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[Sponsored] Floating Cave

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
I would like to celebrate my new membership to this forum by sharing my worklog with you.
Short introduction of myself: I’m 31 years old, living in Germany, and quite a fan of everything around watercooling and case-modding, since I started working on my PC-case at the age of 14.
I never shared my work online. Like most people I just read a lot in variating forums, surfing around as a silent reader and took a lot of profit and inspiration from all of you. One year ago I decided to give something back and started my worklog in a german forum, a few month later I shared it with a second one. Doing this gave me a lot of fun and feedback, and since my project isn’t finished yet I want to do this next step and show it to you as well. Quite fascinating to think about that there might be people in other countries reading my worklog and giving feedback about it.
Back to topic. Most important part of my case-modding and water cooling has always been: silence. Silence in every situation. For the last years I have been using a silentmaxx ST11 bigtower, back than the most silent tower available, but not designed to use with water cooling. I used this tower for four generations of hardware. Now it’s time for something new. I was not able to find a PC-case which suited all my ideas, so I decided to build my own one. The main idea was to fully integrate it in my desk, but without the disadvantages of most of the related custom builds.
Within the next few weeks I am going to translate my worklog as fast as possible to bring you up to date to the actual status of my project. The project is finished to ~50%, and I hope to do most of the remaining work within this summer.

----UPDATE MAY 2017----


I am proud and happy to announce that Alphacool, Aquatuning and bequiet! are now sponsoring my project with their great hardware! This allows me to realize all my ideas! Thanks again for trusting and supporting me!

----End of Update----


The concept


I started this project in January 2016. It took the first few month to collect ideas and to draw a first draft in CAD.
The case will be integrated into my Ikea-Desk. I am going to rebuild the side panel of the desk as a cavity wall. All cables going from and to the PC will be routed through the side panel. The case itself will pass through the side panel and shall have a floating look. Like it is not part of the side panel. The radiator will get its own, separated case. I strive for a very clean, industrial and individual look.
These are the first drafts:





The components


actual hardware:

CPU:
Intel Core i5 4690k
CPU-Cooler:
Phobya CPU Kühler
Mainboard:
MSI Z97 PC Mate
RAM:
G.Skill Ares DIMM Kit 8GB, DDR3-1600
GPU:
Zotac Geforce GTX 970
GPU-Cooler:
Alphacool NexXxos GPX
HDD #1:
Samsung SSD 830 120 GB
HDD #2:
Seagate 512 GB (will be replaced by another SSD)
Bluray-drive:
ASUS BC-12D2HT Bluray Combo
Sound card:
Creative SB X-Fi Music
Power supply:
bequiet Pure Power BQT L7-530 W
Radiator:
Alphacool NexXxos 120 mm und 240 mm (~ 12 years old) are replaced by one Phobya G-Changer 420 .v2
Pump:
Laing DDC with Phobya black nickel top unit
Reservoir:
Phobya Balancer 150 black nickel
FANs:
Enermax T.B. Silence UCTB14B
Survey:
Alphacomputer Aquaero 5 LT with inline-temperature sensors and flow rate sensor


New components:



My workshop


There’s no room for a dedicated workshop in my flat, and I don’t have a basement. So I am using a mobile workstation. But at work I have access to a workshop with a lot of professional tools, including an old milling maschine and a lathe. Without this possibilities I would barely be able to realize my ideas.



The material


I am using MDF panels. They’re cheap and easy to machine. The cavity wall is reinforced by wood profiles. To achieve the same look as the remaining parts of the desk I searched for furniture foil. It took me several month and a lot of samples to find the right one. The picture is taken with flash, under normal sun light you can’t see a real difference between foil and desk.



The case itself will be foiled in shiny white, if I am able to manage this process with all the curves. I don’t like spraying and try to avoid it. Inside the case I am going to use a foil which looks like brushed, black anodized aluminium.
Edited by mrmaler - 5/29/17 at 11:12am
post #2 of 102
Thread Starter 
Realization


The first challenge was the size of the new radiator. I underestimated it a bit rolleyes.gif Original plan was to use it together with the existing 240 mm and 120 mm radiators. But there’s not enough room to use all three together, so I decided to only use the new one. I also didn’t like the fragmented look of the three radis in three different sizes at one place.

This had been a first scetch:



Later on I changed it to a concept with pushing instead of pulling fans.
The assembly concept is subject to one credo: the overall construction has to be as maintenance-friendly as possible. To ensure this the radiator is placed on guide rods. He will be hold in place by magnets glued into the rods. By this he can be unmounted for service without loosening a screw.
The fans will be mounted the same way.



