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Scratch Build – In Progress T.R.O.N [V4]

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by andy_mcp1, 26 Sep 2010.

  1. andy_mcp1

    andy_mcp1 I may have an I.D-10T error...

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    Project - T.R.O.N [V4]

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    Hi all, this SFF uATX case design is based on the soon to be released Tron Legacy movie and the associated the Razer Tron set of Gaming peripherals.

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    Design

    I’ve called this case V4 simply because this is the fourth revision of my design. I won’t go into the details of my original designs, but if you want a look you can see some of them on this thread ( http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=193905 ).

    The design remit for this project is Small, Light (portable for LANing) and Cool (for OCing CPU & GPU). As per my previous thread, I found that the best means of keeping the case cool, light weight and as small as possible was to use an Air cooled set up. My last case was an water cooled i7 920 rig, which enjoyed the benefits of large (too large) case/space, big enough to mount a dual radiator (a min for big CPU OC’s) and the rest of the components. The weight, volume of space and performance of these components vs a Titan Fenrir made for an easy choice, Air it was to be.

    Following several months of meticulous planning on Sketch-Up (and kerythea) I finally concluded my design after the fourth 3D model/component arrangement of the case. I manage to get the case dimensions down to 190mm Wide, 320mm Long, 350mm Tall.

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    Case Construction

    The case is to be constructed from 5mm Acrylic outer shell, braced by an internally mounted 2mm aluminium shell. I don’t intend to build a frame as such as the thickness of aluminium bars will only clash with components and force me to increase the size of the case. The inner shell should reinforce the outer shell making it rigid through the bends in the aluminium. The case will be held together with brass heated inserts, pop-rivets and araldite. After weeks of looking up the net I found LightTape to achieve the lighting effect I was after. You can have a look at their product here – http://www.lighttape.co.uk/, a change from the old LEDs and a more uniform light over longer distances. The cooling will come from 2, 140mm fans mounted at the front of the case, and there is a strip air gap (lit up slit above) along the front and top for the case to breath.

    To save putting a heap of pics on this log, I’ll just upload the Sketch-up file for anyone to look at or to use for themselves ( http://www.mediafire.com/?g6fb32t87117c7q ). From this you'll have noticed I’m missing a few items. Firstly, I have not decided what to do with the HDD mounting arrangement yet, and still to design a frame for that. Secondly, I have skipped out putting a DVD Rom in, simply because I have an external USB one which is good enough for my needs and saves me having to bend down (being a short case) to slot the next disk in as the external one presently sits next to my monitor. Thirdly I haven’t bother to put in headphone jacks or USB front ports in as I never use headphone and have a USB hub which again saves me from getting down under the desk to plug a new pen in.


    Components

    Intel i5 760, S1156, Lynnfield Quad
    Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2, Intel P55 Exp
    Titan Fenrir V2 TTC-NK85TZ V2 120mm
    4GB (2x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3
    1GB MSI HD 5870 Lightning, PCI-E 2.
    2x140mm Thermalright Liquid State Bea
    120mm Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1450 rpm
    Coolermaster Silent Pro M700 700W PSU
    1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1


    The components just came in the door the other day, happy times! :clap:

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    My workshop (the conservatory) is prep'd and ready to begin work.

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    Last edited: 13 Jan 2011
    Guest-16 likes this.
  2. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Quality parts + a sweet theme, can't wait to see the case coming together!
     
  3. andy_mcp1

    andy_mcp1 I may have an I.D-10T error...

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    The Build:- Day 1

    So day one, my intentions are to use a heat gun to bend the acrylic into the U form which will be the base/front and top of the case (single piece of acrylic 19cm x 100cm). Before I do this I need a mould to bend the acrylic around to ensure the circumferences of the bends are right. The pics below show the making of this mould (from MDF) using a jigsaw. The pieces are fixed together using long kitchen worktop bolts and then used a plane and sand paper to get the joints and curves uniform and smooth.

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    I don’t have a picture at the mo of the finished mould as I've since cut some holes in the centre of the side face for clamps to fit into. I intend to clamp the acrylic to the straight bottom edge then bend it around the curve and clamp the piece just after the curve so that I can leave it to cool and become rigid. I tested this method with a spare bit of acrylic (I bought spare to experiment with as this the first time I've worked with the stuff).

