Prototyping 6.5L ITX case for both horizontal and vertical setups

zzmadd

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Nov 18, 2017
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Thanks for your feedback! Right now looks like design is still under review by the shop but I'm confident that it's easily printable. I had split the case in order to make it more manageable for printing time.

I was meaning to make 3D printed cases with a sandwich layout for quite some time. Figure there could be a need for cases that would more affordable than the Dan or Kolink cases, if they are fine with choosing one made of plastic.

The Geeek PSU that you mentioned would unfortunately be too long to fit inside this case as it is. It is 170mm long because of the modular connectors, and the attached cables need at least 12mm more room. Not to mention the angled power plug coming out from the bottom, would need 20cm of room there. I know there are some very slim angled C13 power adapters that come from Taobao and I might try those out.

The types of FlexATX PSUs that would fit are 150mm non modular PSUs, with one main exception. The SeaSonic Flex SUB and SUG series. I like these PSUs because their 24-pin modular connector is at a right angle, and it sits within the 150mm length (The M1U is too long being 190mm). It is possible to make custom cable sets that would plug into the 24-pin connector, to make the lengths fit better inside of the case. The only limitation is that these PSUs top out at 300W so I wouldn't expect anyone to throw in a 9900K with a 2080 Ti along with them.

The case's internal height is 182mm. So I'm figuring that a Noctua NF A9x14 fan cmbined with a Seasonic Flex PSU of 150mm with a bracket that attaches the PSU to the fan. The 92mm fan holes are also to be used with various adapters that can fit several PSU and fan arrangements.
More potent power solutions require the use of a MeanWell EPP-400 or EPP-500 with a 92mm fan and DC-DC power board, and those are more DIY solutions if you can manage with them.

I may consider producing a somewhat larger case that would fit a SFX PSU and coolers up to 48mm tall if I think the structure holds up very well without requiring drastic changes to the design.

EDIT: I haven't set a definite price point for it yet but tentatively could be $90-95 without the PCIe riser. It would include acrylic panels and necessary screws. Also I may buy a few of the low-profile power plugs and test them out. These would add compatibility to more Flex PSUs.
Thanks for your reply.

I've used one of those Meanwell PSUs in the past. It had a perforated cover though. I guess you can have the same cover for the EPP-500 version too.

My only complain is it's a pity to not have compatibility for "all" of the Flex ATX PSUs. I understand the case would grow bigger but we're talking about the same format and not an entirely new format. It also makes things a bit complicated: this Flex ATX yes, that Flex ATX no, the other Flex ATX maybe.

What's nice about the Geeek Delta is that it's Modular for real. One plug = One cable and then you can make high quality cables if you wish.
I build systems for sale, these little details allow me to create very good looking finished products that I can then take professional photos of.

What kind of screws are you planning for the acrylic side panels? I really like hexagonal screws like these ones that once screwed sits levelled with the acrylic panel. Black or stainless steel.
The price is Ok. I look forward to seeing photos of the prototype.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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I'll see what I can do about extending the height of the case. The specs of the Geeek Delta PSU say it's 170mm long. Could you measure how long it is with the cable connectors plugged in? Measuring just the connectors not the whole cable.

The screws you linked to are like the ones I'm using. I have button head and flat head countersunk hex screws, in black. These are M3 screws. That also includes the motherboard standoffs, so you won't be using standard 6-32 screws to mount motherboards.

Also, about the CPU cooler height, I'm using a Scythe Kozuti which is right at the 40mm max height for this case.
 
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zzmadd

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Nov 18, 2017
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I'll see what I can do about extending the height of the case. The specs of the Geeek Delta PSU say it's 170mm long. Could you measure how long it is with the cable connectors plugged in? Measuring just the connectors not the whole cable.

The screws you linked to are like the ones I'm using. I have button head and flat head countersunk hex screws, in black. These are M3 screws. That also includes the motherboard standoffs, so you won't be using standard 6-32 screws to mount motherboards.

Also, about the CPU cooler height, I'm using a Scythe Kozuti which is right at the 40mm max height for this case.
IMO the Geeek PSU needs at least 190/200mm. You have the cable plug and then you need to be able to route the cable somewhere.

