Concept Fully 3D printed ~3.7L case

Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
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Hey everyone, not sure my presence has been known much on these forums, but for the last few months, I've been toying with the idea to create a 3D printed case, as small as possible with various configurations and I think I finally found what I'm looking for.

For now, just text, pictures will come later, but I'll be drawing a ~3.7L case that can accomodate an HDPlex 400, dual slot 170mm GPU (Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini), ITX motherboard with low profile cooler.

It will need an external brick like the 400W HDPlex AC-DC, which is like an additional half liter, which would be AT MOST 4.5L total, a number that isn't acheivable with SFX PSU.

Got your attention? Good. Stay tuned ;)
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Nov 1, 2015
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This does sound interesting. I remember the small case of a similar size made by @jottwehh which was also 3D printed, but said was also rather expensive to make. If you can make that case much cheaper, all the better. I want to see what design you come up with.
 

Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
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330
If I can make it how I'm envisioning it, it'd cost like 15$ per case to make, and with time, engineering, I'd be at ease selling these for 75$ a pop + shipping.

PS. I remember you from OCN :)
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Nov 1, 2015
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Those are some amazing price margins. I couldn't get margins that good with my hybrid 3D printed and acrylic case of under 3 liters.

And yeah, I remember you from there too. I came for the epic watercooled builds, and stayed for SFF. Now I'm here :)
 

Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
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:D

I'm doing everything myself, the engineering to the fab.

As far as costs goes, aside from my time, a full roll of a premium ABS+ filament costs me like $40 CAD, I'm sure a case will use like a third of a roll to make it solid enough. If I count in electricity at 0.2kW/h @ $0.06/kWh, that's $0.012 per hour of electricity, and prints would probably take around 48h each, so $0.58 total. (this is all CAD currency remember). Then I take into account machine wear at 5$ per print this big, $15 USD doesn't seem to far off.

With the rise of popularity and availability of m.2 drives, there wouldn't even be room for one, just straight up GPU, DC-ATX PSU and Motherboard.
 
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loader963

King of Cable Management
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Jan 21, 2017
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Tagged. Will the motherboard tray and case’s rear pci slots (where you would screw the GPU to the case) be plastic as well?
 

el01

King of Cable Management
Jun 4, 2018
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If I can make it how I'm envisioning it, it'd cost like 15$ per case to make, and with time, engineering, I'd be at ease selling these for 75$ a pop + shipping.

PS. I remember you from OCN :)
You got me at the price! Can't wait to see what you come up with! Are you willing to take suggestions on aesthetic/functions on the case?
 

ZMan

Average Stuffer
Oct 12, 2017
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87
I have some experience with small 3d printed PC cases.
Let me know if you have questions.
 
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chyll2

Master of Cramming
Jun 27, 2018
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Would you a design one with a Flex PSU?

I am totally surprised by the target price. I was requesting quote for small 3D prints and even that has never happened since the price is prohibitive.
 
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Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
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Mar 6, 2016
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Would you a design one with a Flex PSU?

I am totally surprised by the target price. I was requesting quote for small 3D prints and even that has never happened since the price is prohibitive.

You're paying for machine time. It's a mixture of ROI, personnel to run the machine, and supply and demand of prints. A quality SLS machine costs $70K.

Think about it, if it takes 4 days for a print to "make" you $50 it is competing against someone who wants prints for their D&D for $15 for 2 hour print.

At this price point, I think better time is spent designing an acrylic case and getting an optimized bulk order for a local laser shop and use mixture of smaller 3d printed parts. A large print failing can set you back a lot of wasted time and filament.
 

zzmadd

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 18, 2017
136
66
You're paying for machine time. It's a mixture of ROI, personnel to run the machine, and supply and demand of prints. A quality SLS machine costs $70K.

Think about it, if it takes 4 days for a print to "make" you $50 it is competing against someone who wants prints for their D&D for $15 for 2 hour print.

At this price point, I think better time is spent designing an acrylic case and getting an optimized bulk order for a local laser shop and use mixture of smaller 3d printed parts. A large print failing can set you back a lot of wasted time and filament.

They don't look the same (by a long huge stretch). Take Modivio look and feel. 3D printed material can look and feel premium. Anything non matte black done with acrylic and it gets close to unbearably ugly. Even the CG7 Cravo if you look at the side of the panels, where they get cut, it becomes immediately clear how the technology caps the perception of quality. Incomparable with a printed 3D shape.
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
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Mar 6, 2016
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They don't look the same (by a long huge stretch). Take Modivio look and feel. 3D printed material can look and feel premium. Anything non matte black done with acrylic and it gets close to unbearably ugly. Even the CG7 Cravo if you look at the side of the panels, where they get cut, it becomes immediately clear how the technology caps the perception of quality. Incomparable with a printed 3D shape.

