View Full Version : The Machine

01-25-2008, 02:55 PM

This is the second mod I am posting here, this one I made in 2005/6. Please excuse spelling and/or grammatical errors as english is not my first language. I will post this mod in about 8 posts ( need more time for the translations )


The Machine

Basis for this casemod is again a barebone, the Extreme barebone from XFX. The case has a unique form to start with
and the hardware inside is of good quality and will be used a lot .


The idea of this mod is primairely based upon its shape and the concept behind the games Quake4 and Doom3.
It will not be a look-a-like like the superb Doom3 Project Mars City case from Crimson Sky. ( TBCS RULEZ! )
This is my own case, my personal taste and view.

What struck my attention in these games, were the horrible interaction between man and machine.
I am trying to grasp this interaction in this casemod and the name I choose reflects that: The Machine.

As addicted Star Trek fan, I can't be help notice similarities between the Borg. These were IMHO more human
( were actors after all with lots of make-up ). In a digital game, youre mind is your only limitation.
In this real world I am bound by law of physics. My case will try to bind the human Borg to the digital Strogg.

The Zalman parts are in, and I immediatly started working with the two HD-coolers.
Milling the 2 mm hard-aluminium won't be a problem.


But after that, ..... I know allready that the outer shellls won't fit on the plastic interior casing.
I'm sure I need my creativity skills a lot there.

The Parts.
On Crimson Sky's worklog, I came upon a few pictures of a scale model tank (http://www.tamiya.com/),
from which he used parts for his case. He called this Kit-Bashing.


To get a higher degree of details in your case, this is a excellent way to go. After some Googling,
I came upon the Dutch import adress, Rez. After some mailing between us, I was able to order a box
filled with spare parts for scale models for a reasonable price. They use these parts to help customers out,
who miss one or two pieces of their scale modell. When the box arrived it turned out enough parts
to use in 8 casemods. Here is a sample of what was inside.


I loosened the parts, and sorted them out on size en started transforming the parts so that you
wouldnt recognize a car, airplane, ship or tank in it.


I'm going to use these parts all over the case, just to get more details. For example on both arms,
I experimented with small scale modell parts, after which I gave them the matt-black finish to get
the look I was aiming after.

The Pipes

I had two aluminium pipes laying about here, with nice curves on it, really desinger stuff.
I really had to use those.


I decided to use them as exhausts on the case, somewhere on the back. Because they were quit long,
I shortened them to my liking, so they wouldnt stick out too much. At the same time, I made that cut diagonal,
to get a bit more depth in it.


I suspected the case to run warm, so these babies would be a welcome addon. To get even more flow going,
I modified two old Intel CPU cooling fans, and fitted them inside the tubes.
With some wiring to the powersupply these would pull the hot air out.


Today I finished the milling of the Zalman brackets. Lucky for me, the aluminium is the good kind,
very hard, short chipping ( whats that english word ) and the material doesnt stick.


The milling was finished soon, ( as expected, the building of the brackets was not so easy.
I had to manufacter new handles, because of the limited space.


Not satisfied for a complete 100 %, but most of the workis done.


01-25-2008, 04:01 PM

01-26-2008, 12:20 AM
looking good, after seeing dragons lair, im intrested to see how it looks completed

The boy 4rm oz
01-26-2008, 05:27 AM
Very very nice work, looks fantastic so far, can't wait for more.

01-26-2008, 05:38 AM
Thanx guys, much appricated.

Someone asked me what was inside; a AMD64 3700+ San Diego, 2048 DDR Corsair memory, a Sapphire X800GTO-Ultimate with passive heatpipe cooling. Also two harddrives of 160 Gb, a DVD writer and the usual casemod crap; UV green sleeves, fans, lights the whole shebang.

New power supply is in, turned out to be half an inch larger then the original. Bummer.


Lucky for me, after removing two protruding parts, the new power-supply fitted like a glove.


