Prototype MT4-S - Compact and flexible 4 liter case

What finish would you prefer on this case?

  • Bare brushed aluminum

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Black powder-coated

    Votes: 8 66.7%
  • Two-tone (black inner frame with silver exterior)

    Votes: 2 16.7%

  • Total voters
    12

Curiosity

SFF>Speed
Silver Supporter
Apr 30, 2016
586
631
Looking good!

Was sendcutsend able to cut all the holes in the parts?
I was thinking of using them but am concerned they won't be able to cut the holes in my plates based on what it says on their website.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Nov 1, 2015
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Looking good!

Was sendcutsend able to cut all the holes in the parts?
I was thinking of using them but am concerned they won't be able to cut the holes in my plates based on what it says on their website.
I have had no issues at all so far with the parts I've received. Most of the closed shapes are slots that are spaced at least farther apart than the sheet is thick, and round holes are only 3mm diameter. You'd mostly encounter problems if they try to laser cut a grid of many holes with thin material, which could lead to uneven heating and warping.
 

Curiosity

SFF>Speed
Silver Supporter
Apr 30, 2016
586
631
I have had no issues at all so far with the parts I've received. Most of the closed shapes are slots that are spaced at least farther apart than the sheet is thick, and round holes are only 3mm diameter. You'd mostly encounter problems if they try to laser cut a grid of many holes with thin material, which could lead to uneven heating and warping.
That's good to hear. I was planning on some 3-4mm holes in 6mm aluminum, so maybe it'll work out. I'd just email them with an STL but my PC is non functional at the moment. :)
 

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Shrink Way Wielder
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So far these pieces are fitting well, the first frame is already assembled and I didn't have all the pieces for the other frames yet because I wasn't 100% sure if the pieces will connect and hold well. But now that I know that they do, I placed an order for the remaining two frames. I will have three frames assembled soon, in about a week.

For these prototypes, I may just use flat panels all around instead of the wrap-around, unless I can find a source to bend sheet metal rather cheaply. It's only one piece out of the whole case that needs to be bent. Unfortunately, Sliger is backed up with powdercoat work so I won't be able to use them soon for powdercoating the pieces. Also, I had to make a few small modifications to the back panel since some of the PSU rear installation holes were about 1mm off.

Once I get the frames assembled, I will be able to take orders for these prototypes beginning with the three cases. A minimum of 5-10 orders would be good since costs can start to work in my favor when scaling up production. These have a "semi-rough" finish- they are all unpainted, brushed aluminum, but they are de-burred and relatively less sharp. The pieces are not anodized,so you will have to be extra careful to prevent scratching on the surfaces.

That's good to hear. I was planning on some 3-4mm holes in 6mm aluminum, so maybe it'll work out. I'd just email them with an STL but my PC is non functional at the moment. :)
Yeah that's some thick aluminum plate but it'll work. They prefer DXF files (or maybe SVG) since their process works in 2 dimensions.
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Update: I'm considering a $100 target price for the pre-production model for the case only. This price excludes PCI-e riser and shipping. However, because those come with a few design alterations (mainly for easier installation of components), the upcoming 2 case frames that I will receive are using the old design. Because of this, I will be offering those two at $90 per case. These are only internal design changes. So if you're up for a pre-order I can offer those two cases with the older frame first if you are fine with the differences.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Here's a drawing of the current design as it stands. There is now room for an additional 2.5" hard drive by the front of the case if you're using a GPU that's 175mm in length or less. This especially would help with builds using HD-PLEX power supplies for those that want to go both silent and brickless. What you see here is a 400W AC brick (set up in fanless mode so it's 300W of passive power)

 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
814
418
Here's a drawing of the current design as it stands. There is now room for an additional 2.5" hard drive by the front of the case if you're using a GPU that's 175mm in length or less. This especially would help with builds using HD-PLEX power supplies for those that want to go both silent and brickless. What you see here is a 400W AC brick (set up in fanless mode so it's 300W of passive power)

Looking VERY nice!
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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More frame parts arrived today. This makes up frames for a total of three cases. Just the outer body panels are missing.



I have started assembling these frames, although there are more blemishes and discoloration in the metal parts than I expected this time, especially with the small edge pieces that join the larger ones. Also will be manually countersinking more holes. I will try to make sure these pieces have a more uniform finish in the future which could mean just re-arranging how I export the different files for the parts individually.

Each case here will have its fair share of scratches too, but they're less noticeable in some angles. I feel like I can't reasonably sell this initial batch at a full price, given the finishing imperfections so probably will go with a reduce price for them.
 
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the1q

Caliper Novice
Jun 3, 2019
33
50
Very interested. The new design has a bit of Lone L5 in it (which I absolutely love). This case might give me a path to a better GPU for my Hackintosh since AMD low profile cards max out at RX560.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Very interested. The new design has a bit of Lone L5 in it (which I absolutely love). This case might give me a path to a better GPU for my Hackintosh since AMD low profile cards max out at RX560.
Thanks for the feedback. I never thought of comparing it to the L5 before. Feature-wise I would say it's very similar to the K39 in terms of size, and CPU cooler and GPU compatibility.

