Stalled Mosaik - Klotz: 18.9L (prev. 18.6L) Case for Large Air and Liquid Coolers With Minimalistic Design

adesignaddict

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Feb 9, 2020
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Update 2020-05-16: We've received feedback from the manufacturers we've contacted and we are currently deciding the next steps such as last-minute tweaks to the design before we go into prototyping. We're super excited about this!




Also, here's a changelog from the original concept so far:

- The big one: We've unfortunately had to increase the length of the case by 5mm (from 365mm to 370mm) in order to accommodate the Noctua DH-D15 cooler and the surprisingly long 280mm rad from corsair properly (this issue popped up during our design for manufacturing phase where we went over the entire case to account for various machining and installation tolerances). This means that the volume increased slightly from 18.6L to 18.9L. I know this will disappoint some of you here, and we're actually a bit bummed out about it as well, but so far we haven't found a way around it. Sorry guys, we hope that's not a total dealbreaker.
- The placement of the IEC C14 power inlet has moved next to the GPU. This makes the installation of the GPU slightly more cumbersome, but eliminates any fitment issues with larger coolers for the CPU.
- The front panel now attaches magnetically instead of using screws.
- SSDs are now mounted directly to the chassis instead of using an extra bracket. This should make general installation and changing out drives much quicker and easier.
- An optional ATX PSU bracket has been added to the design as well. While we recommend using an SFX or SFX-L power supply, you'll now also have the option to use an ATX PSU instead, though, with some restrictions. Using an ATX PSU will limit your graphics card length clearance to roughly 220mm and restrict your CPU cooling to a 120mm radiator or an air cooler.
- We've also come up with a last-minute solution to support 140mm fans at the bottom, though we need to run this change by the manufacturer to confirm if this doesn't negatively impact manufacturing.

We're still working on the option to invert the core, but can't promise this feature will make it into the first run.


Update 2020-05-06: We're currently preparing a slightly tweaked design to send to a manufacturer for evaluation and price quotes. Stay tuned :)


_

Original Post:



Hey everyone,

after sharing an ATX case design concept for feedback on Instagram and Reddit we've been getting a lot of comments suggesting we should look into SFF cases as well. Well, we're actually very fond of the idea, up to a point where we're currently re-evaluating if we should pursue an SFF case design rather than a mid-tower ATX enclosure.

So we did some research, looked at what the current market has to offer and came up with a design that we wanted to share with you.

To cut right to the chase, we looked at what layouts worked well and which didn't, instead of trying to re-invent the wheel on our first try. At the same time, we wanted to offer something that's at least slightly different from what's already available. In the end, we really liked the layout that the Ncase M1 and Streacom DA2 use as it offers great flexibility for both air- and water cooling while also providing decent space for high-performance GPUs. Now, since we personally use high core count CPU's for image and video rendering tasks that require beefy coolers, and as mentioned before, we also want to offer something that differentiates itself from other cases (and also as not to cut into their market) we designed our case to accommodate air coolers up to 165mm tall and AIO liquid coolers up to 280mm long, while still being slightly under the 20L cutoff (18.6L total volume, not counting the feet). Yes, that is indeed a big SFF case. However, you should be able to cram a ton of performance into it while retaining great cooling and/or lower noise levels. But please let us know what you think of it :)











DETAILS

Layout: Standard ATX type with PSU moved to the front and bracket for AIO liquid cooler support on the side.

Size: 18.6L (W: 200mm D: 365mm H: 255mm)

Materials: 2mm thick Aluminum for shell and chassis, 5mm Wood plate (Oak/Ash) for the front panel

Finish: Semi-matte powder coating in Black and White

Front I/O: Power button and a USB-C port (thoughts?)

Fits: Mini-ITX motherboards, up to 165mm Air Coolers/280mm AIO liquid coolers, 2.5 (potentially up to 3) slot GPUs (310-320mm depending on the height of the card), SFX PSUs, 2 SSDs, 2 bottom-mounted 120x25mm fans with 2 slot GPUs or 120x15mm fans with 2.5 slot GPUs

Please note: take this list with a grain of salt until we have a working prototype to verify everything ;)

We're very excited to hear your feedback.


