Concept Project: Radian - 13 Liter Dual 240 Rad ITX Chassis

Biowarejak

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Project: Radian

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Starting 10/27/2017 I began all the computer aided design work using FreeCad, an amazing if quirky tool that's still essentially in apha - and totally free. About a week before that date, I was doodling in class, running off 5 hours of sleep and a Dr. Pepper, when the basic design of the front plate struck me. From there I spent a few days just roughing out the design, thinking about what I would want out of a case.

Of course, that meant a low volume, high efficiency factor design. I really wanted to use the aesthetic functionally, and so I did just that. The ITX Tray slots into the front panel, and mounts to the back with mod cubes. The top and bottom panels are vented in order to allow airflow to move directly throughout the chassis, further allowing the decorative use of full windowed side panels. The vents themselves have the same mounting flexibility as the Infinite Vents system and have inspiration both from there and the Compact Splash project.

The low volume necessitates using an unconventional power supply - The HD-Plex 300 Watt AC/DC. This, paired with their 400 Watt Hi-FI DC-ATX, will enable even high-end configurations. I made sure to allow room for 2 of the 300 Watt Converters, mounted on opposing sides of the ITX Tray, so that bifurcated builds would have enough overhead when using a merger unit.

Project: Radian supports reference length cards, but currently only when using a single 300 Watt AC/DC Converter on the motherboard side. Otherwise cards that are less than 218mm long are supported in the current iteration. I have a workaround pending, essentially mounting them perpendicularly and at the same time giving them more airflow exposure! The mounting points probably won't have to change for this, enabling greater flexibility for the end user.

The current design revolves around using mod cubes for construction and mounting the Hi-FI DC-ATX unit, with the ITX Tray being 5mm thick acrylic and the other panels being 3mm thick. Of course, this is subject to change! Going to imperial units would give me a TON of options in terms of materials - using aluminum would allow for a much stronger chassis with fewer screws.

Now, as for the name... The whole idea was a large radiator capacity! On both the top and the bottom it can fit a 35.5mm thick radiator and a 25mm fan. Due to the modding cubes it's generally expected that the user will mount the fan against the panel itself, giving enough clearance for everything. With this system you can reasonably expect to mount dual 240mm radiators in this chassis.

Oh, and the overall dimensions are 310mm*283mm*130mm. So that's a total volume of about 11.4 Liters. Not bad.

Now to figure out placement for the power button and IO...

A note on pumps and reservoirs --
At this point in time, dimensions being as they are, I have 59.5mm of height clearance above the ITX Tray. This means I can definitely fit an XSPC ION reservoir(/pump combo), and potentially a low profile pump of some sort. Let me know if you guys find one with dimensions listed. AIO solutions are also a definite option, especially the expandable ones. That said, I do want to see about adjusting things to fit a normal tube reservoir.
 
Last edited:

Ambushes

Trash Compacter
Aug 26, 2017
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Hey, looks great man. I noticed that one of your main selling points was space for radiators, but will there be space for a reservoir?
 
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Biowarejak

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Hey, looks great man. I noticed that one of your main selling points was space for radiators, but will there be space for a reservoir?
Ah, thank you! :) I've yet to include the mounting points but I'm hoping to have room for a tube reservoir on the opposing side of the HD-PLEX AC/DC converter. The design is more or less agnostic as to what goes on which side however. Otherwise, a T-Line is always an option. I may very well include cutouts for bulkhead fittings also, for fill and drain ports.

I'm also still deciding on what to do about case feet! Gotta have clearance for the bottom radiator :)
 

Ildar

Efficiency Noob
Oct 13, 2017
5
19
I like the layout. It is exactly what I want to use in my lazy-WIP case - two radiators at the bottom and top and all PC hardware in between :)
 
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Biowarejak

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I like the layout. It is exactly what I want to use in my lazy-WIP case - two radiators at the bottom and top and all PC hardware in between :)
Glad I'm not the only one who sees the value in it! :)
 

Colinreay

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 28, 2016
198
490
Looks great! I love how many of the main defining aesthetic features are also quite useful to the chassis structure/component mounting. Dual 240mm radiators in under 12 liters is going to be amazing!
 
