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

Planning First Case Build

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Yourmum366, 8 May 2009.

  1. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hey guys,

    I've been toying about with the idea of case building in my head for a while, so i thought "why not?"

    At the same time as thinking this, my options form for GCSEs came through in the post, "great!", I thought.

    So I put 2 and 2 together and somehow got onto Bit-Tech?

    Long story short, I'm building a PC for my DT GCSE project :D
    It's going to be entirely acrylic, made from laser-cut panels (we have one at school, lucky us) and AC Ryan ConstructX cubes to hold it all together.
    The design brief I've set myself is to make a computer system that meets the needs and wants of both people looking for performance and aesthetic qualities.

    I've drawn up a SketchUp model for the build:

    First image (left side)
    [​IMG]
    I've kept the left side free of fans/radiators etc. because i want the user to be able to see all of the hardware in the case
    That white/grey-ish shape at the front is my abysmal attempt to draw a Silverstone CFP51 HDD cooler

    Second image (right side)
    [​IMG]
    The right side of the case will have a 4-fan water cooling radiator

    Third side (top panel)
    [​IMG]
    The top is designed to fit in 2 120mm exhaust fans

    Reservoir
    [​IMG]
    And for those of you wondering what that blue cube is... it's a reservoir that I plan to fabricate with my own two hands (and the odd laser here and there), it's designed to have a waterfall-style effect :thumb:

    And if anyone reading this has knowledge of circuitry, pcb design etc. then please pop over to my other thread related with this build here

    If anyone has any recommendations/advice/possible names for the project, feel free to post
    and just post if you want to as well :D
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2009
  2. doggeh

    doggeh What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    27 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    191
    Likes Received:
    13
    You've got some good idea's here. That reservoir however would trap a LOT of air.
     
  3. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah, i know, i was going to fill the res at least 1/3 full, so no air gets into the loop and also have a gas discharge valve near the top of the loop, to bleed out any air as and when required
     
  4. Macros_the_Black

    Macros_the_Black Yup.. I'm a f-ing reptile

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    541
    Likes Received:
    11
    How about putting a few air holes/slits at the top of the slanting acrylic pieces right where they meet the vertical side walls?
    If you want a waterfall effect, then I would make the res taller and less wide so there is more "fall" to it. I would perhaps also make the slanting pieces overlap more, and space them further apart, again to add more "fall" to it. Hmm.. maybe make slanting pieces slant upwards instead, so water collect on top of them before spilling over to the next slanting piece. I dunno, just some ideas, perhaps bad ones. <=) *shrugs*

    As for name, how about "Niagara"?
     
  5. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Making the res taller would mean having to expand the space underneath the main compartment with the motherboard etc in, however, i could remove the floor panel of that main compartment, but that would leave the motherboard hanging on a single piece of unsupported acrylic...

    "Niagara" is a very good name actually, but I can really only use it if i make more of a big deal about the res...at the moment, it's more of a "doing it because i can" thing
     
  6. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've also just realized that doing the above (taking out the floor panel of the internal compartment) would mean having the power supply supported by nothing more than the mounting screws as well!
     
  7. SkiDave

    SkiDave Minimodder

    Joined:
    16 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    696
    Likes Received:
    34
    A word of warning; at GCSE you need to use a range of materials and construction processes. So just acrylic is not great, try and incorporate aluminium etc. Also make sure you have several initial ideas as, again, you need them for the marks. I have just done mine and it is good fun!
    Good luck.

    Dave
     
  8. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    yeah Dave, I've been thinking of this, and was considering using ALU (maybe motherboard tray to create a good mirrored effect with the lighting?), but can't fathom which parts to use some on

    I was going to have a go at creating some anti-vibration mounts for fans from silicone, so that would add to the material count

    I'm going to use plenty of methods, including laser cutting, milling, drilling, tapping, bending acrylic without distorting it (last one's gonna be a tough one to get right[any tips from anyone?])

    I've certainly bagged a few marks already with these sketchup's, and I'm going to start on the 2d files that should be good for cutting with the laser when i get back into school (been ill this week)
     
  9. SkiDave

    SkiDave Minimodder

    Joined:
    16 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    696
    Likes Received:
    34
    You could make the fan grills from aluminium and pop rivet them on the the acrylic.... they would also highlight and accent a different part of the case and make it more aesthetic. Just an idea.

    When bending acrylic you should use a wire heater and then bend it up against a block of wood or something similar.
     
