Kimera Industries Project Nova: 17 liters of 5-slot mATX goodness

Status
Not open for further replies.

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717


The wait is finally over.



Kimera Industries Nova: A 17L, 5-slot mATX case




A truly compact mATX case that still packs a punch.

The story thus far:
TL;DR Started because I wanted more RAM than would fit into my Mini-ITX NCASE M1 build. Disappointed with the available mATX cases I set out to make my own. The end result is Nova.

The prototype has arrived and is currently undergoing testing. Current plan is for a production run sometime 2015.

Sign up for the newsletter to be sure you don't miss production: http://kimeraindustries.com/subscribe

FAQ: http://www.kimeraindustries.com/#nova-faq


Specs (all specs are preliminary and subject to change)

  • H x W x D: 300 x 170 x 333mm, 17.0L
  • 20 gauge steel panels and frame
  • Machined aluminum for carry handle (currently considering dropping as a default option)
  • Everything powder coated
  • 4.22kg (9.30lb)
  • 5 expansion slots
  • 113mm CPU cooler height (assuming 25mm fan and side bracket left in place)
  • Thick 120mm/140mm AIO cooler support on side bracket
  • SFX/SFX-L PSU
  • 2 x 2.5" drive cage
  • 1 x 3.5" drive in place of fifth slot (looking into adding 2 x 3.5" cage in place of bottom 3 slots)
  • rear: 92mm fan
  • front: 120mm fan
  • bottom: 2 x 120mm fans (or 3.5" + 92mm)
  • top: slim 120mm fan Testing has shown the top fan is in-effective and will be dropped from production

Kimera Industries
Case designer: Aibohphobia
Web designer/business stuff: PlayfulPhoenix


Prototype pics:




5930K, SLI GTX 980s, Gigabyte X99M Gaming 5, Noctua NH-C12, and SilverStone SX600-G


Updates:



Misc:

SketchUp file as of 2014-11-28 https://www.dropbox.com/s/7wb9kaddf8qqniq/Nova Prototype 2014-11-28.skp?dl=0

Polls:

4 or 5 slots

3.5" HDD vs useable slots

Carry Handle

Panel attachment

FrozenQ Res

Front USB and audio

Depth increase
 
Last edited:

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
541
371
Amazing design!
out of curiosity, is there a specific reason you choose for steel instead of aluminum? Is it strength or cost?
I've also got some ideas for an mATX case, but like H2O-Micro it won't be for standard parts :p
I'm amazed at the attention spend to make this case, and the NCase M1 for that matter, so versatile in terms of combinations you can make in it.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
Thanks!

I actually prefer steel. It's denser (less likely to vibrate), stronger (since Nova is designed to be portable), easier to cut (with lasers), and I can get away with thinner gauges.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
That handle screws in from the bottom so it wouldn't work.

The top panel can't take the weight so I have it so the handle bolts in from the top through the top panel into a bracket attached to the frame.

That's is really cheap though, and it looks pretty nice.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
541
371
I believe they also have one that screws in from the top, let me have a look.

Here is the top mount version:
http://www.elesa-ganter.com/en/2/sp/7168/4/78/bridge-handlesfront-mounting/ebp./eg/
Should be cheaper because it has no insert for the threading ;)

Edit:
Just for good measure and because I have a little bit more time that I know what to do with.
The default CAD model looks nothing like the actual handle so I remodeled it
Is the 140-8.5 version, which is the width we use, it is just enough to fit my hand, don't bother with the smaller versions.
 
Last edited:

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
Thanks!

I haven't had time to check into a file upload system for the forum so if you don't mind, could you upload that on dropbox or something as a STP file?

You wouldn't happen to have any experience with custom molded power plugs would you?
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
541
371
Thanks!

I haven't had time to check into a file upload system for the forum so if you don't mind, could you upload that on dropbox or something as a STP file?

You wouldn't happen to have any experience with custom molded power plugs would you?
Here you go:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ptlibnwmhef8g1/EBP.140-8_ASM.stp?dl=0
I have made a design for a blow mold, but that was a while ago, and the actual conversion to invert it for the machine was done externally.
Perhaps milling might be an option?
If I understand the discussion correctly you'd like to reduce the height of the angled power connector on the PSU? Or am I wrong?
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
If I understand the discussion correctly you'd like to reduce the height of the angled power connector on the PSU? Or am I wrong?

That's correct - ideally we'd like an up-angle C13 connector (see below) that's as low profile as possible, but at least as low-profile as the left/right-angle connectors that are used on the cable in NCASE's M1.



Necere very helpfully linked us to a supplier on Alibaba that has a left (?) angled version that's about as short as we want it. But an up-angle connector would resolve the issue of having the plug on different sides of the PSU - you'd never have the cable running out of the plug, only to make a sharp bend and push against the side of the case.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
541
371
If I look at the design, they all use a round cable.
Perhaps if you go with a flat cable you can reduce the height more.
I could make a design that can be milled from Delrin, I'm not to sure how big it would be, I would need some physical parts to experiment with.
But because it is a small part, getting a "reasonable price" for molding might also be possible, depends entirely on the quantities.

