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Old 29th Apr 2011, 03:15   #1
Pazu
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Valkyrie

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I posted at bit-tech (still an avid reader though) because I couldn't show my face around much after failing to complete my previous worklog.

My previous work - ANGEL

Ideas for a new case has been brewing in my mind for a while and the final push to build one came when I saw the news on Cooler Master case mod competition here.

Anyway, I'm posting my worklog here as well. I really hope to see some feedback. Thanks for reading!

**WORKLOG START**



I'm starting my worklog for the Cooler Master 2011 case mod competition. I've been working on it for about a month or so since knowing about the competition. I did a lot of fabrication previously and it sure was very tedious~! Some of the central theme of this build include
  • Mini ITX form factor
  • Full size PSU (up to 170mm depth)
  • Full size GFX card (up to 320mm length)
  • 2 x 140mm air intakes (filtered)
  • Flexibility to use and material
  • Lightweight!
  • Slim optical drive (slot load)
  • 3 x HDD space (3.5 and 2.5 inch types)

As mentioned, I won't be doing a lot of the fabrication this time, instead I'll be focusing on the design. So how does it get made?

3D printing! I'm getting most of the parts made by what I called the Internet Factory. I send out designs that are separately made by various people from the Internet. If you think about it, it's almost like Ponoko except maybe a lot cheaper. The idea is also allow the use of radically different material from conventional cases. It will be made of out mostly plastics!

Enough of words. Here are some pictures of my initial design idea.



Example of transparent acrylic used.


More exotic materials!





Finally a layout sketch.
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Old 29th Apr 2011, 03:16   #2
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Update!

I'm finally about 95% done with the drawings. Here is the final design!





There was a lot of effort being made to ensure that the drawings are accurate and matches up perfectly.


I ran into some problems with small alignments issue. Even though they were off by less than a millimeter, I made sure I correct them.


And to conclude this update, I've received my first printed parts!! This is one of the part.


This is the printed part!! I'm using Shapeways for printing.



Thanks for viewing.

Last edited by Pazu; 4th May 2011 at 08:02.
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Old 29th Apr 2011, 08:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrNitro View Post
3D printing?!
OMG!
That's über awesome! Keep the updates coming, please.
+Rep
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh View Post
Nice idea of using the corner pieces. This will turn out interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathandanielmorris View Post
This looks pigging awesome, will be keeping tabs on this.
Thanks guys!

This whole thing needs to be done by 15th May so it's going to be happening pretty quickly. In fact, I'd have to start buying my parts next week. Sim lim square (if you know where I mean), here I come!
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Old 29th Apr 2011, 15:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perplekks45 View Post
Definitely gonna watch this one!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cchr View Post
you have 2 weeks to do this? modding frenzy!
excellent design mate!
Well, technically, I've been working on this for close to 2 months now? It's the drawing that's really time consuming. It's a nightmare when things go out of alignment.

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Originally Posted by microsoftPerson View Post
That's a nice looking case. I really like the logo, it looks awesome seeing it cut out of a part like it is.
Heh. Thanks, I love my logo too. The cut out has a transparent piece for LED back light.

More updates soon, sending out the last batch of files to be printed.
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Old 4th May 2011, 16:05   #5
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Originally Posted by lysol View Post
like your design, kind of reminds me of the wii though. i don't think anyone else has used 3d printing for a case build on here, so i'll be interested to see how it works out.
Thanks! I think I'm the first to do so too.

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Originally Posted by Dot_Kappa View Post
Wow!!! 3d painting is fantastic

Very intersting the internal frame of the case!!

Thanks!

Anyway, some updates! I'm in the process of waiting for parts to be fabricated. Meanwhile, I'm doing some of my own fabrication.

Because the case is rather unique, I couldn't find any suitable IO panel. So I'm making my own. I took a long time to source for the power button. It's a tactile button that has an LED. The LED will serve as a HDD activity LED.

Some close up look of the assembly.



This is the part of the case that will house the IO panel.


Finally, a simple test/demo of the HDD LED using my current rig. It's really bright!

Last edited by Pazu; 5th May 2011 at 03:09.
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Old 5th May 2011, 01:00   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
Logo reminds me of the Phili Flyers logo haha,

How strong are your fabbed parts? I have a fair amount of experience with 3D printed parts, and in most cases I have only found the strength suitable for prototyping. If your using any advanced processes like 3D metal sintering though the parts can be amazingly detailed and incredibly strong for a 3D printed process.

