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Old 3rd Dec 2007, 23:21   #1
phinix
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****** PHINIX CUBE ******* - the one and only:)



################################################## ##############################
03 JUNE 2009 - PHINIX CUBE FINISHED !!!! After exactly 2 years - Cube is done !!!



################################################## ##############################

Hi there!

Phinix Cube is my first project and decided to do sth from scratch. Maybe it is harder, maybe not, but after 5 different cases I had in the past I decided to create my own, sth that will have a great cooling, will make whole stuff inside pretty silent and will look awsome. Plus, will give me a great satisfaction and made me proud.. of myself

So - all has started about 6 months before, when I had a plan to actually mod a case. It was going to be Sunbeam acrylic case. After a while I found a lot of disadvantages of that case, and after reading a log of ORAC3 I decided to build sth from a scratch.. Pure acrylic work... I have already started a log on other site, but after I read a dozen of logs on this site, decided to put it here as well...
So there it is...

THE BEGINNING


“There was an idea…”

My project will be based on acrylic case. Everyone knows full ATX acrylic cases from Sunbeam, Antec or Gigabyte. But I wanted to have a smaller case, sth near to SFF case that I have now – Sugo SG01evo. Since I made my move to SFF world by buying Shuttle SN25P I decided to never go back to full tower cases and stay with those little beauties. So decided to build my own mATX acrylic case from scratch.


"Inspiration…"

I would like to do sth like this mod, which IMHO is a state of art…

ORAC 3



The idea was to create an acrylic case, but smaller that this…

"Already made…"

After another few hours of searching on internet for sources of materials for my project I found it… Someone already thought about making that kind of case! Well it is not exactly what I wanted to build.

Sunbeam UFO Acrylic Cube Case

Sunbeam website: http://www.sunbeamtech.com/index-2.html

Picture of Cube case:



There are also acrylic cases from Gigabyte or Danger Den, but they all too big and I wanted sth small...

"Second thoughts…"

Well.. When I studied UFO chassis I have notices many cons :

• Position of 120mm fans is not accurate – just installation of any card will interrupt air flow between them. Solve: fans should be mounted on other walls.
• Height of first floor is to high compare to second – it could be better to switch heights – making second with mobo higher to fit high zalman cpu coolers, PLUS SLI bridge wont fit in this case (not every bridge, for example Asus)
• PSU can lie down – not on its side, it will reduce height of first level and overall size of the case.
• There is also an idea how to place a mobo – with I/O panel on the back – that means case will be a little bit wider.

"Final question…"

So there was my question – is it worth to mod this UFO case or better idea is to build my own from scratch? I could use some parts from it and change panels, which would be easy… I needed to think about it for a while…

“Versions…”

I had some ideas about how to do all the layout of this case and how to place all components inside. First of all It had to be compatible with all mobos, CPU coolers and PSUs. There must be a place for water cool system. Case must be high enough to take SLI bridges, all kinds, cause Asus makes them little bit higher because of small pins at the top of them – that’s is why they wont fit I Sunbeam case, AND that’s why it eliminated that case! (plus some other cons I mentioned above…).
There were two ways of components accommodation. First – mobo on lower level, then everything else on upper level. Second – other way – mobo on upper. I thought this may have influence on air circulation.

“Size matters…”

Most important in planning this case is what size it would be, so there are my thoughts I had at beginning:

“First of all, I need to gather all parts sizes to accommodate them and calculate size of the case.
Motherboard ATX size has 305 x 244mm – if I put mobo on lower level, then this may be a case base size. All things like psu, pump, reservoirs, dvd, hdds will be on upper level. Otherwise I need at add at least 3cm in width to make holes for tubing and cables to reach mobo on upper level.
BUT – I’m still not sure if I want to build ATX size. Maybe mATX would be better?
Main thing is I don’t like the idea of I/O panel coming out on side of the case. I like normal way – from behind
Sugo dimensions are: 263 mm (W) x 216 mm (H) x 393 mm (D) (WxHxD mm)
UFO Sunbeam: 295 mm (W) x 300 mm (H) x 380 mm (D) (WxHxD mm)
I think I could make it :
270mm (W) x 250mm (H) x 380mm (D) – for mATX mobos only. Something between both of them. It would be like Sugo but little bit higher.
320mm (W) x 250mm (H) x 350mm (D) – for ATX/mATX mobos.
• IF I let I/O panel be on left side of case, THAN frst dimensions will be ok for ATX/mATX mobos – it will be the same like Ashtefere did – ATX mobo in Sugo case – fits great. I will just make it a little bit higher, 250mm.
• Well, there is also last idea – CUBE = 300x300x300 would look great, but this would be only for mATX mobos and, I believe, hard to fit all WC stuff….”