Started with modifiying the harddrives brackets. I knew it wouldnt be easy, and I was right. The two harddrives take up so much space inside the case ( which was build for only one ) that I should cut out large parts of the excisting frame, which would weaken the case way too much. So I decided to manufacter a whole new rear frame.



Today I made the new rear frame from 6 mm PVC. Here you see the three original parts.


The three new parts.


Milled, drilled and threaded.


and some extra holes for weight reduction and also for the eyes. :)


Disassembled the rear panel, made three new plates for holes I dont use anymore, and made a new hole for the powersupply socket. That fitted perfect.



The boy 4rm oz
01-26-2008, 09:11 AM
That looks fantastic, your skills are great. So your using PVC, never used it before, never knew t came in sheet form. Is it easy to cut, paint? How expensive and light is it compared to plexi?

01-26-2008, 09:18 AM
That looks fantastic, your skills are great. So your using PVC, never used it before, never knew t came in sheet form. Is it easy to cut, paint? How expensive and light is it compared to plexi?

well, I guess you can't find it in your local DIY shop, but more specialized hardware suppliers should have it. It comes in all thicknes varieties, but the grey is standard. It's a thermoplast, so very easy to drill, cut and mill. Easy to paint too. It's actually a bit too soft to use threads, except when you have a rather thick piece. Plexi is harder and more easy to thread, but also more fragile and less scrath resistance. On the project I am working on now, I use polystyreen called Vikureen. That's tougher then PVC and comes in colors.

The boy 4rm oz
01-26-2008, 12:33 PM
Hmmm, thanks for that. I am thinking of drawing up a design for a cube case and don't want to use standard plexi, this may be what I am looking for.

01-26-2008, 04:22 PM
I was not satisfied with the Zalman coolers in the cover. They hindered me when I would have to take the top off. So I disasembled everything en made a new stainless steel plate that hold the two harddrives together. Have to think of a way to bolt it to the case, but that wont be a problem



Today I disasembled the rear plate again. I gave the enormous fan for the watercooling a nice place on it and cut the hole for maximum airflow.


Mounted the fan more secure to the radiator, this time also with rubber rings between the stainless steel bolts and nuts for better vibration-reduction.


I fitted a new window on one of the top-halfs, on the rear I'm gonna fit something which also lets the water hoses in and out.



Got some nice stuff from my friends at Salland Automatisering. The fans, lights and flowmetre will get a good spot on the case. Thanx guys !


Today I toke care of the Scorpio powersupply. "Old" fans out, new UV green ACRyans in.


Hmmm, it seems the original 80 mm fan was a slimline.... my new one doesnt fit.


A bit of creative milling with the Dremel....


It still sticks out a bit, but its mounted solid and its way down deep inside the case. Lets keep it quiet, ok guys ? :)


Small updates. The original air-cooled CPU cooler....


...replaced by a Zalman watercooling CPU block, with the UV green water.


The little UV green Northbridge cooler is in, but turned out to be too thick. At this point in time, I do not have the space for it with my current videocard from Sapphire.



The boy 4rm oz
01-26-2008, 09:38 PM
The little UV green Northbridge cooler is in, but turned out to be too thick. At this point in time, I do not have the space for it with my current videocard from Sapphire.

You know what that means...it's time to get a new graphics card lol. Your work is absolutely fantastic, great work.

01-27-2008, 03:30 AM
Why is it that when I look at this worklog I always here "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd? Maybe we need to do a video worklog eh?

01-27-2008, 08:22 AM
Hell Yea! Badass!

01-27-2008, 09:13 AM
Why is it that when I look at this worklog I always here "Welcome to the Machine" by Pink Floyd? Maybe we need to do a video worklog eh?

Hehehe, you just made my GF's day. BIG Pink Floyd fan :D

Quick test how the UV waterhoses look like with the dual UV lights.


One of the fake UV waterhoses around the logo/passsive Sapphire cooling block, looks kinda nice.


