Extremely nerdy motherboard manicure you can do yourself



“…you can do yourself”

You have an unrealistically high opinion of my skillz with the nail polish brush, apparently.

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I was just about to say that. I might be able to get something that detailed on one or two nails of my other hand, but my dominant hand?

I can barely keep the paint on the nails, most of the time.

That said, it is cute, and I would totally wear it.


If you are willing to invest a couple years, I’d suggest training your non-dominant hand. I did it since I was a kid (at the beginning for fun, later I appreciated it a lot when I was doing computer maintenance it was priceless as you cannot flip a chassis so the annoyingly inaccessible screw or connector was reachable by the dominant hand). Incorporate little things into your daily routine (placing things so you reach for them by the nondominant hand, performing noncritical but skill-requiring tasks by it, and so on).

Can be as simple as watching TV with a bag of snacks reachable by left hand. (I exercised my broken shoulder by reaching for snacks. Nothing intense, but integrated to more exercise than the one I had prescribed. My rehab doc marveled how well it worked.) The main trick is to do such things so automatically this way you won’t have to think about it and therefore won’t forget doing it.


On the linked site it says something about using a PCB stencil to create the traces on the nail art:



“This instructalbe will show you how to make stencils that will allow you to make perfect designs on your nails - even with your non dominant hand!”

I’m assuming that it’s easier if instead of painting your nails, you photolithograph them. Perhaps you already dry them under a UV lamp.

But then again, I’ve never done this.

That could be actually doable! Use a colored UV-curable nail polish, overlay with a mask, expose, wipe uncured, overcoat with transparent layer, cure that. Check if the 404nm lasers can be used for local curing instead of the rather puny UV LED arrays. Also, there are 5W and even more powerful UV LEDs, lithography-friendly. Can be mounted on a piece of finned aluminium cut from a decommissioned CPU heatsink.

Another thought: what about some adhesive foil (or thin paper) with e.g. inkjet-printed pattern, and then a transparent gel topcoat?

Yet another thought: leverage a 3d printer. Put a pen or paint dispenser instead of the plastic nozzle, use a hand-holding jig to hold the fingertips in position (those air-drying craft modeling clays are wonderful for such jigs), a touch probe for accurate surface sensing, and the rest is a machine’s job.

Also, how do the UV-curable paints behave? If a thin layer is placed on a silicone paper and cured, and then another layer is placed on top and only partially cured (assuming that this turns the fluid material to sticky one), this could be used for pattern transfers (paint the pattern on the fully cured layer before adding the adhesive layer).


I tried painting my nails a little while back. I liked the concentration and attention to detail it requires (which is really my thing), but just didn’t care enough for the end result to actually do it regularly.

So doing something like this would be an extremely cool project, if I actually gave a damn about how my nails look.

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