DAN untitled frame

dondan

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
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Introduction

For a long time I had the idea of making a frame style chassis, where you can display you hardware. Something like a metal skeleton without side or window panels. The frame is made out of 4mm thick aluminum or steel (I have to test what will be better) that will get a elegant blasted anodized finish.
It can be separated into two parts (PSUframe and motherboard tray) that will gives advantages on shipping and assembly.

The frame is made for air cooling only so there will be no radiator mount points.


Just Flip it

It is possible to flip the frame 90°. In this orientation you can use it like a classic case with I/O at the back.


Specification

  • Case Dimensions (D x W x H): 237,5 x 165x 358mm, 14L
  • Weight: +3kg

  • Graphic cards support: 3 Slot GPU up to 325mm length
  • Motherboard support: Mini-ITX, DTX,
  • Power Supply support: SFX
  • CPU Heatsink support: no limits
  • Drives: up to 1 x 2.5" HDD/SSD

  • Power button: Premium-grade button
  • Material: 4mm aluminum or steel
  • Colors: Anodized black

  • Price tag: ???


Gallery







Updates:

19.08.2021 - show concept

Thank you for reading and your support. Please let me know what you think!
 
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REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
REVOCCASES
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Apr 2, 2020
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great job, love the minimalistic / industrial design

just a few thoughts:

frame is made out of 4mm thick aluminum or steel (I have to test what will be better)
  • based on my experience it will wobble/sag if you make it out of 4mm aluminum - but you could add some bends for rigidity
  • if you make it out of steel it will be pretty heavy (shipping cost?) and you can't go for anodizing
another point - you probably already thought about - but how about having I/O at the bottom in vertical orientation?

I know there is always the argument about "easy access" and this is just my personal opinion but for a "open frame style case" that is supposed to look as clean as possible to display your hardware I think it looks much better if the I/O cables&connectors could be hidden away somehow... plus, there would be another benefit: as we found out here, some GPUs do not like it if oriented with I/O on top...
 
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tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
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Just saw this. Interesting. I am a strong supporter of open frame/test bench.
I am tired 🥱and will hit the sack soon.
Will give feedback tomorrow while I think about this new concept in my dream.😴
 

nightshift

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jul 23, 2020
154
88
What I wish for is the Dan A5. A small 5-6L case same like the A4, but for mini itx gpu's. 170mm mobo and 170mm gpu sandwich style back to back, but the psu is now not on the motherboard's side parallel with it, but rotated 90 degrees limiting gpu length and facing the front panel which is now vented on it's upper half.

Two slim 92mm case fans could still fit below. Or above for better airflow - if the psu is upside down at the bottom with cables up. Front panel is now vented on the lower half with power button either on the upper part or at the back for a cleaner look.

OR psu can face inwards towards the gpu+mobo in order to further contribute exhausting the inner air out - allowing a fully closed front panel.
 

Zgembo

Trash Compacter
Apr 14, 2017
53
108
But why only 1x2.5 drive? 2 should be an absolute minimum for something that is 14L and 3kg heavy, heck, 4 should be easily supportable
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,099
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Quick comments:-
1. If you have to make the 'Just Flip It' a special design feature, I think it is not worth it as most buyers would unlikely to use this feature (worse airflow to GPU, larger footprint...etc). However, if you do not need to make special/additional structural changes and this only comes as a bonus, then it is fine

2. Regarding price tag, must be competitive with ZS OC v1, Xproto and JXK's J1...etc

3. See pic below

A: this strip looks no good (subjectively, of course). suggest making it not as tall and pointing down (forming some sort of visual symmetry with the bottom design?)

B: suggest making this more porous. If I use my NH-P1 here, I want maximum upward air movement ability. Same goes for the lower part.

C: this cantilever part is going to sag. My experience with J1 tells me the sagging is at least 3-5mm. As this open frame has the load at the tip of the cantilever (vs along the edge for the J1), sagging would be more. This amount of sagging is visually noticeable. Should design against it. Eg by some kind of support or adding edge stiffeners (to increase the moment of inertia)
(see post #188 https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/post-your-rig-setup.411/page-10)

D: good to have this opening for rear M.2 SSD cooling!

So much for now.
Wish you success!
 
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dondan

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
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Won't top IO be bad for gpu thermals, similar to xtia proto?

You are right. I didn't thought about the orientation of aftermarket GPU heatsink heatpipes. This is a " no go" so I think this frame will not work and have to go back to the drawing board.


great job, love the minimalistic / industrial design

just a few thoughts:


  • based on my experience it will wobble/sag if you make it out of 4mm aluminum - but you could add some bends for rigidity
  • if you make it out of steel it will be pretty heavy (shipping cost?) and you can't go for anodizing
another point - you probably already thought about - but how about having I/O at the bottom in vertical orientation?

I know there is always the argument about "easy access" and this is just my personal opinion but for a "open frame style case" that is supposed to look as clean as possible to display your hardware I think it looks much better if the I/O cables&connectors could be hidden away somehow... plus, there would be another benefit: as we found out here, some GPUs do not like it if oriented with I/O on top...

Yes i think steel would be the way to go. For the GPU problem I have to go back to the drawing board.


But why only 1x2.5 drive? 2 should be an absolute minimum for something that is 14L and 3kg heavy, heck, 4 should be easily supportable

To be honest even the single 2.5 slot is too much for me. In my opinion M.2 is the way to go for SFF.


