Prototyping Knarr: ~12L case with a focus on liquid cooling and aesthetics

Marvelm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 20, 2017
114
33
What do you think about making a second revision with a dual chamber design and mATX/ATX motherboard support, like the TX Aio cases from Custom Mod?


I would be wildly interested if you made that an option, Shouldn't require too much extra modeling since the design is very similar (atleast it looks like it to me).
 

Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
54
80
What do you think about making a second revision with a dual chamber design and mATX/ATX motherboard support, like the TX Aio cases from Custom Mod?


I would be wildly interested if you made that an option, Shouldn't require too much extra modeling since the design is very similar (atleast it looks like it to me).
I could consider it, but not before finishing this one. Thanks for showing me that case it does look very nice.
 

Marvelm

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 20, 2017
114
33
I could consider it, but not before finishing this one. Thanks for showing me that case it does look very nice.
Looking forward to it, I really like your design and the layout of the TX cases seems amazing for me, I find myself missing some of the things that larger mobos offer more and more lately and would still like to keep the volume low. :)
 
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dyc4869

What's an ITX?
New User
Feb 13, 2020
1
1
I really like this case, both the design and the ideas!
Wanna have one! I will keep my eye on this if you ever plan on the first small batch.
 
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Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
54
80
I really like this case, both the design and the ideas!
Wanna have one! I will keep my eye on this if you ever plan on the first small batch.
Thanks! I really do want to make a production batch but it is difficult to commit my personal budget to even a small quantity of units.
 

Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
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80
I am happy to say that this is still moving forward with prototyping, just very slowly. I picked up the initial sheet metal prototypes today and have a teaser picture for you :p

Moving forward, the next steps are to pick up some micro end mills for the CNC machine and some MDF board to start test cuts for the top and bottom panels. I want to test tolerances and how the metal would fit with the wood before I commit to cutting the nice stuff.
In parallel I need to start contacting powder coating shops to get some quotes for getting this sheet metal some color.
Some final assembly needs to be done as well and most importantly, a test fit. I believe there may be a tolerance issue in my design with the regards to the GPU. There is a gap in the case for the GPU "fingers" on the bottom of the io plate to slot into but I just realized those fingers are slightly bent outwards. This effectively increases the size that the gap needs to be to accommodate the gpu which is not accounted for in my design. The thickness of the powdercoat would likely make this issue even worse. I am thinking of trying to do a "dry fit" to see how this all pans out.

Stay tuned for updates :)

 

Spartoi

Chassis Packer
Jun 4, 2018
15
7
Just a thought, but could you extend the hole pattern on the front to the edge and allow for 2x 120mm fan mounts? Maybe also the extend the length of the case a bit so the fans don't interfere with the GPU and side fans/rad?
 

Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
54
80
Just a thought, but could you extend the hole pattern on the front to the edge and allow for 2x 120mm fan mounts? Maybe also the extend the length of the case a bit so the fans don't interfere with the GPU and side fans/rad?
It's possible, but I don't want to do that. The radiator pretty much abuts to the front panel where there is no vents, so even if I extended the whole case by 25mm for two more 120mm fans in the front, pretty much half of The fans will be blocked off anyway. I don't think the size increase warrants it especially since the airflow improvement wouldn't even be that much. Besides that would make the total fan count 6, I don't think you can plug in that many into any itx motherboard and a fan hub will consume valuable space.

In other news I did the dry fit. See picture below. It fits but it's very tight. Really need to push the gpu in. A layer of powdercoat would definitely make this a no go. I will be replacing the current 1mm gap with a 1.5mm gap and then everything should be just right. Need to pick up some 1.5mm aluminum and mill the spacers.

 

Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
54
80
I have made some progress. The sheet metal structures are assembled and cleaned and ready for painting. I wanted to powder coat them but for 3 different colors it's 3 different minimum orders and that's coming up to be quite expensive.

Does anyone have any experience spray painting aluminum? Is the end result durable or does it scratch off easily?
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
Jan 14, 2018
679
354
I know that you have to use a quality etching primer to even make it work. But I have never done it. Then maybe use an enamel paint and or a durable clear coat.
 
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Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
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80
Hi folks.

After much thought, I have opted for powder coat for the prototypes as well. I wanted them to be as close to final as possible. Teaser pic below of the prototypes with their respective wood samples.

What remains:
Mill samples of wood panels out of MDF. Ensure good fit
Mill actual wood panels.
Sand/finish the wood panels.
Affix together.
Build a computer in it.

I will be posting more professionally done photos of the prototypes once they are actually complete.

 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
Jan 14, 2018
679
354
Looking good!! I love the white and black! Grey is nice too, but not really my color. Soo excited to see this come to fruition!!
 
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Shatrod

Trash Compacter
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Dec 6, 2019
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Looking good!! I love the white and black! Grey is nice too, but not really my color. Soo excited to see this come to fruition!!
Thanks! I am myself apprehensive about the grey. It looked really nice in my head but the real thing is letting me down a little. Do you think it would be better if it was a darker grey? Like the color of a reference 5700xt shroud? That what I was aiming for originally

Perhaps if I ever end up with a production run I will reduce the color choices to just white and black. Or maybe I will still paint over this light grey with a darker shade.
 

Poblopuablo

King of Cable Management
Jan 14, 2018
679
354
Thanks! I am myself apprehensive about the grey. It looked really nice in my head but the real thing is letting me down a little. Do you think it would be better if it was a darker grey? Like the color of a reference 5700xt shroud? That what I was aiming for originally

Perhaps if I ever end up with a production run I will reduce the color choices to just white and black. Or maybe I will still paint over this light grey with a darker shade.
Maybe it's just the lighting. It looks very flat and matte(on my phone, albeit it's got a good screen lol). But it might look better in person.

I believe a darker gray would look better. Something like the "space grey" of apple. The only issue is that you are powder coating and powder coating will never be able to achieve the smooth metallic sheen of Apple's space grey. It would be awesome to see. I know @grsychckn is prototyping his s402 is a nice dark grey, and I think he is powder coating too, perhaps he can help you narrow down to the same/similar color to see if it is more you your liking. :)



I believe this is the Cardinal color. Perhaps @grsychckn can confirm? https://smallformfactor.net/forum/t...9l-steel-console-style-case.10939/post-182130
 
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Shatrod

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Dec 6, 2019
54
80
Maybe it's just the lighting. It looks very flat and matte(on my phone, albeit it's got a good screen lol). But it might look better in person.

I believe a darker gray would look better. Something like the "space grey" of apple. The only issue is that you are powder coating and powder coating will never be able to achieve the smooth metallic sheen of Apple's space grey. It would be awesome to see. I know @grsychckn is prototyping his s402 is a nice dark grey, and I think he is powder coating too, perhaps he can help you narrow down to the same/similar color to see if it is more you your liking. :)



I believe this is the Cardinal color. Perhaps @grsychckn can confirm? https://smallformfactor.net/forum/t...9l-steel-console-style-case.10939/post-182130
Hey thanks for the links to the thread. I do like that darker grey quite a lot. At the same time this lighter grey is growing on me a lot. I don't think it looks great alone but it looks really good with the walnut because it's actually a pretty light wood with a lot of orange tones. I think it would look great with full copper heatsinks/waterblocks.

Here are a couple more pictures with the wood. I really wish I could get the darker grey sample next to it too for a direct comparison.