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Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

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HELIOS, the Titan god of the sun. Tireless is he who is like the deathless gods.

As he rides his chariot, he shines upon men, and piercingly he gazes with his eyes from his golden helmet.

Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face.

A rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him.

Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven down to the lasting earth.




Design Features:

- Crafted from the worlds highest grades of composite materials and carbon fiber.

- Showcasing some of the finest watercooling components and computer hardware.

- Designed to hide every fastener, nut and bolt.

- A lack of case windows leave the motherboard bare and exposed.

- High-tech and specially engineered ceramic foam filters and stainless steel mesh keep out dust.

- Made from virtually indestructible panels over 8MM thick.

- Taking advantage of air pressure zones to keep hardware dust-free.

- Fully removable motherboard tray without disconnect or power-down.

- Highly modular design makes part-swapping as simple as possible.

- Sleek minimalist design is a call back to swiss modernism and bauhaus principals.

- Design and fabrication methods tailored to an extreme rapid fabrication cycle.

- HELIOS is to be a scratch build mod, truly, like no other.


Hardware List:


Processor - 1x unknown

Graphics - 3x nVidia GeForce GTX 480

Motherboard - 1x unknown

Memory - 12GB unknown

Power - Corsair AX1200

Storage - 8x 120GB SSD

Display - 3x Asus VW266H 25.5"



Processor - 1x AquaComputer Cuplex Kryos XT

Graphics - 3x unknown

Motherboard - 1x unknown

Radiators - 2x HW Labs GTX480 (3x140mm)

Tubing - 20' Tygon AS600038

Fans - 13x NB-BlackSilentPro PK-3

Pumps - 4x Laing DDC-1plus

Pump Tops - EK-DDC Dual Top V2

Memory - Mips RAM Kühler6

Fittings 1 - 10x 3/8" Straight Rotary Fitting

Fittings 2 - 20x 3/8" 45 Degree Rotary Fitting

Fittings 3 - 20x 3/8" Angle Rotary Fitting

Fittings 4 - 10x Low-Profile Stop Fitting

Fittings 5 - 16x Fitting Spacer

Fittings 6 - 16x Mini Fitting Spacer

Fittings 7 - 8x No-Spill Quick Disconnect Female

Fittings 8 - 8x No-Spill Quick Disconnect Male

Fittings 9 - 4x 2-Slot Crystal Sli-Link Tube

Fittings 10 - 3x Mini Sli-Adapter


Fasteners and Hardware:

Polyethylene Spacer - 40x 3/16”OD x .115”ID x 3/8” (McMaster - 92825A009)

SS Dowel Pin - 50x 3mm x 6mm (McMaster - 91585A051)

SS Press-Fit Threaded Insert - 5x 1/4-20 x 1/2” (McMaster - 92394A116)

SS Press-Fit Bushing - 4x .257”ID x 1/2”OD x 1/4” (McMaster - 8492A155)

SS Knurled Thumb Screw - 4x 1/4-20 x 3/4” x 1” (McMaster - 91830A577)

Wool/Rayon Adhesive Back Felt - 1x 24” x 32” x 3/64” (McMaster - 8770K3)

SS Low Head Socket Cap Screw - 75x M4 x 30mm (McMaster - 92855A425)

SS Knurled Thumb Screw - 24x 6-32 x 1/2” x 1/4” (McMaster - 91746A536)

SS Low Head Socket Cap Screw - 25x 6-32 x 3/4” (McMaster - 93615A210)

SS Self-Lock Flat Head Cap Screw 25x 10-32 x 1” (McMaster - 92805A268)

SS Male-Female Standoff - 18x 6-32 x 3/16”OD x 3/16” (McMaster - 91075A461)

Hinge / Lid Support - 2x 1.744” x 5.313” (McMaster - 14785A51)



- 8MM thick CNC cut carbon composite panels crafted to the strictest military specifications

- 2MM thick thermoset carbon composite panels made for aerospace applications

- Stainless Steel hardware throughout

- Stainless Steel micro-weave mesh

- Felt dampening

- Polyethylene to reduce friction in modular areas.

- Custom engineered ceramic foam air filters



Size - 206mm Wide - 610mm Tall - 610mm Deep

Weight - unknown

Performance Statistics - unknown



Design, Prototypes, Mockups and Fabrication log to follow.

