Question Question to Get Started on Building Own PC Case

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USAFRet

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Alright, I looked at the replies once again.

Both of you mentioned wood and lexan. What do you mean by this?

Are you suggesting that I build my case with wood or lexan insteadd?

Where can I do that? Is it cheaper than Protocase's steel case?
For a first try at a one off design, with some severe design constraints, 'cheap' is not going to be the main factor.
You will go through several mockups before you get one that 'works'.

I mentioned wood or lexan, because you asked for other options.
But unless you already have the tools and skills, wood is off the table.
 

IDProG

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For a first try at a one off design, with some severe design constraints, 'cheap' is not going to be the main factor.
You will go through several mockups before you get one that 'works'.

I mentioned wood or lexan, because you asked for other options.
But unless you already have the tools and skills, wood is off the table.
Sorry, but I'm not cutting and drilling my own case panel. Not only I don't have the tools and skills needed (which, alone, is not cheap), but also I'm not the type of guy who can succeed in doing things the first time. Even my case's mockup CAD design is a result of dozens of hours of fixing and refinement.
 

USAFRet

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Sorry, but I'm not cutting and drilling my own case panel. Not only I don't have the tools and skills needed (which, alone, is not cheap), but also I'm not the type of guy who can succeed in doing things the first time. Even my case's mockup CAD design is a result of dozens of hours of fixing and refinement.
Exactly.
And what looks good in SketchUp or a better CAD application does not always transfer to a viable thing that can be printed.

3D printers have their own constraints that need to be accounted for in the design.
 

gondo

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On a serious note. I think protocase is the way to go. Steel is the best material since it is easily drilled and threaded to hold screws and standoffs.

Wood is for a hobbyist making a bling bling case to show off at a lan.

Polycarbonate (Lexan) works. Twenty years ago computers had lots of big ugly cables inside, so to try and pretty things up rounded IDE cables where invented. Then UV cables with Cold Cathode black lights. To show off all this stuff the lexan case was invented.

Computers today have no cables inside since we no longer use drives. Power supplies are modular and you can buy a pack of pre sleeved cables to tidy things up. Polycarbonate is no longer required to show off black lights. Polycarbonate flexes, is a bitch to work with, and scratches easily.

The best compromise is a steel frame with a tempered glass window. If you want easy access, and easy to work on this case is pretty neat.

 

IDProG

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Exactly.
And what looks good in SketchUp or a better CAD application does not always transfer to a viable thing that can be printed.

3D printers have their own constraints that need to be accounted for in the design.
Which is why I still consider Protocase, despite their price, which is quite high.

On a serious note. I think protocase is the way to go. Steel is the best material since it is easily drilled and threaded to hold screws and standoffs.

Wood is for a hobbyist making a bling bling case to show off at a lan.

Polycarbonate (Lexan) works. Twenty years ago computers had lots of big ugly cables inside, so to try and pretty things up rounded IDE cables where invented. Then UV cables with Cold Cathode black lights. To show off all this stuff the lexan case was invented.

Computers today have no cables inside since we no longer use drives. Power supplies are modular and you can buy a pack of pre sleeved cables to tidy things up. Polycarbonate is no longer required to show off black lights. Polycarbonate flexes, is a bitch to work with, and scratches easily.

The best compromise is a steel frame with a tempered glass window. If you want easy access, and easy to work on this case is pretty neat.

There are two problems of Protocase: Price, and Design.

It's quite expensive, and we cannot really be creative with design, because more creative design equals much more expensive price.

I just hope that there are other companies that fabricate cases and has those two cons at a lower extent.
 

gondo

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A prototype is going to be expensive regardless of who manufactures it.

That's why acrylic was so popular. It can be purchased inexpensively at the hardware store and is easy to work with. You can bend it without cutting etc... And cuts can be polished with a torch. It may still be a viable solution for you.

I just find it hard to believe the current case can be improved upon. They are lightweight, small, have cable routing, cooling, magnetic easy clean dust filters, PSU shrouds, etc.... There are some pretty damn nice cases out there and 99% of them are all under $200.
 

IDProG

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A prototype is going to be expensive regardless of who manufactures it.

That's why acrylic was so popular. It can be purchased inexpensively at the hardware store and is easy to work with. You can bend it without cutting etc... And cuts can be polished with a torch. It may still be a viable solution for you.

I just find it hard to believe the current case can be improved upon. They are lightweight, small, have cable routing, cooling, magnetic easy clean dust filters, PSU shrouds, etc.... There are some pretty damn nice cases out there and 99% of them are all under $200.
Yes, I am well aware that there are many good cases for cheaper. But, none of the cases are easy to order or fit my taste. I want a console form factor case. There are some console form factor cases, but none that I like, because most of them don't have a 240mm radiator mount, resulting in a poor CPU cooling, and also, since air cooler fans are intake, they will pull air from top to bottom, fighting convection in the process.

