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Scratch Build – In Progress First Ever Case Build- Steel ITX

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Caldiera, 2 Jul 2020.

  1. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Hi Guys this is my first post here so i hope i don't break any forum rules.

    So my current hardware is as follows:
    Cpu: Ryzen 3600
    Mobo: MSI B450i Gaming AC
    GPU: EVGA GTX 1070
    Ram: 32 GB 3200 G.Skill Ripjaw
    PSU: Corsair VS450 ATX power supply
    SSD: Hikvision C100 2TB Sata
    Case fans: 2x 140mm Corsair ML's

    My current case is a Metalicgear Neo Mini which is similarly sized to the Phanteks Enthoo mini ITX case. Basically its a Big ITX case. I've recently been doing a lot of traveling and i'm finding the case too big to comfortably be carried around with me.

    So I set out to design The smallest ITX case I could, capable of accommodating an ATX power supply and a full sized GPU. Im currently a student so buying a PCIE riser cable is also out of my budget. Internal layout.png

    Due to the above mentioned design constraints I needed to be creative with the layout of my case.
    The Power Supply is going to sit at the front of the case and ill use a power extender cable to route power to the back panel. The current dimensions of the case are 186mmX310mmX280mm (WxBXH)

    At the moment i've sent for all the parts seen in the above picture to be laser cut from 3mm Steel. ( Im not too concerned about the weight, its more the size that's making my life difficult) I want to see how it all fits together before I send for the outer shell to get cut as well. In case there are any design faults which I need to change.

    This is a Rendering i made of What the final product should resemble. I'm not sure if i'm going to paint the final product or just give the steel a clear protective coating. Ill decide that at the end. Case Render.png
    Ill keep everyone updated once The parts arrive back and i've begun Assembling it all.

    Suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks a lot!
    Caldiera

    Update:
    First minor set back. The top plate arrived very rusted and and a bit bent. Bent..jpg
    But fortunately after a quick phone call they sent me a new one.

    As can be seen below the new top plate (Bottom Right Plate with the slots cut out) seems to be a different color to the other plates. This could be an issue as I was planning on not painting the steel. I quite like the way it looks when its not painted. Kitten.jpg

    I decided to not order the outer shell just yet as I want to first put the interior structure together and see how it all fits before I get the shell made. This way if I need to make changes to the design for some reason I wont have to get the shell remade.


    They arrived with some rust so the first step was to give them a scrub and a coat of Rustoleam Clear satin anti-rust.


    Back Plate..jpg Not too sure why but when I paint the steel with the protective coat it goes a really satisfying dark grey color. Bottom Plate.jpg

    I'm so excited to get them all welded up and to get a feel for how heavy its gonna be.

    Ill probably only have time on the weekend to work on it, so hopefully by Monday ill be able to post another update on how it all went.

    Thanks guys!
     

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    Last edited: 6 Jul 2020
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  2. Ianovski

    Ianovski Rawr!

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    That's looking very promising! I'm also getting more and more interested in tiny builds so I'll keep an eye on this one.
     
  3. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Great work there @Caldiera! Welcome to Bit Tech.
    As one of the resident SFF afficionados, your case is great to see.

    Personally, I think 3mm steel is going to be overkill, even though you say the weight isn't a problem.

    I like the interlocking 3 sides to your design; maybe you could make the other part in aluminium, which would keep the overall weight down.

    Some of us SFF guys (referred to by some here as 'perverts'!) are also on SFF.Network, which is a great community which is supportive and inventive.
     
  4. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement!
     
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  5. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Yeah i agree that it might be overkill. i just know the 3mm is easier to weld which is part of the reason i went with it. That said i will definitely look into getting the outer shell made in aluminium to keep weight down. It just depends on how much it costs.

    Thanks so much for the feedback! I really appreciate it.
     
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  6. MADPC

    MADPC Member

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    interesting project you will do a custom paint?
     
  7. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    My plan is to leave the steel unpainted and just put a clear protective layer to stop rust. But if i don't like how it looks then ill give painting it some thought.
     
  8. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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  9. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    If you're welding, that is a different matter!

    Most welders will burn through thin stuff unless you're very skilled, and alu let's not go there
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    There's always spot welding. -Of course, you'd need bends and tabs for that. You could always use the tried and true rivet/aluminum angle technique. That would save you from paying a weldor.
    Design-wise: I'd make tabs on the wrap-around plate to replace the wood feet.
     
  11. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Thanks for the input!

    I'm going to do the welding myself so its actually the easiest and cleanest way for me to join the steel.

    On the design side I i like your idea of adding tabs to the wraparound. I think it will help make it look a bit less box-like :p
     
  12. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Taken a while to get started on this project but finally all the exams are done and i have some free time to get my hands dirty.

    Didn't take me long to realize my first mistake.
    IO Shield not fitting.jpg
    The bloody IO shield didn't fit... Nothing an angle grinder and some hand filing cant fix though. It now fits like a glove!

    Next job is to get the motherboard on.
    One of the difficulties I had is living in South Africa I couldn't find metric motherboard standoffs or a tap for 6-32 screw. So to get the motherboard mounted i had to get creative.
    I ended up buying a cheap old 2nd hand case to use for parts. I cut the motherboard tray out. I'm also gonna use the power button and front IO as this save me having to buy new ones.
    Motherboard tray cutout.jpg
    Ill Probably end up painting it black once I'm at that stage in the build. Its annoying as i would of preferred to just drill and tap some holes for the motherboard. Maybe ill order the parts online and sort it out later.

    I found lining up the motherboard with the IO Shield to be quite a challenge. I ended up welding it twice as the first time it was a little bit out and i wasn't happy with it.
    Motherboard tray weld.jpg
    Not the best weld. My welding machine is older than i am so i'm just happy it still works.
    PSU Stand.jpg
    Top Plate.jpg
    Bottom Plate.jpg
    Motherboard On.jpg

    Its at this point that i'm getting quite excited because its turning out almost exactly how i imagined it.
    The motherboard was on and fitting really well. Next was to get the Graphics card in... Oh Boy
    GPU Not Fitting.jpg
    It doesn't fit. No Problem, ill just need an hour with my trusty hand file and...


    GPU Fitting.jpg
    All sorted...

    And lastly... a comparison with my old case (the metalicgear neo mini)
    Case Comparison.jpg

    Thanks guys.

    Hopefully Ill be able to get some more done next week.
     
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  13. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    I know the marks left by the welding might not look great on the close up shots but overall its giving the case a really cool Heavy Industrial look which is right up my alley. Ill see once its all finished how i feel about it as i'm open to painting as well.

    Maybe I'll paint everything on the inside to make it neater and leave the outside as raw steel.
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The raw plank table was all the hint we needed. It looks right at home there. It's pretty bad*ss. :D
    Motherboard standoffs: Screws through the bottom of the motherboard tray, nuts on the motherboard side, and for spacers- a section of your favorite color of Bic pen.
    You should have asked us. We solved that problem a decade ago. :lol:
     
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  15. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Ill Definitely do that. That's a much better solution.

    Thanks for the compliment! its great to get feedback.
     
  16. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Well-Known Member

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    Really Cool build!

    Here down under our outlaw legend is Ned Kelly! That's the first thing that came to mind.
     
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  17. Caldiera

    Caldiera New Member

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    Thanks!
     

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