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Case Mod - Complete NVC Build= No visible cables

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by zak, 19 Apr 2018.

  1. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    (Would love to do another....I have never been sponsored...ahem, cough, hint, ahem.... Or anyone who wants me to build one?)

    I have 3 goals in this build.
    1st, Include skulls.
    2nd, Bring in interior design elements into a PC, like clean hidden lighting, recessed lighting, cove lighting, and just have a super clean RGB build.
    3rd, HAVE NOTHING SHOWING LIKE CABLES, MOBO TRANSISTORS, CAPACITORS, NOTHING besides clean walls, and tubing. Trying to have the cleanest build ever. I am just now doing my build log here, but I have been working on this build for 4 months, and i am about 3/5ths complete. I have over 300 hours into this build so far. The motherboard armor alone took 60 hours or more.





    The Case
    [​IMG]


    The Inspiration

    I wanted to take interior design aspects and lighting, and incorporate them into this design. I saw some inspiration of lighting in homes I really liked.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I also LOVE SKULLS and must have skulls in my personal rig. I also love Marvel, so the punisher skull just fit.

    2018-04-06 10_47_46-punisher design - Google Search.png






    THE MOCKUP

    Then I did a terrible...terrible...mockup (hoping for VUE white but its not released still, so going clear untill then)

    tube routing.png





    The PRE-BUILD PREP

    I decided to cut some corners in purchasing some PC parts to save money elsewhere, for other things I needed (wanted
    :grin: as well) so I could complete my build. I purchased a mix of fittings, whichever was cheapest, only x2 8Gb ram sticks instead of x4 8gb ram sticks etc...

    But I did get this in return, just for this build!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All in all, it all came in under $400, for EVERYTHING you see, including the table saw, which was only $140! I owned none of it prior to this build.



    THE BUILD

    So as I mentioned, I started 4 months ago, im about 3/4 finished now, I just am now posting build logs. Although I did take pictures the whole way through. I am just wrapping up painting/vinyl wrapping, and moving to LED testing, but here is my journey so far.


    ACRYLIC FABRICATION

    The motherboard armor was so hard because there is no "template to follow", I had to make one, printing out a pic of the motherboard and cutting it out of semi hard thin plastic. But once I put the CPU block on it got way harder because it had to be close enough to not leave even a mm size gap, but far enough to let it slide on and off no problem. And I used a dremel and moto saw and it took 60 hours plus, because if you cut too much off your screwed.



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    At least I thought that if you cut too much you were screwed, when i changed my radiator size, I needed to fix a small 3mm by 40mm gap and another 15 mm gap at the top, and once i discovered plastic putty and weld on 4, I found I could fix it and leave no gaps because of that putty. See the black pieces, thats black acrylic, ( i should have kept it clear but who cares, its getting painted)
    [​IMG]

    See the little white pieces on the inside edges of heatsink cutout and CPU block tips? I had to shave SUPER THIN shreds of acrylic and glue them on, just so there was not more than a 1mm gap, then fill in cracks with putty, so paint would not leave a crease. Talk about attention to detail and time here.


    [​IMG] 2cgf213.jpg




    Another piece I had to fabricate, that took WAY longer than I intended, was a cusom radiator mount. I couldnt use the one they included because the way they had it setup, was only for tubing in front of rad. I wanted fans on the front most opening of the case. So I had to make my own bracket.

    [​IMG]


    But the problem I did not think about, is that piece of acrylic is blocking air flow.

    Dohhh



    So I tried drilling some holes

    [​IMG]





    Someone pointed out it still was too restrictive, so I was like ok, I need to figure something out, and I ended up seeing online they actually sell rad bracket stands, so I used that as a guide, and CHOP CHOP city.
    [​IMG]

    I followed this design, it came out nice.


    [​IMG]





    I also fabricated a custom reservoir holder, that had recessed or cove lighting features from those interior design ceilings, that I liked so much.