That was on June. I was thinking all over, from size to materials I was going to use.
In the meanwhile I bought a house. That was one of the most annoying things I had to do in my life – here in Scotland it is not that easy to buy a house – if the price is with “offers over” tag, then you need to get through a f*** “closing day”. That IS sick! We thought we never gonna win a house here! But after 5 months of fighting we got one… Also in the mean while I had a car accident, my car had been written off and I had been walking with a collar for 2 weeks. But all ended up nicely for us. We still upgrading our house, but it is closer to the end now.. Hopefully we will finish it till Christmas!

Getting back to the project.. So after all these months I decided to build mATX acrylic case, big enough to have mATX mobo with 2x120mm radiator and whole watercooling goodies inside. Size: 300x300x300mm. Cube…

These are some simple drawings to show what was on my head for a long time

Level 2:


Level 1:



…and a front look




I din’t know how I’m gonna mount the radiator – should it be outside the case or inside.. After a while decided that there will be enough space to put all inside…

I decided to use these – threaded inserts to mount all panels together.


At the beginning I had to do sth that was a must…

“Shopping List…”

So started from sad part of the project – investments. Wrote down the list of all items (materials, tools, etc.) what I had to buy.

Materials:
• a LOT of plexi, transparent + translucent red
• Mirror self-adhesive foil
• Super glue, plexi glue,
• Acetone
• Rubbing Compound
• 10mm long black oxide M3 button cap hex head screws
• sticky tape
• sanding paper 400,800 and 1200
• vinyl tape
• chrome wire sleeveings

Tools:
• dremmel
• jigsaw
• sanding mouse + diff papers
• drill + drill bits
• solder
• vice + clamps

Other:
• Toggle switches + leds + led sockets + cables
• some fan controller
• USB hubs x2

“Planning - drawing mayhem !!!"

Most important in projects like this is planning !!!
So I started to draw.. and draw.. ... ... and draw…












Then came the time for Sketchup !!!






































This was my last idea how I was going to place all components:



Then I started to order things: acrylic sheets, switches, etc…


















Some other parts for my lovely cube…
















Also parts for watercooling...









..this is my swiftech radiator with barbs in it..



This is it.. Till now, in really short, condensed thread

Tomorrow I will show you how I started to work on this cube.
So, please feel free to comment, point out anything you want, also – any suggestions would be very much appreciated!
Stay tuned!!!

Last edited by phinix; 24th Mar 2016 at 14:08.
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Old 3rd Dec 2007, 23:33   #2
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this looks interesting mate i will be keeping an eye on this as i like the whole concept of it.
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Old 4th Dec 2007, 05:14   #3
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It looks really good as a concept, just remember, the outer walls do not appear to have a thickness when you made a drawing in sketchup. So if you print those drawings, you will find some things a bit larger than you want them to be.
I wish you best of luck on this project.
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Old 4th Dec 2007, 10:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceraver View Post
It looks really good as a concept, just remember, the outer walls do not appear to have a thickness when you made a drawing in sketchup. So if you print those drawings, you will find some things a bit larger than you want them to be.
I see that happen a lot with people designing with sketchup. You really should give all of your parts a thickness, so you can see what your design will really look like. When you do that, so will also notice that you have to think about the dimensions of the panels. For example my cube, every panel has different dimensions. The front has 370x370, left 368x370, back 366x370 and top 366x366 I hope you already thought about that, then it's just a piece of advice to the rest of the readers

I really like the shape of the divider plate btw, but I don't know if it will be solid enough to hold the weight. Good luck on creating the case
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Old 4th Dec 2007, 10:37   #5
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Thanks guys. Dont worry - Sketchup cube has already 290x290x290 (it says 300, but it is only 290, I put it just for referance), I skipped thickness of the walls that way
3mm thick for mobo tray is enoguth - there will be only mobo ram gpu and cpu block on it... it will stand on those 4 colummns made of acrylic cube rods. It is pretty nice, I will show you today what I have done so far...