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Biowarejak

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Looks great! I love how many of the main defining aesthetic features are also quite useful to the chassis structure/component mounting. Dual 240mm radiators in under 12 liters is going to be amazing!
Means a lot! Figuring out reservoir mounting now :) I'll update original post with that information soon.
 
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AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
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WOW. It looks amazing!!! Dual 240 under 12L is incredible and those renders are super nice.

As i love watercooling, i would like to know what components are you going to use?
 
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Biowarejak

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WOW. It looks amazing!!! Dual 240 under 12L is incredible and those renders are super nice.

As i love watercooling, i would like to know what components are you going to use?

Thanks, I really appreciate it! I'm not set on what components I'll use currently. I only have immediate access to couple 750 ti's and a few t-series processors. As for watercooling gear, I have a single XSPC EX Series 240mm Radiator that would fit. I'm designing with that and the EKWB offering in mind specifically, but I think I'll get another of what I currently own for a full build in the future. I also have an ION Reservoir/Pump Combo, which is neat but noisy, so I may well go with my Kelvin T12 block/pump. My fans are Noctua Industrial 3000 rpm models, but they can idle around 10% of that.
 
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Soul_Est

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Feb 12, 2016
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Really liking the design that you are working with there. FreeCAD definitely takes some getting used to as it is like the Blender of CAD: powerful and with a learning curve that is not always apparent. I think we may need to start looking at creating our own tutorials for when 0.17 drops. Looking forward to more and thank you for further inspiration.
 

Biowarejak

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Really liking the design that you are working with there. FreeCAD definitely takes some getting used to as it is like the Blender of CAD: powerful and with a learning curve that is not always apparent. I think we may need to start looking at creating our own tutorials for when 0.17 drops. Looking forward to more and thank you for further inspiration.
I'm glad you like this :) I was actually considering a basic case design tutorial on a smaller iteration of Radian. Funny you mention Blender, that's how I did my renders! The analogy is quite apt, quirky but powerful. I'm glad my efforts thus far have inspired you! I look forward to seeing whatever you produce.
 

Biowarejak

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Official Update #1


Played with the idea of an integral handle. Not sold on it, especially the volume penalty, but I feel like it might make assembly easier. You're supposed to be able to get things mounted on the tray before putting it all in the case anyway, and I've been watching lots of case reviews lately. Ease of assembly has been a big deal in a lot of them - those with removable trays ranking highly. I feel like the handle might help, but it doesn't seem too comfortable. Could probably be made detachable too though, so there's that. Thoughts?
 

DSE

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Feb 8, 2017
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Official Update #1


Played with the idea of an integral handle. Not sold on it, especially the volume penalty, but I feel like it might make assembly easier. You're supposed to be able to get things mounted on the tray before putting it all in the case anyway, and I've been watching lots of case reviews lately. Ease of assembly has been a big deal in a lot of them - those with removable trays ranking highly. I feel like the handle might help, but it doesn't seem too comfortable. Could probably be made detachable too though, so there's that. Thoughts?
I was playing with ideas for another case a few days ago; dual 240mm rads in under 12L is indeed impressive. I like the idea of the sliding motherboard tray. I wouldn't consider the handle to be a volume penalty since cables and their connectors would occupy the same volume as the handle when the computer is in use anyway. I can only imagine the handle being a negative thing for volume if the case were to be transported in a bag or case of some sort, in which special treatment would be needed for the handle.

From my own experience of working with acrylic for other projects in the past, I suggest that you make the handle thicker/more substantial since acrylic is a rather brittle material and would snap if someone were to carry the fully loaded case from the handle at its current thickness.