Any idea what material was used on your parts? Was it layered powder then baked? Or is the part in strands of plastic?

Great progress man, look forward to seeing more
Sounds like you know what you are doing indeed! These part are done by SLS. IMO, it's very very tough. Much tougher than SLA or FDM. The material itself is supposedly similar to Nylon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
Damn... that's so sweet. Why haven't anybody told me about that shapeways before? That's some totally awesome new possibilities for designing and manufacturing some stuff.

For miniITX-cases this would be totally cool, as you simply can create small enclosures including venting-holes, motherboard-standoffs, mountings etc all out of one single piece and just slap a cover-plate on it. Not too many restrictions for more complicated shapes there actually, aslong as they can be printed in layers.

So I've got a question...

How rigid is this stuff? Can it withstand some small force or will it break in an instance?
How tough is this stuff?


From my experience it boils down to how thick you are designing the material and how much structural support you are using. Factors like how much load does a particular feature need to take has to be consider.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
That hard disk holder and mobo tray... genius!
Thanks! More updates soon. Next up are the laser cut parts!

Last edited by Pazu; 5th May 2011 at 03:09.
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Old 6th May 2011, 01:44   #7
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Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
I guess that's strong enough then with a wall-thickness of 3-4mm and some little struts for support.
Additionally, I'd still add some aluminum to the whole thing for shielding and grounding, but that are very easy to manufacture parts then, when the rest is done in this 3d-printing-method.
I did conduct some research on this. I don't think grounding is much of an issue. Shielding, I'll admit I'm a bit concern about this but I doubt it's an issue. After all, we have many cases with wide open windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
As in electrical grounding? Why bother? If the material is non-conductive you wouldn't have to worry.

That's sweet that the parts came out well though man! Rigidity would have been my main concern but on a smaller case you probably wouldn't have to worry anyways, especially if its not stretched over a lot of area (i.e. a side panel or something). Looking forward to more progress and based on your time line it shouldn't be long!
Ya I put in extra support at place where rigidity might be an issue, I guess I'll find out how tough/flimsy this thing is soon enough. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by lobster_johnson View Post
I love SFF builds! Can't wait to see how you attach everything inside the case.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Jakl View Post
Very nice, curious to see how this will go, especially with the 3d printed parts. Will be keeping an eye on this
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheapskate View Post
Lovely modeling. The resolution of the print is pretty amazing too. I don't want to know how much their machine cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
Actually 3D printing now-a-days is relatively cheap. Search around online and their are plenty of DIY resources for people who build machines various 3D printing processes.

Of course, just like any other CNC process, there are exceptions to the rules but for the most part its not as mind blowing as most people might think. The speed of production is a big part of what costs you, again... just like any CNC process.


Or at least... this is what I was taught while getting my BS in ME
Actually sixfootsideburns is partially correct. It has gotten a lot cheaper now. Personally, I think it's more forward moving than traditional manufacturing methods. FWIW, it almost like a mini revolution brewing in terms of manufacturing with direct 3D printing.
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Old 7th May 2011, 03:15   #8
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Originally Posted by AnG3L View Post
This is going to be awesome bro!!! Cant wait to see this finished!
Thanks bro!

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Originally Posted by Jipa View Post
Loving the design and you've already shown you can pull it off with excellent quality.

I'll just get some pop corn and sit back for the next update!
Haha, then this post couldn't be more appropriate. After a short trip to Sim Lim Square...















Sadly, my laser cut parts are only ready on Wed and some other 3D parts only next week too. So until then, please keep the feedback coming!

Can't wait to play Brink on this!

Last edited by Pazu; 7th May 2011 at 04:21.
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Old 8th May 2011, 02:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyInTulsa View Post
Wow - I love every aspect of this build.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnco_analog View Post
If someone's intersted in researching a little more about the "mini revolution" of 3D printing, a recent edition of The Economist has a nice article about the subject:
"Three-dimensional printing from digital designs will transform manufacturing and allow more people to start making things"

Sorry for the thread hijack Pazu, congrats for the amazing project
I'm following
Hey, no problem. There's various news about home 3D printing here that I'm sure the people here would love to know about.
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Old 10th May 2011, 01:09   #10
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More parts arrived!



