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Case Mod - In Progress Prj2 'Downtown' - [COMPLETED]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ToddK, 7 May 2014.

  1. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Hi all. Long time watcher, first time participant. After doing a modest amount if glitzing to my personal machine and watching mod forums I came up with the idea for this project. It involves really just taking some older hardware and modding the box, internally & externally.

    If you google architectural models you'll see the look I'm going for. Basically I'm looking to turn the tower into an architecture scale model.

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    Since the parts inside are just older I thought it would be neat to have the inside look like a boiler room. Googling 'old boiler room' will give you an idea of what I'm going for there.

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    I sat down and did numerous sketches, ultimately coming up with the following design.

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    From there I dug into the nasty insides of the box.

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    I removed the drive bays.

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    And decided on using some pipes for the cable management.

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    I also removed the bezel and built a template for the front fans.

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    A little bit of cutting later and that was good to go.

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    With the basics of the inside set I started to focus on the outside. I'll have a light box for the right side panel. The left side panel will be a window that allows viewing into the computer itself.

    Built the framework for the light box.

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    Cut the view hole for the left panel window.

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    Added some lighting to test the look.

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    And put together a quick sample in cardboard. So far so good.

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    Mapped out the design in Visio down to the millimeter.

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    And added a grid to the right panel.

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    Started mocking up the design in crafter's foam.

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    First test is starting to look like I imagined.

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    Completed the mock up of the right panel.

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    Then prepped the left side.

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    Then duplicated the mock up on the left panel.

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    With mock ups done I was ready for more light testing.

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    Starting to come together.

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    So far this is really just a budget build. Most of the budget is being spent on esthetics rather than parts. Though down the road the 'boiler room' inside may be a good place for me to get my feet wet on water cooling (so to speak) for the pipes & such.

    Comments and suggestions are very welcome.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2014
  2. DeMoB

    DeMoB All of my Dremel wheels are broke!

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    Awesome first post! :)

    This is a pretty original idea for a mod that I don't think I've seen taken in this direction before, good luck!
     
  3. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Thanks! Still lots of work to do. Need to build out a framework for the front bezels to support balconies and route some smaller tubing inside for the usb/led/fan wires. But, so far so good.
     
  4. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    Ooh, this is a really cool idea! Really looking forward to seeing it develop further!
     
  5. TheViscountGodrich

    TheViscountGodrich Wannabe modder.

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    Wow! great idea.
     
  6. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Thanks! Appreciate the comments.

    Still plenty of work to do. Have torn her all down to take care of framing.

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    Screwed on the outside frames & added some hinges for the acrylic side panels.

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    Carved up some of the door panel that I cut out last week to make a frame for the bezel balconies.

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    And put it all back together. Should be able to dremel out the bezel frame this weekend. Just going to cut some flaps and bend them down to hold the foam balconies in place.

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  7. Mockingbird

    Mockingbird New Member

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    Very nice project - the mocked-up side panels look better than some of my 'finished' ones...

    Subbed!
     
  8. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Thanks! I'm actually going to retain as much of the foam as I can. It actually looks pretty solid as is. Some things like the side window rails are too thin for the foam to remain straight, so I'll be looking for something else to model that up in. But overall it's coming along. :D
     
  9. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Got all of the lights & fans finally placed. Testing out the cable management at this point. So far it looks like it's going to work out. Yay!

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  10. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Chopped up the leftover side panel and folded it up for the balcony frames.

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    Temporarily set it in place on the front bezel.

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    Cut up some foam flooring for the balconies.

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    And added some balcony walls. Design coming along nicely.

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  11. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    A little more work done on the front.

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  12. HybridCore

    HybridCore Member

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    Interesting. I applaud the originality.
     
  13. AlderonnX

    AlderonnX Member

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    Nice. Very Artistic
     
  14. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Thanks! :D

    Appreciated! :D
     
  15. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Quick update. Finished up covering the roof section. The external mockup is pretty much done. There's a couple of areas I'm not quite happy with the look of yet, but I think that's stuff I can handle at the end when I'm securing the facade to the outside of the case. Next weekend I think I'm ready to tear it all apart and start painting the case itself.

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  16. trintragular

    trintragular New Member

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    Very nice - definitely some fantastic creativity here.

    Have you considered being able to control the lighting some how? For example, adjusting the brightness depending on the time of day? Full brightness at night, dimmer/off during the day. Just a thought.

    Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.
     
  17. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    I'm using Darkside LEDs that I picked up online from MNPCTech. They use fan plugs for power, so you can actually use a fan controller to adjust the brightness. Funny story, when I first tried them on my personal PC I thought they were broken because the fan settings I had set up shut the extra fans down when the temperature is close to ambient. After figuring that out I set my fans to full power for a minute and just about blinded myself. lol

    So, I haven't really done any planning around that yet, but I think it's a great idea - thanks!
     
  18. TheViscountGodrich

    TheViscountGodrich Wannabe modder.

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    Have you thought about an accompanying monitor mod? Maybe modeled after something like the flat iron building?
     
  19. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Well, triggered by someone else's brilliant suggestion I did pick up a white car mouse on ebay last night. I was considering making the monitor look like a drive-in theatre screen. Your idea is pretty neat though. Maybe I could make the desktop image a big ole billboard. lol

    Great idea, thanks!
     
  20. ToddK

    ToddK New Member

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    Slower weekend this week. I have some parts coming which is delaying me from painting. In the meantime:

    Mounted the front LEDs.

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    Replaced the red & green LEDs on the HDD/Power lights with white LEDs.

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    To use as Aircraft Warning Lights on the top of the highrise.

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    Have some water cooling components on the way, so we'll see what I can do about re-jigging the internal mounting next week.
     

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