I'm liking the vent pattern as well, but again, I fear that the bars of the vent pattern, at their length and skinniness, would suffer from the same inherent problems of acrylic as the handle. Their length, combined with the 3mm thickness of the panel, would make them rather fragile and could easily break if the case were to be mishandled. Perhaps aluminum panels are a necessity for all sides of the case (except for the windowed side panels of course).

I actually have some 5mm acrylic sheet on hand, so I can mock up the handle and do some load bearing tests for you if you want. :)
 
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AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
774
Official Update #1


Played with the idea of an integral handle. Not sold on it, especially the volume penalty, but I feel like it might make assembly easier. You're supposed to be able to get things mounted on the tray before putting it all in the case anyway, and I've been watching lots of case reviews lately. Ease of assembly has been a big deal in a lot of them - those with removable trays ranking highly. I feel like the handle might help, but it doesn't seem too comfortable. Could probably be made detachable too though, so there's that. Thoughts?
The placement of the handle is strange, but good. With most case the handle is on top. But this one is on the back. It could be awesome it is had some kind of screwing mechanism that would allow it to be un screwed. So it can be just srewed back in when needed.

I personally like the idea of slide in motherboard tray, but that would be hard and possibly expensive to manufacture. Depending on the slide system.
But the benefit would be much easier mounting of components.

One thing to ask. Have you checked the clearance of the G1/4 inch ports on the radiators, becaus there would be a need for at least 30-35 mm of clearence for them, in order to not run in clearance issue with the motherboard?
 
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Biowarejak

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I was playing with ideas for another case a few days ago; dual 240mm rads in under 12L is indeed impressive. I like the idea of the sliding motherboard tray. I wouldn't consider the handle to be a volume penalty since cables and their connectors would occupy the same volume as the handle when the computer is in use anyway. I can only imagine the handle being a negative thing for volume if the case were to be transported in a bag or case of some sort, in which special treatment would be needed for the handle.

From my own experience of working with acrylic for other projects in the past, I suggest that you make the handle thicker/more substantial since acrylic is a rather brittle material and would snap if someone were to carry the fully loaded case from the handle at its current thickness.

I'm liking the vent pattern as well, but again, I fear that the bars of the vent pattern, at their length and skinniness, would suffer from the same inherent problems of acrylic as the handle. Their length, combined with the 3mm thickness of the panel, would make them rather fragile and could easily break if the case were to be mishandled. Perhaps aluminum panels are a necessity for all sides of the case (except for the windowed side panels of course).

I actually have some 5mm acrylic sheet on hand, so I can mock up the handle and do some load bearing tests for you if you want. :)

I really appreciate the input and the offer! :) Indeed, I feel acrylic would be far too brittle in this application. I've definitely toyed with the idea of using aluminum, especially with glass side panels. I've also considered using steel for everything but the motherboard tray, but weight concerns me since the only real benefit is magnetic dust filters. Overall though, I'm thinking aluminum is best suited for this project's goals.

The placement of the handle is strange, but good. With most case the handle is on top. But this one is on the back. It could be awesome it is had some kind of screwing mechanism that would allow it to be un screwed. So it can be just srewed back in when needed.

I personally like the idea of slide in motherboard tray, but that would be hard and possibly expensive to manufacture. Depending on the slide system.
But the benefit would be much easier mounting of components.

One thing to ask. Have you checked the clearance of the G1/4 inch ports on the radiators, becaus there would be a need for at least 30-35 mm of clearence for them, in order to not run in clearance issue with the motherboard?

I too questioned the handle placement! I was worried that people would set the poor thing on its face :p I'm thinking that as a separate piece, 5mm Aluminum could probably be drilled from the edge and a screw could run through it and into the back of the case. Oh! And yes I did check the clearance, the radiators ought to fit just fine. Gonna check compatibility for more of them though. I really wanted to put the whole interiour on rails, but it seems impractical considering the watercooling aspect. Instead I'd imagine people getting everything mounted to the tray outside of the case and then slotting it in.
 