With 240mm AIO, the problem is completely solved, making all intakes pull air from the bottom to the top.
 

IDProG

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Curious that you've not shared any of your Sketchup designs with us.
Well, I think the answer should've been obvious:
Because the file is big.

If no one asks for it, why bother?

But, since you asked, here you go.

Like I have said, it's a mockup. It's not a 3D printable file. It is by no means 100% accurate, and I acknowledge that there are little errors in placement of the parts, and there are parts that are not in the model.

Some notes:
  1. The fans are just indicators of fan mounts
  2. There will be vent holes at the top and bottom of radiator's place, bottom of GPU's place, top of motherboard's place, bottom of PSU's place, and the right side of the case.
  3. The I/O consists of 2 USB 3 type-A ports, a USB type-C port, a headphone/microphone combo jack, and a power button.
  4. I don't put 2.5" SSD mounts because I prefer using 3M tape for mounting the HDD/SSD. It's also for compatibility purposes: If I put an SSD bracket behind the PSU, the case will not support SFX-L PSU, while if I don't, I can just remove the SSD and the SFX-L PSU will fit just fine.
  5. I'm still thinking of the way to rise the case so that it can breathe air from the bottom.
  6. It will be painted with RAL 9005 Jet Black or RAL 9003 Signal White color (if I use Protocase's service). I still haven't decided what to color the case with.
  7. No, the graphics card slot does not obstruct the motherboard's I/O shield. I have placed the graphics card as if it's connected by a 2U PCIe Riser Card, so it should fit.
  8. Notice that there are some standoffs "penetrating through" the case. It's actually because the 3D model of the motherboard comes with the standoffs, which should be ignored because the case has its own standoffs (you can see the case's STEP file), and it's shorter, hence the "penetration".
  9. The case has inner dimensions of 450mm x 310mm x 64mm with 8.93L of inner volume.
  10. The case has overall dimensions of around 453mm x 313mm x 67mm with 9.5L of overall volume.
Please review the case and help me make it better, thank you.
 

USAFRet

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( i need a newer version of Sketchup. But, from looking at the .stl and in Rhino..)

1. I'm not seeing a lot of room for radiator hoses.

4. Where will the SSD go? Behind the PSU?

5. Little feet can be created.


Overall, its OK.
But, as a one-off design, it will not be inexpensive.
 

gondo

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There are currently 2 console form factor cases on the market. The Fractal Design Node 202 and the Silverstone Raven.

Both support 330mm video cards and both use mini itx boards with sfx power supplies. The Silverstone supports a 240mm radiator which would make the case meet all of your needs.
 

IDProG

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There are currently 2 console form factor cases on the market. The Fractal Design Node 202 and the Silverstone Raven.

Both support 330mm video cards and both use mini itx boards with sfx power supplies. The Silverstone supports a 240mm radiator which would make the case meet all of your needs.
Nice try.

Look at a picture of the RVZ03's back. The PCI expansion slot is neither at the top nor bottom of the case. It's at the center. The distance between graphics card and the bottom of the case is too narrow, not even TD02-Slim (with total thickness of 37mm) can fit there.

It's only meant for fans, not radiators.
 

gondo

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RVZ01 designed for an AIO water cooer. This is the case most people use for a liquid cooled setup. It's tight and you have to watch the cooling of the GPU. At some point just trying to go tiny, you loose all practicality and benefits of a parts pc.

 

IDProG

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RVZ01 designed for an AIO water cooer. This is the case most people use for a liquid cooled setup. It's tight and you have to watch the cooling of the GPU. At some point just trying to go tiny, you loose all practicality and benefits of a parts pc.

I like how you used a MODDED RVZ01 as an example. First, you can see that the thickness is significantly increased, around 15 to 20mm each.
Second, the inside is empty. We don't know if it will even fit a graphics card if you put 240mm radiator at the fan mount (though I do know, it won't, because it has the exact same expansion slot placement as RVZ03).

"You lose all practicallity and benefits of a PC part"
I literally just uploaded my design here some hours ago. It's 9.5L with more hardware compatibility than the RVZ01 or RVZ03.
 

IDProG

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We await pictures of your case in the physical world. Along with the parts list, performance results, and cost.
Well, about that,

I am not planning to manufacture the case now. Because of everything going on now, my country's economy is in a bad state (it's around 20-22% weaker than usual). A conversion from USD would be a nightmare in cost. So, I will be planning to refine the case again and manufacture it at the end of this year.

