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I covered my fans

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have some really good Noctua fans in my computer. They're efficient and quiet, but look quite fugly, though...

(old pic)


I decided to cover them up so I hopped on my 3D design program and made some covers for them

(single piece cover & grill )


They work nicely but I wanted to have multi-colored covers and my 3D printer only has 1 extruder so I decided to change my design so that the grill portion of the cover snaps into the cover.

This lets me print my covers in whatever color I want and then I can print whatever color (or design) I want to use for my grill



Currently printing the prototype and I'll post pics of the results when it's done
post #2 of 18
Wow nice work!

How much did you pay for the 3D printer if you don't mind me asking?
post #3 of 18
That's pretty awesome, also interested in how much you paid for that printer.
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Main Rig
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post #4 of 18
Ok... this is sick. Let us know how it turns out. thumb.gif
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Everest - Intel
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Seagate 3TB, WD 500GB HDD, WD 640GB HD Samsung 850 EVO 512GB Samsung DVD-Burner Corsair H110 w/ Dual Aerocool DS 140mm fans 
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Windows 10 Pro Dell S2716DG (1440p, 144hz Gsync) AOC U3477 PQU (3440x1440 IPS) Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Evga SuperNOVA 750 G2 NZXT Phantom 530 Black Logitech G502 Proteus Core Corsair MM400 
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post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Okay...
Been without internet at home since Friday when I got home from work so I haven't been able to update the progress.

Initial results of snap-in grill:

The long-term reliability of the plastic tabs used to hold the grill in place is just not there with PLA. The part either wears down or snaps after repeated (50+) assembly/disassembly cycles.

This required a re-design, which I've been bouncing around in the old noggin for a couple days while taking some time to play PoE and read and watch TV.

I find if I put the issue on the back burner for a while (figuratively speaking) I can then go back and view it with a fresh perspective.

I've done that and I think I have a good solution which will permanently solve the reliability problem as well as make attaching the grill to the cover far easier.

It will, however, increase the thickness of the "face" from 3mm to 7mm.

I will be mocking up the prototype this evening and printing it out to perform further testing.

I have no pics of the improved design since I'm at work so I will have to show the prototype when it's done being printed.

Sorry for the delay in responding. I hope to have internet access when I get home today, but that is not a certainty. (The cable guy is supposed to show up at 4:30 today)
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I made a slot-load design so that the grill can be changed by simply sliding it out.



Here's the cover and grill



Here's the assembled cover/grill




Keep in mind the opening on the prototype cover is 120mm while the grill is 118mm. I did that so I can see how the grill lines up with the cover when inserted into the cover through the slot.

The inner frame of a 120mm fan is only 116mm wide. I measured it with a caliper on the Akasa Viper Fans, 2 different 120mm Corsair fans, and my spare Noctua 120mm. The final cover will have an opening of 118mm so it perfectly matches the grill and doesn't impede air flow.
post #7 of 18
these are really cool... how much does it realistically cost you per cover/grille?
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAM3S121 View Post

these are really cool... how much does it realistically cost you per cover/grille?

Material-wise it isn't a lot of cost. Time is the biggest factor because of the design work that goes into it beforehand, and the clean-up after printing. I still use "rafts" when I print so it takes some bit of time to remove the printed item from the raft.

(Rafts are a small layer of printed plastic that is put down before the part is printed. The printed part sits on the raft and the raft anchors it to the build plate so that it's not knocked over or knocked around during the print process. It causes a bit more material usage, but it's safer for me to use the raft than have a print pop loose in the middle of a print job.)

Edited to add:

I will be printing 4 black covers this week and 5 red grills this week for my case. I'm hoping to have those done by Thursday (I have other stuff I need to do so I can't just tell the printer to print all the parts at one shot)
Edited by notarat - 4/8/14 at 5:22am
post #9 of 18
Which model 3D printer are you using?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by daguardian View Post

Which model 3D printer are you using?

Right now I have a MakerBot Replicator 2. I'm ordering a RepRap Prusa Mendle I2 (most likely) this coming payday.

That should help me speed up the printing by quite a bit, while allowing me to use ABS/Nylon/PET/PLA instead of just PLA.

I could get an upgrade for the Replicator (DIY upgrade of the PSU and a heated bed and borosilicate build plate) but I want the extra printing capacity in addition to working with additional materials.
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