The Scythe Kozuti seem to be unavailable in Italy, it's available in eBay for Eu 48 which is almost double the price of the Cryorig C7. Moreover would it fit an Asus Rog-Strix Z390-I Gaming motherboard? The one with the huge heatsink. It's a board that needs to be compatible IMO.
A Cryorig C7 (47mm tall) is compatible with this board but not with the case.
Another compatible cooler both with this motherboard and the case is the Noctua NH-L9i which is 37mm tall.

 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Noted about the Geeek PSU needing at least 190-200mm. That will require the case height to be at least 202-212mm.

Wasn't sure about the availability of the Kozuti outside Asia and North America, but the Noctua is usually the more popular alternative.

Also, today the order for my case was cancelled by the shop for unknown reasons. It could be that after looking over the design the motherboard standoffs overhang so much that they couldn't effectively print supports around them.

So the case wasn't printed and I've been refunded for the order. This gives me a chance to try a slightly different design that I ventured from. Wider vent slots (with wider spacing) and also possibly using the slot-in mechanism I had already included in the original design and mount the standoffs that way. These would have to be printed as separate parts, possibly in top and bottom pairs. I still want them to be rather strong enough to hold the weight of the motherboard.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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In the meantime, here's another case concept I've been working on with a similar design and structure. It supports SFX and SFX-L power supplies, mounted in the front, with mini ITX cards. This case is shorter and more compact while supporting off the shelf parts and CPU coolers ~60mm tall.



Again, the motherboard mounts will have to be re-done so that they are printed separately and attachable to the case. Perhaps a friction weld or a acetone weld for the parts will also help.
 

CC Ricers

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At this point I'm reconsidering whether I should go on with Flex ATX support or trade up to SFX support with longer cards. Flex ATX still seems to divide a lot of people, mostly because of fan noise concerns. And it's more straightforward to support the SFX and SFX-L PSUs without increasing the case height by a lot.

Finally I might explore a different style but it's more angled than rounded corners (not sure if that would be a big decision maker @zzmadd ) but I'm still targeting those that don't mind the extra plastic on their cases, like the Geeek A50 and A60. Just not as boxy looking :)
 

zzmadd

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Nov 18, 2017
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At this point I'm reconsidering whether I should go on with Flex ATX support or trade up to SFX support with longer cards. Flex ATX still seems to divide a lot of people, mostly because of fan noise concerns. And it's more straightforward to support the SFX and SFX-L PSUs without increasing the case height by a lot.

Finally I might explore a different style but it's more angled than rounded corners (not sure if that would be a big decision maker @zzmadd ) but I'm still targeting those that don't mind the extra plastic on their cases, like the Geeek A50 and A60. Just not as boxy looking :)
As for the PSU, as I said, my main system has a Flex ATX Delta 400W PSU with a 40x40x10 mm Noctua fan and I hate it.
I'm building a system with the Corsair SF600 Platinum. When the i7 8700 is rendering and power consumption at the wall is 140W the Corsair fan doesn't even move. It kicks in later. It's a huge difference.
I would NOT support SFX-L though. There are powerful enough SFX PSU nowadays that don't justify the extra hassle for the L version. Corsair builds a 750W SF PSU and Silverstone a 700W if I'm not wrong. If you allow for 750W of power then you need to give room for 750W of cooling solution otherwise...

The design up here is not bad, it's similar to the Luna Design Prime. I prefer to have room for a long video card though.
The issue with Geeek is that angled acrylic with their use of metal frame looks cheap. The way I see it, things need to look premium. Modivio xCase look premium. If they were more perfect they'd look more premium. I personally prefer CNC milling, but still the Modivio cases look enough premium.
I personally like a lot rounded corners on the printed Modivio cases but I think the interest comes from many different factors, given the model is beautiful enough.
Can it host liquid cooling?
Can it host custom liquid cooling?
How big radiators can it host?
Can it host fans?
Can it host a full size video card?
Can it host a SFX PSU?
Is it sturdy and durable?
...etc etc

Also I think people that attend this forum are not representative of the market. They're geeks and each one would want their own case.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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I agree on the issues with the Geeek in that it feels good enough when put together, but finish looks cheap and could still be a hassle to transport too. CNC milling is well beyond my budget for now, would have to fund sales for at least 50 cases if that were to make it worthwhile :p

An alternative solution to the problem of fitting a Flex ATX PSU and its cables- I thought, why not just stick it at the bottom. So like the Velka 3 or the numerous short cases on Taobao like the K39, that have that PSU below everything else, but large enough for longer cards. Incidentally this also creates more room for hard drives at the bottom, and a possible spot for a 92mm AIO at the top, in front of the motherboard.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Here's a late night update, just trying out another layout with the PSU at the bottom. But with a twist- the GPU is also mounted vertically. But this orientation keeps the profile of the original case, while having the power cable plugged directly into the back and allowing more room for routing PSU cables in the front.



