Stalled Hutzy XS — Ultra Compact Gaming Case (<4L)

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
252
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Current status: Sorting out prototype v2 manufacturing

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Introduction
Hutzy XS is a response to one challenge: To pack an enthusiast gaming rig into as small of a form factor as possible.
The result is a case that is under 4 Litres, making it an Ultra Compact Form Factor (UCFF) case — the smallest class of computer cases.

Poll: Which one do you prefer? Black? Silver? White? (Multiple Choice)





Technical Specifications
  • Material: Anodized Aluminum
  • Color: Black, Silver, White (powdercoated)
  • Volume: 3.99L
  • Dimensions: 181mm [L] x 99.9mm [W] x 221mm [H]
  • Dimensions: ..7.126" [L] x ...3.933" [W] x ..8.701" [H]
  • Motherboard: Mini-ITX
  • PSU: FlexATX
  • GPU Length: Up to 177.8mm (7.0")
  • GPU Height: Up to 131.0mm (Gigabyte 1070 Mini compatible)
  • CPU HSF: Up to 40mm
  • RAM: TWO, Up to 40mm
  • Storage: ONE 2.5" Drive up to 9.5mm thickness
  • _______ ONE M.2 drive for compatible motherboards
 
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Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
252
187
Prototypes
Phase 1: Functional prototyping with entirely 3D printed parts


Note: Prototyping was done on a now-obsolete exterior design. However the internal design remained more or less the same.





Phase 2: Production prototype v1



Layout



Note: the Middleboard is made from aluminum in the newest model, with 3d printed fasteners to the case. This allows the Middleboard to:

- Secure the Motherboard inside the case
- Secure the PCI-E riser cable on both the Motherboard end, and the GPU end
- Secure the GPU through the riser
- Adds rigidity to the case overall by taking advantage of using the power button as a fastener


Thermals

Synthetic Stress Test @ 22.5 degrees Celsius ambient

Testing procedure:
1) Start Prime95 in Large FFT mode. Run 30 minutes
2) At 30th minute, Start Furmark to run in conjunction with Prime95 for 30 minutes
3) At 60th minute, take a snapshot

Test #1 tested using:
Hutzy XS Plastic prototype
i5-4440S
Gigabyte GTX 970 mini
Samsung 840 Pro 120GB
FSP 400W

CPU: 70 degrees Celsius
GPU: 71 degrees Celsius
SSD: 54 degrees Celsius



Test #2 tested using:
Hutzy XS Aluminum prototype v1, no filters
i5-6400
Gigabyte GTX 970 mini
Samsung 840 Pro 120GB
Seasonic 300W

CPU: 70 degrees Celsius
GPU: 71 degrees Celsius
SSD: 53 degrees Celsius




Background Story
The idea for Hutzy XS came about when I was working on my previous project: the HASSIUM (now named Hutzy HS).

It was a 5-Litre case capable of housing a GTX 980 Ti., but it required major rework after the initial design due to multiple challenges, including:

- GTX 980 Ti in a tiny box generated too much heat, especially with the minimal ventilation HASSIUM provided

- The use of a PSU extender cable added a lot of cable bulk that took up precious space.

To avoid these issues, I shifted my focus and went down another path, all the while keeping the minimalist style core to the design.

Thus, the Hutzy XS was born.
 
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Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
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May 9, 2015
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Interesting with the mix of 3D printed motherboard tray and aluminium structure and panels. Keep us updated !
 

iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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That is ridiculously small, very impressive! I feel like a power button on the back is a good compromise between usability and clean design.

Two small things jump to mind: At first, I can completely understand why you chose vents for the PSU exhaust instead of a complete cutout, it will probably be very beneficial to rigidity of the frame. But It feels like the current vent pattern could be too restrictive, as there can be a fan sitting right behind it. You might want to look into making those hexagons instead of slots for maximum rigidity with minimal restriction if test show that it is a problem.
The other thing is that it looks like you have only about 21mm from the top of the GPU to the inside of the top panel, which will limit GPU compatibility greatly. I would like ITX GPUs to be reference height more often than not, but the unfortunate reality is that a lot of them are a good 10mm taller than reference height. I did mention that previously, though, and you can of course make a concious decision to not support taller-than-reference GPUs, maybe it could even help to make GPU manufacturers shy away from making taller ITX GPUs in general, which would be great.
 

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
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Two small things jump to mind: At first, I can completely understand why you chose vents for the PSU exhaust instead of a complete cutout, it will probably be very beneficial to rigidity of the frame. But It feels like the current vent pattern could be too restrictive, as there can be a fan sitting right behind it.
Good thought. I'm actually revisiting all vent holes over the weekend. I might change all of them to a rounded-square pattern. I will take a look at the strength vs surface area for the PSU.

The other thing is that it looks like you have only about 21mm from the top of the GPU to the inside of the top panel, which will limit GPU compatibility greatly.
There is just over 30mm from the top of the bracket that sticks out the back, to the top of the case.
I currently have a Gigabyte 970 mini in my plastic prototype and everything fits. Will post some pics tomorrow.
 

Matthew

Cable Smoosher
Feb 28, 2015
12
2
This is awesome, I'm excited to see more of this case. This kind of form factor with an internal PSU basically checks all the boxes for my dream case.
 

Hahutzy

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Sep 9, 2015
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Wanted to do the update post on Pi day, but the renders were not cooperating. Oh well.

