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Case Mod - In Progress Project S - Suspended Indefinitely

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by B[x], 4 Jan 2007.

  1. Infenro

    Infenro New Member

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    this is looking interesting now. :)
     
  2. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    And before it was a pile of trash, eh? ;)
    Thanks for the sentiment.
     
  3. Rage.

    Rage. New Member

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    im loving those side panels =] keep it up
     
  4. Qbank

    Qbank New Member

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    side pannel disign is amazing
     
  5. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Just a bit of a text update for tonight. I decided awhile ago to switch out the 80mm fans for 120s. However, the rear panel isn't large enough to accommodate a 120mm fan. I couldn't think of a clean way to mod it so it would accept the 120 so I've opted to keep the 80mm size. The 140mm fan in my PSU will more than make up for the CFM lost by using the 80mm fan.

    I had been on the fence for the longest time when it came time to deciding which fans to buy. Like previously mentioned, I don't plan on OCing so massive airflow won't be a huge concern. After reading plenty of reviews and sifting through numerous manufacturers' tech specs till my eyes bled, I decided on using three of these and one of these. Scythe seems to make quality products and while their airflow ratings aren't as high as can be, I'm a bit picky about fan noise. Two of the 120s will be placed up front and the third will be used for the top blowhole.

    Tomorrow I should be using the water jet to cut out some more pieces. These pieces will consist of:
    • new fan brackets to hold the larger fans
    • a panel to hide the PSU as well as a lot of cables
    • a new PSU support plate - the one that came with the case doesn't look right with my PSU
    • critical pieces to a new HDD mounting system
    The cable hiding panel will double as a little electronics hub for the LEDs that will be used throughout the case. More on this later.

    I also ordered some aluminum channel, angle, and sheet from http://www.onlinemetals.com/. This will also be used for the HDD rack.

    About 98% of the case design is complete. However, I'm not posting my designs since most of it is AutoCAD work that is hard to read. In other words, I know what it all means but in reality, it's very unorganized.

    I have a lot of work to do tomorrow and Thursday so the water jet pictures might not go up until Friday. Sorry for the probable delay.
     
  6. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    I hate to disappoint but unfortunately the water jet machine broke last night. Apparently one of the valves blew off during operation. Quite the mess - water and granite particles spraying everywhere but thankfully no fingers or eyes were lost. I could cut the pieces I need by means of a jigsaw and drill press. However, some of the pieces must be precisely cut and I simply don't have the time needed to cut everything. A replacement valve for the water jet has been ordered. The machine should hopefully be up and running in a week or two.

    Since I promised an update, I'll give you guys a layout for what the final product will look like from the outside. I apologize for the lack of graphic detail in the picture. I have yet to really fool around with SketchUp and my 3D AutoCAD work isn't up to scratch just yet.

    Click the picture to enlarge it.
    [​IMG]

    The top row shows the image of the top panel. The bottom row shows the left, front, and right panels, in that order. The large white holes in the front and top panels are where the 120mm fans will be. The front and top panels consist of LED-lit polycarbonate (blue) with an aluminum overlay (gray).

    The tubes on the right panel will be lit with LEDs, assuming my method for lighting them is feasible. Time will tell. The center piece on the left panel is LED-lit polycarbonate (off-white) with an aluminum overlay (gray).

    The planned lighting scheme is temporary and subject to change.
     
  7. Neji

    Neji New Member

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    I had the exact same thoughts when i read Infenro's comment lol.

    That window design is really unique, I love it. Hope to see more innovations on the inside.
     
  8. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    Thanks, Neji. My plans for the interior consist of some stealthing for the PSU and cables as well as a redesigned HDD rack that mounts them vertically. As of right now there will be a total of two 5.25" exterior bays and six 3.5" interior bays. I might change out one of the 5.25" for a 3.5" but to do that I'll have to move a few switches to the rear panel. I'll have to see how it looks.
     