Last edited by phinix; 4th Dec 2007 at 16:42.
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 00:49   #6
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the immense planning you have put into this is impressive.
its looking good.
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 10:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 500mph View Post
the immense planning you have put into this is impressive.
its looking good.
Thanks - I have to cause I cannot afford any mistakes.I saw many people doing this just because they didn't think sth over before made a move. It already costed me a lot of money, I dont want to destroy any of my materials now... Now actually I'm one step before drilling main panels to fold them together with acrylic square rods.. the hardest part I think.. one mistake, holes wont match and that's it.... I need to figer out how to make sure that holes in rods and panels will match and all will fit togheter like a glove...
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 11:38   #8
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It is time for UPDATE !!!

I rather to show you guys more work done every week, then showing one one hole drilled every day I hope you agree…

OK. So.. after buying a lot of stuff I showed you already I started.. very slowly working on that sweet cube
Because I bought a house 3 months ago I do not have much time to work on this project – I have to do all upgrades at home and those take time, believe me. I ordered carpets to be fitted on 19th some hopefully I will finish the house till them. I know that I won’t finish my project before Christmas, so please be pasient. It’s just I don’t have enough money and time to do that. Well, every good mod project takes time, so I’m sure you know this one will take same as usual…
ANYWAY!!!  I ordered my main panels from a acrylic company because I wanted them to be ideally straight and fit exactly to each other. They came a while ago…
Frazer Company sent me beautifully cut and polished panels..mmm... see yourself!









Look how clean the edge is.. diamond polish.. my favourite


Nice, clean acrylic.. it will be perfect as panel in my cube...


Well, I couldn't resist !!!!!!! I had to put it all together



TAAA DAAAA !!!!!!




To show how small it is.. with my Linksys router...


...and here's with my Swiftech 2200 radiator...




Also bought some leds and led holders... 30 white, 20 red and 8 holders... Ebay…



Led holders and those toggle switches I showed you before will be for my multi controller…
Not sure how it will look and what it will contain, but I’m gonna use those anyway. This is just an idea how it could look:



…and where it could look


First thing was I started from was..

MOBO TRAY

Here's my red acrylic sheet I bought a while ago...


here is the size of mobo tray, ready to cut


...and.. cutting...


This damn jigsaw was going left all the time.. the cut looks awful, what do you guys think? Anyone has some golden advice how to use that tool properly???


Uneven like ****... agggrrrr...... (EDIT: I was pretty pissed that day…)


Cut off... nice peace of red acrylic... now it needs to be grinded..


You can see in what mess I have to work..
This will be a baby room.. hopefully this Christmas



After 20 minutes of sanding down the edges I got this…











I know – it looks like orange – because I used glowing acrylic, not just ONLY transparent..or translucent… this “live edge” version looks like that…

After that day I stopped for at least 2 weeks cause had to work on my house..

********************…after another week or two…********************


When got back to my cube I took new red acrylic, not glowing like the one before - under my tristy JIGSAW !!!!!! AAAGGRRRRR



I cut 6 pieces for drive cage - you could see them in my sketches - it will be small red accent on drive cage, both sides. dont know how I'm gonna attach them yet .. with screws or glue...



I couldnt resist to make picture of that powder after cutting it... blood blood everywhere!!!



..after 1 hour of sanding...





They look pretty nice I say..







Still gonna have to polish them with Dremel and polish compound…

********************…after another week or two…********************


After a while I came up with new idea of controller:
Actually, still thinking... in the meanwhile started to wrok on radiator stand and drive cage…



..and in the cube...



********************…after another week or two…********************

Two week ago I was pissed like I mentioned before cause couldn’t get straight polished edges of those rods. My dad visited us, we were talking about cars and tools and I showed him this website, my project and tools that I have to work with.. so we took a trip to B&Q and he bought me this...



With this I got my rods polished from this...



...to this





Well, it is not polished yet, I will use my dremel to do it, but they all straight and standing like a... well... you know...

Last week I started to work on that drive cage and radiator stand, which both will be made of that red acrylic... This is pretty excited doing this project but I have a lot on my head now, with working on my house…

This week I moved a little bit further with my project, but still there is a lot of work.

Here you can see all gang - the smaller ones are for top corners, 40mm tall.