  10. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    I don't really like the look of pop rivets personally, they just look cheap to me

    also, the fan guards are going to be built in, except for those in the drive bays, so that means me doing only possibly 2 fan guards from ALU, meaning it not fitting with the rest of the build really

    Just had another thought:
    What am i going to do about the rear I/O shield plate and power supply slot/space/whateveryouwannacallit
    Maybe buy a motherboard tray (like this?), then chop it up and stick it onto the back of the case?
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2009
  11. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ok, so this morning, i had a revelation

    I thought to myself "that's genius!"

    and what i had just thought up was....

    [​IMG]
    to use a pre-bought motherboard tray (this one, to be specific) to a) not have to worry about getting standoff holes in the right place, b) make it easier to fit PCI cards and the like, c) to make the motherboard tray removable and d) to allow for many sizes of motherboard.

    "how is he going to make it removable?" you may ask, but the answer is really very simple indeed...:D

    [​IMG]
    To use a simple design, with holes in the back panel to screw the motherboard tray into position, and thick pieces of acrylic internally to act as sliders for the motherboard tray (although, if anyone has a better material for this job, please feel free to recommend one, as acrylic would get pretty scratched up)
    The motherboard tray comes with pre-drilled holes, as it is taken from the Lian Li PC-A10 case, which has a removable motherboard tray.:hip:

    Using this design would allow for me to remove the floor panel of the internal compartment as stated earlier, allowing in turn for a bigger, more extravagant reservoir. The downside of using this design and expanding the reservoir is that I would have to figure out a way to mount a PSU at the top of the case, without it having all of its weight pulling down on the back panel. (ideas are welcome):thumb:

    And finally, if anyone has a really good plastics merchant in the UK, preferably in the south, please feel free to leave a URL in a post. the best company i've found so far is the plastic shop, who can supply a sheet of 10mm acryl with dimensions 810mm*457mm for £37.14 at the time of writing.
    If anyone can top that pricing, please let me know (also, if the company does extruded sheets rather than the above cast sheets, please include that information, as thickness variation in materials should be kept to a minimum while laser cutting.)

    As always, I am open to suggestions for ideas, names, improvements and the like.
     
  12. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    235
    She looks good! I'd actually suggest drawer runners for that motherboard - metal to acrylic contact is a recipe for binding and cracking and above all remember - no material likes concentrated load, but plastics REALLY don't like it. 'Shatterproof is not a challenge' and all that.

    Also, one more thing. The laser cutters cut very straight lines, but by the nature of ablative cutting they don't cut straight edges but grooves instead, sort of like a very shallow bevel. You need to allow a certain amount of excess if you want to file them to get 90-degree edges for butt-joints, or figure on routing them to 45-degrees for bevelled. You might also want to replace or augment those big blocks of Perspex in the corners with a 2x2cm strip on the inside of all the major edges. Good luck! For more ideas look up in detail the construction of the old transparent case builders, like C3. There were some excellent ones on this forum (as usual)...
     
  13. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    Fitting drawer runners would be a very very good way of making the tray removable, but how would i fit them onto the acryl and the other component onto the tray?

    And those blocks are actually what's holding the casing together, but not through glue, the case panels are screwed into them, so it ensures interchangeability. For example, if i wanted to change the left side panel, which at the moment is going to have nothing on it, to have one, two or maybe even three fans on, all I have to do is make up one side panel, and it can be fitted with no fancy mechanisms, just screws (but I'm still debating with myself whether to have screw heads or ones that can be turned with an Allen key)
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    Joined:
    13 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,770
    Likes Received:
    1,484
    With all that space, why are you stuffing the reservoir in the back corner? It looks like it will block the power supply intake too.
    Subdivide the system based on airflow, flip the powersupply so it's drawing air from the motherboard area, and mount a reservoir proudly on the front panel in that dead space next to the radiator.

    What PureSilver said about laser cutters is right. you will need to sand the edges for it to seal properly.
    +1 on what he said about dropping the cube mounts too. You will obviously have access to plexi glue. If you glue the basic frame and subwallls together, it should be fairly sturdy. If you add a... Hang on, skechuping...

    [​IMG]
    If you add a subframe like this, it would give you more space, make the whole frame VERY sturdy, and give you a place to nest/mount your door panels. The fancy red dots are tapped screw holes for the door. I'd go with 1/2" minimum width, and 3/4" for the screw mount areas.

