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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Carbon Fiber Back Mod - Tutorial

Carbon Fiber Back Mod - Install & Tutorial

Hi all,

mikevember started a thread, http://androidforums.com/htc-evo-4g/78740-carbon-fiber-4g-back.html, a while back which inspired myself and a number of others to look further into it and try it out. Since I wound up purchasing a Google IO Evo, I'm the first to go.

So I documented everything here for you all.





First, you'll see that I ordered two sheets, one light and one dark carbon fiber.

I wasn't sure which one I'd want, so I said the hell with it and got one of each. And worse case scenario, if I screwed the first install, I could rip it off then use the other sheet to try again.






Tools:
- Hair Dryer
- Utility Knife
- Cardboard to cut on
- Sewing Needle
- Scissors





First you'll see I cut a chunk of the decal away, since I wouldn't need it. I figured I'd practice first, so took the cap to a spray can that was curvy, and worked with that. Here's a few samples.





I was able to pull the decal on and off, stretch and restretch it, as I kept heating it. I played around for several minutes and this material is very forgiving. It won't "permanently" shrink like say, saran wrap, which helps a lot. But at the same time, that means the material won't wrap around tighter curves as well, but that's okay.









Okay, onto the Evo.



Here I am now applying the decal.





Once I did this, I started to cut away the excess using scissors then used the utility knife for closer trimming. After this, I heated the hell out of it for several minutes, pressing up the sides to encourage adhesion shrinking.





Then I cut out the hole for the camera lens and kickstand.







Then I went back and trimmed up the edges as best I could. I noticed that nail clippers, curved and straight, helped tremendously in cleaning things up. Normal curved nail clippers worked really well for trimming the rounded corners.





Next, I used a needle to pop out the holes for the speaker. I first poked from the inside of the back, then pushed the needle back through the outside of the back.

Finally, I cut the holes for the flash. That was the biggest pain in the ass for two reasons. First, I used the "cut a +" technique that I posted from a tutorial video in the original thread. Don't do that... cut a circle out instead. Eventually I was able to trim away as much of the excess as possible but it was a royal bitch, because the holes are so small.



And here's the final result!






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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So here's a slew of random thoughts.

The decal material feels really good. It's not super slippery and textured nicely.

There's still teeny tiny jagged edges in my cuts. Not the cleanest job, but its good enough for me.

When you make your cuts, make them all from the inside of the back, adhesive side UP.

Uhm, that's all I can think of. Any questions?

And if you found this useful, don't forget to hit the THANKS button!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Pretty sweet!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That looks nice.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One suggestion would be to use an X-acto knife or similar small blade hobby knife. They would be more manageable for the small detail cuts.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i like but im too lazy to do that. just give me a pretty case and im good to go. thanks for sharing bek!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You are already modding your phone and I don't even have mine. Me = sad
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Question... Once it cools off and is formed to the cover, is it rigid enough you could use a nail file or some fine sandpaper to smooth up the edges? Or is it more of a softer playable material?

Thanks.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossxii View Post
Question... Once it cools off and is formed to the cover, is it rigid enough you could use a nail file or some fine sandpaper to smooth up the edges? Or is it more of a softer playable material?

Thanks.
It's a decal/sticker, so you might be able to do that. But it could tear the material too? Might be worth trying with a piece of scrap.

I'm only using a cheap hair dryer, so it's not like you're heating this material to where you cannot even touch it.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for the tutorial. how much pulling/stretching did you have to do for the corners to get the film to conform? or did you just heat and pressed them on? if so, wouldn't there be creases from the excess material, kind of like the spray paint cap but to a lesser degree?

also, did you use the sample-size sheets?
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus96 View Post
thanks for the tutorial. how much pulling/stretching did you have to do for the corners to get the film to conform? or did you just heat and pressed them on? if so, wouldn't there be creases from the excess material, kind of like the spray paint cap but to a lesser degree?
I only had to heat and press. Never had to stretch.

The curves on the Evo back are nowhere near as extreme as that of the spray can cap, so it wasn't an issue.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I ordered my sample from 3M Di-NOC Carbon Fiber Vinyl : Carbon Fiber Gear

By any chance, is that where you ordered yours? I am big into cars, used to be huge into tuners (Now Muscle cars though) so this will fit my hobby well. (Previous car was about 25% real carbon fiber on the exterior)
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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GP - yes, that's where I ordered from as well.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Pretty cool. I ordered two myself - the dark and the silver. I'm wondering if it would be better to cut it larger than the back and the use a longer blade (like a filet knife) to cut the long final cuts evenly...might cut down on frayed ends.

I'll probably try it but I ordered this as well (in Evo form, not HD2):

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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If I was you, I would've cut out the HTC logo.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geniuz650 View Post
If I was you, I would've cut out the HTC logo.
Personal preference - I could care less about showing the logo. To me, that breaks up the feel of the back, but to each their own.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 09:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
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agreed lol i would have tediously cut HTC out so it showed through, THEN possible found a chrome sticker thing like that, one that is even more shiny than the plastic the "HTC" is already made of and shine it up a lil lol
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Awesome job, Bek!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Bek- Yeah I know. Just sayin' though. Still looks good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Covert_Death View Post
agreed lol i would have tediously cut HTC out so it showed through, THEN possible found a chrome sticker thing like that, one that is even more shiny than the plastic the "HTC" is already made of and shine it up a lil lol
Yeah that would come out pretty nice too, or maybe putting some diamonds in there lol.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Nice step by step. Added to the All Forum Links thread.

