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[In planning] Scratch - Catharsis

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! Obligatory: excuse me if I got something wrong, I'm new here.

K, what's going on here?
I've been willing to get a custom built case for about half a year now, and all that background thinking and pondering is taking shape now. I'm currently in "plan and design it" phase, and I'd really appretiate some feedback. Also, some nuances might escape my focus, and I'd be glad if you guys point my attention towards them.

Purpose. Spec. Idea.
Let's start with the latter, shall we?
Catharsis: the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
Like many of you, I live in a box. I work in a box. I ride in a box. My food often comes in a box, "it's all boxes, man!". And boy am I sick of them! I craved for something with a small footprint, something I can feast my eyes upon, something I would want to lick... All right, it's getting a bit out of hand, maybe I should eat something.
I had several points of inspiration, mainly notorious Edelveiss custom and Thermaltake Level 10. I also liked the idea of motherboard rotated by 90 degrees, so that GPU(s) are vertical. And it dawned on me:
...planes are much better than boxes.

Another "great" idea I had was to go completely fanless. My current rig houses fanless CPU cooler as well as fanless PSU. This allowed me to finally hear my HDDs, and as it turns out I like their sound! (Granted, those are Caviar Greens, so it's not so bad) So the purpose became clear: fanless for the sheer awesomeness of this stupid idea.

To narrow the design search space let's introduce some limitations:
  • uATX formfactor
  • 300-400 W heat load from CPU and GPUs.
  • Small footprint
  • Clean silhouette
  • Material - aluminium

Current state:
All right, I've rambled long enough. Pics!
(cloud folder which will serve as backup archive)

(20 June 2016) - "Volumes"

(26 June 2016) - "Assembly plans"

Current issues:
I need some place for 2 SSDs. Also, I'd love to get HDDs onto fabric mount instead of rigid mounting, but I really don't want to ruin the "underhole" curves and proportions (so no space here) or expand the foorprint.
[Solved] MoBo and GPU power: I don't really mind power cords going to them from PSU.
[Solved] Heat transfer: I found some really cool flat bendable heatpipes on eBay with spec of up to 270 W with thermal resistance of 0.2 K/W that will do nicely.
[Partially solved] Radiator calculation: current estimate shows that rad of this size should be capable of dissipating ~300 W with delta-T of 45 degrees. I'm OK with hardware going up to 75 degrees C with ambient 30. I know it's not healthy but I'm ok with that.
Edited by Taugeshtu - 6/25/16 at 3:29pm
post #2 of 4
I really enjoy out of the box thinking like this. Will follow to see how it lays out. Good luck.

I am hoping to finish my personal out of the box scratch build this week. So I know how daunting this can be.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Currently I'm mostly happy with the volumes and overall shape I've got; the next step would be to work out the kinks and go for assembly plans - which parts would assemble the final volumes and how they will be connected. Pics!

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Assembly plans:
I've started tinkering with various ways I can get to desired shape with the least amount of ugly seams while retaining rigidity and ease of manufacturing. Obviously the best way to go about it would be to have me some 5mm thick aluminium sheets and bend them on high-precision industrial grade press smile.gif But I don't have such a thing, nor do I fancy building one xD So, best way seems to be CNC milling. There's going to be a lot of hardcore oiling and swearing going on, but I probably won't be around to witness any of that. Secret sauce: trust professionals to do that for you!

With that settled I browsed the interwebs looking for good local-ish CNC guys... I found them! Problem ensued: approachable ones (those who can do one-off job) only do 3D-milling, none of that fancy 5D stuff. So I had to design around that, and it wasn't easy. Makes you appreciate the sheer volume of engineering though going into everyday things like ovens and toasters. Nonetheless, I seemed to have found a way to handle the most tricky parts ^_^ If you're looking for some A+ grade insanity - don't you worry! I have planned some trickery, but that'll have to wait for the time when I'll be actually assembling the parts.

Below you'll see some blast schemes (well, my hobbyist parody on them at least) and an x-ray. I'm not done with all the inner channels yet, and I'm yet to tackle the screws placement (I have that in my head, just need to actually place them in the model). Also, the face plate lacks its opening mechanism, there's no PCI mounting bracket ridig, and I'm still not sure where to place those damn SSDs! Aghrrr! Enough of that, pics!

Edited by Taugeshtu - 6/25/16 at 3:32pm
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