Biowarejak

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Official Update #2




Oh. So. Pretty.
If I do say so myself, that is. Aesthetics aside, let's talk about what has changed here (and of course it's all still very subject to change).
  • Length: 289mm (was 280mm)
  • Width: 130mm
  • Height: 310mm
  • Volume: 11.65L (was 11.28L)
Oh, and of course it's using bends instead of mod cubes now. Not totally certain about how I want to mount the glass yet. Radiator length compatibility is still at a maximum of 280mm, and fans need to be mounted first due to the radius of the bend. I think the back looks too much like the S4 mini, but nevertheless. The motherboard tray mounts directly to the back panel through holes on its edge, a nut will be inserted for screw retention. I'm thinking a knurled nut would look very nice.

Also I'm really liking those X's - kinda sci fi, but they serve the functional purpose of providing mounting points for an HDPLEX 300 watt AC/DC and for reservoir mounting. There are also standard mounting points for that unit inside the motherboard area.

Thoughts? :)
 

DSE

SFF Lingo Aficionado
DSE
Feb 8, 2017
137
390
Official Update #2




Oh. So. Pretty.
If I do say so myself, that is. Aesthetics aside, let's talk about what has changed here (and of course it's all still very subject to change).
  • Length: 289mm (was 280mm)
  • Width: 130mm
  • Height: 310mm
  • Volume: 11.65L (was 11.28L)
Oh, and of course it's using bends instead of mod cubes now. Not totally certain about how I want to mount the glass yet. Radiator length compatibility is still at a maximum of 280mm, and fans need to be mounted first due to the radius of the bend. I think the back looks too much like the S4 mini, but nevertheless. The motherboard tray mounts directly to the back panel through holes on its edge, a nut will be inserted for screw retention. I'm thinking a knurled nut would look very nice.

Also I'm really liking those X's - kinda sci fi, but they serve the functional purpose of providing mounting points for an HDPLEX 300 watt AC/DC and for reservoir mounting. There are also standard mounting points for that unit inside the motherboard area.

Thoughts? :)
Oh my damn.

Who is this case; because this isn't the Radian we've seen before. This is a Radian that'll steal your wallet and make you feel good it did. This is the Radian that everyone made fun of in middle school but grew up to become a model.

Incredible what some curves can do to a design.

Loving those X's too. They're giving me an idea for a vent pattern.
 

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
Original poster
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Mar 6, 2017
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Oh my damn.

Who is this case; because this isn't the Radian we've seen before. This is a Radian that'll steal your wallet and make you feel good it did. This is the Radian that everyone made fun of in middle school but grew up to become a model.

Incredible what some curves can do to a design.

Loving those X's too. They're giving me an idea for a vent pattern.
Woohoo! I really appreciate it. :) I'm curious what your vent pattern will look like!
 

AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
774
Official Update #2




Oh. So. Pretty.
If I do say so myself, that is. Aesthetics aside, let's talk about what has changed here (and of course it's all still very subject to change).
  • Length: 289mm (was 280mm)
  • Width: 130mm
  • Height: 310mm
  • Volume: 11.65L (was 11.28L)
Oh, and of course it's using bends instead of mod cubes now. Not totally certain about how I want to mount the glass yet. Radiator length compatibility is still at a maximum of 280mm, and fans need to be mounted first due to the radius of the bend. I think the back looks too much like the S4 mini, but nevertheless. The motherboard tray mounts directly to the back panel through holes on its edge, a nut will be inserted for screw retention. I'm thinking a knurled nut would look very nice.

Also I'm really liking those X's - kinda sci fi, but they serve the functional purpose of providing mounting points for an HDPLEX 300 watt AC/DC and for reservoir mounting. There are also standard mounting points for that unit inside the motherboard area.

Thoughts? :)
That is looking AWESOME.

Keep going, because i want to see it completed.:)