Prototype SLATE AIR & AQ, (15.4L and 19.9L) >>HUGE CHANGES<< modular cooling, Looking for Feedback!

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
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What a great design! Manages to be minimal while still standing out on its own. If I am seeing correct from the rendered images, this case can be used in either a vertical layout and rotated 90 degrees for horizontal too?
 
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TaylorChiller

Super Magical Detailer
Original poster
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Oct 10, 2019
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I see so if there's no necessity thats even better.

Will the handle be optional or mandatory?
I'm currently working on how to integrate an optional handle. The case is well within the size to carry around so thats a good sign. I need to design a handle that has no limitation to the user like unused holes or geometry that is visible. We will see how it goes.
 

TaylorChiller

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Oct 10, 2019
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What a great design! Manages to be minimal while still standing out on its own. If I am seeing correct from the rendered images, this case can be used in either a vertical layout and rotated 90 degrees for horizontal too?
Correct :)
 

permanente1600

What's an ITX?
Dec 10, 2019
1
0
this case is awesome. Can you explain the I/O situation? It seems very minimal. Will there be a way to access it and still keep the case vertical?
 

TaylorChiller

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Oct 10, 2019
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this case is awesome. Can you explain the I/O situation? It seems very minimal. Will there be a way to access it and still keep the case vertical?
Currently, access to the main I/O is from tilting the case when in the vertical orientation. After assembling many of these it feels acceptable to me but may not to some. It is not difficult, but it is also not comfortable. Just a process to go through; however, the end result is very tidy and clean. Optionally, one could cut out a hole (as some desks come pre-made) and have the case cover it allowing for a cordless illusion.

Also if any of you have any biased feedback on this topic for the I/O please feel free to share. This is probably the most important part that needs to be validated.
 
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TaylorChiller

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Oct 10, 2019
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Hey Everyone! Here is another small update/request on feedback and ideas. Things have been a bit slow recently since I have been working on other projects and taking care of communication with the factory for quotes.

Theres just two points I want to cover: handle options and details on additional storage space/brackets.

For the handle, I have gone through many different directions/iterations and it seems that using a leather (or similar material) strap secured to an optional top with mounting holes, or possibly an optional grill with a handle hole, would be the cleanest directions. Please let me know what you think and if you have any creative input.

For additional 2.5 drive space, I have design brackets that would hold 2 drives each and would be mounted in front/onto 120mm or 140mm fans. This would be utilizing space that would otherwise be taken by a radiator. If the user uses a single radiator (120 or 140) one could use one bracket for two additional drives.
The picture details the placement of the main drive above the PSU bracket and the placement of the new brackets. Notice that the drives are angled to allow adequate air flow to the fans.







Also if you are interested, I will be posting, on Instagram, a time-lapse video of me transferring my home pc into the latest version prototype of this case. Please note that the video will not correctly display the amount of work involved for the average user since it is a prototype and measurements and adjustments were made during the process. Here is my insta: @TaylorChiller
 

NocelCrown

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Dec 31, 2019
4
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I love the idea for all the SSD storage, although I can't imagine someone stuffing that many SSD's into that small a case.

However, I'm not big on the handles. The case itself looks amazing and would be an easy buy for me, but somehow the leather handles just don't "match" the feel of the case, but that could be just me.

Other than that, I don't really have any suggestions for another handle type for the case. I like your idea of having the hole slot being a way to carry the case, but you were also quick to point out that a 280 would block it from practical use.

Keep up the amazing design, I'm sure whatever you choose will look great as a final product! 👍
 
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Enamel_32

Efficiency Noob
Jan 1, 2020
6
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This may be beyond what you're willing to do stylistically with the case, but you could extend the top/bottom panels past the front and back faces to create one or more overhangs for carrying. Pardon the 1-minute photoshop hack job, but something sort of like this:

I'm not sure how much of a lip you'd actually need or want, but there you go. I guess it could guard against accidental presses of the cherry-style power switch as well?
 
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TaylorChiller

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Oct 10, 2019
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This may be beyond what you're willing to do stylistically with the case, but you could extend the top/bottom panels past the front and back faces to create one or more overhangs for carrying. Pardon the 1-minute photoshop hack job, but something sort of like this:

I'm not sure how much of a lip you'd actually need or want, but there you go. I guess it could guard against accidental presses of the cherry-style power switch as well?
You need about an inch for decent holding and half inch for gripping. I like the idea of utilizing a change of existing part. Will have to explore more with that.
 
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Shatrod

Cable-Tie Ninja
Dec 6, 2019
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I really like this case! why must the carrying handle be on the top? I dont think there is any specific reason you have to carry it upright? Why not just mount the handle to the back panel (where you have your radiator) screwed in through the holes of the mesh (i imagine the mesh is attached to the rest of the case securely)? It wouldnt block any airflow if you make the handle mounts align with the centers of the fans, and when you place the case "upright" it would get hidden neatly behind the case. Also no need to edit the existing parts.

