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Case from Scratch - Ideas

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April 27, 2012 12:10:49 AM

So I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Me and my dad have decided to build a custom PC case completely from scratch. He works for a glass company so he can get many materials. Things such as plexi-glass, lexan, aluminum, steel, etc. We have a lot of resources as well. We have a bridge port milling machine in our garage.

So, our idea for this case, is to look like a motor cycle trellis, for anyone who has ever seen a Ducati. We were inspired to do this because of my dad's motorcycle. The housing that the engine is in, is constructed of tube steel, in a trellis type structure. Like such:



We decided that it would be cool to make a case like that. The idea is to make the case out of tube like that, welding it, bending, etc, using bolts and things like so to construct it. I was wondering what everyone thought of this idea. This will also be the build log for this idea if we do end up doing, depending on what everyone thinks, or if someone has a better idea.

Here is another good example.


I will be drafting up some drawings as well, and some scale models out of some wire as well. Please offer feedback and ideas that anyone may have.

More about : case scratch ideas

a c 140 ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 1:32:36 AM

I'm wondering about "presentation" - rolling chassis style?
Looks interesting to say the least
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April 27, 2012 1:43:59 AM

Presentation I was thinking would be sort of like the second picture. Somewhat at an angle, with the motherboard sort of diagonal, facing the front, power supply mounted on the back, and I may even go as far as to get some extensions for the power supply and run some of the wires through through the tubing.
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a b ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 9:06:41 AM

the good thing about trusses/trellis is that they are self supporting - they can go in odd directions, provided you maintain a good centre of gravity. the materials you mentioned will come in handy so you won't need to get them from online retailers :p 

if your going this route, I'd see myself doing alot of sketchup/sketching to see how you can make them look snazzy like a ducati frame :) 

cablemanagement will be awesome as you can route them across the structural network.
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April 27, 2012 3:04:56 PM

Yeah. It's gonna be a red/white theme, like a ducati. The kind of red that is on this case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... only not quite. And I agree. Cable management will be so awesome. Also, I was thinking of using a gauge cluster for readouts such as temperature, fan speeds, etc. Not quite sure how I would do that but it might be an interesting challenge. I'm gonna start sketching soon.
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a b ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 5:49:33 PM

gauges ? like the fast and the furious' souped up rides :)  ? that'd be sweet! about that CM idea, you can use these(scroll down to see the cable tie mounts for mobo standoff replacement) like a regular tie mount but its invisible and can be hidden by the structure.
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April 27, 2012 7:06:09 PM


something like that, take it apart, put in white and/or red leds.

gauges ? like the fast and the furious' souped up rides ? said:
gauges ? like the fast and the furious' souped up rides ?

something like that I guess :p 
And thanks for the link. Those could come in handy.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 7:26:00 PM

Nice, I'll be looking forward to this build :) 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 7:33:28 PM

@ jrwiz - np mate! finally modo is on board!
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a c 140 ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 8:19:24 PM

I like the gauge idea... to take it one further... leds (oil, fuel, check engine,) could be lit as pwr led, Hdd led, etc... dials can be left (if digital input - some are, some are still mechanical) and wired to Speedo=temp, Tach=CPU load, Temp=GPU Load or some combo thereof... that could be really cool. Might be a little difficult though, I've never personally looked into that kind of 'cross wiring' or whatever you would call it... but I think it sure sounds cool.
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April 27, 2012 8:31:02 PM

I may buy some kind of cheapo case to rip the power switch, power led, hdd led, wiring assemblies, etc.
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a b ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 9:39:12 PM

or look for switches like i did for my case.
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April 27, 2012 9:59:46 PM

Yeah well I have an old case from my first computer, that is tiny, that I am thinking of using for a radbox at some point, and could probably just gut the electronics/switches etc. out of that..... hmmmm....
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April 27, 2012 11:51:58 PM

i have a bunch of old cases that i might end up ripping the leds and power buttons out of, i dont think the wire leads/pins have changed much so they can still be used, you could use things like that for your power and led wiring, maybe use heavier wires and just solder the lights/switches on. goo dplace to find old computers to scavenge parts from= old office buildings or businesses, and possibly transfer stations/dumps/junkyards, those ones might need cleaning and testing first though... rats just love wiring for some reason.. but awsome sounding build man, my question, though, is is it going to be in the shape of an actual motorcycle frame? or just custom to look somewhat like a computer case? and what are you going to use for cooling? if there is no outer case plates, the air would dissapate in the open much faster than in a closed case. and my dad thought of using a small engine radiator for watercooling, anyone know if that would be a possible idea? would fit this case well i think.
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a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2012 1:13:14 AM

