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Scratch Build – Complete Project Menhir

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by SaaintJimmy, 29 Mar 2021.

  1. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    HEY HEY HEY!! Back at it again with a new scratch build! :rock:

    This project was initially meant to be a secondary entry for CMWS20, and was actually supposed to be a whole different project, but as happened with ONDA, I ended up scrapping away the original idea for something a lot more unique and exotic. So here comes Menhir!

    The name obviously suggests a tall and vertically designed build, and that's exactly it! Here's come initial renders.

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    The idea is to have a properly watercooled build, with ITX footprint and as high as needed (about 67cm).

    The main frame will be made out of 8mm aluminum and wooden parts are going to be made out of Ayous wood. You see, the renders display the wood in a black painted fashion, but you'll soon see that I didn't follow up with that.

    Before getting started, I'd like to thank the sponsors for this project:
    HWLegend Modding - Asrock - OCPC - Seasonic - TouchTheGame Roma - Alphacool - CableMod

    Enough. Let's go!
    First things first, I set up the 8mm aluminum on the CNC, ready for cutting all of the parts needed from this material.

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    There are a bunch of little brackets to mount the big pieces together, threaded modding cubes would've probably done a cleaner and easier job but no way I'm spending 2€ each cube, better use the biggest percentage I can on this 8mm sheet.

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    For finishing, I wanted a raw finish on the aluminum, so I hit it up with 180 grit orbital sander. I would've liked to get a glass-blasted finish but I don't have a blasting booth yet and you know I want to make everything in house, so a raw sanded finish will do just as well, and probably be a little more unique!

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    Coming together nicely!

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    Next to the big winner boy! :D

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  2. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    I LOVE the TOUR form factor and those heavy Alu plates!!
     
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  3. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    This is exciting, I love where this is going!
    Even the inner frame looks nice enough that it could be left as is without any outer panels.
     
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  4. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Thanks man! The thick alu definitely makes it very chunky, both in weight and looks :D

    Thanks a lot! Yeah the idea was actually to make some sort of an outer shell with the wood, so the fact that it already looks kind of "complete" was to be expected :D
     
  5. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Second part of aluminum work is with 5mm sheet, needed to make the radiator mounts. I kept it very simple here since it's only structural and won't be visible in the finished build.

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    I then drilled and threaded edge holes on the brackets that will connect the rad plate to the main frame. Focus on the fact that I added counterbores to all of the holes here in order to have the least amount of screws visible.

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    And here's a test fit with rads and fans. Perfect!

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    I took the GPU brackets to give them the same edge drilling treatment so I was able to attach it behind the motherboard tray.

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    Time to get on the wood! As mentioned before, I picked up some Ayous wood which is pretty soft and cheap but I liked the grain and patterns it had. Plus I still don't know how to source more exotic woods in my area :wallbash: (that's also an excuse to cheap out on materials)

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    While I glued the top and bottom pieces, I did a test fit with the rad plate, which will be sunk in the wood, where a 5mm pocket was cut. Turns out my CNC cuts 1mm longer on the X-axis (don't ask me how, I just can't wait to get a new one), and I had cut the long side of the rad plate on the X-axis, while the pocket on the wood was cut on Y-axis (which gave accurate dimensions), this resulted in some elbow grease and filing to get that damn alu plate right.

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    And here it is with the main wood piece installed! Cool fact: the three pieces were cut in a way that the grain is uniform all along the length of the final glued part.

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    Temporarily clamped the front wood part to see how it looked. The airvents in this one are clearly just for the sake of simmetry, since the aluminum panel behind it doesn't have any vent on it.

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  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    That was kinda fast. Loving what you have so far.
    X axis 1mm longer... Typo in the motor tuning?
     
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  7. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Thanks man! Yeah it was two weeks to make all the 3D models but once that was done, cutting all of the parts was a pretty straight forward process, especially having most of the parts cut on a single 8mm alu panel :D

    And yeah I'll definitely have to check the tuning :duh:
     
  8. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Oops, looks like I forgot to update :worried:

    Well, the project has been finished for awhile now so I'm just going to speed run it, not much left (yep, it was a quickie, especially compared to A.R.E.S. that came just before this one) :D

    For this project, I decided to dive into making my very first distro plate, because I couldn't find a good tube routing without it. So I just went all in and made it a DDC pump/combo reservoir as well!

    I started by cutting the two layers from 10mm acrylic, so that I could put them onto the custom fixture plate and flip them accurately

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    It was a double sided job for both panels: one had the screw counterbore and water channel+oring channels on the two sides, the other one had the channels and the pump cavity on the two sides

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    All cleaned up after tapping all of the holes and polishing the outer edges

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    Beauty shots! I did have a few issues with the custom orings, they leaked from the glued joints but I quickly realized I definitely needed the Power Flex type of Loctite, while I used the Precision one at first, which becomes too rigid to let the oring do its thing. All fixed up and ready to go now though!

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    One last thing was left to place: the damn power button! Yep, a computer needs it apparently. I cut a 2mm aluminum top cover to house the power button and hide all of the holes there were on the top panel, so win-win!

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    Tubing was fairly straight forward since I designed the distro plate to have every run nice and short, and parallel, as usual :D

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    Filled up the loop with Alphacool light blue coolant, because it perfectly matched the light blue on the cables, but it lasted the time for doing the photoshoot and then I had to replace it with a clear blue one because that was a nasty boi, separating after five minutes of inactivity :wallbash:

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    Now time to finish the wood! Scrapped the idea of making it black, instead I just used one coat of Osmo oil-wax and the difference was amazing!

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    Let's install software and run the final beauty shots! :D

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  9. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    I present you Menhir!
    A scratch build made out of 8mm aluminum and Ayous wood. The vertical shape takes inspiration from the vertical monoliths called Menhir, and it's designed to fit modern interior spaces.
    It features a custom distro plate with built-in DDC pump/res combo at the back, dual 240mm radiators to keep both the GPU and CPU cool.

    Specs:
    Motherboard: Asrock H370m/ITX-AC
    CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F
    RAM: OCPC X3TREME Black Label 16GB
    SSD: OCPC Black Label m.2 1TB
    GPU: Asus RTX 2070 Super ROG Strix + Alphacool Waterblock
    PSU: Seasonic SGX-650
    Cables: CableMod Custom Pro Cables
    Watercooling: full Alphacool Watercooling

    Full res pics: https://imgur.com/a/utdJW1J

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    Hope you guys enjoyed it! More projects coming soon :D
     
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  10. censored_Prometheus_

    censored_Prometheus_ Minimodder

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    Looks impressive! Cool! :dremel::dremel::dremel:
     
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  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I LOVE the whole thing. :thumb: You always do excellent work. The money shot with the air bubbles showing the flow of the res intake was really satisfying.
    The way the 2 fronts line up at an angle here gave me an idea... :D
     
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  12. 4LIEN

    4LIEN Modder

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    Awesome work a mix of modern art and computer!
     
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  13. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Very nice little mod :thumb:
     
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  14. Datulab

    Datulab Human? AI? Robot?

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    As always great work!
    Also congrats on tying for first place for mod of the month on builds.gg, well deserved!
    I feel ya on the power button, it's so simple, yet so easy to forget :lol:
     
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  15. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Thanks man! :D

    Thanks dude! Ooof, don't give me weird ideas :lol:

    Thank you very much! Glad I was able to bring that modern art vibe :D

    Thanks! Little yet effective :D

    Thanks man, yeah I ALWAYS forget it, unless it's some kind of unique feature that goes with the theme :wallbash:
     
  16. pccustom

    pccustom Multimodder

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    another great work!!
     
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  17. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Phantastic. Just friggin phantstic. :thumb:

    I am at awe. The speed in which you make one build after the other is just crazy...:jawdrop:
     
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  18. AttilaP

    AttilaP What's a Dremel?

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    Looks great! Love the woods finish!
     
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  19. SaaintJimmy

    SaaintJimmy Staff Staff

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    Thanks Rob! :D

    Thanks man, it still took two full months from designing to final assembly. Now currently working on two projects, one for Corsair and one for a private client, and that will be a new ONDA! :clap:

    Thanks a lot! Yeah I'm definitely glad I didn't go with the initial black wood idea :D
     
  20. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Very nice! :clap:
     

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