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Scratch Build – In Progress Project Evolution 3Sixty

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by jbcon, 24 Jul 2012.

  1. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    [​IMG]
    While I am not yet committed on the final name, the design of this case is best described by the German phrase; “LegierungTurm“, or as I think it translates - alloy water. For now, since this is an evolution of my previous modded projects, I am calling it “Evolution: 3Sixty”, the 3Sixty for about how many days it has taken me to get this far, not to mention how long the entire project may take.

    The design behind this project is twofold; first I wanted a case which fit the space limitation of my home office, and secondly would offer plenty of room for both current needs and all future ones. While nothing in modding or case design is forever I am hoping this design will be as close to a last case as I ever need. (Read: I said ever need, not want).

    Structurally, the case will be crafted out of T6061 aluminum throughout and is designed to be solid as a proverbial rock. The structural skeleton will be a combination of 1“ x ¾“ U channel, and the entire design will be anchored by a pair of 1 1/4“ wide towers on either side of the main case area. I am undecided at this point whether or not they will serve as ventilation stacks or will house components like a Slot load DVD and or HDD’s.

    [​IMG][​IMG]


    Bottom-line, while there may be something familiar about this case, it is a very unconventional design and should offer some great new innovations, as well as some refinements on more traditional designs. I don’t claim to know what makes the perfect case, but for me this is an exercise in engineering for a space, rather than for a particular look or hardware requirement.

    As far as my skills and abilities, this will be my ultimate build. While I am attempting to do everything I can on the frontend to overcome my biggest challenge, which tends to be my ideas usually far outpace my skill level. I hope that with the addition of the right tools and some help from a patient disposition I can develop, build and finally execute a great design. While my skills may not allow for me to completely meet such expectation, my goal is to build a case with German precision and quality, thus the German reference “LegierungTurm“.
     
  2. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    _________________________________________________________________________________
    Update:

    On this project I am taking inspiration from many different places and many different existing designs and I will offer acknowledgements as I go. I look at the modding community just as that a community of enthusiast that push and motivate all of us to do our best and push the envelope of design and of our own capabilities. While I would be devastated to see my design picked up and sold by a major manufacturer without due credit, it would be and is flattering to be asked and to see your ideas utilized and taken up by fellow enthusiast.

    While I doubt there is much market for a case of the size and scope of this one in the retail world, it is possible that there may be elements and or methods which can help others and I encourage everyone’s input, and comment as I move forward.

    The case will house a standard ATX motherboard, powersupply and the initial design will be around an SLI video section. The design is specifically done to house a custom watercooled setup and will use an unconventional layout to make things more asthetically pleasing.

    Here’s a sneak peek of what is to come (taken over a 5 month period).

    [​IMG]
    Several months ago I started gathering my raw materials and pulled together all my tools for the job.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Some might call it cheating on a scratch build, but I call it repurposing. Here we have the MD tray from an Antec LanBoy Air. I will be utilizing several parts from this case in this build.

    [​IMG]
    Some more of my raw materials were acquired back in March.

    [​IMG]
    A variety of hardware will be required to get just the right look

    [​IMG]
    The biggest challenge to date, and the reason for most all of the delay in my moving forward on this build was my not being able to bend my main structural peices. I 2-inch radius bend is not easy when dealing with 1/8" thick panels.

    ...more to come
     
    Last edited: 24 Jul 2012
  3. coffinator6

    coffinator6 Member

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    Mmmmm potential metal porn. Love the tower ideas as exhaust as long as they flow enough. Do you plan to leave the aluminum bare or paint it.
     
  4. Waynio

    Waynio Relaxing

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    Looks a good tidy design, subbed. :)
     
  5. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    Scratch Build Project Evolution 3Sixty (Update: 7/24/2012)

    As I sort of eluded to earlier, this build isn't necessarily in real time, it has taken me a number of months to get to this point and I decided to wait to this point to start posting updates.

