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Scratch Build – In Progress First Scratch ITX & Desk Build

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Matt Whittingham, 9 Feb 2021.

  1. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    There'll be a couple of consecutive posts as I update all the info here! Sorry!

    So I've been absent from building for quite a while - Various personal circumstances that've stopped me indulging in my favourite hobbies. But I've recently secured my dream job, and everything is on the up!

    A bit of background on myself, I was a systems builder for several years before I started university, which I've now graduated with a Master's degree in 3D printing based tech, and recently landed a job that means I get paid to play with all the crazy 3D printing technology and write papers on it!

    After building hundreds of systems for other people, friends and business alike, it kinda drained my enthusiasm for building - but now I think it's time for a proper showcase build for myself :)

    I've since gained a lot of experience and qualifications in Fusion 360 and various Autodesk software, so it's going to be as much a CAD learning experience for myself as it will (hopefully) be a pretty system!

    So, the plan is a full ground-up scratch Mini-ITX system, full custom case, water-cooling loop with all the trimmings in as small a package as I can manage; I fancy a challenge essentially!

    As you know, buying components is an utter barstool at the moment, so my parts list so far is:
    • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X *Yet to be delivered*
    • Kingston HyperX Fury RGB 16GB (2x8GB ) 3600MHz *Yet to be delivered*
    • Aorus X570 I Pro WiFi motherboard *Have*
    • Corsair SF600 Platinum SFX PSU *Have*
    • WD Black 1TB Gen.4 NvMe SSD (M.2) *Have*

    Parts TBD:
    • GPU - Decided on an RTX3070, but buying one is currently impossible, and I need to ensure it's a non FE card with waterblock support! Any suggestions? STRIX seems like the only choice to me?
    • Watercooling hardware
    • Radiator/s
    • AM4 CPU Block

    The *small* pile of parts has started to arrive!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    After thinking on the theme of the build for a while, and watching un-godly amounts of YT content for inspiration, I've settled on a colour scheme for the custom wiring - of course all MDPC-X XTC:

    Titanium Grey Mk2 for the base colour:
    [​IMG]
    Vanilla Sands accent:
    [​IMG]
    Haze grey accent:
    [​IMG]

    Playing around with a couple of online configurators, I've settled on this for my pattern:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Picture these against a background of sandblasted aluminium, with frosted acrylic and wooden accents and feature pieces :grin: Like Bit-Tech's Ensis, but maybe 10% as competent :D

    All the above has been ordered, along with some nice 16AWG silver plated copper wire, and the appropriate Molex Crimps for the PSU cables - Which were an absolute PITA to track down!! For those who didn't know, standard Molex "ATX" crimps are only spec'd up to 18AWG wire, and these custom modding supply shops don't exactly go around sharing the Molex part numbers for the "extra special 16AWG ATX crimps". For future reference, it's RS stock number "6706331" ;)

    My crimpers unfortunately do not go beyond 18AWG, and I can't stomach the MDPC-X crimp tool pricing! So I've sent off for a good quality SN-48BM crimp tool on prime, should be here tomorrow!

    In the mean time whilst components are arriving, I've begun to measure and CAD up my components. PSU is done tonight, all the important details and mounting locations are accurate - I'm not going for photorealism here, just perfect fit and form!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm imaging the chassis as being semi-open, so the cables will be an integral part of the design.

    I've now moved onto the CAD for the motherboard, however I'm struggling to find any concrete specifications for the ITX "Standard" form factor! Considering it's supposed to be a certified standard, every single source of documentation has differences in vital measurements! Formfactors.org no longer seems to have useful information - Does anyone have a source of reliable, proven dimensions for the Mini-ITX form factor before I spend days measuring and modelling everything from scratch?
     
  3. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    My shiny new crimpers arrived, and wow what a difference!
    [​IMG]

    I went for the SN-48B, and the nice steel jaws make a huge difference to the crimps - Here's a pic of the SN-28 crimp (Bottom) versus the SN-48B crimp (Top):
    [​IMG]

    MUCH more confident in using these! Now I just need my MDPC-X to arrive along with the 5600X and RAM from Overclockers, who're frustratingly taking days to even ship my order :grr2:

    I've also been looking at water-cooling options today, I'm not yet 100% decided between hardline or soft-tubing (Sucker for neoprene tubing), but I've decided on the copper EK-Quantum Velocity in black to match the motherboard, so this will get ordered at the end of the month - I'm in less of a rush for the water components as a lack of GPU is going to hold back progress, as I need to get a 3070 that also has a waterblock available!

    [​IMG]

    Wish me luck!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Spent a lot of time tonight measuring :crazy: I'm not sure how these guys make the super detailed motherboard models on GrabCAD etc without source PCB files! But anyway, I have a *very* rudimentary model of the Motherboard, the important bits are the IO shield, beefy M.2 heatsink, general important port information and rear motherboard "Armour":

    [​IMG]

    I'm planning on having a cut-out specifically to display a beefy Gen.4 M.2 drive in the rear, backlit with LEDs - so it was pretty crucial to get these M.2 slot and armour dimensions right.

    [​IMG]

    And yes... it's the wrong socket, it was easy to find! All the important details are there.

    I'm still finding it impossible to even get onto a pre-order list for an RTX 3070, never mind a waterblock compatible one :( If anyone's got any ideas, let me know!
     
  5. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Small update;
    CPU, Sleeving, RAM & pin removal tool arrived :)

    The heatshrink is for the heatshrink-less sleeving method - it won't be in the build :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Final catch-up post, thanks for bearing with me!

    So I've finished the important CAD bits that I was struggling with!

    [​IMG]
    Had a busy day today with the Glowforge Pro at work cutting some test mounts out of acrylic to see if all my designs are bang on for mounting the main components to my case design!