Test fitting some of the parts.




It's going to be down to the wire for this... Wish I had started off fabrication earlier.
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Old 10th May 2011, 03:01   #11
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Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
Nice one for posting this Pazu, I had not even heard of 3d printing until I read what jnco_analog posted in that link, sounds quite magical to be honest , I love how it only uses whatever material is needed so no waste.

But How much does it cost to have this made? is it more expensive than cnc milling or water cutting or laser cutting services, I expect 3d printing is a designers awesome dream come true but it must cost a fortune to buy a 3d printer .

Anyway subbed, I want to see how this interesting design & amazing 3d printing turns out, the corner supports look crazy good .
Like what sixfootsideburns said, a lot depends on what kind of process you choose. Have a look at the Shapeways site, they have all pricing info there. IMO, all these is only possible because of Shapeways' down-to-earth pricing. I'm not getting sponsored by them or anything but I've done 3D printing/prototyping elsewhere before and the cost is 20x higher and quality 10x worse.

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Originally Posted by sixfootsideburns View Post
Good choice on the Frozr Pazu! I think thats I'm going to use for my next build
Thanks! Actually I feel a little bit bad that I'm using factory overclocked stuff but I like the cooler MSI has done and since this is primarily an air cooled case, it's going to help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonphreak View Post
Was the backplate made by shapeways? What material was used? and do you mind letting me see a copy of the model you used for the graphics card plate?
Which back plate? I'm using WSF/BSF from Shapeways...
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Old 11th May 2011, 04:42   #12
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Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
Nicely measured there Pazu. The parts fit perfectly

I'm really start diggin this way of manufacturing the parts.
Heh. Thanks. I did take a lot of care into making sure the measurements are all millimeter perfect in drawings, so I'm glad that it did turn out fine too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonphreak View Post
This section, more specifically the 2 slots for a graphics card. If you have a sketchup model I could borrow/steal measurements from, I would greatly appreciate it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_wolf View Post
If you are up for charing you model i am interested to
Sure, I've no probs sharing the files, the measurements are taken off my current Lian-li rig anyway. One problem though, I dunno if I can export out to Sketchup. Would STL files be fine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
Interesting stuff, it looks great for ridiculasly difficult things to be made & it's cool how you can get things rolling just like buying something online, well if your good at design , I was kinda getting my hopes up for aluminium things but it says on the disclaimer it isn't strong & more for decorative stuff but the white plastic stuff is meant to be the strongest of what they do & it looks reasonably priced so is great for small items of pure innovation, the giant rubiks cube looked mad but it looked like it functioned really awkward, but then again I guess it would with all those little squares.

Really is quite weird though printing objects lol , coolest new thing I've heard of .

Extremely well designed mod though Pazu, looks like it all fits like a glove +rep .
Personally I think the disclaimers are just there for legal sake. For example, it stated the WSF material can only take about 80 deg Celsius but that's clearly not true. Many people have tested that it stays perfectly find in boiling water and other forms of torture. I'd say, give it a go, try them out, I'm sure you'll be amazed!

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Originally Posted by aRkangeL View Post
Nice nice!

ArkAngel!?
Co-incidence? LOL. Thanks!
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Old 11th May 2011, 16:34   #13
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Even more parts! This is the last batch of parts to arrive.

Brass inserts for motherboard standoffs and 6mm standoffs.


I'm using all stainless steel 3mm bolt socket head screws.



And these... DA laser cut parts!



Finally I'll be able to do final assembly. Frankly, I feel a little nervous.. What if things go horribly wrong...

Wish me luck!
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Old 12th May 2011, 03:09   #14
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Just a quick update. I began assembly this morning and am I psyched!!

Quick snap with my phone camera.


Those twin 140mm fans sure looks huge in the case!
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Old 12th May 2011, 03:17   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_wolf View Post
what software did you create the model in
I'm using Inventor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
A flat pack mod but it's still cool since it's all the effort of meticulous design time, you're right though I should give it a go some time for some parts if I find it affordable enough, it's a handy site for bits I just can't make diy .

All the best in assembling it without hiccups .
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Originally Posted by perplekks45 View Post
Good luck!
Thanks for the encouragement!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonphreak View Post
jrs77: I've been pricing stuff from Shapeways, and while it seems expensive, I think I might be building the bulk of my next case with parts from there.

