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Case Mod - Complete ⭐ Project A.R.E.S.

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by SaaintJimmy, 6 Oct 2020.

  1. Karrek

    Karrek Minimodder

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    I really like where this is going - and your rotating core is unique and fabulous! Part of me wants to see a servo that can rotate the board automatically - either base on time or some other input (temperature, motion in the room, etc).
     
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  2. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    LOVE IT! :D
    I'm guessing there will be some soft tubing behind the pivot. I'd sleeve that with something to make it slippery.
    With the gel glue, having a syringe of solvent to mix in and make it a little softer works great. I can't see anyone doing that with such a complex part, though. You'd need to blast out a ton of glue on glass, add solvent, smear it flat, and dip the part in it. Even then you'd get a stringy mess.

    also: Where are you hiding the pump?
     
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  3. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Thank you! I certainly thought about that but unfortunately I don't have enough space behind the panels to implement a motorized mechanism, neither I have the time to develop such thing, as the deadline is at the end of December and I still have lots to do. Plus the pivot system was initially meant to be something functional to the placement on the setup (left or right), so it's not supposed to be moved as often, just when you want to change side or angle :D

    Thanks man! Soft tubing won't be visible as the rotating disks will serve as pass-throughs so soft tubing behind the panels only, I will see how it acts when rotating.
    Yeah mixing the glue with solvent may help with the density, I'll have to try that as well. But as you said, it's a fairly complex part and not a lot of surface to work on.

    The pump will have its own special place that I'll show soon, not hiding it but making it part of the spaceship! :D
     
  4. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Here I am back after a week of silence, since I took that week to finalize a bunch of designs on Fusion and cut them all at once. Now I'm left with just a few pieces to design and cut and then we get to the semi-final phase which is the paintjob. But for now, let's take a look at some pieces I made for the externals.

    Cutting them out of 5mm acrylic, these are the parts that will replace the brushed aluminum panels from the C700M, specifically top and front since the back was the very first piece I made (the one with the hex reservoirs and domes).

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    Then I proceeded to bend the panels to have the shape of the original ones, so I used those as a template and just heated up the areas and shaped it.

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    And here's a fit test of those panels

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    Little interesting insight: since I used two top sections of the C700M in this project, replacing the bottom one, I quickly realized that the front section wasn't symmetric, meaning that the lowest and highest sides were different, to connect seamlessly with each section (top and bottom). Since I used two tops, the bottom side (now the back) wasn't seamless anymore, so while redesigning the top panel, I didn't make it exactly like the original brushed one, instead I made the two opposite sides completely identical, so that it's now seamless on both front and back!

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    Now to some real eye candy. This is probably my favourite piece of acrylic I've ever made. So I took 15mm acrylic, designed this ellipse which is supposed to resemble some sort of face or big eye that looks into infinite space, and added a big chunky fillet to the edges. This was cut by making a rough cut and leaving the steps on the fillet, to then do a finishing pass with a ball endmill, to take away the steps and leave a nice and smooth finish. Obviously, since my machine isn't all that rigid and it chutters a lot, I had to go down with the elbow grease and make it REALLY smooth, going up to 7000 grit. I then hit it with some polish and here the final result, a big acrylic gem :D

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    Which will sit like this. Now, as to what is going to be visible through it, you'll have to wait a bit more. All I can say is "prepare yourselves" :D

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  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Man, that is good.
     
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  6. censored_Prometheus_

    censored_Prometheus_ Minimodder

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  7. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Weekly update is here! After so many revisions on Fusion 360, I finally machined the centerpiece that will hold all the main components together. Milled out pockets for LED strips and cables, all the holes for screws and fittings, and threaded all the holes using a power drill. The G1/4" threads will serve as pass-throughs instead of the usual pass-through fittings as I can save a lot of space around them and get a cleaner results.

