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Scratch Build – Complete Project ATAACS - A Tiny All Aluminum CNC Server

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by dan297, 18 Feb 2021.

  1. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Hi Folks,

    I am still bored out in the shutdown.
    Since November 3rd everything, I mean literally everything, is closed apart from supermarkets and pharmacies. Haven't even had a haircut in 4 months and I start looking like Catweazle...:rollingeyes:

    So, to cheer me up, a new build is required. :grin:
    Been toying for a while now with the idea to give my CNC server a smaller footprint.

    It requires the most undemanding hardware and ever since my ancient laptop died on me years ago I am using my very first attempt to water cooling for this purpose.
    I didn't really much liked the outcome anyway, so it was a good opportunity to change that rig into something better looking at that time and use it instead for this lackluster task.

    20190529_075852.jpg


    The O11, however, despite being a midsized case, has a rather large footprint - at least in my notoriously cramped workspace...

    20210218_193745.jpg


    It just consumes too much space, which I could rather litter with some other stuff :geek:

    20210218_193800.jpg


    Therefore something smaller would be nice.

    There is a bunch of good looking sub 10L cases that have been released lately.
    They are great and would do absolutely fine for this purpose.
    But availability is...well you all know. :wallbash::wallbash::wallbash:

    So, I decided to launch project ATAACS.

    An all aluminum machined sub 10L case.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2021
  2. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    So this is it.

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    Last edited: 12 Mar 2021
  3. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    :rock:niiiice
     
  4. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    It comes in at around 9.2 litres.
    I could have gone below 8 litres if I had sacrificed the 2-slot GPU capability, but you never know.

    Since it is used only to run the CNC, I decided on no paint. Just the bare aluminum, probably with a brushed appearance.
    Milled from EN AW2017 in various thicknesses.
    Top and bottom 10mm, side panels 3mm, front 12 and 6mm, rear 8mm, tray 5mm.
    All holes will be drilled ( need to order some sturdy drills for that :grin: )

    No watercooling capability. A 120mm side intake on the cooler and 2 120mm top exhausts - all Noctua NF-A12-15
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2021
  5. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Will carry-over most of the hardware. CPU is a i7-8700K, GPU an old Quadro M4000.
    For this specific application, there is actually no need for a discrete GPU.
    The build-in Intel UHD would be more than fine and I considered going GPU-less at all.
    But finally, I couldn't bring myself to throwing away the old M4000.

    Still, I need some new toys for this build.

    20210218_194016.jpg

    The 120mm fans are on their way.

    The old board is M-ATX and too big, so is the PSU.

    I was lucky enough to still catch an LGA1151 ITX board with Wifi.
    Ethernet port is already blocked for the ESS of the CNC.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2021
  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Googled Catweazle: What? I see that in the mirror every morning. :lol:
    Looks great, even though isometric will never NOT feel like it's pulling my eyes out of their sockets.
    With a 90 degree pcie connector, you could have made a plank and halved your footprint.
    -You can hang it on the wall too, though. ;)
     
  7. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Was a big thing over here in the early 70s

    Sorry, mate. I didn't get that one with the plank.
    You mean orienting the GPU horizontally instead of vertically?
    Or going tall, rotating the GPU 90deg and placing the PSU above/below the board, instead aside?
     
  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Mobo and GPU on the same plane, PSU in the original space.
    -and I know it wouldn't fit perfectly under your shelf like that. :lol:
     
  9. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Well, that was truely a coicidence - after some gentle prying.

    Got that with the same plane. Good idea :thumb:
    But the stock is already ordered and some panels are roughly cut to size, so unfortunately, I am more or less set.

    With the smaller package, I will actually relocate it, so I can dump some other stuff on the free space...

    20210219_100157.jpg

    The case will be a good inch shorter than a shoe box, otherwise almost same size, so this is where it will go
     
  10. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Today I have cleaned the PS4 of a friends kid. It whined like a 747 at takeoff.
    Yep, dust filters are there for a reason.

    IMG-20210221-WA0041.jpg
     
  11. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    And while I am waiting for the material to arrive, I started today the first piece with the 1mm stock at hand...

