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Thread: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

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    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    Design

    Wanted a low power good capacity HTPC & looked at the range of available ones at retail that could hold what I want it to but thought I want something worthy enough to replace Stealthlow with so wanted to make it a dual system to use a lot less electric when I don't need the extra power of a normal system which is most of the time, I didn't think I'd manage making an ok looking dual system where they can still be used as completely separate rigs but I think I got there in the end & went much further, it does look top heavy but I have it figured out nicely & it will be very Heavy Bottom not the other way around & I still haven't designed the case feet, want to have a good idea of it's weight before I do those.

    I added a porthole window where the psu cables come out from for giggles in an otherwise super neat system internally with interesting exterior from any angle & this dual system is also highly functional, everything is easily removable & the gaming rig can be removed & placed on alternative feet & the top of the HTPC can be replaced with a plain top or test bench rig very quickly, I know this design rocks for my PC wants with it being very modular but as always with my designs if anything lets it down it will be the style not appealing to many but it will brighten up my eyes each day if I manage to make it as good as I hope to .

    I took another good final examination of the design before marking the materials & tweaked it a little more to perfect it & so it will support slightly higher mobo standoffs & give it a little more strength & a little extra on the looks.















    Name
    Lean & Green - Yes I would have chosen a better name for it but my mind goes nicely blank caught up in the detail when I look at the concept & only random words find their way out so I'm quite happy it has that effect on me where it leaves me kind of speechless, I considered the name of Heavy Bottom because of people saying it looks top heavy but gave it a miss lol .



    Why
    Needed another reason to do a good personal build & the how much does your rig cost to run blog on bit-tech caught my curiosity to go find out & it came to about 210 for the rig alone each year, I figured I could trim that down to about 60 per year with a better use of electric separating low performance needs to high performance wants & still be able to have a performance rig to enjoy when I want so totally managed to convince myself this was a good idea so got on with it .



    System components

    HTPC
    ATX PSU, mini-ITX on board CPU/GPU 18w motherboard with hdmi & DVI, good low profile sound card, 4 HDD, 1 SSD, 1 full size optical, full size 140mm custom fan.

    Gaming rig
    ATX PSU, Full ATX motherboard, moderately overclocked quad core, 8GB RAM, high performance & quiet air cooler, 3 custom fans, good GPU, good sound card, full size optical, 1 ssd, 1 hdd.

    Control of the systems, good quality cable splitters.



    Materials

    Aluminium 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10mm sheet/plate & some bars round ones, square ones & angled ones. Screws & precision DIY fittings .


    Acrylic 3 & 5mm sheets, Black, Opal frosted, Brown tint. tensol 12 adhesive.

    Wood 3 types, Cocobolo, Ebony & Maple. gorilla glue bought the wood as turning blanks & they come coated in wax.


    Manual modding is my approach of choice still & no plans on changing after grinding through the difficult barely skilled wondering if I can make anything phase up to feeling pretty confident about my increasing skills phase but I'm always learning & know I always will be which is probably a big part of why I enjoy it so much & feeding the difficulty a few notches higher each time in some way is making me get pretty good at this .


    Reason I am a week late on starting the thread is I've been waiting for deliveries & the last of them came today nearly 2 weeks after ordering them scroll saw blades, drill bits & a quality dormer tapping set so as long as I don't screw up anything I should be able to go at it until it's done but what are the chances of me getting through all this without screwing up, place your bets now .

    First slice of progress, minimal but it's enough progress to warrant for the new thread .

    Tackled the 3mm sheets first with them being the hardest to manage being so massive, really should have ordered smaller easier to manage sheets, d'oh, the small work bench is waaaaaay too small for the 1650x1000 sheet & the kitchen work top I used to use I found my dad made it into a fixed side table for the garage so had to improvise, quick look around & seen a bunch of beer packs used 5 or 6 12 packs of beer they made for an awesome make shift cutting table in fact they worked better than the work bench because of the even load of the packs spread out in the right places but it put a good bit of strain on the back from leaning over a lot & about an hour later of a jigsaw frenzy session they are to rough size within a 3mm safety measure ready for detailing, but when I marked the cut lines I forgot to make notes of which pieces are which so need to work that one out lol, should be easy enough & I'll cut up all the other sheets next, it's interesting how much I can do in a short time when going at it with a solid determined plan, I think the days of standing around for hours thinking what next? might be behind me .

    Needed a map to get good use of the material cutting layout.


    Nearly as tall as me.


    After the 1 hour jigsaw frenzy, all the 3mm alu cut to rough size within a 3mm safety gap.


    Shot of the wood ready & waiting to be worked.


    I didn't take my ok camera to the garage though, it's too cold & would be bad for it & it was a quick get in there & get it done type task not faff about with a camera in the cold & was only me using a beer table lol which yeah I suppose would have made a good fun opening work shot really now I think of it sat in the warmth .

    More tomorrow I hope .

    And it's awesome to be at it again .




    -------------
    23rd May 2012
    Changes

    The design has been a work in progress all along but I thought the first update would have been the final look of this, it's a big relatively complex design so it needed quite a bit more effort going into it so it would turn out as I want it to look & to function, I also chickened out of the wood work for fear of it being a big hassle with my tools & lack of experience of working wood & as you can see they are square 2 inch thick blocks of wood which I'd have to make slithers of to form panels so not exactly something for a wood work newb.

