Concept 10.9L ATX, 17.3L EATX, dual 240mm radiator...

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
I have a concept (I took some inspiration from the NFC S4 Mini and Lazer3D HT5) for a highly customizable case designed for easy manufacturing by CNC and 3D printing.

There's two variants of this case. All front I/O is composed of keystones for maximum customizability. There will also be keystones on the rear, but I haven't yet modeled that. In addition, advanced owners could easily make their own front panels to accommodate the widest possible range of configurations.

There's also room for customization on the rear too. On the regular, there's a hole 40.5x162mm (will likely be changed), and the XL has an ATX PSU mount with an extra 10mm to the left. The small would likely have support for an adapter to mount either 2 additional expansion cards and a C14 inlet or a FlexATX PSU and some keystones, and the XL would have a bracket for 3 expansion slots and a C14 available. If you have a 3D printer, you'll be able to print brackets for whatever you can cram in there.

The small is 340mm wide, 320mm deep, and 100mm tall, resulting in 10.9L external volume and roughly 9.9L internal volume. You'll be able to comfortably mount an ITX motherboard, a 240mm radiator, a FlexATX PSU, and 4 slots of expansion cards, or an ATX motherboard, 3 expansion cards, slim slot load optical drive, FlexATX PSU, and air cooler up to 80mm tall. You can also use an SFX PSU, but there's constraints to keep in mind. If you use a Micro ATX motherboard, you will still be able to use all 4 expansion slots, but the lowermost one will be restricted to low profile cards.

The XL is 340mm wide, 340mm deep, and 150mm tall, resulting in 17.3L external volume and roughly 16.1L internal volume. You can comfortably fit an ATX motherboard, ATX power supply, slim slot load optical drive, 7 expansion cards, and 240mm radiator. The 3 expansion cards furthest from the CPU could be exchanged for a second 240mm radiator if you plan carefully, or you could use only the side radiator and fit an EATX board.

You'll notice the pictures show zero ventilation. I'm considering using SkySlots for it, but the licensing fee may be prohibitive, plus I'm not sure how well they'd work on acrylic panels. I may use powder coated aluminum panels instead, or even better have that available as an upgrade.

Small


So, who's interested in this and what size? What would you put in it? What is it missing?


I have a concept (inspired by the S4 Mini) for a highly customizable case designed for easy manufacturing by CNC or 3D printing.

There's three variants of this case. All front I/O is composed of keystones for maximum customizability. There's also keystones on the rear - 1 on the small, two on the medium, and 3 on the large. In addition, a front bezel is used to accommodate the widest possible range of configurations. If you have a 3D printer, you'll be able to print bezels and brackets for whatever you can cram in there.

All variants are 338mm wide x 322mm deep with a 314mm wide bezel. The smallest one is 54mm tall with a bezel height of 48mm and volume of 5.9L, medium is 74mm, 68mm, and 8.1L, and large is 94mm, 88mm, and 10.2L. The large version also has a rear bezel 147mm wide x 26mm tall.

You'll notice the pictures show zero ventilation (except for the rear bezel on the large case), and that's because I haven't modeled it yet. I'm considering using SkySlots for it, but I wanted to know if there's some kind of licensing fee?

Without further ado, let's get into the pictures and example configs:


So, who's interested in this and what version? What would you put in it? What is it missing?
 
Last edited:

fleetfeather

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 20, 2017
99
84
The only reason I would personally go for a ATX mobo is for ease of availability of X399 and X299 ATX boards compared to ITX boards.

But if I went X399 or X299, I'd want more cooling than a small case like your concept could offer, and I wouldn't want to have to use multiple bricks or pay ~$500 for a Eurocom brick
 

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
The only reason I would personally go for a ATX mobo is for ease of availability of X399 and X299 ATX boards compared to ITX boards.

But if I went X399 or X299, I'd want more cooling than a small case like your concept could offer, and I wouldn't want to have to use multiple bricks or pay ~$500 for a Eurocom brick

The large version has support for a Flex ATX PSU and a 240mm radiator which should be enough for an X2/399 system.
 

fleetfeather

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 20, 2017
99
84
Flex is too loud for my taste, and a 240mm rad for a high core count CPU is not really ideal (unless I want fast spinning fans)

This is just my opinion. Im sure there will be some who want your concept to become a reality. I just think there's a practical limit to SFF with high-end systems
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
Flex is too loud for my taste, and a 240mm rad for a high core count CPU is not really ideal (unless I want fast spinning fans)

This is just my opinion. Im sure there will be some who want your concept to become a reality. I just think there's a practical limit to SFF with high-end systems

What about an extra large variant (114mm thick and 12.4L volume) with support for SFX PSU and fans on each side of the radiator? Though I don't want to have too many variants as it could complicate things too much.

If you want more than 240mm of radiator, I couldn't make anything smaller than a Cerberus X though.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 29, 2017
262
214
I'm interested, as you can do a bit more with atx boards than m-itx boards in terms of available pcie slots. What would i use them for? I'd like to have multiple NVMe drives, maybe include a sound card? Higher power cpus? dual gtx 1080 minis in sli? the possibilities, oh the possibilities.
 

garyroks

Trash Compacter
Dec 2, 2016
51
23
This is exactly what I planned to do earlier but with a matx Mobo. I will build such case when ryzen 2 comes out.. Nice idea though. Any idea of the psu which you are gonna be using for such atx s4 inspired case.
 

