Tiny Gamer

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by cokeeffekt, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    So its been a few years since i've done a build log, its been a few years since i've built anything pc related. My current gaming system (Alienware alpha) is getting a bit long in the tooth and the newer R2 isn't going to cut it for my next upgrade. So i've decided to build something.

    Requirements
    - Smaller than your typical gaming system, i want to keep it sub 7 Litres
    - Support for latest generation graphics cards. (Mini or ITX models)
    - wont break the bank.
    - standard parts
    - no external power brick

    Specs
    - ITX motherboard
    - Support for SFX PSU
    - Laser cut acrylic panels
    - 3d printed supports

    So this is my initial concept
    [​IMG]

    As i work towards the goal ill keep you all updated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  2. Defyant

    Defyant Member

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    Defyant Modded "Tail" Lights!
    Looks like a good little project Look forward to updates :thumbup:
     
  3. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    First update, had a bit of time last night to print out and test the 3d printed uprights. These will hold the panels in place, in theory they should just mount top and bottom and the the panels slide into the groove.

    [​IMG]

    Eager to test them out i cut some cardboard into the top and base panel shape and size and gave them a test fit.

    [​IMG]

    Also allowed me to eyeball the spacing in side the case, its never the same in CAD compared to a real life view.

    [​IMG]

    I have started drawing up the back panel, this is where things get a little complicated and its always difficult to get all the tolerances right here.

    [​IMG]

    Some really good resources for design specs.
    - SXF Design Specs
    - Motherboard Design Specs
     
  4. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    I like it :D
     
  5. havabeer

    havabeer Member

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    Is the PSU fan also acting as the CPU fan, or is the CPU just drawing air through/from the PSU?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    Nah the photos is just on a bad angle, the PSU sits about 20mm above the CPU cooler and the fan will be upward facing so they wont be sharing heat. Also the CPU fan sit quite a bit back past the where the PSU stop, ill take some better photos when things aren't sticky taped together.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    So this morning i got my laser cut parts, much quicker than expected. I quickly whacked it together and was pleasantly surprised how nice a v1 prototype came out.

    The press fit threads and the slot and groove on the 3d printed uprights made everything super strong, really has a nice solid feel too it.

    The PCI bracket retainer clamp works a treat although i need to tighten up the with of the dual faceplate whole on the back.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Although i'm quite happy with this, there are a few things i've learnt.

    - High gloss acrylic is horrible at show marks and dust, i will be looking to a satin or frosted finish for the final product.
    - Some tolerances can be tightened and other loosen on a few places around the case.
    - The big grills around the case are entirely too big, they can't be pushed with force with out getting flex, ill have to redesign the grills to be a bit more rigid. (ideas welcome here, i'm at a loss to how to put in fan mounting point with out having it look like there is an unused fan mount when there isn't a fan there.)
    - Slight bowing of the side panels if you press on there centres on either side, its not much but i'm being picky.
    - The material is stronger in a lot of point that i originally thought it would be due to the captive groove slots on the uprights.


    So i'm going to start on a version 2 with some modifications, i forgot how much fun this was! :D
     
  8. mesaoz

    mesaoz Member

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    Looks good :thumbup:

    Only minor thing from me would be to put some black mesh behind the vent slots to hide the guts a little bit (and also to you know.. act as filters)
     
  9. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    sweet as :thumbup:
     
  10. Defyant

    Defyant Member

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    Defyant Modded "Tail" Lights!
    Came up looking pretty good :thumbup: I'd like to see it in a white :) with some RGB magic.

    You never said how thick your plex was? looks like 4.5mm?

    Go thicker 6-7-8 that might help with the flex. ( but deff make those cuts a bit shorter)

    For the fan cuts go honeycomb the NOISE from straight cut like that can be unbearable at times.

    Counter sink the top SS alan bolts for a more finished look .. just 1.5-2mm depth.

    What was the cost of mats and the laser cutting? and for others where did you get it done :thumbup:


    For hidden fan mounts recces the back side of the panel to the shape of your fan 1-2mm depth.

    Then have some swing/slide tabs for the corners. These can be pivot glued or screwed.:thumbup:
     
  11. OP
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    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    The plates are 4.5mm top bottom back, they are solid. the front and sides are 3mm i think some tabs to notch into the bottom/top plate will help with the flex over the distance. Any thick we are defeating the purpose of small form factor :p

    I did a mock up of honeycomb, wasn't happy with the look, the lines fit in a bit more i think, i have shortened them up a bit for the next cut, but if noise is a factor ill have to reconsider.