I think the laser cut acrylic cases look very good.

Remember, if he is printing with abs and is saying it costs $15 to print, 4 days print, this is a consumer class printer. Not a high quality machine. Modivio uses an industrial class with very high quality filament and post processing.

A consumer class printer does not compare at all. A single failed print will set you back days on an order. I would not print anything on a consumer class printer beyond an STX case. The matte finish on acrylic looks much better than FDM lines.

You also have the issue of warping, which panels are very susceptible to. You're underestimating the real cost of 3d prints, and the fit and finish of an acrylic case, which tolerance is much tighter than FDM tech.
 
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Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
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330
It probably will be a whole unibody frame, I might just get the panels out of Lazer cut acrylic, not sure.

I do take into consideration what the community has to say, you just have to understand I won't be able to incorporate all ideas and adjust for all criticism.

@Thehack 48h = 2days, not 4 ;)

I don't really want to mass produce as I wouldn't have the time for that, these will be made-to-order. I have a lot of selection for colors, so I'm estimating I'll be able to make two a week. I'm not doing this to make money, I'm doing this for fun.

Right now I can print 200*200*170 soon I'll be able to do 200*200*470

Also, all threads will be brass inserts in M3 size. There won't be a motherboard tray (wait what?). The big thing is that you'll need a LI heat type D of 30cm.
 
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zzmadd

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Nov 18, 2017
136
66
I think the laser cut acrylic cases look very good.

Remember, if he is printing with abs and is saying it costs $15 to print, 4 days print, this is a consumer class printer. Not a high quality machine. Modivio uses an industrial class with very high quality filament and post processing.

A consumer class printer does not compare at all. A single failed print will set you back days on an order. I would not print anything on a consumer class printer beyond an STX case. The matte finish on acrylic looks much better than FDM lines.

You also have the issue of warping, which panels are very susceptible to. You're underestimating the real cost of 3d prints, and the fit and finish of an acrylic case, which tolerance is much tighter than FDM tech.

I'm not making a commercial case for the choice the Thread Starter did, and yes unluckily my knowledge on 3D printing is limited BUT based on Modivio Case which I own two, I basically am unable to even look at acrylic on photo if not matte black, and even then...I guess it's why Lazer LZ7 is so expensive is due to those side connectors that hold the acrylic panels together. They hide the cut but they're (probably) expensive. I kind of like the Starter attitude of doing this for fun (probably making 2$ on top for the ice cream). There's plenty of mass produced bits and cases in the PC industry, they can be cheap and absolutely devastating to look at, at the same time. They're different exercises and I personally like its been made effort in the mass production area as well.
A lot of ideas, a lot of solutions, a lot of people that put their heart and passion on what they do and this is fantastic. I'm just throwing my 2 cents in regard to the look and feel. I come from middle age italian cities, grew up in Venice...lived within architecture that would be impossible to build today, after all the Basilica di S. Marco is painted with gold, I mean gold.
 
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Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
307
330
I want to have the least material possible so that I can save time on printing and make more for you guys as needed. I'm actually aiming for $40 selling price, but that'd be base model without panels. I'm saying $75 because of how R&D for things go.

Also, I'm a quality assurance manager for a hospital bed manufacturer IRL, so you can rest assured no crappy parts coming out of my shop lol
 

Matt3D

Cable-Tie Ninja
Modivio
Mar 2, 2017
177
444
Amazing concept! Which printers are you planning to use?

Speaking from experience - printing material costs not more than 25% of the final production cost. You need to count at least 3 to 4 hours of work for each case (setting up the printer, taking printed parts off, removing supports, finishing each part, assembly, collecting screws, packing, shipping etc.).
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,137
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As someone who has also assembled my own cases by hand after receiving 3D printed parts (I used Shapeways- don't have my own printer) I can see how you also need to consider time and cost for packing and building. Although the cost of screws is easily amortized among many cases. The fewer different screw sizes you need, the better.
 

MadDrake

Cable Smoosher
Jul 13, 2018
12
10
Oh man this sounds exciting. I might not have the best 3d printer but i would like to try to print this out. I have a cr10 so its 300x300x400mm. If not I'm still interested in this project. Sounds promising.
 

Duality92

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Apr 12, 2018
307
330
When I get my HDPlex 400W DC-ATX and I can make a rough model for it, I'll make a few adjustments and print my first prototype :)

Keep in mind, the first prototype won't have vents and I'll be threading the plastic instead of brass nut inserts.

Basically, the motherboard gives the frame it's rigidity and mounts in a way you've never seen :)
 
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