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Case- & Hardware Modding

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Noale
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#121

Posted 28 December 2017 - 02:34 AM

Ended up making my own Abee headphone stand since buying it would be a hassle. The design has been sent to get cut in wood first, but if I like it, I may stick with it.

 

4ZfjAZ4.jpg

 

Woody test with aluminum rods. The edges on the real piece will be burned by the laser cutter.

mb1Myco.jpg

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#122

Posted 29 December 2017 - 11:20 PM

Ended up buying yet another case. My first Phanteks as well.

 

I wasn't much of a fan of the dark grey powdercoat, so I stripped it off and went with a brushed look. I may end up actually using this case.  :lol:

 

1L8js7K.jpg

 

s8y1nPI.jpg

 

D5XiA8G.jpg

 

rEIxSx1.jpg

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#123

Posted 30 December 2017 - 09:16 PM

Are you an artist or designer of some sort in your career?

With your house, do you do the decor yourself? Can you post more pics of your place?
 

I love your aesthetic sense. You take great pictures too!


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#124

Posted 30 December 2017 - 10:29 PM

Thanks. I've never had a career in design. I'm just a hobbyist who likes to customize things. For me, customizing inevitably required some designing. I only started using 3D/CAD software a few years ago to help make that designing easier.

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#125

Posted 11 January 2018 - 01:53 AM

A couple of pieces for the Evolv Shift have arrived. I decided to mock it up. Excuse the prints and burn marks. Too busy to clean it up at the moment.

 

x4rW6ir.jpg

 

L6XiNz4.jpg

 

As for the headphone stand, I'm still waiting on aluminum rods and misc, but the main pieces are done.

 

yClCnKa.jpg

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#126

Posted 04 February 2018 - 05:02 AM

Some rear side work on my new E-ATX project. Borrowing some hardware from my John Player build.

 

VBR3nlv.jpg

 

mAHA5II.jpg

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#127

Posted 13 February 2018 - 01:40 AM Edited by Noale, 13 February 2018 - 01:43 AM.

So dead in here.

 

Making more progress on my Stacked project. Old front inputs and power button

 

J62TQrQ.jpg

 

New. Cleaned up and wired for USB 3.0 with the "Eye" power button. Mounted on dual 3mm plates.

 

TErd6DG.jpg

 

Shaved front I/O

 

j6dMQLK.jpg

 

Front filter plate

 

jOy0IcE.jpg

 

The mesh behind it uses magnets to stick to the main plate. The reason for having two separate plates is to that when I go to rinse the filter, I don't have to dust off all 15 slots on the main plate. Instead, I can separate them and just rinse the 3 bigger squares, making life so much easier.

 

tYY4Pgn.jpg

 

New rear I/O plate. A certain feature missing?  :lol:

 

RkNQjub.jpg

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#128

Posted 18 February 2018 - 12:05 PM

Love the fact that you're modding a CM Stacker - looks very classy! I've often contemplated digging up one of the greats from the past, and going to town on it. Like one of the old Chieftec cases, or an Antec LanBoy. But never really had the motivation. :p

 

Been looking at picking up an InWin 909 (got inspired by your 904 :p), but it doesn't really fit on my desk, with my stupid slanted wall and all. Have to have one at some point, though.

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#129

Posted 18 February 2018 - 08:05 PM Edited by Noale, 18 February 2018 - 08:07 PM.

You should definitely go for it. The Lanboy and Chieftec Dragons are very iconic if you've been around a long time. Older cases are fun to work on. They are great for projects since most of them have been forgotten, so seeing one pop up again is a nice refreshment (some people may even think it's a new case). Many of the older Lian Li and Silverstone cases have a timeless design. I'd be really interested to see what you go with if you find an older case. Your style matches my taste very well.

 

It feels awkward being the only one posting here recently.  :lol: Posts about modding in general are welcome, and I wish more people would post mod stuff that they love here. It doesn't have to be your own mods either you guys. I think posting mods that you like is a good contribution to threads like this. Since it exposes the rest of us to ideas we may end up using. The hardest part is coming up with an idea then sticking with it so you don't end up wasting time and money. Build threads and modding threads are where those ideas/inspiration come from. If I didn't spend time looking at other people's builds and photos, I'd never have come up with my own. Seeing other people's work lets you know what works, and what looks good.