    IMG_0710.jpg






    Then I fabricated a floor. But then I realized the tubes just didnt look right lined up the way they were, and I didnt take into consideration once I screwed down the reservoir holder back plate I just made, the whole reservoir plate shifted a few mm, so therefore my passthroughs in the floor no longer lined up right. And I had to completely redo the floor again. It worked out better in the end, I ended up getting the passthroughs lined up perfectly this time.

    You can see the old and new floor below. The table saw and drill press, REALLY helped save some time here, it went hours faster than before I had that drill press, as I bought the drill press after I screwed up the floor.
    [​IMG]






    I also custom made some lights and borders to hold the lights. I wanted to hide the LED's under the floor, but light up a punisher light above the floor. But I had to have a frame, just slapping it up didnt look clean enough. Building a frame to cover the edges of acrylic thats only 2mm thick, is not easy. This was some PERFECTLY flawless straight lines that were needed.



    [​IMG]



    I also made ALOT of other little filler pieces, to cover all the walls


    Some of these I ditched, some I kept. I ditched the GPU cover, didn't look right to me, not clean enough. Looked forced.
    [​IMG] 34pxmir.jpg






    At this time, I stopped to buy my first delid tool, i had not previously ever delidded. Worked great!

    [​IMG]





    Case Modifications

    I also made a TON of modifications to the case to fit everything nicely the way I designed it.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]


    Oh they said a 480 wouldnt fit up there, but it DOES FIT. You just have to drill a couple holes in the top of the case, and buy some longer screws. But because this had never been done with fans on top before, I had to buy a TON of screws as I didnt know which was the right size. Ended up being 40mm long.


    [​IMG]





    To find the correct spot to drill, I put a fan on top, used a nail to scratch the spot, and then drilled through.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    PAINTING/WRAPPING


    So this brings me to where i was a couple days ago. Painting. I have been STRUGGLING. I have painted then sanded it all off, then painted then sanded it all off, then repeat, then repeat a dozen times. Been doing it for 2 weeks. I FINALLY gave up on gloss black with a gloss clear. Its impossible with spray paint without a pro gun. When I say impossible I mean to get every piece identical and FLAWLESS. Yea i can get some to come out ok, but some minor flaw always happens and I just could never get them all without either, orange peel in clear, or sheen problems or what. I even ended up taking weather and humidity out of the equation with a home made spray booth and heaters and ventillation and dehumidifiers.


    My improvised closet....no spray closet.

    [​IMG]



    And even the heat sinks were SUPER HARD to get perfect with High heat engine paint and gloss.

    HEATSINK FAIL 1
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    HEATSINK FAIL 2
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    HEATSINK FAIL 3
    [​IMG]






    I succesfully finished painting the heat sinks after MANY failed attempts as the pictures in yesterdays post shows. Took me forevor to realize you can paint matte over gloss, but gloss over matte works great. Ughh. But the important thing is, I FINALLY FINISHED PAINTING!!! ONLY TOOK 13 DAYS!


    [​IMG][​IMG]





    I also really didnt want to have Matte Black EVERYWHERE, I did not want monotone. So I really wanted some gloss black, and I really wanted some brushed metal look, like the front of the lian li case, so I went with vinyl wrapping the GPU cover. Added a nice black metal punisher skull too!

    [​IMG]



    LED & FAN TESTING

    I didnt want to do the tube routing before I tested all the fans and corsair strips. Some of these strips im inserting into difficult to get to spots, and I would have no choice but to remove all the tubing anyways, so as of yesterday I have been working on installing LEDS everywhere to prep for testing.



    Re-installing rad with new static pressure fans

    [​IMG]





    And putting in a LL120 with a handmade acrylic piece hiding the fans LED cable, the power cable will later be hidden.

    (why does it have wrap on it? For protection, EVERY SINGLE TINY SOFT BUMP SCRATCHES THIS MATTE PAINT LIKE IT WAS SOFT BUTTER)

    [​IMG]






     
    Last edited: 5 May 2018
    Dietec likes this.
  2. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    I installed all my LEDS last night. Going to have to temporarily run the PC without a GPU and with a stock intel fan on it to test out the LEDS as addressable LEDS require software to function....ugh.. Will have to wait a couple days to test, will be busy next couple days.



