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Experiences with Custom fabrication?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for any help/direction on custom fabricating a part for a Define S build I'm doing.

I got the Define S in and I want to fabricate something for the top and front to give myself a little more space to stick a radiator outside the case, like this...





Even with a very small radiator (EK Coolstream 120.3 SE, 26mm thick) you can see what I'm trying to do won't work out of the box.



So I've been playing around in CAD, doing measurements and trying to get a feel for what I'm trying to build. Here is a diagram of the enclosure I'm designing for the top. This would be out of anodized aluminum, which I would then paint etc...





So It's coming along.

Questions are,
  • Attachment methods? How would I get this to be secured, yet removable?
  • What about injection molding something with plastic?
  • Any ideas/tips on making the top and front covers one removable piece?

Any design tips / experiences helpful. Thanks!
post #2 of 11
For semi- permanent mounting you have decent amount of options. The easiest would be using bolts and you could also use latches which would be the easiest to operate. The best method really comes down to how often you are going to remove the top, how quickly you want to be able to remove it, how much money you want to spend on it and how much time you want to dedicate to building it.

Injection molding is great for manufacturing a bunch of the same parts quickly but expensive for a one off part. If it was me I would probably make it using 2-3 mm aluminum sheet stock and fold one piece making the the majority of it and then use brackets to add the end pieces. You could also look into having it printed using ABS but, the aluminum would look better and be more rigid.
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IKONiK
(9 items)
 
APEX CES Build
(22 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 6700k 1151 EVGA Z170 Classified K 1151 EVGA GTX 980TI Classified  EVGA Superclocked DDR4 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
OCZ Vector 180 OCZ RD400 NVM PCIE SSD  Alphacool custom loop with limited edition whit... Windows 10 
Power
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11 1,000 watt 
CPUCPUMotherboardMotherboard
i7 7700k 1151 Kaby Lake  i7 7700k 1151 Kaby Lake  Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 
GraphicsGraphicsGraphicsGraphics
Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 Gigabyte GTX1070 G1 
RAMRAMHard DriveHard Drive
Hyperx 16gb RGB Predator Prototype  Hyperx 16gb RGB Predator Prototype  Hyperx Fury SSD Hyperx Fury SSD 
CoolingCoolingOSOS
Alphacool custom loop with 420mm and 360mm radi... Alphacool custom loop with 420mm and 360mm radi... Windows 10 Windows 10 
PowerPowerCaseCase
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11 1,000 watt  Be Quiet Dark Power Pro 11 1,000 watt  Be Quiet Dark BASE Pro orange edition  Be Quiet Dark BASE Pro orange edition  
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Steelseries RIVAL500 Steelseries RIVAL500 
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks,

I think I'm settled on 1/16 aluminum (~2mm).

A few more designs I've done involve two separate pieces, one hood for the top and one hood for the front... with removable lids.
This would provide access to the fans and radiator without actually having to remove the fan hoods completely.

The two pieces would be permanently fixed to the chassis with probably just pop rivets, and using screws internally to attach the two pieces together (pic).



I wouldn't need to get into it often. So far the quotes I've gotten are about $4-500 for the metal, bending, and welding. Not too bad.
post #4 of 11
For sheet metal you need to consider the bending section deformation, you need to compensate your dimensions for this, also remember youre not folding a sheet of paper so the bend from one side will collide with the adjacent edges bend. Also bending that design will be difficult, once you bend the 4 folds coming from the center piece how will you bend the small flaps?
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post #5 of 11
aside from the bending compensation, IMO the easiest way would be to just do the centerpiece with its 4 folds, then do 4 long L shaped bends (2 for the long sides, for the short sides) and mount these on top of your cabinet. These will be inside the main piece and serve as mounting guides
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post #6 of 11
I might do a crappy sketch wait some minutes...
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post #7 of 11
Yo a lot of minutes have passed! I'm not OP but I'm really interested to know what the "proper" way should be. smile.gif

@geort45 pls repond
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Approved this today for fab from Protocase.

Not really sure what the "right" way is as well, but I guess that is part of the fun... kinda winging it?!

I'm just going to go with this aesthetic and make it work. It's basically a box made of 5 pieces, and they'll bend them separately and then weld them together. The seams should be pretty clean after welding. They offer all kinds of finishes, including powder coating... but I'm just getting bare metal because I'll likely cut on it a bit before mounting.
  • Secure the two fan hoods to the case with pop rivets (probably seal the gaps with something).
  • Secure the two fan hoods together with rivets or screws (internal)
  • Then I can remove the covers as needed for access without breaking it down.





...and it will still be smaller and much lighter than my Obsidian 800D

lol
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm officially a ProtoCase salesman now because holy crap! They did an amazing job and got me EXACTLY what I wanted. I did spend many hours painstakingly making sure every measurement was very very precise, but I'm so pleased with the result I must share as an aside apart from any official build log.

The hood adds 3.25 inches to the top and front, leaving enough room for larger radiators than I had initially planned on using.

I haven't attached it to the chassis yet, this is just with the fan hood resting on top of the Define S.



From the front.



Top, looking down toward the rear.



The sides line up perfectly, absolutely perfect work from ProtoCase



The only reason the back doesn't line up is because of some rivets I haven't removed up front.



Left side lines up perfectly as well.



I already have most of the components stripped off of the Define S, but there are usually some feet at the bottom.



View from the top, toward front, cover removed.
This is probably the most impressive part... I'll drill holes around the perimeter and rivet these pieces to the case.

The Lines!



Same precision when looking toward the rear.



With the empty space up top, I'll have room to cleanly mount PWM flan splitters, and keep all of the cluttered fan wiring out of the main compartment. I'll be drilling holes here, and installing a grommet to pass through cables from the top to the front hood.



I was worried about this cut, because there isn't much room to work with... but it turned out perfect.



I also screwed up my order, and bought a second set of these fan hoods... so I'm likely going to be painting two cases and selling one when finished. Keep an eye out!
post #10 of 11
That looks really cool man! Reminds me of a Caselabs style extended top smile.gif. Got to love how perfect it sits, eh?
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