    20210221_163331.jpg

    What do you guys think about the DIY brushed appearance?
     
  12. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Today the material arrived :clap:
    And also a few drills. Since there are a couple of thousand holes to be drilled, I thought beefing up my stash would be a good idea...

    20210225_163836.jpg

    My dealer cut the material generously, so I decided to go 1mm wider and 2mm taller and leave a bit more room between the riser and the top fans.
    It will still be well under 9.5L

    143 x 204 x 323 mm exactly.
     
    Last edited: 12 Mar 2021
  13. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    2mm: Whoah! Don't start getting greedy there. :lol:
     
  14. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    I had to be a little bit "creative" with the cooler.

    Alpenföhn delivers the Black Ridge with 2 types of clips for 120mm fans.
    One for a 15mm thick fan below the fins (where you can also screw in a 92mm fan).
    And one for a 25mm thick fan above the fins.

    When you want to use a 15mm thick fan above the fins, however, because there is literally no space at all for the RAM if you place a 120mm fan below the fins...go help yourself :nono::nono::nono:
    Bending the 25mm clips to the proper height did not really work, so I used 4 thin wires instead...

    If the mounting holes for the clips were in the middle of the fins and not offset to the top, there would be no problem at all to mount the fan where you want.
    That is a design flaw imho.
    On the other side, considering that they do not have a 120x15mm fan in their portfolio, one should be happy that they provide those clips at all...

    20210225_164310.jpg

    Not sure yet, whether I keep the 92mm fan in this push/pull config. Thermals will show.
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2021
  15. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    LOL :grin:

    Actually, I overacted when designing this thing as small as possible.
    Somehow risers tend to bend in CAD much nicer than in reality :eeek::eeek::eeek:
    I already added a strut between the riser and the top fans, but 1 - 2 milli won't hurt either.

    I added 2mm to each dimension when I ordered the material, to make up for their cutting tolerances.
    But they are generally spot on, and so they are this time. Here and there max 1mm plus, but never less than ordered.
    Top notch dealer :clap:

    So now that I have the extra material, I just use it...
     
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  16. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Alright. Let's make some chips.

    20210226_120814.jpg

    I started with the mobo tray.
    Althought it is a pretty easy part to make, milling the outer shape with correct dimensions and 4 square corners was rather time consuming.

    The 180mm height is more than my travel in Y direction, so I could not do it in one clamping. Had to clamp actually each side.
    The two long ones I could align with the frame of my sacrificial board. But squaring the two short ones and milling to exact dimension was a measuring orgy.

    I need to make me a proper fixture plate with equally spaced holes for dowel pins one day...:sigh:

    20210226_150906.jpg

    Drilling and tapping the 3 theads on each side was also not so easy.
    Finally I did it free hand...veeery carefully.

    20210226_152905.jpg

    First part is done and I already get some second thoughts about the bare metal finish.
    A f..king fingerprint magnet...
     
  17. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The PSU bracket was much easier to make...I thought

    20210226_173710.jpg

    I forgot to bolt the frame down first, and of course...It came loose during milling :wallbash:

    20210226_181636.jpg

    Created a nasty notch on one side. I made the cut-out a little bit bigger to cover it up.
    Once installed it doesn't matter anyway...
     
  18. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The first test fit looks ok.

    20210226_154543.jpg

    I am an ASUS fanboy and normally I would not have considered this mobo. It was in December basically all that was left with LGA1151, ITX and Wifi.
    But I do admit...it is pretty :naughty:
    Almost a shame to hide it away completely.

    The riser cable bends actually quite nicely. Should be no issue with the top fan...

    20210226_154908.jpg

    The PCIe4.0 riser is actually overkill, but I like the reversed cables at the slot of this one. Haven't found any 3.0 riser like that.
    I used a 4.0 riser from the same brand in my wood case too, actually 50mm longer. Tested it with an RTX3090 and it worked without any issues in the Zen3 system.
    So I stick with them, even though they are rather pricey.

    20210226_182724.jpg

    So far, so good...
     
  19. Age

    Age Minimodder

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    Fantastic work. I love the thick metal look of it all.
     
  20. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Thanks mate. Wait for the rest. Will be even beefier. :naughty:
     

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