    So first I installed a shelf/ledge on the bottom mobo armor, to hide a strip. Then carefully glued the ledge onto the armor.
    Again, wrapping is to protect the matte paint job as it scratches so easy.



    [​IMG]







    Better look under the ledge/bracket thing



    [​IMG]





    Then I installed strips behind the res mount. Sucks the corsair strips have a 3 inch connection cable that leaves a gap with no lights....



    [​IMG]
     
  3. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    Progress looks good! (bookmarked)
     
  4. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    So I ran an LED Test and turned on my system for the first time! I mentioned previously, I wanted to do that before watercooling in case there was any problems.

    It ALMOST went off without a hitch, ALL CORSAIR STRIPS/FANS WORKED FLAWLESSLY.
    The one cablemod LED strip I had running on AURA SYNC of course did not work.....ughh, i had to literally break my arcylic armor to get behind the LED bracket and remove the LED......... Now I have to fix that.....

    The Reservoir mount looked great!

    [​IMG]




    The skull looked sooooo awesome to me, Thats not what it will end up looking like, but you get the idea


    [​IMG]





    Loved LL120's by corsair, dont worry, rgb haters, im not going to have rainbow RGB EVERYWHERE, but lights are a big part of this build, I just want the ability to have cool lighting in many places.


    [​IMG]
     
  5. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    Thanks first person! Why have I heard of you before, I have def seen you before somewhere separate from this site....

    Quick question, how do you link previous build logs to your signature like everyone does? Everytime I put my link, it says "cant do this is spam. " (im paraphrasing)
     
  6. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    So... I had a HORRIBLE weekend, build wise. As anyone who has read my previous posts know, I have struggled A LOT with painting. Spent weeks trying to perfect gloss black, then gave up and went to matte. Well, Matte scratched soooo easy without clear coat, so I protected it with Syran Wrap.



    Well, I went to take off the Syran Wrap, and to my suprise, apparently, the Syran Wrap has this slightly adhesive, super thin, glue type substance just ever so glazed on the sheets. I never even detected it on there. So when I pulled it off, It Left the UGLIEST glue marks on the paint, and ruined all my work. I spent all weekend REPAINTING EVERYTHING AGAIN!




    You can see the honeycomb looking ugly sticky CRAP

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    [​IMG]







    So to try to clean it off, I first used windex, didnt work. So I stepped it up to label remover. It kind of worked for the already permanently in place, and piece i couldnt repaint anyways (the res holder piece), but when I wiped it on the heatsink, IT WIPED OFF ALL THE PAINT IN FIRST WIPE!!!!
    [​IMG]





    So all the rest of the pieces, that didnt have vinyl wrap on it, or that I didnt permanently attach to case, I started to repaint. And of course ran into problems like usual.
    [​IMG]






    I did get a little other work done, this weekend, the painting took about 7-8 hours of my time. Rest of time went to other fixes. Im almost glad to have redone the bottom mobo armor, and bracket, as the previous non corsair led had to be broken out, and fixed, but this one came out even better than before. I added a white piece of acrylic to diffuse to LED, so it didnt look as much like multiple bulbs, and more like a bar of light.

    [​IMG]

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    I also worked on another LED diffuser, a bracket I bought online, it was the perfect size, and angled up in the direction I wanted!! It works great for PC builds.

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    And the last thing I did was prep the new acrylic tubes for watercooling this week. They look great, and I wanted to keep them clean and scratch free, so I wrapped them up. THIS TIME I USED PLAIN NEWSPAPER NOT SYRAN WRAP! 3 sets I went through so far in search for perfection......

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 23 Apr 2018
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You have only been here a few days, and on 5 posts. They have linking like that turned off for newcomers to fight the botspam.
    Anyway, Welcome to Bit-Tech. You're doing great.
     
  8. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    ooooohhhhh. I see. There is a lot more security with this site I see. Yea, this site is new to me, I didnt know it had a build log section untill a week or two ago. I wish I was here the whole time. Thanks though.

