Let’s face it –- the modding market is flooded with unoriginal mass-produced cases and components. While this may popularize our art, computers are starting to look the same. Everyone has the same mods and creativity is out the door. Modder’s mesh is a raw material that is truly a mod-artist’s canvas. You can do so many creative things with it with little work and high *bling*. More ambitious users can take more time and come up with some very impressive mods.
Modder’s mesh was invented by mnpctech owner Bill Owen, a professional case modder who started selling this product a few years ago. He came up with the idea when building a computer for a customer, and dubbed his creation “Modder’s Mesh”, resting on the seventh day… er…
Anyway, this product has become so popular in the modding community that nearly all metal mesh is referred to by this brand name, similar to branding tissues are as KleenexTM and all sodas as Coke®.
The mesh is sold by the square foot and is available in two patterns. The product arrived in a plain but protective square padded envelope. The envelope was just large enough for the 1 foot square, keeping it nice and secure. The two pattern samples were in excellent condition.
There are two patterns available: a holed pattern and a honeycomb pattern. The first pattern is 22 gauge steel needled with 5/32” holes. The honeycomb pattern is comprised of ¼” hexagons offering 70% airflow and is also fabricated from 22 gauge steel.
A slightly greasy but transparent substance coats the metal pieces, but this is merely a light oil to prevent oxidation. Bill recommends either painting the mesh or maintain the oil periodically. A computer is generally not going to be in an area prone to moisture, so you should be able to use the product as-is, but more preparation is required for painting. Basically use laquer thinner and a stiff brush to remove the oil, and dry it quickly. You should probably lightly sand it with 200 grit sandpaper and then apply a primer, else the paint might peel off. All of these products can be found at any automotive store. After preparation, you can get really creative: you can match your case colors, use glossy, matte or even neon paint. Rustoleum would probably look pretty good, providing a thick glossy finish.
Working with the product
Working with the mesh is very easy. You can use simple wire-cutters or get precise with a Dremel. Since the edges of my products were to be hidden behind other things, I chose the “quick and easy” path with the wire cutters. The mesh is stiff and holds its form but is also very pliable. It offers good resistance to the wire cutters, but is easily cut. One may wish to use a Dremel if precise cuts are to be made, to achieve a professional edge. Gloves are recommended, as the edges can be quite sharp and pointy!
It would be difficult to review a product like this without actually using it in a few projects. The next section describes some simple projects that can be completed with Modder’s Mesh, and a guide on how they were created. Whithout further ado…