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Project AquaLight - updated [23-2-2007] FINISHED!!!

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ssR, 16 Aug 2006.

  1. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    Hey guys. I'm not new on those forums, but i registered only lately/ Im 22 y/o from Israel and i've been addicted to the whole modding subject for quite a few years now, but never had the time to dedicate to a serious project, mostly due to army mandatory in Israel (waste of 3 years from my life). So now that im all free i decided to go for it.

    I began the project this sunday and originally opened a worklog in an israeli hardware website. so for now ill just put here the last 3 updates till now and starting from tomorrow i will post fresh ones.

    Since the whole modding thing in the rest of the world is much more developed than in Israel ill pretty much have to count on you guys to give me ideas beyond my basic ones cause all i have right now is a vision in my mind.

    Oh and i forgot to mention. I work with composite materials (carbon, fiber, kevlar)

    I got pretty much any tool a modder can wish for starting with dremel and up to a CNC machine (not trying to be G69T or anything but i do have limited access to 1)

    The only thing i may lack is creativity so ill say once again i hope to get some new ideas here.

    Also my technical english is kinda weak so excuse me if ill have some trouble explaining what exactly im doing or naming the tools with their actual names.
     
    Last edited: 23 Feb 2007
  2. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    1st update, plans and case introduction

    So now after the introduction lets see what i got. The project will be performed on Sunbeam's Transformer.

    Here are some pics of the case itself

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    When i bought the case i added 2 120mm led fans in front and in the back. The 1st thing i didnt like about the case was it's front panel. It just looked too toyish. So i decided to take off all the bumps on the case. The following pics has explanations in hebrew (originally posted as a hebrew worklog) so ignore them

    The marked gaps will be filled
    [​IMG]

    The bumps maked in red will be removed. The fan hole marked in green will be filled and redrilled
    [​IMG]

    That ugly plastic fan cover will be removed and the hole behind it redrilled to allow smooth airflow
    [​IMG]

    I didnt like the side panel either. even though the Cut was pretty cool in its own way, it didnt fit my personal taste. so all that pretty thing will be cut out, leaving only a thin frame surrounding it. An aluminium sheet will be placed above it to cover the huge hole and a new window will be cut out.

    [​IMG]

    The 2 80mm fans will be placed in a way that they provide effective cooling to CPU and GFX

    Case's top will also have a window although i havent decided on the shape yet.

    Interior redesign.
    Fan cover marked in green, will be removed. The area marked in red will be covered black narcissus style (a masterpiece by modsquad)

    [​IMG]

    The other side pannel will bear the name of the project, cut out. Heres the sketch:

    [​IMG]

    On top of the case just so you get the idea of it's size

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2006
  3. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    2nd update, the work begins!

    I started with the front panel
    Thats a shot of the inner bottom part of the front panel. The pins you see in the bottom are holding the panel on the case. If i would remove the bumps on the external side they would simply fall out. so i had to fill all this area in order for them to remain in place
    [​IMG]

    That white foam-like stuff is called rohacell. Very light and easy to work with comes in different stiffness levels
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    a closeup on the rohacell
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    sawing small pieces meant to fill in all the gaps
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    pieces placed in the upper part (where the door used to be)
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    the back part of the panel...before...
    [​IMG]

    and after the filling
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    sanding the areas where the rohacell had to be glued
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    after applying a generous amount of epoxy glue mixed with microbaloons (powder like material meant to make the epoxy easier to sand later
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    glueing the pieces in place
    [​IMG]
    molding the epoxy in the gaps at the bottom of the panel. the hole in the middle was covered by another piece of rohacell
    http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/3454/img1189bd8.jpg

    closeup on the mold
    [img]http://img115.imageshack.us/img115/7909/img1191ep9.jpg

    Thats what i did on sunday

    On monday after checking the mold status i came to a conclusion that i didnt put enough epoxy so if i would cut off the bumps on the other side, the pins would still fall out. So without too much hesitation i added another layer of epoxy inside

    Thats how it looked before all the sanding began
    [img]http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/1051/img1192wk4.jpg