    Today is the first day in real time that I actually accomplished anything. I apologize for the extremely shallow depth of field on the photos. I had a really fast lens on my camera and didn't want to stop my work to swap out lens.

    As you can see the final product will be nearly identical to the 3D model, or at least that is my plan. So far no major setbacks other than the time delay, and a couple of bad aims with the drill press on one screw, but hopefully it won't ever be seen.

    I am experimenting with my pictures, let me know if I should post larger than what I am doing. I am shooting with a 16MP DSLR, so thought smaller with better resolution was better, but these 400x400 seem small.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    [​IMG]
    I finally was able to find a machineshop that could do a 2-inch radius bend. In my area, no one and I mean no one had the capability. I ended up finding a guy who had a machine from the 1940's that had bigger dies. It was rather impressive to watch him work. I wish I had taken more pictures.

    [​IMG]
    As you can see here, we couldn't get the perfect length on the outside peices so I had to shear them myself. One down, one to go.

    [​IMG]
    The core of this build I am taking from an idea I saw on another scratch build. The space between the walls of my U-stock bars is exactly 1/2", so I cut 1-inch long peices from a longer 1/2 by 1/2 bar stock.(created here goes to spotswood on extremeOC forums and his Project: Alu Water Cooled case

    [​IMG]
    Test fit of first tower structure. I obviously need to clean-up my holes, but its starting to take form.​

    [​IMG]
    Another angle of the complete tower test fitted together.​

    ...more to come soon.
     
    Last edited: 25 Jul 2012
  6. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    Project: Evolution 3Sixty Specifications

    Thought I would give a little more as to what this project will be for and about:

    Project: Evolution 3Sixty (working title) - Aluminum alloy watercooled PC enclosure

    Dimensions: 12“D x 24“W x 24“H

    Materials: T6061 & T5052 Aluminum Alloy, Cooper

    Specs:
    • ATX computer case
    • 1200 Watt PSU
    • Dual GPU
    • Air/ Water Hybrid cooled system
    • near-Silent operation
    • Horizontal orientation

    Cost/ Budget: None established

    Purpose/ Use: Video Editing, 3D Gaming, General Use

    Build Date: 2012

    Components:(inital build)
    • Asus P67 Sabertooth
    • Intel 2600K CPU
    • 32GB Corsair DDR3 Ram
    • Corsair AX1200 PSU
    • Patriot 120GB SSD (OS)
    • Patriot 120GB SSD (Programs)
    • WD 2TB "Green" HDD (Data)
    • WD 500GB "Black" (Video Scratch)
    • eVGA 560Ti Video cards (SLi)
    • Aquacomputer Modularity Air (Water cool)
    • Swiftech CPU & VGA blocks
    • Custom Cooper tubing for water

    Additional Features/ Design Elements:
    • centrally mounted motherboardtray
    • custom aluminum shroud over MB
    • custom aluminum shroud over vid section
    • slot loaded Bluray drive in towers
    • input devices (USB2 &USB3) in towers
    • black, polished alum and polished cooper color scheme
    • hybrid cooling air & water
    • atleast one removable HDD slot for b/u

    So far that is the plan, I will revise this post as things change/ progress.
     
  7. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    project Evolution 3Sixty: (July 25, 2012 update)

    I was able to get a little more done this afternoon on one of the towers. Basically things are taking shape and all the panels are fitting together nicely. There will be a lot of sanding and grinding in a couple places since one of my panels didn't get sheared right, but that is to be expected.

    I have decided that the case itself will be powder coated black in the end, but will have some chrome, or polished edging in a few spots.

    Eventhough I pulled the idea from another build, I thought you guys might be interested in seeing the steps I have teken to do my press fit peices for the skeleton and my method for flush mounting all the screws.

    [​IMG]
    Here is one of the channel pieces after I counter sunk the hole for a 10-32 machine screw. All my hardware on the outside will be 10-32 x 3/8" and are flat head phillips for now, the final build will use allen key black hardware.