Close-up of the baybus on the bottom of the case, where all lights and fans are connected. Had to make an "access window" in the outer shell to be able to use it though.


The reason why my updates are slowed down, is the very limited space I have to work in. Fixing one problem, got me in trouble in another one. I had to put the radiator and the 120 mm fan outside the case; there was simply -no- room. With envy I gaze upon the -LARGE- cases here, and wish I had it so easy with that much space.... ;)

All fans are now connected to the fanbus, AND are blowing towards the RIGHT direction.... ( OOPS )


Had to make an access in the shell, so I can control the switches, without having to open the case.


The air intake is behind the radiator, there's a 120 mm fan blows over the components in the direction of the PSU
There the 120mm fan of the PSU takes over, and pumpes the air over the PSU components, passing it to the 80 MM of the PSU which blows it all out of the side.
Efficient? I think so. Speedfan indicated a "normal" temperature of the 160 WDC harddrive of 27 degrees celsius, when I played a few hours it is a steady 45. The Seagate is even better, normal temp is 26 and after gaming 36 degrees.

The flow in the case and ofcourse the Zalman coolers on top do their job good.

The CPU underneath the Zalman watercoolingblock is a AMD64 3700+, which runs an idle 29 degrees and stressed no more then 32.


I just came back from another lanparty, there I found out that the Sapphire X800GTO with passive cooling just dont cut it. Ok, he is fast but boy, he is one HOT *********.... The intergrated VGA sensor of the XFX, i stuck behind the large heatsink, and that indicated a temp over 60 degrees.


Why do I say 60 ? Well, because THEN the internal alarm goes off :)

Temperary solution on the lanparty; One shell cover open and an external USB fan over the Sapphire heatsink. Ah well, if all goes well, Sapphire will send me a new card soon to test.

I cut one of the shell windows from the XFX case, to place the tubes. BTW, they are running on 5 V, you cant hear them.




Started meshing the PSU, but why didnt anyone warn me in advance that this is a *********** job !? :)

Today I received a new watercooling set from my friends at Space Promotions, an Vantec Stingray.


Thanx Space Promotion !

The boy 4rm oz
01-27-2008, 01:48 PM
Nice work, keep it up.

01-28-2008, 03:16 AM
Looking really good

01-28-2008, 04:47 PM
Yes, it looks like bomb fell on it. :)


Here a close-up of a scale model part glued on the case. Also started taping everything that doesnt need to be painted.


Another close-up of a 'technie' detail.


Other side, same idea only now with UV green mesh.


While at it, made the two pipe-fans with clean connectors and mesh.





Working on the scale model parts, the largest pieces are attached.


After that the 'medium' parts....


And now I am working on the smallest parts.


Now then, the Vantec Stingray set from Space Promotion; with a little adjustment, I was able to fit the radiator on the rear. That looks really so much better now. Only the pump and reservoir; I really can't put them anywhere inside the case. BTW, those two parts came mounted onto a plastic base, and what struck me immediatly was that the exhaust of the reservoir was 13 mm beneath the intake of the pump. Weird !?


Thought of a solution; I manufactered a new base to mount the pump and reservoir onto, while levelling out that 13 mm height difference.


Also came up with a new place for the pump and reservoir, and that meant I had to cut the outer shell, so be it. Lucky I didnt paint the shells yet. Have to make a lot of adjustments.
Over that reservoir, i am going to place a Markus Mayer Skull ( polystone ).



The idea is to light up the reservoir INSIDE the skull, with a glowing UV light show. To get more light into it, I hollowed out the skull where ever i could.


Holding a light beneath it to see if the effect is satisfactery. I guess that will do fine.

Finaly the watercooling up and running, The new videocard fits..... barely! ( check the SATA connectors )


Left over are some small sub projects, but nothing major anymore. I adjusted the skull to fit on top of the reservoir, but was not satisfied with the result. It stuck out too high to my liking.


So, with some milling, I made a large hole in the back of the skull, now it fits all over it.


