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Case Mod - In Progress fractal nano build log

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by spigs_rex, 28 Apr 2020.

  1. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    Hey All, just thought id share my progress with what started as a 'cheap n quick upgrade' to my old PC.

    The original plan was to just tart up my 2015 Parvum build with a new GPU. This quickly lead to a new everything else... I also originally had plans to to go with another Parvum case with a fair amount of custom work but had a few issues getting this off the ground. That was back in December and nothing really happened with the build until February time.

    Apologies and also a bit of a disclaimer lol. The pictures are a little all over the shop - I don't have power in the garage so anything that needed light or a tool that had a power cable was either done in the kitchen, garden or spare room..much to the missus dismay lol.
    There wasn't any plan for a build log so a lot of the images are also just kinda me taking pictures as I have gone along. - apologies for this.

    Most of the hardware was purchased back in December with the case purchased start of January. at this point I was back in the mind set of just setting up a pc and using it. but that lasted like three weeks haha. I actually blame defiant for this as I stumbled across his awesome little fractal build soon after getting the case :)

    So I guess a quick hardware list is in order:
    • AMD Ryzen 7 3700x CPU
    • 16GB corsair dominator ram
    • asus x470 gaming-i Mobo
    • Nvidia 2070 super GPU
    • 650W corsair RM psu
    • fractal define nano S case
    Both the CPU and GPU will be water cooled. I've also squeezed a 60mm 280 Alphacool rad in the front :) I also plan to add a distro plate to the top of the case, however this is kinda in the planning stage! To be honest there hasn't really been a solid plan for most of this, just an idea rattling about my head :)

    Right at the start of the build I decided to also purchase a custom set of PSU cables from Pexon, this happened when I was still planning on a parvum case. In the past I have always made my own cables. However, this time around I didn't have the time to do it and thought Id treat myself. The cables were stunning and really well made, they were also made for the wrong PSU! :( The issue was that Pexon had designed the cables for the older PSU and unfortunately didn't know corsair had changed the pin out on the RM series six months earlier. A few emails back and forth and the issue was kinda resolved. The cable now works, but the way the 24 pin ran to the psu was just not nice. To be honest this was a combo of the cable being a tad too short (my bad) and the wires just climbing all over each other. However, the cable would of clearly run better if not designed for the wrong PSU then re-pined using the same cables (some shorter cables now above longer ones for example). I did move a few of the cables around which mostly resolved the issue.
    EP9ZnOQWkAIzo-v.jpg 20200208_111002.jpg


    the IO panel had a lot going on and I didn't really like it so the first thing I did was fill in the holes with miliput, give it a good ole sand and give it a little respray :) this had the added bonus of getting rid of some cable clutter as well :).

    20200104_195658.jpg 20200105_114733.jpg 20200115_180827.jpg

    I wanted a full acrylic tinted window and looking online there seem to be a few ways people had done this. I found myself liking the way defiant had mounted his. I then shamefully ripped this off :)
    I used 3mm acrylic for the panel and now really wish it was 5mm with a nice little chamfer round the edge so this may change!

    I made the bracket that holds the window in place with a piece of 10mm thick acrylic I had and cut a 12mm 'rod' off which I then routed a lip into :) again very defiant...
    The first bracket I made didn't turn out to well - I made it far too thin
    20200118_152349.jpg
    The next one looked much better
    20200118_144345.jpg

    the end result :)
    20200126_122539.jpg 20200118_154455.jpg

    I used a 3mm tap and some small countersunk bolts to hold the panel in place.

    Next was the motherboard tray!
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2020
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  2. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Multimodder

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  3. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    So moving onto the motherboard tray!

    The motherboard tray was a bit of a pain. I really liked the clean look a single piece of acrylic gave and wanted to achieve a similar look. I originally tried to bend a single piece of acrylic and just wasn't happy with the results.
    20200123_172836-1.jpg
    I stuck with the idea for a little while and used some modding cubes to mount the tray and sort of had a play about with ideas for the wc loop as this was originally going to be part of the mobo tray). But it just wasn't straight and I fell out with the idea and moved onto the idea of making one using three pieces of acrylic bonded together. This was quite a recent part of the build so I will come back to it later :)
    20200204_191133.jpg