 

For example, Japanese computer cases are an influence for my builds. Soldam/WinDy was an aluminum case manufacturer from Japan that rivaled Lian Li in the aluminum market. Unfortunately there was almost nobody outside of Japan with Soldam cases. A lot of us tried, but it was just a hassle. This case in particular played a part in the chocolate brown color I chose for my Stacker build.

iQvAhB6.jpg

 

Aluminum build, and anodized interiors.

ehWhIuq.jpg

 

Soldam went out of business a while back. Which sucks. However, some people consider the Japanese brand Abee to be their spiritual successor.

maintop.jpg

 

Abee does a thing with bolting on ID plates on the back of their cases, which adds a more premium feel.

emblem.jpg

 

In fact, to show just how much Abee influenced me, here was the first ID plate iteration on my last build. Complete with a play on the Abee name. Even used the same font. Shame on me.  :lol:

QBfR8UV.jpg

 

If anyone wants to step up to making their own custom parts, then it does not get any better than Autodesk's Fusion 360. Includes built in CAM software if you want to go all out and have your parts CNC milled. You can export formats directly supported by 3D printing, and you can save drawings as DXF for easy export to Illustrator, for 2D/laser cutting. Components and hardware can also be imported directly into Fusion 360 from many manufacturers. So instead of modelling an M3 bolt, just insert the part from McMaster. You can even get quotes from companies like Protolabs. The best part is Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists. It's essentially professional CAD software that closely matches Solidworks or Autodesks own Inventor.

 

Fusion is what I've been using for my projects. This simple GPU mounting bracket was created in Fusion before exporting to Illustrator and sending them out for laser cutting.

vn03Shi.jpg

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#130

Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:43 AM Edited by Audi, 19 February 2018 - 05:47 AM.

I just lurk this thread lol.

 

I've been spending all my time on the "battlestation" aspect of my setup, but plan on tackling my case next while I upgrade a few components. 

 

Also have my old case from a prebuilt desktop I had in college still lying around that I want to find some use for. 

 

acer aspire ast180-ud441a

 

41-tD98F0pL.jpgJ0Pmcee.jpg

 

I really like it's small size compared to my current pc (dukase v2 deepcool)

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#131

Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:28 AM

Those prebuilt cases are actually where I started modding. Of course I ended up ruining it as a beginner, and throwing it in the trash.  :lol:

 

Something you could probably do now is a dust cover for your case. I think it just adds a bit more to the overall project. I just finished mine recently. Keeps it clean while I work on it. Worth it! Just buy a meter or so of 60"/150cm width fabric. Fold it in half, and stitch the sides. This dust cover is about 30"x30". Total cost = $6usd

 

qgZhgu3.jpg

 

 

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#132

Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:22 PM

@noale how many cases do you have?


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#133

Posted 19 February 2018 - 02:53 PM

Probably too many.

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#134

Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:34 PM

As far as custom case production goes I really enjoy Parvum's stuff, quality work.

 

CM013PS_120815_800x800.jpg

 

There's a really interesting Parvum based Bladerunner theme build going on over at OCUK too:

 

YenAiFfh.jpg

HGe11x1h.jpg

 

As far as case modding myself goes, I think I'm gonna paint my case soon. Bought the white Define R5 used for fairly cheap so I'd like to clean it up a little bit and paint it black. Doesn't have a window or anything and aesthetics arent the main concern so I'm thinking to save a few quid and effort I could get away with painting just the outside of the case black. Guess it'll just be a matter of buffing the case with sandpaper, clean it off and dry, coat or two of primer, coat or two of matte black and then maybe a coat of lacquer? Not 100% sure how lacquering for a matte finish works.

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#135

Posted 19 February 2018 - 03:48 PM Edited by Noale, 19 February 2018 - 03:50 PM.

^ I'm fairly certain that's Jameswalt's build but I could be wrong. It's over at OCN too. I think the guy lives like 30 minutes from me.  :lol:

 

If you're painting a case, I'd recommend 3 coats minimum. That should allow you to do lighter coats. Your first two coats should not cover the case itself. If you get the spray cans, then you can use regular matte clear over the matte color coat.


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#136

Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:09 PM

Figured I'd post these here as well. Been too busy at work to make any progress so it's been in this state for a few days now. I also can't really do much unless some more parts arrive so I'm stuck either way.  :lol:

 

j8sXR5Y.jpg

 

pJwjJJj.jpg

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#137

Posted 25 February 2018 - 01:29 AM

Some more parts arrived, the most important of which is my motherboard cover. Took it as an opportunity to mount the motherboard and cooler and see if everything fits OK. There's a large slit on the left of the cover that I need to cover with an air channel allowing hot air to exit from beneath the cover, but everything so far fits nicely so I'm happy.

 

Since the cutout on the cover is smaller than the size of the heatsink, having it in one piece wasn't an option since I would have had to mount the cooler after the cover, which would have made reaching the socket nuts impossible. The four bolts above the cooler hold the bracket that supports the smaller cover above, which I can remove, allowing me to slide the cover off to expose the board itself.

