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Make your own custom GPU backplate

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all

I'm a junior modder, although I already have quite some experience sleeving cables, and my next step is to make my own GPU backplate (no waterblock, just a metal plate for the aesthetics).

Now, I've started sketching in DraftSight, a free 2D CAD program, and I've made a few good designs for a backplate. But the problem that I have now, is that I don't know how to measure the exact holes for my card. I'm afraid that if I measure them myself (directly from my GPU), the holes won't line up perfectly and the screws won't fit.
Another question that I ask myself is, how do I put these mounting holes in my sketch design so they will line up perfectly?
And the third question I have is that I don't know if these mounting holes will fit for the screws, because I've read on some forums that the mounting holes on your GPU PCB are threaded so screws will fit in. But if I get my backplate lasercut, I don't think these mounting holes will be threaded.

Anyone who has got some experience in this, got any advice or who can help me out?

Thanks in advance!

ps: I was thinking to get my backplate made by Dwood, but right now he's very busy, and I live in Belgium, so the shipping and transport would cost loads, not to mention what it'll cost of the customs take it up.
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post #2 of 11
I have a backplate made by Dwood. You can measure the holes by yourself. I measured my card and just sent the diagram to Dwood. As for the screws, you need some spacers to put between the card and the plate. About 1/8 in.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
What did you measure the distances with? And do all the holes fit perfectly?
I'm just not sure enough that the holes will fit perfectly if I measure it.
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post #4 of 11
Here's my crappy measurement.
Just make the holes a tiny bit bigger than the screws to give it a little room for error.
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
What card do you have? not all cards are the same, u know =/ these holes are not the same as a Sapphire HD 7870 XT
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post #6 of 11
Get a set of digital calipers that have an accuracy of +/- .0005, then you measure from the edge of the card to the close edge of the hole. Then you measure from the edge of the card to the far edge of the hole...

Add them together, divide by 2, and now you have the perfect center. If you cut the backplate accurately, say... to 5 thousandths or so, then you can just measure from the edge of the plate. If you intend there to be any overhang, then you add the overhang where appropriate. Oversizing the holes by 5-8 thousands will more than compensate for the margin of error.

The most important thing here is that you make damn sure no part of the plate is touching any contacts on the card. There are many pins on the back that raise up too high on my Titan, and the EVGA backplate I ordered has cutouts specifically for these pins, and in some cases plastic strips on the back of the plate that cover potential contact points.

Do not fire this thing up unless you are damn sure there won't be a short. I inspected my Titan for a solid 10 minutes before I even put it in the case, let alone turned it on.

But frankly, if you can't work to those tolerances, you shouldn't be trying to precision cut a piece of metal to stick on the back of a not-cheap GPU.

if you are simply measuring and making a drawing to be laser cut by someone else, all you need to do is accurately measure the card.
Edited by Masta Squidge - 5/19/13 at 12:06am
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks alot! I think it's best if I get me one of those calipers and get it lasercut by some company smile.gif
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liradon View Post

Thanks alot! I think it's best if I get me one of those calipers and get it lasercut by some company smile.gif
In which case, you are better off searching for a premade backplate, if it is available, and having someone laser cut whatever fancy logo/name/lettering you want in that.

One off things tend to involve a high price due to setup times, even with something as easy as a laser cutter. They are going to charge you tons of money per hour for someone to set up and verify your file so that the cutter can read the data, plus machine time. I have heard of figures over $150 dollars an hour for design, setup, and machine time.

But as I said, laser cutters are a bit cheaper to set up and run xD
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Good news is, I made the design myself already smile.gif (in draftsight). So, I'm just looking for a place where I can get it cut at a decent price smile.gif
And there are no premade backplates for my gpu =/
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liradon View Post

Good news is, I made the design myself already smile.gif (in draftsight). So, I'm just looking for a place where I can get it cut at a decent price smile.gif
And there are no premade backplates for my gpu =/

Thats the thing, Its not that simple.
They will probably have to convert it, make some formatting changes, and a few other things.
Not counting materials, run time, etc.

I see the same thing all the time at work.
Someone brings in a design for a business card or a brochure they made themselves, and i know instantly when I look at it that it needs changes before I can print it because of layout or all sorts of stuff.

Sort of Related:
There are an awful lot of "graphic designers" in tucson who use Publisher rolleyes.gif
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