Concept Mosquito - Bent plywood sandwich case

robbee

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After my first Stoomdoos custom case and the Mikros followup, I'm ready for my third custom build. This one will be a crossover between the two: a 3D printed core with a bent plywood bezel. It takes the design language of the Mikros but spices things up with some more interesting materials. Introducing Mosquito, named after the wooden plane that was used during WWII and was made out of the same material, airplane plywood.

The case will be a sandwich style case, sporting 4 case fans, able to hold a 2 slot GPU up to 232mm long, a 40mm CPU cooler and will use the HDPlex 400W AC-DC and DC-ATX combo. At 242 x 220 x 109, it has a volume of about 5.8L.

The concept is about finished and the core has been made print-ready. I'm waiting for some hardware to arrive to double check on some dimensions and then I'm looking at a 25 hour print on my Prusa i3 MK3S.

Next step will be to order the plywood. They're pieces of 'aircraft plywood', extra thin sheets that are still made of at least 3 layers and that can be as thin as 0.4mm. I'm going to attempt to glue a couple of 0.8mm pieces together around a mold so I can bend the bezel around the core as 1 piece. Drilling the ventilation holes in the bezel will be another nut to crack, but let's worry about bending the wood first.

Here are some pictures of the current concept:

1.jpg

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5.jpg
 

warmack

Trash Compacter
Warmack Woodworks
Nov 4, 2018
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I'm looking forward to the build!

For drilling ventilation holes, you might try 3D printing a guide with the pattern you want and just using a hand drill with a nice brad point bit. You just gotta keep that drill bit cool.
 
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robbee

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Meanwhile, the HDPlex and the plywood have arrived. The dimensions have been double checked and core parts are now ready to be printed. I'm just waiting on an order of Greentec Pro filament to arrive. This stuff is supposed to be temperature resistant to over 100°C, should be plenty for even the hottest hardware!

parts.jpg
 
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smitty2k1

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Dec 3, 2016
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Wow this looks incredible. Been waiting for more mini sandwich + AC/DC+DC/ATX PSU combos to drool over.
 

Rom29292

Cable Smoosher
May 28, 2017
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Very nice Disgn
Do you have enough space on the Gpu side for the Hdplex?
spacer + Pci riser + Hdplex + connectors?
 

robbee

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For drilling ventilation holes, you might try 3D printing a guide with the pattern you want and just using a hand drill with a nice brad point bit. You just gotta keep that drill bit cool.

That's a really good idea, gonna give that a go!

Very nice Disgn
Do you have enough space on the Gpu side for the Hdplex?
spacer + Pci riser + Hdplex + connectors?

There should be enough. There's about 16mm left for the connector + cable bend. When i forcefully bend the cables, I get it down to 12mm. I'll have to be carefull that they don't push the side panel outwards though.
 

robbee

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Received the .8mm plywood and cut the strips that will be glued together. It's really flexible but I was still a bit anxious at dry bending it around a 15mm radius. I decided to try it with a leftover piece before trying it with steam or water. Lo and behold, it managed to make the bend without cracks. This stuff is impressive!

DSC_0323.jpg
 
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robbee

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Progress!

The core has been printed and assembled. It wasn't too easy to build in it, but I managed and everything is sitting snug inside.

CPU side. Cooler fan is detached to test fan fitment in the top and bottom, only have one 9x14 atm. Forgot to make the corner screw holes countersunk, I'll see if I can change that with a drill rather than reprinting.

DSC_0350.JPG

GPU side. I've used my 1070 aero ITX from my previous build and as you see there's quite some room for larger cards. Cable management will become harder but I think it'll be fine. I had to bend the HDPlex cables prett hard so they wouldn't stick out of the case. Doesn't look too pretty but it fits like this.

DSC_0355.JPG

I'm planning to have 2 fans on the top and 2 fans on the bottom. Still have to order those fans though, but they'll provide plenty of fresh air to the hardware.

DSC_0352.JPG

Right now, The first 2 layers of wood for the bezel have been glued together around the mold. I'll need 6 layers in total so that's gonna take me a little while to finish.
 

smitty2k1

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Dec 3, 2016
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Progress!

The core has been printed and assembled. It wasn't too easy to build in it, but I managed and everything is sitting snug inside.

CPU side. Cooler fan is detached to test fan fitment in the top and bottom, only have one 9x14 atm. Forgot to make the corner screw holes countersunk, I'll see if I can change that with a drill rather than reprinting.

View attachment 428

GPU side. I've used my 1070 aero ITX from my previous build and as you see there's quite some room for larger cards. Cable management will become harder but I think it'll be fine. I had to bend the HDPlex cables prett hard so they wouldn't stick out of the case. Doesn't look too pretty but it fits like this.

View attachment 430

I'm planning to have 2 fans on the top and 2 fans on the bottom. Still have to order those fans though, but they'll provide plenty of fresh air to the hardware.

