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madian225

3 Lions Case- New build

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Hi

 

Well this is the first, I hope, of many posts from me on this and hopefully with some or a lot of input from you this will be both an interesting and informative thread. Initially for me to see what idea’s and suggestions that you come up with as I go along but also I guess as an inspiration for those who are contemplating going down this road.

 

So why build / design my own case?

 

Personally it coves a few different area’s really, the first being my existing case (a Mountain Mods U2-UFO case) was getting on the cramped side and I was looking for something similar but with a bit more room!

 

I know what you are going to say…how on earth can a case that is 18” cubed be too small?? Well I do have two separate water cooling loops, 2 separate water pumps, 5 Hard Drives and two separate PSU’s in there and it all takes up room not including the M/B and a PA 120.3 and 120.1 RAD and all the fans. I also have to add all the relevant cabling and water tubing and…….well you get the idea space becomes a premium very quickly with all that lot in there.

 

So why not use the case that I have already? The case I have has been powder coated and in order to have any kind of effective mod to it all the powder coating will need to be stripped off both inside and out and to be realistic I do not have the equipment to do that and to get someone to do that I may as well keep the case running whilst I build this one and then sell the MM case when I have finished.

 

What am I looking for?

 

If I were honest I am looking to hide all the wiring (or as much as I can) and as much of the water cooling setup and the PSU’s in order to reduce the clutter as much as I can in order to give a clean look to what is left.

 

In addition I am looking to give my brain a work out, pick you for idea’s and suggestions as I go along and to have a great deal of fun (I hope) in the process and to have a sense of ……I built that …at the end of it..

 

Size and Construction

 

I did start a Poll earlier and although a possible method was to use composite materials I have no prior experience in that at all and I doubt if I would be able to give it the patience and the quality that I would like to achieve. An idea for the future no doubt with a bit of practice on other things but for now I would like to try and keep it simple as that sums me up nicely simple 

 

• Material – Aluminium really for me, easy to obtain, easy to use and easy to handle.

 

• Framing - Given all that it will have to cope with I am looking to use 1” * 1” * 3 mm Aluminium angle as the main frame. This will help give the case some pretty good rigidity and will not bend or flex under the weight (I hope). To add to this all the two floor panels will be 3 mm aluminium whilst the side panels will probably 1 mm. The front and rear panels I am undecided on yet will either be 1 mm or 3 mm aluminium, I am looking for something that will help tie the whole lot together and the 3 mm may well do this a lot more than the 1 mm but I am unsure as to how easy or otherwise the 3 mm will be over the 1 mm.

 

VOTE 1 – So what do you all think for the front and rear panels to this case 1 mm or 3 mm?

 

• Size – I am looking at a case of 18” deep * 19” wide * 25 “ high. I am constrained by the amount of room I have under my desk but these dimensions are the max that I can realistically get away with.

 

• Framing Plan – I have a basic frame in mind that I have had to amend for a number of different reasons, both for practicality and also space. I have had to take into account how I will fit two separate water cooling loops into my new case and how and where I will fit the Rad’s ?. This is the framing plan that I initially came up with

 

(See Initial Framing v 2 jpg)

 

However, trying to fit a PA 120.3 and a PA 120.2 rad was proving to be somewhat difficult. I will mention more about the water cooling later on in another post but it has had quite an impact on my initial framing design as you will see soon. What I have decided to go for is 2 PA 120.2 rads ( 1 for the CPU only, and the other for the GPU (or GPU’s) and the Northbridge.

 

A PA 120.2 rad stands at roughly 12” tall (300 mm) whilst a PA 120.3 takes up nearly 17” (430 mm) so not small by any means. My initial though was to go for a 120.3 rad on its side in front of the case with a 120.2 rad on its back next to it with the case. However, by the time I add in the 2 PSU’s space disappears again especially when I take into account the water cooling tubing that will also have to share this space.

 

I could add another rad above it but I am trying to avoid having too much encroaching into the main unit of the case. I have therefore decided to go for 2 PA 120.2 rads standing up with 1 each side of the case, this will allow sufficient room to house my main H/D’s between the two Rads with the H/D’s having their own separate air cooling arrangement.

