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How to create a custom water block for a motherboard?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What is the best way to go about building a custom water block for a motherboard? I want to make an STL file and have a company mill it for me, but I'm not sure what the most accurate method would be to go about it.

Do I make a paste and mold the mobo and go from there?

Should I get some kind of 3d scanner? If so, is there a decent one that is under 1,500 USD that can make an accurate CAD to assist me?



Any help is appreciated.



Thanks
post #2 of 12
All you need is a CAD program and a ruler.
Google Sketch Up is free.

For something like AutoCad or Solid Works you'd have to spend thousands and the learning curve is - well, long and difficult.

If the company is going to use CNC machines you or they will have to write the CNC program.

Machining copper is very difficult. You'd be wise to ensure that whomever you choose has experience with it.
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post #3 of 12
well... One can do with caliber, paper and pencil to get started just to get measures... And if you know basics for thecnical drawing (meaning that you're able to draw on paper something that some one else understands, standards and so) it'll help a lot. Otherways rocky road a head and lot's to learn. I've tried to measure Asus gtx 970 to mill myself waterblock for it. It isn't easy job. Usually measures are logical in metric system. It's just about where you find the starting points and find good solid points to measure the other parts. If you are able to do that on paper you can try to make cad drawing.

It's possible that if you ask Ekwb or some other company they can make it cheaper for you and you don't have to measure anything.
post #4 of 12
Digital calipers to take precise measurements.

A local metalworking shop, and a lot of math.

Knowledge of, or a friend who knowledge of how to properly draw up and communicate the specs of the block.

CAD (goes by autodesk nowadays) would be a big help



The cheapest and easiest way though to be honest would be to just buy a block that's as close as possible and then just go Dr. Frankenstein on it in your garage.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just got back from a metal working shop and that is exactly what they are doing. They are using digital calipers and some other expensive device to take the measurements and sending me what the base of the water block should look like in a compatible file format so I'll be able to design the block.

They didn't seem to confident though about machining. I'll probably have to go through someone else. At least I wont have to ship my motherboard to them.
post #6 of 12
Yes. machining copper is difficult. The problem is that it's soft and melts easily - it's like trying to cut a stick of warm butter in half with a baseball bat.
Be sure and ask the shop that's going to do the machining if they have experience with copper - most don't.
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post #7 of 12
Buy a motherboard that Bitspower makes a block for. By the time you finish your project, your hardware will be out of date. Standard measurement tools won't cut it. You would need a laser/optical measurement system to take relative measurements with enough accuracy to be able to do this nicely. You could try it with a ruler, there isn't enough precision there. You couldn't use calipers to measure this. You could possibly use some type of dial indicator to get somewhere close.
Edited by mtrapuzz - 7/21/16 at 2:17pm
post #8 of 12
You should try and get in touch with Nateman_doo over at the EVGA forums. If someone can help you with this, it's certainly him.
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm actually pretty far along in the process. I've already talked to machining company, they pinged the exact locations of the motherboard so I could build a CAD file. I've already 3d printed my model and it fits perfectly. The only thing I have left now is designing how the water will flow through the block and am 75% done... with the next step is having someone machine it for me and polishing it up so I can plate it.

This has actually been pretty damn fun.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I would save some time and money having someone else do it, and Its been a bit frustrating at times, but what I've learned so far has been very satisfying.
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