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    But enough of that for now, I wasn't brave enough to take the protective film off as I'm not mounting it on the case yet. That will be one of the last stages when I take everything apart once again for the paintjob :D

    Next up is the side frame, which are one of my absolute favourite parts of this project! They have FOUR parts for each side, and will have integrated edge lighting shining through and litting up the insides. But the best thing about these is the shape: the ring-look makes it look like some sort of portal, it's a portal that creates artificial wormholes used by the A.R.E.S. starship for its intergalactic travels. Well, enough of the lore, let's get to the real thing :D

    First parts were the 2mm aluminum side covers that will start the ring design

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    Then the 10mm acrylic frames with milled channels for the LED strips. I alternated mounting holes and pockets for screw clearance on the opposite side because they use the same holes of the aluminum profiles that the internal panels mount to, so this allows me to keep those in place while I can take the side pieces in and out as I want

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    I recessed the holes on the external side using the drill press so that I could avoid a double sided job on the CNC, which I can't seem to get right with my current setup because it lacks repeatability. This will allow the screws to stay below the surface so the aluminum cover will mount flush. To mount the covers, I threaded the mounting hole on the acrylic so these have also separate mountings and are easy to remove if necessary and headache-free assembly.

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    Eye candy shot with the first two pieces made

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    The other two parts I mentioned earlier are just to complete the ring design: they're both made of 5mm acrylic, I added a chamfer for a smoother look and made that rectangule with my logo just to add a bit of contrast and break the circular pattern. Those rectangules were narrowed down to 3mm and then sanded and polished to a clear finish.

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    Here's all the pieces mounted together with a really special (IMHO) side view. I love how both sides work together for such a tridimensional and dynamic look.

    You might be wondering what's that hole at the lower left corner, but I'll save that for later :D

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  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You broke up the squareness of the compartment perfectly. :rock:
    You are accidentally wandering into Art Nouveau territory, and I love it.
     
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  9. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Thank you very much man! Well, I'm always inspired by a variety of artistic movements and things like sacred geometry, the resemblance with Art Nouveau specifically was indeed accidental but I'm always happy when my work gets associated with art :D
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    -As long as it's not American post-war modern art, right? :lol:
     
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  11. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Hello everyone, hope you had some great holidays and I wish you all a restoring 2021!

    I've been absent for a few weeks, but don't worry, I was just being too lazy to update, I actually went ahead with works :D

    Let's start slow with this simple radiator mount for the top 360mm rad, made out of 5mm aluminum

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    Next something I had to experiment a bit on. These are "fittings" that will be used to fix the corrugated pipes which will carry the cables from the hardware panel to the insides of the case. I was initially going to make them out of 5mm aluminum, but I needed to pocket it to three different thicknesses, one that fit the narrow spaces of the tube to lock them down to the panel, one that created a slot that would fit into the panel hole, and one as the full thickness of the stock. I messed up the first try of the 5mm alu due to an endmill breaking and the machine acting up with the zero coordinates after the pause job. So this made me rethink what I was doing and I realized I could make the design much simpler and no less functional than the original: I ended up using 2mm aluminum and taking the thickness down 0.5mm wherever it was needed to, which was just enough for it to work as I wanted. So these two halves work like this: one gets screwed to the panel, then the tube can get slided in and loosely get held by the half fitting, so the other half can get screwed in as well and the tube is perfectly secured to the panel.

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    With that done, it was time to get to something pretty unique: the "face". This will basically be a slab of epoxy resin, with a bunch of optic fibers into it, which will be lit up and hopefully create a "stars in void space" effect (spoiler: it worked but I'll stay chronologically true so showing you in the next updates, since it took a week for the resin to fully cure). To do so, I cut a template with the shape of the face pocketed down, and drilled a random pattern of holes on the drill press. This was used as a top cover for the epoxy mold to hold the fibers in place. Four fillports were cut onto it so I was able to pour the resin through them, without having to worry about moving the top and risking unwanted movements of the fibers. As mentioned, at this point the epoxy will take about a week to fully cure because I was slow cure epoxy, which works for pours from 2 to 5cm thick, and this is 2cm. I made this choice because I wasn't able to work the bubbles out with heat, due to the top covering the epoxy, so having the epoxy cure so slowly allowed it to let the bubbles escape by themselves. It also allowed for a much uniform and "chilled" cure so there was no overheating and all unwanted effects coming from it.

