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Modding Plexiglass cases

Discussion in 'Modding' started by strats, 6 May 2003.

  1. strats

    strats What's a Dremel?

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    Hey guys, this is my first post, but it is a question that has been bothering me.

    <story>

    At my school, we are required to do what is called a "Senior Project". In this, we research an intrest or hobby we like, carry it out, and do an oral presentation on it in the spring. Using my geek senses, I figured "Hey, time to do some killer mods...kill two birds with one stone".

    Then, a message from above hit me on my head. Building a plexiglass case. Not only would it be uber-cool and inexpensive, but it can show off the watercooling system I am soon purchasing this summer. I would be in heaven!

    After some research however, I read that using plexiglass/acrylic cases can build up Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). That was like a death sentence to me, and now I am...lost?

    </story>

    Anywho, to my question. Is what I read correct, and if so, is there any safeguards I can use when I construct my case to prevent such damage. Let's face it, why spend a lot of $$ if it is only going to be "destroyed" by something as simple as ESD.

    Strats
     
  2. :: Phat ::

    :: Phat :: Oooh shakalaka!

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    Once the whole case is all wired up and running discharge should go through the PSU as in other cases. however when you are building up the system take precautions! Wear a strap, in saying that, most of these chips are more robust than people tend to make out.
     
  3. strats

    strats What's a Dremel?

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    Thank you very much...

    You have eased my speculation.

    :D

    Strats
     
  4. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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  5. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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  6. strats

    strats What's a Dremel?

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    Eddie, you totally rock...I spent countless hours....well, an hour...searching for the how to's and whatnot. I think I should just start building one starting next pay check...I'm getting too excited now :D

    Strats
     
  7. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    Here's a tutorial I made. I've made 2 already and I'm about to construct my third.
    Just make sure you use Polycarbonate and NOT acrylic.

    I haven't have any problems with static or esd.
     
  8. bard

    bard Modding isn't what it used to be

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    What is the difference between polycarbonate and acrylic? Does one produce more static than the other?
     
  9. Plasma

    Plasma What's a Dremel?

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    Qutoing Linear's FAQ as Eddie posted:
     
  10. ZapWizard

    ZapWizard Enter the Mod Matrix

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    You can run some thin (nearly insivible) copper grounded wire across the plexi, this will ensure that no static builds up.
     
  11. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    take pics of your progress and have fun with it :rock:
     
  12. strats

    strats What's a Dremel?

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    sweetness...I am getting that warm and fuzzy feeling because people are replying to the thread =D

    A lot of help in such little time...now a question to those who have built cases out of polycarbonate/acrylic/plexiglass...When you do the sides of the case, do you glue them or just almost make like it similar to a jigsaw puzzle...

    Oh, I don't now how this is going over, but I am building a full ATX tower out of the "good stuff" (still TBD). I figure that maybe using a dowel type of plastic, and routing out a strip the width of the glass, and only glueing the sides that will forever be stationary (ie. the top and bottom of the case, and the front and rear panel).

    I was also thinking another thing...when you build these cases, you build them around the motherboard...I was thinking that if I ever upgrade the motherboard, and say I don't have an onboard NIC that I would have a shabby looking panel.

    My makeshift solution I came up with (in my head, not tested) was to make little thing to slide a panel for the motherboard interfaces (serial, parallel, etc), and whenever you switch motherboards, you slide the old panel out, and put the new one in.

    Just some food for thought, or I am thinking way too much/ahead.

    Strats
     
  13. wedgius

    wedgius What's a Dremel?

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    As far as I've read, radio interference and static are very-super-OMG-extremely far from as noticeable or "dangerous" in your average box as many people think they are. Now, maybe in a massive Sun/Cisco mainframe, that might be different... :D

    None of the previous people who have made cases with Plexiglas (again, AFAIK) have reported performance or equipment losses from static buildup in Plexiglas. Even if it is there, it doesn't seem as though there's anything to worry about.

    Lexan (polycarbonate) is awkward, and it fades to yellow under UV light. I'd only use it if I needed a very shatterproof box.

    As for holding the shebang together, there's a crapload of options. You can screw the panels onto brackets (linear even bought acrylic screws and brackets from US Plastics [http://www.usplastics.com/] for his Invisible Case), use JB Weld, bend the stuff, use tongue-and-groove, do a shelf-type thing...lots n' lots of options. :clap:
     
  14. strats

    strats What's a Dremel?

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    FYI: my case is going to be killer :rock:

    Thank God for digital cameras and a decent sized basement, and who can forget the ever-so-friendly Dremel?

    Yeah, I am going to enjoy making this case :)

    Thanks for all your help thus far. I haven't even bought materials yet, but I am getting a good idea of what I am going to have to do.

    Strats
     
  15. Morphine

    Morphine weeee!

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    another thing, pratice your cuts on a spare sheet to see how the material will behave. doing weird things with plastics and a dremel can be disasterous and end up with you killing a sheet.

    is your dremel the variety with the adjustable speed?

    I'd also recomend getting the router/drywall cutting attachment for the dremel too.
     
  16. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    I make mine with different thickness sheets. I plan out two of the six sides as any thickness through which I could drill or tap screw holes into (1/4" or thicker). That allows me to simply attach the other sides to those panels with screws instead of glue.

    And that usually solves the problem of having to upgrade the motherboard since I can simply remove/replace JUST the rear panel. I could use a regular metal I/O plate if I were feeling lazy though.

    If you're mounting a full size motherboard it would be best to use a premade motherboard tray.
     
  17. Shadowspawn

    Shadowspawn Another hated American.

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    I might regret this, as its a design going into my new case I'm starting on this weekend, but share and share alike. Don't mount the mobo so that its panel is part of the case wall. You're building a whole case, be creative with the design. I plan on mounting the mobo so that its completely inside the case, then fabricating short cables for only the things that need to run to the outside of the case. Then custom mount the other ends of those cables wherever you want them. If I confused you, watch the projects log, I should have a design up this weekend.

    The point is, I think the ugliest part of a case is the panel where everything connects, soooo, redesign it. That free's you up to make hardware changes as you want without worrying about redesigning the case.
     
  18. zackerouac

    zackerouac bring it

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    low speed while cutting, if you havent found out yet :dremel: :thumb: :D
     
  19. TwiSteD LoGic

    TwiSteD LoGic What's a Dremel?

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    I, personally, think that if you were able to bend one large piece for top and two sides, it would be amazingly schw33t.
     
  20. Captain Slug

    Captain Slug Infinite Patience

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    The last one I made
    [​IMG]
    The one I'm currently working on
    [​IMG]
     

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