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Scratch Build – Complete ⭐ Project Spectrum

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Forsberg Customs, 9 Jan 2018.

  1. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Hi guys!



    Sponsors:

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    So this is Spectrum! Spectrum is an ITX scratch build that at its core is an "open" system, with that i mean that the components will be exposed.

    The general idea for the "case" is that it's supposed to look like the components are "rising" up from the base as if it all was the same piece. The name Spectrum comes from yea you guys guessed it, RGB :)!

    The case will be constructed out of 10mm acrylic sheets and in the bottom layer i will place an rgb strip that will be facing up so that the whole base will shine. This version will not be watercooled im afraid but i might do another in the future with watercooling.

    This mod was entered into the Case Mod Championship on Dreamhack Winter 2017 and was placed third with the bonus category "most creative".

    If you guys have any questions feel free to ask.

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    Concept

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    From the back.

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    Bottom view. In this picture you can see the hole for the 16mm vandal switch that will be the power button for the pc. The cables will be routed in channels in the acrylic.

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    Bottom most acrylic layer. A better view of the channel that will be routed in this layer for the rgb strip.

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    Bottom layer again from a different angle.

    The Box

    The box will be constructed from 10mm sheets of pinewood or oak if i can find it for a good price. It will then be covered with foam on the inside so that the pc will rest securely.

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    Front view of the box open with the pc inside. I will probably cut some more foam inserts to put in between the components so that its even more secure during transit.


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    From the back. First of all, the handle and latches are placeholders fyi :D. I have not decided yet whether to engrave, paint or burn in the logo on the back, any ideas ?

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    A better view of the inside of the box.
     
  2. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    So it begins!

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    First step for me is constructing the motherboard tray since im still waiting for the acrylic to arrive.
    Measure ones cut twice or how does is it go ? ;D

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    My trusted "old" jigsaw. Its been with me for ~8 years and works like a charm.

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    First cut done.

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    It's free!

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    Now its just the matter of getting everything square and nice.

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    Just a test fit so i could see if i got the widht right. ( not the board im going to use btw just a random card i found at work ).

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    Measuring out where the bends are going to be and marking out the holes for the standoffs.

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    Now its just the matter of finding the right one (not use to the American measurements).

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    Decided to take a scrap piece of aluminum to try the tap on first but it ended up being a pain for some reason (maby i did it wrong).

    So just for fun i tried to tap it using the standoff itself and that worked just fine since aluminum is quite soft (for the first hole).

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    When i was in the middle of tapping the other hole the standoff broke in half ( probably torqued it abit to much ) leaving the other haft in the hole. yeay!

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    I did manage to save it by carefully drilling out the broken piece of standoff.

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    All of the standoffs fits perfectly, time for a test with the board.

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    Fits like a charm. Now to the hard part, bending this sucker.

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    Man its tough to bend it. Who would have thought that 2mm aluminum whas this tough (psu is a broken one from work so dont worry).

    Well this will not work, lets try another plan.

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    Maby this will work ?!

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    It did not. Since i dont have a metal brake at work or at home i decided to build my own. Found some plans for a quite

    inexpensive one online. Next update will be trying to build that one.
     
  3. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #1

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    So i've gathered the materials needed for the DIY metal brake, a couple of scrap pieces of wood, some right angle aluminum rods, 2 hinges and a couple of screws.

    Some scrap wood i had left over from another project, i knew it was good to keep them.

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    All the pieces cut up to the right size and shape.

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    Some scrap pieces of right angle aluminum rods to keep the bending edges straight and sharp.

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    All the pieces cut to size ( 20cm ) now its time to glue them on.

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    One glued.

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    Second piece glued.

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    First two pieces glued, third is drying ( do not have a picture of that one ).

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    All of the pieces done! Now its just a matter of aligning these so we get a straight bend ( SPOILERS! that was harder then i thought ).

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    When i was mounting it together i noticed that the back of the brake did not sit straight so i had to make some supports for it.

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    And then to glue those on.

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    There we go, nice and straight!

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    I then proceeded to make some holes so that to bottom and top halves could be screwed together and the reason for all the holes is so that i can fasten it down as close to the material as possible. Having abit of modularity is allways nice.

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    And here we have the bending part attached to the brake. This proved to be a real pain to align properly.

