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Old 22nd January 2013, 4:47 PM   #1
Generator Thread Starter
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Default Worklog - MiniBench by Generator

Greetings all

This project will be a scratch build using acrylic and is basically a test bench styled case for a Mini ITX board. All the PC hardware is stolen directly from my current system (details to follow). This project is essentially just a test piece to see if a) it will actually work and b) it looks half decent. For this reason I don't plan to buy any PC components specifically for this build but will instead just use what I already have.

Hope you enjoy,
Generator


I'd previously done a rough prototype by hand to see if the actual case was going to work the way I had imagined it would. Luckily it did so I designed everything using CAD and had all the panels CNC cut. All panels are from 10mm white acrylic and the red panel is a 6mm transluscent red


First step was to glue the red border to the top panel. Weights for a nice join



Next was to assemble the side panels. Each join had to be glued separately - this is the final glue join



Gluing the side panels to the top



And after the sides were glued to the top panel we have something a little like this. Note the top panel (with the red) are slightly oversized - I'll trim them for a perfect fit. This is the back view with cutout for the PSU and fan. It's also upside down


And from the front


More to come ....
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Old 22nd January 2013, 7:52 PM   #2
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View from the front. Case is all glued up. To give you some idea of the scale the dimensions are 250W x 210D x 90H (M-ITX board is 170 x170).



Time to make it pretty. Flush trimmer to cut off the oversized top panels



Sanding back all edges. Start with 240 grit, move to 400, then 1200



Finish with a buff all round



And things are looking pretty. No glue joins to be seen and the red has come up really well



A quick test fitting to make sure it all fits. I have also glued in a back plate to house the I/O ports for the M/B and GPU. Standoffs have also been screwed in to the top of the acrylic. As you can see the M/B is pulled straight out of my Prodigy case and on the right you can see my prototype which now acts as a tray for all my odds and ends.





And with the GPU in.



This photo was a quick mock-up to see what it would like with the LED strip inside. I've also balanced it on the case feet to get an idea of the finished product



Next job is to start the custom wiring. Inside the case will be a modular SFX PSU, a 3.5" HDD and a SSD. All of this plus M/B and GPU and front power switch will all need wires cut to length and sleeved. Also need to design a way to mount the HDD/SSD - space is really limited.

I am now waiting on some tools to help with the wiring - will update soon

Cheers
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Old 22nd January 2013, 8:55 PM   #3
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Looking good, Generator.

I look forward to further progress.
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Old 22nd January 2013, 9:14 PM   #4
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Looks awesome! Keen to see more
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Old 27th March 2013, 5:46 PM   #5
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Fucking top work.
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Old 28th March 2013, 10:09 PM   #6
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any updates?
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Old 29th March 2013, 12:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generator View Post

And with the GPU in.

Ummmm - bit of a mismeasurement on the length of the case, huh?
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Old 29th March 2013, 9:38 AM   #8
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Updates are coming, just been super busy with work. It's almost all done now, only have the last of the wiring to do. Hopefully should finish in the next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the3coopers View Post
Ummmm - bit of a mismeasurement on the length of the case, huh?
I always knew the GPU would outsize the case - it sorta emphasizes how small the actual case is. In fact its proving difficult to fit everything in atm
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Old 29th March 2013, 10:04 AM   #9
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Hey mate - that's a neat little project there.

One suggestion would be to use a white LED instead of a red - I recon that would make it look a bit neater...

Otherwise - looking good!

Komm
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Old 29th March 2013, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Generator View Post
I always knew the GPU would outsize the case - it sorta emphasizes how small the actual case is. In fact its proving difficult to fit everything in atm
I only mentioned it (jokingly) because I couldn't see any corresponding cutout in the "lid". I thought that the Motherboard tray was temporarily sitting on the "lid" (top cover), just for the photos.

But now I realise (I hope this is correct) that it's 2 lavels tall, with only the PSU and Drives being housed in the closed chamber below, and there is no cover over the Motherboard and GPU.

So what I thought was the upper "body" was actually the sides of the lower chamber. In my mind, the PSU was going to be mounted ABOVE the CPU and 24pin connector, leaving the whole other side high enough for the Graphics car. I hope that makes sense.

I guess my confusion was caused because we don't have a "concept drawing" so we can see how you envision that the finished product will look like. My own benching rig (which I am currently using for testing GPUs) is only one layer, so I never realised that yours was going to be a skyscraper LOL

Last edited by the3coopers; 29th March 2013 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 6th April 2013, 6:51 PM   #11
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This project is now complete - well there are a few little things that I'm going to choose to ignore

Since the last update I've sleeved all the wires from the PSU in red paracord. Having never done this before I found it quite slow and tedious. It was also made more difficult by having to thread the wires though individual holes in the top plate of the case. This meant putting one set of wires in the connector, threading them through the case and then putting them into the connector at the other end. This was made worse because the pinouts on the Silverstone ST45SF-G dont mirror the pinouts of the connectors going into the M/B, GPU etc. Which means you cant get nice straight, untwisted wires


This is the rack for the HDD and SSD made from 3mm acrylic. Because the space inside the case was SO tight it really limited me how to make this. Although it works it is pretty fragile


I was not particularly confident that my wiring was totally correct so this was part of the testing before putting it all together.
So much dodgy-ness in one photo


View from the bottom with everything jammed in. From left to right there is only 2mm to spare. I was concerned that it wasn't all going to fit but it does ... just!


And some finished pics




I'll try and post some nicer photos in the next day or so.

Thanks for having a look
Cheers, Generator
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Old 6th April 2013, 10:47 PM   #12
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Not what I expected, or something I would do myself (exposed components + baby = bad).

Still looks very well done. Good job.
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