Prototype Case under 20L, dual 240 rad focused on aesthetics

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Hey Everyone!

I've been working on this for the past few weeks and it's finally in a stage that I feel I can share.

Quick reasoning behind this concept: As with most of us who go into designing a custom case, I feel like there wasn't something that satisfied all of my needs and wants in a market-available option. Now, I love Small Form Factor builds. Had a build in a GEEEK A40 a while back (that's when I discovered that I really dislike sandwich style cases) and all. However, I also love the "typical mid-tower" look, GPU horizontal, power supply and cables hidden and all that. So I wanted something that combined both of those factors. I also wanted to include water cooling in the factor, as it's my "next step" in PC building. Last but certainly not least, boredom at quarantine.

So, took a deep look at the options on the market and some builds and concepts here and the closest I could get was the Cerberus from our friends at Sliger. And the way it implements the dual rad ruins (for me) the aesthetics with the PSU like that. Top and bottom are also possible but involve some heavy modding. But still that was my main source of ideas.

The guidelines established:
  • Below 20L, but little above is ok, for the right reasons
  • Must be taller rather than longer - equal dimensions are OK though
  • Accommodate 2x 240mm 45mm thick radiators
  • Standard GPU support at 280mm long
  • PSU hidden and space behind the motherboard tray (or elsewhere) to hide cables
  • Nothing too complicated to design or build out of sheet metal
Now, I'm a SUPER amateur 3D Designer. This does not mean to take it easy on me. I can learn even from the harshest comments. Just means that it may (probably does) have errors here and there.

Also, this project might never get to see the light of the day, as I am anticipating astronomical prices to manufacture it. Still, I want to finish and get it quoted... Who knows, eh?

Enough rambling about. After some iterations and attempts at a decent thing, here's what I came up with:

Specs:
  • Material: Cold rolled steel - 0.91mm (0.036")
  • Dimensions: HxLxW - 350mm x 315mm x 180mm
  • Volume: 19.85L
  • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
  • CPU cooler height: 145mm
  • GPU length: 280mm
  • GPU width: Dual-slot
  • PSU: SFX
  • Fans: 4x 120mm - 2x on the bottom, 2x on the top
  • Cable Management: 20mm of free space behind the motherboard tray on the shallow areas and 34mm on the deep area
  • -Water cooling-
  • Radiator: 2x 240mm 45mm thick - 1x on the bottom, 1x on the top
  • Reservoir/pump: Either mounted horizontally from the front of the case, or 120mm mounting holes at the SFX plate for dimensions-compatible units
Renders:


Final thoughts:

Things that I realize will be a bit hard to work with:

  • Installing the motherboard and Cables going into the MB. The space is pretty tight to slip the motherboard in place and the hole for the cables is small. However, the motherboard tray does unscrew from the housing, so it's possible to mount it outside the case and then screw the whole assemble. And I measured sleeved cables that I have and they fit. I don't mind a little trouble when building to favor space.
  • The space to running the tubing for the custom loop may be tight, specially from the radiators. The top one will definitely need a 90 angle fitting coming out of it as it sits on top of the motherboard I/O cover. But it's doable.
So, this post is meant as a way to get ideas for things that I can improve, difficulties that you may spot that I haven't noticed, and just overall feedback.

Also, as the title says, I have no clue for a name. It doesn't have a real distinctive feature to name it after, so if anyone want to pitch in ideas for a name, please do. I will probably add an engraving on the front.

That's it. Sorry and Thank you for bearing with me through this long post.
 
Last edited:

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Shoot.

It's not in the renders, but the PSU is attached with a bracket that gets screwed on the 3 holes on the shroud (1 inside the case, 2 in the front).


Sorry =P
 

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Okay,

so even though there were no replies or feedback, I will update this thread, at least to serve as a log, even for my future self.

I was happy with the design, thoroughly evaluated the challenges to build, the ones I described previously and some new ones that I found during the final adjustments and mock up builds, like the tubing runs for water cooling being VERY tight and not aligning at all. But it seemed possible and as I said before, I like a challenge. So I decided it was time. Below are a couple renders of what I sent for quoting.


I sent to two major manufactures, both very familiar to this forum.

