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Old 28th Feb 2012, 00:28   #1
Pazu
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Phoenix

The story so far...



After weeks of run-in and stress test, I think I'm finally ready to call the design ready. There was a real need for proof of concept since the last design was, frankly, bad in most conceivable ways.

Mind you, this case is definitely not done yet. There's a lot more work in cleaning up the wiring and tidying up loose ends. The 3D printed parts would have to be painted too. For aesthetics and for durability.

Oh, sorry, I think I ought to bring this a little backwards in time. This is my 3rd attempt at building a proper worklog (and case) here. I guess 3rd-time luck really works (cross-fingers).

My previous logs were

ANGEL

Valkyrie

This current design is called Phoenix because it rises from the burning ashes of the rather disappointing Valkyrie build. But it was a valuable experience and as I recalled, my naivety was laughable. But I think it's important to not give up in things you believe in so, here I am again.

Here's a nicer render of how it's supposed to look like, in case the current state of the case abhors u.



So, would you like to follow me in a little adventure to re-trace the steps to how I got here and how it will finally end?

p.s. some stars would be nice too

Last edited by Pazu; 29th Feb 2012 at 08:56.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 07:30   #2
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well i'll carefully watch this as it's looks like mine HTPC of the dream...
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 10:43   #3
p0Pe
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p0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for presidentp0Pe should be considered for president
Please bring back clear front, top, bottom and back That really gave the build an edge!
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 13:50   #4
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oh gawd that first case looks sexy :O
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 14:38   #5
Pazu
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Thanks guys.

Some specs:

Width: 186mm
Height: 308mm
Length: 422mm
  • ITX form-factor
  • Longest GFX card supported is 400mm, longer than any existing 2 slot GFX card
  • 2 x 3.5" HDD and 2 x 2.5" HDD (or 4 x 2.5" HDD)
  • Max PSU length 160mm
  • Dual 140mm fan intake

More updates soon.
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Old 28th Feb 2012, 15:29   #6
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After the Valkyrie, i Sub'ed it immediately!
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Old 29th Feb 2012, 06:00   #7
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I'm glad to see that you're back to this awesome design
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Old 1st Mar 2012, 00:44   #8
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Phoenix-Layout

Thanks, guys.

Here’s how I started on the design. In the previous case, I was dead determined to limit the overall size to a certain volume. My thought was that it had to be as small as possible for it to really work as a ITX case. That led me to cramp in as much components as I could without thinking clearly.

This time round, I’ve learn that in order to house the various components properly, the layout has to start with the components first. I switch to a more “conventional” layout, some called inverted ATX.

I was also more conscious of manufacturing limitations when it comes to actually making the case. The largest piece of material cannot be larger than 12.5″ x 16″ (317.5mm x 406.4mm) which is the work area of the smallest laser cutter, in case I decided to get my own laser cutter for the job.

So this is the overall layout.



Some renders.




Overall shape is still the wedge shape that I particularly liked. It should also help to channel hot air towards the back with the intakes at the bottom.

The switch to put the PSU in front presented some interesting problems. Which I will illustrate next time.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 03:28   #9
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As I was mentioning, the placement of the PSU presented some problems with cooling. In a typical case, the PSU is mounted on external panels allowing hot air to escape directly out of the case. With the PSU mounted forward, the PSU's heat can be hard to remove.

Having the PSU mounted forward is definitely not new. Indeed, my previous case, a Lian-li A05N has this configuration. Here's a picture from Lian-li.



As can be seen here, the hot air is exhausted directly in the case and vented out the holes on the front panel. In actual usage, the air is trapped within the case as hot air rises.

My idea was to build an exhaust shroud to direct the air out of the case. This mid-chassis exhaust is the first of it's kind.




The PSU's fan should be strong enough to exhaust air out. But the 140mm fan intake gives it additional push.

Here's a clearer picture of the final design.



Next up, I'll be talking about the support structures.
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Old 17th Apr 2013, 03:27   #10
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*tumbleweed rolls by*

Calling this a hiatus may be stretching it a bit. It's been a year and I'm finally going to finish this build.

