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Scratch Build – In Progress [BUILD LOG] Project Ametros: Scratch Built Carbon Fiber Case + WC - Mar 11, 2012

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by motorsportcfd, 25 Jan 2012.

  1. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hello, and welcome to the build log for Project Ametros. Ametros will be a workstation PC built from the ground up - scratch built carbon fiber case, water cooling and lots of it, and plenty of power to propel it. Ametros will unfold over a period of time, so please read on and stat tuned for more. Thank you for following!

    Ametros - Behind the Name:

    Ametros is the Greek word for something that is "beyond measure". I wanted a name that had some meaning too it, and considering my friends kept calling the project overkill, I decided to come up with a name around the aura of overkill. The name also fits the use of the rig: aerodynamic simulations. Some simulations are just beyond what we are capable of measuring in a real wind-tunnel with pitot tubes and other telemetry.

    Build Purpose:

    The purpose of this rig build is multi-faceted. I am always looking for a challenge, and wanted to build something unique. The challenge behind building a case from the ground up is one purpose. The other purposes for the build are performance based. I spend quite a bit of time running aerodynamic simulations (Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD) for motorsports. Hence my username on OCN, motorsportcfd. CFD requires a lot of processing power and my current rigs aren't up to the challenge.

    The last of the performance purposes is my day job of developing software for digital x-ray imaging. I am currently working on 3D Radiography CT Reconstruction software that a lot like CFD, requires a lot of processing power.

    Why AMD?

    Time and time again I have heard, "For the money, why aren't you going with Intel/nVidia instead?" I have several Intel rigs currently, but I need an AMD developer machine for the CT Reconstruction software. The other reason is Open CL. The CFD software I use runs Open CL instead of CUDA.

    But still, why not nVidia?

    Dollar for dollar, the FirePro Graphics cards out perform the Quadro's by far. I have had much better performance using the FirePro's for CT Reconstruction and CFD Analysis than the Quadro's. nVidia has the Tesla cards, specifically designed for parallel computing, but they function best when the programs are developed using CUDA. Only one software package I have used uses CUDA for the reconstruction algorithms, the rest are Open CL. My software that I am developing will also be Open CL based. In the market I work in, I see Open CL having much more potential than CUDA, and with that experience, ATI/AMD has been the leader of OpenCL development.

    You still haven't said why you didn't go Sandy-Bridge or Ivy Bridge?

    Since I am going with AMD GPU's, I wanted to keep it all in the family. I believe that homogeneous hardware gets along better than heterogeneous hardware, but only time will tell. I am curious to see how the Thuban performs considering I've been working with Intel for so long. I don't think I will be let down!

    Spec Sheet - The Build Out:
    Will Be Updated as Build Progresses

    Computer Power:
    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
    ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Motherboard
    2x AMD/ATI FirePro V7900 2GB GPU's in CrossfirePro
    Corsair Vengeance RAM 16GB
    2x Crucial M4 64GB SSD in RAID 0 for the OS
    2x Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB in RAID 0 for Programs/Documents
    1x Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB in Mirror for Programs/Documents Backup
    Cooler Master SilentPro GOLD 1000W PSU
    Sony Optiarc DVD-DL Burner


    Cooling:
    Swiftech Apogee HD AM3 CPU Waterblock
    2x Swiftech MCR420XP 480mm Radiators
    3x DDC-1T Laing Pumps
    EK Performance Crosshair IV MB Waterblock
    Custom Built Reservoir
    Custom Built GPU Waterblocks for V7900's
    Aquaero 5 Pro Fan Controller
    3x Aqua Computer PowerAdjust II
    Aquacomputer A5 Fan Amp WC Block
    TEC Water Chilling - TBD
    16 120mm Fans - Fans TBD, hopefully Gelid
    Misc Fans
    Air cooled RAM


    Case:
    Custom Built Carbon Fiber Case

    Peripherals:
    3x NEC 2470WNX Enterprise Monitors
    Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse - Carbon Fiber Edition
    Logitech K800 Wireless Illuminated Keyboard


    Sound:
    TBD

    Sponsors:
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    Signature Detailing

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    Latest Update Picture:
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    Other places to view Project Ametros:
    http://factiondevelopment.com/ - Blog dedicated to the build of Amteros and a few other PC mods

    http://www.facebook.com/factiondevelopment - Facebook page for instantaneous updates.
    Thanks for looking!
     