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    One thing that bugged me from the start of this project was the C700M handles, particularly the way the braces and the way they mount to the case. The braces themselves didn't look like they fit the overall aesthetics I was aiming for, and the way they mounted to the case wasn't actually optimal for this design since all the cable and tubing management is happening behind the external panels so they should be easy to remove, and by default, they're not, because you first have to remove the handles together with their eight screws in total. So I cut the braces off using the scrollsaw, buffed them off with the belt sander and finished the area with orbital sander, then I drilled some holes into the handles and transferred the position to the external panels, so they can now be mounted directly to the panels using some spacers, moreover they have that floating look which is a lot more fitting for my design. They obviously lost their use as handles now, but it's not that big of a deal since I wasn't going to trust them anyway for how heavy this thing is turning out to be.

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    Now these pieces had to be patched up with some 2K body filler. The handles are made out of cast aluminum, which led to a few hollow spots where I cut off the braces. Also, the plastic panels had to be filled up where the braces went in the original design. The same technique was used to fill the gap between the two pieces that make the front I/O and top fangrill of the original case design, since I need them to be a single piece in my design.

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    The next update will give the start to an exciting paintjob phase, and I'll be using some original colour combos for this one. So stay tuned :D
     
  12. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    :jawdrop: totally mind-blowing :wallbash:
     
  13. Defyant Mods

    Defyant Mods Multimodder

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    So much cool stuff going with this case mod and yet..... that workshop! :rock:
     
  14. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Finally! Someone modded the handles. :hehe: They are such a prominent and sturdy feature, and I don't think anyone's even tried adding material to them.
    Your casting looks like it'll be cool.
     
  15. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Thanks man! The end result will be out of this world, not literally... maybe :D

    You can't get enough of it can you? :hehe: Thanks dude!

    I actually did something to them with my CosmosX mod back in 2018, just added a couple U profiles to make them a bit more dynamic. What I did here is much more incisive on the overall design and I especially love how it turned out for the exact reason you mentioned: no one ever dares to touch them, but I dare to be different :dremel: :hehe:

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  16. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Hey everyone! Finally a new update, and as promised we'll take a look at the painting progress, as well some other interesting stuff.

    First of all I'd like to show you the resin pour safe and sound out of the mold. The fibers catch the light super well but to enhance the effect, as well as all the sparkles from the mica dyes, I will paint the back black so no light shines through except from the fibers.

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    Now to the paintjob. I had a bit of a hard time this time because I'm using a new brand of spray cans which are pretty different to what I'm used to. Used a high pressure black base coat which gave me a very wrinkly finish, but quickly recovered it and used a standard low pressure can the second time. It was probably due to too much paint laying down in the coats.
    Anyway, I had also started with that light blue which really wasn't speaking to me, so I turned to the darker blue which is spot on!

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    I chose copper for the second colour, which will be used for details and smaller parts, starting from the trim that usually light up in the C700M. I thought it would fit the theme better with them creating some sort of division with the copper along the case, more consistent and effective than lights. The handles got the same copper treatment

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    Current state of the external parts painted so far [​IMG]

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    One thing I've put off until the end was the pump placement, even though I always had the same idea from the very start. This pump reminds me of a thruster, so I turned it into exactly that! [​IMG] Made some nice and easy angled brackets and fixed it in the back, where I had already made the cutout when I made the 8mm alu base.

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    Then I started disassembling all the internal parts to paint those as well, starting from the two acrylic rad grills. For the internals I chose to go with a titanium paint and to leave the aluminum panels raw, by finishing them in a particular way which you'll see in the next update. This is to resemble the human technology inside and the alien technology I'm imagining, outside. This is brought along by the lines which tend to be more curvy on the outside and more squared on the inside.

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    In changing the hex reservoirs' top with the ones with no Bitspower logo, I noticed those weren't clear, so I went ahead and did a little polishing

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    Final part for today, I installed the white LEDs in the acrylic side frames and tested the look. Looks fire if you ask me [​IMG]

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  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    The casting is deliciously ooky looking, and the paint is fantastic. Good color choice. :D
     
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  18. Karrek

    Karrek Minimodder

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    Loving it! great choices and work!
     
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  19. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Just :jawdrop:that is all...
     
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  20. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Minimodder

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    Thank y'all so much! :D
     

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