Completed Ocelot Boreal (B35) 3.5L

Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
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Hello guys!

Just a brief introduction: I'm an electrical engineering student in the San Francisco bay area, and love industrial engineering. I have been thinking about the idea of making my own case for a while, but haven't had the time to sit down and do it until now. That being said, I do hope to turn around a prototype of this case pretty quick.

I don't expect a lot of interest in this case given how niche it is (especially in the GPU department) . It has been designed for CAD work and light gaming. However, I did want to share it with you guys and get some feedback on it. And hey, if someone IS interested in the case or a variant thereof, that'd be great as well.

Anyway, what's going into this case?

CPU: Intel i7 7700K
Motherboard: Asus Strix Z270i Gaming
RAM: G.Skill TridentZ RGB 32GB
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i
GPU: Nvidia Quadro K2200 or M2000 or P2000 <--- these are the only cards that will fit in this case
PSU: 300W G-Unique Type-A
Storage: Samsung 960 Evo 1TB NVMe SSD
Cooling: 3x NF-A6x25 PWM​

The idea behind this case is that I can put my main machine into a pelican case and take it with me, as I commute pretty regularly. It also has to be durable and beautiful (obviously).

The case consists of six parts:

Exterior Frame
Interior Frame
Right Panel
Side Panel
Base

Front Panel

* [1mm steel, powder coated] , [3mm bent bamboo or bent wood]
What does it look like?

Here are a few very early design shots of the Ocelot Boreal:



Only a cutout for the anti-vandal power button (with an RGB ring, of course), in the front. The fasteners mounting the front/top panel will match the power coated steel.



Not a lot of IO on this case, aside from what's at the back. The G-Unique PSU connector is an 8-pin Molex, which fits nicely into the low profile of the GPU section.



Yep, that's a cutout for the RAM. The TridentZ is 44mm tall, and will be pretty much flush with the edge of the case. (I promise I didn't do this just to display the RGB haha).





The three 60mm fans sit at the bottom, as intakes, cooling both the motherboard and graphics card. The graphics card is attached to the motherboard via a PCIe riser extension (similar to the Dan Case A4).



I really like the wide stance that the base provides (inspired by the Dr.Zaber Sentry).
While this is by no means the final revision of this case, I do think I'll stick to this form factor for now. If I am successful with producing this case (and if it doesn't drain my wallet) I will consider making a longer version that could fit a Galax GTX 1080 Katana (a single-slot 260mm card), with a beefier G-Unique PSU.

I will be updating this post as I polish this design. I hope to have a prototype done this summer. I don't know how much this will cost me, but I hope that it won't break the bank (I haven't got any invoices yet...)

Please let me know if you have any thought/improvements/critiques of the Boreal. Thank you for checking it out!
 
Last edited:

Boil

SFF Guru
Nov 11, 2015
1,025
832
At first, reminded me of this:

https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/project-jolokia-tiny-but-potent.1343/

But yours is a bit smaller...

I do think you should consider using the LATEST version of the Noctua cooler you mention...

Anyway, what's going into this case?

CPU: Intel i7 7700K
Motherboard: Asus Strix Z270i Gaming
RAM: G.Skill TridentZ RGB 32GB
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L8i
GPU: Nvidia Quadro K2200 or M2000 or P2000 <--- these are the only cards that will fit in this case
PSU: 300W G-Unique Type-A
Storage: Samsung 960 Evo 1TB NVMe SSD
Cooling: 3x NF-A6x25 PWM
You list the L8i, the L9i is better... ;^p
 
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Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
22
71

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Lovely, bent wood is so awesome to look at, and bamboo is a very sustainable material to work with. I also like the RAM cutout, did you lend that from LTTs S4 build?

Why did you choose to go with a single slot GPU? The only strong one I know would be the GALAX 1070 Katana, and I'm not sure you'd have enough space for the power connector of that card.

I guess you will mount the G-unique PSU to the front of the case?

anti-vandal power button (with an RGB ring, of course)
Yeah!
 

Boil

SFF Guru
Nov 11, 2015
1,025
832
...bamboo...

...RAM cutout, did you lend that from LTTs S4 build?

Why did you choose to go with a single slot GPU? The only strong one I know would be the GALAX 1070 Katana, and I'm not sure you'd have enough space for the power connector of that card.

I guess you will mount the G-unique PSU to the front of the case?
Bamboo is, indeed, a very cool material...

Regarding the single RAM cutout, do TWO cutouts (one for each DIMM) instead, even more of a cool way to show off the RGB...!

Dual slot GPU capability would allow a better range of ITX GPUs (up to GTX 1070s & RX Vega Nanos) to be used & would also allow for dual 92mm fans below rather than triple (noisier?) 60mm fans below...

Towards the G-Unique; I believe the OP is planning on using an external power brick with the G-Unique Pico-style PSU...?
 
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iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Regarding the single RAM cutout, do TWO cutouts (one for each DIMM) instead, even more of a cool way to show off the RGB...!
I don't think there's enough clearance between the two DIMMs to make them separate cutous, but a single one seems to do the job just fine.

Dual slot GPU capability would allow a better range of ITX GPUs (up to GTX 1070s & RX Vega Nanos) to be used & would also allow for dual 92mm fans below rather than triple (noisier?) 60mm fans below...
Absolutely, but I'm pretty sure @Cawa has a good reason for their decision.

