I'd like to thank Intel, Bit Tech, and anyone else involved for giving me another chance to have some fun. Relevant links:http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2013/07/29/intel-nuc-case-competition-announcement/1 http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2013/06/14/make-your-own-intel-nuc-case-competition/1 I apologize for not having a name yet. Let's just say it's already been a long week for me here. OK, Let's get started: Early in any of my projects I'm digging around for things I can use. Design inspiration for the NUC case came from rooting through my trash/treasure for stuff to build around. This time, I thought I'd use a chunk of stainless steel pipe leftover from a reservoir build. I had also been working on a larger design based on the concept of using pipes, and the idea of a tiny rig on a giant hinge seemed neat. I also wanted to build something that looked black until it was "brought to life." -That part may end up having to wait... -First, before I could do any building, I had to make a chaotic mess of the original rough model. -Well, that's not exactly what was going on here. I'm trying to organize the cutting for the part billets and get everything within my mill's 5.5" x 12" work window. -Here we have a robot cow looking into his stargate... Or maybe it's some of the parts being prepped for cutting. The dotted line between them is my .15" exclusion zone to keep the bit from cutting into the opposite part. -I apologize for the cruddy quality, but it gets the point across. Here I've imported into a CAD software. You can see I did some deconstruction of the original before importing to speed things up. Crosses will be converted into drill points, and other stuff. -I have to draw paths for the beveling bit when I only need one area angled. -Since I don't have any fancy CAM package, I also work out my bevel bit clearance in Sketchup. -This isn't a very spectacular starting point, but I couldn't see to saw in the middle of the night. The neighbors don't seem to like me doing that either. Here I've dug out a tactile switch salvaged from an old optical drive.the metal cage on it is perfect, but I need to hack off more of the remaining PCB flesh. -That's much better. I may never find all the bits of circuit board that shot off during the snipping attack. -Hmmm, Powering lights on such a petite system may be tricky. There will likely be a jumper for power and HD activity LEDs, but the rest might have to be powered by one of the on-board USB ports. I need to test something, so out from storage comes the loose power bricks. -USB is 5 volt DC, and cell phone chargers are the same voltage. -Just gotta hack off that antique plug head... -I needed to find out if I could light 2 ultrabright LEDs with 5 volts. These old fan plugs work great for testing. I can, I just can't hold 4 wires and take a picture. -I'm setting up the first plexiglas cut here. My cutting guide needs to be offset 4 1/16" from the line. -OOF! Strange round things have taken over my work space, and the grass is going wild. (I mean, I'm letting the grass go wild because it's friggen July.) -My weapon of choice for cutting plexiglas will always be a wet-cut tile saw. -Also, Don't walk out past the edge of that shadow. Your hair will catch on fire! -I stumbled onto a problem. This is the transparent brown I had planned on using for this project. It's not very transparent. Instead of just looking black, it is black, and will stay black even when back-lit. In order for this to NOT look like a black blob when finished, I have to make some changes. I hope no one minds.