    Oh and I see your name/avator all over the build logs :rock:
     
  9. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    So I finally am really starting watercool routing now. The end is in sight. I connected the reservoir route up last night. The top took me about 10 min. The bottom however, took me almost 3 hours. To do 1 single run.
    If anyone knows a tip/trick for short runs I would love to hear it. I really struggle to connect a short 1 inch run. I tried fittings only didnt work, I just couldnt get it the perfect height. And even with using a short tube, the compression fittings kept me from being able to have the compression fittings installed into the components first, and snapping the tube and compressions in. So I had to put the compression fittings on the tubes first, and try to get those in that way instead.


    The problem I had was, in order for the male end of the compression fitting to get into the G 1/4 female opening, it has to pass the lip of the G 1/4 fitting. (See image below) Now a shorter tube will get passed the lip and into the female end, no problem, but then it wont screw in all the way once inside. Long tube runs are easy and have some give to them, and some movement, but what about short runs where there is NO give on the component or tube.... I spent hours using every option and alot of strength trying to force it in. Im suprised I didnt break anything.



    [​IMG]


    But after hours I got it done. Res complete.

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    I also had some time to install GPU and GPU cover.

    [​IMG]


    I will have some time tonight to do a couple runs, then will take a day off and start back thursday, and should be complete this weekend!
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yeah, I'm everywhere 'cuz my project is in limbo. :hehe:
    Your posts are moderated when you are new too, so I missed that last post. It looks like you need to use an etching primer. I know it sticks to plexi a LOT better than normal paint.
     
  11. DÈF¥âÑt¸.·´¯`¤

    DÈF¥âÑt¸.·´¯`¤ Active Member

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    Loving your ideas man and your new tools :) I get such a hard on when i hear the words No visible cables much respect :thumb:



     
    zak likes this.
  12. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    UPDATE time again boys and girls

    Here is what I did last night, Im soooo glad I scrapped the painted PETG tubes, and purchased my first set of acrylic tubing, colored acrylic. Its VERY reflective, and EXACTLY what I wanted. I wanted the tubing and floor of this build to be reflective black, the walls to be matte, and a few components to be black brushed metal. I got everything I wanted and im so happy with the choices.

    [​IMG]








    Does anyone know if VHB or Gorilla Tape is strong enough to hold a pump in place?
    Or is that dumb, and it has to be screwed in? Cause right now the only way to screw it in is having the pump face away from me, making it difficult to put the tubing in..... Drilling new holes is not possible due to spatial access.



    See here, its facing away, which might work, just harder to get too.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    Hm almost no comments, not sure if Im too new here, or maybe just no one thinks this will turn out good?

    Whatever the reason, I am going to either make this my last update, or I will consider doing one more final update on monday maybe, of the tubing runs in back of case. (Although does anyone really want to see how I run the back and basement tubes? I doubt it... ) Then after the "potential" update on monday it will be a few added days more, while I take pictures/video, and then It will be the final reveal. So hopefully I didn't lose everyone (or never gain anyone) before the reveal next week.

    Here are the last front of case pictures I will release. Did the CPU runs, in the all vertical runs I wanted.
    [​IMG]



    I mounted the pump with Tape only. Im super nervous about that, I really wanted to screw it in, I just couldnt do both screws and front facing, so I just went with super strong tape. I watched videos, it had a 100lbs shear strength, and a 250lb tactile strength. So I dont see why this wont hold it tight.

    [​IMG]


    If someone SPECIFICALLY asks for that final update, of basement and back of case tubing runs, Ill do that monday, otherwise, Im signing out untill the reveal sometime next week, after the final pictures are taken.
     
  14. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    Ok last update with pictures! Probably sometime next week will be the reveal! I might delay it untill the next week though, just stick around for 1-2 weeks!

    :clap::thumb::clap::thumb:


    Trust me, it will look different than even what has been seen, it will look much cleaner. As that was the goal, super super clean and lit up nicely.



    I kind of finished all the tube routing. There was only big problem that occured, ill explain below.


