Where to get an entire case made?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Amfibius, May 29, 2017.

  1. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Hi all, I need a new HTPC. This HTPC has very specific requirements, so an "off-the-shelf" case will not be suitable. It has to fit in my equipment rack (i.e has to be horizontal form factor of a certain maximum dimension), must have an optical drive, and must be as silent as possible whilst still being able to cool a high end CPU and graphics card.

    After looking at various HTPC cases, I have come to the conclusion that none of them fit my needs. So I am looking at getting a custom case built.

    This is almost a "cost no object" build. The cost of the case will be pretty negligible compared to the cost of my HT, which has umpteen thousands of dollars invested in it.

    Does anybody know who is able to built a case to my specifications?

    I could potentially approach a shop that does CNC metalwork and ask them to cut the panels for me, but I do not know how to use CAD. If there is a local OCAU'er who knows how to use CAD, I am more than happy to pay you in beer and money for your trouble.
     
  2. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    What materials do you want your case to be made out of?

    Since this is to match your AV setup, you want the case to be made out of anodized aluminium panels or regular 2-3mm sheets?

    I can recommend sources in the US but not locally as I used to have amplifier enclosures CNC'd and fabricated by my sources overseas.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  3. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Sorry, I forgot to mention that :) The top of the case will be my existing wooden shelf with holes cut for a window and for ventilation. The rest of the case will be aluminum.
     
  4. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    That makes little sense to me.. or rather I just can't picture it.
    If you are looking at recreating the complexities of a commercially available case as a one-off then money had BETTER be no object because it will be ludicrously expensive.

    On the other hand, if it's just some bent pieces of metal you need that is easily accomplished by any metalworking place that has a folder etc (or find a good panel beater who works from home).

    Without knowing more precisely what your requirements are, it's impossible to give any more advice....
     
  5. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Yes, I do anticipate it will be pretty expensive. I am guessing a couple of thousand $$ but that's OK, I have commissioned custom furniture for around the same price. I will keep the costs down a little by salvaging parts (e.g. HDD cage, motherboard tray) from an old case. That should at least cut down on the fabricator having to locate and drill so many precision holes.

    What I am planning is for them to machine 5 slabs of aluminum, approx 5mm thick. These 5 slabs will make the sides and bottom of the case. I already have the top plate, which is an existing wooden shelf in my hifi equipment rack that will have holes cut in it for the case window and ventilation grilles.

    When I finally get it done, I will post a build log. Right now, all I want to know is whether this is possible or whether anyone has done it before. I have hung around modding forums for years, and I have never seen it done!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  6. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    It will be lot less then a few thousand maybe 1.5k max is also stretching it unless it's a case machined out of a single billet of aluminium.

    You would need to supply your CAD, design files though.

    Have you had a look at Streacom cases?
     
  7. Renza

    Renza Member

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  8. power

    power Member

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    So this is less a case and more a built in case - maybe hit up a cabinetmaker and look to incorporate part of a case into it.
     
  9. underskore

    underskore Member

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    can you give us a basic sketch/diagram of what you want made?
     
  10. Defyant

    Defyant Member

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    Hi Amfibius,

    Have a chat /pm to these guys. For such a one off build i would not hesitate to go outside AU. You will struggle to find a modder with access to the gear needed to build these kinda mods.

    There's a TON of mods on BT search thru the "scratch builds"

    https://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=319627


    https://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?t=308746

    You my need to w/c or incorp the chassis as the main cooler.

    I'm sure i have seen a case built that allows the GPU to directly contact the side of the alloy case.
     
  11. Reins

    Reins Member

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    SingularityComputers

    Based out of Queensland (Brizzy I think). Amazing builds and absolutely stunning quality of workmanship. I have watched his builds for years and he is now at the point of having a workshop where they can CNC mill, route, etc and often build things from scratch.

    I assume he charges a mint (in order to have 5+ employees), but based on what you have said RE: payment, I don't think it will be an issue. :cool:

    I would 100% give them a ring, they'll either be able to sort something out for you or direct you to someone who can!

    Best of luck!

    P.S. Check out his YouTube for some serious drool!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  12. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I currently own a Streacom case, and it won't work for me. It can only dissipate a maximum of 95W TDP. I am planning to incorporate a 140W CPU and a graphics card, so it definitely will not be sufficient.

    I can't CAD, I was hoping for an OCAU'er to help for payment of money or beer.