 

Oh, and removable motherboard trays are the sexiest thing ever.  :lol:

Sc9Vsby.jpg

 

I also bought some temperature displays and had some housings cut for them. I used a caliper to measure the display box and then modified the dimensions slightly in CAD (~0.10mm) to compensate for the laser kerf, in order try to get a tight interference fit. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect and knew I probably had to file away a tiny amount for the displays to press into the housing, but luckily it all worked out and the displays just press and hold into place into the housing without any filing, and without screws or adhesive.

VEdDSMK.jpg

Still haven't got clue where I should mount them.

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#138

Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:11 AM

I would've said top IO but it'd kinda ruin the clean look it currently has, not sure which case it so I can't tell if it has accessible optical bays? If you're doing temp readouts it'd be cool to have it on a custom made 5.25 bay, maybe even fan/pump/flow meter readings if you're going watercooled.


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#139

Posted 25 February 2018 - 02:29 AM Edited by Noale, 25 February 2018 - 02:30 AM.

It's a Cooler Master Stacker 830 SE (from 2006)

 

cooler-master-stacker-830.jpg

cooler-master-stacker-830.jpg

 

It had drive bays, but a lot has been changed. I posted a picture above of how the case currently sits. The entire front half is completely different now.


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#140

Posted 25 February 2018 - 10:36 AM

Some more parts arrived, the most important of which is my motherboard cover. Took it as an opportunity to mount the motherboard and cooler and see if everything fits OK. There's a large slit on the left of the cover that I need to cover with an air channel allowing hot air to exit from beneath the cover, but everything so far fits nicely so I'm happy.

 

Since the cutout on the cover is smaller than the size of the heatsink, having it in one piece wasn't an option since I would have had to mount the cooler after the cover, which would have made reaching the socket nuts impossible. The four bolts above the cooler hold the bracket that supports the smaller cover above, which I can remove, allowing me to slide the cover off to expose the board itself.

 

Oh, and removable motherboard trays are the sexiest thing ever.  :lol:

 

I also bought some temperature displays and had some housings cut for them. I used a caliper to measure the display box and then modified the dimensions slightly in CAD (~0.10mm) to compensate for the laser kerf, in order try to get a tight interference fit. I wasn't expecting it to be perfect and knew I probably had to file away a tiny amount for the displays to press into the housing, but luckily it all worked out and the displays just press and hold into place into the housing without any filing, and without screws or adhesive.

 

Still haven't got clue where I should mount them.

 

Loving this project. The motherboard cover is ingenious. And your pictures are fantastic.  :inlove:

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#141

Posted 26 February 2018 - 04:26 AM Edited by Noale, 26 February 2018 - 04:32 AM.

Just a heads up for today and tomorrow ONLY (Feb 26-27). BigBlueSaw is having a deep sale on 6061 aluminum waterjetting (8mm thick plate only)

 

https://www.bigbluesaw.com

 

I was quoted $120 USD to get a 150x200mm part waterjet cut. The same part now costs just $18USD.

 

The sale is only for 6061AL in 8mm thickness (0.3125in). They are USA based, but I think they do ship worldwide. You'd just need to email them.

 

You can upload files directly to their website for instant quotes. The most convenient way is to use a DXF file. So if any of you guys want custom parts for your case, in 8mm aluminum no less, take advantage of this.

 

If anyone needs a simple part they want designed, I can draw it up in CAD and send you the DXF file. You would just need to give me dimensions, or draw a crude design on paper and post it here.

 

Edit: I'll add that BigBlueSaw is legit. They sponsor combat robotics here in the USA. Including the champion of Battlebots 2016.

 

J7nhOTk.jpg

 

 

 


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#142

Posted 27 February 2018 - 10:01 AM

I just got this vertical GPU bracket and it is now useless. Waste of money but eh, what can I do. Getting the new bracket cut in aluminum and going to reposition the GPU elsewhere. Might just save this part in case it comes handy in another build, but not before I test mounted it!

 

3hLJRSP.jpg

dMGDe9v.jpg

 

Some more case shots with the tray and front door this time.

 

JIT1mJP.jpg

wUQRtZx.jpg

zWh8FGt.jpg

BqYs1OX.jpg

JcUaKtB.jpg

 

Had some sleeving lying around so I did what an idiot would do and sleeved some cables. Sleeving has got to be one of the most frustrating things ever. I forgot what colors these were, but they are either MDPC or LC Teleios colors.

 

kOWPXOQ.jpg

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#143

Posted 4 weeks ago

8mm of metallic beef has been delivered.

 

kZn3x3p.jpg

 

What a strange way to mount a GPU.

 

PXFLoPw.jpg

 

hlw774c.jpg

 

 

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#144

Posted 4 weeks ago

What a strange way to mount a GPU.