Anyways here they are:

- Updated the vent holes from long slots to a rounded squares pattern
- New renders to go with the hole pattern changes. (Renders, and pictures to be added will all be shown in the top post)
- New plastic prototype with the new pattern is printing... (will post pictures of the prototype soon, in a few days)
- Key point: Barring any problems that come up in further plastic prototype testing, the design is locked in
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Nov 1, 2015
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The square holes look better. Everything about the exterior design looks more cohesive now.

Am I assuming right that the vents for the PSU are facing upwards? PSU ventilation was one of my concerns and looks like it was improved in the re-design. I have a Seasonic SS-250U and the exhaust holes would have more breathing room with that PSU orientation you have.

Now my only gripe left is that this PSU won't be enough to power a system with an R9 Nano lol. Any word on that FSP 500w Flex ATX model being distributed to stores yet?
 

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
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Am I assuming right that the vents for the PSU are facing upwards?

The PSU vents out the back because the PSU fan exhausts towards the direction of the power plug.
The holes are straight, perpendicular cuts and are not angled.
The air flow would not change much either way, as the hot air would rise as soon as it gets out through the vent.

I have a Seasonic SS-250U and the exhaust holes would have more breathing room with that PSU orientation you have.

Now my only gripe left is that this PSU won't be enough to power a system with an R9 Nano lol. Any word on that FSP 500w Flex ATX model being distributed to stores yet?

I have not heard news on the FSP 500W. However, I currently run on a FSP 400W, and it easily powered my i5-4440S and a GTX 980 Ti on my HASSIUM.

So the FSP 400W will be enough for anything you throw into this system, and it is commercially available on Amazon and Newegg.

Interestingly, your 250U has a both an 8A rail and a 12A rail, giving it a theoretically max throughput of 264W of 12V. So in theory, it can power a 175W Nano, and (to play it safe) a 35W Skylake T-series CPU. In theory, of course. ;)
 

Thehack

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Mar 6, 2016
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You should consider add vents in the front of the case. The R9 Nano exhaust most of the its hot air front and rear of the card, rather than sides like open air coolers.
 

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
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Sep 9, 2015
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You should consider add vents in the front of the case. The R9 Nano exhaust most of the its hot air front and rear of the card, rather than sides like open air coolers.

I have actually tried that during the brainstorm/try-everything design phase.
Ultimately decided against it because the aesthetic trade-off is not worth it. This case is designed for ITX GPUs with radial coolers in general, not any single GPU in particular. And in that regard, the side vents and top vents are enough to vent air out radially.
 

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
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Finally dissembled my build from the old prototype and put them in the new prototype that just got done printing. Took some photos, still have to clean them up later to put into the top post. But here's a sneak peek:

There's a can of soft drink under those "floating" photos

Few things of note:

  • The highlight piece (black piece in the middle) is screwed on. But in the final product, the screw heads will not show through. The 3D printer refused to print a layer that covers the holes (slicer problems).
  • The side panel screws are going to be black. Just waiting for samples to arrive
 
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iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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I have actually tried that during the brainstorm/try-everything design phase.
Ultimately decided against it because the aesthetic trade-off is not worth it. This case is designed for ITX GPUs with radial coolers in general, not any single GPU in particular. And in that regard, the side vents and top vents are enough to vent air out radially.

To add to that, the R9 Nano is so short that its front exhaust will be redirected to the top, even if that means additional noise, it will probably not impede thermal performance, as long as the GPU is close enough to the side vents.

That prototype looks absolutely dope, BTW.
 
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jottwehh

Bonobo
Mar 19, 2016
65
162
Hey hahutzy,

thanks for sharing your project with us.
Actually I was laughing my ass off as i found this page today.
The reason for this is, that i printed (on paper) my own project today, to test the building.
And after seeing your projekt, i think my build is pretty much the same:

especially the middle part, with the small foot to the ground plate... funny. The only bigger difference in my opinion is, that i am planning to put the SSDs behind the mainboard. I made it 21cm long, so there is enough space.

I've to put the GPU about 2cm down, 'cause of the PCI-E power cable. But all in all, i thin we both are on the right way to a great case!
btw: Its my first Profect and the first time i designed something witch a 3/2d program. I'm just using Sketchup for 2d models to print :D
But its nice to see someone who has the skills ;)
 
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Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
252
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Updated top post with prototype photos and also a short GIF of my 3D printer in action!



The reason for this is, that i printed (on paper) my own project today, to test the building.
And after seeing your projekt, i think my build is pretty much the same:

especially the middle part, with the small foot to the ground plate... funny. The only bigger difference in my opinion is, that i am planning to put the SSDs behind the mainboard. I made it 21cm long, so there is enough space.

Cool to see others with a similar idea. You should start a build log and keep us posted!
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
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What kind of noise level is your FSP 400W giving off? I have heard Flex ATX are like jet engines starting up under load, what's your impression of them, noise wise? Planning a build and currently looking to go SFX but I'd like to go Flex ATX if it won't be too loud...

I also think your printing GIF is pretty cool looking, wish I had a 3D printer sometimes!
 

Hahutzy

Airflow Optimizer
Original poster
Sep 9, 2015
252
187
What kind of noise level is your FSP 400W giving off? I have heard Flex ATX are like jet engines starting up under load, what's your impression of them, noise wise? Planning a build and currently looking to go SFX but I'd like to go Flex ATX if it won't be too loud...

I have not measured it extensively, but here are my observations:
  • The system as a whole is not inaudible. I have not isolated which component is louder yet. But at load, I have never had the fan sounds affect my game's ingame sounds (using the speakers from my monitor, not headset).
  • I will be testing this to give some concrete numbers.
 
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