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Scratch Build – In Progress STRUCTUR-AL-UMINIUM

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by tp148, 6 Dec 2011.

  1. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Hi there,

    This is my second attempt at a project log.

    My first one didn't get off the ground as I think my ideas were a bit too ambitious and I didn't have a consistent flow of ideas/designs that were ready to be turned into tangible parts.

    This time I've taken a step back, thought about what I want to do and have not set a deadline so I don't feel inclined to rush any aspects of the project.

    The frame of this case will be made from extruded aluminium. Most other parts will be machined from alu' hence the name of this project...

    which by the way is provisional so if any readers have any better ideas please don't hesitate to suggest them to me!

    I'm not going to post renders or CAD screen shots I'm just going to let it take shape and let the progress be revealed photo by photo.

    So here goes:


    First, bought some 20x20mm cross section extruded aluminium from a well known engineering suppliers. 2 x 3m lengths in total

    Then, cut them to 2 different lengths, for the length and the width of the frame.

    Next, milled all 4 matching pieces in one hit to ensure exact same lengths and perfectly square ends to aid assembly of the frame.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apologies for the grainy pictures, they were taken on a phone camera as that's all I had on me at work whilst in the machine shop.

    Several weeks back I butchered an old HP workstation out of the skip for it's motherboard tray.
    I cut the unnecessary features off with, yes you guessed it, a :dremel: !

    Placed this inside the cut pieces of Extrusion to get a feel for possible component placement.
    My intention is to hide all the PSU cables underneath the motherboard tray, which is why I've raised it in this photo:
    The PSU will be mounted where you see the piece of paper in the far left corner of the frame. The component cables will exit the PSU under the bottom edge of the motherboard tray and be covered from view.

    [​IMG]


    The Next parts to be machined are some plates to hold the pieces of extrusion together.
    I cut 8 bits of 3mm plate by hand to rough dimensions and then clamped them all together and milled them to dead size simultaneously to achieve exact dimensions, just as with the long lengths of alu.

    [​IMG]


    That's all I have photos of so far guys. tomorrow I intend to annihilate some machine screws to make them short enough to screw the frame together and hopefully photograph the basic frame once it's assembled.

    Cheers
     
  2. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Finally got the frame screwed together.
    Thanks to a friend of mine/another computer enthusiast, Chris, for being my second pair of hands.

    Couple of photos for you all:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. The_Gnu

    The_Gnu 8-bit addict

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    Whooho!!.. first to comment

    Looking good so far.
    You know, now that you have showed us that big mill of yours, we are expecting it to be working a lot:D

    I like the round profile corners.
    Keep it up:thumb:
     
  4. Fuganater

    Fuganater New Member

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    Looks like a great start. +sub
     
  5. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Thanks Gnu!
    And don't worry, HDD/SSD/ODD brackets will be milled! amongst other things...

    Thanks Fuganater!

    More work this coming week hopefully...
     
  6. bguilleminot

    bguilleminot New Member

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    Good start, I will be following ;)
     
  7. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Looking good so far.:D What Gnu said is right. Once you flashed that monster mill at us, expectations went up.
     
  8. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Well I'll do my best to deliver. I must admit the Bridgeport is my favourite tool though as I don't have a :dremel: ;)

    She produced some more goods today, no photos as of yet though, don't have any good lighting at home or work I'm afraid :(

    Anyway thanks for the support so far guys :)
     
  9. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Right guys, i know it's been almost 6 months, you probably all thought i'd failed to complete my 2nd project attempt right? :p

    Well there was Christmas, then degree coursework, girlfriend, family illness, and a full time job, blah blah blah!!

    I've finally found time and motivation to continue the work, so this week i bring you the next component i have been working on.

    The_Gnu and Cheapskate were both hoping for more evidence of machining, so here are some lovely CNC pics for you, enjoy:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you hadn't worked it out it's a one-piece alu billet PSU mount!

    Here's more:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Apologies for the poor quality pics, light is crap at work and didn't have my proper digital camera with me.

    Later this week hopefully should have this mounted in the chassis and the motherboard tray supported properly, stay tuned.

    Cheers.
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    OOh, That's puurty.:D
    See you in October!:lol:
     
  11. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    LOL! bit before then hopefully my friend.
     
  12. that_du^de

    that_du^de give your head a wobble

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    yup! as soon as i seen the mill i thought here we go! nice bit of fabing to......and that psu mount should be hung in a photo frame on the wall (in MY house). are you going to cover the 4 brks on each side with alu? this is looking good mate cant wait to see whats next!!

    du^de
     
  13. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Thanks!

    It could almost be a photo frame in its own right!

    Sorry I'm not sure what you mean by brks?
    If you mean the other sides of the power supply then no, i'd like to leave the unit visible as Silverstone have done a pukka job of powder coating it, and also it would be a shame to hide the logo imo!

    Thanks! Updates friday hopefully!

    Cheers
     
  14. AnG3L

    AnG3L Ultimate Modder

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    Wooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  15. xXSebaSXx

    xXSebaSXx Active Member

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    I was wondering who would be the one to make use of the aluminium extrusions for a scratch build... :D That stuff is just great to work with isn't it? I've tinkered with it a bit when helping a friend build some display cases for his store a few years ago.
    What size extrusions did you get? I'm planning a case frame with them (here in the US they're known as 80/20 extrusions) and haven't figured out if I should go with the 20x20mm extrusions (good compromise between strength and space) or maybe go up to the 25x25mm units. That gives me access to all the accessories they make for them that don't fit the 20x20 parts... Like linear bearings and hidden hinges (I'm thinking sliding side panels that then open like a normal door)... :D
    Either way... great start; I look forward to seeing more of this mod.
     
  16. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    @xXSebaSXx:
    It really is, so easy and versatile!

    This stuff is 20x20, i thought anything bigger would make the case look disproportionate.

    You might get away with 25x25 but i'd be hesitant personally, up to you!

    I like that idea, there must be some place that does accessories for the 20mm stuff...

    Thanks for the support mate!
     
  17. that_du^de

    that_du^de give your head a wobble

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    sorry my goof....brks is short for brackets! the 4 on each side that hold the 20x20 together at the corners mate.
     
  18. Noob?

    Noob? New Member

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    Thats got to be one of the sturdiest PSU brackets I've seen.
     
  19. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    They are aluminium plate, 3mm thick, i was looking at them today and thought, they don't look right, they might soon be replaced by some nice machined ones instead of roughly milled/filed jobbies.

    It's a beast, the PSU doesn't droop one bit once it's screwed in. In fact i think the screws are the only part of the whole arrangement i don't trust!

    Cheers
     
  20. tp148

    tp148 New Member

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    Ok so today's update is here, been at work in the machine shop all evening,
    First thing was to trench out the rail across the bottom of the frame to accommodate the stupid lip that the motherboard tray features,

    Here's a milling action shot:

    [​IMG]

    Here's how the thing looks in place, much cleaner imo:

    [​IMG]

    There'll be another bar of 20x20 extrusion behind the one with the trench cut into it. This one will be what the motherboard tray actually fixes to.


    I built the system loosely into the chassis this morning to get a feel for space inside, decided that the whole thing was too long and too high, i shaved 50mm off the overall length so there is now no gap between the PSU bracket and the end of the motherboard tray. There is also now only 15mm of space for the 8pin power cable to fit through, at the top end of the case. Closing these gaps up has made the layout of everything look ten times better! Pics soon hopefully.

    Cheers
     

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