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Scratch Build – In Progress Negative Space - May 27 - Side Panels

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by B[x], 18 Oct 2007.

  1. B[x]

    B[x] What's a Dremel?

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    The objective of this build is to construct a Small Form Factor case without sacrificing its cooling ability or performance. Following is a list of components that the case will house.
    • ATX motherboard
    • Optical drive
    • Two hard drives
    • Power supply
    • The largest of graphics cards
    • Two 120-mm intake and 80-mm exhaust fans
    In order to achieve optimal cooling, the selection and placement of hardware must be well thought out. Hardware that generates excessive heat necessitates sufficient airflow. This is achieved by minimizing obstructions and guiding the air from intake to exhaust.

    Design
    As the old adage goes, "Form follows function." A aesthetically pleasing computer is not effective if its design compromises its effectiveness. Keeping that in mind, the arrangement of hardware was first laid out to get a feel for how the overall size could be minimized while maintaining proper air circulation.

    The Frame
    Structural stability is not the only reason I chose to use square aluminum tubing for the frame. I can route fan and lighting cables through the tubes, thus providing a less cluttered interior.

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    A panel to mount the two hard drives is included at the top. A 0.125-in flat bar is used to help in supporting the motherboard. An additional 0.125-in flat bar is used in lieu of tubing for the lower rear frame element to allow for a lower motherboard tray position. Saving a half inch here and there adds up.

    Component Placement
    In order to minimize space requirements while maintaining cooling efficiency, the following placement of components was selected.

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    The left 120-mm fan will direct air over the GPU. A CPU cooler will be mounted in such a fashion that the fan will blow upward and exhaust through the PSU. The rear 80-mm fans will pull air over the hard drives as well as help cool the GPU.

    Panels
    The panels will showcase the interior's hardware while not being overly intrusive.

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    Two buttons will be included in the top panel; one will be the power button while the other will open and close the optical drive. These panels will be attached to the frame using socket head screws.

    Shields
    In order to add some style points to the case's aesthetics, aluminum shields will be offset a fraction of an inch. The flow of these shields will be in order with the existing lines of the case. Each line can be traced around the faces of the case to give the appearance of a unified form.

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    Color Scheme
    While the final color of panels are not set in stone, the faces of the shields will be black while the edges will be white. Here are a couple samples of some color combinations that I'm considering.

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    Last edited: 27 May 2008
  2. B[x]

    B[x] What's a Dremel?

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    Today the corner brackets that will hold the frame together were cut out using my school's water jet. They were then bent into shape using a vise, rubber mallet, and some scrap pieces of wood and steel.

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    These brackets will slide into the square tubing that will make up the frame and then riveted in place. The tubing is 0.75-in square with 0.125-in walls. I made these brackets with legs slightly longer than 0.50-in. I knew that the added bend radius would increase the length of the brackets' legs. However, I didn't want to try to account for it when cutting them out. I'd rather cut them larger than necessary and file them down to ensure a tight fit in the tubing. Two edges per leg. Three legs per corner. Six corners in total. It's a pain but it has to be done.
     
    Last edited: 19 Oct 2007
  3. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice What's a Dremel?

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    You cant go wrong with read and black as a color scheme, looking forward to watching this progress, looks most interesting, and the panels that will be slightly raised should look great against a red backdrop.
     
  4. Duste

    Duste Sierra my delta, bravo!

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    Nice corner joints dude, but wouldn't it have just been easier to buy pre-made ones? o_O
     
  5. theAlien

    theAlien I know what a Dremel is....

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    I'll second red and black ............... :thumb:

    Alan
     
  6. derbaum

    derbaum What's a Dremel?

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    mhh red black is a classic but this violet stuff is also hot and quite uncommon!
     
  7. brinkz0r

    brinkz0r Minimodder

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    That's a weird looking case, I like it :p The brackets are nicely made, that's a good start.
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2007
  8. Hanz

    Hanz What's a Dremel?

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    I agree with derbaum, violet seems to be more uncommon and would make for a more interesting case.

