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Scratch Build – In Progress Tilia - a minimalistic open case

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Age, 12 Feb 2021.

  1. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    Hello Bit Tech forums!

    I was referred here from the /r/watercooling discord and told I should post a build log here. I read some rules and I hope that I don’t break them by essentially posting all of my progress in one go. It would’ve been over a period of time, but I didn’t really know about these forums until now. This is my first scratch build/mod/watercooling project ever. Up until now I have been quite the standard builder, but I have been dreaming about doing something like this for a long time.

    Last year I was waiting for the Dice Case Flow to do my first water-cool build. But due to COVID the delivery were delayed so I decided to make my own case for fun, at the start just a CAD model of what an ideal case for me would be, but ended up making it.

    This is the first sketch I made in CAD. Just pulling up a concept with placement of components etc. I quite liked it so over the course of a few weeks I fleshed it out to completion, all while learning CAD for the first time.

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    I started to get a feel for the edges and look of the case. At first it was too edgy (I was hyped for Cyberpunk so I tried to bring some of that influence in) and I didn’t like it. Then I started looking at one of my favourite designers, Dieter Rams, to get inspired. Lo and behold I feel like I hit the mark after that. Soft round edges, some wood accents, and minimal.

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    Now there were still problems with this design. The holder for the PSU didn’t account for the PSU cable, there were no cutouts for the PSU fan, no sauce for 2.5in SSD, and I had not way of screwing in the GPU. The problems were all solved along the way as I started putting in representations of the components. The hardest one for me to crack was the GPU holder as the thickness of the metal would make the fold so that it would be hard to drill/tap a hole. Eventually I found a decent solution.

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    At this point I stared validating the design by pulling in representations of the radiators and fans I was going to use. It seems to have enough space for tubes so I was happy.

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    With that sorted I had to figure out where to place the pump. Right from the start I had the idea to put it on the PSU holder. And with some approximations based on EK measurements it turned out that a horizontal pump could work well and look really nice. So I decided to run with that.

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    After a few more tweaks of the design, mainly the GPU holder as well as making sure there were countersunk holes etc, I decided to start emailing it out to manufacturers in my country to see who could help me. I started out by emailing three and all of them telling me they couldn’t do it. This got me quite upset, as I had canceled my Dice Case Flow by this point. So I decided to broaden the net. I emailed perhaps 30 places across Sweden and Europe and eventually settled on one place that said they could for sure make it. So it was time to wait.

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    In the meantime I learned about rendering and texturing!

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    And then one day, about 6 weeks later, I received a package. The case had arrived, unpainted of course, and looked great. I immediately made a test fit to see that everything worked and it did! So I sent it out for painting and decided to focus on the wood panels.

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    I also tried a glamour shot inspired by the Mandalorian (S2 just started airing) and the Disney Star Wars intro with all the masks.

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    Initially I wanted to CNC the wood panels out of oak, but after being informed by multiple places that they wouldn’t be able to do that due to vibrations, I settled on getting some nice plywood laser cut and then stained.

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    I added some varnish to them so they wouldn't scratch as easy.

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    Going back to the painting of the frame, I had decided on cerakoting the metal frame to give it a nice dull appearance. This was not without its problems either. The entire frame was painted and stripped 4 times initially, every time exhibiting some discolouration...

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    We eventually decided to switch the paints to a cerakote that was slightly thicker. This worked out super well!

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    And now slowly this week I started putting together my components. First off was applying the water block to the GPU, and then mounting the initial hardware. I have never done water-cooling before so this is very scary and I honestly hope I haven’t broken anything yet.

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    And that brings us up to speed!
     
    Dot_Kappa, Canardwc, Karrek and 3 others like this.
  2. OstrovakCZ

    OstrovakCZ What's a Dremel?

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    absolutely stunning build
    the wewd looks so good
     
  3. Canardwc

    Canardwc @French_fab_factorie

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    What the hell is going on here..!!!!

    Absolutly fabulous Itx !!! All I love. :clap:

    Wher are you come from ?
     