    It was about this point I took the whole case apart and started working on the rear panel of the case, along with a few small bits and bobs. I happened to have a bit of 3mm matt black acrylic sitting about so I used this to make the rear panel insert. I used the router and the scroll saw for the cuts and was super happy with the out come :) I also used a holesaw for the fan mount
    20200119_125909.jpg 20200120_180613.jpg 20200120_105945.jpg 20200128_160934.jpg 20200126_114859.jpg 20200125_121636.jpg
    I wanted to see what it looked like so the hardware went back in. I was quite happy with how it looked ..even with the motherboard tray - just a side note. The motherboard came with some rog fan stickers and the fit was too good not to use them haha

    I cut the 120mm fan mounts off the front panel as these would not be used and just kinda got in the way. I also cut the mesh from the top panel. this was when I decided to move the distro plate up there :). I used my trusty dremel to cut the mesh pattern out then ran a file over the edges. Finally ran the top panel along the router to get a nice straight edge. I used a spiral cut bit on the router which did an awesome job :)
    20200415_154120.jpg

    this is kinda where my love affair with acrylic starts I guess lol. I purchased a few different size panels in clear, frosted and black. most of it actually ended up getting sprayed matt black!
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2020
  4. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks dude. This is basically all your fault haha. I blame you :)
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2020
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  5. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    Going back to the motherboard tray...

    Basically this happened. I also took exactly zero progress pictures :(.
    20200424_202252.jpg 20200425_120321.jpg
    I didn't take too many photos I'm afraid
    20200222_162827.jpg
    The mid plate is essentially three pieces of acrylic cut on the router and glued together. I honestly don't know how I got this far in life without a router and guided router bits. This gave some nice straight sharp lines which I liked far more than my failed attempt at a single piece midplate/mobo tray. Ive also cut a small passthrough for the 24 pin ATX cable and 8 pin :). The mid plate is made out of black and frosted acrylic as this is what I had left. I sprayed the whole thing matt black to match the rear panel.

    Once Id got this far I really wanted to throw more acrylic at it :). A psu shroud was always on the cards so I made a start on this. After my failed attempt at folding acrylic I decided to make a bending jig. it was nothing special and super easy to get together. I had some resistive wire from an old foam cutter project. I Used some left over wood from the kitchen tops :). I watched a video by dietec on how to build it and just went from there.

    Having the bending Jig massively helped get tight straight bends. I used 3mm thinkness gloss black acrylic for the shroud.
    Again, Apologies but I didn't take too many pictures of the process.
    IMG-20200408-WA0016.jpeg

    I own a silhouette portrait cutter, which I've used once or twice in two years and conveniently have a load of sticky back vinyl so I put this to good use and cut a few different hexagon patterns and ideas. This is pretty much where the hex theme came into play.
    The matt black theme kept going and I decided to use the hex pattern to kind of get a two tone black going on.
    20200408_181236.jpg 20200420_182127.jpg 20200408_181304.jpg

    I ended up changing my mind on the design of the hex pattern a few times and settled on the idea of smaller individual honeycomb patterns grouped together. Getting the vinyl off without leaving a sticky mess was a pain, but I found that heating it up with the hair dryer and then removing it with a bit of masking tape worked well
    20200428_130454.jpg
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2021
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  6. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    If some acrylic is good then more is better right?

    I wanted to hide the radiator and the fairly ugly gap the psu cover left so I made a sort of shroud/cover for this next. I had a little play about drawing out a shape and settled on a sort of hex shape which I cut out on the scroll saw and then tidied up on the router using a straight cut bit then gave it a slight chamfer using a 45 degree guided bit. I did cock up a little making this - it was like the acrylic had a pocket of air bubbles in and the router just grabbed hold of it :(. I changed the shape slightly which essentially cut this bit out.
    20200416_132158.jpg 20200416_135122.jpg

    After some sanding this also got the honeycomb treatment and was sprayed matt black :) (sorry for the lack of progress pictures again! Im a bad person :( )
    20200416_183957 - .jpg


    I also made a fairly simple GPU back plate from acrylic. again this was cut from acrylic using the original zotac back plate as a template, slight chamfer to the edge, sanded, holes drilled and countersunk, vinyl template and sprayed :) I didn't have any any spacers or m2.5 bolts so ordered some and these are currently en route :).
    20200425_224252.jpg 20200426_153933.jpg

    At this point we are pretty much caught up! :) I started installing everything back in the case last night, made a few wires for the fans as these will be powered directly from the psu and the tach and pwm go straight to the mobo, plan on doing the same with the pump as well. I also made up some LED goodness and got them braided up. Most stuff is now plugged in. Just got to sort out the GPU, watercooling (you know the trivial stuff haha) and a few bits to tidy up. I also need to make a decision on what is happening with the front panel.
    20200130_184030.jpg

    this is what currently sits on the desk next to me :)
    getting there.jpg

    Ive been playing with autodesk 360 for a few weeks now and feel like I have the hang of it (thankyou bit-tech for the awesome videos on this!) so distro plate designs on the way!
     
