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View Poll Results: Which faceplate design do you like? (Faceplates on page 6)
Don't change anything! 31 14.62%
Faceplate 1 14 6.60%
Faceplate 2 59 27.83%
Faceplate 3 12 5.66%
Faceplate 4 57 26.89%
Faceplate 5 15 7.08%
Faceplate 6 31 14.62%
Faceplate 7 28 13.21%
Some other design! 14 6.60%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 212. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 20:05   #61
jrs77
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I wish I had the possibility to use a CNC aswell. So many ideas, that simply can't be done because of the lack of such tools

Nevertheless... that's some real nice stuff there
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 20:51   #62
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Great work here. It's so cool to have these machines available and be able to actually produce whatever your imagination can put together! Keep it up!

How much does the case weigh with the parts you have made so far? That is a lot of thick aluminum!
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 21:16   #63
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Originally Posted by Angel OD View Post
3D milling cheesecake!

How long did it take to machine the 3D aluminum?
And what software do you use?

BTW, still loooooove this one!
Thanks! The roughing passes all were pretty quick, 1-2 hours or so. The finish passes with a step-over of 0.1mm to get a perfect finish all took overnight. I use SolidWorks to draw everything, save as a .STEP file, then import into MasterCam X2 (don't have X3 yet).


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Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
+1 on what AngelOD said, ('Specially the looooove part.)
I'm currently shopping for CAM software, and the prices are a direct hit on the groin area. :
They are quite expensive...but luckily I do this at work where it's freeeeee!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
I wish I had the possibility to use a CNC aswell. So many ideas, that simply can't be done because of the lack of such tools

Nevertheless... that's some real nice stuff there
Thanks! I'm glad people enjoy what I'm doing as much as I do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gvblake22 View Post
Great work here. It's so cool to have these machines available and be able to actually produce whatever your imagination can put together! Keep it up!

How much does the case weigh with the parts you have made so far? That is a lot of thick aluminum!
Not a clue what it weighs so far...most of the exterior will be milled down so I'm expecting to drop a significant chunk of weight after the final milling process. All in all, it looks a lot heavier than it is so far. I'll weigh in and let you know!


While I'm here, I'll update you guys quickly!

I spent most of my day yesterday trying to get mounting hole measurements for a slim optical drive. I had none laying around, and the only one available to me was on my laptop. Unfortunately, I have a Dell Studio and they don't let you just slide the optical drive out. So, this is the pain that took me half the day...I hope I don't screw up the computer that I use to post!

Parts Galore


More Parts Galore


The Culprit


All this was just to get the mounting hole measurements and locations. This had to be done so I could start on the bottom piece. I was too impatient to wait for my new drive to come in from China in like 3 weeks!

Well...moment of truth, does it work when put back together?

Woo Hooooo!



Here's the solid block for the bottom piece. Drool over it .

Bottom Aluminum



I faced the bottom piece with the acrylic together to save some time.

Facing


Close-Up!



This is a fairly big block of material. The size escapes you in the pictures. It's roughly 45mm thick and 220mm x 280mm big.

Hunk-o-Material



Someone was wondering how I was going to clamp the case down. I haven't let onto that yet, so I'll continue to keep that my secret! Here is my solution to better hold the pieces together instead of all those clamps (and so I could leave the thing running overnight). I drilled holes through the aluminum, partly into the acrylic. I then tapped the acrylic portion, and put screws through the aluminum to the acrylic! Solid!

Mounting Screws


Mounting Screw Close-Up


Mounting Screw Side Shot



When trying to write the program for the machining, I freaked out a bit at first. The acrylic piece is some random depth, meaning I faced one side and didn't face the others. If you've ever really worked with acrylic before, you know that it varies wildly in thickness over the entire material due to the polishing they do. So, with a piece of acrylic the same size as the aluminum, how would I get an accurate zero for the tools that didn't change much over the area of the material?

Ah hah! I don't need a portion of the acrylic, and the aluminum IS faced, so the aluminum can be my zero! I was very proud of myself after figuring this out!

Zeroing



The piece sitting there is a machined (very accurately) 2" zero tool. It creates an electrical connection between the top and the bottom when the tool hits the surface, turning the light on. I love this thing.

Zeroing



The program I wrote would take 22 hours-ish. It's a very big piece, and I didn't have the feed rate up very high since I could just leave it overnight and do other things, so I wasn't really concerned with how long it took. I'll update you guys tomorrow with what's left after the piece is done!

As for a teaser...

Teaser
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Old 2nd Jan 2010, 21:36   #64
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This is shaping up brilliantly - and you're right, I didn't realise the aluminium was so huge!
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 01:19   #65
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This is too late for you, but for everyone else watching this awesome build, the slimline drive specification is available here.
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 02:15   #66
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Originally Posted by Spotswood View Post
This is too late for you, but for everyone else watching this awesome build, the slimline drive specification is available here.
Oh how I hate you right now...


