece. I had to buy some new bolts, washers and rubber rings to keep it waterproof.

    Connecting them to the case was childsplay. They come with metal attachments that are easy to bolt to the case. I bouhjt a 13mm wood drill to make the holes.

    The clasp is working and add a nice detail to the shoulder strap. It can also be used to connect the case to that it is harder to steal it.

    I'll use the red one for my yellow case.