    The front part of the panel
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    After sanding the upper pieces
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    A closeup
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    Marking the cutting line with masking tape
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    At 1st i had to cut it off with a dremel. i gave up quickly and went with a handsaw
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    Panel after the sanding
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    Closeup. the mold came out pretty good filling all the small holes
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    pneumatic dremel. a tool i did most of the sanding with.
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    Time for some bondo
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    Panel at the end of the filling. i didnt have enough bondo so i had to wait another day till i get some more.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    3rd update, 14/8

    As you can see i put the 3.5" and the top 5.25" covers back in place. i the glued them with some superglue
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    Closeup on the upper part.
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    After some more bondo on top of everything
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    I used a pneumatic sander tool (or w/e its called) to sand down the bondo. Thats stuff is really hard once its dried!
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    A final look after some last bondo touches here and there
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    Now to the next idea. As i said i work with composite materials. Carbon is one of the most exotic ones and can definitely contribute to the case looks. So what i had in mind at this point was covering the front of the panel with a carbon skin.

    Here are some pics of carbon skins examples i took from my work

    On the right theres a carbon 600 skin (600gr/m). Its basically more suitable for this specific purpose, it looks much better although much more difficult to work with. On the left is a carbon 195 skin. you really can see the difference
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    closeup on carbon 600 skin
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    closeup on carbon 195 skin
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    Thats it for today
     
  5. JaredC01

    JaredC01 Hardware Nut

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    Looking to be an awesome project log. Love projects where they take a case and make something completely different out of it. Only thing I notice though, you're case is DIRTY. Might want to think about some dust screens for the fans...
     
  6. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    i have that rig for almost a year now. over the time it collected some dust and its no surprize since all those fans can push quite some air. all the components will be cleaned before reassimbly, and after that ill clean the pc on amonthly basis with pressurized air.
    few things i dont like about dust screens is that they lower the effectivity of the fans and since this is air cooled, overclocked rig, i need all the airflow i can get. (never liked liquit cooling)

    I would post another update for today but i forgot my camera at work so you guys will have to wait till tomorrow. the update will be bigger then though ;)
     
  7. antiHero

    antiHero ReliXmas time!

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    Good start here! I like the idea of this hardfoam as filler!

    I`ll be watching this one! :geek:
     
  8. JaredC01

    JaredC01 Hardware Nut

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    I can understand the need for airflow (Air OCer myself). Dust is also more of a problem with some people than it is with others. My computer never gets dusty with a lot of fans running 24/7 without any filters, but my brother's computer is dusty as hell after only a week. Air filters certainly help though. If you can't manage to get the airflow you want with a filter, I guess your only other option is to clean it regularly.
     
  9. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    Hey guys. i just called 1 of my friends at work, apparently he stayed till late to finish some work. he agreed to upload a few pics from what i did today.

    Basically i finished all the bondo work on the panel and covered it with fiberglass to make a smooth surface to work with later on (also acts as a protection layer from all those bondo cracks)

    Those are just the final pics, i took some more of the progress itself and ill post them tomorrow.

    Front bezel after being covered with a thin fiberglass (fiber 50gr/m)
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    A closeup on 1 of the corners
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    A closeup on the drive area
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    The rest of the pics together with more updates will come tomorrow.
    I will probably making a carbon skin tomorrow (a procedure that takes a few hours if you wanna get it right and with a mirror finish)
    I will also cut out a blowhole for the front intake fan.
     
  10. LuitvD

    LuitvD New Member

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    Some serious skills and ideas you have there :)
    Keep up the good work... don't rush it :p take it easy. If you keep going on like this all week, your casemod will be done already :D
     
  11. hydro_electric_655

    hydro_electric_655 Dremelly Dude

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    And if you though sanding bondo and plastic was dangerous to the health wait till you hit the sandpaper to the fiberglass. Wear a good mask if your are cutting or anything.

    Like the idea. But how much does it wiegh? Looks sweet love the fiberglass.
     