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Using Adobe's Illustrator I created a couple rough perspective drawings, so that I could get a better idea of the concept in my head:

-At this point the plan was to construct the case in Aluminum.









After talking with the community and doing some more planning myself, I made some changes to the plan.

-Altered some of the chassis dimensions.

-Trashed the idea of stacked radiators.

-Relocated the pumps and reservoirs.

-Added a downward facing PSU fan, which would later be scrapped.

-Finalized the tubing layouts.

-Changed from 360MM radiators to 420mm

-Changed the fabrication material to Grade 38 Titanium





I again posted my designs for the community to critique and made some very minor alterations yet again.






At this point I was getting some really good feedback online and started putting it into practice.

-I redrew the entire design with new dimensions.

-Plotted the wiring paths.

-Refined the tubing layouts.

-Finalized the pump and reservoir positions



Edited by Langer

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It was now that I decided to take my design and bring it into the physical plane. The medium I decided upon was cardboard and tape - the board I used is the same stuff one would use to matte pictures when framing.









REVISION 5.0, current and FINAL revision:

Happy with the prototype and the general concept, I decided it was time to finalize the plan and fix the little issues. This revision I've kept to myself until this now. I've made many very small changes to the plan.

-I again completely redrew the design, this time with 8MM thick paneling.

-I added small routered grooves where the panels fit together to better hide the seams.

-Altered the relationships of components and their positions.

-Finalized the design for the PSU cavity.

-Beveled all the edges of the cuts - to compensate for the diameter of the 1/8" cutting tool on the CNC router.

-I also swapped out the Titanium for a Carbon Fiber construction instead (I'm going to save the Titanium I acquired for another project down the road).





Edited by Langer

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I've been working with an engineer, and friend of mine named John Dalton, who has graciously offered up some time to throw together a 3D mock-up.


He sent me off the first revision of his model today.


There are couple of minor errors, due to my vague explanations:

-In this model the motherboard backplate is flipped 180deg

-The SSD mounts are affixed to the side panels instead of the rads

-the motherboard tray is just floating in space.


They are such minor issues that I have no problem at all sharing some previews with you.

And John already agreed to rectify the issues for me on Monday.


Here's an ISO view with perspective.



Side view with perspective:



View of the back and side of the chassis.



A couple of detail shots of the bottom.



Note here how I managed to save some space by routering out some spots in the chassis and side-panel. These will allow for a couple extra millimeters for the pumps and PSU fan.



You can CLICK HERE for a live model preview which you can rotate around and navigate in 3D space.

Unfortunately this HTML export from SolidWorks is only supported by IE, and on PC.

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That's all I have to share for today.

I'll have the revised model as well as some renderings to show you all next week.

As well, next week, I'll share some pictures of the manufacturing process behind the composite panels. Perhaps even some shots of them being CNC cut to spec.



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I've been diligently plugging away.

I decided to trade in the project log for a big bang at the end.


Many issues arose when fabricating the 8mm thick panels - there was a great numbers of unsuccessful trials before arriving at the solution seen in the images below. A total of 64 layers were required to achieve the thickness and rigidity of my specifications.


As planned:

There are three small 1/8" pins sticking out 2.5mm from each mated edge. These more than hold it together, there are no visible fasteners. (I've not yet inserted the pins holding the side panels in place - this will be the last step.


All that remains now is to give the panels a final surface finish.

A final clean of the edges.

Dilling of a few remaining holes for mounting things like the motherboard.

Then a light hammering to seat all the pins into their final positions.


That's all I have to say for now, I'll let the images do the rest.


Presenting HELIOS:

Side-View w/ Side Panel







Opened Top







Reverse Side and back of Motherboard



Detail Shot





Tune in soon for final pics, the fabrication story, technical specifics, hardware selection and some pretty awesome motion graphics.



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Sweet. Cant wait. Given me some new ideas for my desk build.

Btw, aint 8mm carbon fiber kinda excessive? Are you planning to nuke the thing? :teehee:

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Wow. I'd love to see how you fit in the PSU and match up the ATX screw holes to the case and the I/O Backplate. Best of luck and happy new years :D

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