    Last edited: 16 Mar 2012
  2. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    1.0 Let's Get Started - Parts Pictures

    Here are a few pics of some of the components being used in the build. I'll try to keep the product shots to a minimum and keep it mostly build shots; but for now here's a taste of what is to come!

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    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor

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    Corsair Vengeance DDR3 RAM 4x4GB

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    AMD FirePro V7900 2GB GPU
    Soon to be two of these in CrossfirePro

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    Four Laing DDC-1T Water Pumps. Three will be used for cooling the components, the fourth will be used for a cooling loops for the TEC's.

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    12yards of 60" wide Aerospace Grade 2x2 Twill Carbon Fiber Cloth

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    Who doesn't love carbon fiber?

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    Two Crucial M4 64GB Solid State Drives for a RAID 0 OS

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    Swiftech Apogee HD CPU Waterblock

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    Dual Swiftech MXR420-XP Radiators

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    That's all for now. Should hopefully start laying up the carbon fiber this week!
     
  3. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    2.0 It Has Begun - The First Carbon Fiber Layup

    After about 10 hours of measuring, more measuring, cutting, itching, and laying up this build has finally begun! The first piece that I am laying up first is a 48"x34" flat panel that will be used for the chassis structure. Four pieces of the case's chassis will be water jet out of this large piece.

    The Process:

    The first thing I started with was unpacking the roll of carbon fiber cloth. One of the biggest and most annoying tasks with large carbon fiber lay ups is aligning the weave. When CF cloth is rolled up from the distributor, it's rolled loosely to preserve the quality of the weave. While rolling it loosely prevents the weave from distorting, it does allow the weave to shift during shipping.

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    The tape at the end of the cloth was a straight cut from the factory, but the loose rolling and shipping has caused the cloth to distort a little bit. A lot of time is spent straightening out the cloth to make sure the weave is straight as possible.

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    Several important tools, a straight edge (I'm using a 2meter long piece of aluminum), masking tape, and a marker. Here I am using blue tape for straightening out the weave as discussed in the last picture. Avoid using blue tape on your pieces to be laid up. The blue tape has much more adhesive than white masking taping, so it is good for straightening out the weave while keeping the fibers in tact.

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    One of the most important tools is a good pair of scissors. I like these spring-loaded Fiskars scissors for cutting the cloth.

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    When I roll out the CF and measure out the amount I need, I like to tape the cloth to the table and mark the measurement.

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    Now that I've unrolled the amount of cloth I need, I have taped using 1" wide white masking tape all the way across the width of the cloth. I then used my straight edge to draw a line straight across the cloth to cut along. I will repeat this process four times, since I need four layers of cloth for my lay up.

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    Plenty of Monster to keep me going through the early hours of the morning.

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    Avoid folding the cloth, especially for larger lay ups like this. Folding distorts the weave that we worked so hard to straighten out earlier. Instead, I roll the carbon fiber back up onto cardboard tubes. Unrolling the cloth during the lay up is a lot easier than unfolding cloth. The two rolls each have two layers of cloth. For me, there are two types of cloth, Grade A and Grade B. Grade A cloth has a perfect weave with no pulls, flaws, or distortions. Grade B is structurally fine, but not as pretty. Grade A is used for the outer layers that will be visible, and Grade B for the inner layers.

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    It is very important to use a quality mold release. I like to use parafin wax. You can also see I am using a very large piece of 1/2" thick glass to lay up the CF on. The glass will is flat, and smooth and will leave a nice quality finish on the carbon fiber.

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    To help achieve strength and thickness I am using 1/16" balsa wood as the core for the lay up.

    The Lay Up


    I wish I was able to get better pics of the lay up process, but my friend that was supposed to help take pics bailed on me. So I was working against the clock trying to get the carbon wetted out and take pictures.

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    I am using US Composites 3:1 Epoxy Resin for wetting out the carbon.

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    First piece of cloth was laid onto the piece of glass and then wet out with the resin using a rubber squeegee/spreader.

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    After two layers of carbon fiber cloth, I laid the balsa core onto the wet carbon fiber cloth. The resin had enough tack to hold the balsa core in place while the other two layers of cloth were laid up and wetted out.