  12. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    luitvd:
    i wish i could have done this mod in a week but in my wildest dreams i simply wouldnt achieve it. there are still supplies (mesh, UV acrylic, vandal bulgin switches, LCD screens) i have to get. for now it will be mostly metal / composite materials work.

    hydro: we use 3M respirators for protection with both dust and fumes filters. As someone who works with carbon fiber on a daily basis i am aware of the danger those materials involve and our management provides us with the best protection gear they can get their hands on.

    as for the weight...lol... well the case alone weighted about 15kg dry weight, i guess the rig weights in total around 20kg. the front panel sure did gain quite some weight since i started working on it, but i really dont care about the final weight. if it will be way too heavy ill just add some nice wheels to it. but theres still time till then :)
     
  13. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    time for today's update. 1st ill post the pics from tomorrow. as you may remember i covered the whole panel with fiberglass.

    The front bezel next to the fiber im going to work with
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    Getting ready for work. before applying any epoxy on the surface i sanded it with grid 80 sandpaper and cleaned the bezel with alcohol to remove any dust and oil
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    applying a thin layer of epoxy on the surface
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    Applying the fiberglass. you gotta start from 1 of the corbers and work towards the middle area and outside to prevent the fiber from folding
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    finished bezel
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    And now for today's (17/8) update

    to make it short i did the 120mm blowhole today

    for the start i cut a round piece of rohacell
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    a sanded piece on top of the bezel
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    drilling some holes to make the further cutting easier
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    sanding the inner area of the ring
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    the finished ring on top of the bezel
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    i rounded the corners to make a ducted fan effect. heres a closeup
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    marking the blowhole position
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    drilling some holes just like before
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    at the end of the drilling process
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    cutting it open with a dremel
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    at the end of the opening
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    placing the ring after some final sanding
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    a closeup on the inner area. there are still some imperfections but soon they will be gone :)
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    after securing the ring in place with some hot stuff i began working with some more fiber
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    i mixed some 3M epoxy with mircobaloons and filled all the small imperfections on the inner side of the blowhole
    [​IMG]
     
  14. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    here are the remaining pics from today


    i also made a fillet on the outside to make it easier for the fiberglass to take the corner
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    after applying the fiber on the outside
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    i made starlike cuts in the fiber so i could continue working on the inside
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    after glueing down all the strips to the inner side i applied another fiber strip over the whole thing to smooth things out
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    thats how the panel looked at the end of the process
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    what do you think?
     
  15. kickarse

    kickarse New Member

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    I like the old school front blowhole and the clean front... You gonna paint it white?
     
  16. 1e8o

    1e8o New Member

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    nicely done, kutgw
     
  17. LuitvD

    LuitvD New Member

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    nice fiberglass work.. gonna be a nice and strong faceplate if you give it some more layers of fiber :p

    looks nice and straight, like it
    learn me how to do fiberglass :D
     
  18. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    thanks for the feedback so far guys :)

    kickarse: i havent decided on the exact paint yet, its gonna be some sort of blue i guess perhaps metallic

    luitvd: there will be no need for extra layers. and its actually pretty easy to work with those materials once you get the basics.
     
  19. ssR

    ssR Carbon God

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    another small update. was supposed to be much bigger as i intended to work the entire saturday on the side panel. i was at workshop around 10am and at 11am my grandma called me yelling something about a big boom in my room and the power going down in the whole hours. the only thing that could go "boom" in my room was my PC so i dumped everything and rushed back to my place to see what happened.

    it was a big relief to find out that my pc was ok. my monitor blew up though... for some unknown reason. so right now im with a temp monitor i picked up at my work just till i buy a new 1.

    so i only worked about 1hour on my case during which i did the following things:

    after trimming the fiberglass leftovers from the blowhole
    [​IMG]

    fitting the 120mm fan to the blowhole. this is only a temp fan
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    thats how it looks in the front
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    Thats basically what i did. other than that i disassembled the side panel and prepared it for some dremel work (masking the surface)

    today i was pretty bored so i came up with a sketch for top and side panels

    top panel
    [​IMG]

    side panel
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    tomorrow i will continue the work.
     
  20. BiG Kahuna

    BiG Kahuna New Member

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    Great work so far, I'm really looking forward to see how this will turn out in the end :thumb:
     

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