Kidding! Thanks for the link!!!
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 17:30   #67
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You give us a pic 30 seconds into the cut? YES! That is a teaser! -The cruelest tease ever!
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 17:51   #68
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You give us a pic 30 seconds into the cut? YES! That is a teaser! -The cruelest tease ever!
If he teases women like that, then...
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Old 3rd Jan 2010, 23:19   #69
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If he teases women like that, then...
Hell...if you think that's bad...guess you'll hate me after this.

Teaser
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 00:08   #70
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OMG! Pink towel!
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 00:15   #71
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It's red!
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 11:00   #72
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 14:14   #73
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People with free access to CNC machines should not be considered modders, as there's no real modding involved in their work - it's all made by computers and tools - no real skills involved - no real.... ah, **** it. Simply just **** it...because, who am I kidding? THIS ROCKS!!!!!!!!
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 19:24   #74
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Is it me, or has the level of building on BT gone WAY up lately? I think the bar was raised three times, and I'm still working to top that bottom rung...

You gotta polish the insides now! That would look amazing.
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 21:25   #75
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fantastic modelling skills there. One day I'll buy a CNC machine or something, soo many plans so little tools.

Also I have that mobo in my Redemption build, its very good for Bluray playback but it suxs ass for gaming.
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Old 4th Jan 2010, 22:53   #76
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awesome design. You've created a very nice design, and machined in aluminium it should look fantastic! I'll be following from the sideline, and also: I agree with cheapskate you must polish the inside, it'll look wicked! Keep it up!
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Old 5th Jan 2010, 06:27   #77
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Originally Posted by Nutman View Post
People with free access to CNC machines should not be considered modders, as there's no real modding involved in their work - it's all made by computers and tools - no real skills involved - no real.... ah, **** it. Simply just **** it...because, who am I kidding? THIS ROCKS!!!!!!!!
HEY! There is a lot of programming, clicking, and sitting involved, get off my back!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Is it me, or has the level of building on BT gone WAY up lately? I think the bar was raised three times, and I'm still working to top that bottom rung...

You gotta polish the insides now! That would look amazing.
Don't tell my wrists, fingers, or arms...but I plan to sand everything down nice and smooth then get the aluminum anodized.

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Originally Posted by craigr1982 View Post
fantastic modelling skills there. One day I'll buy a CNC machine or something, soo many plans so little tools.

Also I have that mobo in my Redemption build, its very good for Bluray playback but it suxs ass for gaming.
I don't plan to game or do anything but use this strictly for media playback and internet usage, but thanks for the heads up!


Good news....all of the big pieces are CNCed! Yay! The only things left are the frontplate, the mounting pieces, and the motherboard backplate (some dimensions were a tiny bit off on the first one).

On Sunday, I was in the process of making the other side piece. Since I forgot to take pictures of the first one, I took some this time! Look at the amount of chips there were...insane!

The plan? To go from big, to small!


I love this tool...3mm at a time.


Chips Galore!


Starting of the CNC


Ta Da!



While this was running, I made the connecting rods out of stainless. These rods have an inside thread on the bottom and an outside thread on the top. The top screws into the top aluminum. The bottom is made such that a bolt can be screwed in from underneath the bottom aluminum, into the stainless rod. This clamps the pieces down, pulling everything together. Here's what I mean:

Connecting Rods


Drilling the Ends


Threading


Threading in Action


Connecting Rod


All 4!



Here's a process picture of what was waiting for me after the teaser picture I left you before:

Bottom being CNCd



And here's a shot of everything assembled (not screwed in or pinned).

With Flash


With Flash Close-Up


Without Flash Close-Up


Without Flash



I'm working on the little pins now...which are a pain in the ass and will most likely drive me mad over the next few days. I can only deal with doing 6 or so at a time before I start going nuts, so it may take a bit .

Then, it's sanding time!
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Old 5th Jan 2010, 13:06   #78
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This looks amazing! Out of interest, why CNC the inside before the outside? And what colour are you having it anodized?
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Old 5th Jan 2010, 15:27   #79
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This looks amazing! Out of interest, why CNC the inside before the outside? And what colour are you having it anodized?
Thanks! Good question. First, there's a matter of having a consistant zero for the x-y-z coordinates on the mill. Doing the curvy outside first (especially on the side pieces) would lessen my chances of being very accurate. Second, doing the inside first, there's an easy way to clamp the layers together without actually having clamps on the outside (via connecting rods). Third, I think it'll just be plain fun to have half of the giant curvy part be machined at once

Most likely black, to keep with the sleek AV look, but I'm open to suggestions!
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Old 6th Jan 2010, 18:24   #80
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I need your help! I don't like the current faceplate design, it just seems a little bland and doesn't meld well with the rest of the case. Here's what it looks like so far:

Current Faceplate


So, give me some feedback on some of the following designs! The non-existent spaces would be acrylic material (don't worry about the construction, I'll take care of that).

Faceplate 1


Faceplate 2


Faceplate 3


Faceplate 4
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