First parts manufactured using the old mill at work:





Since I have no education for the usage of such machines this manufacturing takes long time for me.

I had to manufacture some inlays made from magnetic steel to mount them into the radiator mountings. They’e needed for the magnets in the rods to hold onto. I used a foil to make them look better.



post #3 of 102
Very interesting, subbed!
post #4 of 102
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Since I do not want to let you wait, here's the next update smile.gif

Next step was to turn the mounting rods for the fans. They’re made of stainless steel.







The counterparts for the fan holder are made from aluminium, because I had to remove a lot of material. Using stainless steel would have taken a long time. After finishing the mounting rods for the radiator itself I used an epoxy-glue for gluing the magnets into all holders. There is a gap left between the fan holders. It is meant to compensate tolerances. I adjusted them in a following step.



post #5 of 102
Thread Starter 
Next step was to finish the fan holders. They’re working very well, it’s really cool how they snap in. The holding force of the magnets has a perfect strength.



My local hardware store offers a cutting service and did a real good job with my MDF panels. I had to do the chamfers by myself, using a circular table saw. The material shown is for the inner cases. I will do the outer cases later.



I drilled the holes for the radiator mounting rods. After marking their positions I used the radiator mountings as a template and as a guiding for their vertically.





post #6 of 102
Thread Starter 
I made some drafts for the design, playing with combinations of octagonal and rounded corners. The pictures show the inner case of the main part, and the radiator mounted with its outer case. The main inner case has to have the octagonal shape to leave room for the mounting rods of the outer case.
The design decisions for the outer cases are still open.





Having the dimensions for the inner cases I could start with sawing the cutouts in the side panels. The smaller cutouts are used for cable ducting. The lower one for main power and network cable, the upper one leads to the cable duct for monitor, mouse, power outlet strip etc.





Next step was to reinforce the cavity wall with wood profiles. I had to consider cable ducts. I don’t want any visible cables go from and to this case, all have to be led trough the side panel. The screws were just used to fix the position until the glue was hardened.





For the case itself I am not going to use normal wood screws but M3 and M4 screws. By this there will be no problems with unmounting/remounting the case. To be able to do this I had to use drive-in nuts. As you will see in upcoming updates, I used a lot of them 







post #7 of 102
JiX
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JiX
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EK Predator XLC 360 Corsair ML 120 Pro LED Windows 10 Pro Asus ROG PG348Q 
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post #8 of 102
Thread Starter 
biggrin.gif Thanks... now I'm feeling observed... eek.gif
post #9 of 102

Blimey, nice work there! :thumb: 

Asteria II
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Asteria
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Asteria II
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Asteria
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CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Alphacool Nexxxos UT60 360 Alphacool Nexxxos ST30 120 Alphacool DDC310 Aquacomputer DDC pump top 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Aqua Computer ECO100 EK-HDC 12mm hardline fittings Acrylic 12mm hardline Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorMonitorPowerCase
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post #10 of 102
Very nice work indeed .. Sir,you got my sub thumb.gif
   
Air 240 Purple
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Air 240 Purple
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RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 1600MHz @ 1866MHz Western Digital 2TB Red  Samsung 840 PRO SSD 256GB Samsung 840 PRO SSD 128GB 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Corsair H75 Hydro series Push/Pull Corsair Air Series SP120 Quiet Edition High Sta... Corsair Air Series AF140 Quiet Edition High Air... Windows 10 Pro 64bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Samsung Syncmaster P2470HD TV monitor Dell U2713HM Magicforce 68 Gateron Reds Coolermaster V850 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Obsidian 350D window Logitech G502 Proteus Core Corsair Vengeance MM200 Extended Edition Gaming... Creative Gigaworks T40 SeriesII 
AudioAudioOtherOther
FiiO Olympus 2 E10K Beyerdynamic DT 990 NZXT Sentry Mix 2 Fan Controller BitFenix Alchemy extension cables blue 
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TP-LINK TL-WDN3800 Sharkoon 5.25" Bay Extension 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Atom Quad Core Z3740 (1.33-1.86GHz) Intel HD Graphics(Ivy Bridge) 2 GB DDR3  32 GB eMMC  
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
OCZ Vertex 4 128gb Kingston 16Gb Micro SD Windows 10 Home 32-bit 10.1" IPS (1368 x 768) 
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Corsair SP120 Purple LED X4 Windows 10 Pro  Samsung UE46D6500 46" 3D LED smart TV Anne Pro-Gateron Blues 
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