Worklog: Laser Cut Acrylic - Smallest Possible mATX Case (while still using a "standard" layout)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by sonicthemouse, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I attached the big 500W brick under my desk with Velcro. Same end result as a normal IEC cable to a normal PSU, but the cable was actually thinner than a standard IEC cable. My desk is custom built though, I have drawers and a lot of nooks and crannies to hide stuff in around the drawers, completely invisible. I have power boards, bricks etc all hidden under there.

    All you can see is a single power cable going to a wall socket from under the desk. Power boards are daisy chained. They provide everything I need for our his n' hers desk, with just a few cables coming through desk holes to her PC and mine.



    Standoffs because it doesn't look ghetto that way :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Lol yeah I see what you did there :lol:

    Yeah, if you're happy with a low-power 250~300W SFX PSU they're easy/cheap enough from some old Acer/Dell/etc SFF systems. But anything modern or modular comes with a price tag that's for sure.

    However, we'll do a design with support for a full ATX PSU. It will severely limit the height of the CPU cooler but a thin stock cooler or thin AIO pump should still fit...

    And yes, it's the same with some of the Lian Li cases. I was chasing a particular Lian Li for another SFF build and there were some available on the 'bay from Germany for ~$330 landed :rolleyes:

    Yeah it would be easy enough to leave a solid rear panel with just a hole for the DC in jack, then PicoPSU or whatever you want inside.

    Personally there's not much point reducing the size of the case, cos you've still gotta fit the GPU. We could do a whole ITX revision down the track though.

    One advantage of the external power brick in this case would be you could fit a massive air cooled heatsink on the CPU, maybe even enough to run everything passive cooled if you wanted dead silence...

    *snip* each to their own. It's easy enough to provision for either option in the design.

    I think this has been sufficeintly answered :lol:

    But yeah electronically it's not necessary as acrylic is not conductive, but I have seen cases where it can build up static after cutting with traditional tools (jigsaw etc).

    I'm guessing with the laser cutter there won't be any static build up, but I'm gonna test with cheap components before I put my X99 gear in the first time, just in case :Paranoid:
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Speaking of laser cutters, stay tuned for a major update ;)
     
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  4. Kommandant33

    Kommandant33 Member

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    Tuned
     
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  5. CMH

    CMH Member

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    How about bolts coming from the case and the motherboard secured to it via nuts?
     
  6. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    WHy not make an ATX PSU option design that's the same just a fraction taller (or thicker or deeper or however you want to look at it) to facilitate a decent cooler. It still wont be huge and still much smaller than a traditional case I think.
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Lol what have you got against stand-offs? Even if I used an alternative method like your suggestions to mount the motherboard closer to the acrylic sheet, the little "tabs" at the bottom of the rear slot covers of the GPU will protrude like 8~10mm down from the height of the motherboard so there needs to be clearance for those :thumbup:

    Could do. Just want to get the basics down first and variations can come later. The main thing is here, you end up in "let's just make it a little wider to fit the ATX PSU and decent cooler" and "let's just make it a little deeper to fit longer GPUs" and "let's make it a little taller to fit a rad in the top" and then you're no longer making a tiny case :lol:
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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  9. Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yeah, that's a rabbit hole. Done a lot of designs, most of which never come to fruition, but 'I'll just add a bit here so I can do this, and a bit there, so I can do that' turns into 'fuck, I'd hoped to make it a LOT smaller than this' very quickly.
     
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  10. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Fair enough. I just wanna know if I can get one in white please. :D:thumbup:
     
  11. BiKESEAT

    BiKESEAT Member

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    Laser cutter looks cool. Which is it and how much?
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Sure, I'm actually in the process of trying to sort some acrylic sheets now.

    Bunnings have a few in a reasonable range of colours, but they're 900x600x3mm, the max work area of the cutter is 700x500, minus a bit for clearances.

    We could cut one of the Bunnings sheets with the jigsaw first, but before that I've gotta mock up and lay out all the panels to see if they can all be cut from the single Bunnings sheet, after cutting the sheet to fit in the cutter of course. My feeling is that mathematically, we should be able to get 1.5 or 2 cases cut from 1 Bunnings sheet, but possibly not once you take into account the dimensions of each panel.

    I've also looked at eBay, there is an Australian seller with heaps of colour options (great for doing Noctua theme / ROG / nVidia / AMD theme etc) but they were quite expensive.

    I've checked AliExpress, mostly clear available, and all in silly sizes, and not much cheaper than the Australian eBay seller.

    Glad someone noticed it lol :lol:

    So full disclosure, it's not mine, my mate who is working on this project with me bought it. It is from eBay from a seller in Sydney, I believe it is this model here, about $3400 delivered.

    It is now set up and cutting some test cuts, after a bit of messing around, it seems to be going okay.

    I've gotta sort out the acrylic, the fixings, stand-offs and a few other bits and pieces, and we will also start 3D-printing the brackets and corners etc shortly.

    IT CUTS:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    nice... :D
     
  14. DSTM (Dougie)

    DSTM (Dougie) Member

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  15. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    This is like my ideal case, except instead of M-ATX I would make it ITX and move the SFX power supply perpendicular to the motherboard and directly above it to allow for tower coolers, but I really like the design!
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Thanks I'll check them out :thumbup:

    Lol, isn't what you've described basically just a Jonsbo U1 Plus?

    Anyway once we've got this MATX variant sorted I'm happy to look at ITX and ATX options, as the model and all the cut outs will be similar so there's not too much extra work to do :)
     
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  17. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    Layout wise, yeah, except the Jonsbo has no airflow or support for longer GPU's.
    If it was longer with support for front fans in the front then yes, that is exactly what I'm describing :lol:
     
  18. vladtepes

    vladtepes Member

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    Having an ITX system at the moment (in my dual build) it has limitations on RAM and especially PCI slots that I don't think is ideal. The mATX is, I think, a great compromise.
     
  19. neogeo

    neogeo Member

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    Tuning in
     
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    sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    No Mr Bond, I expect you to die:

    [​IMG]

    Imma cutchu:

    [​IMG]

    3 panels down:

    [​IMG]

    3D printed joiners / brackets and fasteners:

    [​IMG]

    Things we have learned:
    • The acrylic sheets from Clark Rubber are not fantastic.
      They are coated in plastic film and are not as rigid, and they don't quite cut all the way through, or quite so clean.
      The eBay sheets, by contrast, are coated in paper film, cut very clean, all the way through, and are more rigid.
    • The acrylic sheets from Bunnings seem similar to those from Clark Rubber
    • Trying sheets from here next: https://www.bulkacrylics.com.au
    Hope to have the first prototype case completed soon. First one will likely be 100% clear transparent, so we can see exactly how everything lines up inside.

    I've also taken a few videos of the laser cutter in action so I'll pop those up on YouTube over the weekend I guess.

    Very excited!! :D
     
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