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Scratch Build – In Progress Project : Zotac ITX Rebox -12th Feb - Completed - MOTM nominee

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by bugeye, 8 Nov 2011.

  1. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    My first scratch build was this .....

    [​IMG]

    It's a HTPC that uses a ZOTAC IONITX-P-E , a pico psu and laptop brick and runs XBMC to stream from a server . When I built it I needed a graphic card with an analogue out so that I could connect to a crt television . Now that I've joined the 21st century with a tv with a hdmi connection I don't need the graphic card . I added a vent above the cpu fan and that seems to work well enough for cooling .

    The card now lives in my second project , this another HTPC with an ASUS AT3IONT-I Deluxe ....

    [​IMG]

    The project log for it is here


    So there is no need for the extra space I thought it was time to make a new case for it . I was happy with the look my second project so I'm going for the same sort of look only smaller about 200mm by 200mm by 70mm .

    Dubious sketchup picture .....

    [​IMG]


    The main difference between my new build and the Asus build is really the constuction . I want to make something that is simpler to build and that I can get parts laser cut for so that I can make more for friends etc .

    So 4mm acrylic it is then ;)

    First part is the base and internal sides . I want to do this as one part with the feet as part of it .

    I've not bent acrylic before so all a bit experimental for me .

    First a jig ...

    [​IMG]

    First trial piece , only a 50mm wide strip .

    [​IMG]

    I didn't really like the sort of double radius at the point shown by the arrow .

    So I had another go with an extra clamp ... you can see the tighter curve on the right .

    [​IMG]

    Going to try out a full size one now :):)
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2012
    Razer2007 likes this.
  2. Razer2007

    Razer2007 Building Proxima

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    Hey nice bending. What did you use to heat it up? Is that a heatgun lying there?

    I also LOVE the design
     
  3. bruce_rob

    bruce_rob New Member

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    The looks like the ACRYAN media boxes, i like it, i will be interested to see how it turns out. good luck
     
  4. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Yep a heatgun .... I have been thinking about making a strip heater but it wouldn't really work on this as I don't think I could get it in the jig quickly enough .

    Bruce rob .... just had a look at them and you're right :) I think it's a case of form follows function , only so many ways to make a simple box out of perspex :)
     
  5. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    So first attempt at a full size one .... sort of good and sort of bad :lol:

    Blank in the jig about to get heated ...

    [​IMG]

    First bend ... waiting for it to cool .

    [​IMG]

    And the second .

    [​IMG]

    So all sort of works but a couple of problems ...

    I think I'm taking out of the jig before it's cool enough , it's hard to see but the sides aren't at 90 degrees . I think it's distorting as it cools unevenly . Easy fix I think .... leave it it longer .

    [​IMG]

    Second problem , the ends of the acrylic are bulging out . I think my jig is too tight and it's forcing the acrylic out as it bends , you can't see it in the picture but there is a sharp line on the inside of the 'foot' where the jig is pushed into it .

    [​IMG]


    I think I need to radius the parts of the jig that push into the acrylic .
     
  6. Razer2007

    Razer2007 Building Proxima

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    For the points bulging out - It happens. Just use a file and take it off.
     
  7. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    /this

    Otherwise, nice to see another mini ITX project :thumb:
     
  8. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Yes a file ... that works :duh: :hehe:
     
  9. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Last edited: 8 Nov 2011
  10. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Thanks Guille .... good reading and I've got most of the bits to make one kicking around somewhere :)
     
  11. The_Gnu

    The_Gnu 8-bit addict

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    Looking good. I love mini-itx projects.
    That acrylic rig bender of yours is really nice. I havn't really tried that much acrylic bending myself but as Razer2007 said about the points bulging out. Im pretty shure it happens even for professional acrylic benders.

    I think the softer (warmer) the material is in the bend, the more it will bulge out. And since you seem to be heating and making all three bends in one go you'll get more of it. If possible, cutting the right shape in the end is often the best way.

    Keep it up:thumb:
     
  12. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Thanks Gnu I'm about half way through reading your itx project .... so impressive :jawdrop:

    I think this has got a lot to do with it and a slight problem with my jig . I've made it so that the blank is a tight fit on both sides , I was worried about keeping everything square ( with the clamp on the right hand side it's not a problem I now realise ) .