View attachment 429

Right now, The first 2 layers of wood for the bezel have been glued together around the mold. I'll need 6 layers in total so that's gonna take me a little while to finish.
Hey man that's lookin' great. Definitely a 'perfect' layout!
I would think doing a counter sink with a drill should be straight forward in the soft plastic, you may even be able to get away using a standard jobber drill bit instead of a specialty one (if you don't have one laying around already).
 

robbee

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Hey man that's lookin' great. Definitely a 'perfect' layout!
I would think doing a counter sink with a drill should be straight forward in the soft plastic, you may even be able to get away using a standard jobber drill bit instead of a specialty one (if you don't have one laying around already).

Thanks! A thing to note though is that the plastic isn't solid. I have to be careful that I don't drill deeper than the amount of perimeters printed before the infill, but I'm pretty confident that it'll be OK.
 

robbee

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A long overdue update on the bezel! With my baby boy being born, progress has slowed down a lot, but it hasn't halted.

Glueing the wood layers around the mold went really well. I ended up^using 1 less layer than I initially planned because the bezel was thick enough already.

DSC_0376.jpg

DSC_0378.jpg

Before i glued on the last layer, I put some threaded inserts in the bezel. This allowed me to hide them on the outside with the last layer.

DSC_0383.jpg

On the inside:

DSC_0387.jpg

Next step was to drill the ventilation holes in the top and bottom. I went with the suggestion of using a 3D printed template for the drill holes so I could drill them in the exact position. After a long session of drilling and a painful wrist, the holes were drilled. There was 1 issue though, either my drill bit was not sharp enough or either the 3D printed template wasn't stiff enough. The drill holes didn't look good with lots of splinters around the edges and sanding couldn't really fix it.

DSC_0400.jpg

DSC_0683.jpg

It was actually worse than the picture may show, so I had to go with plan B. I decided I would get rid of the ventilation holes and cut one big hole that I would cover with a nice fabric. Choosing the right fabric, this could even improve airflow, I hoped.

I've now ordered some samples from different fabrics. As of now, I've only received a sample of speaker fabric that looked really good but doesn't let through a lot of air. It was big enough to test it though, so I made a cover for the hole.

DSC_0684.jpg

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Out go the ventilation holes.

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And in comes the new cover. I really like the look of it so I don't mind the failed ventilation holes so much. I will have to look for another fabric though because this one blocks most airflow. I'm now looking at some curtain stores because they seem to sell looser woven fabrics that have the same nice looks. I'll keep you guys posted!
 
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Shatrod

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Artesian Builds
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I have tried speaker fabric before and found it to also be incredibly restrictive. I have had great results with "filter foam" and stockings. The stockings block almost no airflow but don't look very good, they are too see through for my liking
 

smitty2k1

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Dec 3, 2016
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Nice update! Looking good!

As someone who has dabbled in woodworking in the past, you need to have a 'sacrificial' board under the through hole you drill. Pretty much no matter what, when your drill bit goes out the other side it 'blows out' part of the wood (whether it is plywood or solid wood).

This video gives a quick explanation:
 

warmack

Trash Compacter
Warmack Woodworks
Nov 4, 2018
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I’d recommend a brad point bit for drilling the holes if you decide to redo it. Traditional bits don’t sever the fibers of the wood before they drill the hole. A good Brad point bit would solve this. The recommendation about a sacrificial board was also a good one. I’d put on the the top and bottom of the cut to help support the wood fibers during the cut...

but this all seems moot at this point as you seem to like the fabric look. I think the fabric has an interesting retro look that I like.
 

robbee

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I have tried speaker fabric before and found it to also be incredibly restrictive. I have had great results with "filter foam" and stockings. The stockings block almost no airflow but don't look very good, they are too see through for my liking

I've used stockings in the past on the inside of cases as a dust filter, they worked really well for that, but I'm looking for something that looks better. At the moment I have this sample which is promising:

DSC_0744.JPG

As someone who has dabbled in woodworking in the past, you need to have a 'sacrificial' board under the through hole you drill.

Yeah I know and I always use it, the splinters were actually on the top side of the drill and not the bottom. The 3D printed part may not have been stiff enough to really lock the plywood into place.

I’d recommend a brad point bit for drilling the holes if you decide to redo it.

A little late for that, but yeah I used a brad point :D The plywood having such super thin layers (about .3mm per layer) is just very unforgiving for these things I guess.
 
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warmack

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Warmack Woodworks
Nov 4, 2018
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A little late for that, but yeah I used a brad point :D The plywood having such super thin layers (about .3mm per layer) is just very unforgiving for these things I guess.

Ah oh well. I have found that some brad point bits don't perform as well as others, but I've also never drilled through the think layer ply that you're working with. A tiny forstner bit might be another thing to try if there is ever a next time.

Regardless, I think this will look really slick when you're done! I'm looking forward to the next update.
 
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