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Scratch Build – In Progress (FINISHED) "Dark Matter" by Envious Mods •3D Printed Parts•

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by EnviousMods, 7 Jan 2016.

  1. eucalyptus

    eucalyptus I am 19 and Swedish!

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    You know there is the led controllers, both RGB and single color controllers not bigger than a toe?

    I have both the one you have and the smaller ones. I have been using them of all kinds for around 5 years now, and there is no reason to go for the bigger ones. The small ones tend to have much more features, especially RGB 44Keys and are super small :)

    I know your theme is green. But I suggest you to go with 5050 RGB led stripes, non waterproof with a 44 key mini rgb led controller :)


    If you check my build, I have 2 controllers (to control 2 different sections) but I have only one control, but can still control them separately. And they are super small. And all my led strips are RGB, so I can change between White and green, or any other colour if I want too ;)


    Looking forward to next update :)
     
  2. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Thanks for the info as I'm sure it'll be useable for people debating different LED options. I have 3 or 4 different wireless LED controllers including the ones you mentioned. I also have a decent amount of different RGB and single color LEDs.

    I haven't completely decided on what I will use and where. I like to try out a bunch of different methods and types to see what works best. It helps me creatively. I appreciate the info as well as you checking out the log. You won't have to wait for the next update either as I'm about to post it. :thumb:
     
  3. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Running Cables From The PSU:

    I couldn't decide exactly how I wanted to run the bulk of the cables from the PSU up to the motherboard trays backplate. Once it gets to the backplate it has a mapped out route to go. I decided to do some custom metal work mixed with some 3D printed parts. I did all the metal fabrication first so that I could design the 3D printed bits to fit perfectly. The piece that I made has 4 slots cut into the side of it so that the sleeved cables are kept nice and tidy on their way to the motherboard + SSD rack.

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    This method was chose over a PSU shroud because I want to show off the PSU and the sleeved cables. Covering everything up is the easy route and I'm all about making the hardware part of the show. Ive seen a few good builds that make the portion right behind the PSU part of the show. When done correctly it looks great. I love showing off every bit of hardware because, the hardware is an important part.

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    PSU Customization: Dark Power Pro 11 (BeQuiet)

    This build fits perfectly with the Dark Power Pro 11 PSU. The grill is very originally looking and you know what it is right after you see it. The PSU really doesn't need much customization to fit the build but, I prefer to put my touch on as much as possible.

    Some of the things I will do include sprucing up the bottom; which faces put the left side of the case. I might also customize the PSUs fan. Paint matching it to the build will help bring it all together.

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    Custom Reservoir Mount: Update

    Today I spent a good deal of time on the Lexan reservoir mount. As previously mentioned I decided to free-hand draw and cut a mount out of Lexan. This mount will more than likely evolve throughout the build but, I am very happy with how it came out. Ive been playing with the idea of adding two more pieces of thinner Lexan to the overall mount. The combination of thicker and thinner Lexan will contrast nicely. I still need to cut the nickel plated tubes to fit exactly and I haven't had the chance to finish the mount for its final location.

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    Last edited: 9 Mar 2016
  4. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Reservoir Mount: Mock-ups

    I have a couple different places I could mount the tube styled reservoir. I really like the first place I tried which was vertically next to the motherboard tray. More than likely the pumps will go below this location so it seems like a good fit.

    The hard mount that I made is cut out of aluminum and has a couple simple bends in order to place the reservoir far enough forward. I still need to adjust the brackets so its perfect but, it already looks good. I wont be using this exact reservoir but, it is the same style as the final one. It will look even better once I make a couple more changes to the mount as well as prep the other water-cooling parts.

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  5. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Arrival: 3 – OCZ Vector 180s SSDs

    My package from OCZ arrived at the shop today. As you can imagine I was very excited to see that they showed up. Ive heard all kinds of great things about the new Vector 180 SSDs. I didn't waste anytime prepping the triple SSD rack. When I cut the brackets I left a little space so that I could cut out a small portion for the sata and power cables

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    I went with a few bends on the mounts so the SSDs have a slight angle when they are in place. This is a big improvement over the flat mount I had originally designed. The OCZ logo plate has also been mounted to the bottom of the rack. I custom made this piece as well and it really brings it all together.

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    OCZ SSD Mods:

    The OCZ SSDs look great how they are but, I always have a need to make it mine. The main color found throughout the Dark Matter build is green. It will also have some small bits of blue but, I thought it would be neat to change out the blue stripes on the SSDs to a green that matches.

