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Old 22-03-17, 09:24 AM
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Daiyus Daiyus is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 258
[Custom Case] Simplicity

I'm planning a DIY build and am in the throws of the 3D modelling stage. I believe I have a pretty solid design and just wanted somethoughts on these statistics were before I go into really fine details, I'm trying to go as small as possible without limiting power or functionality and showing off the hardware:

- The case is looking to be approximately 115mm thick, 400mm wide and 350mm deep.
- This case utilises an mITX motherboard, an SFX PSU and allows for full sized graphics cards (I'm planning on putting an ASUS Strix RX 480 in there which is ~300mm long).
- The design shows the the motherboard and cooler face of the GPU through a window.
- The design includes cable tidying space behind the motherboard tray with space for a slim optical drive as well.
- Five 80mm PWM fans provide airflow (3 intakes by the GPU with 2 exhaust by the motherboard to promote positive pressure airflow).

This system is being designed to be able to act as a gaming system, HTPC (including Blu-ray films) and be a platform to do basic CAD work, game modding and other light workstation duties therefore it needs to be quiet and powerful in a low profile form factor.

What do you guys think?

It's VERY early days but this is where I'm at right now. Like I said I haven't really got beyond basic layout and small details such as fixings haven't been drawn in yet:

You can see the PCIe cutouts for any dual-slot GPU to sit face up and I've put the motherboard IO and mounting points in. I'm planning on using 10mm standoffs to ensure good airflow under the board as many mITX boards offer M.2 under there. You see the first cable routing port under the edge of the motherboard too. The 80mm fans have been crudely drawn in; accurate mountings are one of my next jobs. The front fascia isn't yet drawn, but you can see the space underneath the "base plate" which will allow neat cabling and the slim slot loading optical drive to be mounted along with 2.5" drives. The PSU will be in the front right of the case (cables towards the GPU) with a the power cable running running out the back of the case through a grommet.

[UPDATE 02] So I did a bit more work last night:

I'm starting to play with design now I'm certain of the layout. The tolerances for the fans are a little tight (1mm!) once the 4mm Tempered Glass is on the top so it may end up going a little thicker. The positions of the cable routing may change a little depending on how I mount the optical drive. Speaking of mounting I'm having one debate; as you can see currently the base plate and all the mountings (primarily the PSU and PCIe Riser bracket) are cut and bent from the base-plate meaning a nice simple single piece design, however this might cause installation difficulties. It might be easier to have separate bracket pieces that can be mounted to components outside the chassis and then bolted onto the base-plate. I'm not sure which direction to go.

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Old 31-03-17, 12:49 PM
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Daiyus Daiyus is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 258

A small update as I haven't had much chance to develop the actual drawings despite my mind pretty much finalizing the design. This is one of four pieces that will make up the Daiyus: Design Simplicity case. Yep, that's right, it'll be sticking to it's namesake and be built in four pieces; front fascia, base-plate, mounting-plate & glass top.

The front fascia will be a single piece wrapped all the way around the left, front and right hand side of the case and will have the mounting points and ventilation for the five 80mm fans as well as a slot for the optical drive to load through. There will be bends at the bottom of the left and right sides to accommodate the base-plate.

The base-plate will cover the base and will bend up the back of the case 20mm. 20mm standoffs will be put into the base plate which will support the mounting-plate.

The mounting-plate is where all the action happens. It is a single piece with all the required mounting positions bent out from it. You effectively build the PC on the mounting-plate outside the case, including cable management underneath. You then place the built system onto the 20mm standoffs hiding any unsightly cables between the base-plate and the mounting plate. You then secure this by screwing a longer stand-off into the 20mm stand-off and mount the fans (which you would have wired but left loose).

Once that's in place you simply bolt the glass top onto the tall stand-offs. It all just stacks up from the base plate leaving a clean, tidy, efficient build.

I can't wait to get some better software than SketchUp to create some proper engineering drawings and start getting the pieces made. I'll be getting all the metal pieces made in aluminium which will be anodised black. Should look good with the tempered glass top.

Just as a note once I have one set made repeat sets should be cheaper (even if I get more than one in the first run) so I'm considering discussing pricing for multiple cases with the machine shop. If anyone is interested in owning one of these cases I'll be able to price it up and happily sell them; they can even be anodised in whatever colour you like.
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Old 05-05-17, 10:50 AM
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Daiyus Daiyus is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 258
Major Update

So it's a been a while and this project has undergone some serious changes; pretty much every element has been overhauled:

- Compatibility: I'm now working with an ATX motherboard instead of mITX. In this configuration the space saving of mITX is minimal.

- Layout: The power supply is now in it's traditional place at the bottom of the motherboard however it's still SFX to keep the build as thin as possible.

- Size: The build has increased in size slightly. I'm now looking to achieve 450(w)x350(d)x130(h)mm. This will comfortably accommodate the ATX board and allows for a 240mm AIO for the CPU and a 120mm Hybrid graphics card!

- Oh yeah, I've actually started building too:

The motherboard is now mounted on standoffs with work on the IO shield well on the way. I have a PCIe riser cable on the way with more standoffs to facilitate the horizontal graphics card; this will include grinding out the horizontal PCIe slots and modifying some angle-iron to facilitate mounting.

Next steps are to build a former from plywood so I can mould a prototype shell from fiberglass (I'm a QMS/QC department head at a fiberglass firm) and then purchase the main components that will be compatible with my current hardware as well as my next build; the Corsair SF600 PSU and Corsair H100i v2.

I'm hoping by the end of the month I'll be able to run a completed build in a "test-bench" format with the shell and other components within a few weeks of that.
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Old 05-05-17, 03:14 PM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,259
Nice! Love me some custom case builds!
Guts: i7 3820 / Asus Rampage IV Gene / 16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum / Zotac GTX 980 x2 / EVGA 1000W PSU / Case Labs M8
Storage: 2x ADATA SX900 256GB SSDs in RAID0 / 2x 3TB in RAID1 / 2x 1TB stand alone
Water Cooling: CPU - Darkside Heatkiller / GPUs - EK 980
/ 360 rad x 3 / dual D5 vario pumps
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