    Here is an overview of the basement

    [​IMG]

    Here is the first 3 tube runs I did, they went flawlessly, and fast and easy, even with the limited spatial access. Soft tubes way easier. Goes from res to pump.

    [​IMG]






    Here is The rad to GPUs Top close up. This was some tight spaces, but only that 1-2 inch run gave me any trouble, I had to extend the fittings farther down to make it work. I hate short runs, there is no give, its hard with short or long tubes, when you only have an inch or two of tubing to use.


    [​IMG]









    Here is where they connect to the rad for a bottom shot.

    [​IMG]








    Ok here is where I encountered a problem. I spent 3 hours trying to get these tubes connected. They look connected, but there not secured tightly. For these 4 fittings, I used a different brand than XSPC. I used Touchaquana. I got them because they are DIRT cheap but you get what you pay for. I used some Touchaquana extenders, and they worked fine, but they suck at compression fittings. First they were hard to get the tube onto, but the main problem is the compression ring will not secure all the way on. I just cant have that, secure fittings is the main concern when looking for a good fitting. After hours of trying I only got 1 of the 4 to secure, so I just ordered some more XSPC fittings which worked great. I will have to redo these top runs.

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    Dont buy these ever to save money, i mean get barrow if you want a cheaper fitting, at least barrow fittings work..


    [​IMG]
     
  15. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    We both know that's a lie, but I will not tell anyone... Shhh... I know I mentioned this site more than once the past two weeks in my logs on OCN and LTT, but welcome, have some cake

    [​IMG]
     
  16. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    haha naw, check my join date, its only like a week or so old. And you might have mentioned it but I didnt see it. Heck just last week you were like I already told you I had lights, and I was like, really? My minds gone maybe or i dont pay attention. This site is great, so far its my favorite one I think.
     
  17. AT0MAC

    AT0MAC ~PC ninja~

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    It's fair.. Yea you are right, even me I usually start posting things here, because there is a ton of users and you get honest answers really quickly, also, Bit-Techs implementation of BBCode is spot on, so everything you edit in here can be copy/pasted to other BBCode forums like OCN and LTT without any problems.

    I'm looking forward to see your next step, little sad you are keeping us in the dark for a week!!
    At least just 1 picture a day and some few words on whats next, to build up to the big reveal?

    Anyway, you are doing great and I look forward to see this monster come alive.
     
  18. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    Thanks, and ok, i might post one more, of the fan grill I gotta, make, i just found templates online that you can printout to help with the cutouts in acrylic which is super helpful. But ok, maybe 1 more little sneak peak.
     
  19. zak

    zak Build Clean people, build clean

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    So I finished my build on sunday. Started to prep for taking final pictures while also getting all the protective paper off and ready to start filling it up with water. And. It. Started. Leaking. I have never had a leak before. Thank god it wasnt over my mobo and it was not near equipment cause it was coming out fast. Although if the leak was any other tube it would have been easy to fix. Of course it leaked on the HARDEST tube to install. A tube that took me hours to get in. The 1 inch tube. There is just NO ROOM TO Maneuver.


    I dont know how to fix it either, im at my wits end, and so close to finishing and so ready to just give up. I tried fittings only, and it didnt work. I tried a 1" tube and that didnt work. I dont know how to fix it...... I HATE SHORT TUBE RUNS 1" or so.


    I think the tube might have been too short maybe? Again, the lip is just too hard to get it past if its any longer. I cant put too much force or risk breaking the tubing or res bracket thats just got 1 super tiny screw holding it onto the already brittle acrylic backplate. Should I do just the res parts soft tubing? Thats the only thing I can think of......Maybe a short soft tube run will go on easier?



    The leak



    [​IMG]









    The problem



    [​IMG]







    Any suggestions?
     
  20. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    1st: This site is slow. :lol: Think of a log here like planting a tree.
    That leak: Do away with the bulkhead fitting and run the tube through the panel hole? If you don't like the look, you could slap a bit of pvc pipe in the gap between the res and the base panel.
     

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