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Old 27th Nov 2012, 03:32   #1
the9thwonder
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New Builder

Hi all!
First post, long time reader (aka troller ).
Looking to make my first case. I have a few questions and it seems like this is a good place to get answers to modding.
First, if this is not the right place to put this I apologize.
Second, if there is a FAQ or beginning or beginer's thread out there, I missed it.

On to the questions...
What is your building material of choice?
In order, I would guess aluminum then acrylic or plexiglass (which ever is less prone to static discharge, atm I can't remember which one that is).

What do you use to manipulate your building material?
Can you use a work bench and hand power tools to complete these builds. I'm not really looking to buy a table saw and drill press to do this, nor do I have access to either through friends.

Do you build all of your own parts or buy (for example) a pre-built hard drive bay?

If you don't have access to CAD or something that is a precise drawing tool, do you mockup all your parts with cardboard (or something) to make sure it will all fit together?

Any advice to a first time builder?

Thanks for the feedback!

I must say, there are some pretty impressive builds in here!
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 11:39   #2
Vetalar
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welcome!
great bunch of Qs for couple articles
for starter. there is two big parts:
1 case-mod when one get PC case (cheap or not) and modd it for own desires and fantasy
2 custom or scratch-build - when one get big pile of raw materials and

materials: what one can afford and what skills one have. from carbon fiber to cardboard. asses own skills and tools and make Your choice

tools: basic set of tools and basic hand power-tools will sufficient for 90% of work. 10% is piece-of-art mods involving laser-cutting, 3d-printers, cnc-mills etc.

parts: MB trays, HDD/ODD cages could be ripped from unneeded/cheap case or made by hands.

cardboard mockup is fine. also there is free and simple sketch up software that allow everyone to create 3d models and designs

before starting any project one have to thoroughly asses own skills, affordable materials, tools and spare time.
each "custom" part one uses adds 5-7% of working time and $
sorry for my engrish
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 18:30   #3
Cheapskate
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Welcome in.
My advice?-- Work with what you are comfortable with or have at hand. Start cheap and work your way up into fancier materials. At the very least, be prepared to ruin a lot of material. When you don't, you feel awesome.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 21:38   #4
the9thwonder
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It would be a custom, from scratch, build. There are cases out there that I like, but there always seems to be 1 or 2 things I wish were different. Hacking up the case to change those couple things seems like more work than just starting from scratch.

Where do you buy your materials? Do you try and find a place local or just go online or does it depend on what you are shopping for?

Do you know which one is less prone to static discharge, acrylic or plexiglass? It doesn't seem to be overly expensive for a first build. If I do use one of these, I would probably sand/ghost/fog the external case. Personally, I don't really care to be able to look inside my case. It's not like something is really happening in there that you can actually see. Don't get me wrong, it's cool to see inside other peoples cases.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 21:58   #5
the9thwonder
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Forgot to ask, is it possible to change the lenth of power cables other than buying replacement ones? Or is there a decent variety in sizes out there for sale and I just need to look harder?
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Old 1st Dec 2012, 01:20   #6
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Material shopping depends HEAVILY on where you are.
Acrylic is a general term for stuff that includes plexiglas. Often if the term is used, it means it's an ABS related product.
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Old 3rd Dec 2012, 07:48   #7
yoishiro
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hmm u for a scratch build , your best friend is a dremel lol

and about the CAD software, you could use google sketch up and there is a library with their real life dimensions or u can use a piece of paper at least for the look of the case , because sooner or later u will need hole dimensions and templates and stuff like that , wich its easly searchable so dont need to worry about dimensions and spacing stuff

building a PC case isnt rocket science , making it to look good is an art lol

Materials to use , you could use Aluminum sheets , 1mm to 1.5mm and can bend them with a straight piece of lumber . the frame can be one on wood too so if u know how to make a table , put another "top" piece on the bottom and there u have it , a frame
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Old 5th Dec 2012, 20:08   #8
Dmlindley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the9thwonder View Post
Forgot to ask, is it possible to change the lenth of power cables other than buying replacement ones? Or is there a decent variety in sizes out there for sale and I just need to look harder?
Yep you sure can! You can get MOLEX (.093) sized male and female connector pins from some local electronics stores or order online. The ATX pins will probably have to be ordered online from a mod oriented store. Then you will need to pick up the right sized rolls of wire (between 18 & 22 gauge) along with some heat shrink. Also some sleeving if you choose to sleeve the cables. There are lots of online guides or YouTube guides on sleeving.

For tools I would recommend the G-Vans 5-in-1 modders kit which has what you need for removing pins from connectors and crimping/stripping wire. You will also need a heat gun if possible or at the very least a lighter and a nice pair of small scissors.

I hope this helps! And good luck with your build!
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 01:28   #9
jay2
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Yup, a dremmel is every modder's best friend. For first timer scratch build i recommend you to create an early model using cardboxes, or yellow carton (if you'rent skilled with a 3d modelling softwares).
About acrylic and plexiglass, let me add you other terms Lucite, Perspex, and Lexan or clear plastic
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Old 6th Dec 2012, 10:46   #10
Vetalar
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there is acrylic glass: acryl, plexi, Lucite, Perspex etc. it's one polymer only different trademarks. it could be extruded and cast (a bit better in terms of modding)
and polycarbonate - lexan - it costs much more $$$. and i never saw projects from lexan - only few small parts in some projects.
for wires - if sleeving in plans - cut wires in the desired place and solder up piece of copper wire not thinner than PSU has. typically 18 AWG for 12V and ground (yellow and black) and 18-20 AWG for others. if one want to completely replace wires i'd go with 16AWG for 8pin CPU and PCI-e wires and 18 for others.
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