8.6L minimal ITX case with 140mm radiator support

HooglyBoogly

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Apr 19, 2016
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So after lurking on these forums for quite a while, I want to show what I've been working on for a while. I started by working with a lot of boxes in Sketchup, eventually settling on a layout I liked:


The inspiration for this layout is my modded RX 480. It may be a niche use case, but a lot of these cases are. Air comes in the bottom and out the top. After modelling it properly it turns out that the design is actually about 8.6L.




Supports:
  • GPUs up to ~186mm
  • Up to four 2.5inch drives (Two more could be mounted behind the 2 pictured above pretty easily)
  • SFX/SFX-L Power Supply
  • CPU cooler up to ~65mm tall
  • A 140mm radiator up to 27mm tall
It's a tight fit, but I think it could work.

The chassis is comprised of 5 pieces of sheet metal, although there are only four different parts. Aibohphobia's post about the computer in a PSU was extremely helpful for this part of the process.The resources section of the forum was also very helpful, thanks for setting that up. Here it is exploded without the components:

I think everything in the above picture would work out, although the tabs on the back of the outer shell may have to be shortened.

I doubt that this case will ever be produced, with me being a college student, but it was a fun project and I would like to improve the case or design more, so I have some questions for you all:

I used Blender for the rendering, and I would like to use something besides Sketchup to create the models for the case. (It exports TERRIBLE meshes!) Are there any other good free programs/plugins out there? Or a sheet metal tutorial for FreeCAD?

Any name ideas?

I would also appreciate any suggestions / questions / critiques!


 
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Soul_Est

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Feb 12, 2016
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I really like this case that you have designed @HooglyBoogly ! It reminds me of what HG Computers' OSMI could have been. Your design however, shows extreme care to fit videocards of differing heights. As for the FreeCAD sheetmetal tutorial, I could tutor you one-on-one. I am working on tutorial to go along the information on using FreeCAD that I posted about here (https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/rsc-really-small-case.914/page-2#post-21159) but that will take a while.

Your RX 480 mod is wonderful. It also seems to be the only way to have any Polaris 10 card at that length too. :( Oh well. :)
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Sweet, a better OSMI with radiator support. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, but it seems like the whole case is mirrored left to right. Except you're using an mBTX board that nobody knows off :)
 
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HooglyBoogly

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Apr 19, 2016
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I am working on tutorial to go along the information on using FreeCAD that I posted about here (https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/rsc-really-small-case.914/page-2#post-21159) but that will take a while.

Your RX 480 mod is wonderful. It also seems to be the only way to have any Polaris 10 card at that length too.

Thanks for the link, that all looks very helpful! I'll see where I can get with that.

Thanks! Yeah, it's too bad there are no short RX 480s. I was thinking it would be cool to print a shroud for mounting a slim fan on the front of it too.

I like the design, but am worried about the availability of 90mm radiators. I was under the impression that they were few and far between.

Oh no! I've had a brain-fart, the case supports 140mm radiators! I'll edit the post.

Sweet, a better OSMI with radiator support. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong, but it seems like the whole case is mirrored left to right. Except you're using an mBTX board that nobody knows off :)

The front side of the chassis is mirrored, and some other parts are too. There are holes on the both sides of the SSD mounts so that you can mount it upside-down if you want.

Support Hardware labs when possible :)
80mm rad, 92mm rad, 2x80mm rad

Thanks for the links. I might have to make the case taller to fit radiators like that.
 

HooglyBoogly

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Apr 19, 2016
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Have you considered putting the radiator next to the GPU instead and invert the motherboard?

That's an interesting idea. I put the GPU at the bottom so it could be directly cooled (VRMs, VRAM) by the 140mm fan at the bottom. The airflow of the GPU would then also run from top to bottom if it was directly cooled, which would be against the airflow of the case.
 

Thehack

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Mar 6, 2016
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That's an interesting idea. I put the GPU at the bottom so it could be directly cooled (VRMs, VRAM) by the 140mm fan at the bottom. The airflow of the GPU would then also run from top to bottom if it was directly cooled, which would be against the airflow of the case.

I see.

I say that because if you had it inverted, the CPU would receive fresh air, and run fairly cool since it would be next to the intake. The GPU CLC would then dump the heat outside. But then the GPU VRM wouldn't have much air flow over it...
 
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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Aibohphobia

aka James
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Feb 22, 2015
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I meant for the "free for hobbyists and small businesses" comment to apply to just Fusion 360 but I see how that could be misinterpreted :p

But yes, FreeCAD is both free as in beer and free as in speech :)
 
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HooglyBoogly

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I'm glad to see all that writing was of use to someone :)

FreeCAD, Onshape, Autodesk Fusion 360 is free for hobbyists and small businesses, and Autodesk Inventor is free to students.

Yes, it was useful! And I'll probably use the section on fasteners next. Thanks for the links, I'll make sure to check out those programs.

For now I've moved over to FreeCAD with the Sheet Metal extension, it's a great program!
@Soul_Est , is there an easy way to make the little tabs like you have in the latest picture of your RSC thread, or do you just punch out holes with pockets and add bends?

 
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