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Case Mod - In Progress StarCraft 2 - Day Zero (Terran) by Envious Mods (COMPLETED)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by EnviousMods, 27 Apr 2015.

  1. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    After doing a ton of work on the panels for the louvers I realized that I messed up one of the angles on the panels. It was less than a few millimeters off but, to me thats an issue. Luckily the issue wasn't too difficult to rectify but, it took a decent portion of my time today. I also came up with an ingenious mounting solution for the louvered panels.

    Mounting The Louvers:

    I mounted a rail system on either side of the optical bay mounts. This gave me something to mount the panels to. I could have just mounted the panels to the plastic but, it would have been difficult to reach as well as adjust. Using the rails gives it a sturdy mount as well as makes installation a breeze. I still have a few adjustments to make on the louvers. The top piece needs a little more of the mount shaved back which will give it more range of movement.

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    Finalizing The Last Bits of The Case:

    The plan is to add a bezel around the outer edge of the louvers. This will give it more dimension and add to the overall Terran look. I will be out of town for about a week. This will give me time to finalize the CAD design of the case. The front and back panel are the main parts that need the design finished. The rest of the case is primarily finalized.

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  2. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    I still have a ways to go on the build but, I've had quite a few requests for before and after pics. I went through the pics that I have so that you can see the comparison between the 12+yr old case it started as and the current state.

    Before & After (Current Progress) :

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  3. _TechPuppet_

    _TechPuppet_ What's a Dremel?

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    Really like what you did with the louvers, looks sick.
     
  4. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Thanks TechPuppet! Right now I have them mocked up in the custom rail system I built. The rail setup makes them adjustable because I relocated the PSU to the optical bay. The PSU pulls fresh air through the top and exhausts through the front Louvers. Once I get back to the shop I will be painting them and they will look a lot better. Thanks for checking out the log.
     
  5. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Cable Management:

    I have had lots of emails and messages asking, “what crazy ideas are you going to implement for cable management?” I decided to move the PSUs mounting location from the top rear to the top 3 slots of the optical bay. Moving the PSU allowed me to really take the cable management to the extreme. I had a few requirements when coming up with the cable management for the case. It had to be accessible, efficient, look great and work no matter what PSU is used.


    Designing The New CM Setup:

    It can accommodate everything from a standard ATX PSU to a beastly full modular PSU. There is also spare space for add-ons. Everything from controllers to SSDs. The difficult part about the design was to get it to work correctly with the all air cooling system. The bottom portion has cutouts filled with mesh which will allow the air to flow freely out the top of the case. I plan to do extensive smoke tests to work out any potential trouble spots after its all mocked up.

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    More than likely I will make the cable management section by using aluminum to frame it out and add thin acrylic to sheet it in. Once its all painted it'll look nice and clean. Having options when it comes to running cables is always a plus. I have to make the section so that it can be taken out using a couple hand turn knobs. This will make PSU swaps much easier as well as future add-ons/modifications.

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  6. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Cable Management: The Build

    Ive started taking measurements and cutting the required pieces to build the cable management shroud. I used a 90 degree bracket and a rod to support the bottom piece that has cable passthroughs. I decided to integrate the LEDs into this setup as well. Doing so will allow the LEDs to be hidden but, easily accessed through the side or rear of the case. The rear access panel has already been built and only requires two bolts to be removed.

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    After I had the main pieces cut I moved onto measuring out the passthroughs, vents and LED sub mount. I drilled a couple holes so that I could cut out the inner pieces on my scroll saw. Once everything is cut out I moved on to filing and sanding all of the edges. I also sanded the top and bottom so that the acrylic could be painted.

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    PSU Swaps & Access:

    I need to figure out a quick release setup to get the PSU in and out. I want to make it as easy as possible to switch out the PSU. The way I've designed the cable management allows easy access to all the wiring for the system.
     
  7. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    LED Testing:

    Ive started to do more extensive LED testing on the StarCraft case. There are a couple places that would be a good start for testing. The new cable management setup was planned as a mounting location for some of the LEDs because its a great location to hide the wiring.

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    The next location that was planned to have LEDs is the custom hard drive/SSD rack that I built. It took quite a long time to build the tray system but, its one of my favorite parts of the case. Back lighting the trays will look especially awesome once the hardware is all mounted.

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    The last two places to test is the louvered front and the triple fan exhausts on the top of the case. I haven't tested out the louvers yet but the 3 X 120mm XSPC fans look great with a soft glow. Next up is going to be hyper white and cool white LEDs. I'll post updates as soon as I get a chance to test.

