1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Modding BYO case : aluminium thickness

Discussion in 'Modding' started by abreev8, 21 Jan 2004.

  1. abreev8

    abreev8 New Member

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking into building my own case and I am considering using aluminium, acrylic, or both. No pieces would need to be larger than a mini-tower case as I would like it to weigh <10 pounds (~4.5kg if I am not mistaken). That said, I was wondering if anyone has experience using aliminum sheet. What thickness would be adequate for supporting a PC. 1/4" acrylic seems to good enough for just about anything. 1/8" for drive cages. But then again, that's just my guess.
     
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2004
  2. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

    Joined:
    9 Feb 2003
    Posts:
    1,844
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm no master of fabrication, but I believe if you want to build an alimunum case, your best bet would be some sort of support structure, with 1/8th or below siding, as the the sheet metal by it self would be hard to fabricate into a case, and for acrylic I tend to use 2-3mm which translates out into about 1/8th inch I believe
     
  3. ynema

    ynema New Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    As long as you have a structural frame say square 10mm aluminium tubing then you could use 1.5mm aluminium sheeting as long as the case isn't going to be likely to recieve any heavy structural forces (ie. someone using it as a seat as i do but my lian-li seems to be able to support me weight just on its structural beams which are just aluminium 90 angle section.) You might want to make the plate that holds the mobo thicker or just have two layered. in order to support the weight of the board. Or if you know anyone or can find check out the construction of lian-li cases or any other decent aluminim cases.
    also 1"=25.4mm if you need that.
     
  4. abreev8

    abreev8 New Member

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input. I have an Antec Lanboy and it seems to be made almost completely out of 1mm aluminium sheet. But, many think it's a flimsy case and I would agree somewhat. However, it is pretty light.
     
  5. Cabe

    Cabe New Member

    Joined:
    14 May 2002
    Posts:
    707
    Likes Received:
    1
    ahh the old BGA* routine








    *butt-to-ground adaptor
     
  6. instant rice

    instant rice New Member

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    i recommend getting a strong support structure. maybe consider using steel for just your basic box shape just to have the added stability. home depot sells lengs of steel bent in 90 degree angles with slots cut in them to make them lighter. they also have [ shaped pieces, also with slots cut in them (in the wide part). they're very light. one 4 foot section (1.3m) weighs a little over a pound.
     
  7. abreev8

    abreev8 New Member

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
  8. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
  9. Providence

    Providence New Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    282
    Likes Received:
    1
    As far as binding agents, hinges, angle iron...any ideas? I like where this is going, but I'm lost as to how I'm going to hold the whole thing together.
     
  10. ynema

    ynema New Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well if you can weld then that's good cause you can weld up your structural frame and then use bolts to attach the panels on. When I get round to building the case for my Theatre box I'm going to be welding the square tube frame up then Using the same Hex Socket bolts I used for my other Case mod to hold the panels in then a few rubber grommets in a select number of sockets and you have some pretty cool case feet. But if you can't weld then try and base you stucture around some corner brackets I saw someone in these forums looking for the before I think the were something like Plactic Corners that tubes fitted around and you screwed them into place. or just go to you local hardware shop and have a chat with someone who knows what they are doing
     
  11. 1398342003

    1398342003 Ubermodder

    Joined:
    2 Sep 2002
    Posts:
    960
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm building a case out of 1/16" Alu, the sheets seem to be strong enough to support my weight, although I don't want to test that and bend them. :D I would think that 1/16" would be more than sufficient
     
  12. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    For the simplest to implement/assemble I recommend using 1/4" sheets for the top and bottom panels. This would allow you to drill and tap holes into the edges of those sheets so that you could screw-mount the other case panels.

    Welding aluminum is particularly difficult and unless you're a seasoned machinist I don't recommend it with such a small gauge.
    And I still recommend 1/8" simply for the added strength.
     
  13. abreev8

    abreev8 New Member

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is aluminium any lighter than acrylic, or whatever kind of clear plastic, of the same strength? From a few numbers I found at this onlinemaetals place I mentoined earlier (they sell plastics too) it doesn't seem to be. In that case I will probably use mostly acrylic. Due to the design for my case I hatched up, I wont need to remove most pieces and can glue it together for a more seamless effect.

    Does anyone know the advantages of using different plastics or metals (plexy, polycarbonate, lexan, aluminium, etc.) for a project like this? I want it to be light.

    Has anyone had experience glueing acrylic/plexy/polycarbonate/etc.?
     
  14. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

    Joined:
    25 Nov 2001
    Posts:
    1,404
    Likes Received:
    7
    1. Aluminum is marginally heavier per dimension than Plastic, but is stiffer than plastic in comparable thicknesses.

    2. Polycarbonate (Lexan) is much more pleasant material to tool than any comparable material since it's resitant to temps upto 375F. Acrylic/Plexy however melts at very low temps and will leech toxic fumes when heated.
    Both materials are comparable in price if you order them from an industrial supply company.

    3. Most plastics can be melt-welded with chloroform, or adhered together with plastic specific epoxies. DO NOT use a generic epoxy or adhesive or you may permanently cloud or deform the applied areas. If you need help choosing the right adhesive consult a local plastics shop or http://www.usplastics.com
     

Share This Page