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Scratch Build – In Progress My first completely custom Mini ITX PC case! :D

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by bguilleminot, 22 Sep 2011.

  1. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Hi to everyone, my name is Benjamin Guilleminot, I'm new in this forum (but checking projects and mods for years) and I'm in my first completely custom PC case build. The idea it's to make a mini PC, the most portable and lighter possible, and using new materials in PC builds as glass fiber for it's benefits (light, easy to work with, doesn't get warm, etc).

    This is my Sketch Up model, which divides in:

    1) Structure

    The idea was to make a simple structure, of full hand crafted aluminum parts with aluminum rivets, trying to be the lighter possible.

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    2) Motherboard tray

    The motherboard tray will be of 2mm acrylic panel, I don't know if this will be the better material for this, but because it's cheaper, easier to work and lighter than metal I thought it will be a good idea. Here will be mounted everything: HDD, motherboard (Intel Atom based), slim DVDRW, and for power I will use PicoPSU.

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    And this is how it fits with the structure:

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    3) Panels

    The custom panels will be of home made glass fiber and aluminum car mesh (lol). All the model will be painted in black, and it's with the real measures to show what are the final overall dimensions.

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    Sorry for the annoying problems with the measures of the motherboard tray in the complete model :duh: I will fix this in the real case :)

    As you can see, I'm a little maniac with the space inside the case, I really hate when people/brands design cases that lost a loot of room inside and then you pay for that. In all my PC case designs, I spend hours trying to make all fit tightly without loosing space inside. So I try to reduce the whole dimensions doing that, it was the first objective in this project.

    I hope you like it, I started working in the structure and the panels, so I will be updating more soon :D

    Please feel free to comment any critic/suggestion/thoughts about it, anything it's useful for me :)

    Thanks for reading, good bye and good luck to everyone :D
     
  2. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    First update, Sept. 22!! :D

    The first thing I did was of course the main structure. Cutting and sanding all the parts from custom aluminum pieces I bought in junk stores take me months, the result it's not perfect (I have only a Dremel and a hand saw) but it's not bad. Everything squared well.

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    Here a foto with mi hand inside to show you how small it is :D

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    Then, I make a big fiber glass panel and I started cutting the parts I needed. This is the first (and the only until now) finished, with the aluminum car mesh installed and some extra holes I drilled for mistake :wallbash: I will have to put some kind of putty to fill the holes.

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    And here fotos of the panel screwed to the structure :D

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    That's all for now, hope you like how it's going! I will try to work the most I can to bring you more updates soon :dremel::D
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2011
  3. Gentleman_Dingo

    Gentleman_Dingo New Member

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    Yay!!! A mini! I love ITX mods. Scratch builds are even better!
     
  4. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Hi, thanks for watching! I love mini computers too, because Mini ITX boards are so versatile... You can do great things in small rooms :)
     
  5. nagyizom

    nagyizom Member

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    I also want to build a case for my itx system from the same materials( but with really different shapes). Anyway, I'll follow your logs, it will be interesting :)
     
  6. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Really? :D 'Till now I highly recommend you using this materials, aluminum is so light and strong, and glass fiber is very versatile too, very strong and moldeable... Like it's my first time I'm not so happy with the work results but now I know what to improve in the next movements or build time :D so I will not commit the same mistakes. Thanks a lot for watching and for your interest, really appreciated! Cheers ;)
     
  7. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    nom nom nom ... IIIIII TTTTTT XXXXX ! Gonna follow this smallness pron :thumb:
     
  8. jeckulz

    jeckulz New Member

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    Silly question?
    ITX- do they use outboard PSUs?
     
  9. Big_malc

    Big_malc Well-Known Member

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    can do like a pico psu
     
  10. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Some ITX boards have onboard PSU and a laptop power-brick.
     
  11. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Thank you guys for posting :D

    It would be perfect if the MOBO that I'm gonna use (Zotac Atom based) has on board PSU like the laptop power brick... I will have to buy a PicoPSU and here were I live will be very expensive... I will see what can I do. For now I must finish the case ;)

    Cheers to everyone!
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2011
  12. skreenname

    skreenname SFF Forever

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    What motherboard are you using?
    It sounds like an Ion board, and if it is why not get the IONITX-A-E or IONITX-A-U?
    I've got the A-U and it's a pretty great board.
     