Cool idea ! hold it ......ducati = no chrome ?? argh !
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April 28, 2012 4:37:13 AM

Some interesting ideas.
@Mildgamer, I like your idea for the radiator, though I have no clue if that would work or not. We have a few old snowmobiles laying around that I could rip stuff like that out of to test.
@Lutfi, some good ideas being tossed around on that thread. Thanks!
@Rufus, I never said no chrome. We'll see, the paint will be one of the last things to be done so I might see if I can try to fit in some chrome into the build :p 
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a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2012 4:40:28 AM

welcome, just trying to help :) 
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April 28, 2012 7:49:28 PM

@wizbang, the radiators from a snowmobile might be too big, maybe a smaller vehicle? i was thinking similar to lawn mower but those dont really have radiators, well, a junkyard owner would be a good place to start if you do decide to make some crazy hybrid cooling radiator.
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April 28, 2012 7:51:01 PM

No I didn't mean to use them from te snowmobile, I mean to use to test the concept.
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a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2012 10:06:17 PM

jrwizbang said:
Some interesting ideas.
@Mildgamer, I like your idea for the radiator, though I have no clue if that would work or not. We have a few old snowmobiles laying around that I could rip stuff like that out of to test.
@Lutfi, some good ideas being tossed around on that thread. Thanks!
@Rufus, I never said no chrome. We'll see, the paint will be one of the last things to be done so I might see if I can try to fit in some chrome into the build :p 

Thats all I ask :wahoo: 
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a b ) Power supply
April 28, 2012 10:07:13 PM

Or ya could go for a Harley theme and make it leak oil with an ugly chick on the back
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 29, 2012 11:17:07 AM

Chick in the build? Nah, that would make the rig too high maintenance.....
and thats coming from me hehhe
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 29, 2012 11:53:16 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
Chick in the build? Nah, that would make the rig too high maintenance.....
and thats coming from me hehhe
Moto

Wuhhh ??? :??: 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 29, 2012 12:31:46 PM

**Or ya could go for a Harley theme and make it leak oil with an ugly chick on the back**
If you have a chick in the build it will require far too much attention,
and thats coming from a guy with 6L of water in a insanely complicated loop :p 
Moto
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April 29, 2012 1:28:02 PM

^ maybe u should make it less insanely complicated? :p 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 29, 2012 1:36:32 PM

lol, I just finished making it more so, why would I go back?
Its only complicated bacuse of my Ocd regarding cablemanagement tbh,
I have very little cabling or tubing visible (I know I could make it better though hehe)
plus I have two unique graphics cards and an awesome box under my Pc :p 
**Edit, whole builds unique to be fair :) 
Any ideas coming out lately Wizbang?
if we take that grey frame, the Psu is going in the space for the battery, and the mobo should be where the petrol tank would go, maybe a fibreglass shell/fake tank to cover it?
you could mount two 360 rads on the sides al a Streetfighter, my old Vtr1000 had similar setup for the rads, check the pic here (not my bike, only one I could find with rads still in normal place)
http://thumbsnap.com/sc/GLYPQAzN.jpg
Fans on the inside obviously
and you could fit a huge custom acrylic res/pumps into the swingarm recess

Moto
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April 29, 2012 9:55:10 PM

Yeah also if it's an ugly woman like you said Rufus then I would have to tell it that it's pretty all the time and that's just not gonna happen :p 
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April 29, 2012 11:28:05 PM

something tell sme that thisis getting a bit off topic? :p 
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April 29, 2012 11:43:19 PM


Any ideas coming out lately Wizbang?
if we take that grey frame, the Psu is going in the space for the battery, and the mobo should be where the petrol tank would go, maybe a fibreglass shell/fake tank to cover it?
you could mount two 360 rads on the sides al a Streetfighter, my old Vtr1000 had similar setup for the rads, check the pic here (not my bike, only one I could find with rads still in normal place)
http://thumbsnap.com/sc/GLYPQAzN.jpg
Fans on the inside obviously
and you could fit a huge custom acrylic res/pumps into the swingarm recess