    Thanks, but I won't be needing that case. I already have an old Antec case with a removable motherboard tray that I plan to cannibalize.

    Sure, this is what the system looks like:

    [​IMG]

    And this is a close up of the equipment rack (taken quite a few years ago - I no longer have the turntable):

    [​IMG]

    And this is what I want the case to look like:

    [​IMG]

    Thank you!

    Thank you! I checked out that site and it IS serious drool. I will get in touch with them.
     
  13. Reins

    Reins Member

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    No worries man. Your audio setup is gorgeous!

    What PC specs are you going to be putting into it? From the looks of it you're planning on a dual loop setup? Will be interesting trying to fit all that in such a small space.

    If I were building it, I would probably go the simple route of cutting a square sheet like below. Cut the corners out, drill/tap some holes for the motherboard standoffs and watercooling tubes, fold it on the dotted lines and then do similar for the second exterior box. With the standard motherboard standoffs you should (should) get enough clearance for the rear bracket of the cooler or waterblock. Excuse the 5 minute MS paint mockup.

    [​IMG]

    Then simply repeat for the exterior box, with some creative solutions for mounting the radiators, HDDs etc. Perhaps with a nice weld joining the corners of the box (depending on how good the welding is and what look you desire).

    Keen to see where you go with this! Love me some custom cases! :D
     
  14. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Thanks Reins, that's a good idea. I'll have a think about it. But the first thing I need to do is decide on my WC equipment and make sure there is enough space for it in my case.

    I do have a bit more space, because the case will not include a PSU. I am using an external linear power supply.
     
  15. garfield2k

    garfield2k Member

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    cant modify a silverstone case to suit? they have some alright matx and atx cases.

    if you are ok with doing some basic work with hand tools then maybe try Capral, as they can cut to size aluminium sheets for you. no need to cnc unless you want shapes cut etc. if you got a case you can salvage the mb tray and rear panel from then you just need to get the other 4 sides cut plus your wooden top. I had some 6mm sheet cut and had to clean the edges and finish the surface but nothing too hard. Made a small amp case.
    To join them can just tap and screw them together from the outside or for a neater look use al angle and do from the inside.

    even if you need to cut al then a jigsaw with a metal blade cuts it fine too.
     
  16. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Thanks for the offer, Shane. It may be a bit difficult for a home build - materials will be aluminum, carbon fibre, and wood. It will need CNC machining.
     
  17. andurils_sheath

    andurils_sheath Member

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    I can probably get this done for you or at least the metal sections.

    I would be inclined to use "carbon fibre" vinyl wrap over aluminium for the carbon fibre sections. Will be cheaper and visually as effective.

    It will cost a lot for a one off though - whats your budget?

    (I am a mechanical engineer with 5 years industry experience drawing and manufacturing sheet metal telecommunications enclosures.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  18. OP
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    Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Thanks shane and anduril. This is a preliminary Sketchup drawing of what I am thinking of. I am redoing the design because I realized it will look monstrous when mounted on the rack. I am trying to make it visually a bit smaller.

    The new design i'm working on will have 6cm less height and 80mm less width.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  19. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    you know hifi/pro audio rack gear is all standard size, and the same size as PC/sever rack gear. plenty of rack mount cases available to you, and you can cut a hole in the top to add a window easy as. much easier starting with a case designed for PC components.

    what width is your 'rack'?
     
  20. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Horrible slim airflow for the radiators, since those full pieces act as a wall to maintain the structure of the outer panels, add some cutout holes either circle patterns or shaped patterns that way you still have the pieces upright for the top panels to go on top of and you also get better airflow for the radiator fans.

    Also are you going to do any anodising, powdercoating, silkscreened or paint finish on the case?

    This is definitely not a walk through the park case since it is a 'cost no object' custom case and finalised product needs to demonstrate it. The precision machining required to get all the thicker than your run of the mill pc case alu panel pieces cnc'd with less than 2% variance is beyond what regular hand and bench tools can muster. Bench and angle grinding to cut corners with the job != a perfectly completed product.

    Looks easy when you visualise it in your head or on paper as an idea, doing it is completely different. Different story if it was wood though as its a lot easier to work with.

    I've tried undertaking something similar to this (not for a rack) years back with my own custom designed regulated and extremely low noise pc psu with a pc motherboard silently cooled for a high end headless music server, had quotes done for my case and it was far more than I was comfortable spending it on.
     

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