  13. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Try to find this one : Giada MI-ION2D3

    http://www.giadatech.com/index.php?app=product&act=show&id=54

    It has Atom D525 + ION2 + mSata and mini-PCIe and it is a SLIM ITX form factor (only 22mm high)
     
  14. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Hi, I would really like that this MOBO has ION graphics instead of the Intel GMA that brings inside... It's a Zotac NM10-ITX WiFi with Atom D510, using old school DDR2 ram :sigh:
    It's a good looking MOBO at least, in the next update I will show you some pics of it.

    Thank you very much GuilleAcoustic for showing that mini board, looks really amazing and capable. Sadly I've already bought the MOBO and almost everything (I only need the HDD and the power). But very good product instead, never heard of that brand but the board looks great :thumb:
     
  15. the_kille4

    the_kille4 Chaos will rule da world.eventually

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    hmmm... power brick does make everything smaller. might try incorporate that idea into a m-itx build that i'm still trying to figure out based on the AMD A8-3850 with a Zotac mobo so I can get WiFi. I would never have thought of mounting the HDDs in that way and I think it's great.

    in terms of the slim itx form factor that GuilleAcoustic, personally I have not yet seen many boards supporting that form factor. Although Intel does have a website specifically for AIOs that and also seems to target builders as it allows users to have interchangeable processors. That is different to how the Giada board shows only has the Atom proc at its heart. The link: http://www.intel.com/cd/channel/reseller/asmo-na/eng/421553.htm Even if you look at motherboard http://images.anandtech.com/doci/4394/DSC_3502_575px.jpgyou can imagine how Intel's "Thin ITX" standard can be really create a slim chassis.
     
  16. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Thank you very much for the info! I didn't imagine they were adding interchangeable processors in slim itx boards :jawdrop: that's amazing. There is a problem instead, the CPU cooler. Atom is for now the lowest TDP CPU in the market and even it gets very hot, so adding a higher rate CPU would discard passive cooling, and you know how big are CPU coolers, at least good ones. But are awesome news! Thanks for sharing it.

    Respecting the HDD mounting, thanks a lot for your approval :D but I realize a problem last night for using a different MOBO in the 3D model: In the one that I'm gonna use, all the on board connectors are in the back of the board not in the sides :wallbash: so every cable management I designed under the MOBO tray failed. Damn :duh: now I'm thinking what to do, if I do the original as the model is and have no cables hiding, or rotating the MOBO in 90° and find a new HDD mounting, edit the structure to make the MOBO and the slim DVDRW fit in that direction and remake the MOBO tray design. :sigh: What do you think it's the best? I'm undecided, any help it's valuable! Thanks for watching :D
     
  17. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Giada does have a AMD E350 thin ITX mobo (with power brick) :thumb:

    http://www.giadatech.com/index.php?app=product&act=show&id=49
     
  18. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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  19. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    OK, here's the second update I promised! Writing and listening "Leliana's Song" from the masterpiece "Dragon Age Origins", so beautiful and inspiring music!

    I hadn't the time I wanted to work, so I didn't advanced as much as I was expecting. Here it's what I've done.

    I cut all the side panels, but I need to do better sanding (that I will do with a new tool I'm gonna buy, because sanding with dremel it's not precise enough). Te front and back panels will not be ready until I finish the motherboard tray, and that will be decided when I finish the new design. 'Till then, this is what I have:

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    This is the biggest hole for ventilation that may possess some slim fans attached to improve cooling.

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    And here are the last two, waiting the sanding tool to be finished.

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    That's all about the chassis for now, here I bring you some photos of the hardware I got.

    Zotac NM10-ITX WiFI (Atom D510 1.66GHz), with a 2GB DDR2 800MHz Kingston ram installed.

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    This is the first option (original) position for the MOBO in the acrylic tray, right in the center.

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    And here is the second position for the MOBO, in one of the extremes. This will allow a much better cable management under the tray but will submit the entire structure to several changes to make it fit in that direction.

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    And finally, the Slim DVDRW!

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    That's all for now, this week will be quite busy I guess, a lot of work. But that's no excuse to live the project down, I will advance as much as I can. If everything is OK, next week will have new tools to play with :D and start to get some real work done. Thanks all for watching and commenting.

    I'm waiting your suggestions/criticisms, good bye to everyone! :D
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2011
  20. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    You shouldn't regret ... I'm the complete opposite of you, I wait too long .... and when I finally jump to buy it, it's no more available :wallbash:.

    I'm working on a ITX media center aswell (see signature) ... I'll be following your work. Nice job so far mate :thumb:
     

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