    Here is how the design looks now with a side by side comparison.

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  3. #3
    Resident 100HP water-cannon operator SXRguyinMA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    +sub

  4. #4
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    ^ Cheers mate .

    Since first update of cutting all the 3mm sheet to size I have been busy, marked & cut the 1mm & 2mm sheet to size & made layouts ready for printing & sticking, worked out a good way to span big designs over multiple pages accurately when using an a-4 printer.

    I print & stuck the 10mm plate designs for the HTPC which just about fit on an a-4 sheet & drilled the holes for scroll saw access & I believe I'm tackling the toughest part of the project as the first bit lol, not because of complexity but because of tough material, good grade 10mm alu is very flipping tough , my small 18TPI blades cut it well but takes ages & will be great for curve cuts so since I was cutting the outer edges of the HTPC sides & front first which are straight I put the cut up band saw blades to the job but still took countless hours, was up good & early & about 5pm called it a day after getting those pieces ready for the next phase of cutting the holes out.

    The bigger stand sides I will do 1 at a time trying to get 1 done each day rather than be an idiot trying to do them both in 1 day lol & that is being optimistic, I will amaze myself if I get the holes cut out of the HTPC 10mm panels in 1 day tomorrow lol I said the scroll saw is like a manual laser cutter but boy oh boy it's a slow one for chunkier materials lol.

    Pictures of the day.

    All the sheet alu ready & waiting for detail & the sign of 10mm plate, need glue spray to get things done quicker & better so will get some on Wednesday.


    10mm HTPC side panels & front panel printed & stuck.


    The blades & drill bits which held the start off for a week.


    Starting off with normal scroll saw blades at 18 TPI for thicker materials.


    Switched over to the band saw blades for doing quicker straight cuts.


    Each & every line I had to cut took a while & took a lot of concentration.





    Sneaky peeky at the chop saw in the background & the thinnest slither I took off the 10mm plate .


    My view all day today lol.


    More soon .

  5. #5
    Shut up and take my money!
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    Looking good!
    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw
    Will have another Aldersan pic in a bit.


    Myrmidon

  6. #6
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    Quote Originally Posted by Aldersan View Post
    Looking good!
    Thanks mate , I wanted to do more than just cut around the outside edges but it took agaes to do .

  7. #7
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    The lighting in the cellar was pretty bad, too dim so took the daylight bulb from my room & used 1 of my clip on light fixings so no more cast shadows in way of the cutting line & far better lighting for good work & better photos but my eye focus is carry on wandering off with it taking so long so have to stop every few minutes to regain it, taken over an hour to get the cut this far, could really do with some kind of magnifying aid, it cuts so slow you sometimes think it isn't cutting even though it is but agonisingly slow, I hate cutting thick tough material it's easily the biggest test on my patience I ever had & this is the smallest piece to be done, ugh lol think I'll mark every couple of mm so I can tell it is cutting .






  8. #8
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    If I did this on my first scroll saw coffee would be everywhere from vibrations .


    Half way point of the curve cut.


    Lol after getting to half way around the curve cut I decided it's really going way too slow for my liking & would have taken a really long time to do the way I was doing so gambled the lifespan of the blades but carefully .

    Glad I did, I found by pushing them close to snapping point but a little bit away from that I was getting though it pretty well indeed, took quite a few hours to realise this though so I think I shouldn't have a problem getting the 2 bigger side panels done tomorrow .

    And any straight cuts in thick materials I'll stick to using the cut up band saw blades, much quicker.








    Also I must have been rusty or struggling with the never tried before thickness of alu on the scroll saw when doing the first cuts so ideally I should buy a little more 10mm plate so I can remake this piece but having said that I could mod the design a touch to hide the tiny mistake & hiding it would allow for a touch more detail which isn't a bad thing so think I'll do that with it being a faint cosmetic flaw rather than a structural flaw so the game plan has already changed a tiny bit but thought of something which will just make it more detailed .

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    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    Going at the slow pace I was before figuring how to do it faster it would have taken a week of many hours a day to get through all the 10mm alu but with knowing how to go faster now I'd say a couple of days instead still a long time but not bad really .

    Also found it does the thick stuff best on slowest speed.

    Got some adhesive spray & more masking tape so good to go but I think if I started right now I'd end up doing it until it's done which would probably be in the early hours so I'll pass until tomorrow so I can maintain a proper sleep pattern & put a good solid day into it .

  10. #10
    Now making cases for the heck of it =) Waynio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lean and Green - modular dual PC scratch build

    Started a bit late but because of skipping yesterday I just wouldn't stop until I got 1 of them done.

    Tried the 12 TPI & they cut really well but only for about 2 inches & then they get pretty blunt & struggle to cut more so I'll stick to the 18 TPI, seem to get a whole lot more done with those on the 10mm alu.


    Snap, this happens more than I like but not too often.


    Continue




    Neeeeeed fuel awesome pasta pesto 10 minute quick fix of goodness with a good kick of scorching chillies.


    Woo hoooooo feeling 50 times better so time to get this panel finished.






    More soon

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