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

Shatrod

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Is it matte or satin?
It's called sandtex finish. It's textured to hide fingerprints and stuff.

It's something in between matte and satin. Like it's pretty matte, but under some light can reflect a bit but it looks like a satin reflection because of the texture. It's very evident on the black case
 

grsychckn

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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
@Shatrod - love the design! As for the powder situation, I know each fabricator I've worked with has their own supplier for the powders. The one @Poblopuablo linked for you is called Cardinal Grey - but I don't know the manufacturer. The light gray is more polarizing than the textured dark gray/black as feedback I've received has love/hate. I can say for myself that I like it because it's unique, but I've found myself wishing I'd gone with the anodized silver again like on my S400. Also, don't forget that choosing color(s) will mean hardware color might also have to change. I get a better deal on larger quantities of hardware if I purchase the exact same SKU. Not sure what your supplier offers but keep that in mind. If you ever want someone to bounce ideas off - feel free to contact me. Good luck!
 

Shatrod

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Hey grsychckn, thanks for the advice about the hardware. I will keep it in mind when (if) I start ordering bulk. I agree the light grey is polarizing at first but I'm liking it more and more with the walnut.

On that note I have finished milling my first walnut panel and did some test fits. It's not sanded down and "finished" yet. Still needs all of the Danish oil and other treatments. But it's already looking great. I tried to take the photos on a white background to contrast the grey a little better.

 

Poblopuablo

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Looking awesome! What is the cutout in the wood under the rad/fans for?
 

Shatrod

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Another update in quick succession.

I have milled the bottom plates for all three colors. Sanded them down. And did the first coat of Danish oil. The woodwork isn't perfect. The wenge is a little bowed and as a result the cuts are just a bit off. But the metal still fits so it will be okay for the prototype I think.

I am hoping to finish the top plates tomorrow and then spend all week sanding and oiling. Then next weekend we should have completed prototypes :)

 

Shatrod

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What is the general consensus on the look of rivets?
I'm running into trouble fitting the wood to the sheet metal due to tolerance issues. If this ever gets mass produced the assembly needs to be simplified. The simplest way would be to have the top and bottom also made out of aluminum and rivited to the frame with the wood just glued on top as a decorative element, not a structural one. But then you would be able to see rivets around the perimeter on the top and bottom
 

Poblopuablo

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What is the general consensus on the look of rivets?
I'm running into trouble fitting the wood to the sheet metal due to tolerance issues. If this ever gets mass produced the assembly needs to be simplified. The simplest way would be to have the top and bottom also made out of aluminum and rivited to the frame with the wood just glued on top as a decorative element, not a structural one. But then you would be able to see rivets around the perimeter on the top and bottom
Do you have a render to see how that might look?
 

Poblopuablo

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what is the hole at the back(right above the PSU) for?

Also that small plate above the GPU IO cover/plate/retention bracket thing for?
 

Shatrod

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what is the hole at the back(right above the PSU) for?

Also that small plate above the GPU IO cover/plate/retention bracket thing for?
If you throw a D5 pump in there instead of a 60mm fan, you will need to route a molex cable somehow back into the case. That rectangular hole is molex sized :)

The small plate above the GPU retention bracket can flip over and will extend slightly past the edge of the case to secure the plexiglass side panel that will slide in, so it can't slide back out.
 
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Poblopuablo

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Now that you have a prototype can you double check CPU cooler Clearence? I'm really hoping it's 110mm for a tower cooler, then use a 240mm on my GPU. :)
 

Shatrod

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Now that you have a prototype can you double check CPU cooler Clearence? I'm really hoping it's 110mm for a tower cooler, then use a 240mm on my GPU. :)
Sure I can do that. Is CPU cooler clearance measured between the side panel and the CPU, or between side panel and motherboard? I imagine it's the first one
 

Vacceo

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Would it be too hard to englenthen the hight so it´d fit a 280 radiator and a DTX board keeping the same width and depth?
 

Poblopuablo

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Sure I can do that. Is CPU cooler clearance measured between the side panel and the CPU, or between side panel and motherboard? I imagine it's the first one
The top of the CPU to the inside of the side panel. (If you measure from the top of the motherboard PCB then you have to subtract about 7-8mm. (That is how much the CPU sticks out from the PCB)

Source (may be somewhat outdated in it's measurements, but I don't think so)

I think it might fit since the rear up is about 44mm tall +60mm tall for the fan and I think there is some spare space that a 110mm CPU cooler might just fit (nh-d9l). With a 240mm aio on my GPU I'd be set!

Would you also be willing to see if this rad would fit on the back? https://www.aquatuning.us/water-coo...l-nexxxos-xt45-full-copper-60mm-dual-radiator I know it may have clearence issues when fans are installed (Because it may be over the CPU itself) but would it fit the dimensions of the fan placement (specifically... Is there enough room for the end tanks of the rad)

 
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Vacceo

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Good question, actually now that you mention the radiator: how thick can the radiator+fans combo get before getting to the motherboard? Because in that case, something like a HWL GTX can cool both the CPU and GP, even potentially take an FLT res and move the whole thing.
 
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Shatrod

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The hole spacing works out for the dual 60mm rad form alophacool but the end thanks would not fit. The next revision I am working on would fit this radiator :) I have seen it before and wanted to incorporate support for it.

The 240 rad + fans combo can be as thick as an sfx power supply. About 65mm should be doable (40mm rad + 25mm fan) but I don't have a radiator that think to test. Also although it would "fit" you would be pretty much touching the GPU backplate.

Fitting a 280mm radiator would be hard. Making the case taller to take a dtx board and a taller rad is easy but, I can only think of 1 board like that. It would however be impossible to keep the same width. A 280mm rad is also 20mm wider and there is no room to mount that internally. You would have to increase the height AND width by 20mm.

I will check the current CPU cooler clearance after work, but also for the next revision I will make it however wider it needs to be to accommodate 110mm. Would definitely help with thicker gpus too.

I don't have any renders yet, coming soon, but I pretty much took the same exact frame and gave it side panels for a slightly more refined look (although with visible exterior screws) and metal top and bottom braces for strength (rivets hidden). Already adjusted it all to be steel instead of aluminum (after my experience of bending and deforming these prototypes it seemed like the way to go). Moved the front vents to the bottom instead to have a clean front panel. Bottom wood removed. Top wood made into a decorative element only.
 

Shatrod

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Now that you have a prototype can you double check CPU cooler Clearence? I'm really hoping it's 110mm for a tower cooler, then use a 240mm on my GPU. :)
I measured roughly 109mm

I'll make the next version just that little mm bigger :)