Concept 2in1 Transformer Case: 7L Desktop to 20L Tower; ITX, vertical GPU ≤376mm, CPU cooler ≤181mm, ATX PSU ≤165mm, 280mm+140mm radiator


Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019

How I got the idea?
A long time ago I started looking for a small form factor PC case with specific requirements in mind. Since I wasn't able to find what I was looking for, I decided to sketch a layout with these requirements. That layout ultimately developed in a case concept. The concept I had in mind has changed drastically since then. While I was working on modding my 2,5l case to fit a GTX 1050ti and an i7-7700T I hit the limits of my SFF case. I simply wasn't able to keep temperatures in check at an acceptable noise level. The solution I had the last few times when something similar would happen was to buy a new case. But not this time. Since I was designing a case, I had an idea for a transformable PC case whose volume and type would change depending on my requirements. And this is how the Transformer case was born.

The case has two form factors, 7l desktop and 20l tower, and three base layouts (two for tower and one for desktop).
I plan to use desktop form factor for APU builds or builds with entry-level GPUs. The tower form factor is for mid to high-end gaming GPUs and maybe even for water cooling if I ever decide to go that route.

Base Transformer case layouts:

Design goals I have for the case:
  • wide compatibility with standardized components;
  • small form factor;
  • sleek and elegant looks;
  • tower with vents only on the back and bottom panels, without visible screws and cables;
  • desktop can be used as monitor stand.


Technical data and component compatibility:
  • tower dimensions: 444mm x 225mm x 205mm (height x width x depth), 20l volume;
  • desktop dimensions: 70mm x 444mm x 225mm (height x width x depth), 7l volume;
  • material: aluminium (undecided on finish -current rendered photos are with brushed aluminium);
  • motherboard support: mini-ITX;
  • power supply compatibility: SFX, SFX-L (both tower and desktop form factor) and ATX (only tower).

Component compatibility for tower in rotated 90° layout:
  • CPU cooler height: ≤ 181mm (without case fans on the back panel);
  • GPU length: ≤ 376mm (with 60mm free space for motherboard and GPU cable management);
  • GPU height: ≤ 59mm (2.9 slots).

Component compatibility for tower in sandwich layout:
  • 205mm can be split between CPU cooler height and GPU height;
  • GPU length: ≤ 376mm (with 60mm free space for motherboard and GPU cable management).

Component compatibility for desktop:
  • CPU cooler height: ≤49mm;
  • GPU length: ≤ 220mm;
  • GPU height: ≤ 52mm (2.5 slots);
  • GPU width: ≤ 130mm (with installed SFX/SFX-L PSU).

Transformer case has support for:
  • fans (2x 140mm or 4x 92mm back + 1x 140mm or 4x 92mm bottom; and
  • water cooling radiators (1x 280mm back + 1x 140mm bottom).

Size comparison:
❤Please contribute!❤
I am very excited that the project is nearing its palpable state and would like to collaborate with the community to make something truly great.
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Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
The rail system that can move motherboard/GPU tray up/down and left/right.
I would like to find a ready-made system that has a solid feel because the one I designed seems too simplistic.


Chassis Packer
Original poster
Jan 28, 2019
Here are the things I am having doubts/problems with and would like your advice/opinion:
  1. Power button placement in tower form factor. Currently the button is at the bottom of the case. This is probably not great for functionality but it fits with minimalistic design.
  2. I have decided to present the case with these elongated honeycomb vents, which were inspired by a front grill from one of Ford's cars, but I am still going back and forth between this and my original idea. The original idea for the case in tower form factor was to make it look like a speaker. This means vents at the back would be either a honeycomb metal mesh or some sort of fabric.
  3. How to incorporate dust filters? Achieving positive air pressure will be difficult so I think dust filters will be necessary.
  4. What are the best practices for noise insulation and cable routing?
  5. What do you think should be added for the case to be more transformable and compatible with even more components?


Trash Compacter
Nov 23, 2018
So first off I am keen on following this project because I am a huge fan of modularity, and this seems very refreshing and I am hugely curious about how you will pull this off.

1. Why not allow people to switch the feet from the bottom to one of the side panels(think node/sentry etc style)

2. Personally I like the honeycomb.

I can't speak to 3/4 but for 5, I just want to say there is a point where you lose out on cost and performance in a form factor if you try to be everything at once. While I would love a case that can "do it all" I think that's just a setup for failure. I think the design challenges to go from a vertical layout to a console style layout is already going to prove difficult. Try focusing on that first and maybe leave some of the changes for a v2 or separate product line.