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Scratch Build – Complete ⭐ Minnow - Watercooled SFF PC

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by CP-3D, 8 Jun 2020.

  1. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    Hey Folks!

    Originally, my intention was just to build a semi portable rig that would allow me to do my job from basically anywhere. I came to discover that the cases on the market with the features I was looking for were all both out of stock, and made by indie/small manufacturers who operate on small runs. I could've waited or compromised on some features, but I figured why don't I just REALLY build my own PC.

    Looking for a case to buy turned out to be the perfect research! This entire project is a Frankenstein of ideas and features from several popular SFF cases. In terms of layout, I took from the revolutionary Dan A4. Construction, 3D printed frame reinforcing laser cut acrylic panels, was based on the L7Z. With those 2 pillars, I was able to tweak and nudge positioning and dimensions to customize exactly for my planned components. This was made incredibly easy by the modular, open source plater form by Casemaker.io over on GrabCad.

    Once I had to loose mock-up in CAD, it was time to plan out the loop to ensure there was enough clearance for every fitting and tubing run. While the cross flow radiator I chose provided a bridge from one side of the case to the other, I wasn't a fan of any of my options to close the loop. they all called for quite a long run at some point in the loop. I decided a front mounted distro plate was the most graceful solution and it also gave me a clean solution for mounting a pump. Both planning the loop and designing the distro were made exponentially easier by Alexander Banks. His CAD for the EK fittings along with his distro tutorials were the only reason it was remotely possible for me.

    Finally, I had a first revision of the design I was happy with.


    A user on the SFF Forum offered to machine the distro for me. During our back and forth he was nice enough to help me iterate on the design. My original version had the pumps outlet flowing in wrong direction.


    While he worked on machining the acrylic, I began printing a prototype of the frame out of PLA.


    And that's all of my progress so far! I'm thrilled with how its gone. At the end of the day, I'll be left with quite a beefy machine that has a smaller footprint than a full size keyboard.

    In the coming days, I should receive the distro. From there, I can install the orings and the DDC. I'll do an isolated leak test of the distro and the pump alone for a while. While I wait on that, I'm happy enough with the fit and strength of the frame to print the final version in black PETG. After all of that, I can order the laser cut panels and I'll be ready for final assembly!

    Stay tuned for updates as we go.
     
    MADPC, ivory2k19, ciaognep and 2 others like this.
  2. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Amazing!!!!!!!!!! A brilliant build, great to see your design go from an idea in your head to actually sitting on the bench all printed. :D

    A huge round of applause to @Maki role for adding his dash of magic to get it just right.
    I'll now go back and look at the wealth of pics in detail.

    I particularly like the useful ventilation, use of "Coffee 'n cream masterrace' fans and a really elegant distro plate from panel.

    A great synthesis of ideas into your own perfect solution.

    I have an SFF design in my head, but having trouble getting it realised without CAD and design skills. I've been quoted £450+ vat to create the DXF files, but that's too much at the moment for a one off .

    I'm watching and full of interest, thanks again.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jun 2020
  3. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    Thank you!!

    Because so much of this was aided by such high quality open-source CAD, i plan to release all the CAD of Minnow on GradCAD once I have a finished build that proves everything works as intended.
     
    Arboreal likes this.
  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    CUTE!
    Isometric models, though. :confused: I forgot how much they strain the eyes. It's like you can feel your eyeballs swelling trying to force stuff back into perspective.
     
  5. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    lol I work in CG. i must be immune at this point
     
  6. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Really good idea thé distro face ! I like your tiny project !
     
  7. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    Thank you! Congrats on Scr@tch B@ck! turned out phenomenal!
     
    Canardwc likes this.
  8. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    Thank you, good luck for your project and welcome on Bit tech !

    I'll follow your thread :thumb:
     
  9. ivory2k19

    ivory2k19 Member

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    Nice, I like builds like this!
    I am waiting of any further updates :dremel:
     
  10. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    Very exciting day of progress today!!!

    the distro has arrived!

    I made and seated the o-rings, put it all together and mounted it to the final PETG frame. I filled it up, powered on the pump andddddddd click click click. Turns out I don’t have as much clearance as I wanted for the impeller. I backed off the mounting screws just a bit and boom!



    It works! I’m floored. I literally can’t believe it. the I bled the air and topped it off and this is what’s been staring back at me for the last hour or so



    I’ll leak test this for few hours just to be safe, but so far, it’s holding up! Fingers crossed.

    The panels are on their way and I’m nearly done printing out the rest of the final pieces. Pretty soon, I’ll have to actually commit to real hardware for this thing. I’m finding it a little hard with all the 3080 leaks. Maybe you guys can help me decide to either hold off or pull the trigger.
     
    MADPC, ivory2k19, Big Elf and 4 others like this.
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Looks fantastic, but it's a little troubling to hear you say you backed off the pump screws.
    -That said, you may have just solved the problem with hard-mounted pumps having vibration noise. What if you use a REALLY FAT O-ring and add some to the mounting screws between the screw heads and the pump body? You'd isolate the pump housing and possibly make the whole thing a lot quieter.
     
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  12. idpcmods

    idpcmods Member

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    I remember one of my old ddcs had a similar issue and was a brand tolerance thing due to the oring used being thicker on one than the other, I'd say you've nailed the cause cheaps
     
  13. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    That’s a great idea! I certainly like that idea better than backing the screws off. Wouldn’t I run the risk of the new fatter o ring being too large for the channel inside the pump?

    as far as noise is concerned, it’s obviously with no PWM signal for that test, the pumps running at 100%. Also I shot it on my iPhone, which has a tendency to normalize the audio levels based on the loudest source in the clip. It sounded much more quiet than the video.
     
  14. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    In the interest of fairness to EK/Liang, I think it’s at least equally likely I got the tolerance wrong slightly lol
     
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  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I had a pump that the impeller ran at a slight tilt. Sometimes you get an oddball. As long as you get a seal, it should work. The only issues would be getting too much gap and affecting pump performance, or over stressing the O-ring and having it crush/tear. I'd also suggest you take my crazy suggestions with a grain of salt. ;)
    @idpcmods - I think you mis-read me.
     
  16. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    hmm it’s worth a try to see if it’s any better. That being said, when I said I backed off the screws we’re talking about like a quarter turn max. There’s still no play between the pump and the distro
     
  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Oh. Yeah, over-tightening and warping the casing is a thing. I forget things.
     
  18. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    That being said, it would probably be a non issue if I have another 0.5mm of clearance
     
  19. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    man it's crazy what 3d printing can do now, I thought it was some sort of thick drilled steel when i first saw it. lol Looks brilliant so far.
     
  20. CP-3D

    CP-3D Member

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    Howdy everybody!

    More progress! I've printed the final frame, the acrylic panels have showed up along with the fans and the rad. I did mistakenly order the back panel flipped, so the glossy side is exposed. Idk i kinda think its cool. what do you guys think?


    At this point, the case itself is complete! Now its time to get the hardware in there.
     

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