Carbon Fiber Back Mod - Tutorial


  1. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    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.



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    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.




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



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    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.



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    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.



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    Okay, onto the Evo.

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    Here I am now applying the decal.



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    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.



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



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    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.



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    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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    slammer21, Cuso, jmoh and 17 others like this.
  2. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    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! [​IMG]
    the kid, Ravensthief, nwanick and 7 others like this.
  3. SprintFun

    SprintFun VIP Member VIP Member

    Pretty sweet!
  4. ashtx07

    ashtx07 Well-Known Member

    That looks nice.
  5. SniperDroid

    SniperDroid Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. chasers

    chasers Well-Known Member

    i like but im too lazy to do that. just give me a pretty case and im good to go. thanks for sharing bek!
  7. Evo_Pimpin

    Evo_Pimpin Well-Known Member

    You are already modding your phone and I don't even have mine. Me = sad
  8. bossxii

    bossxii Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. maximus96

    maximus96 Well-Known Member

    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?
  11. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. GeneralPatton

    GeneralPatton Well-Known Member

    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)
  13. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    GP - yes, that's where I ordered from as well.
  14. katmandoo122

    katmandoo122 Well-Known Member

    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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  15. Geniuz650

    Geniuz650 Well-Known Member

    If I was you, I would've cut out the HTC logo.
    Covert_Death likes this.
  16. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Covert_Death

    Covert_Death Well-Known Member

    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
  18. drexappeal

    drexappeal Well-Known Member

    Awesome job, Bek!
  19. Geniuz650

    Geniuz650 Well-Known Member

    Bek- Yeah I know. Just sayin' though. Still looks good.

    Yeah that would come out pretty nice too, or maybe putting some diamonds in there lol.
  20. twospirits

    twospirits AF's janitor Moderator

    Nice step by step. Added to the All Forum Links thread.

    TS
  21. Bek

    Bek Well-Known Member


    LOL - sorry, bling's not my thing! :p
  22. legacy

    legacy Well-Known Member

    Good writeup. Wish the pics were a little clearer though. Mine showed up today :) No phone to stick it on yet though...
  23. mikevember

    mikevember Well-Known Member

    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.
  24. Federer

    Federer Well-Known Member

    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
  25. Sassy_Lina

    Sassy_Lina Well-Known Member

    I ordered the same thing but in red. :cool:

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