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
This is exactly what I planned to do earlier but with a matx Mobo. I will build such case when ryzen 2 comes out.. Nice idea though. Any idea of the psu which you are gonna be using for such atx s4 inspired case.

The case can support a FlexATX, SFX, HDPlex, or G-Unique PSU depending on what other hardware you have installed.
 

br3nd0

Airflow Optimizer
Sep 29, 2016
307
297
I like the idea, I've always wondered what an ATX or mATX board would look like in an S4 style layout. Best of luck with your endeavour - watching this thread with interest :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

rokabeka

network packet manipulator
Jul 9, 2016
230
247
I do not want to open another thread for that, hopefully SeñorDonut will not ban me :)
I was also playing with the idea of some resized S4 Mini versions:
- half-width Mini: thin-itx format, with a single slot GPU/NIC
- double-width Mini: dual GPU (both dual slot ones) and the space of the second motherboard could be used for the AC/DC or even a Flex-ATX PSU. (or a second motherboard, but that idea leads too far... )
 

PanamaDodo

Minimal Tinkerer
Jan 4, 2018
3
2
This is EXACTLY what I am looking for. Allowing the use of Threadripper + GTX1080 + M.2 + SSD in a nice SFF case.
Is there nothing out there that already does this.. I guess ATX does not link well to SFF..still, would be awesome.
I'm game!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
I do not want to open another thread for that, hopefully SeñorDonut will not ban me :)
I was also playing with the idea of some resized S4 Mini versions:
- half-width Mini: thin-itx format, with a single slot GPU/NIC
- double-width Mini: dual GPU (both dual slot ones) and the space of the second motherboard could be used for the AC/DC or even a Flex-ATX PSU. (or a second motherboard, but that idea leads too far... )

To my understanding, only moderators can ban users. I don't know what you've done that would warrant a ban either.

I like the idea of multiple motherboards, you could install an STX board so that you could have a NAS or streaming machine in the same box without having to mess with unRAID.

This is EXACTLY what I am looking for. Allowing the use of Threadripper + GTX1080 + M.2 + SSD in a nice SFF case.
Is there nothing out there that already does this.. I guess ATX does not link well to SFF..still, would be awesome.
I'm game!

There actually already is a case that can support such hardware, the Kimera Industries Cerberus X, but it is 19.5L. Definitely SFF, and quite versatile, but I wouldn't want to use it as an HTPC.
 

rokabeka

network packet manipulator
Jul 9, 2016
230
247
To my understanding, only moderators can ban users. I don't know what you've done that would warrant a ban either.

nothing, really :) was just kidding because I really do not want to hijack your thread.

I like the idea of multiple motherboards, you could install an STX board so that you could have a NAS or streaming machine in the same box without having to mess with unRAID.

yeah, this concept can be either having two of the very same motherboards but different CPUs or same CPU with really different BIOS settings (undervolt, power mgmt, etc) in order to have one powerful and another low-energy system. you start up whichever you like (this OR that, so you do not need to duplicate power supplies, in advanced case not even the storage).

regarding two different systems you can go as far as adding a small ARM board to your existing S4M, so if you want just to check mails or browse the net, you do not power up the beast. e.g. having double power buttons on the front or a programmable one or anything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeñorDonut

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
I'm thinking I might sand cast the midframe as the only other viable way (I could CNC from a 350x350x100mm block or die-cast, but both are out of budget) is CNCing a 1200mm long strip and bending it. Does anyone have experience with sand casting? I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to cast something that would just need a bit of polishing or if it would be better to cast just a basic shape and CNC that.


Here's what the midframe looks like right now, but I may change it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: owliwar

rokabeka

network packet manipulator
Jul 9, 2016
230
247
Here's what the midframe looks like right now, but I may change it.

Is it important to have the pcie cards horizontally (I mean parallel to the mobo)? this size already would let you just simply plug them into the pcie slots without a riser. or is it because of the distance between the i/o shield and the first pcie slot? but yeah, then it is a micro-ATX with only four expansion slots, not a full ATX.
 

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
Is it important to have the pcie cards horizontally (I mean parallel to the mobo)? this size already would let you just simply plug them into the pcie slots without a riser. or is it because of the distance between the i/o shield and the first pcie slot? but yeah, then it is a micro-ATX with only four expansion slots, not a full ATX.

Yes, because only half height cards would fit if I mounted them vertically.
 

Nightblade

Airflow Optimizer
Nov 29, 2017
262
214
Is there any way you could make a drive like bay for pcie cards that are hosting 2 or more m.2 cards in raid, but without blocking the pcie mounting points in the back? (for example, put 2 gfx cards in SLI and have any remaining pcie slots host the m.2 raid cards, or if I wanted 1 gfx card and 10 gigabit lan card)
 

SeñorDonut

the
Original poster
Mar 6, 2017
501
454
Is there any way you could make a drive like bay for pcie cards that are hosting 2 or more m.2 cards in raid, but without blocking the pcie mounting points in the back? (for example, put 2 gfx cards in SLI and have any remaining pcie slots host the m.2 raid cards, or if I wanted 1 gfx card and 10 gigabit lan card)

Anything's possible! Images 12 and 13 illustrate usage of the rear bezel as a 5th PCIe slot. I assume you wanted something mounted towards the front though, like where the optical and 3.5" drives are in image 8?