There are lots and lots of tools out there to help us modders do our work. From the tried-and-true rotary tool to the trusty tape measure and pencil. We all have our ways of getting our mods done. Every once in a while though a new tool comes along that's a Swiss Army Knife of a tool. This type of tool can do multiple things and do them all equally well and with great precision. The tool we've got here today that fits just that description is the casemodding fan template from White Light Laser. Read on for the details...
White Light Laser is your one-stop shop for small scale laser cutting and engraving. Thomas will take any design you want and cut or etch it with your choice of acrylic. Custom fan grilles are his specialty. He has quite the range to choose from already on his site but will custom make just about anything you can dream up. His latest creation is this awesome fan template. This template can be cut from your choice of acrylic colors in 1/8" thickness and etched with your own custom designs and/or logos (for an extra fee). Thomas was nice enough to whip up a sample for us to check out! Let's take a look.
I emailed Thomas a .psd file containing the logo I wanted him to engrave. The Computers And Circuits logo can be especially difficult due to the nature of the font and all of it's minute lines. The etching is all done on the backside of the template leaving the top side nice and smooth.
As you can see his laser had little trouble engraving the fine details into the lettering on our logo.The smallest line in the lettering is 0.15mm or about 0.006" which is pretty amazing.
The template comes with 4 popular fan sizes - 80mm, 92mm, 120mm and 140mm. Each is labeled on the template for quick and easy setup.
The left side of the template is marked in 1/16" increments and is dead on measurement-wise.
The top edge of the template is marked in millimeters with increments of 1mm. Again these markings are spot on when checked with my digital caliper.
The right side of the template is marked off with 1/10" increments and as with the others, the markings are dead on.
The entire template iself is a 142.5mm square piece of acrylic. The edges are polished from the laser and the corners are rounded for style and safety. You'll also notice in this image the 4 lines marked on the X and Y axes for help in centering your fan hole. In the standard version there's also a large "+" in the center for pinpoint alignment. However with our custom logo it would have interfered with the center "+". Keep this in mind if you're submitting a custom logo.
I had him make our template out of translucent green. It looks awesome once all the protective tape is peeled off. Speaking of that - most if it came off quick and easy. The tougher parts were inside the CAC logo and inside all of the "0"'s on the template. It only took about 15 minutes to carefully weed out our template.
Here's a nice close-up with the masking tape removed. Again the detail in the lettering is simply amazing. If his machine can recreate our logo with this kind of precision it should easily be able to handle just about anything you can throw at it.
We tested the White Light Laser Fan Template against various 140mm, 120mm and 92mm fans we had here in our shop. We sadly didn't have any 80mm fans laying around to test with, but not many mods these days use 80mm or even 92mm fans for the matter.
You can see that the mounting holes line up dead-on with this case fan.
The cutout ring for the 140mm fan is a tad smaller in diameter than this 140mm fan's frame is. The only reason I can see for this is that if the acrylic were made with the 140mm cutout full size it'd render 4 potential weak spots on the template itself.It's only about 4mm smaller than this particular fan's frame is so it's nothing that can't be cleaned up with a rotary tool afterwards.
As with the 140mm fan the mounting holes for the 120mm version line up exactly.
The cutout ring for the 120mm fan is spot-on though, so using this to lay out your hole size won't leave you with excess to cut away later on.
Once again the 92mm fan's mounting holes line up exactly with the holes in the template.
And as with the 120mm fan the 92mm fan's cutout ring is spot on with the fan's frame.
All in all the White Light Laser Fan Template is a win. For $20 you get a solid acrylic template that will allow you to mark mounting holes and fan cutouts for most popular fan sizes. In addition to that you get three rulers to help with measurements for your mod - 1/10", 1/16" and 1mm scales will cover just about everything you'll need. Having custom logos and your choice of color is just icing on the cake. With all of these awesome features we don't hesitate one bit to give this tool our Platinum award. You can contact Thomas by e-mail or at his Etsy shop to get yours today!
SPECIAL! Mention this review and he'll throw in FREE custom logo etching! Just email him with a .jpg of your design and he'll etch it in!