Looks amazing, man! I've been fantasizing about mounting the GPU in my next case (probably an In Win 909) in a similarly funky way, or maybe just vertically, and on water of course. :p
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#145

Posted 4 weeks ago

Looks amazing, man! I've been fantasizing about mounting the GPU in my next case (probably an In Win 909) in a similarly funky way, or maybe just vertically, and on water of course. :p

 

Vertically the way I did? Or vertically like some of the new cases where it just rotates it 90 degrees? Either one has potential to look funky.  :lol: I ended up using a 500m riser cable to position mine.

VjIWteG.jpg

 

As for the situation I'm in, I think it does look fine as it sits (cleanliness wise), however I will be covering it with a panel of it's own. So when completed, the GPU is completely hidden.  This is an early draft, and it probably won't work anymore ever since I've remeasured it with the GPU placed. However, I'm intending for the revision to be similar in appearance since it also functions to direct airflow from the front fans beneath the covers, to hopefully prevent things from overheating.

 

aPHwi3D.jpg


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#146

Posted 4 weeks ago Edited by Noale, 4 weeks ago.

I need some quick thoughts on this so I can rush this piece in with my current part order.

 

This is my original rear I/O panel that I posted before. It was made for when I was going to mount the GPU in front of the motherboard, using the first version of the bracket. But since the GPU is in a completely different location, that cutout for cables and venting are useless.

 

zmK79vF.jpg

 

I'm remaking the rear panel, but I'm not sure if I should do the 2nd fan. Here's the revised rear panel.

 

New features:

1) The trident cutout on the bottom left section provides exhaust venting for the air flowing underneath the cover.

2) The rectangular cutout above that is where the new GPU cable will be routed. (can probably make this smaller if I'm just using a DisplayPort/HDMI cable) It is currently a 15x30mm cutout.

3) The two holes between the fans that I was using to mount the rear ID plate has been replaced with a cutout of the UK Union Jack (As TGF is UK based). I'll be putting a backlight inside, so the Union Jack will be lit (not that kind of lit).

 

aTRv6yI.jpg

 

The only thing is I'm not sure if I'll like the dual rear fan look. I photoshopped how it would look using existing photos. Also put some airflow arrows to give a general idea of how things will flow.

 

Np02sGJ.jpg

 

Thoughts? Put a fan there? Put something else? Another concern is that the CPU cooler is oriented vertically, meaning it intakes from below, and exhausts upwards. That 2nd fan might have an affect on airflow from the bottom vent, sucking it immediately out of the case. Though honestly at this point, aesthetics are basically prioritized over pure thermals.

 

Edit: Eh. May just move on with it. How the interior currently sits.

 

ADWixZi.jpg

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#147

Posted 3 weeks ago

Temp gauges figured out. Front half-cover half-assed in. It's Thursday and I don't have work tomorrow. Party time. I should be doing something better, but instead I'm working on this hot mess. I'm just realizing I've been winging this entire project from the start. How it ended up being something that actually bolted together puzzles me. Maybe the front will fall off in the future. But for now, all is good.

 

2Zh11fl.jpg

 

Knock Knock Noctua.

UGYG9NX.jpg

 

When this baby hits 88C, you're going to see some serious sh*t. Because that paint will melt into diarrhea.

zNDDSfU.jpg

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#148

Posted 3 weeks ago

When this baby hits 88C, you're going to see some serious sh*t. Because that paint will melt into diarrhea.


Haha. But seriously, the job you've done with this is absolutely fantastic. I was about to say, that it's the best looking brown case I've ever seen, but I think it's the only brown case I've ever seen.  :lol: Not to take away from the fact that it's already by far one of the best casemods I've seen in recent memory. It's on my Top 3, fo' sho'.

 

The place that cuts the metal for you - do they also do the bending? Looks so damn smooth. Also, what's the story about, what I assume is, the Union Jack cut into the rear plate?

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#149

Posted 3 weeks ago

Thanks Azazel! The brown was definitely hit or miss. I have to admit it probably still isn't the best color it could have been (matte black may have been better), but I just wanted something different. That bent cover is 3mm acrylic, which I used over aluminum because they have them in a very nice matte black finish, and then bent it myself. If you're having metal cut, having them do the bends will add a significant cost to the piece. You're much better off just buying a small bending brake, which is what I use. Just have them cut the flat pattern and bend it yourself.

 

About the Union Jack, The Great Frog is based in London/UK and I wanted to retain that little feature at the rear. My first rear plate had that single fan, and I put a rear badge with TGF London on it. But since I've replaced that rear panel with the dual fan one, and took it as an opportunity to go with a different idea, dropping the badge in favor of a Union Jack cutout, which will be backlit (both on the inside and outside).

 

Ye olde rear panel that I have changed out.

NhLGa1F.jpg

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#150

Posted 2 weeks ago

Some teaser final shots of the Stacker project. A bit late here now so I'll have to wait another day to finish the photos. Good news is everything is functioning.

 

QZCbr2x.jpg

 

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