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Case Mod - In Progress The Rose - PDXLAN Pics

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Boddaker, 25 Feb 2016.

  1. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Hey guys, it's time for another case mod project! This will be for my daughter this time (if you recall I did a Minecraft R2-D2 mod last year for my son).

    I'll be using the Suppressor F51 for this build, as it lends itself well to the sleak and elegant design my daughter and I came up with. She wanted a pink rose themed build, so I will have a beautiful rose-shaped reservoir in the front, and all the hardware will be openly displayed on a custom one-piece angular chassis insert. All plumbing will be hidden behind the insert, except for an elegant curved water channel that spans over the motherboard to the GPU...

    [​IMG]


    Here's a breakdown of hardware I'll be using in this build:

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    EVGA X99 microATX motherboard

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    EVGA GTX 970 with EK block

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    EVGA 550w Supernova GS PSU and X10 Carbon mouse

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    Crucial 250Gb SSD, and 16Gb DDR4 Ballistix memory kit

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    EK Supremacy Evo CPU block

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    EK D5 Pump top and chrome cover

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    EK 280mm Coolstream Radiator

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    EK 45º and 90º elbow fittings

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    Primochill Revolver fittings & fluid

    Huge thanks to Primochill, EVGA, Crucial, EK, and of course Thermaltake for their continued support!

    So let's get to some actual modding shall we? Seems lately I can't help but to hack into a case first thing. So after stripping it down to the frame, I taped off the area that will be cut away to make room for the new one-piece insert...
    [​IMG]

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    I made a cardboard template to see how the pieces will fit together. Only three pieces make up the entire insert: Back piece, angled center piece, and front piece.
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    After some initial attempts at bending the center piece myself, I realized I wasn't going to be able to produce the results I was looking for, so I sucked up my pride and brought the cardboard template down to the local metal fab shop and had them weld it up for me.
    [​IMG]

    They did a nice job bending and tack-welding the pieces together. I can now go in with the bondo and smooth out the panels and fill in the corners.
    [​IMG]

    I'm hoping to have this case done for PDXLAN 28 in July, my daughter's first lan. :) Stay tuned!
     
  2. slipperyskip

    slipperyskip Member

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    Great idea Brian. That's so cool that you get to do this with your daughter. Have fun with it.
     
  3. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I gotta see how you make that curved channel. This will be fun and educational, as always.:D
     
  4. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Thanks Jeffrey, she's really excited to have her very own computer again, and she can't wait to come to the LAN with me and her brother. We'll see if she can hang for four days haha.

    Thank you cheaps. I'm curious to see how I do it too!
     
  5. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Snuck into the garage last night and got a little bit more work done on the acrylic post for the back corner...

    The tube is 1 1/4" diameter, and I just so happened to have a hole saw in that size. So I marked the top of the panel and cut it out.
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    For the bottom hole, since it is on an extreme angle, I cut the tube to match using my miter box.
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    This will not be the actual tube end, I'm just using it to trace the bottom hole. I'll square it off again so it sits flat at the bottom of the case.
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    Here's the tube in position..
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    Now that I have the hole traced, I can cut it out and the tube will slip right down through it without any gaps.

    That's all I had time for last night, more on the tube's purpose next time. :)
     
  6. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    More progress on the tube...

    As some of you may have guessed, the tube is going to be a bubbler feature. I acquired a 12v mini air pump from amazon. The kit came with a porous stone and some tubing.
    [​IMG]

    To start, I threw together a quick mounting base for the tube, and to hold the pump.
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    The stone aerator was a bit to wide, so I sanded it down to fit into the tube.
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    After setting the correct depth, I hot-glued it in place.
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    Once that was done, I could glue the entire tube to the base.
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    After that was dry, I filled the tube with water to check for leaks. Then I fired it up to see if it worked and added some lighting.
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    With the pump at 12v, it was producing way too much bubbles, so I down-volted it to 7v to slow it down a bit.
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    Still a bit fast, but better. Then I remembered that the Suppressor F51 case has a built-in fan controller on the front IO panel, with a hi and low speed setting. So I hooked it up to that and put it on low. Even better than the 7v! I'm guessing the low setting is 5v, and hi is 12. So I think i will utilize that fan controller for the bubbler. :)

    Tonight I will work on mounting the bubbler assembly into the case. 'Til then!
     
  7. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Now that the bubble tube assembly is done, I just have to install it into the case. And the only feasible way to do that is to come up from the bottom. So I started by cutting out a piece of the bottom panel.
    [​IMG]

    The hole is just big enough for the bubble base to fit through.
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    Then a cover plate was made, and mounting brackets to hold the base.
    [​IMG]

    Now the base is secured to the cover plate.
    [​IMG]

    And the whole thing can slide right in from the bottom, and secured in place with a few screws.
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    All I need to do now is connect the lights and the pump and its good to go!
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    Filled and bubbling..
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    And of course the token night shot..
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading, 'til next time!
     