Best.
Alessandro & Joshua


Website: mosaikcases.com
Blog post about our SFF design: Mosaik Blog
Instagram:
@mosaikcases
 
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oreg

Chassis Packer
Nov 27, 2017
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This looks awesome. Hope that black and oak is also possible to combine together. Might a little too much of volume for many in here but I do like the design a lot and at least there is no riser cable that might break.. ?
 

cd777

What's an ITX?
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Jan 9, 2017
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This is just almost perfect for me. If removing the power button to the back and making a clean front in darker (charcoal) oak/ash would be possible you can count me in! Totally subscribing and will be keeping an eye on this case.
 

Gerold

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Mar 19, 2020
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Really good concept guys, I'm looking forward to hear more from you! :)

A thought that came to my mind:
Can't really tell from the provided angles, but in your renders there is a 2-slot card and 2 full height fans, right?
When you fill all 3 slots, will there still be clearance for the 25mm fans?
If not, why not shrink the case a little in height so that for instance a 3-slot card pulls air directly from the bottom (plus a few mm for "anti-turbulence") and the possibility to mount slim fans if in 2-slot mode (even though I don't think temps would drastically benefit from additional fans on the bottom, because the card pulls air anyway - correct me if I'm wrong).
 
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adesignaddict

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Feb 9, 2020
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www.mosaikcases.com
This looks awesome. Hope that black and oak is also possible to combine together. Might a little too much of volume for many in here but I do like the design a lot and at least there is no riser cable that might break.. ?
Thanks! We're actually looking into some form of modularity after similar feedback regarding the color and wood choices. So, think of the interior chassis as the base (in that case it would make sense to have all the interiors simply black) and then you could choose the color for the shell + front I/O, and lastly the wood type for the front plate. That way the exterior colors and wood types could be changed rather simple later on. If that doesn't work out from a manufacturing MOQ or financial standpoint then we would try to at least offer the different front panels as additional accessories later on.

Nice! Really good looking case ?
Thank you :)

This is just almost perfect for me. If removing the power button to the back and making a clean front in darker (charcoal) oak/ash would be possible you can count me in! Totally subscribing and will be keeping an eye on this case.
Can't promise the power button moving to the back, but we're looking into darker wood options.

Really good concept guys, I'm looking forward to hear more from you! :)

A thought that came to my mind:
Can't really tell from the provided angles, but in your renders there is a 2-slot card and 2 full height fans, right?
When you fill all 3 slots, will there still be clearance for the 25mm fans?
If not, why not shrink the case a little in height so that for instance a 3-slot card pulls air directly from the bottom (plus a few mm for "anti-turbulence") and the possibility to mount two slim fans if in 2-slot mode (even though I don't think temps would drastically benefit from additional fans on the bottom, because the card pulls air anyway - correct me if I'm wrong).
Thank you! Glad to hear that!
Haha yeah, so the actual space for the GPU is a bit tricky to gauge as there are a lot of conflicting dimensions online (for the placement of the GPU relative to the motherboard). So right now the 2.2-2.5 ish card in the render is sitting right on top of the 25mm fans with not a mm to spare. This will probably be too tight in a real world scenario, but a true 2 slot card should have room for two full-size fans underneath (or 2.5 with slim fans). With a 3 slot GPU there's definitely no room for any fans left. Just a little bit of space to act against turbulence as you stated. We'll make sure to test all of this with a prototype and then shave off any extra mm in height that turns out to be unnecessary ;)

Nice, but can you make sandwich mode? :D
Thanks. That would be better suited for a different design altogether. Well, size-wise. Maybe as our next case (if this works out).
 

Max Fischer

Cable Smoosher
Mar 22, 2020
11
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this case looks great and very well designed! I can’t wait to see more. Do you have any sort of timeline on a physical prototype or is the design still being prototyped?
 

Gerold

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Thanks! We're actually looking into some form of modularity after similar feedback regarding the color and wood choices. So, think of the interior chassis as the base (in that case it would make sense to have all the interiors simply black) and then you could choose the color for the shell + front I/O, and lastly the wood type for the front plate. That way the exterior colors and wood types could be changed rather simple later on. If that doesn't work out from a manufacturing MOQ or financial standpoint then we would try to at least offer the different front panels as additional accessories later on.



Thank you :)



Can't promise the power button moving to the back, but we're looking into darker wood options.