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    Using a pair of calipers I measured very accurately in order to get the exact size of the stripes on the SSDs. I took these measurements to adjust the size in my vinyl cut software. Once I had that figured out I started by having the vinyl cutter plot on paper using a pen so I could see if the scale was right. Everything looked correct so it was time to throw in the green vinyl and give it a test.

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  6. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Finishing Front Panel Cutout:

    About a week ago I finished the inner section of the top, front part of the case. I didn't cut out the spot where the main switches are located. I had some free time so I decided to cut and file the section so it could be remounted.

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    Peripherals: RantoPad USA

    Im lucky enough to have RantoPad sponsor all of the peripherals for the Dark Matter scratch build. They provided a Mechanical MXX Gaming keyboard, optical gaming mouse and an aluminum gaming mousepad. I have to say that I was very impressed when they arrived. The packaging and quality of their products are top notch.

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    RantoPad Parts: Mods Planned

    Im planning on doing a couple minor mods to the aluminum gaming mousepad. It is absolutely beautiful and matches the build style right out of its package. The MXX Mechanical Keyboard will need to be modded to match the build. It will be painted and customized to match the cases design cues. The plan is to cut vinyl masks so that I can use my airbrush to custom paint it. I might 3D print a few custom keys as well. I will need to customize the optical gaming mouse as well.

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    Reservoir LED Tests:

    Ive been trying out different kinds of LEDs for the reservoir. The first set I tried were some really bright blue ones that do a scan pattern. I like the patterns but, the LEDs were way to bright and I still had a set of white to try. Below is a flip pic which shows the cycle of the white LEDs. I think that these best fit the area due to the downward scan cycle that they do. It follows the flow of the water in the cooling system which is pretty sweet. The white LEDs are also not as bright which is a better fit.

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  7. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Mechanical Meets Organic:

    Ive put a lot of thought into the piece of acrylic that is backlit on the bottom of the case. I like to spend a lot of time making sure every piece of the build follows along with the design and theme. The design evolving from the mechanical honeycomb pattern to the more organic fits it like a glove. It looks amazing now that its cut, mounted and backlit.

    I started by using the plotter so that it could be sketched out to scale. This allows me to check the sizing and come up with a game plan for, “weeding” the vinyl once its cut.

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    I originally planned to use regular vinyl to create a dark section on the acrylic mid panel. After a day of experimenting with some new materials and techniques I decided to use what I had been testing. I think it came out absolutely beautiful. I really like the fact that its something that hasn't been done before.

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    Part Arrival: DRL LEDs

    I purchased a set of new DRL LED lights. These ones are blue and they are supposed to be more diffused than most LEDs. I have done a few quick tests so you can see what they look like. Ive never seen these used in a case mod or build so it would be sweet if they work like I hope they will. While testing the DRLs I noticed that they reacted with the ink in the test sheet I did on my plotter. Its kind of weird because they are not UV.

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  8. GCOFIELDD

    GCOFIELDD Member

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    looks good man, nice work
     
  9. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    Thank you very much. I appreciate you checking out the build log.
     
  10. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    3D Printed Grill Mounts:

    You may know that I've been trying a lot of different ways to build the top grill from scratch. Its a new endeavor for me so I knew it wouldn't be without issues. I decided to design and 3D print brackets for the grill. This way I can limit the amount of issues caused by attempting to adapt something else to work.

    The new Printrbot UBIS 13s hotend with a 1mm tip has made 3D printing stuff like this, much easier. My old setup took a lot longer. The resolution is higher with a smaller nozzle but, I don't need high resolution for solid brackets. The UBIS 13s also heats up faster and maintains temps while blazing through filament.

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    Top Grill Mock-ups:

    I managed to mock up the grill but, it still needs tweaking to get it perfect. It really looks stunning with the internal LEDs on. I did a basic mount of the wider center piece thats made from acrylic. This piece will be made up of two or more pieces to give it the look I want.

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    3D Printed EK Grill Insert: Work Continues

    Now that I'm starting to get the top grill sorted out I can mock-up the EK insert that is mounted on one end of the grill. Once I have it notched out on the bottom I can prime and paint the logo to see what it'll look like in its finished form. Due to my high standards, its taken a little longer than I had hoped to get it looking nice and smooth.

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    Even though the insert isn't finished I still wanted to get an idea of what it will look like when its mounted. Below is a pic of it near its final mounting location.

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  11. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Painting: EK Logo

    I test painted the 3D printed EK logo that inserts into the top grill. The logo and insert is made up of a 3D printed plate and a circular piece of acrylic that is cut out around the 3d printed logo. I painted the 3D printed part black and the acrylic portion lime green.

