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Chief Over-Engineer
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Discussion Starter #21
<div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><i>Thank you all again for showing such intrest in my build, I really didnt expect it. This evening we have for your entertainment two new log entries; 'Background', one of my slightly rambling monologues, and the first 'Build Status', which has pictures! You may want to skip to that part...</i></div>
<br><div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Background</span></b></span></div>
<br><div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><i>A little bit of background detail on the origins of the Ironbeast design and some pathetic self-justification for how this project got quite so…extensive.</i></div>
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I made the decision to start this build log after the slightly astonishing realisation that Ironbeast has been rattling around in the concept and planning stage for a full year now. My previous PC was a high-end gaming machine from Alienware, which I acquired in September 2009 whilst at university. It has spent its life being overworked and undercooled pursuing a function for which it was not designed, namely CAD modelling. In March last year, whilst it clawed its way through another of my design projects, I decided it could no longer work at the levels I was asking it to and that it had reached a practical limit of viability for additional upgrades. This left me three options; another top-spec off-the-shelf PC, a simple like-for-like rebuild of the Alienware with new tech, or construct a brand new bespoke machine from scratch…<br><br>
As I mentioned in the introduction, I have considered building my own PC pretty much every time I’ve needed a more powerful rig – and every time I’ve bowed to practicality and got a retail model instead. This time though, after a lot of research, some basic costings and a lot of prevaricating, I finally decided to go for it. Then shortly after, as a result of pulling a truly <i>stupid</i> amount of gunk out of my graphics card’s heat sinks, I decided I wanted to try watercooling. This lead to the original plan for what would become Ironbeast – a fully watercooled but entirely conventional build based on the best of the outgoing technology; the i7 4960X, the Rampage IV Black and quad-SLI Titan Blacks, installed with a full watercooling system in a 900D case. However by the time I had the design worked out, the components chosen, and had secured a big pile of money to pay for it, we were into the summer of 2014. Being only a few months away from the release of Haswell-E, I just couldn’t bring myself to commit time and money to a build based on soon to be outdated tech. A foolish decision perhaps, but that was the call I made. So the build was put on hold for another three months, my Alienware struggled on, and I started…scheming.<br><br>
A lot of this hang-time was spent (because I have nothing better to do) reading component reviews, looking at performance data, thinking about colours, and staring longingly at photos of other people’s rigs. There are a lot of impressive creations which have inspired various bits and pieces of the current Ironbeast design, but it will come as no surprise that the main culprit is <i>Jameswalt1</i>’s epic “Robocop”. This is an exquisitely beautiful build in its own right, but by far its biggest influence on me was in removing the 900D’s drive bays. I had previously ruled out making any case modifications or using inflexible tubing (on the grounds that I’m a total novice at this), however I just couldn’t cope with keeping such an unnecessary waste of space once I'd seen it wasn't necessary. So I began working on a new layout. The centred motherboard, the symmetrical pipework, the redesigned front; pretty much all the features that make Ironbeast the way it is arise from this one change.<br><br>
Whilst waiting for the first details of the X99 motherboards to be released, I finally committed to doing the project and got the 900D; taking measurements and beginning work on the first version of the model you see in the renders. I rather suspect it was this strain of this that finally caused my Alienware to wave the white flag and die on me, at a spectacularly inconvenient moment. Most of the components I needed for the new build were still pre-order at this point, causing an agonising wait. When it did finally arrive the motherboard was defective. Fortunately the replacement process was quick and easy (far more so than for a lot of people it seems) and after a month without a computer I got the rig into an operational, if distinctly improvised, ‘Phase One’ state. And then I sat there, tinkering with my CAD models, musing on cooling loops, buying the odd sample fitting, and waiting for the announcement of a new and divinely powerful graphics card to be released in time for Christmas. Or in January. Or February…<br><br><div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><span style="font-size:16px;"><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Current Build Status</span></b></span><br>
4th March 2015</div>
<br><div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><i>A little insight into quite how far away this build is from looking the way the renders do.</i></div>
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This is what the core of Ironbeast looks like at the moment; cobbled together back in November to order to give me an operational PC after more than a month working with just a tablet. <i>(Apologies for the bad image quality, the photos were taken with my phone camera.)</i><br><br><div class="bbcode_center" style="text-align:center;"><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377435/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377435" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377435/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a></div>
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Most of it is using the components that will be in the final rig. The only exceptions are the portable disk drive, portable SSD, the placeholder graphics card (a GTX 760), plus the nine standoffs, the two 512GB SSDs (with all my files on them, may or may not be used) and the upgraded Corsair H80i CPU cooler cannibalised from my old Alienware.<br><br>
So for your amusement, some pics showing how this masterpiece of design was created…<br><a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377437/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377437" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377437/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
This, for those that aren’t familiar with it, is a piece of wood.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377439/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377439" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377439/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
And this is a piece of wood fitted with 9 standoffs and a 120mm fan bracket from Bitspower.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377442/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377442" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377442/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Groove and support for the PCIe cards, supports for the SSDs and PSU. Fashioned from the very finest pieces of scrap timber we had lying around.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377443/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377443" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377443/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Power Supply, SSDs and CPU cooler mounted.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377445/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377445" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377445/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Motherboard 'installed' (if that’s quite the right word for something screwed to a plank). Note the blue labels on the rear ports; this is the defective motherboard I got initially.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377447/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377447" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377447/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br>
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Graphics card installed.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377448/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377448" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377448/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Cabling in place, portable drive connected.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377450/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377450" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377450/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Plugged in and ready. But mysteriously, no blue labels anymore…<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377451/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2377451" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2377451/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 281px"></a><br><br>
Let there be lights…I never thought seeing Windows could make me so happy.</div>
 

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How much time did it take you to build that test bench?
 

