Several of you folks asked for a work log of this case so I'm going to try to do that and hopefully this is the right area to post it.
I am an amateur. I learned how to build computers from You Tube videos. I ran into a lot of mods while browsing and decided to give it a try. This was my first build, not quite a mod
I got the fever at this point and ideas started floating. I watched a lot of Singularity computers on You Tube and I liked that dude's builds. I liked the Silverstone TJ11 because of the orientation on the graphics cards. I priced it and then I found Caselabs. I thought that with the SM8 this thing could be stripped down to just a frame and rebuilt the way I wanted it, just like the TJ11. I gathered all the info I could off the internet about the SM8 and realized this will work. I got a sheet of white board and set it up scaled 1:1. I drew out the components to see how they would fit and placement and at this point dove right in with a purchase of the SM8.
To mod this project didn't take much at all. I bought 8ft of 3/8" aluminum angle stock, 6ft of 1" aluminum angle stock, some 6/32 screws and taps, some paint and primer, all which came from Home depot. I did have to go to a boutique source for the .093 6061 sheet of aluminum for the new mid panel
My case came assembled from Caselabs so I had to tear it down, which was good practice for putting this thing back together. Here is the pic of it in it's bare form. I only have the pic where I had already begun adding the angle pieces.
When I removed the original mid-panel I marked where I wanted the new panel so I would know exactly where to place the 3/8" angle. I also used the existing holes that Caselabs used to mount the original panel. I didn't have to drill or countersink holes. I even used the screws that were used to mount the original panel. here's a pic of the two panels side by side.
I gave it a lot of thought and decided not to cut out the large opening for the back of the motherboard tray. I don't know why Caselabs cut that part out but I think it weakens the panel. The new panel is noticeably stronger and has less flex than the original panel. I also thought why have the cutout when you have a removable motherboard try. This also gave me more real estate for wire management in the back.
I mounted the 1" angle to the rails at the top but I didn't use those holes that are spaced about 1" apart. I instead drilled countersunk holes in between those holes. I wanted this this as strong and stiff as I could make it and those holes already in the frame were to large for the screws, there would have been slop.
Now on day 3 it was time to temporarily install the new panel and figure out where the motherboard support rails were going.
once I had that part done I could figure out where and how much I needed to cut out of the 1" angle at the top to allow my motherboard tray to slide in and out properly.
Day four I stopped at Home Depot and picked up a piece of fairly sturdy steel to install on the back rear of the case for my fans and to close off the opening in the rear. I cut the holes for 120mm fans and drilled the mounting holes. I then painted this a semi-gloss black.
it turns out the paint didn't match. I didn't like it. so I went to Home Depot and found some paint that was a perfect match. You can't tell the difference from the Caselabs powdercoat.
So now I think I'm on day 5. I cut the holes for the cable pass through points in the mid-panel.
And I spent a long time filing them to clean them up.
I then started to attach the carbon fibre vinyl and cut out the pass-through holes and install the rubber trim.
I installed the panel back in and thought to myself, "this is looking pretty good". But I still had a long way to go.
I started working on the part that would hold the power supply in place. this turned out damn good.
And then the blanking plate in the top front.
Then painted these items and called it a day.
Now it was just a matter of putting things together.
This is basically it.
The rest is just installing the components and fittings for the loop. There were some changes as this process took a long time to sort out because I had to place several orders for fittings along the way.
I placed a couple of orders with Caselabs for fan covers and a ventilated PSU cover. By the way, Caselabs was quick to send every order. I think I placed 5 different orders.
I changed the water cooling loop from a single to a double just as a matter of preference. I liked the look.
I finally figured out what I wanted my door panel to look like.
I'm still thinking about frosting the Plexi and adding LEDs to get it to glow green. I won't be able to see into the case through the door panel but that's ok.
Here is a look around the case.
I changed the CPU water block from a XSPC to an EK
I had to replace one fan that failed in the middle bottom that is why the lighting is brighter in that spot. I forgot to remove the two front LEDs on that fan.
There are a lot of pictures I have saved from this build process and I'm sorry if I didn't get them all in or missed important steps. it's hard to go back. If I would have found these forums sooner I would have posted the process as it happened and nothing would have been missed. If you have questions PM me. I couldn't answer the question about how much this build costs and I don't have a record of all the fittings, sorry.