The top side has also been made with thicker walls to hold the GPU better. I still have yet to make a mounting system for the motherboard but for sure it will have to be made as separate pieces.
 

zzmadd

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 18, 2017
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This is an interesting design.
You save quite a lot of space by having the Flex ATX PSU fit on the back of the case. Still they're noisy...
You could also make sure the Asetek 92mm AIO fits.
One possible issue could be you have cables sticking on the top of the case making a little mess there. Unless there's a riser that can be bent allowing to have the motherboard ports still on the back.
You could ideally have the FlexATX PSU stick to the case even in your original design if you fit some stand offs that allow for the power cable to be routed under the case itself.
The Streacom DA2 has stand offs.
 
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CC Ricers

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Yep, those Flex PSUs will be noisy at higher power loads, but at least now it's possible to fit modular ones.

The Asetek 92mm AIO in this case is a wildcard. I don't know whether cooling will benefit from having one, but the best possible scenario to fit one is if you are using a Mini ITX sized GPU which opens up more room below it. It can be positioned similar to the 120mm AIO in the Dan A4 shown in this video.

As far as the cables being an aesthetic problem, I'm taking a look at builds in other SFF vertical cases to see how they handle this.

With that said, I do think I want to stick with the vertical layout now. I think it stands out and has more appeal for those longing for more SFF vertical cases. Blower fan GPUs are also ideal for this layout.
 
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zzmadd

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Yep, those Flex PSUs will be noisy at higher power loads, but at least now it's possible to fit modular ones.

The Asetek 92mm AIO in this case is a wildcard. I don't know whether cooling will benefit from having one, but the best possible scenario to fit one is if you are using a Mini ITX sized GPU which opens up more room below it. It can be positioned similar to the 120mm AIO in the Dan A4 shown in this video.

As far as the cables being an aesthetic problem, I'm taking a look at builds in other SFF vertical cases to see how they handle this.

With that said, I do think I want to stick with the vertical layout now. I think it stands out and has more appeal for those longing for more SFF vertical cases. Blower fan GPUs are also ideal for this layout.
Only one correction. My FlexATX PSU, the Delta 400W 80+ Gold using the Noctua 40x40x10mm fan is unbearable at zero load. Again, unbearable at 0 load.
With unbearable I mean...it's noisy. It's bearable but I can hear such fan from 10 meters away. It's a background shhhhhhh that I don't like having at all.
When a system is idle should be silent.

I'm sure there are FlexATX PSUs that can fit the noctua 40x40x20 fan that can be slowed down using the Noctua low rpm adapter. If you get to know any of these PSUs you could list them.
 
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CC Ricers

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Only one correction. My FlexATX PSU, the Delta 400W 80+ Gold using the Noctua 40x40x10mm fan is unbearable at zero load. Again, unbearable at 0 load.
With unbearable I mean...it's noisy. It's bearable but I can hear such fan from 10 meters away. It's a background shhhhhhh that I don't like having at all.
When a system is idle should be silent.

I'm sure there are FlexATX PSUs that can fit the noctua 40x40x20 fan that can be slowed down using the Noctua low rpm adapter. If you get to know any of these PSUs you could list them.
Is that Delta PSU the one sold by Geeek with the Noctua fan mod?
 
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zzmadd

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Is that Delta PSU the one sold by Geeek with the Noctua fan mod?
Yes it is. That's it. Nice custom cables but unbearable noise this fan. It doesn't have the low noise adaptor and I'm thinking I'm going to add one...
issue is even at idle the PSU is hot...
 