About parts:
  1. I really don't want to upgrade my 1500X yet, because I will be waiting for Zen 4 (not Zen 3, because DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 will be more futureproof).
  2. My current motherboard is Micro ATX, which won't be supported by the case.
  3. I will be planning to upgrade to Ampere at the end of this year from my 1070.
So, I still don't know what to do with the old build and the case.
 

gondo

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The RVZ01 is designed for an AIO cooler and a full length graphics card. the pic I posted is a modded version just as an example....it obviously isn'ht now. So your correct, t an AIO cooler.

This is the only solution on the market. You are right, if you want more you need to make your own case. Why do you want such a console form factor vs a micro atx case? And do you absolutely need liquid cooling?

Your budget is obviously limited which is why most people are confused as to why you wouldn't just purchase a case and spend your money on components. Instead of spending hundreds on a DIY case, why not spend the money on acrylic tubing and bend yourself a wicked liquid cooled loop.
 

IDProG

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The RVZ01 is designed for an AIO cooler and a full length graphics card.
Not AND, OR. You have to choose which one to fit inside the case, 240mm AIO, or a graphics card.

Why do you want such a console form factor vs a micro atx case? And do you absolutely need liquid cooling?
Because size matters, a lot. Even a Micro ATX case can still have around 25-40L of volume. My house is small, and now that I have more things in the house, I have to keep size in check.

Your budget is obviously limited which is why most people are confused as to why you wouldn't just purchase a case and spend your money on components. Instead of spending hundreds on a DIY case, why not spend the money on acrylic tubing and bend yourself a wicked liquid cooled loop.
Not really. I don't really have a hard budget (a fixed amount of money), but I have a soft budget (a specific PC part. For example, I only need an RTX 2060 Super for my build, so RTX 2060S will be my maximum budget for GPU, etc).
I think I have told you that you cannot fit both 240mm radiator and a graphics card at the same time, meaning that the "wicked liquid cooling loop" is not even possible with a graphics card. And I could go on about the cons of custom loop, but I won't.
 

IDProG

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USAFRet, I haven't responded to your comment, so here you go.

1. I'm not seeing a lot of room for radiator hoses.

4. Where will the SSD go? Behind the PSU?

5. Little feet can be created.
1. Yeah, I noticed that, too. I think I'll change the design again.

4. Yes, behind the PSU. If I don't use an AIO, I can use the mount to place up to 4 3.5" HDDs or probably 10 to 12 SSDs (all hail 3M tape, lol). But of course I use it, so only 2 SSDs behind the PSU.

5. But not by Protocase. It has to be separate, because I know Protocase will charge a lot for the feet.
 

USAFRet

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10 to 12 SSD's? In a tiny case?
Connected to WHAT motherboard?

Feet are trivial. You can buy rubber feet from Amazon.
Or 5 minutes in Sketchup, and 20 minutes printing 4 of them. Doublesided tape, done.
 

EndEffeKt_24

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Read the whole thread and now gotta add my 2 cents:
First off cudos for attempting a project like this. I dont get all the salt in this thread. OP is rejecting a lot of the answers and some people are a bit harsh too. Guys lets keep it friendly we are talking about our hobby here.

1. CAD ans Sketchup are nice, but in the end you need to get hands on with physical components and some kind of model. I would go with plywood because its cheap and you can screw up stuff without wasting a lot of money. Plywood and a jigsaw.

2. Like some of the other guys here I got the feeling you underestimate the costs involved. You will not go out, order one model and its finished. The real product is somthing entirely different from some cad model. You will realize that parts are not fitting, materials are flexing where they shouldnt, screw holes are missing etc.
Plan for 5 prototypes and more until you get it right.
3. In relation to my beforementioned points. Do the model yourself, everything else will cost you a ton of money and will lead to frustration and nothing else. If you want to 3d print get a printer, if you want to work with wood then get yourself a workshop. Maybe even get somebody on-board who has the skills and equipment to help you.

Ps: Check out Josh from NotFromConcentrate if you want to see how custom pc creation can look like. His S4 Mini case is phenomenal.

Cheers.
 

gondo

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That S4 mini is a beautiful case but its designed for air cooling not liquid. And there is no filtration for dust. The OP is going for a full length AIO in a console form factor which is pretty much non existent on the market, with room to fit a video card without having to get a mini version. Hes trying to take something like the NZXT H200i and turn it from a micro tower into a more compact console format.

I wish we had contacts at a case manufacturer that we could just pitch your idea too and have it realized and brought to market. But I dont think it would sell too good due to room constraints. People are willing to live with the bit of extra room and practicality of a micro tower.

Too bad it
s so expensive to realize just 1 case. As for a prototype I would purchase the components and build the PC using a $99 NZXT H200i or something similar. Then you have the parts to do the layout using free cardboard. Once you have every detail figured out and in CAD you can commission a prototype.
 

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