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Thread: Need advice on first scratch build

  1. #11
    Overclocked Beta-brain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on first scratch build

    Unless your a design expert, which I certainly am not once you have a basic idea of what you want to do you might find it easier to just get the parts together and see what does and doesn't work for you, it's almost inevitable that whatever you think is the final design will get changed in some way as you change your mind or think of a better way to do something, it's difficult to anticipate every problem that may occur in a build so you need to be flexible in your approach and be prepared to change things, it's all about modifying after all




    THAT'S A GREAT IDEA! Mmmm, maybe not

  2. #12
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Need advice on first scratch build

    Yeah, the problem is I can't really afford to buy a load of profile that I might not end up using or ali sheet and cut it to fit round the profile, only to find that layout doesn't work, so I need to work out the layout fairly accurately before I start buying parts.

    I also don't have any idea what thickness ali sheet I'd need for the base and side panels either. 5mm costs quite a bit more than 3mm, so I don't want to get thicker than I need.

    Perhaps the strongest solution, in terms of lifting/handles would be to have the base, rear and half-sides made from one piece of ali bent to shape but I don't have the facilities to bend it myself and the places I've come across only offer to provide cut, not bent, sheets. When I say half-sides, what I mean is the sides would be half-height, with the handles (or lifting cutouts) attached to those and the top half of the side panels would be attached to the front panel, which would all come off as one piece, which would allow enough access room. As I say though, it might be the best idea but it's also the least practical for me to make, so I'll have to concentrate on base sheet with profile uprights attached.

  3. #13
    Overclocked Beta-brain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on first scratch build

    Yes, I appreciate the cost of materials you might not use I work to a tight budget myself, you can certainly save money by using 3mm instead of 5mm ali the thickest I have used in my current build is 3mm.

    The open side door in this picture is 3mm and it's strong enough to make a door and mount it on hinges and bolt a gas strut to it, it flexed a little bit diagonally from corner to corner which is the longest length but that's only when pushing the door closed against the force of the gas strut which is quite a resistance to overcome, adding two strengthening struts cured that.



    3mm thick is more than strong enough to use as a base panel of upper panel and will easily support the weight of the mobo, drives etc, and any brackets you want to bolt to it.

  4. #14
    Fresh Paint
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    Default Re: Need advice on first scratch build

    Thanks, that's great. So it sounds like I should be OK to use 3mm for everything except the lower level base, which I'll use 5mm for? The strength of the lower level sides needs to be where it's joined to the uprights/base so that they don't separate when lifting, not so much the thickness, so 3mm should be fine for those too.

    Once I've worked out the exact dimensions of the case, I'll order the ali sheet and some profile for the uprights and see about attaching the uprights to the base sheets (got a big box of various sized brackets from Lidl for 4 the other day, which was a bargain as B&Q charge about that for two brackets!) and if that isn't working out, I can always buy some more profile and cut the base to fit on top of the profile, as in your design

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Need advice on first scratch build

    1/10 scale radio control cars use 3mm aluminum for their chassis. 1/8 scale cars use 5mm aluminum chassis plates. i would suspect that if the 3mm holds up under the rigors of off-road r/c-ing that it should do fine for a computer case.

    something you might think about before buying your aluminum, or at least before you start cutting anything is to make a complete build of your design out of card board and poster board and duct tape to make sure everything fits exactly the way you want before you cut a costly aluminum sheet too small.

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