CC Ricers

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The FSP FlexGURU recently came out and it looks like another good option for a mid-range system in this case. This one is painted black and actually full modular too :)

 
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zzmadd

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The FSP FlexGURU recently came out and it looks like another good option for a mid-range system in this case. This one is painted black and actually full modular too :)

Thanks...
Noto enough powerful at least for what I do.
I build PC with, mainly hackintosh, so need to have at least a RX 570 if not RX 580, RX 590, Vega 56/64, Radeon VII + at least i7 8700. You need at least 400W for that.
But for different builds that's an option. It's actually a nice black object. Not sure how easy and cheap to get in Europe though.
 

CC Ricers

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I might hold back on the FlexGURU myself, not because it's 300W but because there's still not much clarity about its power rating specs or if it can run in fanless mode. I'll be getting the Seasonic SSP-300-SUB for my own purposes. SUB models have a fanless mode up to 30% load.

I used to run a RX 570 before I sold it, ran it with a 200W DC-DC PSU and power brick but that's alongside a 35W Intel T CPU. I lowered the GPU's power limit to 80% to make that work. The RX 570 and 580 with a i7 would probably do fine with 300W if you don't overclock, but anything more would need 400W for sure.

As mentioned in the DM's I'm still not sure why there's not much of an interest for a 3D printed case at least in this thread. I suppose it's a combination of 3D printing being more appealing to makers vs those wanting to buy something pre-made, and also a preference for metal cases either in perceived durability or looks.
 
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NateDawg72

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As mentioned in the DM's I'm still not sure why there's not much of an interest for a 3D printed case at least in this thread. I suppose it's a combination of 3D printing being more appealing to makers vs those wanting to buy something pre-made, and also a preference for metal cases either in perceived durability or looks.
Hi there, I've been lurking in this thread for awhile. I think you're spot on with your reasons for the lack of interest. I've been following your thread more as a maker who finds any 3D printed cases (or scratch built cases) extremely interesting, but unfortunately I'm not a potential customer.

If I put on my customer glasses, a big turn off for 3D printed stuff is that they usually look 3D printed, especially up close - all the lines, roughness, and any warping/artifacts. It can make the case feel like a prototype. I don't think I've seen a 3D printed case that spent time finishing the plastic (sanding, polishing). If you have seen one I'd love a link to it. I don't know if that would increase the appeal of the case enough. Even if it did that is a significant increase in the amount of work required per unit.
 
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CC Ricers

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Hi there, I've been lurking in this thread for awhile. I think you're spot on with your reasons for the lack of interest. I've been following your thread more as a maker who finds any 3D printed cases (or scratch built cases) extremely interesting, but unfortunately I'm not a potential customer.

If I put on my customer glasses, a big turn off for 3D printed stuff is that they usually look 3D printed, especially up close - all the lines, roughness, and any warping/artifacts. It can make the case feel like a prototype. I don't think I've seen a 3D printed case that spent time finishing the plastic (sanding, polishing). If you have seen one I'd love a link to it. I don't know if that would increase the appeal of the case enough. Even if it did that is a significant increase in the amount of work required per unit.
Yep, I agree mostly about these points. 3D printing (the common FDM type of printing at least) has a rougher finish compared to anything CNC machined or injection molded. I just know of Modivio who has their own thread here that sells 3D printed cases, and following FDM technique, but for some the hair line texture is part of the aesthetic appeal to them. 3D printing is great for making custom requests on the fly, and I find its greatest benefit there. You can make some minor tweaks to your design and spin up the printer to get working right away (only held back by the printer speed) which for one-off designs is easier and cheaper to do than reconfiguring CNC tools.

What attracted me to making it all 3D printed is that you can have potentially larger parts as one solid, continuous piece. So there'd be less joints held together by screws. That's not much of a problem with metal, but more problematic for joining metal with plastic or plastic with more plastic, unless you go with 5mm or thicker pieces.

I have found sources for 5-6mm thick acrylic that has a matte finish, so I may experiment with styles that have a greater proportion of acrylic in the case. That is how Lazer3D's cases are, anyways, and they take advantage of the minimal use of 3D printed parts by going with a better quality and finish of those parts.

I'm not saying that it will be necessarily a lot cheaper to produce than a fully 3D printed shell, but it could increase the appeal for those wanting a more polished look.
 

CC Ricers

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After some back and forth talk with a shop owner we've settled on a print setup that would work, and one of the big pieces is currently underway for printing. It should be done before the end of the weekend.

As far as alternative materials go, what do people think of acrylic vs. metal? Acrylic will use a 5.5mm thick sheets for the main walls for support.