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Old May 28th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geniuz650 View Post
Yeah that would come out pretty nice too, or maybe putting some diamonds in there lol.

LOL - sorry, bling's not my thing!
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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Good writeup. Wish the pics were a little clearer though. Mine showed up today No phone to stick it on yet though...
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Old May 29th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #23 (permalink)
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congrats on the great job. It looks just as great as I imagined. I will have to wait until friday to do mine but I am glad it turned out awesome for you. A little more heat on the edges should shrink up the frayed parts. I am not 100% sure on that but you may wanna check the original precentral forum to check on cleaning up the edges. Again, congrats and I am so stoked to do this myself.
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Old May 29th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Nice job, looks great. Do you think it would be possible to use a dremel sand and smooth any rough edges left over from the knive?

Is it possible to remove it after a week? I wish someone would make a brushed aluminium back door, like the one on my zune hd (its a really small solid mp3 player). Zune on adroid would rock too
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Old May 29th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katmandoo122 View Post
Pretty cool. I ordered two myself - the dark and the silver. I'm wondering if it would be better to cut it larger than the back and the use a longer blade (like a filet knife) to cut the long final cuts evenly...might cut down on frayed ends.

I'll probably try it but I ordered this as well (in Evo form, not HD2):

I ordered the same thing but in red.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 07:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Federer View Post
Is it possible to remove it after a week? I wish someone would make a brushed aluminium back door...
DI-NOC comes in all kinds of patterns.

Digital Media Repository

You should be able to request a sample from this site...

Interior Design Solutions


I also am curious as to how well the DI-NOC can be removed. After removal does the cover look like new?

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Old June 1st, 2010, 09:03 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IlliniDawg01 View Post
I also am curious as to how well the DI-NOC can be removed. After removal does the cover look like new?

DaveJ
It's just a decal - peels right off.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default I just finished mine up yesterday

Used the 3M Di-NOC black carbon fiber.

Followed Beks instructions basically, but used my wifes exacto art knife for trimming. The hair dryer helps as mentioned for the rounded edges and corners. A metal ice pick type tool works great for the speaker grates. I had planned to cut out the HTC logo, but there is just no good way to do it...

It turned out awesome. No hairy edges (sharp knife makes a huge difference). Looks like the phone was built this way. A great $10 mod.

Here are some other patterns for people to try:

3M US: Graphic Solutions: DI-NOC? Architectural Finishes: Product Gallery

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Old June 7th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Default PhantomSkinz Carbon Fiber

Just an FYI. We make patterns from Carbon Fiber using our existing Chromatics designs. A couple of us in the office have it on our own personal phones so I am attaching a couple pics of each for your review. Any questions, reply here or PM me. BTW, nice write-up!

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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Nice
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Old June 7th, 2010, 08:58 PM   #31 (permalink)
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ohhhhh Phantomskinzzzzz

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Old June 8th, 2010, 03:53 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeauxCrazy View Post
ohhhhh Phantomskinzzzzz
hey, does that phantom skinz only cover the battery cover? or does it have side pieces that cover the rest of the back?

i'd like to try either the chromatics or get some of that carbon fiber film and cover the entire back (cutting out for the battery door obviously), sides, top and bottom, then put screen protector on.

oh, one last thing....do any of these provide enough thickness to where the phone doesn't lay on the camera lens?
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeauxCrazy View Post
ohhhhh Phantomskinzzzzz
thats the skin from phantomskinz? or one u made yourself?

Phantom Skinz Chromatics for HTC Evo 4G- Colored Protection Film

i also would also like to know about the above questions asked
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeauxCrazy View Post
ohhhhh Phantomskinzzzzz

it looks like u did this one yourself because it looks different then the pic they have posted .. especially the speaker


i like your better .. haha .. covers the sides and prob feels better in the hands and covers the sides ... the one from phantom looks to just be for battery cover
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernechad View Post
hey, does that phantom skinz only cover the battery cover? or does it have side pieces that cover the rest of the back?

i'd like to try either the chromatics or get some of that carbon fiber film and cover the entire back (cutting out for the battery door obviously), sides, top and bottom, then put screen protector on.

oh, one last thing....do any of these provide enough thickness to where the phone doesn't lay on the camera lens?
Hi bernechad,

Our Chromatics patterns cover the following for the EVO 4G:
1) The Battery Cover
2) Kickstand
3) 4 strips that cover around the sides

You can see the coverage by checking out our skin for our Original Clear or Matte Full Body Kit. Here is a link for it.

Phantom Skinz - Clear and Matte-Finish Protection Film for HTC Evo 4G

There will be some very slim edges exposed between the battery cover and our side strips. These areas are so thin that any attempt to cover them will result in them peeling off after use.