At the same time, the front of the jaw fitted much better with the DVD player.


By placing the watercooling on top, both outer shell parts had to be modified more extreme. Now it looks a lot better.

For decorating the outside I bought some black Hamerrite paint.
Also here you see a tin of transparant paint and a bag of UV reactive powder.


My solution for the missing hinges on top of the outer shell, I made some stainless steel chains which will hold the two parts together.


Marking and drilling


Made some threads.


Fitting bolts and nuts for the chains.


01-28-2008, 05:48 PM
OMG!!! This is soooo cool! Where the heck did you get those wire connectors (the red wires and the wires with green sleeving)? My only advise in my eyes would be to exclude the skull-screws. You are making such a wicked custom design that I think the preformed skull screws detract from the originality just because they are themed. But seriously, this thing is awesome!

01-29-2008, 03:18 AM
OMG!!! This is soooo cool! Where the heck did you get those wire connectors (the red wires and the wires with green sleeving)? My only advise in my eyes would be to exclude the skull-screws. You are making such a wicked custom design that I think the preformed skull screws detract from the originality just because they are themed. But seriously, this thing is awesome!

Thanx jdbnsn! The most parts that I used came from the ACRYAN UVGreen PSU Sleeving Kit (http://http://www.cluboverclocker.com/reviews/mods/ACRyan/psu_mods/index.htm) and some crimp pins from my work. The skull screws are so small, they dont stand out and intergrate into the rest of the case decorations that I will post very soon. Remember, this case was made in 2006. ;)

The boy 4rm oz
01-29-2008, 08:25 AM
Holy crap man...that looks bloody fantastic. A+ work there mate. +rep

01-30-2008, 05:21 PM
From two old office-lamps, I made two arms which I mount on the back of the case.


To give it more sturdiness, I made some solid PVC inserts.


Then I made those so that I was able to connect them to each other, like a hinge.



I drilled several holes into the lamps to reduce weight and a bit of art deco :)


More detailing. Oh and no worries about one beeing brown and one white. Gonna be painted anyway.


Now it is time to make "hands". I used the leftovers of the designer tube and some strips of aluminium.


With some creativity they turned out quite nice fingers. Did anyone say Freddy Kreuger?


And the hands are finished* ( * for now.... ;) )


And here you see one of the arms.


01-30-2008, 05:28 PM
I do believe that this is feature material.

01-31-2008, 10:42 AM
I do believe that this is feature material.
I think the same. +REP so far. Looking forward for more translated updates!

01-31-2008, 04:50 PM
I think the same. +REP so far. Looking forward for more translated updates!

Oh my, I DO love your Orb ! You're my inspiration ! :D

A bright sunny day in Holland, lets paint !


I covered the three main parts with black Hammerite, then used a lighter shade to bring the accents back from the black depths....


Hard to judge with the sun dropping fast :)

I had to modify the rear a bit, the radiator had to move a tad to the left, coz I couldnt get my monitorcable in the videocard :) :) :) When THAT cable fitted, I couldnt get the powercable plugged in ! Solution was to use a hooked powersupply cable :)


Tied cables together and worked the rest of the cables underneath the mainboard.


Nice and tidy.


Unfortunatly, on the other side, the powersupply cables. :(
Seems wireless power isnt invented yet ?


Little joke, I found an old lens that fitted perrrrrrrrfectly into one of the skull eye sockets. Held it so you see the new Sapphire X1800 XL :)


Fixing lots of small things; Thanx to XFX I have a working cardreader again. The skull-bolts didnt work out, I cut of the thread from them, drilled holes in the heads and threaded it again. Three UV LEDS underneath the transparant water reservoir fixed. Here are some pictures for a more total look. I used flash on and off to show you the difference.


Mounted the arms loosely for the pictures.


Tried to make a picture in the dark, but my camera doesnt agree with me on this point.


01-31-2008, 05:17 PM
Round of applause!