  9. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    Since the water jet machine was out of commission this past week,** I decided to play around with SketchUp to get a better feel for it. Since I'm used to AutoCAD which has very intuitive keyboard commands, the transition was a little awkward. Though I'm still struggling a little, I'm starting to get to know my way around the program. Keep in mind this is my first time using SketchUp so I apologize if the models are sub-par.

    An isometric view of the left, top, and front panels.
    [​IMG]

    Here's an isometric view of the right, top, and front panels. I had a lot of trouble creating the tubes for the right panel and push-pulling the polycarbonate and aluminum shields proved troublesome. I left the shields as 2D objects so the full effect isn't there though it's close. I didn't even attempt to create the eye lags that will hold the tubing.
    [​IMG]

    I tossed a motherboard into the case to give a better idea on the viewing area that the left panel provides.
    [​IMG]

    **The water jet was fixed and today I was able to use it with the help of a friend. However, it was behaving rather erratically so I wasted a bit of material in the progress. I'll try to get pictures of the work up either tonight or tomorrow.
     
  10. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    My friend Joe helped me water jet out several more pieces today. We ran into a few problems with the machine but nothing that couldn't be worked around. Granted some material was wasted but that's life. None of the pieces cut today have been filed or sanded so all of the edges are rough. That'll be fixed.

    The polycarbonate for the left panel came out really nicely. There are some marks left by the water jetting but those will be polished out in the end so I'm not worried just yet.
    [​IMG]

    The polycarbonate and aluminum shields for the 120-mm fans were cut out. On the left is the top blowhole. On the right is the front panel assembly. The fans will be behind another wall of aluminum so the corners will not be visible.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the beginning to what will be the cover for the PSU which will double as a LED panel. It will also serve as a means to hide most of my cabling. The connectors are 3.5-mm stereo. Since they're going to be for LEDs, mono connectors would have been fine. However, they were similarly priced so I figured I might as well.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There were a few more pieces cut today but they're minor and not really worth showing. I'm awaiting on a rather large shipment of aluminum sheet and angle which should arrive by the 6th. I'll start putting together the new HDD rack sometime after that.

    Let me know what you guys think.
     
  11. dacust

    dacust What's a Dremel?

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    I've been following this all along but just realized I've never posted.

    This is looking very good. The overall simple design makes the very complicated windows work well. The line drawings make the S's look confusing, but thinking of the materials and the lighting, I think the result will be great. The Sketchup makes me think you won't really be able to see into the case very well, but the MB will provide a 3D background that will change with the viewing angle.

    Very nice!
     
  12. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    Thanks, dacust. My original intention wasn't to show off the internal components so the small windows were fine by me. More than anything I just wanted a relatively sleek case that had a personalized affect to it.

    I attacked my case with a jigsaw the other day in order to make room for the front fan mounts as well as the new HDD rack. I'll post the pictures of that when I start working on the new HDD rack.
     
  13. Fozzy

    Fozzy New Member

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    How much did you pay for all of the waterjetting? I want to get some stuff done but I'm worried a whole case might cost upwards of $500.
     
  14. TapperSwe

    TapperSwe New Member

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    This is just getting better and i think the new sketchups do look very interesting.
     
  15. gar

    gar Active Member

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    Just read this thread from the start. Very impressive design and excellent skills.
    I rekon you're going to have som VERY impressive mods if this is you're first one! Not to say that this one isin't very impressive already.

    Keep the good work up. I'm hopig to get my first mod started within the next month too.
     
  16. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    I have access to these machines at my school. I don't think we're supposed to use the high end machines (water jet, laser cutter, CNCs, etc.) for personal use. However, if you supply the material and do the work when a lot of staff aren't around, they don't throw a fit. Unfortunately civil engineers such as myself don't learn the use of these machines in class. Thankfully, I've got a mechanical engineering friend who is more than willing to help me out. I'll buy him some booze for his efforts.

    Thanks. This coming from someone who is quite meticulous in his work means a lot.