One quote was astronomical, well above the $2,000 mark, which just sounded insane. The other was more reasonable, within what I expected, but still a little beyond my reach. So I am studying and adjusting things here and there, and maybe have a few parts done in a cheaper material like acrylic, and hopefully have this actually made.
 

karaju

Efficiency Noob
Jun 11, 2020
5
5
Just thinking out loud and I don't own a SFF case yet. So please excuse me if my comments sound stupid.

There could be a provision to mount the GPU vertically, just over the CPU. That would free up more space underneath for thicker radiators or storage.
And this would only work if you were using liquid cooling. But then that's the reason you are looking at dual 240 mm cooling support.

If someone were to use a large air cooler, the GPU can still go with this layout.
 

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Just thinking out loud and I don't own a SFF case yet. So please excuse me if my comments sound stupid.

There could be a provision to mount the GPU vertically, just over the CPU. That would free up more space underneath for thicker radiators or storage.
And this would only work if you were using liquid cooling. But then that's the reason you are looking at dual 240 mm cooling support.

If someone were to use a large air cooler, the GPU can still go with this layout.

Thank you for your input. Not stupid at all.

The reason why I didn't consider a vertical GPU here is mainly aesthetic. I wanted the motherboard, RAM and CPU block to be visible in full. A vertical GPU here would block all of that. Plus, it would be way harder to find a location to mount the pump/reservoir, which I have currently on the PSU cover plate.

If I were to use a vertical GPU (with these dimensions), it would make more sense to design a sandwich-style case. And I strongly dislike them...lol

I did experiment with different dimensions, having a much taller profile and the vertical GPU ending just over the PCIe x16 slot on the MB. But I could not make it work and stay close to the 20L mark...
 

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Lately I have been wondering If I should pull a PC O11 Dynamic at the front of the case, like this:



It's not like one would see much from the front though... the side of the pump/res would occupy the majority of the view... one would basically see a little bit of the fans both on top and bottom and some fitting/tubing on the bottom rad, like such:



It does add a little more character... but I don't know... there would be an extra expense for the acrylic panel there.

Cleaner and understated look of the first few renders or this front window?
 

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Just approved it for manufacturing. ?

Really excited to receive it next week and put it together. Can't wait ?

I made one change from the previous renders, making the bezels a little larger on the window side, so I can place a tinted tempered glass on it.

Also, no front window. Would raise the price significantly for very little return.

Ended up not naming it or identifying it in any way ? Will be basically a clean piece of black metal. No branding at all, which is kind of a shame, but oh well, even more minimalistic.
 
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oliveoil

Cable Smoosher
Jun 13, 2019
9
4
Nice design! I like the placement of the power input behind the motherboard tray.
Any specific reason you chose 280mm as the cutoff point for the GPU? I get that you want to keep the volume under 20L, but maybe its possible to shave a few cm of space off the bottom and put them in the front? It would improve GPU compatibility, but you'd probably need to put a slimmer rad & fans at the bottom.
 

diego38

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 2, 2018
12
18
Nice design! I like the placement of the power input behind the motherboard tray.
Any specific reason you chose 280mm as the cutoff point for the GPU? I get that you want to keep the volume under 20L, but maybe its possible to shave a few cm of space off the bottom and put them in the front? It would improve GPU compatibility, but you'd probably need to put a slimmer rad & fans at the bottom.

Thanks for your input. I actually wrote it incorrectly on the first post. The design was to support at least 280mm GPU, because that is the length of the 2080ti waterblock that I planned on using originally.

It fits longer GPUs, up to 310mm I believe. But the issue is that if using a bottom radiator, one needs to account for the tubes going up, when considering the size of the GPU. Gotta leave space at the front of the case for the tubes to and from the radiator.

But your comment did raise a concern for me, because I now plan on waiting for the new stuff from Nvidia to actually build the watercooling part. So what happens if the 3080 ti/super/3090/whateverthey'llcallit is longer? ? It will probably be fine, since it's hard to think that they will make the reference cards a lot longer.... at least long enough to stop me from passing a 12mm tube in front of it lol
 

Tomik

Case Bender
New User
Aug 24, 2020
2
0
Any updates on manufacturing? Please keep us updated.

This is exactly the type of case have been looking after as well, but so far couldn’t find any commercial options. Sliger comes very close, but they are a bit too crammed if dual-rad is applied, so it is difficult to make components look good with see-thru side panel.