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    Don't know if you guys can see it but the gap between these differ from one side to the other (in this picture i used the included screws that came with the hinges to fasten it together).

    I later had to switch to nuts and bolts to have some room to adjust the whole thing.

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    In the process of switching to nuts and bolts.

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    And now for the fun part, trying to bend this sucker.

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    Maaaan 2mm aluminum is tough.

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    FAIL! So this did not work, it bent abit as you can see but after this angle the screws started to rip out of the wood. Ive decided to redesign the motherboard tray
     
  4. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #2

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    The plan for this is to light up the "rays" in the logo in the correct colors so it looks like a prism getting white light in one end and the whole spectrum on the other end ( mine will only have 5 colors but you get the point ).

    This time my metal brake worked perfectly! It did not bend them perfect 90 degrees but a rubber mallet fixed that. I started to lay out the pattern for the tray and in the next update i will be starting to cut this out.

    So in the first to pictures you can see the new design for for motherboard tray. First of all the ammount of metal that is needed to be bent is

    far less this time (only 4cm in total). Second all i decided to incorperate the logo of the build into it.

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    So out with a "new" piece of aluminum and start measuring.

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    New piece cut out, now to make this one nice and square.

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    There we go!

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    Now to start measuring out where the sheet will be cut and bent.

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    Got my measurements and all of them are marked out. TO THE JIGSAW!

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    Far less material to bend.

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    Soooo...We meet again!

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    Lining it up.

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    This time it worked perfectly. The angle is not a perfect 90 right out of the brake but a good

    bashing with the rubber mallet fixed that.

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    Fresh out of the brake.

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    Now to get all the measurements for the pattern.

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    Nothing like a blank canvas.

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    Getting some of the markings out.

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    Triangle marked out.

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    Inside of the triangle and the rays are now marked.

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    Marked the pieces that are going to be cut out with a black marker so that i can instantly see where to cut.

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    Delivery! My acrylic sheets arrived today.

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    Time to cut it.

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    Started with a pilot hole so that i could insert my jigsaw.

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    Then i started to hack away at it.

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    Progress.

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    Even more progress. It's at this moment i started to realize that the holes between the rays are going to be a pain.

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    Voilá! One down, 6 more to go.

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    More progress.

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    5 more to go, i do not look forward to the 4 small ones.

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    And to spare you the pictures of me cutting yet again another hole, here is the final picture of todays work.
     
  5. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #3

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    So i decided to start cutting out the spaces between the "rays" in the pattern and i was prepared for this to take some time but it did not take very long at all.

    So i removed the tape and decided to mark the metal instead because it was just sliding around when i used the jigsaw.

    The black markings are just so that i quickly can see which ones are going to be removed.

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    Marking out where the pilot holes for the jigsaw is going to start.

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    Pilot holes drilled.

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    Was as i said expecting this to be more of a pain than it was. Now its just some filing to be done.

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    Some filing done [​IMG]

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    Everyone includes pictures of their pets in their logs but since i don't have one i decided to

    include my good friend Johnny Stone who in this picture is working on his new build.
     
  6. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #4

    Some more filing has been done since last time and the pattern is now complete! [​IMG]

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    It's quite amazing how much aluminum dust you are creating when you file stuff.

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    Nearly there!

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    Some of the small hand files i used. The flat, 45 degree and the box shaped ones got the most action.

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    And there we go! My small work light got to step in as a backlight so the pattern would pop as much as possible.

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    Starting to mark out the holes for the standoffs.

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    Holes marked out and ready to be made.

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    Standoffs are in!

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    Fits perfectly and as an added bonus the motherboard counterweighs the plate enough so it can stand on it's own.

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    The back looks really cool in my opinion, what do you guys think ?

    Next step will be to file down the back of the standoffs and figure out how i want to mount my LEDs and also mount the acrylic to the back of it (the tray will also be painted ofc).
     
  7. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #5

    So after a little break for festivities over midsommer it's time to start working on the project again.

    So now im going to file down the back of the standoffs so they will be flush with the back then go over the holes with some plastic padding to smooth it all out. I sprayed the back with a random spraycan just to see if the plastic padding was smooth or bumpy.