Pazu: What software did you use to make your models in? Sketchup is heavily used here so I just assumed, but whatever you use I'm sure I can make it work. and Thanks for sharing!
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Depends on what you see as expensive really. If the parts there shown by Pazu are some €100, then it's not too expensive imho.
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Originally Posted by Dragonphreak View Post
I'm thinking I could do a whole case for ~$150 USD. Of course, not all of it would be Shapeways stuff, some of it being mesh or aluminum
That's pretty much exactly what I have going on here. :P

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Originally Posted by jrs77 View Post
Even if it doesn't fit perfectly and screws up your timeframe for the contest, the design is still very impressive. Allthough I'm confident, seeing how good the PCI-bracket was measured.

May I ask you, how much the printed parts did cost you? I'm allready thinking about doing a new case with printed parts for my mini-ITX-system currently housed in a Sugo05
Thanks! I spent about USD130-150 for the printed parts? I think? I did have to reprint some of the parts because of errors made in my drawing.
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Old 13th May 2011, 16:06   #16
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Originally Posted by petsli View Post
Really impressive work!
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by NavidsonRecord View Post
how strong would a 3D print 1mm thick be?
1mm? Hm.. I would say it's strong but not rigid. The material has very good flexibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
Looking good also is the GPU going to be using some kind of slot extender? I must have missed the info regarding that .
Thanks! Ya I'm using a flexible PCI-E riser.

Rightttt... Assembly pictures!

This is a material called Transparent detail. I find the lines a bit disturbing. But for this case, it makes for a rather interesting texture. Also I think it'll diffuse the back light well.



Using this glue. Brilliant stuff.


LED module from Sparkfun.


Attached!


IO panel I posted earlier attached.



Some of the other sub-assemblies.



Installing the brass inserts was nerve-racking. The only way to get it in was to push hard and all the while I was thinking I'm gonna crack the plastic.




That's all for now.

p.s. some of you bit-tech guys have emailed me regarding sharing my CAD files for the rear IO and PCI port. As I said earlier, I've no problem sharing those. But I'm a little pressed for time now the event date is closing. I'd like to clean up the CAD before I share them. So a little patience please.

Last edited by Pazu; 13th May 2011 at 16:13.
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Old 19th May 2011, 14:55   #17
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Bummer.

Sorry I've not posted any updates because I've been reeling from the blow of not being able to complete this build.

I've made some fatal errors in my drawing and estimation. I thought of just leaving this post to die off but I think it deserves some closure. Here are some of the things I've learn from this build:

1. Always use actual parts for mock up and measurement.
2. Structural strength comes from structural support, not material toughness.
3. PC components are heavy, good ones are even heavier!
4. Never rush to finish off a proper design.
5. Measure many times, print/make/cut once.

So far, I think the best thing about this build has been the constant feedback and encouragement from the bit-tech community (much like my last build). My grateful thanks.

With that I'll end off with some final pictures. Thanks. And I will be back.















p.s. i'm not sure if you guys still want the PCI-e port drawings... let me know...
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Old 20th May 2011, 03:18   #18
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Wow. Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

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Originally Posted by Attila View Post
That's a shame mate. It's a very pretty case, good luck next time.
Thanks. I think my next design will be along the same line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gtek View Post
Sorry to hear that...
but I've learned about materials and structural strength hard way my self. That's why I will never use acrylic as structural part again. However some people (Alex, Bill, Bob, Daniel...) may disagree as they successfully use it...
Actually I will still consider acrylic. It's still the most cost effective material to cut (by machine).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nathandanielmorris View Post
Such a shame my friend, nevertheless it's a great looking case and hopefully a design you can pick up again in the future, with the necessary improvements, and provide us with a new log.
Will do that! Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Dragonite View Post
Can't you try and remake the sides in aluminium or something like that? So that the 3D printed corners wasen't wasted.
That would take more weight than plexi though you where a little bit unclear on what material was to weak.
I have thought of that but I think a fundamental re-design is better. I'll pick the good things I've learn from this build into the next design so it's not a lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [ZiiP] NaloaC View Post
Absolutely gutted that this isn't being continued, great design and nice to see a new fabrication method being used.

I'll be keeping my eye out for stuff from yourself dude.
Thanks, I'll definitely still be using 3D printed stuff in my future builds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooddrunken View Post
Very nice and clean case and I'm sorry to hear it, too, but I think most modders were once in the same situation with the points you have mentioned, so they can understand your situation.

