Question Question to Get Started on Building Own PC Case

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IDProG

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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.
Hey, thank you for the answer!

I will respond to some of your points.

  1. Whenever I reject an answer, I always give a reason or two why.
  2. I have mentioned this before, but I am not cutting or drilling my own PC case panels. I don't have the skills and tools needed.
  3. I also am not hiring a guy to do my #2. There are people who know about computers, there are people who know about cutting and drilling wood and metal, but none that know both, at least in my country.
  4. Since you mentioned nothing about Protocase, I am going to assume that you don't know about it. Protocase literally does the opposite of your #2. But, I am not going to deny that it's expensive.
  5. I am not buying a 3D printer just for this project. 3D printer + the materials for the case will cost more than even Protocase's service.
  6. In order to consider 3D printing more, I need to find someone who can turn my mockup into a 3D printable CAD. Of course, I will pay for it, but I just hope that it's cheaper than Protocase's.
  7. There are good things if I choose 3D print. I have multiple designs of cases, for example, a trash can form factor, which is not supported by Protocase. With 3D printing, I can accomplish all of them.
So yeah, if I want to 3D print my case, I need to find someone who can convert my mockup into a real CAD.

Do you know someone who can do it?
 

USAFRet

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In taking a second look at your 3D...that cannot work from a 3D printer, no matter who prints it.
The panels are far too thin.

2mm in steel or alu is fine
2mm PLA, ABS, PETG out of a 3D printer is wobbly in that length x width.

The actual panels, all 6 sides, would need to be much thicker. Which results in a design change.

Cases can be done from FDM. But a good design means knowing the benefits and limitations of that platform.
Which mainly comes with experience in that platform.

Just like working in wood, steel, alu, plastic. What works with one medium does not work with another.
 

IDProG

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In taking a second look at your 3D...that cannot work from a 3D printer, no matter who prints it.
The panels are far too thin.

2mm in steel or alu is fine
2mm PLA, ABS, PETG out of a 3D printer is wobbly in that length x width.

The actual panels, all 6 sides, would need to be much thicker. Which results in a design change.

Cases can be done from FDM. But a good design means knowing the benefits and limitations of that platform.
Which mainly comes with experience in that platform.

Just like working in wood, steel, alu, plastic. What works with one medium does not work with another.
Protocase recommends 18 Gauge (around 1.21mm) for a Mini ITX case. So, I think for steel, 1.21mm is fine.

It's true that with the exact same chassis design, 1.21mm will not be enough for ABS. But, I think 2mm or 3mm will be enough, because if I opt for 3D printing, I can put extra things inside of the case, like pillar-walls that connect the bottom to the top to keep the chassis rigid.
 

USAFRet

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Protocase recommends 18 Gauge (around 1.21mm) for a Mini ITX case. So, I think for steel, 1.21mm is fine.

It's true that with the exact same chassis design, 1.21mm will not be enough for ABS. But, I think 2mm or 3mm will be enough, because if I opt for 3D printing, I can put extra things inside of the case, like pillar-walls that connect the bottom to the top to keep the chassis rigid.
Yes, strengthening ribs and pillars can be included in the design.
Which means designing around the non-changeable components.

As a very cheap visualization, have your local 3D print shop print you out a 3mm x 120mm x 230mm panel.
See if that meets your needs.
Proceed on from there.
 

IDProG

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Yes, strengthening ribs and pillars can be included in the design.
Which means designing around the non-changeable components.

As a very cheap visualization, have your local 3D print shop print you out a 3mm x 120mm x 230mm panel.
See if that meets your needs.
Proceed on from there.
How about 150mm x 225mm x 1.5mm? Literally half the size of a panel of my case.
Because reducing the length and width without reducing thickness is not accurate, in my opinion.
 

USAFRet

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How about 150mm x 225mm x 1.5mm? Literally half the size of a panel of my case.
Because reducing the length and width without reducing thickness is not accurate, in my opinion.
Accurate to your current design is one thing.
Workable out of a 3D printer is something else entirely.

I was mainly looking at the thickness.
Try that 1.5mm, in any size you want. And then figure out how to attach it to the corresponding 90 degree panels.
 

IDProG

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Accurate to your current design is one thing.
Workable out of a 3D printer is something else entirely.

I was mainly looking at the thickness.
Try that 1.5mm, in any size you want. And then figure out how to attach it to the corresponding 90 degree panels.
I think that's a problem for another day. For now, I need to find someone who can turn my mockup into a 3D printable STL file.
 

IDProG

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I'm talking about:
  1. Power button cable (I prefer circle-shaped button but any will do)
  2. HDD activity cable (not sure what this is for, since I don't see the light anywhere in lots of cases' front panels anymore)
  3. HD audio cable (to headphone/microphone COMBO jack)
  4. 2 USB 3 cable (I don't really care if it's standard 3.0 or 3.1 Gen 1 or 2 or 3.2, I don't really use any fast external storage other than USB flash drive, but if I can find the newest, it's great)
  5. USB type-C cable
Amazon links would be great.