Also, all Internet orders from us does include a 2-pak of our Original Clear Screen Protectors.

And for your last question, I don't know if our CF is thick enough to protect the camera lens bezel. I'll see if I can find that out in the next few days.

Guru
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Old June 8th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #36 (permalink)
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are there any discounts and free shipping from orders from androidforums?
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Old June 8th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToNrDrOiD View Post
it looks like u did this one yourself because it looks different then the pic they have posted .. especially the speaker


i like your better .. haha .. covers the sides and prob feels better in the hands and covers the sides ... the one from phantom looks to just be for battery cover
LOL, it's not mine guys. I stole that from the phantomskinz facebook pictures.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToNrDrOiD View Post
are there any discounts and free shipping from orders from androidforums?
Hi ToNrDrOiD,

Yes we do. We currently have a 30% off Sale going on for the summer. Just use the discount code "summersale2010" (all lower case) at checkout. Also, we offer Free Shipping via the USPS First Class Mail in the US. Other shipping options are available at an additional cost.

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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:21 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Went ahead and ordered this sample today, should be in by early next week. I have always been a fan of the carbon fiber look, so this will compliment my phone well. Thanks for the instructions. Maybe ill have enough to do the bottom of my phone where the touch buttons are..that'd be nice. Possibly the top also? Who knows.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 10:50 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Went ahead and ordered this sample today, should be in by early next week. I have always been a fan of the carbon fiber look, so this will compliment my phone well. Thanks for the instructions. Maybe ill have enough to do the bottom of my phone where the touch buttons are..that'd be nice. Possibly the top also? Who knows.
I want to also try the sides, pretty much where there is no glass. Dunno how easy that will be though. I'm not touching the top glass surface of the phone, I just don't think the change from the carbon fiber to glass like that will look good.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 01:14 AM   #41 (permalink)
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LOL...Wish I had checked back in on this thread before going to Unique Skins and making a custom one out of a JPG of dark blue carbon fiber...hahahaha. Oh well. I only got the regular kind (not scratch proof), so it wasn't inexpensive, but still shoulda checked here first.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 02:49 AM   #42 (permalink)
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ohhhhh Phantomskinzzzzz

We need to track this guy down and get him to make us a pattern, I'd give him money for it, too!
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Old June 11th, 2010, 09:18 AM   #43 (permalink)
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We need to track this guy down and get him to make us a pattern, I'd give him money for it, too!
Hrshycro,

That pattern is ours. This picture was taken after doing the first Carbon Fiber installation at our Mesa Arizona retail location for a Sprint employee. The picture was then posted on that store's Face-book page. The photo on our web site does not do justice as to how cool the Carbon Fiber looks. In addition to looking like Carbon Fiber, the material also has a slight texture that adds to the look.

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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I want to also try the sides, pretty much where there is no glass. Dunno how easy that will be though. I'm not touching the top glass surface of the phone, I just don't think the change from the carbon fiber to glass like that will look good.
If i have some extra left over ill go ahead and try it, if i dont like it i can always take it off(:
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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:27 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Hrshycro,

That pattern is ours. This picture was taken after doing the first Carbon Fiber installation at our Mesa Arizona retail location for a Sprint employee. The picture was then posted on that store's Face-book page. The photo on our web site does not do justice as to how cool the Carbon Fiber looks. In addition to looking like Carbon Fiber, the material also has a slight texture that adds to the look.

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i agree the phone on the site doesnt look the best. Doesnt look like real carbon fiber .. just a smooth skin with no texture feeling. Like a gloss feel. the oe that was posted on facebook looks real nice. U said that the cover covers the sides and all but if u switch to another one of the skins, for example the silver .. u can see that the sides are not covered



send me a review carbon fiber and i will make a video and answer everyones questions and set the record straight on the real look !
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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Because im sure they will send you a skin for free, for someone who just has 47 posts and no significance on this site. Hell, they'll prolly overnight it to you.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 10:49 AM   #47 (permalink)
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it was more of just a statement that many questions still wonder around .. and this is prob one of the sites i visit the least, and most recent that i joined.. if they wanted more credentials i can provide them with all the other sites that i have over 5 yrs and 1000 posts and great reps on ..
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Old June 11th, 2010, 11:48 AM   #48 (permalink)
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it was more of just a statement that many questions still wonder around .. and this is prob one of the sites i visit the least, and most recent that i joined.. if they wanted more credentials i can provide them with all the other sites that i have over 5 yrs and 1000 posts and great reps on ..

Still, the chances of them sending a free unit to a nobody is slim.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Got mine today, and after messing with it i got it to where i am happy with it. I will prolly touch up on it at a later point, but it works for now.

Thanks!

Also as i was curious and someone else may be, you are able to put the carbon fiber gear vinyl over the touch buttons on the bottom of the phone, they still register your input.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #50 (permalink)
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My custom Unique Skins (made with 3M material) is supposedly shipped, so I'll take some pics for everyone to see how the quality came out (once I receive them).
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