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Custom Case

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June 14, 2012 9:59:46 PM

Hello everyone,

Just got together with a friend and we decided to create 2 identical custom pc cases, one for each, during our weekends.

That said none of us has much informatic/pc stuff knowledge, but he makes racing car bodyparts for karts, so we have some knowledge in fiberglass and such and I do Cad rendering.

The theme of the pc's is going to be something futuristic / alien, or a helmet based on fallouts power Armour or mass effects n7 helmet.

We are using a old atx Pc frame for dimensions etc..

Any advice regarding materials, molds, lights, steps, etc..?

Many thanks for the advices in advance.

More about : custom case

a c 104 ) Power supply
June 14, 2012 10:10:06 PM

Flagging to respond later,
Moto
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June 14, 2012 10:59:16 PM

Hello motopsychojdr,
Many thanks!
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a b ) Power supply
June 14, 2012 11:36:30 PM

Just play around with different ideas on paper. Depending on how fast/good you are with CAD, you can also visualize in CAD, right away.

You already use an ATX case for measurements, which is good. Also think about what components you want to use (how many HDD, SSD, 5.25" drives, water cooling or air, etc.).

Once you know what you are aiming for it's pretty straight forward. Most used materials are acrylic, steel and aluminium sheets.

A lot of the actual work (and to some extend your actual design) depends on what tools you have access to, either by owning them yourself or knowing someone with access. Preferably someone who can laser cut previously mentioned materials. You could of course pay for a third party to create those parts, but that can add up pretty fast. For instance a single custom 120mm Fan Grill would cost me about 18$ to have it lasercut... Imagine a whole case. So try to work and plan with what you got, as much as possible.

Also if you live in the states (and even if not to get an idea), check out mnpctech.com, they offer case mod parts and also some video tutorials.
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a b ) Power supply
June 16, 2012 2:02:26 AM

I'd use aluminium for the frame .. I fab'd a rad compartment from lengths of angle and flat aluminium from hd .. I cut them to length on a chop saw ( carbide blade ) clamped , pre-drilled , and pop riveted it together . I was very strong , light weight , and easy to work with ..
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a c 104 ) Power supply
June 16, 2012 7:44:27 AM

First off we need to know whats going in there, and how do you intend cooling it,
I like the N7 helmet Idea but unless you are having a tiny set up in there the helmet would have to be huge,
Metal frame is a good start and allows you to affix just about anything, the hard part here is going to be the design stage rather than the fabrication,
time to start trawling the net for Post apocalytic stuff to farm ideas from,
http://www.mnpctech.com/casemodblog/2012/04/17/antec-la...
http://www.overclock.net/t/1162298/corsair-400-case-mod...
http://vocal-image.deviantart.com/art/Fallout-PC-Case-M...
Imagination is the key here, you think it, we will find a way to make it happen
(Laws of physics may apply)
:p 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
June 16, 2012 9:32:10 AM

Oh and plan ahead for cable management .. Theres a troll in these threads that will rip you if even one is untidy
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a c 104 ) Power supply
June 16, 2012 9:34:16 AM

I'll be sure to mind out for him, hes probably tucked in behind a drive cage, which is where those damn cables should be!!!
:p 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
June 16, 2012 9:14:49 PM

^ :) 
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June 17, 2012 12:47:43 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
First off we need to know whats going in there, and how do you intend cooling it,
I like the N7 helmet Idea but unless you are having a tiny set up in there the helmet would have to be huge,
Metal frame is a good start and allows you to affix just about anything, the hard part here is going to be the design stage rather than the fabrication,
time to start trawling the net for Post apocalytic stuff to farm ideas from,
http://www.mnpctech.com/casemodblog/2012/04/17/antec-la...
http://www.overclock.net/t/1162298/corsair-400-case-mod...
http://vocal-image.deviantart.com/art/Fallout-PC-Case-M...
Imagination is the key here, you think it, we will find a way to make it happen
(Laws of physics may apply)
:p 
Moto



Sorry for the late post, haven't had internet in a while so couldn't check the answers,

Well Me and my friend got together and we are going to use water cooling, most probably closed loops, corsair h100 or similar, but we are quite woried about gpu cooling, since we hadn't tought of places to add fans, and we are going sli... Still working on that..

As for the N7 helmet, yes you are absolutely right it would look very weird big, and we a going to use it as a gaming desktop, I5 2500 k, sli 550 ti etc.. So we need something bigger, that said this weekend both me and my friend saw prometheus, we are both alien fans, and we liked it a lot!
i don't want to spoil anything, but have you seen the space jockey helmet? It already is big, we still don't have super accurate dimensions , ( been working out of internet pictures, for scale comparison) but we are going to make our case based on the space jockey Helmet.

Already started rendering on Cad, right now our biggest problem is how to cool the gpu's and where to place the fans, without looking weird.

Any advice on gpu cooling and how to make the case open? Should we hinge it from the inside?

Many thanks for the reply and the links!
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June 17, 2012 1:02:09 PM

rufus_22 said:
Oh and plan ahead for cable management .. Theres a troll in these threads that will rip you if even one is untidy


Hello rufus_22, we have read your post, and we are having a hard time trying to sort out were are the cables going to go, in a regular desktop, it's fairly easy, but in a helmet, where should it run, underneath? The power, usb, internet, are going to go in the stand so no problems there, but the cables going from the fans and from the psu to the motherboard, are going to be difficult to place, any advice?