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    Xbox Power LED:

    Im thinking about using a power indicator from an Xbox 360 for the Dark Matter build. I already have the spare parts and I just need to figure out the rest of the wiring. I have the option to use the main ring to indicate power for the computer and the other LEDs for basic computer information. Once I have more time to explore this I will update the log.

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  12. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Test Painting: PCIe Slot Covers (Vertical Slots)

    I wanted to see what the vertical PCIe slot covers might look like in black. The OC function panel for the DarkPower PSU is mounted in the first vertical slot. This panel is black so I thought it would look better if the PCIe covers matched. I also wanted to add a few bits of vinyl to give it a neat look. My style is futuristic industrial and this helps to define that.

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    I designed the vinyl pieces so that they signify the slot number or “sector number.” It starts to get really tricky when your working with tiny font on vinyl. I have involuntary hand jerks due to my brain injury which make the job of placing the small pieces difficult. Luckily I didn't have issues while mounting these pieces.


    Update: Xbox Power LED

    After some testing I found that using the Xbox's PCB is rather difficult. When I have time I will try and trace out the LEDs and switch. I was able to use it as an indicator setup by re-wiring LEDs. I also figured out how to mount the indicator of the Dark Matter build. The original mount is built into the faceplate of an Xbox 360 so this took a bit to get it correct for my use. Some super small screw and tapping a few holes helped.

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  13. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    3D Printed Switch Panel:

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of using the Xbox 360 power ring. It would take a lot of work to redo the main front switch panel but, its the only way I'll be able to really see what it will look like. I decided to take some time to design a complete front panel that I could 3D print on my Printrbot Plus printer.

    [​IMG]

    I moved the Xbox ring to the center of the panel and offset the Vandal switch to one side. Since I was taking the time to design and print a front panel I figured I might as well inset the switches like I had originally planned. Once I sand the print and get the dimensions exact I will start applying filler/primer to make it smooth.

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    Update: Vertical PCIe Slot Covers & Bezels

    While working on the front switch panel I decided to start working on a few pieces I'm printing for the back panel as well. I want to do a few surrounds or bezels for the vertical PCIe slots. I'm also planing on doing a bezel for the PSU mount and another piece on the back. These help to add dimension to the panel as well as give it a polished look once painted.

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    The bezel I printed for the vertical PCIe slots took about 7 minutes using my new UBIS 13s hotend with a 1mm tip. Using my old setup it would take about 20 or so minutes to print the sane thing. The time consuming part is the finish work needed to make 3D printed parts look manufactured. You won't be able to tell the difference between 3D printed parts and other parts on the case when they are finished. As of now I just have it rough sanded but, I will be painting tomorrow.
     
  14. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Freestyle Modding: Top Panels

    From time to time I like to do some true freestyle modding. I have been playing with an idea to add dimen sion on the front panel. Once I first cut the pieces of acrylic they were too tall. I had to slightly modify them a couple of times to get the height correct.

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    Now that the acrylic pieces are the correct size they need to be sanded smooth. Its extremely important that the bottoms of the acrylic are perfectly flat. Having them nice and flat will allow them to bond better when I weld the pieces of acrylic together. I haven't welded or painted them yet but, I will soon to see what it'll look like.

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    Part Arrival: Voltmeter

    I was happy to see that my green LED voltmeter arrived safely. Ive always wanted to have an easy way to monitor the voltage coming out of the PSU. The green matches the build perfectly and I managed to snag it for a killer price. Soon I'll mount it somewhere in the build. More than likely I will build a custom mount out of acrylic near the PSU.

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    Update: 3D Printed Bezel For Vertical PCIe Slots

    I had a quick update to add on the 3D printed bezel I made for the vertical PCIe slots. I was able to finish priming and painting the bezel so I thought I'd post an update on it. I'm very happy with how it came out and it will look even better once I finish the other bezels for the back of the case.

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    OCZ St. Patrick Day:

    I thought I would share the St. Patrick day post by OCZ that was inspired by this build. I was very excited to hear that they wanted to use my modded Vector 180 SSDs for their post.

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    Last edited: 19 Mar 2016
  15. stephen0205

    stephen0205 Active Member

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    this thing is a work of art
     
  16. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    I appreciate you saying that Stephen0205! I've been putting in some long hours on this build. Thanks for checking out the log. Lots more neat updates will be posted soon. :thumb:
     
  17. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Update: Prepping 3D Printed Switch Panel & Mock-up

    I filed and sanded the 3D printed pieces before applying a filler primer called, “Under Cover.” I've tried a lot of different techniques for prepping 3D printed parts for paint. Im very particular with the finish I want on my 3D printed parts.