Thank you! Glad to hear that!
Haha yeah, so the actual space for the GPU is a bit tricky to gauge as there are a lot of conflicting dimensions online (for the placement of the GPU relative to the motherboard). So right now the 2.2-2.5 ish card in the render is sitting right on top of the 25mm fans with not a mm to spare. This will probably be too tight in a real world scenario, but a true 2 slot card should have room for two full-size fans underneath (or 2.5 with slim fans). With a 3 slot GPU there's definitely no room for any fans left. Just a little bit of space to act against turbulence as you stated. We'll make sure to test all of this with a prototype and then shave off any extra mm in height that turns out to be unnecessary ;)



Thanks. That would be better suited for a different design altogether. Well, size-wise. Maybe as our next case (if this works out).
got it, thanks for the clarification :)
Do you guys have any price estimates as of now?
 
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No Hands 55

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Feb 11, 2020
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I have said similar feedback in the Reddit thread but I thought I would post my feedback here for a little more permanence and discussion.

This is almost my ideal case! I have an Ncase M1 right now and this has some upgrades I have been looking for a case to fit. Some feedback though:
  • Is it possible to invert the core? This would put the GPU on the top
  • Is it possible to fit an Arctic Accelero III on the GPU? This in combination with an inverted core and full size fans exhausting out the top would provide what i can only imagine would be phenomenal temps and acoustics for the GPU
  • I would prefer the power button and IO but on the bottom right of the front panel. If I used a short usb hub or dongle it would be hanging from the top of the case if the IO was up in the top left. Inverting the core would address this issue for me.
  • It seems like the fan ventilation might be a little restricted and that opening the pattern would provide better airflow. Would need to be tested to tell really.
  • I would like to see a dark walnut, shell matching metal, or untreated wood that could be finished by the user as front panel options.
  • A 3.5" HDD mount would be a plus. Possibly one side of the HDD mounted to the front panel, sitting parallel to the PSU?
You have been good to me Ncase, and will always be my first SFF PC. But this shell design, aesthetics, and compatibility with a D15 is my end game case! I am looking forward to helping out on this project in any way I can and am excited to see the iterations and where this goes!
 

sdbruder

Cable Smoosher
Mar 20, 2020
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That's exactly what I dream of an itx case, watching the thread and waiting for comercial availability (in EU, Germany in particular).
 
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fabio

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Apr 6, 2016
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FOLLOWING! That's funny, I've just proposed this layout two days ago on another projects thread! I love it!
Are you sure cannot be 16L?? Great job!
 
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Gerold

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doesn't have to shrink in width, but imo and from what they said here, there is still potential in height (and surely length).
Otherwise it would be a chubby ncase m1 alternative and wouldn't differ that much from what's on the market already.
(not design/look wise obviously)
 
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Max Fischer

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Mar 22, 2020
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Yes, if the case Size could be cut without compromise, that would be best to satisfy everyone on this forum and their insatiable appetite for space optimization (myself included) :p

But I feel the size and design IS what differentiates this case from others. The way it stands now, it’s a better designed and slim TU150 than a chubby M1.
 
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fabio

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I've said that after having used the D15 in the T1, I've considered that keeping the 200mm wide (Can be 190mm with NO PROBLEM: 170+10mm and you have 10mm left for the panel and structure), you can keep the length to 320mm/330 and having the depth of 250mm/255.
It allows you to to have 90mm of clearance almost for a 280 rad+fan!

330*190*255 = 15.99L and there is space between the GPU and the PSU to have SSD also
 
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adesignaddict

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Alright, so we've been busy over the weekend going through all of the comments on Instagram, Reddit, Emails, and here in this thread and here are some quick updates.

- ATX PSU support: The good news is that we were able to implement an optional ATX PSU bracket without changing much of the chassis. It would allow for up to 180mm long PSUs with 38mm clearance underneath for cables (though that's a tight fit, so we'd recommend sticking to shorter PSUs if possible) and up to 235mm long GPUs (total length with PCIe bracket at the end included in the measurement). The downside is that there was only one way to make it fit, which is at the front, parallel to the front plate. What this means is that there would be no room for 240mm/280mm radiators or front intake fans on the side bracket with this configuration. Given all that, would some of you still be interested in the ATX PSU bracket?




