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What material should I use to make my case out of?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Iv been pondering this for a few days as iv been coming up with designs, what material would you like to see a custom case made from.

All my current designs have been made with 1/8 (3mm) steel, but I was looking into HDPE and UHMW plastics in both 3mm and 6mm thicknesses. My only concern would be rigidity and threading screws into the plastic but these can all be dealt with easily. Does anybody have any experience with 3mm or 6mm UHMW or HDPE and could tell me what the characteristics of the material are?

I know EpicPC makes acrylic cases but I dont see any high end consumer cases made from plastic.

Any thoughts?
    
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post #2 of 9
Some type of wood? Walnut?
post #3 of 9
UHMW is ok to work with, but you have to use thread inserts to really hold it together or a good weld-on gel like number 8 to get a great strong bond. cutting and or routing it kind of sucks unless you are using a router table 2d/3d router. HDPE it nice to work, it is strong, and sold enough that it will hold to more coarse threads, but i would still recommend using thread inserts. routing is much easier, and if needed you can jig saw it and sand the edge clean without to much work. not to mention, paint sticks to it better. with UHMW if you paint it you have to have a really good self etching primer if you want it to last and stick for a long time.
post #4 of 9
if i were going to build my own case, i'd probably do a full polished copper or antiqued brass case just for the wow factor, brushed stainless would look pretty awesome too

if you want to stick with plastic i'd look into acetal, it's durable as hell, only down side is it's a pain to work with is you don't have sharp tools
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I was moving towards HDPE after reading up on it a bit, Im thinking of just using small carriage bolts and angle pieces to hold it together so threading shouldn't be too big on an issue with the exception of the mobo standoffs, il probably glue them in tho.

How would HDPE (3mm or 6mm) compare to a 3mm thick sheet of steel in terms of rigidity? I want to be able to stand on top of the case? thumb.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by somebadlemonade View Post

if i were going to build my own case, i'd probably do a full polished copper or antiqued brass case just for the wow factor, brushed stainless would look pretty awesome too
if you want to stick with plastic i'd look into acetal, it's durable as hell, only down side is it's a pain to work with is you don't have sharp tools

I got a quote for a sheet of stainless today, its a bit pricey.
Derlin/Acetal are both obscenely priced compared to HDPE. (~20$ for 2'x4' .125" thick)

If I really end up liking the case il make it out of stainless just because I can but that's a ways down the road haha.

Also iv got access to a laser cutter and cnc router so my hands will not be doing much if any work to the case haha.
Edited by Blue Basher - 9/2/12 at 6:40pm
    
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post #6 of 9
Make it out of stale Doritos's and stick it to taco bell!


I think a full copper case would be cool, I don't know how well it would work though.
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post #7 of 9
haha yea, working with dense plastics you need sharp router bits, if they aren't sharp enough they tend to have a lot or tear out
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post #8 of 9
i don't think you would be able to stand on it, but it would be stronger than most non metal cases made today. your not going to really get anything stronger than metal unless it is a lot thicker.

metal will hold up more, but in the computer area you really do not have to hold up much weight even with water cooling and such. how ever a well made peace of HDPE will be almost as strong as its metal counterpart.
post #9 of 9
yeah i have a 5x10 router at work. they are nice and can make some very precise cuts. you just have to have the right bit, IPM, and rpm settings. i have learn to route plastics using climb. it leave a better finished edge, and for IPM slow is good, but to slow and it will melt and build up more. if you go to fast it will leave shutters or steps on the passes edge. i like doing a lot of 2d stuff, but when you get into doing an object like a face into a 2" thick peace it takes for ever.
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