Log Reusing old parts and learning CAD = 6.25L* mATX case

slydex

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Apr 30, 2018
4
9
Hey everybody,

so during Corona and lots and lots of home office i was bored with the everyday buisness and decided that i needed something to tinker on.

Getting a rudimentary understanding of CAD was always on my list of things to learn, so right away i downloaded FreeCAD and started reading/watching some tutorials.
After several simple concepts i made on a learning-by-doing basis, i made a list of all the parts i had still lying around and ended up with the following components for a potential system:
  • Intel i7-4790k
  • ASRock Z87M OC Formula
  • 4x4GB Crucial DDR3L-1600
  • Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
  • Mini-Box PicoPsu 150W
With help of the awesome 'wiki' by the protocase people, i came up with this design in FreeCAD:


It would be a small console-style case (290mm x 266mm x 81mm) with a skeleton made out of extruded aluminium rods (Makerbeams) and laser cut wooden panels mounted to it.
As i don't plan to use a dedicated gpu i went with half height pcie slots, which is plenty for a wifi and usb 3.1 card that i plan to use later on.
The pcie card will not be locked by a screw though the top panel but rather by a press fit though the top cover. For the bottom part of the extension cards i added a little slot in the bottom. As the case will be in horizontal position, i hope this will be enough to secure the cards.



Furthermore, i decided to buy a be quiet! Shadow Rock LP and make it fit by 'modding' the fan by removing the top screw mounts so it would basically just be a cylinder sticking out of the top cover of the case.

Next up, i looked around my local area and found a neat little shop with a laser cutter and after a little chat they were happy to cut my panels from birch wood.
I ordered all the other remaining parts too (power button, feet, screws and so on) and waited patiently for everything to arrive.

With the panels actually arriving last, i cut the aluminium rods, threaded the ends and carefully started assembling everything, dreadfully expecting a major mistake in my planing...
..., but somehow everything worked out just fine:


So i sanded the panels and stained the wood to give it a retro/industrial style.
And wow - the finish makes all the difference! I am really happy how it turned out given this is my first take on designing something from scratch:



I am not completely finished as of now, as e.g. the expansion cards are still missing and it needs to be seen if at all or how well they really fit and i got a couple of other ideas along the way on how to further improve the case design, but most of the work is done and i will keep you updated if you like. ☺

If you have any comments or ideas, please let me know! If not, i hope you liked this mini worklog. 😉

Greetings,
slydex
 

jmarin

Airflow Optimizer
Mar 8, 2018
234
156
Wow that looks awesome man! I love the wood look and choice of stain. Where did you get your aluminum rods and screws from? I have been looking for something similar but can't seem to find exactly what I am looking for (I am probably not searching with the right terminology).
 

slydex

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Apr 30, 2018
4
9
@jmarin thanks a lot! Glad you liked it! The rods are from https://www.makerbeam.com/ . I used the 10mm x 10mm ones with the t-slot nuts. Can definitely recommend them, as they are easy to cut and work with. The ends are already threaded, but the threads don't go alle the way through.