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Old 30-11-15, 08:21 PM
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Gurt11 Gurt11 is offline
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[Scratch Build] Specced ITX 1.0

Hi,

My name is ‘Gurt11’ or Geert, as my parents called me. I live in Belgium and I’ve been building computers and gradually advancing in modding-territories for some years now. As I have now turned 24, graduated from uni and am about to make steps to build a life of my own, I thought it would be nice to do one more mod. But it had to be a special one. Again something I hadn’t done before. I introduce you to my Specced ITX case.

SPECCED ITX 1.0

The idea of the build was to make everything smaller, but not to lose performance or cooling capabilities. I come from a Corsair 600T, which you’ll see soon as a proper goodbye was in order. I have some dremeling experience, I know what a file is, and most important: I took quite some time (at least half a year *-)) to come up with a design for a case that was 1) possible to make myself, without any fancy machinery , and 2) could fit everything I wanted it to.

Features:

- ITX motherboard
- Full sized graphics card
- ATX PSU
- Watercooling: 360mm rad + 120mm rad.

Every mod begins with old fashioned pen and paper!



A basic SketchUp soon followed:



Measurements: 260mm (W) x 425mm (L) x 276mm (H) (double front included, feet excluded)

The mind is made up, the marks are drawn, the wallet is (/was) full(-ish). Let’s GO!
Materials out of which it will be constructed:

- Aluminium.
- Plexi.
- Something that should resemble wood. (veneer was the first idea)
- Glass.

Saying goodbye to my trusty 600T. You have been of use for long enough!


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Old 30-11-15, 08:21 PM
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Gurt11 Gurt11 is offline
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Might I reserve this post for final pictures maybe? Thank you!
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Old 01-12-15, 08:46 AM
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Subbed - I do like these small builds. I find them quite frustrating to do though. Small dexterous hands are a distinct advantage - which I don't have.
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Old 02-12-15, 06:43 PM
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Gurt11 Gurt11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheroo View Post
Subbed - I do like these small builds. I find them quite frustrating to do though. Small dexterous hands are a distinct advantage - which I don't have.
With enough time and effort, I'm sure you could pull it off too my hands aren't exactly small either

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The midplate

From a designers point of view, I wanted the motherboard tray to be lit up from behind or from underneath. This meant it cannot be made of aluminium. I could have made an acrylic midplate myself, but I had no idea how to make the correct holes for the motherboard stand-offs and had no idea at which distance from the back they should be positioned for the I/O panel to sit flush with the back side.

That being said, I wanted to thank PARVUM Systems for the assistance in making this sublime white acrylic midplate. That they were able to produce a quality piece like this from the drawings and measurements I gave them, still amazes me. Thank you!



One of those second hand deals of a lifetime:









Paired withan Intel i5 4690K, another second hand deal, can’t go wrong:



The good old XSPC Raystorm block:





More importantly! The aluminium arrived from https://www.aluminiumopmaatgemaakt.be/, a Dutch company that delivers plain aluminium cut to size and bent in basic shapes.

I regret to announce however that I lost some photos from the aluminium somewhere along the way. The following is a picture from how the panels should come together:



As you can maybe tell it consists of 7 different pieces:

- 2 L-shapes that form the sides and double front.
- 2 rectangular pieces for top and bottom.
- 1 rectangular piece for the back.
- 1 L-shape for a radiator at the front.
- 1 U-shape to cover the bottom radiator.

Measurements: 260mm (W) x 425mm (L) x 276mm (H) (double front included, feet excluded)

As the sharp-eyed may have noticed: the panels didn’t arrive in perfect condition. As you can see from above, the big L-shapes for the sides didn’t have a perfect 90° angle. Maybe this happened during transport, maybe it just wasn’t done properly or maybe I handled it with too little care on unboxing. Anyway, it got fixed with some brute force and the edge of a table.



Something else, which I can’t just fix: the top left corner of one of the L-shapes was damaged. (as seen above and below more clearly) This definitely wasn’t my own doing. Transportation went a little rough I guess.



All this aluminium will be held together with MODDING CUBES from Parvum. These little things are simply wonderful.



Things that need doing:

- DRILL all screw-holes in the right positions.
- SINK those screw holes with a sink-bit.
- TAP all holes to fit regular M3 screws.
- Cut out fans holes, windows, front, I/O, PSU , …



Some notes on some tools and bits and bobs I got!

This is a tap and die set that I got in one of your regular hobby and tool shops.



