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Scratch Build - In Progress ⭐ Project Alumina - A SFF Case

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by shinji2k, 25 Feb 2018.

  1. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    [​IMG]


    Hey all, I know I've been out of the loop for a while but I'm back with something new. I won't bore you with a huge introduction since I tend not to read them myself. But, after I went back to school for a two year engineering degree I've been working at a machine shop for the last couple of years. I'd been getting that all so familiar itch to make something so I decided to whip up a case relatively quickly. It seems like the days get shorter and shorter and I just don't have time to sink hundreds of hours into builds anymore.

    I wanted to make something to showcase a bit of what I can do now with my new-found career so I made a SFF design based on machining it out of one piece of aluminum. I think it's about 3L so pretty small, but it's also a pretty minimal build. Here's a list of what's going in it:

    Ryzen 2400G
    Gigabyte AB350N-Gaming Wifi
    8gb Corsair 3000mhz
    Silicon Power 120gb m2 ssd
    120w picoPSU

    I'm a bit of an old fogey so I like to keep everything simple, no sponsors, no pages and pages of pointless hardware shots, no social media. Just me, a chunk of aluminum, Solidworks, Mastercam, and a $100k CNC mill. Yes, simple :grin:.

    Here are some real rough renders of the plan, enough to get an idea of what's to come.

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    Since it's not a build log without actual building, here's about 20lbs of aluminum.

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    It's hard to see anything through a wet window, so I tried to record a short clip of the action. It's a small machine with a BT30 taper spindle and a long-ish end mill, so I'm not pushing it very hard. Sorry for the video quality, recording through a wet window with a smartphone isn't exactly easy.



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    I've left stock on the top and front since those are curved. It's not exactly easy clamping on a curved surface so I'll come back later and do each face after the rough shape has been whittled down.

    That's all for now, thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2018
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  2. kim

    kim Active Member

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    impressive piece of alu and nice start... :thumb: I'm following
     
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Sploosh? Yeah, Sploosh.
    Great to see you back! :D It must be Spring finally. You and Paslis both came out of hiding on the same day.
     
  4. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Thanks!
    It's nice to finally have some free time. I've missed having a hobby.
     
  5. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Update #2

    Got some more for you all today!

    I had a chance to work on the second operation, time to start making some chips.

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    Here it is roughed out with the 5/8" end mill. After this I'll do some rest machining with a 1/4" and a finish pass.

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    I made a lot of scrap aluminum today.

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    All I have to do is rummage around for a 6-32 tap long enough and I can call this step done after some sanding. I was having a bit of trouble with chatter, but it wasn't exactly a surprise running a 1/4" end mill with 2.5" of stick-out.
     
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  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Yum.
    Side 2 being a passive heatpipe and heatsink thing would be cool, but you couldn't do that to a full power chip.
     
  7. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    A coworker thought the little grooves were fins for a heatsink and I had to break it to him that they were purely decorative. :p:
     
  8. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Update 3!

    Got some more done over the weekend!

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    Did a quick polish before I started doing the detail work, figured it would be easier to get it out of the way.

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    I actually went home after this and left it running. It was going to take a few hours and I wasn't going to wait. What's the worst that could happen? :rollingeyes:

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    I wasn't concerned but you can't help but wonder what carnage may have unfolded while you where gone, fortunately when I went into work Monday morning everything survived. I guess it wouldn't have been the first time someone ripped a spindle out of one of our machines. :worried:
     
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  9. bionicgeekgrrl

    bionicgeekgrrl Member

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    That is coming along very nice.
     
  10. _Prometheus_

    _Prometheus_ Active Member

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  11. cobalt6700

    cobalt6700 Active Member

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    Mmmmm... Billet PC cases are the best. Nice work dude.
     
  12. David

    David RIP Tel

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    I wish I had the resources to produce something like that.

    Loving the design - can't wait to see more.
     
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I would sensually deburr that all night.
     
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  14. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Thanks!
    :grin:
    I'm really happy with the uni-body design. It's not something you see too often. I may have to step my game up to a matx system next time.
    I have to admit I am extremely fortunate to have a boss that's cool with me working on stuff after hours and access to just about any machine or tool I want.
    Don't forget to use protection! :dremel:
     
  15. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Update 4!

    It's Monday, so time for an update.

    I hadn't chose a power switch at the time I machined the front, so now that I have one I have to set back up on the front.

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    Next is to do the back panel, nothing too surprising.

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    The DC jack included with the picoPSU is threaded with a nut so I figured I could just tap the hole and screw the jack in.

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    A little polishing and the bottom will be done. While I figure out the side panel mounting system, I'm leaning towards magnets, next on the to do list is to start on the side panel.

    That's all for this week!
     
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  16. _Prometheus_

    _Prometheus_ Active Member

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    Oh my god! :jawdrop: It is magnificent!
     
  17. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    It's starting to come together :rock:
     
  18. Sanjaya

    Sanjaya Member

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    woah....this is the best casing ever!!!
     
  19. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Awesome. Kinda reminds me of that video of the guy using an entire log to make a lampshade. It's not about the end product, It's about the obscene amounts of milling. :D
    Side panel: If you use magnets, the important bit will be a way to remove it. I can't see you making a huge finger hole. -Maybe some keyholes and a T-shaped puller?
     
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  20. shinji2k

    shinji2k Member

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    Thanks!
    Yeah there's definitely more efficient ways to make something like this, but where's the fun in that?
    As for the side panel, I think I have a solution. If I don't do magnets and do my plan b, some kind of spring loaded ball catch, either way I'm probably going to make a flat plastic tool with a hook on the end I can stick through one of the vent slots and pop the door off that way. I like the idea of needing a special tool to open a case.
     
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