Kind of like this (excuse the super quick sketch):
 
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TaylorChiller

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Oct 10, 2019
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I really like this case! why must the carrying handle be on the top? I dont think there is any specific reason you have to carry it upright? Why not just mount the handle to the back panel (where you have your radiator) screwed in through the holes of the mesh (i imagine the mesh is attached to the rest of the case securely)? It wouldnt block any airflow if you make the handle mounts align with the centers of the fans, and when you place the case "upright" it would get hidden neatly behind the case. Also no need to edit the existing parts.

Kind of like this (excuse the super quick sketch):
Hey! Yes this is another direction I can take. Although, currently the grills are actually injection molded nylon. Both the front and back use the same mold as well. The reason for this is mostly simplicity and minimizing costs. The design itself also enables the user to easily swap out different kinds of grills that could be available, (example: fine metal mesh grill, similar to what you see on speaker grills or Fractel Design's Meshify), or with grills that the user designs themselves and prints them. I'm planning to put together a small presentation for these ideas soon. The grills also attach via magnets, however, There are anchor holes with pemserts for mounting with screws if the need be. My goal is to keep this design as clean and minimal as possible.

What do you guys think of having a premium carrying bag/case, instead of a handle, for this product? I'll make a sketch of what I'm thinking about later.

(As a side note: It may be possible to make the grills out of aluminum, cnc then punched holes, or sheet steel punched then attached to a frame (needs to occupy 5-7mm thick inset. All this really comes down to cost and target MSRP. I've been working with some factories. It is just a processes of time and communication).
 
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NocelCrown

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Dec 31, 2019
4
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I think a bag or case specifically for this case would be perfect. 👍

It makes sense to have one in lieu of a handle, since if you're really carrying it everywhere you're going to stick it in a bag anyway.

But you also mentioned the grills are interchangeable and you might have more options? The handle on the side as an option would still be nice for those that are willing to shell out for that, and still give those that want an ultra minimalist design (like me) the option to have a cleaner look.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
77
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I agree. I would prefer a bag to a handle ruining the looks and the simplicity that i liked so much in the first place.

I am hoping this moves on because i have been wanting a case change for some time now.
 
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nulio

Trash Compacter
Jan 30, 2020
50
37
I personally prefer ~10L cases, but this is a beautiful case!

I'm biased because I love hiding cables... but I love your I/O idea, especially because you want to keep the most used ports easily accessible.
In horizontal cases I wouldn't feel the need to do it, but in vertical ones makes more sense. These cases have "more" front and back, and it also allows for this tunnel and symmetric design in a clean way. And if the desk allows it, no cables to be seen at all. The added height in order to accomplish it seems like a great tradeoff.

I like the clean front I/O with just the power button but an option with a couple of USB and audio jacks can be great for some users for sure.
For the back, since one might not be whiling to drill a hole in their hole-less desk or the existing hole is somewhat incompatible with where they want to place the case, I think an option with no I/O compromise would be great. One where we can just pass all the needed cables and connect them directly to the motherboard and gpu, making the bottom of the case basically a small ROMMA Ikea box. If having the hole there is not pleasing and to keep the aesthetics, maybe the hole would have compartmentalized flaps or a sliding lid? Room to pass all cables and them to cover the unused part of the hole. But I'm probably overthinking it right now.

About the handle, I like your hole slot idea, but I'd try to do it with a flap, so it looks almost like the bottom part with the power button.

I also think an optional bag is better than most handles, a bag with a tight fit and proper fabric does more than just a handle.

Details I'm wondering about:
- The space between the I/O rectangular slots and the mesh(grill?) looks smaller than between the mesh holes. Was it on purpose and does it look better than if it had the same spacing?
- The side screws, especially when they are not from the same material and color as the side panel;
- Would there be an option to have the side panels in the same material as the top and bottom? Can you share how it looks to see if it'd look too plain?

Cheers
 

TaylorChiller

Super Magical Detailer
Original poster
Silver Supporter
Oct 10, 2019
57
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I personally prefer ~10L cases, but this is a beautiful case!

I'm biased because I love hiding cables... but I love your I/O idea, especially because you want to keep the most used ports easily accessible.
In horizontal cases I wouldn't feel the need to do it, but in vertical ones makes more sense. These cases have "more" front and back, and it also allows for this tunnel and symmetric design in a clean way. And if the desk allows it, no cables to be seen at all. The added height in order to accomplish it seems like a great tradeoff.