 

It will mean that the top fan from each rad will ‘appear’ in the main unit but it will keep the overall case height within the limit that I have whilst at the same time giving me the cooling that I need. Only time will tell if this will prove to be a wise move or not but currently cannot see of a different method. To achieve this I will have to ensure that the ‘main’ floor will sit just below the top fan of the Rad to give it an aesthetic look which in turn will lower my overall height available within the lower compartment. (see v5 jpeg)

 

Vote 2 – Have I got this right do you think? Any other idea’s or suggestions as to how to get these rads in? bear in mind that a PSU I am going to use ( PC C &P) is 180 mm deep and will also have the cabling as well so a deep PSU which eats up a LOT or room depth wise within the case

 

Here is my revised framing plan taking into account the rads.

 

Revised Frame V 3 jpeg refers whilst v 5 shows how the framing relates to the Rad and fans...possibly ...maybe...

 

I have a bit more thinking to do on this but helpful idea's and suggestions are very very welcome at this point.

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I have some ideas, but I am not very good at drawing or explaining.

I will go and try to draw something but it will look horrible.

Looking forward to seeing the progress, I like big cases.

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Hi 225Slant6

 

Any idea's are more than welcome and as for your abilities they have to be better than mine lol

 

I am away for a week in Boston from Tuesday so everything will be put on hold forum wise till I am back. It will give me time to think more about the case etc. and to make any revisions then.

 

I look forward to seeing what you have in mind with interest, thanks.

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Madian225 do you have google sketchup? I made a very rough drawing with google sketchup, it is not to scale but it might give you some ideas on how to layout the case. If you don't have google sketchup I can take some screen shots.

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I did start a Poll earlier and although a possible method was to use composite materials I have no prior experience in that at all and I doubt if I would be able to give it the patience and the quality that I would like to achieve. An idea for the future no doubt with a bit of practice on other things but for now I would like to try and keep it simple as that sums me up nicely simple 

 

VOTE 1 – So what do you all think for the front and rear panels to this case 1 mm or 3 mm?

 

Vote 2 – Have I got this right do you think? Any other idea’s or suggestions as to how to get these rads in? bear in mind that a PSU I am going to use ( PC C &P) is 180 mm deep and will also have the cabling as well so a deep PSU which eats up a LOT or room depth wise within the case

 

Composites are not very difficult and the possibilities are endless; with little effort and proper procedure excellent results are easily achieved.

Aluminum is also a good choice; since it's easy to come by, takes less time, and is probably cheaper.

 

Vote 1: It depends on what type of aluminum. Regular 1mm aluminum is quite malleable and would not stand up to much; on the other hand, if you use an aluminum alloy it can be quite sturdy even at 1mm thickness.

 

Vote 2: I personally can't make anything out of those drawings so I couldn't really say. If possible use a proper 3D CAD (modeling) software such as AutoCAD, ProEngineer, or even Sketchup.

"WordCAD" and "PaintCAD" are extremely poor especially for 3D objects.

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Hi

 

I have just installed sketchup, although I have never used it before I will try and re-do the drawings so that it gives a much clearer picture of what I have in mind at the current moment.

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Madain225, send me some sketches and I can put them into an AutoCAD (Inventor actually) format so that you can use them for templates, also I can send you a 3d rendering of what it will look like when completed.

 

If you want me to do so just send me a PM with your ideas, and I will try to get them worked out for you.

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Shatteredsteel

 

what can I say except thank you :)

 

I am leaving for a weeks vacation in Boston today (shopping and a few Ice Hockey games) so I will be able to finalise a few things whilst I freeze as I see Boston is a warm and humid minus 20 at the moment lol.

 

What is the best format for you to work with?

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Any format will work, the biggest things I need are dimensions and any specialized cuts you'd like added... (windows and the like)

 

Also the number of HDD Cages, DVD-ROM drives, yeah you get the point.

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