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  8. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    The Test Painting Process:

    As with a lot of my builds I commonly test paint pieces if I'm undecided between colors. Today was a great day to paint due to ambient temps. I tool the opportunity to paint the louvers on the case as well.

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    Side Panel: Right

    Originally I was going to cut the side panels out of metal but, I recently acquired a bunch of thinner acrylic that will work perfectly. The (right) side panel has a several layers needed to pull of the design. The bottom layer is slightly thicker than the top layer. The Terran Eagle will be mounted on this side of the case. Ive also been debating on adding a thin acrylic backing to the Terran Eagle. Doing so will give it a more polished look. I haven't completely decided if I will keep the Terran Eagle yet. I have to pick up more paint to finish these panels tomorrow.

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    Side Panel: Left

    The (left) side panel is one of my favorite parts of the case. Ive added an extensive cooling setup since this case will have higher end parts that will all be air cooled. The GPUs have two side mounted 120mm Corsair fans that will keep them nice and cool. These side mounted fans will pull in cool air. The side panel will also have the Terran shield logo mounted on it as well. I will be cutting the clearances very close between the 2 side mounted fans and the inside support. I should have a few mm to spare.

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    Update: Left Side Panel

    I decided to add more dimension to the (left) side panel after the main piece was cut. I would also like to hide the bolt heads used to mount the fans. I came up with an add-on that will fulfill those requirements. The new piece goes around the 2X120mm fans to create a bezel that carries on the design queues found throughout the case.

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    Small Design Changes:

    I have made a few minor design changes to certain parts of the case. Most of the changes are done to increase ease of use and future upgrade/maintenance. I feel that an extensive case mod should still be usable and upgradable. With some builds its an after thought because as modders we customize to fit one need instead of future needs. Once the two side panels are finished and the front panel gets covered I will be getting very close to the hardware phase.
     
  9. Sanjaya

    Sanjaya Minimodder

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    This is one sick build
     
  10. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Thanks for checking out my build Sanjaya. I appreciate you taking the time to look at it.
     
  11. Sanjaya

    Sanjaya Minimodder

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    Keep up the good work :)
     
  12. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Will do. Sometimes it takes me a bit longer due to doing it all myself by hand but, I think it's worth the extra effort. :thumb:
     
  13. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Top Panel:

    Now that I have a good portion of the side panels finished I have turned my attention to the top panel. I will be getting paint soon so that the side panels can be completed. One thing that really bothered me with the top panel is being able to see 12 screws used to mount the 3X120mm XSPC fans. It took me a bit to come up with a solution that I liked. Recently I came across a bunch of thin acrylic. Im going to use a 1.5mm acrylic sheet to cover the top of the panel. The plan is to file the edges at an angle so that it will taper into the case.

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    Paint: Top Pieces, Brads & Cross Brace

    The top 4 pieces of acrylic that make up the accent pieces have already been sanded and filed. All they needed was a light sanding on the top/bottom as well as a quick cleaning before paint.

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    The little bolt surrounds or brads are a chrome color. I decided that they really should be painted to match the accent color. Luckily the chrome coating is very thin and was easily sanded off. Im using a coat of self etching primer before the blue goes on. Doing so will help the paint stick better. I want to get the blue as close as I can to the Terran blue found in the game (StarCraft.)

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    I test painted the cross brace in blue to see how it would look. I haven't decided if I will test it in the grey that will be used on the case.

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    Front Panel:

    I cut the thin acrylic for the front panel. This will serve as a clean slate to add the pieces needed to make this into the SC2 case I had envisioned. The space for the louvers and the one optical bay have been cut out as well. I just have a little more filing to do to the panel before its ready. The acrylic SC2 logo I made at the start of the log will be mounted on the front panel. There is also a custom flip up panel towards the bottom which will house audio jacks and USB plugs. The power/reset switch mounting location hasn't been determined yet.

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  14. Farsan

    Farsan What's a Dremel?

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    You are doing it A-WE-SO-ME!!! Keep going, man.
    Congrats!
     
  15. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Thanks Farsan. I appreciate the comments.
     
  16. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Right Side Panel:

    After about an hour of sanding the right panel is ready for paint. This panel will be painted flat white as shown in the sketchup designs. There are 4 acrylic panels that will go over parts of this panel. I am going to test paint some of the panels in blue. Originally these panels were to be painted grey but, I figured it would be neat to see what it would look like in blue.

