Prototype Small ATX Motherbord Case!! (Updated!)

OliverRH

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Aug 14, 2017
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Version 2.0 (03. august 2019):

Hi all, long time no see. I have been super busy, but lately I have been thinking and designing a new case, or you could call it a version 2.0. There were a lot of things that I think worked really well with the first design. Mainly the simplicity with the single chamber. But I like a challenge and I have been quite amazed by the Dan A4 and the Ghost S1. Two really impressive cases, that both uses a two-chamber design. So I have designed a new ATX case with two chambers. The main reason, is to split the heat from the CPU (I use an AIO) and GPU. But then as a bonus, it looks better (I think) because it hides the AIO, SSD and HDD, the PSU and all of its cables. This was the first versions biggest weakness.

So I have been designing all day in Fusion 360 and this it what I came up with! Its dimensions are 32 x 29 x 14 cm = 12,99, basically 13 liters :) So it is actually smaller than the first version. And it fits, ATX motherboard, sfx/sfx-LPSU, most two slots GPU, one 3,5" and two 2,5" HDD/SSD and the most important (the hardest thing to get fitted and designed) the AIO. I hope to make a custom water cooling setup at a point in time. There is room for a pump and reservoir or some kind of combination. But yeah, here is some early renders. So there is still a lot to do, like ventilation and so on.
I hope to make a prototype soon.






Original post (14. august 2017):
Hey guys! This is my first post on this forum, but I have been following a lot of threads about custom small form factor cases. But all of them are either mini-ITX or micro-ATX. That is fine if you either have the hardware already or have the money to buy new components. I on the other hand, already have a ATX motherboard and no one has really created an ATX compatible small case, and I didn't want to buy new components, when mine already works well. Only thing I bought was a SFX power supply. So I took the challenge in my own hands and got to work. And I'm happy to present a concept/prototype of a 15L case that can incorporate a full ATX motherboard, a full length two-slot graphic card and an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler.

I don't have a name for it yet, nor do I have a final exterior design, but the internal layout is pretty much how it should look like. I'm not the best to design 3D models, so I build my own prototype in real life.
I have taken a few pictures of the prototype, that I hope you all like.








The measurements are as followed: 35 x 33 x 13 cm = 15L




I really hope all of you like the idea of a small form factor ATX case. And I would love to hear if there is some things I could do differently.

Thanks in advance
Oliver R.H.
 
Last edited:

Arboreal

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Oct 11, 2015
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Nice work there! I have not used an ATX board for nearly 10 years, mainly because I didn't need all the slots, and ATX historically meant BIG cases.
Great job, another properly small case running ATX (better and smaller than the G3).
In my book, it's a win if it's smaller than a sensibly small mATX case - for me that's a Silverstone TJ08 at about 28L.
Heck, this is a similar volume to a Raijintek Metis IIRC, sub 20L for ATX is impressive.
Therefore you have a big thumbs up in my book.
I look forward to seeing how the exterior design develops.
One immediate question, how is you SFX PSU doing for airflow? The inlet fan looks pretty close to the unventilated window.
 

OliverRH

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Aug 14, 2017
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Nice work there! I have not used an ATX board for nearly 10 years, mainly because I didn't need all the slots, and ATX historically meant BIG cases.
Great job, another properly small case running ATX (better and smaller than the G3).
In my book, it's a win if it's smaller than a sensibly small mATX case - for me that's a Silverstone TJ08 at about 28L.
Heck, this is a similar volume to a Raijintek Metis IIRC, sub 20L for ATX is impressive.
Therefore you have a big thumbs up in my book.
I look forward to seeing how the exterior design develops.
One immediate question, how is you SFX PSU doing for airflow? The inlet fan looks pretty close to the unventilated window.
Thank you very much for the positive feedback! The PSU is going to breath through holes in the window. I have just not made them yet ;) The same is true for the GPU, that in the end will have holes to breath through. But I waited to make them, so possible changes could be made.
 

Biowarejak

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I absolutely love the current aesthetic! :) Impressive having it be so small and doing the work by hand. I think that really helps prevent the "it has to be as perfect as my model" mentality which makes people procrastinate on the physical side of things.
 

Biowarejak

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Biowarejak

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FWIW, this is basically a double thickness Sentry in terms of dimensions.

Or, if you include the Sentry's stand, a 16mm thicker Sentry.
IMO, the aesthetic here is more pleasant, and it can house a much larger motherboard :)

Anyway, @OliverRH, can the case feet be mounted on the "top" so that the components are in their normal orientation?
 
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OliverRH

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Aug 14, 2017
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FWIW, this is basically a double thickness Sentry in terms of dimensions.

Or, if you include the Sentry's stand, a 16mm thicker Sentry.
Not really, because the whole idea behind this case is the support for ATX motherboards. The reason is that I already had these components :)


^^^^^ This.

Did you have help fabricating the prototype? Please let us know who you used / how you did it. This cries out for a build log if it's a one-off.
This one is a prototype, made out of wood and acrylic. I made it all myself by hand. But the next version is going to be made out of metal, and then I will provide a build log.

IMO, the aesthetic here is more pleasant, and it can house a much larger motherboard :)

Anyway, @OliverRH, can the case feet be mounted on the "top" so that the components are in their normal orientation?
In theory yes.. But this means that the hard drives would be upside down and getting all the rising heat. But it is a possibility. The reason why it is inverted, is because my desk is facing a wall on its left ;)
 

Biowarejak

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In theory yes.. But this means that the hard drives would be upside down and getting all the rising heat. But it is a possibility. The reason why it is inverted, is because my desk is facing a wall on its left ;)
Ah I see mine is also, at least currently. Just something to consider for any possible production run(s). :)

Oh, and if you need help with CAD software stuff we have plenty of knowledgeable members around here that can help
 

OliverRH

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Ah I see mine is also, at least currently. Just something to consider for any possible production run(s). :)

Oh, and if you need help with CAD software stuff we have plenty of knowledgeable members around here that can help
Yeah and that is one of the reasons why I made a thread here on this forum, because I hope that we together could make this case design even better and for all.
 

KDaddy

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Jun 22, 2017
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Wow, this is nearly the exact design I was developing in SketchUp and SolidWorks! Looks like you beat me to it. The only gripe I have is that I was never really a fan of the PSU placement over the motherboard but there's no other real space efficient location. Great work man!
 

OliverRH

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A little update: I got my PCI-E riser and it works flawlessly :) As I mention in the top post, I use components that I already own. So this translate to a i5 2500k at 4.5 GHz (1.35 volts) and a MSI 670 overclocked. The temps are good at 70 C max for the CPU and 67 C max for the GPU. So I'm very happy :)