Prototyping Finn: Organic Materials, Industrial Look

Discussion in 'Custom Cases & Projects' started by Slin Design, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Slin Design

    Slin Design Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    #1 Slin Design, Aug 3, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
    by Slin Design


    How It All Began:

    Finn started as a project in my Junior year of high school where I experimented with laser cutters and got into the PC building scene. After building my first pc I wanted to do more. I wanted to build my own case from scratch after seeing projects like the Dan case and the S4 from NFC ect. become so popular. But unlike those I wanted to be flexible and be able to use the largest coolers and gpus as well as cheaper and more powerful power supplies. I set out to work on building my first case by creating some initial small designs. This is what i initially came up with.


    Now this was only a prototype ⅛ of the size but before I could get to the full sized thing I needed to create some test benches.


    After a few of those, I designed my case around it…

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    After cutting it out I saw that the structure was not stable and there was no easy way to fix the design with the tools I had. So, I started from scratch again. This time with many valuable lessons learned. After giving it a thought, I created a new design which Finn is based on.


    Looks good on the outside, but the inside was another story…


    So I posted the case on and was surprised with the amount of support and encouragement I got from the community. Spurred on with the success of the first version of Finn I set out to design V2.

    The first prototype of Finn was much stronger and had a simpler construction than the curved design but I wasn’t finished yet. The earliest prototype of Finn did not have any drive cages or support for radiators. So I fixed some of the shortcomings of the first iteration and came up with what Finn is now.

    Final Design:


    (I won't be using this wood again)


    The outside looks very similar but the inside is totally redesigned.



    In the first version there was no drive support but now Finn supports one 3.5in drive and two 2.5in drives as well as having some space in the front for cable management.


    Very soon I will start my funding campaign on Kickstarter. Any tips or help with starting a successful campaign would be much appreciated.


    I have marked this thread as prototyping but in reality it is very close to the funding stage. Feel free to make comments and suggestions.

    Who is Slin?:

    I assume that no one knows who I am (since I've never made a post) and that's why I'm introducing myself. I'm Nils Nietsch 18-year-old Dutch designer living in California looking to make an impression. I'm Dyslexic but that definitely hasn't stopped me :D. Cheers!
  2. Kmpkt

    Kmpkt Innovation through Miniaturization

    Nice work. Would be curious to see it re-done in Acrylic like a Parvum.
  3. owliwar

    owliwar Master of Cramming

    Hey, congrats and welcome to the forum!
    This looks really nice, I love the front I/o solution, very well balanced with the rest of the case.
  4. smitty2k1

    smitty2k1 Airflow Optimizer

    Nice unique product :)

    Makes me really miss high school woodshop...
  5. chyll2

    chyll2 Cable-Tie Ninja

    So this will be shipped flat and be reassembled?
  6. Slin Design

    Slin Design Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    I made some renders. what do you think?
    (different roughness values)
    I haven't worked with acrylic all that much so I am unfamiliar with the strength or the cost of the material but will definitely give it a shot when I get my hands on a laser cutter.

    Yes just like IKEA to reduce shipping costs.

    Thanks! Owliwar and smitty2k1
  7. Kmpkt

    Kmpkt Innovation through Miniaturization

    Honestly I think you could have a pretty compelling price/performance/aesthetic combination here. Any plans to bring the case to retail in some form?
  8. rfarmer

    rfarmer King of Cable Management
    Silver Supporter

    The renders with acrylic look amazing.
    Slin Design, Soul_Est and Nanook like this.
  9. Windfall

    Windfall SFF Guru

    I REALLY like the look- It would be amazing in metal, but it would be too cost prohibitive. What will this cost?

    You really only have two major issues (that few is rare with any design):

    Rigidity; In some pictures, the fins are not parallel, or are warped. slotted brackets would raise cost but would make those fins line up straighter.

    Burn Marks: This is a biggy- you are definitely going to have to epoxy coat or paint those- as cool as a natural finish is (this in bamboo- DROOOL) you cannot get a clean look with lasers. That doesn't leave you without options- specifically CNC routing. I would recommend the Millright Carve King or the Carbide 3D Shapeoko.

    Other than that, great project!
  10. Brude27

    Brude27 Average Stuffer

    This in acrylic or a nicer CNCed wood (bamboo) would make me VERY interested in your design as a product. Well done! I love the renders! Added to the list of threads I watch!
    Slin Design and Soul_Est like this.
  11. VegetableStu

    VegetableStu Shrink Way Wielder

    That's my first thought when looking at the pics, LOL

    we could use more cases like this, especially for table-sized systems ❤️
    Slin Design likes this.
  12. Smanci

    Smanci SFF Lingo Aficionado

    #12 Smanci, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    As a Finn I like the wood, design and the name. If this was made of some nicely treated oak / curly birch, I'd be all over it.
    Slin Design likes this.
  13. Slin Design

    Slin Design Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    As of right now I am focusing on the Kickstarter. I will be a full-time student so time will be tight. I am not sure if I will sell retail but it is the end goal.

    The case uses 1/4 and 1/8 inch wood so to make it out of metal would probably cost way too much.

    I'm not sure how much it will cost but my estimation is between $125 and $175

    As for the rigidity, the fins are secured on three points using brackets (you can see this in the renders and photos) and it's warped because the wood I used was crappy (too thin and warped) especially in the second version. This won't be the case for the final product.

    I will make some renders with no burn marks to simulate a CNC. good idea!
    And with burn marks for comparison. (lighting is slightly different)

    Thanks everyone for the interest and input!
    Brude27 and VegetableStu like this.
  14. Marvelm

    Marvelm Trash Compacter
    Bronze Supporter

    Seems like each one of the wooden segments will be mounted separately right? This kind of makes it a pain to clean, also the dust would probably get in every nook and cranny :/
  15. Phuncz

    Phuncz Lord of the Boards
    Moderator Gold Supporter SFF Purist

    If you are considering acrylic, be sure to look at the matte opaque panels from
    @K888D uses these if I'm correct in the LZ7 and they are wonderful for case design, as they aren't glossy (no dust and fingerprints all over) and still have a nice polished edge where cut to give some contrast. Frosted white panels would give a nice soft glow I'd imagine with the lighting placed correctly.
    VegetableStu likes this.
  16. Windfall

    Windfall SFF Guru

    Yeah, The CNC'd version is obviously going to be better. Plus, laser burns are inconsistent, meaning your render of it with a burn (while it looks good) won't actually be that way. It may go up on the wood face as well.
  17. Slin Design

    Slin Design Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    The fins themselves only seem to accumulate dust on the top. And for me, the most dust accumulation is by the power supply. And yes the fins are mounted separately. :)

    Thank you for the information I will definitely look into it. And I agree that glossy wouldn't look as good.

    I'm not so sure about your claims, I've had very good results with laser cutters and the burns (when using quality wood) are very consistent. And the burns you get on the top face can be fixed with good airflow and or masking tape.

    Here are some examples of the cuts I made.
    Phuncz and chyll2 like this.
  18. Windfall

    Windfall SFF Guru

    From James's Project Jolokia:
  19. chyll2

    chyll2 Cable-Tie Ninja

    Seeing the sample by Slinn, I think the burn marks are well contained, almost non-existent. I would guess if ever, the burn mark can be sanded?
    VegetableStu and Slin Design like this.
  20. K888D

    K888D SFF Guru
    Bronze Supporter Lazer3D

    Burn marks on the top surface are fairly easy to control, its the underside of the sheet that proves more difficult due to the "flashback" of the laser reflecting off the supports that the sheet rests on top of.
    Slin Design and VegetableStu like this.