I like the clean front I/O with just the power button but an option with a couple of USB and audio jacks can be great for some users for sure.
For the back, since one might not be whiling to drill a hole in their hole-less desk or the existing hole is somewhat incompatible with where they want to place the case, I think an option with no I/O compromise would be great. One where we can just pass all the needed cables and connect them directly to the motherboard and gpu, making the bottom of the case basically a small ROMMA Ikea box. If having the hole there is not pleasing and to keep the aesthetics, maybe the hole would have compartmentalized flaps or a sliding lid? Room to pass all cables and them to cover the unused part of the hole. But I'm probably overthinking it right now.

About the handle, I like your hole slot idea, but I'd try to do it with a flap, so it looks almost like the bottom part with the power button.

I also think an optional bag is better than most handles, a bag with a tight fit and proper fabric does more than just a handle.

Details I'm wondering about:
- The space between the I/O rectangular slots and the mesh(grill?) looks smaller than between the mesh holes. Was it on purpose and does it look better than if it had the same spacing?
- The side screws, especially when they are not from the same material and color as the side panel;
- Would there be an option to have the side panels in the same material as the top and bottom? Can you share how it looks to see if it'd look too plain?

Cheers
Nulio, Thanks for the detailed feedback. I know I've been a bit absent these past few weeks. A lot has been going on over here and unfortunately this is not my full time arena at the moment.

So far there has been amazing feedback and mostly positive so thank you all for that. I want to start marketing/pitching this case more aggressively because I know there are not many high-end options for 17-20L cases out there. (As a side note for now, when I've put a website together and begin finalizing details with the factory, any help from you guys to get the word out about this case would be amazing. There are a good number already from Instagram).

As for your questions @nulio ,

-I/O options/compatibility: Right now the I/O is simplified as mush as possible. Both the front and back I/O mount geometry is completely removable without any exposing mounting features, which allows the user to remove the rear I/O plate and simply pass through any number of cables directly connected to the MOBO. I've also planned to pitch the idea of offering a couple different I/O plate replacement options for users with varying needs. These plates are plastic and are easily made and/or 3dprinted if one is so inclined.

-Handle/Bag: I've decided to go with the bag for now. I know some of you would prefer the handle, but concerning the feedback and application, my gut says the bag will be better for now. (I'll post some designs on this later).

-Can you clarify what you mean by "The space between the I/O rectangular slots and the mesh(grill?) looks smaller than between the mesh holes. Was it on purpose and does it look better than if it had the same spacing" ? Maybe take one of the earlier pictures and draw on it if you can.

-As for the screws: I've purposely left them the same color as the grill material. So far I've felt that the duo tone detail in the screws communicates a nice technical detail. Making screws the same color as the aluminum caps is possible depending on the material finish. If the aluminum is anodized as planned it is much more intricate to get a material finish on steel screws to look/feel the same. The same goes for matching paint and plastic finishes. What I'm saying is the screws will always be noticeable at varying degrees. Commonly is it actually safer to go with the more purposeful/contrasting option since it shows that there was thought put into details. I will say though, the black screws with anodized black aluminum in the renders i've done looks very clean and satisfying so I'll make that my theme for the next series of content.

-Side panels: by side panels I refer to the parts between the top and bottom on the long side (not the grills). In the most current images these are aluminum just like the top and bottom caps. If you are referring to the grills, I can provide some renders on them in the same color. Since the grills are plastic as it point in time getting the color to match with the aluminum is a process like I explained with the screws. There will be a post later on about the option of replaceable grills, some metal mesh (like meshify) and some maybe in alternative sheet metal designs. Please let me know if this answers your question.

Hope all you are doing well, I"ll keep in touch.
 

Walderstorn

Average Stuffer
Apr 29, 2018
77
34
Glad this project is still moving forward. I have high hopes to be my next case. Keep in touch.
 

NocelCrown

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Dec 31, 2019
4
2
Same here, I'm glad this case is moving along. I actually plan on buying two from the get go when the case is finished, one for me and my partner.

If you don't mind, can you post some renders of the I/O options?
 

Maniac

Average Stuffer
Oct 18, 2018
78
53
Finally, the case I`ve been looking for! Amazing work, love everything about it.

Few questions:
- Are the dimensions final (Just below 20L)?
- Looking at the rear, there are some slots for USB, Power, and DisplayPort? These ment to be extended from the mboard? How can we extend other cables such as wifi-antenna?
- I know it fits a 280 rad, and there are no limitations in using a 240mm AIO?
- What are the supported motherboard sizes?
- Does it come with a pcie extension cable?
- Is it possible to mount the psu in different positions?
- Are the glass panels also attached with magnets?

You will ship to Norway, right? 😄
Just waiting to place the order. Probably going to cost me over 300$ due to shipping & customs 😆
 
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nulio

Trash Compacter
Jan 30, 2020
50
37
-Can you clarify what you mean by "The space between the I/O rectangular slots and the mesh(grill?) looks smaller than between the mesh holes. Was it on purpose and does it look better than if it had the same spacing" ? Maybe take one of the earlier pictures and draw on it if you can.
Thanks for the detailed reply.

 
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