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  7. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Multimodder

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    I gotta say i'm really enjoying this build :clap: There really i'snt a lotta room to work with but you are making the most of it :rock:

    I gotta ask.... whats that tiny PC with the massive heat sink????
     
  8. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks dude :)

    Haha its a pi4. Currently running lakka. I've been on and off making a small bartop arcade from cherrywood.
    15881546750895398790917767921088.jpg
    I think the cooler is an ice tower. Got it off amazon.
     
  9. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    I had a little play on Autodesk and came up with a few different designs. I settled on the below. I cant see any issues with it but would love some input around the design and if anyone can see any problems! I did originally slam the pump mount through the radiator ports. I could tell it didn't look right. but didn't know why haha. I have assumed the pump will be mounted just above the memory. This doesn't obstruct anything. but im not too sure how pretty it will be!
    IMG-20200415-WA0019 (1).jpeg IMG-20200415-WA0015.jpeg IMG-20200415-WA0017 (1).jpeg

    Im thinking 5mm top plate with a small chamfered edge to sit flush with the top panel of the case. this will take most of the weight of the distroplate, along with the cpu and gpu taking some weight. The 'girth' of the distro plate will be 15mm.

    Also had a play around with a few front panel designs but still far from a final design :(
     
  10. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Multimodder

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    Damm! that is way too cool ! it's a mini version of my board and cooler ! i need one of these to make a mini DM-01 :D

    Distro is looking good!

    I gotta ask again....... that scene from blockland?
     
  11. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks dude :). Just a case of getting it cut now! A friend has said he should be able to do it free of charge but he is not too sure when he will have time as they have no overtime and cannot pop in during the weekends :(.

    Yeah it's an awesome little cooler :) ...become a bit obsessed with some old dreamcast games recently lol.

    Haha the minecraft lego? The missis and I have a bit of a lego thing going on :).
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2020
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  12. spigs_rex

    spigs_rex What's a Dremel?

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    so this isn't dead, just had a long pause as life got in the way...was supposed to be a quick pc update/build :/

    Frustratingly I've not been able to cut the distribution plate as the guys that can help have been swamped, which is fair enough. I could just pay to get this cut, but knowing I can get it done for free or the cost of a few beers makes the amount people want to do this a hard pill to swallow :(
    The PC has been slapped together over the last 10ish months so I could use it. However, I finally decided to pull it apart and put a proper water loop in it and finish off some of the other bits as well. I also ordered a SF750 PSU to give me some more room within the case...this was DOA and I'm currently in the process of waiting for a replacement.

    aaannyyyway I have managed to get a few bits done while waiting on the PSU -
    • Top window - The top window is made using some 5mm dark tint acrylic, used a 45degree guided bit in the router and just wizzed this round a bit of rough cut acrylic stuck to the original top panel
    20210321_121035.jpg 20210321_121044.jpg
    • front panel cover cut out - 5mm acrylic I had left over, I have sprayed them matt black using some old spray I had lying about - it doesn't look great so I'm gonna clean them up and respray
    20210319_141729.jpg 20210405_225503.jpg
    • re-cut psu cover. small cutout for small stats screen - need to paint
    20210405_230114.jpg
    • few cables made and sleeved - this is mainly pump cables and the two newer fans I didn't get round to finishing
    • water loop 'finished' - currently filled with Mayhems blue.
    20210325_154502.jpg 20210405_230359.jpg 20210405_230411.jpg 20210329_201830.jpg
    • added 120mm radiator at rear
    • re - cut side panel using 5mm acrylic (looks a lot better than my first attempt!)
    • finally put the rivets back in the case
    • other stuff and things

    I still need to make a little shroud type thing for the radator and to hide the truly hideous alphacool res/ddc pump fish thak thing haha. I had made something for this, but it didn't cover up the ugly pump/res...

    Sorry, I didn't really get any progress pics. just the bits above. The whole PC looks a little sorry for itself at the moment as im powering it using my old psu out the case while I wait for the SF psu to turn up/ be made / be in stock lol.

    Finish with a little picture of all the tinted acrylic on. Hides its shame haha
    20210402_163018.jpg


    Thanks for looking :). Hopefully the next update will not be pushing a year!
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2021
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