01-31-2008, 05:18 PM

The boy 4rm oz
02-01-2008, 05:01 AM
Very very very awesome work. +rep

EDIT: I need to spread some rep around first buddy

02-01-2008, 08:14 AM
Holy s**t! Thats became a really freaky case! :eek: Nice work.
I love the grippers / arms. That thing could really hover around in DOOM oder Quake.

02-01-2008, 03:42 PM
Holy s**t! Thats became a really freaky case! :eek: Nice work.
I love the grippers / arms. That thing could really hover around in DOOM oder Quake.

Thanx Squelsh, that was what I was aiming for :)

And here the last of the worklog for your entertainment :D

Just came back from the TIMES lanparty, where I won first place with this mod


( and its not finished yet ). I had such a good time, specially with the interaction from the publik;
Most people who stumbled onto my case responded with "WTF!?"........... Hahahahahahahahahaha
Second thing a lot of people asked me "Do those arms move ?"
There were just too much people who asked me that, I cannot ignore that. So ! Somehow, I need to get movement into the arms or hands.
For myself I see a lot of small things that need fixing/upgrading, but I only have two hands and way too little time.

One of the smaller items I was not satisfied with, was the turbulence inside the water reservoir.


By means of a small plastic tube, I redirected the waterstream, so now it runs evenly with the curve of the reservoirhousing.


By doing so, I created a small vortex in the reservoir.


I started looking around for small motors, and in the immense pile of junk I have at home, I found a perfect motor with a reduction gear on it.


Even the size was good, and within hours I had the motor coupled to one of the arms/hands.


After some searching I found a second motor, only without a reducing gearbox.


However, this one was a lot smaller, it even fitted inside the excisting hand on the other arm. On that axel I made a smaller version of the three knife-fingers, now it looked like a blender ! :)


And here are they both.


Wanna shake hands ? :) :) :)

On popular request I made two small movies where you can see them move. IRL it shows better, but it will have to do.....



And here I conclude my worklog for The Machine, for now.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures as much as I enjoyed making this mod.



next mod I will translate is my BFG mod.

greetings from Frenkie

Drum Thumper
02-01-2008, 04:08 PM
First off, wow, this is a very interesting build!



That made me laugh. Nearly every picture that your precision measuring equipment is in is showing 1337. Nice touch!

02-01-2008, 04:51 PM
First off, wow, this is a very interesting build!


That made me laugh. Nearly every picture that your precision measuring equipment is in is showing 1337. Nice touch!

Hehehe, you're one of few who noticed it. +1 for you :D

02-01-2008, 05:07 PM
Wow Joe, good eye!

02-02-2008, 05:53 PM
http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/TBCS_Group/Ichbin/Frontpage.jpg (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13215)

congrats.... this is one crazy case!

i hadnt realized that you also built the BFG

02-02-2008, 08:13 PM
That's one helluva ambitious build, and it worked incredibly well. Great work.


02-03-2008, 11:59 AM
seriously though, I'm speechless. This is some inspirational stuff man. Keep up the good work!

02-04-2008, 09:41 PM
It's not really done yet, but it's getting close. Thought I'd post what I have because I'm done for the day.


02-05-2008, 04:15 AM
I'm speechless ! Its its its..... I'm speechless ! ( hmm, didnt I say that before? )

The boy 4rm oz
02-05-2008, 04:27 AM
I must admit. That is truly a remarkable piece of work jdbnsn.

02-05-2008, 04:39 PM
Wow, thanks guys. Glad you like it. I'll try to finish it up today

02-06-2008, 03:57 PM
I touched it up a bit, but I'm afraid with my current schedule this is as far as I can take it at the moment.

02-06-2008, 04:28 PM
:eek: :shoed: :bowdown: +rep (I think we need a smilie for the +rep...)

02-23-2008, 12:07 AM
An all around great case. Great shape, wicked colours, love the skull and arms etc...

02-23-2008, 11:10 PM
+ rep absolutley stunning great job