  4. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    BEAUTIFUL! :clap:
    Props to the metal fabricator too. I suspect the radius bends turned away half of the shops, but the I/O hole in the cutout probably scared off 100% of them. Doing that without slipping or deforming requires some serious kit.
    The wood accents work really well.
    You might have issues with the sideways reservoir. A little space for air elsewhere will be needed.
    Oh, and welcome to Bit. :D
     
  5. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks dude! And thanks for pointing me to these forums!

    Thanks! It's a bit big to be SFFPC, but I went with looks over small volume. Currently it stands at ~24l so still quite small. I'm from Sweden :)

    Yeah, they really did a great job with it! My plan was to try and bleed it as well as possible, I have seen people bleed pretty much all air in SFFPC builds and I was hoping the same. If I had to redo it all I would probably switch the layout of it so res+psu are on top though. Thanks for the welcome!



    No for some updates. I've spent probably 12h+ on flushing one radiator. Now almost all gunk is gone, but it's been a pain in the ass to clean it out. The second rad was clean after a few flushes, but this one was just something else. Only small particles left, so I am doing some more flushes another day!

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    I always knew that the space between the fans and the GPU would be limited and veyr close to the edge of what would work. I did some test fits just now with block and rad+fan in place and it fits with probably 0.5mm to spare. That's OK for me though, I can deal with it. But the reservoir sticks out just a bit too much. I ordered a shorter tube for it from EK, but it takes 2-3 weeks for that to arrive. So I guess that gives me more time to flush rads and such! I am gonna start adding tubes to the other side of the case though. Going with ZMT since it is my first time, plus I like the look of it.

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    Lesson for next time? Account for 90 degree fittings adding some extra height to the fittings overall. Oh well, nothing that can't be solved!
     
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  6. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    Is there any room to move the pump back a little? It may require an adapter bracket, sadly.
     
  7. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    I'd rather not have a bracket so I'm probably going to wait. I'm also going away to for a little bit over a week so there wouldn't be any progress during that time anyway. There's still some stuff I can do until then, I'll just work a more leisurely page since I have to wait anyway!
     
  8. Karrek

    Karrek Minimodder

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    You could drill the pump mount holes wider and make them into slots (so then the pump assembly could slide a few milimeters to the right).
    Or you could re-drill new mount holes below and/or right of the existing holes.
    Another option would be to shave the pump mount strap (the plastic, not the rubber), allowing the assembly to slide over slightly.

    But I understand that these are not ideal options, especially in a such a work of art.
     
  9. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    I'm a bit reluctant to widen the pump mount holes due to having read that cerakote can flake off if you drill in it. As of now I am just gonna see what happens when the new res tube comes in and how the fit is then. The backup plan is to investigate shaving the assembly (I like that idea) or making a bracket for it to hold it.
     
  10. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    Apparently it didn't take 3 or so weeks for EK to send a new tube. Took a few days. Unfortunately I am going away tomorrow to my family's summer house for a week for a change in scenery. I am not bringing this so everything is still on hold until week after next. But the good news is that with the new tube everything fits, or well it should. More updates coming probably two or so weeks from now.

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  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    :thumb:
    ...Your keys are rude. :D
     
  12. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    What can I say? They represent what I like
     
  13. Matt Whittingham

    Matt Whittingham wassupdoc

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    Love it!
    There is an uncomfortable amount of toe in the pics though... :hehe:
     
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  14. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    Thanks!

    I only count one photo with some toes, but a lot with fingers!
     
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  15. kim

    kim hardware addict

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    Very professional and clean project, the renders are awesome, very clean build as well, and pictures, even with toes :grin:, I didn't even notice until Matt Whittigham mentioned it :happy:
     
  16. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    @Matt Whittingham - Getting a foot in the picture gives you more 'street cred' here. If there's a cat, you get pro modder status. If you photograph yourself in your underwear with the reflection of something, you become a legend.
     
  17. Age

    Age What's a Dremel?

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    Available in LTTSTORE.com
     

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