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    Update: Right Side Panel

    After painting the panels in blue I think I will keep it this way for the final color choice. The blue really makes the side panels pop.

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    Update: Front Panel

    I have also decided to try out a new idea I had for the front panel. The change to the front panel will really bring the design together as well as give it an original look. I will start cutting out the new panels for the front today. Ideas for the power/reset buttons will also be explored. Since writing this entry I've made some progress on the front panel. Currently I'm work on the insert panels, switches, indicator LEDs and the USB door.

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  17. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Front Panel: Tying In The Design

    I decided to make a few changes to the front panel of the case. The reason I did this was to tie the design cues together. Using pieces of thin acrylic I managed to match the design to the rest of the case. Im very happy with the result. the back pieces of the front and top panel still need to be painted black in order for my design to come together.

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    3D Printed Bits:

    I will be 3D printing a custom SC2 logo for the front of the case which will replace the one made out of acrylic. I have already 3D printed a bezel that is mounted on the front of the case. The new bezel surrounds the USB port. There is a flip up cover that protects the panel when its not in use.


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    Left Side Panel & Paracord:

    I started to bolt the Terran shield to the acrylic panel using hexed headed bolts. Doing so will also help support the acrylic panel and adhere it to the metal side panel. I took the time to sand the actual panel so that it can be prepped for paint. It took a little while to sand out any pitting or scratches. I took the opportunity to wrap the power and reset switches in black paracord. I managed to fit two cables in one sleeve which came out looking great.

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  18. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Left Side Panel: Mock-ups

    I test fit the left side panel for the first time since I cut it apart and made all the additions. Once I was able to test fit everything I realized that I had to make two small adjustments to the back piece of the panel. I used a round file and a dremel to make a small notches to create the needed clearance. Once cleaned up and painted; you wont be able to tell that they were added. The two side mounted 120mm fans look great but, they will be beneficial to help cool the GPUs. This setup will be all on air and extensive smoke tests will be done once I have all the panels mocked up.

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    New Accent Panel:

    I had to take measurements required to make an accent back plate for the Terran shield. This will help to carry the new design changes to this side panel. The new back plate is 10mm wider than the Terran shield and it will be painted blue. Ive already sanded this panel to prep it for a flat black paint job as previously mentioned. I just finished making the template and mounted on acrylic so that I can hopefully cut it out later today.

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  19. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    Backplate For The Terran Shield:

    After a short break I was able to cut the backplate for the Terran Shield out of thin acrylic. I had to sand and file the edges as I do with the majority of the acrylic I work with. I used the thicker acrylic sheild with the carbon fiber as a template for the drill holes. Once I was able to mock-up everything, it was time for some test paint. I decided to go with blue which helps to tie in all the outer panels on the case. Now it will have a cohesive look with and without the panels on. After the (left) side panel is test fit I don't have a whole lot of fabrication work left to do.

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    Cable Management Shroud:

    I started looking around the case to take some mental notes of the work left to do. I quickly noticed that I forgot to paint the base cover for the cable management passthroughs. It was a no brainer as far as color choice goes. It had to be flat white to match the mobo tray. The mounts for the LEDs still need to be finished as well. I managed to custom make a few cables.

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    Custom Cables & Sleeving:

    The first cable started with a 4 pin plug and split into 2 seperate 2-pin plugs. The other cable was a standard 4-pin to 4-pin cable. I also managed to get 2 cables per paracord sleeve which helps keep the wires organized.

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    Last edited: 14 Jul 2015
  20. EnviousMods

    EnviousMods Minimodder

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    [​IMG]

    Experimental GPU Backplate:

    I couldn't help but, build a GPU backplate for the EVGA GTX 970 SC that will be going in this case. I haven't made a good dual layer backplate in a while so I figured that this was a great opportunity to do so. After going online I found a few pictures of the EVGA logo as well as one of Nvidia's logos. All I had to do was print them on paper so that I could determine how I wanted everything laid out.

    I decided to orient the Nvidia design so that it looked like it was sliding off the plate. This helps to give it an original look vs a lot of laser cut versions. Once the template was finished, I mounted it to two sheets of acrylic and cut them out. I still have a lot of filing left to do in order to get it looking perfect. When the finish work is done it will be prepped for paint. More than likely I will go with white and blue for the color scheme.

    The Process:

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