    -The big trick would be to fix everything so it can be mounted through the 2 open sides.
    The area cut out to make the frame bit can be used for reservoir parts and stuff.


    -and if there's on thing I've learned about design classes, it's that they will notice you 'cheated' and bought the motherboard tray first.
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2009
    PureSilver likes this.
  15. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was going to re-arrange the whole case layout, with the HDD storage moved up into the drive bays, expanding the res to fill the space that the hard drive storage left behind, as well as upwards into where the floor panel for the internal compartment would've been, moving the power supply up above the motherboard area and having it's fan pointing toward the motherboard, I was also going to replace the area where the HDD storage was with either a fan or an acrylic panel (can't just chop the bottom bit off, because the rad won't have enough space to fit)

    The reason I can't us up some of the space on either side of the radiator on the right side is because i was going to put a 5-way tubing splitter on either side of the radiator, and I want to make a big deal of these (well, they are VERY shiny):D
     
  16. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    235
    I'm not so hot on the blocks not glue idea. You're going to be hanging a lot of weight off those bits; I don't think bolts with hold them. I would at least glue the base, front, rear, and ceiling panels together. Ideally, using two of Cheapskate's frames for the side panels, with the roof, rear, front and base panels glued to those.

    That would be much stronger. I really don't think you'll be able to hang a motherboard tray off the rear panel otherwise, unless you're using multi-cm-thick plexi. Which will weigh tons.

    Regarding affixing a removable motherboard tray to a plexi side, the runners should be glued and bolted to spread their load. And for the love of God don't put that weight on two screws in two blocks; you're going to exceed your material's load capacity that way. Spread the load, always.
     
  17. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    The motherboard tray's going to be hanging off the middle panel, not the rear one :thumb: (and the plexi's going to be 10mm thick anyway)

    Ok, i concede that the bolts weren't a good idea, but i'd like to retain the ease of removing panels via bolts etc., so maybe just leave the left and right side panels on bolts? and the rest glued together using the idea of long square rods running along the joins?

    No offense Cheapskate, but I think the idea of frames will be a bit bulky

    But how's the PSU going to be supported? a small panel underneath the power supply glued to the rear panel is all i can come up with short of more sliders?

    Ideas are welcome as always
     
    Last edited: 13 May 2009
  18. PureSilver

    PureSilver E-tailer Tailor

    Joined:
    16 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    3,152
    Likes Received:
    235
    Sorry, my mistake, I did mean side panel... That is essentially the problem; you are going to have huge, insurmountable problems hanging the entire computer (including a big rad, though bar the PSU, the HDDs and the optical drives) off one side panel, especially if you also want that panel to be removable with a couple of bolts. Obvious alternatives;

    1. Only have one side (i.e., the side that doesn't have the tray hung from it) removable. That's the point of a removable motherboard tray anyway; to make access to cases with non-removable sides easier.
    2. Hang the motherboard tray from a non-removable piece of plexi (piece A), and then have a removable case side on top of that (B). That way, some immovable support (A) will always connect the front, bottom, rear and ceiling panels, but you'll always be able to switch side panels at a moment's notice.
    3. Insert ribs like Cheapskate drew to stiffen the case, and add a C-shaped rib around the right-side-panel, to which the side-panel and its accompanying tray can be securely bolted but without making it impossible to remove.

    Good luck, anyway! :thumb:
     
  19. Navig

    Navig What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    19 Sep 2005
    Posts:
    156
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hi, just wanted to chirp in here a bit.

    There are some similarities to this project and one of my more recent projects. As you can see, tho, I went for the aluminum frame option. But you can get some ideas about constructing and mounting motherboards and other concepts.

    Such a big case, I agree you may run into some problems with only using corner blocks to mount the panels together. The problem with using thicker plastic, is that the case becomes very very heavy. I'd probably recommend not using AC Ryan blocks but building your own blocks with beefier screws.

    navig
     
  20. Yourmum366

    Yourmum366 First-Time Modder

    Joined:
    5 May 2009
    Posts:
    55
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've been cooking up some more designs these past few days based on various ideas, including the gluing of the front, top, rear, and bottom panels, with the side panels on bolts (but my own design similar to AC Ryan's ones, but beefed up as Navig suggested)

    They're not finished yet, but I will post them up when they're done :D:D

    Keep on posting with your opinions though, there's always room for improvement!
     

Share This Page