All was fine at the start. I mostly needed the M3 (the smallest) of the tap bits. Those taps fit in a holder that you can see here:



Unfortunately, no matter in what way you put the tap in, after a while the points that touch the tap started hollowing out because of the force put on the whole thing when tapping. My guess this happened because of the small size of the M3 tap bit and possibly also just not top quality material. Maybe you can see what I mean in the following pics:





To solve this issue, I came across a better mechanism to tap. Message to anyone ever in need of something to tap threads: GET THIS STRAIGHT AWAY! The tap bits fit in by compression. Tapping will be much easier also because of the way this tool works. (I can’t find the English name for this tool anymore. Help? )





Another very nice drill bit is this thingy. Meant to sink drilled holes so that bolt heads align flat with the surface. And ofcourse M3, M4 and M5 drill bits used for this project.



I also got some of these round things. An M3 bolts fits inside and makes it pretty. Ofcourse sinking holes is useless when using these. I yet had to make up my mind on if and where I was going to use these.



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Old 02-12-15, 06:48 PM
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Wraith Wraith is offline
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Nicely done fella, all the prep and thought gone into the fittings is honorable I like it muchly
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Old 02-12-15, 07:26 PM
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Gurt11 Gurt11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith View Post
Nicely done fella, all the prep and thought gone into the fittings is honorable I like it muchly
Well thank you kindly! ^^ a lot of planning and drawing went into this indeed.
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Old 04-12-15, 02:03 PM
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Measure, draw, measure again, draw some more, change your mind, do it all over again and drill!



Again, I somehow lost a bunch of pictures from my camera from while I was working on the aluminium.
These phone pictures will have to do

First I did the bottom plate, radiator cut-outs and corners for the back.



Fitted the midplate and one side to the bottom and the back



Bottom radiator cover



And front radiator cover



With the other panels put loosely in place, it should look something like this from the back:





Mind you that at this point I had occupied the (old) kitchen table for several weeks. I still dream of my own place to work :3

NOTE: it became clear at this point that using hexagon-head bolts (those which you can screw in using an allen key) is NOT a good idea. Some of the bolts need a little force to be put in place, which was bad news for the heads: once you put too much force on your allen key, you risk carving out some of the bolts head, which then makes it even more difficult to screw in further or even out again. At this point I switched to phillips head bolts. Saved my life.

NOTE 2: I also experimented (on a test piece, before these cuttings and drillings) with giving the aluminium a brushed effect. I did this using sandpaper, attaching the alu to a workbench and go over and over again with sandpaper. From coarser grits to finer grits. (100 – 240 – 320) It sure looked nice, and the original plan was to get the panels anodized in black, which would have meant the brushing would have still been visible. HOWEVER, I decided, in deliberation with my bank account, that the cost of having it anodized professionally wasn’t worth it considering my work on its own also isn’t as perfect as I wanted it to be. Drilling and cutting by hand, means making mistakes and having to adapt to even a millimeter gone wrong. Not that these little signs of a handmade case are that visible, but I know they’re there and thus in my mind the cost of anodizing isn’t justified.
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Old 05-12-15, 03:42 PM
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Delivery by Highflow. Thanks guys! ^^



Bitspower and alphacool fittings, PETG tubing by Nanoxia, tube reamer; Silverstone 120mm fan filters, case feet by Lian Li, Leds by Phobya and some 7v adapters.



Delicious fittings.
These are the ones that are going to be visible. In the back compartment of the case, I'm going to use flexible tube with Monsoon fittings that I still have from the previous build.







Thanks to the video Peter Brands made (L3p) I went for this tubing. Looks nice





Silverstone fan filters. As you can see, the mesh on these is extremely fine. Plus they're magnetic. Not that I'll use that feature, but it's nice anyway





And to lift it all up, some aluminium feet by Lian Li. Very nice quality, surprisingly heavy too.

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Old 06-12-15, 02:32 PM
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Update on the case!

It closes :3





On with the radiator cover then. Went with this design, hopefully going to look good with leds underneath.





Did the front radiator cover the same way, and tadaaa







On with this back side then. Motherboard I/O plate and PSU have to fit snugly.







Nice.
Then did the front, which you can see here standing on top of everything.



This little radiator



Goes right here



No roof without a window





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Old 07-12-15, 07:41 PM
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Next update. Very nearly there!

Cut out the side window. Nice and big, no tralala or poespas as we say.



Top view



Front view



Exploded view. Made a little cut out there in the front for the front fan to suck air through.



Open back view



Last thing to be cut was this hole for the PSU fan to let it have some air. OCD much.



So then… These raw pieces need painting. So I prepped the garage, Dexter style :3





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