Is it even an option to manually asemble the cable/connector or is that out of the question?
 
Last edited:

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
Up-angle would be the best for Nova but left-angle would be workable as well and that would be more useful for some of the other case designs.

It would have to be over-molded, we're looking at needing maybe a few thousand of these.
 

QinX

Master of Cramming
kees
Mar 2, 2015
541
371
Up-angle would be the best for Nova but left-angle would be workable as well and that would be more useful for some of the other case designs.

It would have to be over-molded, we're looking at needing maybe a few thousand of these.
If you are talking in the thousands, perhaps you an contact companies that already supplier Left and right angle cables. They might share a part of the investment if they can get a new product out of it.

I once worked with Aqua-Computer, Their Aquaero doesn't have an RTC onboard, because usually it is connected to a PC. Our product didn't so I suggested an RTC/battery module add-on. They saw potential for it in their own product line up and covered the PCB/software costs.
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,118
4,477
I can't wait for this case to be finished, I'm looking forward to all the build possibilities this offers !
 

PlayfulPhoenix

Founder of SFF.N
SFFLAB
Chimera Industries
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
1,049
1,960
I can't wait for this case to be finished, I'm looking forward to all the build possibilities this offers !

Thanks!

I figure I should post recent blog updates here, just to keep everyone up to speed. Although I usually update forum threads with blog updates as they come, you can always stay up to date by checking our blog regularly, or subscribing to our RSS feed!



We did thermal testing closer to the beginning of the year, with the prototype of the original design Aiboh created.



In April, I posted an update summarizing some of the more substantial design changes we had incorporated in to Nova, in part based on feedback, and in part based on testing we had performed.



Finally, yesterday, I added an additional post that talked about the most recent changes. At the moment, we're incorporating those, and hope to arrive at the final design spec soon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FriendofNova

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
I'm working on the ATX mount for the rear of the chassis and have run into a snag. Due to the height decrease up top there's not much room to fit the ATX cutout and it's proving tricky to keep enough room for the tubing holes for the FrozenQ M1 external reservoir.

Before it wasn't a big deal to include support but now I want to make sure there's actually interest in this feature before going to the trouble to fit it in.

So, are you interested in using the FrozenQ M1 reservoir with Nova?
 

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,118
4,477
I personally am not, since I would be trying to get air-cooling to work, even though that seems less easy than with a single GPU in the M1 exhausting hot air immediately and quietly out of the case with the help of some select hardware. Since the Nova is screaming for dual GPU's, this becomes much more difficult to keep it quiet during load and we may end up having to use watercooling for high-end GPU's to keep the noise down. So while I might not want or need the reservoir, I can understand many others will.

Unless the R9 390X delivers and hits a home run with the single 120mm radiator cooling, we'd be able to have dual high-end cards without the need for custom loops.
 

WiSK

Water Cooling Optimizer
May 10, 2015
51
15
I said maybe, mainly because I had iffy quality on my NCase reservoir :p I would probably make another custom res if I would do a custom loop in Nova.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
So while I might not want or need the reservoir, I can understand many others will.

There's room for other reservoir options if people get creative, so dropping support for the FrozenQ res wouldn't mean custom loops aren't possible.

I said maybe, mainly because I had iffy quality on my NCase reservoir :p I would probably make another custom res if I would do a custom loop in Nova.

I looked into that and they seem to have sorted out the QC issues with this res.
 

Aibohphobia

aka James
Original poster
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
Did some hardware testing today.


Testing out the Noctua L9x65 heatsink. Test results here


Here's a 3.5" HDD installed. So in this configuration you could fit a 3.5" drive, a video card, PCIe SSD, and a sound card.


Here you can see the HDD mounting screws, can't really see in this pic but there are rubber grommets that the drive is sitting on.

Did some thermal tests. The drive is a Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB 7200RPM. At ~25.5°C ambient the drive got up to 48°C with the drive idling but the GTX 980 running Valley after 25 minutes.

Then I ran CrystalDiskMark 4K tests on the HDD to work it out while still running Valley and after 30 minutes the drive got up to 53°C.

With both GPU and HDD idling the drive sits at 43°C.

So perhaps having the video card in the third slot isn't ideal for HDD temps but that's easily fixed by moving the GPU to the top slot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: FriendofNova

Phuncz

Lord of the Boards
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Gold Supporter
May 9, 2015
5,118
4,477
I think all components would benefit if you switch the position of the GPU and the SSD. Maybe only marginally, but still.
I'm glad I've moved on from having "cold storage" in my main PC, with all my 3,5" disks placed into a NAS at Gbit speeds, there's one less thing to worry about. Those metal bricks, just like ODD's, need to leave the "standard PC kit".
 
Status
Not open for further replies.