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Case Mod - In Progress Project QUAD - a Quick and Dirty PC/Spindle cooling with CNC Router attachment

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by dan297, 7 May 2021.

  1. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Hi Folks,

    I finally decided to get me a CNC router and that one requires...a PC to drive it :grin:

    My first instinct was to move the ATAACS to the new router and replace it with somethings else.
    But then, all the reasons why I made that one in the first place are of course still valid.
    And since I already gave a kidney for the router I wanted to light on the PC.

    Fortunately I kept the remaining hardware that was in the CNC server which I ripped for ATAACS.
    Since space will not be an issue for the new one (plenty of room under the router) best choice was to simply reuse the old hardware.
    All I needed was a CPU and a hard drive, everything else was still there.

    And while I also have plenty of old rads and fans lying around here, my idea was to use them to cool the spindle. A dedicated spindle cooling system is north of 500 EUR :jawdrop:
    So the thing is basically a hybrid.
    An air cooled PC which hosts the watercooling of the spindle:

    ZSB CNC Server Portalfräse 01.JPG

    The design is basically determined by what I still had:

    - LianLi O11 Dynamic
    - M-ATX Z370 mobo
    - 2x 240mm rad
    - 1x 360mm rad
    - 2x Aqualis 880 Eco
    - 1x Aqualis 880 XL
    - EKWB Dual D5 Pump
    - bequiet! DPP 11
    - tons of 120mm fans
    - tons of fittings
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2021
    Taritha and Jean R built like this.
  2. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    It is a relatively straight forward build. Only a few parts to make:
    - 3 mounts for the reservoirs
    - 4 mounting posts
    - 1 bracket to fix the reservoirs at the top

    I also have to convert the case into a swiss cheese.
    Plenty of holes to be drilled.
     
  3. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The goal was not only to use the hardware at hand, but also the stock at hand for those additional parts.
    I did not want to use acrylic for the mounts (too flimsy with 3 pounds on top).
    Somehow I also did not want to waste a 3mm aluminium sheet for this so I finally opted for Dibond.
    I have a few boards of them leftover from a previous project and no problem to throw away 80% of this stuff in the process...

    20210504_120225.jpg


    Dibond is a 3mm sandwich material. A thin aluminium sheet on top and bottom with an polyethylene core.
    It is cheap and the sandwich makes it relatively rigid. So it is ok for the task.
    But as you can see, it is a mess at milling...

    20210504_121106.jpg


    Plenty of waste for three parts.

    20210504_134222.jpg
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2021
    Cheapskate and Jean R built like this.
  4. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    First test fit - ok
    Need to clean that res though...

    20210504_141510.jpg
     
  5. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The top bracket is a bit filigree.
    I could not imagine how to clamp the part itself, so order of operations was key.

    First off the 3 holes. Manufacturing tolerances of Aquacomputer vary from 75.95mm to 76.18mm for that dia...:eeek:

    20210504_175725.jpg


    Next a cut-out.
    I wanted to have a chamfer on the outer and inner contour, but there is no way to do that on the finished part.
    So I milled first have way through.
    8mm acetal btw...

    20210504_180045.jpg


    Than the chamfer....

    20210504_180454.jpg


    Than the rest...

    20210504_184203.jpg


    I added a few M3 threads by hand to fix this to the case and also for a grub screw for each res to keep it from shifting
     
    Cheapskate and Jean R built like this.
  6. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    In there goes the mobo.
    No dedicated GPU. For this application the on-board UHD 630 GFX of the 9600k is good enough.
    It is a tight fit, but ok.
    So far, so good...

    20210506_170357.jpg
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2021
    Cheapskate and Jean R built like this.
  7. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Looking at the spindle manufacturers cooling system, basically a big tank, a 240 rad with industrial fans, a control unit and PSU in a steel case - that's it. 500+ EUR :eeek::eeek::eeek:

    So I figured the three reservoirs with a total of approx. 2.5 litres plus a total of 840 rad capacity but with quiter fans will do as well.
    When milling the noise doesn't really matter.
    But the annoying high pitch noise from high rev industrial fans is always there once you turn on the machine, even at idle times.

    I have no experience with the cooling fluid for the spindle, however, so I wanted to avoid acrylic or even PETG in the loop and rather stick with soft and brass tubing.
    Probably no issue with acrylic, just playing it safe.

    But there is not so much room to connect the reservoirs with each other, therefore some hard tubing was necessary.
    With this a tube with a 20 deg bend is needed, with a fairly small radius of 25mm.

    All the tube bending tools you see on Amazon or elsewhere have much bigger radii...for a good reason as I learned later on :rollingeyes:

    Anyway. I decided to make my own version of a tube bender.

    First some turning. The tube has a 12mm dia, the turning tool 10mm.
    So I had to fiddle around a little bit :sigh:

    20210506_174757.jpg


    A base plate for the vise and a stop block

    20210506_212214.jpg


    All assembled

    20210506_213909.jpg


    A first try...

    20210507_072835.jpg


    And a first fail...

    20210508_084157.jpg


    The stop block was too small and left an indentation on the tube.
    The design I copied is ok for soft copper tubing, but not for hard brass tubing...:duh:

    So with an extended stop block I managed to get this one.
    Still far from perfect, but reasonably ok for the purpose.

    20210508_072945.jpg

    My high hopes for wildly bended shiny brass tubes in upcoming builds were crushed, however...:waah:
    Anything more than the 20 deg is unrealistic.
     
    Last edited: 8 May 2021
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  8. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The loop is mostly ZMT tube plus the short brass pieces which connect the reservoirs.