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    After 4 plies of carbon fiber and the balsa core, I laid a large piece of glass over the layup to help compress the panel and leave a decent finish. Instead of vacuum bagging, the weight of the glass will be more than sufficient for this panel.

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    Once again, quality scissor are very important. I use a separate pair of scissors for trimming the layup once the resin has begun to harden.

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    Lots of scraps. One of the things that sucks with huge layups is that you have a lot of scrap. I always cut my cloth larger than the piece needs to be just so I have room to work with and dont have to line up the plies perfectly.

    That's all for now. Thanks for looking!


    [quote name="yoi" url="/t/1190956/build-log-project-ametros-scratch-built-carbon-fiber-case-wc/20#post_16073438"]this should be educational :D , dont u have a design of the case? , are you going to do moulds? or just frame with CF panels? [/quote]

    I have a design for the case that I'll post later. I'll be making molds and panels. It will be a very long process!
     
  4. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    3.0 More Carbon Fiber and Design Screenshots
    Unfortunately it has been a little long since the last update. Work has been quite busy and have been traveling on business. Now I am back in action! After a couple weeks of letting the panel cure, it is pretty rigid and ready to be water jet. I sent my drawings out to the water jet company, and hopefully it should be cut this week before I head to Daytona for the Rolex 24 Hours this weekend.

    The Panel:

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    Pretty carbon fiber!

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    There are a few areas in the panel that are a little dry compared to the rest of the panel. This should be fine. One of the disadvantages of a wet layup compared to prepreg is the inconsistency of resin-to-cloth ratio. Based on my calculations, the resin-to-cloth weight ratio of this panel is about 35% resin and 65%cloth which is pretty close to prepreg, but its not perfectly even. It's as close as I could get with a squeegee.

    More Carbon Fiber - Carbon Logitech 510 Mouse:
    The Logitech M510 is one of my favorite mouses for SolidWorks. I wanted my mouse to match the rest of the build, so I decide to wrap it in carbon.

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    First step was to take apart the mouse, which was actually a bigger challenge than I expected at first. The screws are hidden from plain sight and there is a lot of frustration and prying with micro screwdrivers involved to get this far.

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    After tearing down the mouse, I roughed up the piece to be wrapped with some 320grit sandpaper to help the resin adhere to the plastic.

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    Remember the scrap from getting the weave straightened out? I was able to cut a piece to fit the piece to be wrapped! Always keep the scrap cloth, you never know when you'll be able to use it.

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    I first coated the mouse piece in resin and let it tack up a bit before I laid the carbon fiber cloth. Because of the weird contours of the mouse, I wanted the resin to help hold the cloth in place, so by letting the resin get sticky it holds the cloth in place.

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    Wrapped, cured, and trimmed with shears.

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    Trimmed a little further with my x-acto knife.

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    After trimming, I coated it with some more resin since the first layup was really dry. This will help the cloth stick to the mouse piece, and leave a better finish to sand down and polish later.

    The Design
    I wasn't planning to reveal the design until later, but here it is so far. This is going to be a big case. 34in tall, 22in deep, and 15in wide. Here's the design so far.

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    You can see the two Swiftech 480 radiators tucked away in the top with Gelid 120mm fans in push-pull.

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    The AMETROS emblem will be illuminated acrylic.

    Hope you enjoy the build!
     
  5. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    4.0 Carbon Panels Back From Waterjet + More Work on the Mouse
    Made a pretty huge step this week, I got the carbon fiber panel water jet out. Big thanks to the guys at Capital Fabrication in Atlanta for the 24hour turn around time and the amazing work. I taped up the large panel from the last update to protect the surface while the 4 pieces were cut out. I took the tape off the pieces and cleaned off the waterjet media, and I am very pleased with how it looks.

    Back from Waterjet:
    Now I will be able to start building the main chassis for the case next week when I get back from Daytona. I am very excited! Note that all the panels are on the sides because my photo back drop isnt tall enough! :(

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    Front panel - Several 5.25 bays, room for the huge waterfall res, and four 90mm fans

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    Top panel - Two Swiftech MCRXP 480 Rads

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    Bottom Panel - Two 140mm fans

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    Rear panel - One 120mm Fan, two 80mm fans

    More Work on the Mouse:
    I got the carbon fiber sanded down pretty well now, but was in such a zone I forgot to take pictures. I did get it fitted to the mouse body and now I am adding some putty to compensate for the additional thickness of the carbon fiber. I taped off the CF and the rubber grip to protect it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for look guys! And thanks for all the motivation!