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    Then i decided to map out the holes for the LED's that are going to illuminate the rays in the pattern and also maping out the small groove thats going to be carved for the cables for those LED's. Started with drilling out the holes for the LED's and when the holes was made i started to connect the holes with the groove for the cable using a dremel. The job on the grooves could have been neater but this it's not going to matter since its going to be painted and it will also be on the back of the tray.

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    I decided to start by drilling the holes in the feet of the tray so that it could be fastened to the acrylic and then throw some paint on it (I just had time for one coat today).

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    After that i decided to make a mockup of the LEDs thats going to illuminate the rays in the logo to see if my calculations where correct. When assembling the components i noticed that i had the wrong resistors with me from home (took a 180ohm one when i needed a 380ohm one). But just to see that the calculations where correct i took 2 180ohm and 2 10ohm ones instead and it worked. I think i might connect a little "stronger" resistor on the yellow, green, blue and white connection since they are much brighter.

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  8. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #6

    So now its time to make the acrylic plate for the motherboard tray. I ordered a 2mm sheet when i ordered the other acrylic sheets but it seems like i put in the wrong measurements because it was to short. I decided to try a different design instead since i had the sheet and it would fit that design.

    What i decided to try was to make just the logo in acrylic instead och the whole plate. The main problem with this was that the 2mm acrylic was VERY flimsy when you start cutting it down to small strips and i ended up braking one off during the filing of it, RIP.

    So i decided to get a big enough piece instead and do the design i planed from the start. The new sheet is also abit thicker (4mm i think, did not check) so its not as fragile as the first one. This one was a 1000 times easier to work with and the results (before filing) looks quite nice.

    I also got my power switch today, YEAY! (just a month after it should have arrived).

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  9. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #7

    So to make things alot easier this time i decided to fasten the acrylic to the frame so i could accurately match it to the frame. Since i dont have a routing table i made my own out of the routing attachment for my dremel. I tried to just turn it on its side but it was to unstable.

    After a bit of routing it was time for some filing to get the last details fixed. The result looks quite nice and fits perfectly on the frame.

    (The white stripe on the last pic is just tape on the pallet in the background )

    I started by masking of the parts that's going to be clear and then went to town with the paint. After peeling of the masking tape i noticed some overspray but i manage to get rid of most of it.

    After letting them dry for a couple of hours in the summer heat i put the to pieces together. I had to drill into the acrylic a bit for the led's to reach further in and ofc to remove the black paint.

    It's always a good idea to test the components before gluing them to the frame and in my case it all looks good. So then i started to solder all of the wires and components together and gluing them down as i went around. After i had soldered on the resistors and the 3-pin fan connector i put a nice black sleeve on it and started to glue that to the frame so the connector would end up close to a connection on the motherboard. After testing it with a random psu i can't wait to get the motherboard and try it.

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  10. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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  11. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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  12. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #10

    So today a little package from Corsair arrived and as you can see it contained a Corsair SF600 ( i still can get over the small size of it [​IMG] ). I have built several computers at work with this psu and can without a doubt attest it's quality and performance so it's going to be an absolute joy installing it into the build. A big thanks to both Corsair and Johan Nyman for sending me this psu.

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  13. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #11

    After a couple of weeks of long hours infront of Fusion 360 i finaly have the file done and i just sent it away to the workshop (For those curious i used www.cotter.dk) and now i/you just have to wait [​IMG][​IMG].

    Since this might take a couple of days to arrive i started building the carry case for the chassi. I ordered a couple of wooden shelfs from Clas Ohlson that was close to the measurements that i wanted and also som hinges, right-angled brackets and a couple of latches. All i had time to do today was to measure up the pieces and i'll be cutting these in the coming days.

    And as always if you have any questions or comments please ask.

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  14. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #12

    So the acrylic has finaly arrived and it looks beautiful (i just had to take some pics on the small "pins" that was still left in some of the holes after the lasercutting). Now the only thing im waiting for is the addressable led strip that will go in the base of the case so i can start to assemble it :). I had ordered a "normal" rgb strip but i decided to go for an addressable instead since im now getting an Asus Z370i instead of the 270i which has an addressable header so we can do some cool animations and stuff, so stay tuned for more.

    I also decided to switch out the fan in the psu to a Noctua A9X14 just because. But since Noctua still thinks that beige and brown goes together i had to paint it.

