Completed Corners and frames for 3D printer

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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unfortunately the PSU cage didn't work. it's too fragile and I had to add reinforcements. This is how it looks now



It's not pretty and I probably overdid it :) but it's very long to 3d print, so I want to be sure that it works this time!
 
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duke00

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May 27, 2016
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Which 3D-Printer /3D-Printer Service you use for your parts ? Cause what i dont understand is why you build so many sinlge parts and not simple print that full case Framse as 1-3 Parts ?
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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Which 3D-Printer /3D-Printer Service you use for your parts ? Cause what i dont understand is why you build so many sinlge parts and not simple print that full case Framse as 1-3 Parts ?

that's actually a very good question :) I don't think I've extensively talked about the reasoning behind my system. Thanks for asking!

Consumer or anyway not-too-expensive 3d printers have a working area of around 200x200x200mm. Usually a little more, but they rarely reach 300mm on any side. I have a prusa i3 that can print approximately 250x210x190.

So first goal is to create a series of components that can be printed on any consumer grade 3d printer, ie: each piece should be max 200-230mm on any given side.

Secondly, printing a whole case in one shot (or 2 or 3) would take hours (possibly 10+ per piece) and if something goes wrong you'd have to throw away the whole piece and start over. With my system you can print each piece separately, or all pieces together, the printer could still mess up one item out of --say-- 10, but you'd have to re-print only that.

Last but not least, modularity. Once you have printed 8 corners you can reuse them for all your future projects. Say you want a longer GPU, just print the side frames compared to having to reprint everything.

It's a system that I find extremely versatile, I understand not everybody might like it and probably a print-the-whole-case thing would even look fancier, but I'm offering an alternative. If anyone finds it interesting, I'm glad I shared my work, otherwise, oh well... I'll be the only one using it :D

PS: also a system like this is faster to prototype, I only have to print one piece at the time to check if it works (20mins to 3hours per each piece).
 
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iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Last but not least, modularity. Once you have printed 8 corners you can reuse them for all your future projects. Say you want a longer GPU, just print the side frames compared to having to reprint everything.

This also means you can do different colours for corners and frame if you want without expensive multi-colour printing gear.
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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The PSU cage is ready! This took way too long to print (over 3:30h), I think it could be optimized for 3d printing and possibly I put too much support material... but anyway it's lovely. I can't call it final until I tried it with an actual PSU, so I'm not releasing the 3d model just yet.

(in the picture it's upside down)

 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Hm, the mounting holes look a little flimsy. You can surely add more material there, the SFX standard allows very generous corner chamfers in those locations.
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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Hm, the mounting holes look a little flimsy. You can surely add more material there, the SFX standard allows very generous corner chamfers in those locations.

yeah I noticed and already added 1mm margin, I've also made the side support structures thicker, just because
 
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matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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The 3d printer is printing like there's no tomorrow... in the meantime I superpowered the PSU cage



Hope you'd appreciate the holes for the power cord extension :)

The wall on top is to channel the PSU heat out of the case (instead of spreading it inside).
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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It's finished! (well almost)


It's a beauty :)

I know it's not much in SFF-standards (especially on this forum), but I believe it's the smallest you can go with an SFX PSU + GPU + oversized CPU cooler... but anyway that's not the point. Just print a smaller frame and you can make it as small (or big) as you like.

What next?

- fix few minor (mostly aesthetic) issues and print the latest version of the PSU cage
- cut all screws and add nuts. the case is stable with 3 screws per corner, but I'll put 6 anyway
- check that all components actually fit... I think I'll post a new build log for that so I can keep this thread just for the 3D stuff
- prepare the IO port masks and cook the 2D files for laser cut
- since we are at it, I think I'll also make the 3d models for the side panels, just in case you want to 3d print those as well. I had an idea using voronoi to reduce printing time.
 
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matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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More prototyping and more printing

I went for a completely different PSU cage. The two legs come into the way of the motherboard-PSU connector, also the bottom plate was bearing too much weight (both the motherboard and the PSU). So I designed a sturdy PSU rig hang to the top frames.



As I said everything is parametric... up to a certain extent. The bottom right motherboard screw is in a very unfortunate position, so if your case needs drastically different dimensions you might need to rethink the screw position. Also the PSU rig is very much tailored on this config, so it might need a review if size changes drastically (I know everyone wants an HD-FLEX PSU by now, but I'm placing a pretty tall CPU cooler anyway, so I have room for the SFX PSU).

I'm now printing everything out. If everything works I'll post the onshape project! yay!

PS: yeah it is taking forever... you know... side projects...
 

Colinreay

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Aug 28, 2016
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AWESOME... I don't think I've commented on this project yet, but I commend you for coming up with a creative design that really takes advantage of the strengths of 3d printing. Super promising!
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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wanna laugh?



the case was designed around this cooler... hope everything will fit... and I believe it's time to strengthen the motherboard support......
 

matt3o

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Jun 29, 2017
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This is the best case I've ever built, hands down. I know it's not much in terms of SFFForum standards, but this is mine :) and it's exactly how a power-miniITX rig should be. Actually I don't understand why there's not such a thing around yet. Anyway just a teaser



Everything fits by a whisker and the frame is sturdier than I expected.

In the coming days I'm going to post all the source files, instructions and what-not.

Next step: side panels!