Concept Case panel kits for Makerbeam style cases?

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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I've been toying around with case designs that I have buried a few years ago and thought about brigning back if at least just one. Meanwhile, many great cases have been built over the years, some in production and some still just prototypes.

What I've seen is also the ways people are prototyping, especially with the Makerbeam products. A PC case panel kit that requires just the Makerbeams to assemble sounds like a nice idea and wondering if it's possible to see a bigger enough demand for it. Also I saw this as an alternative answer to Geeek cases. Most (or all) of their cases have to be assembled but they're not always easy to build and people have found the acrylic panels to be flimsy. The kits I'm thinking of will use all metal panels.

So I want to see if there's any interest in cases like this? Loads of cases with similar construction techniques exist on Taobao. I'm in the US and therefore my kits will be developed and shipped from the US which could ease purchase for many users. Of course I want them to remain reasonbly affordable, although not necessarily trying to undercut competitors. I'm thinking of having two ways to provide the cases, one as being pre-assembled, and another as a DIY kit.
 

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Shrink Way Wielder
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To begin, I went with my favorite case form factor as of now- the mini sandwich style layout. This design uses four 200mm long beams with a 10x10mm profile. All the screws holding the case will be m3 with the exception of the motherboard screws. Although I can't carry much of the curvature from my previous case, I do want to use similar slot patterns for the design.



As you can see, there is an opening on the bottom for a FlexATX power supply, which will be the main way you can power your build. Front and back panels are 3.2mm thick while top and bottom are 2.5mm. I still have yet to design the motherboard tray, which will be attached with another inner piece that will extend the interior length to 203mm. In all the dimensions of the case are 220 x 209 x 110 mm.
 

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Shrink Way Wielder
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Here's another design concept, based on a previous concept I had in 2016, but now there's been a few cases out there that have now used this layout. This is my current take on it :)



The case supports a Flex ATX PSU, and both the CPU and GPU cooler face the same direction. It supports coolers up to 78mm tall with certain graphics cards. The dimensions of this case are 260 x 207 x 110mm.
 

Windfall

I'm a huge fan of SFF
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Here's another design concept, based on a previous concept I had in 2016, but now there's been a few cases out there that have now used this layout. This is my current take on it :)



The case supports a Flex ATX PSU, and both the CPU and GPU cooler face the same direction. It supports coolers up to 78mm tall with certain graphics cards. The dimensions of this case are 260 x 207 x 110mm.

Very nice. Should be more cost effective.

(And for the record, I know a screenshot from fusion 360 when I see one. :cool: What are you thinking about it so far?)
 

nextpc

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Jul 12, 2016
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This is just awesome. It's simple and there's so much you can do with this concept.
I think adding more modularity to the panels also gives the end user choices for size and dimensions of builds too.
Kind of like lego?
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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This is just awesome. It's simple and there's so much you can do with this concept.
I think adding more modularity to the panels also gives the end user choices for size and dimensions of builds too.
Kind of like lego?
That's one reason although it might be easier to expand by swapping also the shorter beams with longer ones. Like going from 200mm to 300mm to fit longer cards. If the front is very simple you can swap, for instance in the second case, a rear panel with a Flex PSU mounted horizontally on the bottom. This opens up vertical room to use a 3-slot mATX board.

Another prospect I had for this is easier flat packing. Metal sheets and beams don't need as much padding and protection during shipping, they're not fragile like acrylic and only need enough padding to prevent the parts from scratching each other. I had the idea of shipping disassembled cases in pizza box-sized packages. imagine you can get a ITX short case shipped in a 9"x9"x2" box that looks like it was made for a small pizza.
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Original poster
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Nov 1, 2015
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Very nice. Should be more cost effective.

(And for the record, I know a screenshot from fusion 360 when I see one. :cool: What are you thinking about it so far?)

Getting the hang of Fusion 360 more every day and the interface is much better now that I have keyboard shortcuts I'm comfortable with. I still have to get more beyond making extruded shapes with chamfers and fillets but getting there.

And I hope it stays cost effective. I'd need a minimum batch of 5 for the cost of the parts to make any sense, based on the quotes I'm getting from a shop that does automatic online quoting. I'm able to choose different finishes like a bead blasting finish or a brushed finish.
 
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