    PS. A quick tip to anyone buying the A9X14 and are planing to paint it, beware that this fan is not built like most fans. The sticker on the back of a "regular" fan usually hides the axel and locking ring for the blades so you can separate the frame and the blades by removing the locking ring and just slide it off. This fan though does not, the back of the fan is sealed so if you are plaing to paint it you are going to have to do it with them attached.

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  15. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #13

    So i decided to test fit some of the components before i went home for the weekend and i think its turning out quite nice actually. I also decided to just solder on the 2-pin connector to the Noctua a9x14 that i painted earlier and mount it in the PSU, now im just going to remove the stickers on the side of it.

    PS. The motherboard in the picture is not the one im going to use it's just a broken one i found at work that im using to test fit everything.

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  16. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #14

    So ive decided on the components for the build and they are as follows,

    CPU: Intel i5 8400
    MOBO: Asus Z370-I
    MEMORY: Corsair LPX 16gb 2666mhz
    SSD: Intel 512gb 600p
    COOLER: Cryorig C7 or C1 (depends what fits [​IMG]:D)
    PSU: Corsair SF600 (Provided by Corsair)
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX 980ti ref (using my own gpu for now)

    I will be getting the components in a couple of days and while i wait ive started on the bottom plate for the case which is 2mm aluminum and making slots in the tray for the motherboard because i did not take the acrylic on the back in to account when i did the model in cad [​IMG]:p. When that one was done i started making the bracket for the gpu to screw in to but i did not get that far today.

    I also got my screws in from ebay yesterday so i decided to try a test fit of the sheets, what do you guys think [​IMG]:D?

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  17. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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  18. Forsberg Customs

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    Update #16

    So when i started making the bracket for the gpu i noticed a flaw in my design of the sheet folder i made, it's a bit to wide/deep so i had to modify it abit. After some modification of the "tool" (more like a pile of wood) i started to make the bracket. The idea is to use the same bolts that holds the layers together for the bracket and that worked out just fine. After some filing and sanding the bracket was done.

    I then proceeded to correct my misstake from before regarding the feet on the motherboard tray by making the holes into slots. So the only thing left to do on the motherboard tray is to repaint the feet and the back of it (got some scuffs).

    I also started to put some paint on the bottom plate and i will do the same with the gpu bracket in the coming days.

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  19. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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    Update #17

    Alot of stuff has happend since last time. Since DHW 2017 is just around the corner i have pretty much stayed over at work building this week (including today).

    So to start things off ive now painted both the gpu bracket and touched up some minor scuffs on the backside of the motherboard tray (including cutting down the screws for the plexi on the back so they dont stick out. I've also sanded the "rays" on the logo to give them a frosted look (thx Metallicacid Customs PCs for the suggestion).

    After that was done i took of the ugly sticker on the side of the PSU and got started on the power button. I took the broken motherboard i have as a mockup for the new one since it looked like both of them had the connectors in pretty much the same place (they did not but more on that later [​IMG]:p) and started to solder the connectors to the button and then sleeved the whole thing.

    After i was done with the switch i started on the carrying case for the computer since i was still waiting for the rgb-strip to arrive. I decided to make it very simple by attaching the sides with L-brackets and when all sides are done some wood glue. The inside of it does not have to be pretty since i will be covering it all up with foam so that the pc will have comfy ride in it.

    (SUNDAY)
    So today i finally have the rest of the components and the rgb-strip. I started by putting the bottom layer on the plate so that i could see how long the strips would be and then cut all to size and stick them on the plate with the bottom layer as a guide for them. I then started the almost infuriatingly fiddly task of soldering on some short cables between them (it took some time but i got eventually). I then soldered on the connector for the motherboards 3-pin rgb header and put the other layers on for a test fit.

    After some testing with the other layers it was time to open up some of the componentes. After everything was mounted to the board i mounted it to the motherboard tray and discovered that i had designed it so that i could reach the other m.2-slot without removing everything (totally ment to do that..it was not a happy accident at all...). And now the moment of truth..have i been a colossal asshat and soldered something wrong?

    Luckily for me i had soldered everything just fine, check it out [​IMG][​IMG].

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  20. Forsberg Customs

    Forsberg Customs Member

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