    H
     
  9. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    awesome brackets - buying pre-made wouldn't have been as nice i think, and no satisfaction whatsoever :D
    100% scratch builds rule :rock:
    I think the red scheme looks sorta like a young teen's pc, it's a sorta bright & happy case, maybe too energetic to be sitting on an adult's work desk everday, but any kid would love it! ...i wouldn't mind it either :)
    The purple scheme looks a bit more like a young adult's pc, sorta funky.. the purple on black reminds me of a couple of night clubs/bars out there... i think i may be voting for purple, maybe with uv or blue lighting... well these are just my points of view, color schemes have different effects on everyone :D
    The case looks great in both color's btw :thumb:
     
  10. DSquareD

    DSquareD What's a Dremel?

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    purple and black it is for me...red and black is pretty common...
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    1 more vote for purple/black.
     
  12. radodrill

    radodrill Resident EI

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    pics went dead; maybe go with a deep blue/black, IMHO the purple is a bit too dark
     
  13. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

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    Pics of it didn't happen... lol... deep blue/black I think looks nice too...
     
  14. B[x]

    B[x] What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry about the pictures disappearing, guys. Turns out the bandwidth limit on Googlepages is a lot lower than I had thought. I didn't run into any problems when hosting my last log on Googlepages. Oh well. I won't be home for another 5 or 6 hours but I'll sort it out then. If anybody has any suggestions for hosts that allow larger images without changing the image size or quality, let me know.

    Regarding the color scheme, purple was my first choice. One of my roommates walked in while I was doing some modeling and suggested red. It's amusing to see your comments on the whole purple vs. red issue since my conversation with my roommate was along the same lines. I explained to him that the red and black theme was overdone in the case modding scene (he doesn't know much about computers). I included it just to gauge the forum's opinion and I'm glad to see that you guys agree with my initial idea.

    In all my searches, I didn't come across tubing corner joints that I was satisfied with. Also, like Mvagusta said, buying them provides none of the satisfaction that you get when you make something. Granted I cheated a little with the waterjet but I wanted the corners to be as accurate as possible. In addition, I'm able to pass wires through the corners with these brackets. Some of the joints I found online wouldn't allow this.

    Again, sorry for the lack of pictures at the moment. For now, imagine there's a great looking case design in the first post with some minor progress in the second.
     
  15. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    photobucket is one of the good ones out there. I reckon blue has been overdone a little aswell, can i vote twice for purple? It might be tiny bit too dark tho?
     
  16. B[x]

    B[x] What's a Dremel?

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    Alright, all the links should be fixed.

    Regarding lighting, I only plan on incorporating a few white LEDs. I'm not a big fan of excess lighting. Don't get me wrong, UV lighting can be done extremely well. I just don't see it having a place in this build.
     
  17. Brett89

    Brett89 Minimodder

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    Nice joints! excellent craftsmanship. I'd go with a deep metallic purple polished, and then black.
     
  18. B[x]

    B[x] What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks, Brett. It seems that everybody wants purple over red. I'm open to other color suggestions as well.

    I cut out the members that would make up the majority of the frame using a compound miter saw with a 24-TPI blade. This allowed me to cut the 45° angles necessary for the corners to sit flush. These aluminum members are made of 0.75-in square tubing with 0.125-in walls.

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    I don't have a shop in my house so this temporary setup will have to do.

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    All of the pieces are finally cut after about 5 hours of work. The piece of flat bar will be the bottom rear member of the case. This is to allow a lower position of the motherboard tray.

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    I'm just playing around with my camera's macro feature since I don't get much use out of it. It really brings out all of the imperfections. However, these cuts have yet to be filed and sanded so I'm not worried.

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    Here's an example of a corner of the case. Though there is a corner bracket holding it together, I've yet to rivet them together.

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    Just another angle of a corner.

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    Here's a shot of the corner from the inside of the case. There are minor gaps between the members but those will be gone once I file down the edges and rivet everything.

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    I'm liking the way this is coming out. What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: 20 Oct 2007
  19. sethnmalice

    sethnmalice What's a Dremel?

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    Corner pieces look great!, polishing them before putting them together would really make it stand out against which ever color scheme you choose to go for, then you could assemble it later, im all for a polished frame, it would just give it that little bit extra, and polishing the tubes dosnt require alot of elbow grease either.
     
  20. mvagusta

    mvagusta Did a skid that went for two weeks.

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    I'm wondering how those brackets are being held together in the photos :confused: they are cut real nice btw!
    I was imagining some blue leds or some bluish/purple uv lighting to go with the color, but a few white leds will match nicely aswell :thumb:
     

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