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    The mould did the job, but being too quick with bending the acrylic resulted in a crack/tear . Will have to be bit more patient next time.

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    The main length of acrylics was cut using a jigsaw and a wooden batten as a guide to ensure the cut was straight over the 60cm length.

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    Before I can continue further I need to finish off the holes in the mould for the clamps, unfortunately my drill died and am going to have to wait till tomorrow till I can get back to it.

    I unfort didn’t take any photos of it, but I used a Router and 45deg bit to cut a chamfer along the two length of my acrylic. I intend to the do the same with the side panels so that the two 45deg chamfers will be butted to each other to result in a single visible joint on the seams /edges of the case. I'm glad I had the spare piece to begin with as the first attempts resulted in taking off plastic more than I intended, but after a bit of refining I got it right. Will show the results tomorrow when I get some time to photo them.

    P.S. the 45deg chamfer makes for a sharp edge - cue the blood sacrifice for the project (hopefully the last one).


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    Last edited: 28 Sep 2010
  4. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    SFF build cheesecake! :clap:

    I'm liking your designs a lot, though i'm sad to see the watercooling is off the board. The lighting stuff is particularly interesting, I will definately have a look at that, and the mouldmaking is very instructional to my own purposes.

    Only one request i will make: For the love of Relix and Cheesecake and Banhammers and all things holy on these forums, resize your pictures! :p

    [Edit]
    One more thing i'm spotting that might be a MASSIVE issue... that 5870 Lightning is "higher" then a reference model, as in, it stands higher away from the motherboard. It's a formidable thing, and i love mine to bits, but i also had trouble getting it to fit in my case. With your SFF build, i hope you had the foresight to give it some room away from the sidepanel. Especially since the card has it's PCIe connectors on the side as well, meaning it will need either severe modding or even more room in the sidepanel direction.
    This image will clarify what i'm on about:

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    Last edited: 27 Sep 2010
  5. Shadowed_fury

    Shadowed_fury Active Member

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    This is gonna be sweet! Good luck with the build :D
     
  6. andy_mcp1

    andy_mcp1 I may have an I.D-10T error...

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    The Build:- Evening 2

    Before I begin, I must apologise for not answering anyone yet, on a training course for work this week and not been getting back till late and have delved into the build in an attempt to make some progress. Will make an effort to post some feedback tomorrow eve. Also not been able to change the photo sizes yet but will do next post.

    A quick reply regarding the GPU, have allowed room for the wider GPU and enough length too for 5970 (hadn’t made up my mind which to go for). – width 190mm [-10mm for acrylic side panels, -2mm for aluminium, -8mm for stand-offs -10mm for MB = 160mm clearance, 5870 Lighting = 126mm leaving 35mm for power connector cables], it is quite tight but doable thankfully, a ref card would have been more spacious.


    Second evening into the build and tonight’s task is to finish the mould and then bend the main outer sheet of Acrylic around it.

    Before starting the main sheet I tried another test sheet to see if cracking was going to be issues as discovered yesterday. Thankfully this bend came out much better and was ready to get going with the real thing (though slightly nervous in messing it up and having to send away for a replacement sheet).

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    I clamped the main sheet of plastic and was about to start when I notice that the lack of bracing near the bend point would likely raise it off the flat top of the mould - through pivoting on the bend, creating a bulged effect. So, a quick two second fix of placing a length of wood along the flat edge and kept in place by a clamp at the back of the mould (this would also mean no direct pressure on the wood near the bend which might distort/dig into the plastic when heated/soft.

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    First bend looking not too bad, though there is a slight gap in inner edge (not quite flush to the mould). May try to rectify this later by reheating it.

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    The finished product. That’s enough for one eve (having to wait half an hour between bends (for the plastic to cool rigid) spent a lot of time standing around touch testing to see if it had cooled enough to move on to the next bend.

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    Oh and here is the chamfered edge I mentioned the other day, not been deformed by the bending thankfully.

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    Stay tuned, will be finishing off the main sheet of acrylic and marking out the side panels (maybe even cut them if I have time) tomorrow eve, then it’ll be on to the metal. (I’m hoping to have the whole thing finished and the pc components populate by end of next week – the months of planning to ensure a quick, simple and effect construction over two weeks)

    PS. Here is an exploded shot of the four items that make up the inner and outer shells to show how it will piece together. The left piece will be the inner Aluminium shell and the rest is the outer Acrylic shell.