    Don't forget you can like the FB page for this build for more active updates: Faction Development Group - Like this build on Facebook
     
    Last edited: 26 Jan 2012
  6. Conica

    Conica New Member

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    Ossum!, Carry on :)

    Out of curiosity, Why did you decide to lay up your own sheet rather than just buy some Pre-preg? wanting an odd thickness maybe?
     
  7. Furball Zen

    Furball Zen Shut up and Mod

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    When he said carbon fiber mouse, i know everyone including me thought 3M Di-Noc...boy were we fooled!
     
  8. Bladesingerz

    Bladesingerz Member

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    Oooh can't wait for this one!

    + Sub!
     
  9. Baguette

    Baguette New Member

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    Finally, real, non-vinyl carbon fibre in an amazing design...I just can't wait!
     
  10. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    Thanks guys! I look forward to sharing this build with you.

    Thanks for the comment. The answer to your question is the following:

    1. I have done lots of CF work for building motorsports and aviation parts, so a computer case isn't a tremendous challenge.
      • Lots of parts for the case will have odd features that would work with a pre-fabbed panel.
        • Prefabbed panels are extremely expensive relative to what it cost to lay up. The carbon fiber for that one panel is probably only about $100 in carbon fiber, whereas a pre-fabbed panel would be two to three times the cost.
          • I like the challenge!:dremel:


          I see the vinyl overused time and time again. I decided I'd build one out of real CF since like I mentioned earlier, I've done several CF layups before.

          Plus, real carbon fiber is that much cooler! Dont you think?! :thumb:
     
  11. Mataten

    Mataten New Member

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    Awsome work with all details! Keep it up :) :clap:
    I will follow your progress.
     
  12. Briaireous

    Briaireous New Member

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    Very impressive and your photography skills are great :) cant wait to see more
     
  13. Conica

    Conica New Member

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        • Fair Enough :)

          I'm also in motorsport and have had a few dealings with CF myself, so can appreciate that :)
          Good luck with the rest of the build :thumb:
     
  14. Roboduck

    Roboduck 01110001 01110101 01100001 01100011

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    yup i'm sub'd. Anything with carbon fiber has me hooked, especially when it looks this good :thumb:
     
  15. Cleveland216

    Cleveland216 Carbon Fiber King

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    Hey! the render of the design looks great. Go over n check my project log because I am also working with carbon fiber. You may want to try a vacuum set-up in the future.

    A trick in cutting carbon fiber is once you have it flat and straight on the table, take out a single strand of where you want to cut. That will leave a visible line for you to see where to cut along.

    Also, what are the weight of your parts?? Typically the layup process like you used equates out to heavier parts in CF.

    Elite Motoring on Ebay has one of the best deals per/yard with carbon fiber, if you ever need to get more.
     
  16. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I just got in some more materials and parts over the weekend. I cant wait to start building the box this week!

    Thanks for your reply! I appreciate your advice. I've done several vacuum bagging setups for lots of CF parts I've made in the past, but haven't needed it so far. The way I laid up the flat panels I used the pressure method where the two sides of the panel are compressed and any excess resin comes out the sides. However, that layup was only about 1:3 resin-to-carbon (by weight) so there was not any residual resin from the layup.

    I like your trick to cutting with the strand, I may try that!

    I haven't weighed any of the parts yet, but they are relatively light (compared to aluminum). I plan to weigh the chassis once its built up. :D

    Thanks for the tip on Elite Motoring, I'll check them out!
     
  17. Renovatio_Design

    Renovatio_Design Loading...

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    What I can say... this is a triple EEE.

    Excellent! Presentation.

    Excellent! Design.

    Excellent! Pics.(Canon user too):D


    And this is just the beginning!:jawdrop:


    [​IMG]

    Send me to me please.:wallbash:


    It'll be Epic.
     
  18. ozzylow

    ozzylow New Member

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    Nice work. How did none of the resin end up on the glass panel you used to weigh it all down.
     
  19. PcJunkie209

    PcJunkie209 New Member

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    Nice work. I'll keep my eye on this one. I did some blue and black twill last year for a case fun stuff. Lol
     
  20. motorsportcfd

    motorsportcfd New Member

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