Concept Circle CORE - 280mm rad, 3-slot GPU, 78mm CPU height, mesh panels, 13.7L ITX

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
491
circlestudio.co

Sign up to the email list for updates


Looking for people to help make Circle CORE and other Circle Studio projects a reality. People with skills in industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering, marketing, manufacturing or logistics, and who want to be involved in making truly incredible products, please email contact@circlestudio.co with a link to your work / portfolio.​














Hey guys, it's been a while!

Circle CORE is just a concept for now. If there's enough interest, I will take pre-orders to help fund the tooling required to kick this project off.

CORE Features​

  • 280x30mm radiator up top and 240x30mm radiator at bottom to enable cooling for hot components.
  • 3-slot full length GPU support.
  • In 2-slot mode, CPU height is enough to support a Barrow CPU water block pump for easy custom loops.
  • Whole design is flat-packable for more efficient shipping (I learnt the importance of this when shipping Circle Pro around the world).
  • Whole design is relatively lightweight and material efficient.
  • Injection moulded PC panels mean the design is scalable and manufacturable at large quantities. That means AVAILABILITY, which is the most significant problem for cases in this community.
  • Using injection moulding also means AFFORDABILITY for the end user. When manufacturing Circle Pro, my mission to bring beautifully engineered products to market was put to the test by the unsustainably high manufacturing costs.
  • This case concept revolves around the idea of the CORE. The CORE is a standalone sheet metal frame that makes component assembly easy.
  • Mesh panels for maximum breathability. Side panels slide in from the top. Top and bottom panels attach magnetically.
  • PRICE - $TBA
 
Last edited:

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
1,797
1,633
CORE Features
  • Using injection moulding also means AFFORDABILITY for the end user. When manufacturing Circle Pro, my mission to bring beautifully engineered products to market was put to the test by the unsustainably high manufacturing costs.
  • PRICE - $TBA. Approximately in line with other cases in this community.
Do the 2 above features contradicting each other ?

First one tells me the case is affordable and cheap, at least relatively.
But then, the second one practically means expensive as, IMHO, the other cases in this community are not really targeting the 'general public' market but the 'enthusiasts' market.

Aesthetically, the front panel's vertical strip pattern is not very appealing to me. Also, the brand name 'Circle' being 'imprinted/engraved' partially looks like it is 'half-done' or the paint just fell off.

280 top +240 bottom is a good combination.

Overall, I wish you success in this new venture.
 

thelaughingman

King of Cable Management
Jul 14, 2018
963
1,033
A couple of questions re-radiator compatibility:
  • Top radiator: only standard 140mm wide radiators are supported right? HWL GTS280 (153mm wide) would be too big?
  • Bottom radiator: 280 rad is not supported because of the power cable extension right? let's say one to replace it with a pigtail style power cord, 280mm rad can fit then?
 
Last edited:

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
491
circlestudio.co
Top radiator: only standard 140mm wide radiators are supported right? HWL GTS280 (153mm wide) would be too big?

The design would currently support a 280 rad up to 148mm wide. Could widen the case slightly to accommodate 153mm.

Bottom radiator: 280 rad is not supported because of the power cable extension right? let's say one to replace it with a pigtail style power cord, 280mm rad can fit then?

Switching to a pigtail style power cord would not give enough space, no. The 280 in the top is a tight squeeze as it is. There's also the mobo tray bracket which prevents having a 280mm rad in the lower position.
 
  • Like
Reactions: thelaughingman

thelaughingman

King of Cable Management
Jul 14, 2018
963
1,033
The design would currently support a 280 rad up to 148mm wide. Could widen the case slightly to accommodate 153mm.
I think 148mm wide is quite arbitrary, is it because you really want to support the Barrow pump block in 2 slot mode?

if you do extend the case by 5mm for the HWL GTS 280 that would be amazing, maybe then add more mounting rails so if users choose narrower rad (140mm or 120mm wide) they can offset the radiator to either side as they see fit?

best of luck! and I look forward to see how this case turn out 👍
 

10chris

Cable Smoosher
Jan 13, 2021
8
4
In my opinion the design of this new product is far behind Circle Pro's curved edges and quality, because i think aluminum is the best material for that type of cases. I understand that you want to reduce the manufacturing cost in order to reduce the final price, because truly Circle Pro at 450 dollars was crazy expensive, but i think that you have to consider it again especially as for the design. Circle Pro's design is incredible and i think that you keep it as a base.

By the way, is there any remaining Circle Pro case for selling at a reasonable price?
 

tled201

Caliper Novice
May 8, 2020
23
14
What is the clearance of the GPU side? The GPU is getting larger and longer, so it should be ok if that side is bigger than 3 slots to have a small clearance for the GPU to get some air throw and make satisfied for some guys who want to de-shroud and replace the GPU's fans with the low noise fans.
 

lawney

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Jun 28, 2018
103
68
I love the idea of using high quality plastics for a computer case, and this one looks great all around with a fresh look and clever functionality. Glad to see you're making more cases, as the Circle Pro is probably the highest quality case that has been produced, shy of Apple.
 

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
491
circlestudio.co
What is the clearance of the GPU side?
There is approximately 15mm between the face of the 3-slot reference model I have and the panel.