Quick comments:-
1. If you have to make the 'Just Flip It' a special design feature, I think it is not worth it as most buyers would unlikely to use this feature (worse airflow to GPU, larger footprint...etc). However, if you do not need to make special/additional structural changes and this only comes as a bonus, then it is fine

2. Regarding price tag, must be competitive with ZS OC v1, Xproto and JXK's J1...etc

3. See pic below

A: this strip looks no good (subjectively, of course). suggest making it not as tall and pointing down (forming some sort of visual symmetry with the bottom design?)

B: suggest making this more porous. If I use my NH-P1 here, I want maximum upward air movement ability. Same goes for the lower part.

C: this cantilever part is going to sag. My experience with J1 tells me the sagging is at least 3-5mm. As this open frame has the load at the tip of the cantilever (vs along the edge for the J1), sagging would be more. This amount of sagging is visually noticeable. Should design against it. Eg by some kind of support or adding edge stiffeners (to increase the moment of inertia)
(see post #188 https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/post-your-rig-setup.411/page-10)

D: good to have this opening for rear M.2 SSD cooling!

So much for now.
Wish you success!

A: in the other direction the GPU height limit would be reduced.
C: Is the J1 made out of steel?
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,099
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A: in the other direction the GPU height limit would be reduced.
C: Is the J1 made out of steel?
A: maybe, just eliminate the part, if it is just for aesthetics
C: Yes, steel.

BTW, I like the design without using a riser cable.
 

pedesh

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Aug 20, 2021
3
1
You are right. I didn't thought about the orientation of aftermarket GPU heatsink heatpipes. This is a " no go" so I think this frame will not work and have to go back to the drawing board.
If "top IO" could still be an option in the redesign this might be my perfect case, I understand it may not be ideal for everyone but the easy access to the motherboard IO is really convenient.

Has the vertical GPU thermal problem been tested with the reference "flow-through" nvidia cooler from the 30 series? its what I would be using, it seems better suited for that setup.
 
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riba2233

SFF Guru
SFF Time
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Jan 2, 2019
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If "top IO" could still be an option in the redesign this might be my perfect case, I understand it may not be ideal for everyone but the easy access to the motherboard IO is really convenient.

Has the vertical GPU thermal problem been tested with the reference "flow-through" nvidia cooler from the 30 series? its what I would be using, it seems better suited for that setup.

Yes, same bed performance. You really don't want top io, bottom is so much better in many ways.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,099
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The only advantage of having a top IO is the convenience to change cables. But I bet most users do not change cables that often. I personally would prefer bottom IO. Of course, if the future design allows the user to flip it up or down, then I certainly would not mind such a design.

Regarding SSD support, I think one external SSD support is enough as I also believe M.2 onboard SSDs is the future.

Have been solely using an open frame/test bench as my main rig for the past 12 years. One main advantage of this format is the openness, which is ideal for passive cooling. Now, with the release of the passive NH-P1, I hope this new Dan frame would incorporate some passive cooling features (primarily the CPU and the PSU).
 

pedesh

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Aug 20, 2021
3
1
Yes, same bed performance. You really don't want top io, bottom is so much better in many ways.
Well dam :/

Unfortunately bottom IO wouldn't work for me but I really like the footprint of the vertical orientation :( seems like I need a new plan

Also would the 30 series cooler be worse with "bottom IO" as it blows hot air out the IO plate?

The only advantage of having a top IO is the convenience to change cables. But I bet most users do not change cables that often. I personally would prefer bottom IO. Of course, if the future design allows the user to flip it up or down, then I certainly would not mind such a design.
Looks like I'm one of the few :p its super handy for connecting/disconnecting my VR headset for example
 

tinyitx

Shrink Ray Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
2,099
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Well dam :/

Unfortunately bottom IO wouldn't work for me but I really like the footprint of the vertical orientation :( seems like I need a new plan

Also would the 30 series cooler be worse with "bottom IO" as it blows hot air out the IO plate?


Looks like I'm one of the few :p its super handy for connecting/disconnecting my VR headset for example
SFF is a niche market and an open frame design is a niche within a niche.
And, users liking a top IO is even more niche.
I suppose, one cannot be that niche and hopes to make a profit.

Well, I have no statistics to support but I suspect most cards are not susceptible to this gravity effect on its heatpipes.
As a very important factor is the type of heatpipes used, no one really knows if Nvidia RE cards are affected unless one actually tries it out.
 
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dondan

Shrink Ray Wielder
Original poster
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
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I reup this to get your thoughts.

What is special about it?
A case like this would be something really new to SFF. (InWin did it on ATX) It is like a hybrid between a normal case and a display/showcase. The main parts are exposed so they are not enclosed by the case. This has the advantage you can see the beautiful parts and have decent temperatures. Cables are hidden in the PSU chamber. The 12VATX cable can be routed behind the motherboard so this is also invisible. With custom cables you can set some nice color accents where they are visible.

Many SFF does not close their cases!
Many SFF customers are using their cases opened to have better temperatures or show the hardware. This includes me on my jorney with the A4 or C4 I like the beauty of these parts in such a small case. The only disadvantage of doing so was the amount of ugly cables for me.

Very good compatibility while beeing "slim"!
This case is only 165mm in width while some big heatsinks like the D15 requires a case width of min. 185mm. So it will look slim while using bigger heatsinks.

Optional vertical position
If you want you can position it vertical if higher GPU temps are ok for you.