    Thanks, appreciate it. Unfortunately I'm a slow modder due to my schedule. I hope to get a few builds under my belt before cases become too small to mod. Good luck on your upcoming mod. The key is excessive planning. I started planning this case about six months prior to even buying any materials.

    Unfortunately none of my five roommates were home when my shipment of aluminum came today. Since the order will be coming in two installments, it's not a huge setback. I have this Friday off so hopefully I'll get some work done provided the building I work in isn't closed for Easter weekend.
     
  17. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    I know that nobody likes to read long paragraphs in a log but I have to give a small preface before I get into the actual work.

    The past few weeks have been quite busy due to school, work, and other commitments. Therefore I haven't gotten as much modding done as I had planned. However, I was able to strip down the case and trim away the excess material. I also started on the bezel, working with scrap aluminum and Bondo, a substance I have virtually no experience with.

    Stripping down the case:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Most of the rivets were popped out in order to take off the top panel as well as remove the frame that held the 3x 3.5" bay at the bottom. In addition to this, I cut out the 5.25" bays to make room for my custom rack that will house four HDDs, and optical drive, and the electronics hub. I had originally planned for it to hold six HDDs but after some measurements and mock-ups, I realized that the space would be a bit too close for comfort. Additionally, I just can't fathom needing more than four HDDs. As can be expected, the frame is quite weak right now. Despite this, it still holds up a beefy 700W PSU with ease. I have to tip my hat toward Lian Li for their sturdy frames. Regardless, the installation of the new HDD rack (whenever I get around to it) will increase the case's structural integrity. No worries.

    Front bezel work:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pictured above is the front bezel after two layers of Bondo, attacking it with 120 grit wet/dry between coats. I used some scrap aluminum to serve as the Bondo's backing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's the bezel after another two layers of Bondo, finally starting to take shape. It'll be sanded down with 120 grit once more and spot putty will be used to fill in the minor imperfections.

    I started this update with a boring paragraph and I'll end it with one as well. I'm taking a research position over at Washington University in St. Louis for 10 weeks this summer. It's a great opportunity and will bolster my credentials when it comes time to apply for graduate school. However, I'll have to leave my case and modding tools at home. As such, my slow modding pace will be halted completely. Hopefully I'll be back at it in August.
     
  18. B[x]

    B[x] New Member

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    I managed to find a free day in the mayhem that leads up to my departure for the summer. I was able to get some work done on the front panel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's the front panel after the final layer of Bondo. I'll add glazing putty to fill in the minor imperfections when it comes time to paint it. Despite the Bondo appearing blotchy, it's just an effect from patchwork - the panel is completely flat. Next it's onto cutting out the front 120 mm fan holes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pictured above is the result after some quick filing. The edges are still slightly rough though that will be fixed after some sanding. Next is to affix the polycarbonate and aluminum overlays.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These overlays were cut from 3/16" polycarbonate and 1/16" aluminum with a waterjet back in March. There are a total of 8 holes drilled through the polycarbonate and front panel. Of these, 4 will be used for mounting screws. These screws will be JB Welded to the back of the aluminum overlay so that they will not be visible. The other 4 will be used for LEDs. Unfortunately I didn't grab a picture of these holes and the case is packed away for now. If anybody is really curious, I'll draw them in with MS Paint. Just ask.

    That's the end of the work for now. This project is officially on hold until I return from St. Louis in August. I'll leave with a quick shot of the case. All of the panels are taped on and the right side panel isn't close enough to completion to display.

    [​IMG]

    Let me know what you guys think.
     
  19. exitus

    exitus New Member

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    do you want to paint that front again? because the filled up holes would look disgusting without a hiding layer of paint. nice work anyway :)
     
  20. ComputerKing

    ComputerKing <img src="http://forums.bit-tech.net/images/smilie

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    This what I'm talking about , this start look sexy !

    Just well done brother . Good luck . Keep your updates , Please :D
     
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