    And the resulting parts:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These very colourful things actually worked!
    SFX Mounting pattern:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    GPU Mounting pattern:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Last but not least, Motherboard tray / IO Outline:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This is the only thing I'm slightly off on, which for a first try I think is pretty good! Just need to bring the top edge of the IO cut-out down 1mm!
    [​IMG]

    And I'm reaaaally happy with this! M.2 show-off window cut-out thing! This is going to be backlit with LEDs and visible from the back :D
    [​IMG]

    Now all the big components are done, I can move onto actual the actual case CAD ^_^

    Experimenting with GPU placement now, I've had a few ideas, obviously I'm constrained by the PCIE riser cable not being able to twist(?):
    Underneath - backplate front: [​IMG]

    Underneath - Cooler/waterblock front: [​IMG]

    Behind motherboard - back to back: [​IMG]

    And an alternate view: [​IMG]

    What do you think? :headscratch:

    I want to have a compact case, but I also don't want to sacrifice visibility for the design features I'm adding in, or the cpu block! So I'm thinking a take on the "standard" vertical GPU mount, but moved further down so the 'top' of the card is level with the top of the PCIE slot. Giving me room for a cross-flow radiator on the behind the gpu and under the motherboard perhaps?

    Lots of thinking to do! But I've now got the building blocks!
     
    Karrek, Cheapskate, arduum and 2 others like this.
  7. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Quick update, managed to snag an MSI 3070 Ventus 3X OC!

    Paid about 100 quid over the rrp, but from what retailers are telling me it's going to be at least 3-4 months before they get any more 3070s, thus the 3060Ti to pad demand? Not sure how true that is but two major retailers have told me the same story!

    For me, £100 over 4 months is manageable - especially as it'd be 3-4 months before I get the chance to order one!

    This is the one!
    [​IMG]

    You're thinking what I did - it looks way too big for an ITX build. And you're absolutely right :eeek: but I also managed to find a waterblock by Bykski - a company I'd never heard of but seem to get very positive reviews.
    [​IMG]
    And looking at this PCB:

    [​IMG]
    It looks like it'll shrink the card significantly by blocking it.

    Should be here on Sunday! Stay tuned for updates :)
     
    Jean R built, MLyons and Canardwc like this.
  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Looking good. The only issue I have is Glowforge calling a laser cutter a 3d printer. :eyebrow:
     
  9. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Aha I know right! It pains me to see as a 3D printing nerd / professional :hehe:

    I've spent around 20 hours this weekend hashing out ideas until I settled on an idea inspired by the InWin S-Frame. It's made out of 3mm aluminium, all in the Fusion 360 sheet metal environment. Basically ignore the front (right) of the case - that's just a temporary placeholder based on the BoxFish reservoir/pump combo.

    Here's what I've done so far!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And happy Valentine's to me! :D
    [​IMG]

    Any ideas on project names? Throw them at me! I'm an engineer, not a creative!
     
    Age likes this.
  10. Age

    Age Minimodder

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    I think it looks really cool. I can't figure out where the psu goes though?
     
  11. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Erm... it doesn't :hehe:

    Yet! I've basically not touched the right/front side yet :) I've just started modelling it now, mirroring the rear - plenty of room for my SFX unit, I just need to work out for definite which pump/res I'm going to use, then I can finalise the PSU placement.
     
  12. Karrek

    Karrek Minimodder

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    Your top-down projection of the project reminded me of a wind-carved canyon or a slot canyon - you could name it along those lines.
    Words that come to mind include wind, narrows, erosion, sandstone, sculpted, eon, monolith, solitude, etc. -- something along those lines...
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :lol: You don't want me naming stuff. Pick something searchable and unique, so only your project comes up in a search.
    "Splurf" Was the first random thing that came to my head, but...Don't Google it. :worried: It WAS a word.
     
  14. Jean R built

    Jean R built Modder

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    Man... I Googled it, that word is dangerous :hehe:

    I like this compact case project, if you don't have a name right now just wait.
     
  15. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Ooooh... that line of thinking I like!

    :worried::worried::worried: My Eyes

    Yeah, there's no rush! I've got to wait for all the Barrow parts to arrive from China during CNY :hehe:
     
  16. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Which leads me onto my next point of contention...
    Covers or No Covers? :D

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you think! I'm imagining vertical slats going front to back direction-wise on top of these 3D printed plates for visualisation.

    Also you might be wondering why the render environment changes every render - Yay for Fusion bugs :eek:
     
    Jean R built likes this.
  17. Age

    Age Minimodder

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    I may be biased based on my project, but I think you should rock no covers but add a backplate behind the mobo tray. Looking sick so far though.
     
  18. Jean R built

    Jean R built Modder

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    If it were mine I would put covers, but only if there is the possibility to use the other holes already present for the hardware, or if it's possible hide them.
     
  19. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    I think I'm gonna rock the covers after this latest trial design! Thanks dude!

    I'm planning on hiding everything, yet displaying it if you go looking, if that makes sense? The cables and tubing (where possible ofc) will be hidden behind the motherboard tray - but the cables will be routed through several fixed combs on the rear to keep everything looking super clean!

    I couldn't resist another post just to share these front/rear roof designs! Completely sold on the panels now :)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you think! I'm going to echo this design across the case to tie it together, and they'll be printed on a Markforged X7 in Onyx - if you've not seen these printers, they're a work of art! Nearly invisible layer lines and the chopped carbon fibre nylon is SUPER matte and nice and dark, not to mention crazy strong if I inlay continuous kevlar strands or carbon fibre strands!
     
  20. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Multimodder

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    I love bed built mods :D

    This is looking amazing !!!! :rock::rock::rock:
     

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