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Chief Over-Engineer
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Discussion Starter #23
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23626137" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dmitriy</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23626137"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
How much time did it take you to build that test bench?</div>
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Not that long. A few hours probably, spread over a couple of days. The base is actually quite a nice piece of hardwood from some old shelves, but the rest is literally just bits of scrap timber we had lying around plus a few screws. Cutting the slots for the SSD rack probably took the most time.
 

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Subbed!! cant wait to see more! also, sorry if you answered this, but do you plan on overclocking the gpu,ram, and cpu?
 

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sure...I`ll sub. Im sure it will be boring...
 

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Nice test bench dude, quick and easy, nice <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Looking good, subbed! <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif">
 

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Subbed <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"><br>
This gon' be good!
 

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subbed! looks like a gud'n
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Yet more nice comments and subscribers, you really do make my day!<br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628143" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DamselinDistres</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628143"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Subbed!! cant wait to see more! also, sorry if you answered this, but do you plan on overclocking the gpu,ram, and cpu?</div>
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Thanks. You shouldn’t have to wait too long for more, I hope to have at least a little bit of new stuff posted every few days.<br><br>
To answer your question, yes. The CPU will get overclocked eventually, once it’s being cooled by more than just the H80i. I’m looking to run it over 4GHz normally, and maybe see if it will go over 5GHz for me. The GPUs will be overclocked too; either by me or by getting factory-overclocked versions, depending on the specific model of card I finally select. The RAM is already an overclocked kit, 3000MHz running comfortably at 15-17-17-35-2T, and I won’t push that any higher.<br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628173" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>YP5 Toronto</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628173"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
sure...I`ll sub. Im sure it will be boring...</div>
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Pretty much guaranteed. I’ll try and put safety warnings before the worst of my monotonous ramblings...<br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628235" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TheMentalist</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/20#post_23628235"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Nice test bench dude, quick and easy, nice <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif"></div>
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Thank you. I will almost certainly have to build another rather more substantial one in a month or so, to set up and flow-test the cooling loop layout.
 

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Looks like money isn't an issue, slap in 4x Titan Xs <img alt="biggrin.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Initial pictures/designs are stunning!
 

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Chief Over-Engineer
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Discussion Starter #32
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630595" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Wiz766</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630595"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Looks like money isn't an issue, slap in 4x Titan Xs <img alt="biggrin.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
Initial pictures/designs are stunning!</div>
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Thank you very much. I know it’s a preposterous indulgence. I'm trying to fight it. But I can hear those Titan-Xs calling me...
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630721" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OCDesign</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Thank you very much. I know it’s a preposterous indulgence. I'm trying to fight it. But I can hear those Titan-Xs calling me...</div>
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I think the air coolers on those things look amazing, would be a shame to watercool them but it would be a beast rig. Too bad I just bough KPEs
 

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Discussion Starter #34
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630729" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Wiz766</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630729"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
I think the air coolers on those things look amazing, would be a shame to watercool them but it would be a beast rig. Too bad I just bough KPEs</div>
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They do have a very good look, however you don’t really get to see them properly once their installed. I have been trying to think of ways I might somehow incorporate that aesthetic into the design for the custom GPU cover, as it actually fits the build quite well.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630801" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>OCDesign</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23630801"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
They do have a very good look, however you don’t really get to see them properly once their installed. I have been trying to think of ways I might somehow incorporate that aesthetic into the design for the custom GPU cover, as it actually fits the build quite well.</div>
</div>
There was an SR2 build a long while back and someone got the uni blocks nad modded the Titan coolers so he could use them with hard lines running in and out. Looked pretty sweet
 

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I always enjoy someone who puts a massive case to good use, by actually filling the thing up. Look forward to this.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Just a quick post today. A few new renders showing some close-up views of the CAD model.<br><br><a class="spoiler-link H-spoiler-toggle" href="#"><strong>Warning: Spoiler!</strong> <span class="spoiler-help">(Click to show)</span></a><div class="spoiler-hidden"><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382285/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2382285" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382285/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 250px"></a><br><br>
This is a workspace screenshot (note the compass in the top right corner) of the model with the parts shaded in plain colours.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382283/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2382283" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382283/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 251px"></a><br><br>
This is the same workspace view, but with material textures applied to each part.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382281/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2382281" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382281/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 248px"></a><br><br>
And this is the fully rendered image, complete with reflections and shadows. This particular view took about 6 minutes for the computer to process.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382302/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2382302" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382302/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 248px"></a><br><br>
A close up of the GPU cover and the manifolds.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382303/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="2382303" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/2382303/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 248px"></a><br><br>
And a shot of the pump connections.<br><br><i>(This last one is a slightly lower quality render, owing to the complex reflections on the transparent pipes. The higher quality one would have taken hours to process. Sorry)</i></div>
 

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Your plan looks amazing dude, I like it <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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some serious bends there <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #40
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23640732" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>TheMentalist</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23640732"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Your plan looks amazing dude, I like it <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif"></div>
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Thanks, you’re too kind. Now I just have to make it a reality.<br><br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23641250" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BazG</strong> <a href="/t/1544054/build-log-ironbeast-a-fully-watercooled-x-99-quad-gpu-900d-build/30#post_23641250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
some serious bends there <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/smile.gif"></div>
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There are indeed, however I might not have to make them. As a little precaution all the transparent tubes are set up to allow either flexible tubing or acrylic to be used. All the silver sections have been carefully designed so that they can be constructed entirely from fittings if I choose (you can just see the seams in the render). Keeps my options open.
 
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