Towards the G-Unique; I believe the OP is planning on using an external power brick with the G-Unique Pico-style PSU...?
Ah true, I thought he was talking about their large offerings. Pico-style makes a lot more sense.
 
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Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
22
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I also like the RAM cutout, did you lend that from LTTs S4 build?

Why did you choose to go with a single slot GPU? The only strong one I know would be the GALAX 1070 Katana, and I'm not sure you'd have enough space for the power connector of that card
Yep, I totally stole that from that build haha. I even wanted to get a kit of Dominator Platinum, but decided that the TridentZ would look a little better.

I am currently making a version for a dual slot card. I'll show it in a bit :)
 

Biowarejak

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Mar 6, 2017
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I think it's pretty cool, and I love the Bamboo incorporation, my only worry is about those feet. Sure they won't scratch the table?
 

Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
22
71
Just a quick update:

It turns out that it is quite difficult to get wood - any wood bent at such a tight radius (~15mm). Luckily, this design allows for interchangeable front panels. So now the question is which material to use. Carbon fiber or any other composites require very high tooling costs, so that just leaves metals. This is what I'm currently considering:

Brushed Copper
Brushed Aluminum
Powdercoated Steel (matching the main structure)​

Given that this build will feature RGB, I'm not sure I really sure an accent like copper or aluminum is required. But I would like to hear what your guys' thoughts are on this, and whether there are any other materials I ought to consider.

Most of the hardware for the build has come in this week, so I am able to take more accurate dimensions to finalize the structure design. The 60mm Noctua fans are just the cutest things! Also, I managed to find an RGB 16mm button that I think will do a fine job as a placeholder until I can get my hands on one of iFreilicht's Aura units :D

I'll probably start sending out quotes for the sheet metal work this week as I'm finalizing the design. I'm not really sure what to expect in terms of price but I sure do hope that it won't be much over $200.
 

Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
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What about bending aluminium and then gluing super-thin wood veneer onto that?
I though about doing something similar, but I am worried about the sides being exposed. In theory, if the panel is thick enough, the sides could also be covered in veneer, but in practice I'm afraid it'll look a little too shabby. But I do think it's worth experimenting with it considering how cheap of a solution it'd be.

Actually, I think I have some veneer at home and some scrap aluminum billet at work, so I might follow up with that haha.
 

iFreilicht

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Feb 28, 2015
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Hm, good point.

What about hydro-dipping then? I've seen a few keyboards that had their cases hydro-dipped to look like wood, maybe that could work?
 

Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
22
71
Just a quick update on the project:

I have finalized the design. No a lot has changed- mostly just small alterations to measurements. I have moved the GPU bracket inside and reduced the overall number of fasteners used. One big change is the front panel, which is now steel instead of wood. This design change was forced because it was impossible to machine wood that thin, and having plywood bent would be far too expensive. Having a steel front panel means that I will have the option to add veneer over it, or hydro-dip it. Although, it's possible that I'll just leave it as is if it looks good. Here are some renderings of the final design sans fasteners:





For those curious, renderings were made using OneRender, a plug-in for OnShape.

I am currently working with Protocase to manufacture this design. I anticipate having some pictures of the case in about a week.
 

Cawa

Caliper Novice
Original poster
OCELOT DESIGN
May 21, 2017
22
71
Update time!

I've been holding off on making an update until I finished the build, but I feel like it's been a while, and I'm honestly very excited about there the build is now, so here are some pictures of the build in its current state!




I really like how the case come out. Protocase did an amazing job- the fit and finish of all the parts was way beyond my expectations! As you can see, I'm still missing the front panel. It is currently being manufactured by my local machine shop- Iggy Unlimited in Mountain View. We decided to use 5052 aluminum, which will allow the panel to be a little thicker (about 3mm), which will give the case more dimension. I still haven't decided on the finish of the front panel, but it will look good regardless.





The left and right panels also have to be replaced. The right panel (the one next to the GPU) bows in a couple millimeters. My machine shop told me that this is most likely due to inherent stress in the steel. I made a small miscalculation when designing the RAM cutout, which lead to a small offset. This bothered me enough to order a second set of side panels from Protocase. The new panels will be made out of 16 gauge steel (as opposed to the 20 gauge steel used in the rest of the case). The RAM cutout will also be fixed in the new left panel.





The assembly experience was... interesting. This definitely isn't the easiest case to work in. The tolerances for everything were extremely tight. However, due to a minimal number of cables and harnesses in this build, cable management was relatively easy. The most difficult challenge was putting in the graphics card- this piece of the puzzle took me about 10 minutes to put in! There are definitely changes I would make this easier to build in.





The orange Pelican 1500 will be the home of the Ocelot B35 in its travels. I'm working on sewing up a sleeve for it, because I am a little worried about dust accumulation when its not in use. I do plan on eventually making some custom dust filters, but that will have to wait till later.




Running PC Benchmark, the computer stayed pretty cool, and is nearly silent with regular use. This is exactly what I envisioned when I was designing this computer! I anticipate the build to be finished in the next few weeks, and I look forward to sharing it with your guys with a much larger picture set. Let me know what you think! Is there anything you like, or don't like, or would change? Does the flipped I/O shield bother you as much as it bothers me?