I'm looking forward for your upcoming projects. Head up and streight forward.
Cheers man! Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Throbbi View Post
Gutted for you mate. I would suggest remaking the mobo tray/support in thicker acrylic and adding somekind of support for the GPU and stuff but i feel that such a massive set back has killed you spirit for the build, which is totally understandable

Best of luck with the next project
Actually the mobo support is thicker (the "K" shape part). 3mm vs 2mm for the rest. It's the rest of the frame that's badly in need of better structural design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnG3L View Post
To be able to build a case from scratch you need to now the each materials "soft" and bending points regarding its length, height and thickness. For example a piece of aluminum 2mm thick, 50 cm long and 2 cm wide its easier to bend than the same thickness and width but lets say 10cm long piece. And it starts getting "softer" / easier to bend in half its size. So it needs support in a point less than half its size. Same with acrylic and every material. Best material for chassis construction is aluminum though for its properties. Lightweight, easy to work, good elastic properties and strong. Here is a site that you can learn about the strength of materials http://www.engineersedge.com/strength_of_materials.htm.

Studying mechanics of materials will help you a lot. Many people saw me building Sors Salutis with acrylic and they were scratching them heads how I could do that. If someone else try to do the same thing without some knowledge on the materials used, the pressure and bending points, he will fail.

Keep on modding my friend. Modding is fun but also a lot of study and proper preparation!!!
Wow, very good advice there. I do know that adding bends would strength parts but unfortunately, that's not part of my manufacturing arsenal for now. I'll definitely explore more on materials next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio View Post
Gutted for you, those last pictures looked really nice, I'd be highly tempted to try & put some supports in there though as tastefully as possible I'm sure you could use aluminium flat bar to give it some extra strength, would require a bit of modding though but I expect it would be doable.
Thanks. I'm looking at adding aluminum tubing as supports in my next build actually. I'll see if it works out.

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Old 20th May 2011, 05:33   #19
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Originally Posted by NavidsonRecord View Post
hey pazu, was it the 3d printed parts that were too flexible? I'm concerned about my 3d print build and would like some assistance in this area. I have designed some square tubing 5x5mm 200 long and 1mm walls. Will this item be ridged and strong?
Hey there. Actually the 3D printed corners are fine. They hold up very well. It's the other parts like the acrylic pieces that needs to be completely redone. For your case, I think the square structure should be fine for 1mm walls. Should be plenty rigid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCOFIELDD View Post
I really like this design and I would hate to see you give up on it. I think you can save the design with some small changes. The first and, I think easiest change would be to make the mounting plate for the motherboard a structural member by securing it to all four sides of the case—two points on each side. This will reduce the loading on the corners. Also, another easy fix would be to make one side of the case fixed and mounted to all four sides of the case. This will accomplish the same thing as making the motherboard plate fixed. Another thing you could do is place a panel over your fans, secure it to the fans and to the front and rear of the case. This will stiffen the base and reduce the movement of the front and rear. You could then use you power supply as a structural member, once it is in place, by putting a stop in front of if, so it can not move forward and backwards.

The point is, you want to reduce the loading on the corners of the case, because with out somehow joining the sides to each other they will act as moment arms on the corners.

I hope that makes sense…

Your design is good, it just needs some tweaking.

mod on
Thanks, it makes sense. In a way, all these is hitting me like a brick wall, in the sense that why didn't I realise this earlier?!? The re-design will have sort of a caged structure, if you can visualise it somehow similar to RC car decking design.
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Old 21st May 2011, 05:43   #20
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Originally Posted by randomhero View Post
I forbid you do give up on this project !

Might i suggest using some thicker acrylic for the mobo-trav and the fan shroud GCOFIELDD mentions

A HDD/cd-rom cage going from the bottom to the top of the case would also make the case stiffer and more structual sound.
No giving up dude. Rebuilding everything in my mind now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flame696 View Post
God Damn it man cant you do anything right?! All you had to do is make a PC case, its not rocket science! You balls that right up! Go on go cry in the corner be ashamed of yourself!


If you havent got it by now i was joking and messing about. I do feel really sorry about the case so much work had gone into it i feel gutted it was looking really good!
Heh. Thanks man, like I said, I will be back. Cheers!
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