- Options for darker wood/all-aluminum versions: A couple of people have asked if we could offer dark wood or all metal front alternatives. At first, we figured sure why not. However, after giving it some thought, we came to the conclusion that it will be highly unrealistic that we can offer that many options right away, especially with the production quantities that we would be starting out with. We don't even know for sure if we can actually offer two different kinds of wood for the front panel right off the bat. But, what might be realistic is that we offer the aluminum front plate, powder-coated in the same colors as the exterior, as an optional accessory. Oh and just as a side note, we could also provide a cutting template for those that would like to make their own custom wood panel for the front.

Here's a quick render of what the all-aluminum version could look like:


What do you guys think?

- More flexibility for the front I/O (+ taller feet): Front I/O port options is a tricky subject. Of course, we would like to go as minimalistic as possible, however, including at least one port offers many benefits for a lot of users. Adding more than one port though adds additional cables that need to be routed, a higher cost to the end-user and a more cluttered look to the front of the case. Additionally, even though we personally like the idea of adding a front audio jack, we've had some bad experiences with these in the past as the quality seems to vary quite a bit and we would hate for this to happen to our case. So, at least for now, we've decided that a power button + one port in the front would make the most sense.

Our initial concept included a USB-C port at the front that was designed as a custom PCB in order to make it fit in that space. However, we totally understand that it would be frustrating for those that don't have the required motherboard header for it. So, we worked on a new front I/O that uses a standard cable for the USB-C port instead of the custom PCB solution. What this means is that we could offer both a USB 3.0 to USB-C and a USB 3.1 to USB-C cable for the front I/O (with one of those being an optional accessory). So the physical port at the front would be the same, but the plugs for the motherboard would allow for either header on the motherboard side. Of course, the speeds you'd get would be different, but at least you could still make use of that port in front. Making those cables fit though required a repositioning of the front I/O from the top left of the case to the bottom left and a vertical orientation vs. a horizontal one, which would look like this:


(This render also includes the addition of slightly taller feet than the ones we previously had. Slightly meaning 2mm taller. Yes, this sounds like it's nothing but we tried taller variations and to be quite honest, it just doesn't suit the design well at all. In case we do find a solution that works, then we'll post it here to get your feedback. Also, the feet are simply screwed on with a countersunk screw, so taller feet could be DIY'ed pretty easily if the current height simply doesn't work for someone.)

Here's a render of the chassis with old and new I/O side by side:


(Left: Previous front I/O; Right: New alternative)

The only thing that this new placement would change for the fit of the components would be that the cables for the SSD on the left would have to be routed through the top portion of the front panel (with the SSD orientation being upside down) as the cables do not fit in between the SSD and new front I/O module.


We're very interested to hear your thoughts on all this :)
 

Gerold

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Mar 19, 2020
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Thanks for you continued efforts and for keeping us in the loop, these are some really nice additions.
I can only speak for myself, so here are a few thoughts I have on the update:
  • I for my part don't care at all about ATX PSUs, as there are powerful enough alternatives in the sfx(-L) standard. Maybe offer the bracket as an accessorie?
  • love the all metal look, could you please give us renders of the cases in a dual-tone mode (black/white)? ?
  • I really like the idea of a more flexible IO as there are not that many ITX boards with an actual usb-c header as of now. Have you tried putting the new I/O solution on the bottom right to better avoid possible cable interference?
  • wouldn't worry too much about the feet height, before you didn't get the chance to benchmark temps in a prototype. (or what was the feedback on this? the first design iteration looked pretty good for what I'm concerned :) )
Another thought I had regarding the front panel, but it's a little stretch.
As there are a few people commenting on the IO placement, compatibility and also that some wouldn't need it at all, maybe this could also be a possible solution to offer:
Give the possibility to get the case/front panel without the IO altogether - a plain front panel, no bracket and no pcb.
Alter the back of the case and place a knock-out hole somewhere to accommodate either a power button or a fitting to drain/fill a liquid loop.
Something along those lines (but inwards):

This would obviously alter the aesthetics and wouldn't look as sleek, if not in use. But this could really be beneficial in some scenarios imo.
As I mentioned either for people that don't want the front IO or for custom water loops.
(totally unaware of a CNC / punch process though and this might not be possible at all ? )
I don't say the plain front panel should be the "standard" edition, but it could be a nice option to have.

Maybe something to take into consideration :)
 
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