I guess not everyone will be interested in why there was a huge gap in the updates but other than using the case and improving on the design, I was doing some other freelance design project last year.

Also had another kid and rebuilding the case simply dropped off the priority list.

Anyway, the case looks rather sad after a year's hardship.


I didn't attach the intake filters in haste during the last build and dust was choking the system. Not to mention that the Seasonic PSU has been really acting up.


First up, properly finishing up the 3D printed parts. These are SLS parts from Shapeways like my last case. They are printed in layers using powdered material and have a very rough finish. I did multiple layers of priming and sanding before the final color and gloss coat.




This is my spray booth.


Another update soon. No, really. :P
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Old 17th Apr 2013, 07:43   #11
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wow nice spraybooth! and looking forward to this project!
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Old 17th Apr 2013, 15:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreps View Post
wow nice spraybooth! and looking forward to this project!
Thanks!

Assembling the case begins with the bottom plate. I'm using 140mm Silverstone filters because they attach by magnets. But since the case is acrylic, I have to do some modifications.


I drill out the corner holes to 6mm and push in neodymium magnets.





And attach.


Fans on.


I designed and print these right angle supports to be used in various places in the case.

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Old 17th Apr 2013, 16:54   #13
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Exterior 3D printed parts done.


These are designed to have soft paddings applied.




Base intake fans re-wired. I'm re-wiring most of the wires to red color. Got rid of the fugly sticker logos too.


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Old 18th Apr 2013, 01:17   #14
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Next up the PSU. One of the biggest mistake I made with the last design (Valkyrie) was grossly underestimating the weight of the PSU.

This design has supports for the PSU while using the box structure of the PSU itself to add rigidity.

First, the PSU mount. So that right angle supports can be attached to it.


As can be seen above, the power plug has a different orientation from the previous Seasonic. So a little mod is needed for the exhaust shroud.



I'm using carbon fiber pultruded tubes for horizontal supports. These aren't as ideal as weaved carbon fiber tube and I'll be switching to aluminum tubing if needed in the future.



Last look at the first version of the main vertical panels.


New version. There were some minor adjustments made and some additional openings to ease wiring.


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Old 18th Apr 2013, 01:31   #15
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Custom mounting designed for the slot load slim optical drive. As with the PSU, this also adds to the rigidity of the case. A dummy piece would be used here if there is no optical drive installed. These are 3D printed (FDM printing) too.



HDD mounting plate. Hard disks rest on Silicone O-rings to reduce vibration and silicone is also chosen because it can stand the heat generated from the hard disks.




Custom wiring all the electrical cables. I don't particularly like sleeved wires like everyone because they are a HUGE pain to route in a case. I'm switching all of them to 18AWG silicone wires because they are really nice and soft. Although I must say the wires Corsair included are very very nice in their own right. All black and very high quality. I was tempted to leave the 24-pin ATX connector as it is. They don't look too out of place.



Rewiring the top exhaust 120mm slim fan too. Stock product sticker replaced with plain black vinyl sticker because it will be visible on the case exterior.
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Old 18th Apr 2013, 01:43   #16
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Wiring. More wiring.






Preparing the motherboard for mounting. 6mm standoffs used. Also using all stainless steel screws where possible. Stainless steel rules


I was using the stock intel CPU cooler all the while and while it works, it's just dull as hell. In replacement, the CM 212Evo. I had to mod the top of the heat pipe a bit to make sure it clears the case. It's a little too tall. I should really keep the max height CPU cooler to 150mm.


Stainless steel screws are nice but titanium screws are way cooler. I use them for all exterior panels and mounts.

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Old 18th Apr 2013, 01:50   #17
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Almost done. The power cable input plug area still needs to have a nice cover designed.





Side cover on.


Done. For now. I'm still waiting on some final modification parts. Stay tuned!
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 03:40   #18
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1000 views and no comments?
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Old 19th Apr 2013, 04:08   #19
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People are still trying to get their jaws off the flour. Amazing work dude. It clean and I love the red wire. Also really love the psu intake shroud.
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Old 22nd Apr 2013, 03:40   #20
Pazu
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LOL. Thanks for the encouragement.

Updates again when I get my parts.
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