Like you I also want to dive deeper into Hackintosh and of course Nvidia Turing GPUs won't cut it. I'm disappointed as well with the low profile options so I will have to go with a RX 480 instead (and perhaps later upgrade to 5600 XT or 5700 XT).
 
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Shrink Way Wielder
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I'm just about done with assembling the frames. I just need to countersink some holes for tomorrow, and then I'll take some more pictures.

With three cases completed, I plan to sell two of them and keep one as a demo/display case. I will also sell the very first prototype, the one made with corner cubes. Funds from the sales will go towards the production of future batches with a further refined version of the case.
 

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Shrink Way Wielder
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As I have now replaced my test GPU with one requiring additional PCIe power, I have a better working system to test builds with.

First, the bad news- there are a couple of measurement inaccuracies that were made more apparent when I have installed the motherboard and GPU. They're as follows:
  • Only motherboards with bare thin metal I/O shields could line up flush with the standoffs. Spongy/thick I/O shields with extra padding will make it almost impossible to line them up. You'd have to go without an I/O shield to install those boards.
  • A 20cm PCIe riser cable is just too short to properly align and connect with the motherboard. This can be corrected either by raising the GPU mounting points by >5mm or by using a longer PCIe riser cable (24-25cm is ideal).
  • For some reason I have the slot too small where the top of GPU bracket slides into, compared to the very first case I made. The GPU required extra force to push into place, scratching one side of the motherboard tray.
  • GPU I/O slot is too narrow for certain video cables. Plugs for HDMI and DisplayPort could be too thick to connect properly, so you may need a thin cable such as this one.
These issues will make installation more difficult than expected, depending on your parts configuration.
Now for the good news- PSU installation is mostly flawless and as expected, and only two cases have been made with these inaccuracies.

The laser cutting shop fortunately uses very low price minimums for orders so not many cases were wasted. They are still usable, but will be more constrained on what parts you can use. The current design I have right now corrects the problems mentioned above. Motherboard mounting is shifted 1mm, GPU is raised by 5mm so you can still use 20cm riser cables, and GPU bracket slots are all enlarged overall.

The exterior volume of the cases remains unchanged. This is another good thing- the dimensions of the case are the same so I can use the same outer panels for the revised cases as the old ones.
 
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Thehack

Shrink Way Wielder
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Mar 6, 2016
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As I have now replaced my test GPU with one requiring additional PCIe power, I have a better working system to test builds with.

First, the bad news- there are a couple of measurement inaccuracies that were made more apparent when I have installed the motherboard and GPU. They're as follows:
  • Only motherboards with bare thin metal I/O shields could line up flush with the standoffs. Spongy/thick I/O shields with extra padding will make it almost impossible to line them up. You'd have to go without an I/O shield to install those boards.
  • A 20cm PCIe riser cable is just too short to properly align and connect with the motherboard. This can be corrected either by raising the GPU mounting points by >5mm or by using a longer PCIe riser cable (24-25cm is ideal).
  • For some reason I have the slot too small where the top of GPU bracket slides into, compared to the very first case I made. The GPU required extra force to push into place, scratching one side of the motherboard tray.
  • GPU I/O slot is too narrow for certain video cables. Plugs for HDMI and DisplayPort could be too thick to connect properly, so you may need a thin cable such as this one.
These issues will make installation more difficult than expected, depending on your parts configuration.
Now for the good news- PSU installation is mostly flawless and as expected, and only two cases have been made with these inaccuracies.

The laser cutting shop fortunately uses very low price minimums for orders so not many cases were wasted. They are still usable, but will be more constrained on what parts you can use. The current design I have right now corrects the problems mentioned above. Motherboard mounting is shifted 1mm, GPU is raised by 5mm so you can still use 20cm riser cables, and GPU bracket slots are all enlarged overall.

The exterior volume of the cases remains unchanged. This is another good thing- the dimensions of the case are the same so I can use the same outer panels for the revised cases as the old ones.
Did you miss adding a setback for the motherboard standoff?
 

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Shrink Way Wielder
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Updated side and back views of the internal case layout, which include proper mounting locations for the PCIe riser cable, enlarged slot for the GPU bracket, and extra power button hole in the back near the power supply for a total of two (one each for 12mm and 16mm buttons). The position for mounting a SSD on the side has been moved forward by 20mm so that routing of cables is easier from either side no matter which way you install the SSD.

The inner dimension shows the recommended maximum GPU length if you're not using a 2.5" SSD mounted in the front.

 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Pre-production poll - see first post

I plan to sell this original prototype case very soon, to at least help out with the production of the pre-order cases to follow. I will set up a poll on pre-ordering. Let me know if you're interested in pre-ordering and what kind of finish would you prefer on the case! I will take these answers in account for how the first batch of cases will look.
 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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One more update for you, featuring the three case frames as assembled. Aside from the few measurement inaccuracies in motherboard and GPU mounting, the case parts have a good quality fit (for unpainted and untreated material) and could even work for open frame setups as they are right now.





 
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CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
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Quality of the laser cut really looks good. Are you planning to have them anodized?
Probably not these ones in particular. I only have the three and don't consider the design to be production ready with the aforementioned flaws. I'll more likely sell these first cases with the bare finish and let the customer paint or anodize the case themselves as they see fit.
 
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