    When you make the bend the blank has to slide in the unclamped side . Because there is a lot of friction it's harder to bend so I keep heating longer than I need to . When I did the test bits which are a loose fit they bent much more easily , so I didn't heat them as long and i got a much cleaner bend .
     
  13. DesertFox

    DesertFox Member

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    I like the look of this! I'm planning an ITX build, so will be following this with interest :)
     
  14. bruce_rob

    bruce_rob New Member

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    cracking idea, i love casses made with plexi, you should think about making and selling the casses
     
  15. Knighthammer

    Knighthammer New Member

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    Look'n good - going to watch this one.
     
  16. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Thanks for the comments :)

    It's in the back of my mind to try selling them .I did think about out with my second project but it's a bit labour intensive to make so I think it would work out too expensive.

    With this one I'm trying to keep everything simple to make myself or get laser cut.

    I'm not sure if it will work out but worth a try?
     
  17. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    So I spent this afternoon working on this project ....

    [​IMG]

    And I finally got one the right size and pretty square :)

    [​IMG]

    But I've run into problem if I want to make a few of these .

    They all come out a slightly different size . Not by much .... about 1mm but it would mean that various parts of the case wouldn't line up :(

    I think the triple bend is just too complicated for me make with any sort of consistency .

    I'm going to make myself a strip heater as per GuilleAcoustic's link and try again with a simple corner .

    Mean while I've got another idea for the Zotac :)
     
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  18. Razer2007

    Razer2007 Building Proxima

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    Looks good. Don't scratch this idea man! It's cool!
     
  19. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    Strip Heater

    So I've got a new plan for this , same sort of look but a couple of changes to the construction .

    I've got some 2mm acrylic now so all I need is a strip heater . Rather than start a new thread I thought I'd put in here :)

    First step I dug out my old foam cutter and power supply from when I made and flew RC gliders . Still working after 15 years but I suppose there isn't much to go wrong with it :lol:

    [​IMG]

    I want the wire to stay straight when it gets hot and expands so some sort of tensioning thingy is needed ....

    Brackets .

    [​IMG]

    Some bolts with springs .

    [​IMG]

    Tensioning thingy fitted with the wire and electrical connection

    [​IMG]

    Test run .... it's hot and it's straight ;)

    [​IMG]

    Seems there is something that can go wrong .... just after I took the picture the wire snapped :worried: luckily it's not under much tension so I didn't get whipped by a bit of red hot wire , maybe a bit too much heat for my 15 year old wire :duh:

    Anyway running repair until I get some new wire .

    [​IMG]

    Finished :)

    [​IMG]

    And a bent bit of acrylic .....

    [​IMG]

    And if you're really interested a video of the tensioning thingy in action ....

     
  20. bugeye

    bugeye Sleep Deprived

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    So a quick rough and ready test run of my new plan :)

    Internal bit , I'll make the corner cut outs neater on the real thing .

    [​IMG]

    With the cover .

    [​IMG]

    So far so good , the parts are square and the right size :) The only problem is the top sags slightly . I though about fitting a brace to support it but I'm trying to keep everything as simple as possible . Second idea was to inset the front panel instead of fitting it on the front but then I lose the clean look of the front .

    Then I realised .... turn it through 90 degrees inset the sides . Clean look to the front and support for the top :)

    [​IMG]


    So as I'm giving a bit of thought to trying to sell these on ebay or similar I'd be interested in peoples thoughts .... good and bad . I do realise that a forum full of people who make cases for a hobby perhaps isn't the target audience but I've got to start somewhere :)

    Particularly interested in thoughts on size .... it's current internal sizes are 190mm wide by 200mm deep by 75mm tall .

    The height comes from the itx form factor which says 57mm max height plus 15mm stand off's to allow the drive to be mounted under the mother board plus 3mm clearance .

    The width gives 10mm clearance at the sides for cables etc and the depth a bit more , about 30mm to allow for the power switch .

    Ventilation..... does it need to be able to take a fan ? You could fit a 10mm thick fan under the mobo . I think it will need some sort of vent in the top .

    I'm aiming to get the cost to about £40 to £45 plus P&P ... worth it ? I need to get costs for the laser cutting to work it out properly but I can't do that until I've got the design sorted .

    Any other thoughts ????
     
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