Many thanks for the post!
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Best solution

a c 104 ) Power supply
June 17, 2012 1:07:31 PM

Arctic cooling have a Gpu version of the H-series things, but I'm not sure if they could work in an Sli setup,
Helmet?
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=space+jockey+helmet&um...
I would have gone for a custom loop rather than a all in one cooler, the project is of the level that an allinone seems very much like cheaping out hehe
tubing can be ran through larger ducting that is in keeping with the spacetech theme easily,
fans I think should go at the bottom, the helmet will sit on top/over them and conceal them from view, if a hinge is desired, I'd think that at the back/base would be a good place, it depends how the whole thing will sit in use though
Moto
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June 17, 2012 4:22:56 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Arctic cooling have a Gpu version of the H-series things, but I'm not sure if they could work in an Sli setup,
Helmet?
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=space+jockey+helmet&um...
I would have gone for a custom loop rather than a all in one cooler, the project is of the level that an allinone seems very much like cheaping out hehe
tubing can be ran through larger ducting that is in keeping with the spacetech theme easily,
fans I think should go at the bottom, the helmet will sit on top/over them and conceal them from view, if a hinge is desired, I'd think that at the back/base would be a good place, it depends how the whole thing will sit in use though
Moto


- Just checked out that arctic cooling, and sent a email, knowing if it will work on SLi,

- As for the reason of me going closed loop, it was because in my case (my friends PC is a lot more powerful than mine) my specs are quite normal, I5 2500k (light overclock), Sli gtx550 ti ,(and I also don´t know much about water cooling...), so not a lot of cooling is needed, but I agree with you I´m going to make this case future proof, and make a custom loop, with some tech stuff like UV lights and colored water... :D 

Great Picture on the link you sent me, although the scale looks a bit off, here some in movie pictures I found in google, and the scale is quite larger. (also a renderer picture I found on google, is looking a lot like my design right know, and after seeing it I´m probably going to use the same opening method)

Yes I also agree bottom fans, although I´m not sure how to make the stand yet, but it´s going to have all the fans.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Spf0qGLWTXk/T2vA4x5ZcsI/AAAAA...

http://www.prometheus-movie.com/media/newconcepts1.jpg


Many thanks!
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a c 104 ) Power supply
June 17, 2012 6:15:57 PM

Uv lights are a good idea, they keep the water clear of crawlies and algae,
coloured tubing over coloured water, dyes can break down over time and gunk up pumps and blocks,
check out the W/c sticky in overclocking section for some waterbased starter info though,

I'm having ideas on the general install but can't quite visualise it yet, I'll try and alter that second pic tomorrow to reflect some placement ideas,
I have work tonight so I'll ruminate on it :) 
Moto
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a c 111 ) Power supply
June 17, 2012 6:54:35 PM

Watercool EVERYTHING! :hot: 
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a b ) Power supply
June 17, 2012 9:02:27 PM

I'm in agreement with mr. muffin ..... If your considering an h-100 for your cpu and have concerns about temps on your sli set up you should ( IMHO ) go with a custom loop that cools all 3 .... there are lots of options on waterloops like http://www.dazmode.com/store/index.php?main_page=produc...
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June 19, 2012 11:48:26 PM

Best answer selected by Starmap.
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a c 104 ) Power supply
June 20, 2012 2:48:44 AM

Thank you for B.a. man,
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
June 20, 2012 11:49:12 AM

Good luck with your build :) 
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June 20, 2012 11:59:45 PM

Motopsychojdn said:
Thank you for B.a. man,
Moto


No problem, thanks for the help!
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June 21, 2012 12:04:18 AM

rufus_22 said:
Good luck with your build :) 


Many Thanks!

Just saw a early styrofoam mold and it´s looking BIG! and great :D  but still a lot of work needed.
After everything is done will post the build log :D 
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a c 104 ) Power supply
June 21, 2012 12:25:37 AM

Something to look forward to :-)
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
June 21, 2012 9:34:05 AM

Cant wait :) 
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July 1, 2012 5:45:43 PM

Hello again everyone, :D 

Well I haven´t been to the forum for a while and decided to come back today ! :D 
I have not yet found a place on tom´s hardware to start a build log, so I guess I´ll find another forum for that and tell you guys where it´s going to be.

Today I´m going to give a little update.

Well yesterday the fiberglass shell was done!
However as we were testing the fans, and the air cooling pressure on the "helmet" something went wrong, we placed the custom water loop cooling the cpu and left the gpu´s on the helmet two 120 mm fans, somehow the heat buildup managed to be enough to melt the back, more specificaly the exhaust ports...

It´s even worst because I forgot to take pictures and now all I have is a half melted helmet..... :cry: 
Still my stand is looking great, and I´ll post pictures of the system!

..Oh... and the paracord sleeving on the cables.....got melted glue/resin from the helmet so I´ll have do re-sleeve everything... :( 

Sorry for taking long time between post but with the Euro 2012 going on ;)  , working on the project and my actual work time is short :D 

Many Thanks!

Edit: Just a quick note, the custom watercooling loop has GPU, CPU... blocks, (quoting amuffin: Watercool everything! :D  ) however since I was testing the case on a less expensive gpu (I did not have a water block...) also everything was on iddle, also the Ram and even the motherboard generate a bit of heat...
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a c 104 ) Power supply
July 1, 2012 7:19:23 PM

Build logs usually go in homebuild section, unless watercooled, then they are seen in the W/c subsection of overclocking,
glad to hear of progress, even if it didn't quite go as planned, however, it just means you have learned one way that didn't work, theres still the way out there that will, you just need to find it :) 
Moto
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a b ) Power supply
July 2, 2012 9:54:46 AM

" IMPROVISE SOLDIER " ! lol .. glad to see ya back . keep us updated :) 
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