    20210508_072922.jpg

    Considering just the price of these BP fittings the OEM cooling unit is a bargain :eeek:

    But when I transfered the InWin928 system into the bequiet! case I salvaged lots of the fittings.
    Only needed two more for this build, plus the quick disconnects. The OEM one doesn't even have those.
    Once you hook it up to your spindle maintenance will become a bitch...
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2021
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  9. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Cable "management" is simple. No fancy time consuming sleeving required for this purpose build...

    20210508_073516.jpg
     
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  10. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The fans and the pump are controlled by an Aquacomputer Octo.
    Pump speed is constant, fan speed will depend on loop temperature.
    The spindle manufacturer does not recomment loop temps higher than 35 deg Celsius, which gives me basically 10 Kelvin vs. room temperature.
    I find this to be a pretty slim margin. We will see.

    20210508_073551.jpg


    The interface to the mill are the two quick disconnects for the coolant and an RGB strip.
    The Octo has two independent RGB headers.
    One will be connected to a strip, which I will place outside of the enclosure of the mill, in good visibility.
    This strip will then change color, based on loop temp - green, yello, red.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2021
  11. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    The whole unit will go in the niche under the bench top, next to the air compressor, once the router arrives.
    3 months from order to delivery :eeek::eeek::eeek:

    Looks like everybody beefs up his shop in these days...

    20210508_074928.jpg
     
  12. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Cost of fittings... Yeah. That's one of the big benefits of wacky manifolds. You definitely could have saved a bit by making a new base for the reservoirs. :lol: You had the acetal for it too.
    The setup came out great, though.
     
  13. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Yeah well. True. But you know... I wanted it quick and dirty :cooldude:
    A 360 rad on the bottom would have been nice too, but I had only one at hand and a 240 at the side looked kinda odd.
    The whole thing disappears under the bench top out of sight, so those shiny Bitspower fittings are completely wasted.
    But I do not intend to build another computer soon, so keeping them stashed and buy cheap ones dedicated for this build was no real option too...
     
  14. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Btw. Anybody interested in a log of the router build?
    Control box, machine build, pneumatics, ATC setup, enclosure, etc...
    If so where to post here?
    Don't want to polute the forum with off topic stuff.
    This section is about mods not the machines that help to build them.
     
  15. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I think it might be welcome here. Half of us have one, the other half are interested in getting one.
    -I'm still in need of tweaking my router, so it may just be traumatic for me. :lol:
     
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  16. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Any suggestion in which section of the forum to post such a topic?
    Is there a special sub-forum (which I have not discovered yet)
    Or just keep posting in this build log?
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2021
  17. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I just dropped mine in my last build log as padding. I think it will be welcome here. In the past we have had stuff like animatronic monster heads, and only recently... a shed. :eyebrow:
     
  18. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    OK than.
    Unless there is any objection from the mods I will from now on post some more about the router build :thumb:
     
  19. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    Before that, I added one little device to the loop - a flow sensor.

    I am not particularily a fan of these in PC builds.
    Most of them are just plain crap.

    You got the transparent ones with a turning impeller which tell you there is a flow at all. So what?
    You got the ones which give you a reading on a tiny LCD display - behind a tinted side panel. So what?
    And the ones where you need to access a software first to get a reading.
    Most of them have one thing in common. They are meaningless, because of non existing accuracy.

    And on top, in order to get a halfway accurate reading you need to have a staight run before and after the sensor, preferably horizontal. The longer, the better.
    In mid size cases almost impossible to achieve.

    Besides, flow rate doesn't matter in a PC cooling loop.
    The hardware temps are determined by cooling surface and fan speed, not by flow rate.

    Having said that - I got me one anyway :grin:

    The almighty YT algorithm suggested me the other day this video



    Spoiler: English speakers, don't bother - it is in German.
    But the guy has a decent website too, and most articles are published as well in English there.
    It is the successor of the German Tom's Hardware site.

    Anyway, we are talking about this little fella:

    20210513_143000.jpg


    Apart from an alledged high accuracy for the flow reading, it comes with a conductivity sensor from which a "water quality" status is derived.
    While in a PC cooling loop this tells you that whatever liquid you use whashes away your cooling components, I find that even more interesting in the spindle cooling loop.

    Ideally your PC cooling components are all made of the same material in order to avoid electrolysis.
    In reality this is unrealistic, with copper rads, brass fittings and nickel plated coolers.
    But as long as you do not add ignoble stuff like aluminum in the loop, you are fine. We all know that.

    The spindle, however, is made from steel, and I doubt it is stainless.
    So potentially the combination of cheap and cheerful PC cooling components and a costly HF spindle is an electrolysis nightmare.

    In reality, probably every single so called "China Spindle" on zillions of hobby machines around the world will be cooled exactly like this.
    You can read in the dedicated forums lots about their run-out accuracy, but I haven't seen a single post (yet) about the cooling loop eating slowly the spindle away from inside out :grin:

    Hence, I am not overly concerned, but at least I can check now from time to time if there is a change of conductivity in the cooling fluid.
    I will use the stuff recommended by the spindle maker and am more concerned about the resilience of the PC cooling stuff...The coolant spec sheet is rather toxic :eeek::eeek:
     
    Last edited: 15 May 2021
  20. dan297

    dan297 Modder

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    I even magaged to find a spot in the loop with 5" of more or less horizontal straight run before and after the sensor.
    Not ideal, but the best (because only) possibility to fit this thing inside the already cramped case.

    20210513_152204.jpg

    It comes with an RGB port, so I can add another indicator strip to the router control, which turns red in case the flow is blocked (when tubes are squeezed in the drag chain, or whatever...)
    I do not think this will ever happen though...
     

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