  8. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Neat.:D
    12v dc pump, though. I'm familiar with the AC vibrating pumps. Is this thing is rotary or something?
    Also, you now are forced to keep this upright to work on it. :hehe:
     
  9. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Well that's the beauty in making this thing self-contained and modular. I just unplug it and pull it out, and I'm free to work on the case in any orientation. :)
     
  10. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Worked on the integrated fan grill over the last week. I wanted a rose grill, but wanted to maintain a clean look so instead of doing a separate acrylic screw-on grill, I decided to incorporate the design into the one-piece panel. So I printed out a few rose patterns and placed them accordingly onto the panel, gluing them on with a gluestick.
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    Then I proceeded to cut out each petal one by one. Since the panel was all one piece, I couldn't simply use my scroll saw to cut all these pieces out. So I was forced to use just my dremel and drill, and the jigsaw where ever I could.
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    After the rough cuts, I went back over the holes with files and grinding bits to clean them up.
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    A shot from below..
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    Moving onto the third rose. I used the dremel to start the longer cuts, and then used the jigsaw to finish them up. It's faster, and it prolongs the life of the cutting wheel.
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    A close up of the rough cuts all finished.
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    And finally the third rose is done!
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    The last rose is a bit smaller and at the edge so I won't be able to use the jigsaw at all. It will take a bit longer, so I will leave that for later. Once its all done, I'll go over all cutouts with sandpaper to smooth everything out.

    Work continues!
     
  11. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Finally got the last rose cut out for the top fan grill. Couldn't wait to see how it looked with the lit fans behind it. I was able to dial these Thermaltake RGB Riing fans in to match the pink lighting from the bubble tube perfectly!
    [​IMG]

    I also added a flexible mesh screen behind the cutouts to give it more contrast..
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I posted a quick video test on FB that shows the bubble feature in action, as well as the fan grill, if you want to
    check it out
     
  12. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Working on the motherboard tray this week. I'm going for a glass shelf-like appearance, raised up off the panel with back lighting. So starting with a sketchup model, I converted it into a vector drawing and sent it to Brian at Primochill to be cut out of 3/8" clear acrylic.

    [​IMG]

    Once I received the tray, I tapped the holes for the motherboard stand-offs..
    [​IMG]

    and mounted the board. Placing it onto the panel, I noticed that it would interfere with my bubble tube, so I had to trim a bit off that bottom corner.
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    Searching the web, I found a source for aluminum glass shelf standoffs..
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    I had incorporated 7/16" holes into the design of the tray to save me the trouble of drilling them.
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    The last thing I had to do was chamfer the bottom edge so it follows the vertical plane. This was accomplished by using a large diameter dremel cutting bit, belt sander, and orbital sander to smooth it out.
    [​IMG]

    Next up is to come up with a mounting solution for the EVGA GTX970 graphics card. Stay tuned!
     
  13. Karrek

    Karrek Member

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    Very nice. What did you use to locate where to drill the stand-offs for the motherboard? a template or the actual motherboard? Then I assume a drill press to ensure the hole is accurately placed?
     
  14. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    I used a template found on www.formfactors.org (complete with ISA slots lol)
    [​IMG]

    Its a bit out-dated but the mounting holes haven't changed. :thumb:

    I incorporated the holes into the vector file I sent out to get laser-cut so all I had to do was tap them for 6-32 threads.
     
  15. Karrek

    Karrek Member

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    awesome. good to know. thanks!
     
  16. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    Case looks great so far. Look forward to seeing the reservoir.
     
  17. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Got the graphics card placement figured out over the weekend..

    As much as I hated to cut into the angled panel, I needed to set the video card down into it. So I cut a wide H pattern and bent the top down so it was vertical..
    [​IMG]

    Then I bent the bottom half so it was flat, creating a nice ledge for the card to sit on.
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    Next was to cut away some material for PCI riser card and IO clearance..
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    Here's the card in place.
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    Wide shot with mobo tray..
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    Close up of DVI ports. Wish I could just remove them from the card altogether, since I will just be using the HDMI and/or displayports.
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    And finally, a little reinforcing was done, using a spot welder. Of course all the welds will be smoothed over with bondo before paint. :)
    [​IMG]

    I just have one more rose grill to cut out (for the PSU exhaust), and then a few wire pass-through holes and it's ready for final prep/paint.
     
  18. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Using a laser cutter to make a jagged edge... Your sense of humor is far too subtle.:D
    You could remove the dvi port, but then you'd have that awkward cutout in the waterblock. Also there's that warranty thing... "I don't know. It must have de-soldered in shipping."
     
  19. Boddaker

    Boddaker Still hangin around

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    Finally finished the last rose cutout! This time I could use my scroll saw, as the cutout was located in a more accessible area on the panel.

    Made up a slightly different rose template to match the more vertical shape of the PSU.
    [​IMG]

    Glued it down, and started cutting out the holes. A bit cumbersome maneuvering the whole thing around on the saw, even with using a spiral omni-directional blade.
    [​IMG]

    So far so good..
    [​IMG]

    .. and done! After the scroll saw, I went back over every hole with a dremel grinding bit to smooth out all the cuts. Still need to do some sanding yet.
    [​IMG]

    Final shot with the PSU placed behind. Notice the bottom hole lines up with the power switch. :)
    [​IMG]

    Next step is to cut one more square hole at the bottom for the power cable plug, then I can mount the PSU.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  20. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    With a green power cord you could make it into the stem.
     

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