I think 148mm wide is quite arbitrary, is it because you really want to support the Barrow pump block in 2 slot mode?
This dimension isn't defined by the radiator width. You're right in that it's defined by tolerances on the pump side and the GPU side. We can easily increase the width of the case to accommodate an HWL GTS 280 if there's enough demand for that.
I love the idea of using high quality plastics for a computer case
Yup, totally! High quality engineering plastics can be strong, lightweight and look great. It's all about the spec of the polymer. This concept is using a polycarbonate variant, but we could easily use an engineering plastic like POM or glass reinforced nylon (what gun stocks are made of).

Glad to see you're making more cases, as the Circle Pro is probably the highest quality case that has been produced, shy of Apple.
Thanks! The focus is to make something even better this time.
 
Last edited:

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
491
circlestudio.co
First one tells me the case is affordable and cheap, at least relatively.
But then, the second one practically means expensive as, IMHO, the other cases in this community are not really targeting the 'general public' market but the 'enthusiasts' market.

The goal is to make it affordable. I don't want to promise a price and get it wrong at this stage.

Aesthetically, the front panel's vertical strip pattern is not very appealing to me. Also, the brand name 'Circle' being 'imprinted/engraved' partially looks like it is 'half-done' or the paint just fell off.

The idea behind the scooped shapes is actually strength. Injection moulding opens up a world of three dimensionality to a panel that is not easy with metal. The more compound shapes we can fit into the panel, the more rigid it becomes.

The logo could be debossed into the plastic, it could be lasered, or it could be pad printed. That won't be a problem.

If you're interested, here were some of the mock-ups for getting to the front panel shape. Note that the power button is fairly fixed in its location due to component clearance on the inside of the case.

 

SquareCubedBox

Chassis Packer
Sep 27, 2020
18
13
Looking forward to this case!

What gets me into the idea of this case is the 280mm + 240mm dual rad support for hotter components. Barrow CPU Pump Block support is also much appreciated. This would make the case last you a long time since there is an increasing trend towards warmer components and you just cant beat 280+240 in a form factor this size.

Increasing the 280rad width to accommodate a wider rad is also a plus. I'm not good at math but I'm guessing adding ~5mm to the width to be able to accommodate wider rads should not impact volume/footprint that much. But then again that depends on you as the designer/manufacturer and the popular demand for the GTS280 support.

As for the front panel, I think it's going to be a more of a love it or hate it kinda thing so it would be nice to offer several patterns (maybe at least 3) that 90-95% of people will like while balancing the cost of manufacturing and structural rigidity of the panel. Having different colored switches and front panel options might also appeal to some.

For me personally, the case looks great enough as it is already, considering both specs and looks (including most of the mock up of the front panel). I'm really just wanting that 280+240 rad support + Barrow Block compatibility for a case this size!

I know it's too early to call for a pre-order/release date but do you have any rough estimates? 2021 Q4? 2022 Q2?
I already signed up for your email list update. Wanna jump on this thing as soon as I can!

Also please make this available in SEA region 👉🥺👈
Most premium SFF cases are so difficult to acquire here despite the fact that most of them are manufactured in China or Taiwan 😢
 
  • Like
Reactions: thelaughingman

deeeeeeeeee

Chassis Packer
Aug 21, 2020
18
4
Something like this?

yes, something like that! but black polycarbonate would look much better. also just a suggestion though, i think it would be more appealing to your consumers if the tabs for opening the top and bottom panels be a unified colour; i.e. black instead of the blue as it would be easier for a colour-themed build. or perhaps you could include different colours into the kit or for separate purchase! i really dig the look of the case and the logo too
 

Qzrx

Buried under radiators
Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Dec 29, 2019
80
206
That transparent-white polycarb is gorgeous! I'm definitely going to pick one of these up for a spare parts build.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BRSxIgnition

deeeeeeeeee

Chassis Packer
Aug 21, 2020
18
4
Boom. Semi-transparent black PC is definitely an interesting look.



I gotta say though, it probably looks even better in frosted white.



YES THIS IS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT RIGHT HERE,,, ILL BE THE FIRST TO PLACE IN AN ORDER IF THIS GOES INTO PRODUCTION 👁👄👁
 

CircleTect

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Circle Studio
May 1, 2017
117
491
circlestudio.co
I was really sad when Circle Pro died. I'm so glad you kept at it, and brought this to us :)

Bravo, mate.

Thank you @WinterCharm!

Yeah it was a bit rough to be honest. The truth is I was pretty inexperienced when I created the feature list for Circle Pro. I'd only made one case up to that point, and I was being too much of a perfectionist about the specifications. A full-length gpu meant I couldn't make the profile of the case a perfect square for example, and I made a risky and incorrect assumption that mini-ITX gpus were going to become more commonplace. In hindsight it's laughable, considering the state of gpus now. Had I made the decision to support full-length gpus at the start, Circle Pro might still be in production. It looks like GEEEK have made their own clone to do just that.

Needless to say, I've learnt a lot and am back with a vengeance. My goal here is to contribute to the community by helping to push the boundaries of case design. I will only consider manufacturing a concept if there's a lot of interest, otherwise it's too risky. Until then I'm going to keep posting new ideas.

Ps. It's awesome to see the progress you've made on Winter One. From someone who's been on that journey before - mad respect and keep it up :thumb: