Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by craigbru, 2 Jun 2010.
That can be tricky. Don't ask how I know.
Haha, I certainly understand that! I've been pretty lucky for the most part.
I hit a milestone over the weekend. As of now, the interior design is 100% complete. That actually includes the front panel assembly as well. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you actually have a little free time. As before, part of the finalization process involves low resolution test prints in PLA. This ensures that all components fit together exactly as they should. While they may be quick prints, they are always dimensionally accurate. There are aspects of this design that have single mm clearances, so I had to be sure things were spot on.
Here we’ve got the inner mount assembly printed and components inserted. The case front is printed without the hex mesh to save time.
This is the LCD mount on the front of the case. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of parts interlocking perfectly on the first try. The inner mount, the case front, and the LCD mount are attached via nesting tabs. If you haven’t noticed, the overall case was designed with minimal fasteners in mind, even less that will be visible in any form.
As far as what’s next, I’ll be committing the finished interior components to MJF print. Once they arrive, I’ll have quite the task ahead of me as I tackle the card connector wiring. I can fully envision the completed core sitting on my desk in functional form while I work on the exterior. Regarding the exterior, it’s really mostly complete from a cosmetic standpoint. That said, I have one new idea I’d like to explore on the lighting side… Other than that, it’s mostly trying to work out panel fastening. Well, that and trying to come up with a functional mold for the new carbon fiber shell.
Uh, so this just got even more real. I edited my above post, as the interior/front/rear components will be MJF and not SLS. While I wish I were capable of printing MJF or SLS on my own equipment, I just can't get the build volume I require even at the SFF level. Believe me, I've looked at the options and the cost vs. print volume just isn't quite there as of yet. That said, we'll see how well my design and test prints pay off... since I just placed a rather large order for 13 different components... No turning back now!
The squirt gun printers are really limiting. The fit on your test prints look fantastic, though.
Did someone say, "more carbon"?
Thanks man. Yes, they certainly can be, at least depending on your usage scenario. At one point I did plan on using my FDM printer for all components needed. Then as complexity ramped up, I kind of backed myself into a corner. I could keep FDM and simplify the design, albeit still with a fair amount of finish work, or I could just dive in and get rid of most design limitations altogether. Not having to worry about support material really opens up your options. Obviously that’s the route I took. The hard part for me was knowing I’d have to use a 3rd party for some aspects of the finished case since I’ve been a very DIY guy for years. I only came to terms with the idea once I realized that the design work was really part of the ‘build’ all along.
Haha, yes, more carbon. I’m determined to follow through on at least that part of the original case concept. Looking back through this log, I do question whether or not I should have just started a new posting outright. I ultimately decided not to do so, since I felt the evolution over time is a really important part of this build. At 10 years in so far, this deserves a conclusion. The carbon fiber shell will actually be more complex this time around, but I’ll definitely prefer using 3D printed molds as opposed to the original bent aluminum version.
While waiting for my parts to be printed, I decided to get the newest revision of the HDPLEX 400W HiFi DC-ATX converter, which arrived 2 days after ordering. I also just ordered the 400W AC-DC Ver 2.0 power supply. I received tracking info about 10 minutes later. Talk about impressive! The power supply will replace my current Dell sourced brick. I've not had any issues with my current solution, but the extra headroom will be nice going forward.
I received an excellent bit of news today. All of my printed components were packed and shipped, well ahead of the estimate. I can't wait!
I've also been working on prepping the cage design for a mold. I've basically had to break out the 'arms' as individual parts. Then I have to figure out exactly how to create an inner core and outer clamshell that's both easy and quick to use. Once that resin is mixed, time starts ticking...
For fun, I did cost out having the cage CNC milled out of aluminum and anodized. It was right around $1200. As cool as that would be, CF is still cooler. Especially considering that once I went down the anodized aluminum route, costs would really snowball on me.
$1200 for the whole thing isn't bad. I really want to see you do the CF, though.
No, that's not terrible. However, it's everything else that I'd need to match... The side panels and fins would need to be anodized to match. There's no doubt it would look oustanding, but I'm estimating another $1000 for those parts. Now, that said, the orange fins and side panel components would still look great anodized. It would be a bit of a hybrid at that point, using multiple materials and fabrication techniques.
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