I had a problem few days ago – I tried to tap my acrylic probe panel and it broke, I mean I pushed my tap tool through… I was pretty depressed so decided to go back to my first idea how to fold it all together – using those threaded inserts! So ordered them next day:



WOOO HOOO!!!!



Look at this guy.. small but so important in this cube..





Two days ago started to work on that drive cage..AGAIN… 
All measured and ready to cut..


Here are 4 small 20x70mm rectangles that will keep my dvd on the drive cage..



They glow of course...


You see, I changed my mind..AGAIN.. about my drive cage – it will only keep my hdds, dvd will be on top of it… You can see it on one of my drawings I added before…

FINALLY, yesterday I worked like crazy on my cube project and this is what I did !

All parts I fabricated yesterday:


Look what mess I made...



My magic mashine was so dirty.. uuu...



New update: cut new mobo tray - wanted to use different acrylic, the one from KustomPCs - it is a little bit less glowing material, looks more red than the other one I bought at the beginning. Of course it still has to be drilled and measured for mATX mobo, I'll do it later...
Cutting mobo tray..



smooth straight cut made with jigsaw ...



Another thing is I cut some of that ugly red acrylic to create drive cage. All 4 walls ready to be polished, edges of course...



Here's a little spoiler





I also rounded the edges on those small rectangles which will be a nice accent on my drive cage:



..and rounded the edges of these really small ones which will keep my dvd on the drive cage...




Using that better acrylic, I cut some pieces to build radiator stand:



another spoilers





Last thing I wanted to show is.. difference between that ugly and nicer acrylic what I'm talking all the time.. you can see that the ugly one is glowing more, but it is still like orange, not red...



Anyway, I will put a nice chrome effect film on that cage to cover the ugly orange, then will put those rounded rectangles... I mentioned it on one of my sketchups..

...Till next time,stay tuned !!!
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 11:46   #9
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wow I like your work so far! Also, you made soem very nice sketches!
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 15:39   #10
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Those belt/disc sanders are great. I bought myself one and didn't regret it for a second I really like what you're doing. I also like the bulgin anti vandal switches, but everyone uses those.
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 16:21   #11
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 17:13   #12
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Wow I love that, I'll be keeping an eye on this one!

Quick question, how will you get the airflow to the fans on the rad, I couldn't tell for sure from your pics?
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Old 5th Dec 2007, 17:34   #13
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Like the work so far... But I will have to call the child welfare office about the quality of the toys in your baby room.
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Old 6th Dec 2007, 03:24   #14
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this looks like it's going to be a fun project.
nice work so far.
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Old 6th Dec 2007, 09:40   #15
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Thanks guys! I'm so excited doing it, but unfortunately I have no time to work on it as much as I want..

Quote:
Originally Posted by lworbey View Post
Wow I love that, I'll be keeping an eye on this one!
Quick question, how will you get the airflow to the fans on the rad, I couldn't tell for sure from your pics?
Good question - I'm going to drill some 1cm holes at the buttom of the left and right panel. I may do sth with front one as well.. would be good if I drilled some holes in front panel just in front of hdds...
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Old 6th Dec 2007, 11:15   #16
Lupo_IM
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great work!!! very compliments!!! ;-)
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Old 6th Dec 2007, 13:39   #17
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Very nice work. I like the design
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Old 6th Dec 2007, 16:22   #18
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nice
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Old 10th Dec 2007, 08:54   #19
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Alot of planning you got there nice work.

Keep it up!

Can't wait to see the finished product.
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I know so many people like that...
Classic
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Old 19th Dec 2007, 14:32   #20
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THANK YOU ALL for nice comments... it is so great when you see so many people like your work...
One more thing - if you guys have some ideas, some suggestions how to change sth, please, do not hesitate - anything will be helpfull!!!



TIME FOR UPDATE !!!!

I was pretty busy last week - bought some nice things for myself:

new 8800GTS 512MB..




...and this.. to try out my new card at high res..



Game is beautiful, so amazing that I lost sense of time lately..

...


SO took my acrylic rods and drilled them with.. hehhee.. yep, bought another beautiful tool.. a drill press!







Then pressed those small threaded inserts I got from RSS..





You gonna ask me how I pressed them so easily..? Well.. here's an idea - use soldering iron!





I heated them up with it and VERY easily pressed inside.. its like knife in a butter, VERY smoooooth... :-)

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