Moto said:

Any ideas coming out lately Wizbang?
if we take that grey frame, the Psu is going in the space for the battery, and the mobo should be where the petrol tank would go, maybe a fibreglass shell/fake tank to cover it?
you could mount two 360 rads on the sides al a Streetfighter, my old Vtr1000 had similar setup for the rads, check the pic here (not my bike, only one I could find with rads still in normal place)
http://thumbsnap.com/sc/GLYPQAzN.jpg
Fans on the inside obviously
and you could fit a huge custom acrylic res/pumps into the swingarm recess

Moto


Some good ideas you got there. I'll keep all of this in mind. Ordering parts within the week for the build.
Parts:

XFX PRO750W XXX Edition Semi-Modular 80Plus Silver 750 Watt Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 012-P3-1571-KR GeForce GTX 570 HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (getting it from someone I know for super cheap, and possibly a second from a friend.)

Already have the processor, ram, heatsink, although this summer I will dump a bit of money into it and am thinking about building a radbox for water cooling.

As far as ideas go, I haven't had any real epiphanies as of lately but I have been working on some drawings and such, and have been getting a list of stuff that I may need, have, and can get, etc. Will be updating soon with pictures of my sketches so that people can see what I'm thinking.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
April 30, 2012 5:48:40 AM

Good good, its best to keep the brain juices flowing :) 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
April 30, 2012 9:23:18 AM

jrwizbang said:
Yeah also if it's an ugly woman like you said Rufus then I would have to tell it that it's pretty all the time and that's just not gonna happen :p 

" It knows when your lying " ! :non: 
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April 30, 2012 12:51:11 PM

rufus_22 said:
" It knows when your lying " ! :non: 


hahahahahahahahahaha
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May 7, 2012 2:23:41 AM

Alright so I will be ordering parts within the week, and once I get then all, will begin drafting some more designs and hopefully get most of the materials needed to build the case.
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a b ) Power supply
May 7, 2012 9:23:45 AM

good luck with your build !!
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a c 104 ) Power supply
May 7, 2012 9:46:28 AM

I often find that once I have parts in hand the ideas start flowing more, I'll be waiting on updates mate
:) 
Moto
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May 19, 2012 1:14:44 PM

So I got my parts and got it all assembled and I am going to get measurements this weekend once I get my video card.
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May 19, 2012 5:36:45 PM

nice cant wait to see this thing.
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a b ) Power supply
May 19, 2012 9:49:08 PM

bring it !
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May 19, 2012 11:23:28 PM

interested too see how this turns out, good luck.
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a b ) Power supply
May 20, 2012 7:44:50 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
I often find that once I have parts in hand the ideas start flowing more, I'll be waiting on updates mate
:) 
Moto


yeap, true in a way but i find it to work in both directions, sometimes without ordering parts and sometimes while ordering or choosing parts.
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May 21, 2012 2:46:37 AM

Indeed. Hopefully sometime within the week I will be getting supplies to start working on this and mocking up designs. Also, got my video card today, which is actually quite a bit more helpful in the idea area than I had thought it would be :p 
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:56:34 AM

this just arrived in my brain matter!

take a look at the antec skeleton and see if you can incorporate some of their ideas into yours...?
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May 28, 2012 8:04:29 AM

If you are using tubing to create the frame, instead of attaching the cables to the tubing for CM why not run the cables through the inside of the tubing itself? cables cant be more invisified than that.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
May 28, 2012 5:47:39 PM

**If you are using tubing to create the frame, instead of attaching the cables to the tubing for CM why not run the cables through the inside of the tubing itself? cables cant be more invisified than that. **

You just KNOW that was happening with me involved anyhow hehe :p 
Moto
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May 28, 2012 6:50:49 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
**If you are using tubing to create the frame, instead of attaching the cables to the tubing for CM why not run the cables through the inside of the tubing itself? cables cant be more invisified than that. **

You just KNOW that was happening with me involved anyhow hehe :p 
Moto

Hence the use of *your* word "Invisified" :D 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
May 28, 2012 7:41:40 PM

It was noted and appreciated man,
made me smile to think my terminology might catch on hehe :) 
Moto
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