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Case Mod - Complete Project Trinity

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by DeZoTriX, 11 Jul 2019 at 19:07.

  1. DeZoTriX

    DeZoTriX New Member

    7 Nov 2018
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    Hi everybody!

    Let me introduce myself! Since I really fell in love with PC modding and building in general not to long go I am kind of step by step signing up in different forums to publish my own experiences with starting out. I've been hooked since 2016 when I first built my very first rig which is indeed the case I used for this case mod and that would be the classic Fractal Design Define S. Not long after that I went all in by making a custom loop configuration with the Thermaltake Core P5, as I was always keen on building a water cooled build just for the aesthetics even way before I even had a PC. After a successful first hardline build I instantly got hooked and so I did more and more research on making a build really stand out from the rest and I found this whole 'modding' community which was honestly the best thing that happened to me. And so it began ,by time I got enough courage to start my first case mod and since the budget was a little tight I thought why not re-use my first beloved case which was meant for watercooling anyways. One of the first few things was getting proper tools, and since I have somewhat a mild OCD I needed a CNC router, so I did my research and bought a Stepcraft 840 (the whole process of building and learning how to use CAD, CAM software took quite some time off the project). So when everything was set I actually started to focus my mind on design, material choice and the overall custom loop layout.

    The picture below was the very first sketch I made for this build and the foundation for all upcoming implementations and so a lot of trouble was heading my way which I was not prepared for. :D


    First thing I got to work on was the actual front of the case, since the standard Define S front looks too minimalistic in my opinion. I got initially inspired by Parvum Systems with their well known acrylic chassis. This was the design I ended up with and I was happy till the end, which I created with Fusion 360. I did two layers of this design with a slight offset to create that nice 3D look.


    My first few tries on the new CNC, getting everything right before actually milling the real parts, just to make sure I hit the right speeds and feeds. This part was just a quick draw for testing.


    So after dialing in the machine I took the first try on making the front with clear acrylic which was painted black afterwards. Sadly though the results were way off so the piece was unusable after the first try, but I still did a quick n' dirty paint job just to see the result on the yellow satin/frosted acrylic piece which was used as the background for all of the layers, and I was excited to see that it actually came out pretty nice. First success in this build log so far!


    One of the first few little things I got when starting out with modding was a small vinyl cutter to create my own stickers or decals. The project name was already set so I wanted to add a very small detail on the front panel.


    After that I successfully painted the first layer from the front panel, a second one was added after so you'll that later because at that point I thought one was enough, but it looked off to me overall, there was just something missing. :eek:


    Next up was the PSU shroud, just to make sure I have a possibility to hide all of the unnecessary cable mess and give the rig an overall more stealthy look. Now you'll see that I made some minor and major changes throughout the whole process of building this machine depending on the problems I occurred to. The shroud is the best example, I initially wanted to have a hardline tube run all across the whole PSU shroud, too bad I didn't take the actual PSU into account :oops: Simple solution: shorten the tube run! Nonetheless the main concept was still being used, and so I began working on the different acrylic parts that would need to be glued together. My first plan was to bend the acrylic but that was just not possible with my custom bending machine. So acrylic weld it was! Below are some pre-steps I made such as measuring the base of the shroud and getting a feel for how it will look in the end.



    This was the whole preparation phase, next up was the implementation by welding all of the milled out parts together to achieve that nice square look. Prior to that I did some dremel work to the case to make sure the shroud would fit in the end. This was a tight fit after all, also taking the tube run into account, so I could mount the tempered glass side panel afterwards.

    Last edited: 11 Jul 2019 at 19:42
  2. DeZoTriX

    DeZoTriX New Member

    7 Nov 2018
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    Here I let the weld dry with some UV lighting. Next up was getting the primer on the shroud so it can finally be painted in a nice matte black finish. Not looking bad thus far!


    And again I felt like I was missing something, so I added a few details to get a richer look in the end. Those two pieces made all the difference!



    So here it is, PSU shroud all finished. On to the next task: Installing watercooling components!

    NOTE: Due to the upload file restriction I'll update this as soon as possible, since the build is technically finished!​
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

    13 May 2007
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    That's a great start. :D
    I'm guessing you had access issues with the cover plate and plumbing inside?

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