    [​IMG]
    Once I get the wholes drilled I thread each hole by hand to ensure a nice even threading. I found a kit, with drill bit and a threading bit at Home Depot for under $6 for the pair, which works great with my handle I already had

    [​IMG]
    Here is one of the #10-32 screws after all is threaded and flushed in. Basically the screw is going through the outside panel which is 1/8" thick and is screwing into the outside wall of the u-Channel and ever so slightly the inside block which pulls everything tight together

    [​IMG]
    Finally here is where I am so far. Like I said it will probably be a few days if not a week before I can jump back on this project, but hopefull I can get both towers done by the end of the month so August can be devoted to mocking up the interior layout and finishing the outside towers


    After I decided to go with a powder coat I went ahead and pulled off the tape I had placed on the entire case to protect the aluminum in case I ended up leaving it bare, but since I am thinking of doing a black and cooper theme on the inside, and hopefully can find a shop to power coat everything reasonably I saw no need to leave the tape. Plus it was getting in my way.

    Until next time.....
     
  8. coffinator6

    coffinator6 Member

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    Don't forget to countersink you parts a little extra to compensate for the powdercoat.
     
  9. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    Its funny you say that, I got back a test piece from my painter yestarday and made the same realization that I would need to do just what you suggest. I am in the process of redrilling all my external panels and adding a little more depth.

    7-27-2012 UPDATE: I now have all my exterior panels and the skeleton pre-drilled and am working on threading all the holes today. My hope is to get the main structure assembled this weekend so I can move inside and start my mockups for the interior structures.

    The final layout is still up in the air, but will house either a single 120x3 Rad at the bottom, or a pair of them on either tower (possibly a pair of 140x2's). I have several 180mm fans that I had wanted to use for their great air-flow and quietness, but they will be the first parts to go if that idea doesn't work. Goal is quiet not necessarily silent. I still haven't ruled out a monsterous 180x2, or180x3 rad either, but that would introduce additional challenges.

    I found a broken example of my MB and my PSU on ebay for cheap so can mock everything up with real parts and not worry about hurting the real parts which will be nice. The big question mark for me is ventilation paths for what little air I will be applying to the system. Intake is easy, exhausting the hot air in a direction that won't get sucked right back in is the challenge since this whole case will be installed in a bookcase.

    ..more to come
     
  10. Dr.Joe

    Dr.Joe New Member

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    Lokking good so far :)

    Oh and btw: If you translate "LegierungTurm" word-by-word to english, it would mean alloy tower. However i never heard the word before. If you combine alloy and tower to form a single word in german, it would be "Legierungsturm". Which means tower of alloys. gotta love german language :D
     
  11. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    Thanks for the correction. That's even more fitting anyway isn't it?;)
     
  12. jbcon

    jbcon If I were a rich man; not!

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    It's Friday afternoon and time to knock off for the week and grab myself a nice cold adult beverage... I thought I would leave everyone with a couple shots of where we ended up this week to enjoy over there own happy hour indulgences.

    _________________________________________________
    Evolution 3Sixty (Construction: End of Week #1)

    [​IMG]
    I was able to get the towers assembled and all that is left is to start adding in the cross peices for the internal skeletal structure. Since I will have to gain access to the insides of the towers later, I am just clamping them together for now.


    [​IMG]
    For scale only, here is about were I am thinking the MB will go.


    [​IMG]
    While it will be much thicker here is me using one of the Lanboy Air grills to get an idea of using a 120x3 rad in the bottom


    [​IMG]
    The same grill, which is almost the same length and width of a 360 Rad would work on the sides as well.


    That's all she wrote for this weeks installment. I don't expect to get much done this weekend, but will tinker as time allows. My next step is to start designing some sort of mockup to get an idea of were to install everything. While I have a pretty good idea having assmebled everything in Sketchup, I still like to see thinks in real-life 3D.


    ciao
     

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