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    Last edited: 27 Sep 2010
  7. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    awesome work , will continue to follow.

    edit: pics resized :clap:
     
    Last edited: 29 Sep 2010
  8. Razarach

    Razarach Member

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    nice design and quality work ;)
     
  9. benjjamin

    benjjamin needs MORE POWER!

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    Great project you have there. :)
     
  10. Infiniti

    Infiniti i modded the wheel!

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    love the concept...love the look.... cant wait to see the finish project :D
     
  11. craigbru

    craigbru Cramming big things in small boxes since 2006

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    Great plexi work man!
     
  12. LooseNeutral

    LooseNeutral New Member

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    Awesome! Great all around. I've been die'n to see someone do some plex bend work. Love the "Kerky" renders too, would like to get a lesson or two from you on how you did those! Sub'd :D
     
  13. [ZiiP] NaloaC

    [ZiiP] NaloaC Well-Known Member

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    Definately watching this! :)
     
  14. Dahl1n

    Dahl1n New Member

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    This case desing is nice :) and i will follow this from the start to the end ;)
    //Dahl1n
     
  15. Fabou

    Fabou New Member

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    Impressive bend for sure. The case will be impressive with this one piece front + roof panel.
     
  16. Zesti

    Zesti Aluminium + file

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    Those bended parts remind me of Silverstone TJ7. Keep up the good work. :thumb:
     
  17. andy_mcp1

    andy_mcp1 I may have an I.D-10T error...

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    Thanks for the support guys, appreciated. Not been up to much of late, was on a works training course this week and didn’t get home till 8 last night :sigh:. Thankfully I'm home a bit earlier today, but not likely to get much done.

    The Acrylic piece I bent the other day is not overly rigid (hence the need for the inner Alu shell). To allow for a margin of error in the bends I ordered about 50mm extra length on the piece.

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    I need to trim this excess off but to do this I need to know the exact actual (as opposed to the designed lol) length of the base (I started my measurements from here, so any inaccuracy will be measured from this point onwards). This is not so easy to obtain on a slightly wobbly piece with a bend at one end. So that will likely take quite a bit of my time this eve, I might just wait till the next part gets done and then trim it. My next task is to start measuring out and cut the Aluminium frame, then the fun task of bending it (another first for me). Once the single main acrylic piece is kept solidly in shape I'll then be in a position to cut the side panels to match.


    For now, I'll leave you with some shots of the Light Tape in action, and will hopefully post some more progress soon.


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  18. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil New Member

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    PC + Tron = :)

    Great start dude, really nice concept.
     
  19. andy_mcp1

    andy_mcp1 I may have an I.D-10T error...

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    As predicted, I didn’t get too much done this eve. I managed to mark up the 2mm aluminium sheet, although made a minor error in the process. I took down the dimensions off the Sketch-up model and forgot to subtract the side panels (5mm each) off the base/ back i/o face width :duh:. Thankfully I picked up on this before cutting, and reduced it to 180mm. As I had pretty much finished the mark up by that point, and could not be bothered redrawing it on the other side of the aluminium, I am now going to have to cut in/parallel along one of the edges of the sheet which was perfectly pre-cut straight. I just hope my cuts will be as good, but I suppose I've always got a file to clean up any wobbles with the jigsaw.

    Here's the set up all ready for cutting.

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    I bought the sheet twice the size I need, so that I had plenty of leftovers for testing the bending method. I laid a sheet of MDF on one of my work benches, placed the aluminium sheet on top with the line I wanted to cut just past the edge of the MDF. I then placed a second sheet of MDF on top, offset it using the jigsaw's base (so that it can be used as a guide, as similarly done for the acrylic cuts) then sandwiched the lot together with clamps. The exposed/overhanging Aluminium sheet was then rested on top of my second work bench and again clamped down. Having cut aluminium once before, I found that the blade kept catching on the metal, flexing the sheet and tore it rather than cut it. Hopefully the MDF sandwich will reduce the reverberations/tearing effect whilst giving me a nice long straight cut, plus I’ve made sure to get a top notch blade for the job (I hope). That will have to wait till Friday though, as I’m out to see a band tomorrow night.
     
  20. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Even with the alu, will it be rigid enough?

    Looks great so far btw. :thumb:
     

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