    Below you can see the printed panel in its raw form.

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    I don't want any remnants on layer lines or uneven tops. Filing allows me to get the layers pretty close. The filler primer fills the low levels making everything very even. Once I have them even I use 200–550 grit sandpaper to smooth it for paint.

    This is the process of making the prints smooth.

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    I made a custom insert that fits into the inlay on the switch panel. Originally I was going to go with brushed aluminum but, I had some circle mesh that I wanted to test out first. Im still planning on cutting a piece of aluminum to see which one I like best.

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    Update: New Top Acrylic

    I really like the way the new pieces of acrylic look on top of the case. However I feel like it could still be better. Im going to cut a couple pieces of thinner acrylic to add to the center piece. Once I have these pieces cut and prepped I'm going to paint them lime green. The rest of the pieces will be black so it will really make it pop. I just finished cutting them out and I need to sand them to match the middle piece.

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  18. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Update: Painting New Top Acrylic

    I managed to have a couple days of decent weather so I could paint. The temperature fluctuations have been crazy lately. Most of the pieces are painted flat black with the two new additions in lime green.

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    I like the way the new panel look but, I think it would look better if I switched the colors of the center pieces. That way it would be green in the middle, sandwiched by flat black. I don't want to overdue the green on the outside of the case because I think hints of color make a bigger statement.

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    Update: Xbox 360 Power Ring

    After doing a lot of research and testing I think I came up with a great solution to using the xbox power ring. I found some individually addressable LEDs that will allow me to adjust all of the light colors and settings. This also means that I can make it, “red ring” whenever I want but, have it match the themed colors at other times. These LEDs give me the ability to used each of the 4 ring LEDs as indicator lights. I already have a small tactile switch that I can use for the rings power switch in the middle.

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  19. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Update: New Acrylic (Color Switch)

    As I mentioned a little bit ago I decided I wanted to switch the color of the new acrylic pieces. I had a moment to re-paint them and I really like the way it looks. Having a smaller amount of green looks much cleaner.

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    Display Case For Case Mod Shows:

    Im modding a case to take to shows with the Dark Matter scratch build. This will allow me to display sponsors on the custom side panels as well as promotional materials for the event and hardware. Its a neat stand that will sit near the Dark Matter build and it will specify: hardware used in the build, some pics of the building process, business cards etc. So far I've added the LED strips to the top and I'm getting ready to add the bottom ones. I will be using a decent amount of custom vinyl work, acrylic and LED lighting to make it a show stopper. As of now its holding some of my PC related gear and hardware.

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    Modding The Display Case: Vinyl & Acrylic

    The lower portion of the display case has a large, clear acrylic window. I have designed some vinyl that will serve as a backing for my acrylic, “bomb” that is part of my Envious Mods logo. I managed to get the vinyl pieces mounted and the acrylic primed to be painted. I wanted to mock it up to see what it'll look like once finished.

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    The top part of the case will have the Dark Matter logo/design in ice silver vinyl. On each side of the display there are 3 black panels that will be used to display the sponsors logos for this build. I haven't completely decided but, I might also put some neat giveaway items in the case as well. That way enthusiasts at the PC shows will get a neat freebie.
     
  20. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    3D Printed Cable Management:

    A while back I designed a 3D printable cable management system that mounts behind the motherboard tray. I designed them in multiple lengths so that they could be tailored to the cabling its holding in place. The depth is also easily adjusted. The end pieces swap in and out to easily adjust the depth.

    I started mocking these up to see what paths I will use for the wiring to the motherboard, GPUs and SSDs. The first two long ones I mounted will hold the cabling as it goes from the back side of the mobo tray to the passthrough.

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    Acrylic Mount: Digital Voltmeter

    After debating on where I should mount the voltmeter I decided that I would make a custom acrylic bracket that would hold it on the side of the PSU. This way it can be seen even when the side panel is closed. The bracket consists of three pieces: two of the pieces go over top of the PSU and the third piece is where the voltmeter is actually mounted. I am going to add another meter next to it so I made it large enough to fit both.

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    I also cut a few more pieces of acrylic that will go onto the panel. This will help tie into the overall design. The plan is to also do some neat vinyl work similar to the ones I did for the vertical PCIe slot covers. The 19.1 volts isn't hooked up to my PSU. I just plugged it in to test it.

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