Build Log: DIY case

Not sure if this is the right category but anyways...
I finished my first PC build about a month ago and despite modding a side window and putting lights in and drilling the odd hole here and there, I can't help feeling that I didn't buy the right case and need a new one.
But with a decent case that can accommodate water cooling easily being around £100 or so, I think I'll build one. (It can also double up as an A-level project (or at least I hope so)).

The build will consist of:
* Case built from scratch
* DIY fan controller
* Water cooling (eventually at least)

Most of the parts for the case will be bought from Wickes and other DIY stores, with the odd bit here and there (expansion slot brackets) cut off old cases.

The case will be based on many cube cases / test benches, with the PSU underneath the horizontally mounted motherboard. The case will eventually accommodate:
* ATX motherboard
* 2 drive bays for ODD and front panel connections
* Space for 2 rads and a 2 bay pump resevoir combo (XSPC rasa 750 EX240 kit and an extra EX360 rad basically)
* Full cable routing

This is a very early stage as of now, I'm looking at materials tomorrow and will finalise the first draft of the case design.
Will post sketches and screenshots etc... soon.
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More about build case
  1. Got back from DIY store with good news and bad news.
    Good News: everything but sheet aluminum can be bought from one shop.
    Bad News: Without the sheet aluminum the cost comes to around £65 (more than I was expecting).
    Bellow is the design for the frame and component placement, and separate pictures with the outer case explained.

    The frame.

    The case without the top/side panel on.

    The case with the top/side panel on.


    Also, has anyone got any ideas for dust filter material? I was thinking silk or some other fabric.
  2. How about AC vent filters?
  3. Quote:
    How about AC vent filters?

    Hadn't thought of that, thanks for the idea.

    Done the design for the PWM fan controller based around a 555 chip.

    Can anyone think of anything else I could add that would count as a system of sorts, (eg. the fan controller would be a system for controlling fan speed).
  4. Cool, cant wait for finished product
  5. Might go and get some of the bits tomorrow, more pics within the week
    How do vacuum cleaner filters sound? I think I've got some lying around in the loft somewhere.
  6. Got the first lot of stuff, some right angles cross section (or whatever it's called), right angle brackets, some mesh (that'll be sprayed the colour of the lights and windows etc...) and some 1/2" screws.
    I no longer need the larger cross section that would have cost £25 together as the outer casing can do a more structural job without it, instead of the larger cross section, the right angle brackets will be used as shown in the diagram bellow.

  7. How big is the final case going to be? If you plan to transport this case a few times then you may need more right-angle brackets.
  8. I have a couple lying around in case of emergency, it's going to be completely stationary or as close as possible and dimensions will be roughly 400x300x430mm (L,W,H).
  9. I'm liking it so far,
    Sketched out, fishing for some ideas/feedback, been to B&Q, **Sorry, Wickes, its got their name on it :P**
    I'm watching though,
    especially ** Full cable routing**, I want good results here Rob :P
  10. Have you considered rubber feet or caster wheels?
  11. I see what you did there :P
    Cables will be perfect as can be, even where you can't see them under the motherboard. :D
    I'm thinking of castors, as there were a load on some wardrobe packaging I got recently.that <strike>might</strike> will be made to fit
    Won't be able to start properly building for another week, the school has a CNC machine and Laser cutter which will make all the hole cutting in everything a lot neater and easier (if the thing's not broken like it normally is).
    They might be able to order in some sheet aluminum for the top / side panel / roof thing as well as then I could have curved edges at the top which would look better than a simple box I think.
  12. Nice, shaped form is always nicer than flat, adds to the overall effect
  13. All ready for Cutting

  14. The fan hole at the front? are you mounting the fan inside it? otherwise 121mm isn't the right size hole, unless its for a 140mm ofc :P
  15. Half inside it
  16. Found the castors, will have to remove the plastic junk around them.

    For the inner trays, front, back and bottom, 12mm thick MDF, should cut, sand and spray paint nicely.

    Found somewhere that'll do the aluminum too
    Plus Vat and P&P it's around £28 ($44) but that's cheaper than other places, will see if I can get a better deal through school.
    Just refined the cutout measurements now I know the thickness of all the panels
  17. **Half inside it **
    Cool, same as my radbox fans, pro tip, cut the hole smaller and file it out to fit, makes for a tighter more secure fixing,
    I'd go for 15mm MDF, that extra thickness will give solidity to the case and allow you better leverage for drilling pilot holes for screws/bolts, MDF doesn't like it when a rogue screw splits it :)
    I'd leave the plastic on the castors as well, maybe trim down a bit but use that to screw/bolt them to the case
  18. I've gone and bought the 12mm stuff now so I'll just have to be careful.
    Your radbox was where I got the idea for the fan mounting method :)
  19. It saves on screws hehe :P
    be careful when trying the fans out for size,
    use an old expendable fan if you can, I damaged one of mine when repeatedly fitting/altering and I'd have gone nuts if it had been one of the good fans,
  20. I'll get a £1 fan for fitting along with the more decent stuff
    Led controller, lights off/on/flashing to music :D
    The push to make switch emulates the speaker output
    The SPDT switch will have an off position IRL

    Also got some brackets that will act as a drive cage and some washers so the screws for the small screws so that they don't fall through the 1st brackets I bought
  21. Right then lets get on to the colour scheme and lighting.
    HOw does matt black MDF frame with silver (unpainted) grills and an unpainted aluminum cover with black grills.
    Then either red or blue lights so that the side windows, top vent and front and bottom fan spaces light up (the top side grills as well if the light can get through the rads and fans. Won't be using LED fans as it would be too hard to wire up the LEDs to the light controller, just clear ones so lights (either LED strips or cold cathodes) will shine through.
    Am thinking more towards picking blue atm but what are people's thoughts on red
  22. A rather large problem has arisen.
    For this to count as a project for A-level all the work must be done in school (fair enough). But It must be done within 2 dates, the start one is not until next year. So as much as I'd love to get on with it right now, studies take priority and the project will be on-hold.
    It will be made though. Just in quite a while :(
  23. No problem man, that gives you ample time to plan, design and work out any potential issues you may encounter,
    sometimes breathing space for the brain is a good thing :)
  24. right, lets start this thread up again

  25. What one do you lot think works best?
  26. I'd plump for the full Atx plate, micro's aren't usually the best option for clockers, plus the gfx cards as you say are limited to 26Cm, but remember that is 26Cm card, as in the Pcb, so a card advertised as 30Cm may actually only have a 25Cm Pcb once you remove the shroud to fit the waterblock, worth remembering :)
    And we'll manage the cables when we get to that stage hehe
  27. thought so, I mean it's only really the 690 / 7970 etc that are that long, 670s are tiny and they'll get any job done.
    I like the cleaner radiator setup on the ATX too
  28. Wat are people's views on having a cup holder?
  29. It'd be a nice touch,
    'heres my top of the range gfx cards, my overclocked chip, the W/c loop here and here,*Whats that bit?*
    thats for my coffee bro....
    go for it :)
  30. As proven by science
    Celeron + cup holder > i7
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