Thank you for your help.
 
IDProG I don't have a direct answer to your question. However, have you considered reaching out to the manufacturer of your case, and see if they'd supply you with replacements? I previously had a damaged USB 3 cable in my Fractal Design Define S, and their customer service shipped me out a replacement.

With that said, is this a new build and you literally can't locate the case cables? I'm just trying to understand your predicament. Very likely they are tucked away in a craves of your case, and you're not noticing them.
 

IDProG

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These are usually always included / built in with the case you buy.
IDProG I don't have a direct answer to your question. However, have you considered reaching out to the manufacturer of your case, and see if they'd supply you with replacements? I previously had a damaged USB 3 cable in my Fractal Design Define S, and their customer service shipped me out a replacement.

With that said, is this a new build and you literally can't locate the case cables? I'm just trying to understand your predicament. Very likely they are tucked away in a craves of your case, and you're not noticing them.
Sorry if I haven't made myself clear enough.

My PC case will not be from any manufacturer.
I will be designing and fabricating the case myself.
That's why I ask about where I can buy the cables.
 

IDProG

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You could buy a cheap case that has what you want, and pull them from there.
That's the problem: There is no case that I can buy that has all the cables that I want without overspending on a bunch of cases just for a cable.

You can read this thread (the threads were merged by the mods, because somehow the mods thought that BUYING CABLES meant BUILDING A CASE) to know why I don't buy any case and chose to build it myself.
 

Deicidium369

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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.
TBH I own an Engineering and Prototyping business, we typically do work for car manufacturers and race teams. We have a $40M machine shop and can make anything - additive, subtractive, any and all alloys, and carbon fiber. I have built some crazy stuff - but never once even considered building my own PC case - looking at your design - probably 2 hours to clean up that CAD file and make it usable - $250 per hour - and even using the cheapest process - you would be looking at $1000 minimum. Not that we would take the project on - but our prices are typical - I am sure someone out there with a $100 nylon string trimmer line printer can do it for less....
 

Deicidium369

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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.
Point 1 - exactly - to be able to work out any interference (2 components trying to occupy the same space) - I would build and model in Creo... The building a proto out of plywood - some nice dense styrofoam is another options - is sound advice.

2. A competent (I own an Engineering and Prototyping company) company would make sure design would be sound - a detailed list of components would allow us to verify dimensions, accurately model fittings and mounting points, locations for screw holes, etc. So I would be comfortable with only working with 1 actual physical unit. A company without the resources we have may require you to build / pay for multiple iterations. Again, we are not interested in taking on this project - but some estimates are 2 hours of CAD work - $250 per hour - and depending on the material used - would be in the $1000 range minimum. Really not sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

3. I wholeheartedly agree with at some point building a shop - I started 40 years ago with a next to nothing, and built up a complete woodshop - I can make furniture, cabinets, etc - really anything - learning how to design and then build is something that is rewarding and a valuable skill. The engineering is the same whether it's in my metal / composites shop or the wood shop.

GL
 

IDProG

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TBH I own an Engineering and Prototyping business, we typically do work for car manufacturers and race teams. We have a $40M machine shop and can make anything - additive, subtractive, any and all alloys, and carbon fiber. I have built some crazy stuff - but never once even considered building my own PC case - looking at your design - probably 2 hours to clean up that CAD file and make it usable - $250 per hour - and even using the cheapest process - you would be looking at $1000 minimum. Not that we would take the project on - but our prices are typical - I am sure someone out there with a $100 nylon string trimmer line printer can do it for less....
Okay, thank you for the offer.

Problem is, I don't need the case design to be ready in 2 hours. I am not in a hurry. I literally planned on designing the case the longest, around 9 months from March.

I am offering a $100 MAXIMUM for the design cost per case design. Even if the design is finished in 6 months because of it, I will be fine, as long as the design is 3D printable and fully functional when 3D printed (for example, the chassis of the case is not too thin in thickness, all the required components alongside their screws are compatible, etc).
 

EndEffeKt_24

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Okay, thank you for the offer.

Problem is, I don't need the case design to be ready in 2 hours. I am not in a hurry. I literally planned on designing the case the longest, around 9 months from March.

I am offering a $100 MAXIMUM for the design cost per case design. Even if the design is finished in 6 months because of it, I will be fine, as long as the design is 3D printable and fully functional when 3D printed (for example, the chassis of the case is not too thin in thickness, all the required components alongside their screws are compatible, etc).
In my opinion you will not be able to find a professional willing to do that work basically for free. This is a case design on demand and if you get someone to do it for 100$/hour it would be cheap.

Best bet is to find another pc enthousiast with CAD-skills who is willing to participate in the project for fun. Ideally local.
 

USAFRet

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Obviously none of these are exactly what YOU want, but just to gather some concepts:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3704806
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3344972

https://www.thingiverse.com/search?q=pc+case&type=things&sort=relevant
 

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