    Im not going to start counter sinking things, counter sinking is for clearance or hiding something that you can never hide, id much rather just use a nicer bolt and use it as a feature. Something like these maybe. I ordered some... or a lot the minimum order qty was 50... at least ill have spares.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had the panels cut at https://onlinelasercutting.com.au/ they were fast and service was great, price not so much. $150 delivered, pretty steep for one offs while i'm prototyping. I'd be curious to see how much the price would change at volume.

    Yeh the fan solution i'm going to have to play with, Ive ordered some 80mm 10mm fans. Need to be lower profile so i can clear them.

    Ill post the design of the next one soon, made a fair bit of progress on it today.
     
  12. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Have to say, looks great and really functional. I could use something like this myself. Great work, well done :thumbup:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    I wanted to do another update tonight so show the work i've put into the changes for a second revision of the case.

    Looks almost identical to v1, i've clean up some tolerances, reduced some grill sizes and made them compatible with slimline 80mm fans. I also spent a bit more time on the back panel, in particular the ss hangers and PCI retainer.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    This one shows the fit with a Gigabyte 1080 mini, SXF PSU and 2 SSDs still plenty of room in there for cables. Also you can see the tabs i added to the side panels to help take the little bit of flex i was get when i squeezed the case.
    [​IMG]

    The ssd/hdd hangers will take 2x 12mm drives, and just slot in and hang from the back panel.
    [​IMG]

    The PCI panel retainer, held in place by 2 m3 screw and flanged thread insert, moves freely until tightened and will clamp down the graphics card.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hoping to get this one sent off to the laser cutter before the end of the week :D round 2!
     
  14. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    Second round prototype got dropped off today (used a local sign cutter this time), in order to make it a bit cheaper i asked for any colour acrylic.... clear showed up. Not overly happy with that but i did say any colour to keep the cost down. I printed out the uprights for this revision of the design and got to assembly.


    Flat packed, 4 slotted uprights 3 side panels in 3mm, top/back/base in 4.5mm. I pre-mounted a fan.
    [​IMG]

    All up-rights installed to base plate. back and side panels slide down into place.
    [​IMG]

    HDD and SSD secured to their hangers. This was really the only part that stood out as a flaw in my design, i allowed to much tolerance for the laser cut and the F slot doesn't fit a snug as id like, wont be hard to fix, but i also realise there is enough room to mount them vertically so i might change the bracket to make that an option.
    [​IMG]

    You can see here what i mean there is way too much movement in this.
    [​IMG]

    SFX PSU loaded in, that back plate with the uprights make for sturdy construction even while hanging there like that.
    [​IMG]

    Fully assembled. Looking good, although i think i might go hit these clear sheets with a can of satin black spray-paint.
    [​IMG]

    For a second round prototype i'm happy with the results, i was a little frustrated with the turn around time from the laser cutter, between quoting, waiting for replies, delays, waiting for payment to clear, waiting to cut and having the time to pick it up... a week had past. I'm used much quicker turn around time in my line of work.... So in all the down time i ordered a laser cutter for my self, hopefully ill have that setup and ready for the next prototype, another toy for my fab house :D
     
  15. Deano_20802

    Deano_20802 Member

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    Great work so far, looking forward to the final product!
     
  16. Defyant

    Defyant Member

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    Defyant Modded "Tail" Lights!
    what laser cutter? make sure to give us a review:thumbup:
     
  17. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    Right, so thanks to my new laser cutter i have my last prototype. It was a bit of a slog getting the laser cutter set up, but its all smooth sailing from here.

    I've also put all the source files on my git https://github.com/cokeeffekt/yasff

    Here it is in my final finish of choice. Satin black.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The case is really starting to look like a nice polished piece of kit. The only thing i'm questioning is the finish on the 3d printed uprights, i may need to get a 3rd party to use a hires printer to be happy with it.

    So here it is, all components installed, beautiful fit. The slide in side panels make this case a dream to work with.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  18. OP
    OP
    cokeeffekt

    cokeeffekt Member

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    I bought a cheap k40 off ebay, it was a nightmare to say the least, i knew what i was getting into.

    I replace everything from the mirrors to the bed, half the electronics where faulty/not wired correctly. After a week of modding, tweaking and re-wiring/soldering electronics i had a functional laser printer. With a lot of work these are great units, just don't expect the thing that shows up at your door to function.

    Im not going to do a review on it, i think the internet has covered this cutter well, its trash, but with effort and time its brilliant.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  19. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    Very slick, I like it. What printer & rough settings did you use for the upright supports?
    I'm planning an ITX build for my brother and hope to print the entire thing out of PLA, will be a good test!
     

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