Prototype Wooden ITX

IanMake4

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Aug 3, 2017
13
25


I'm not sure how I missed this forum but I've been blown away by reading all of the awesome cases that have been designed and produced here.

I've been building custom cases for about 3 years. I've been building primarily wooden cases for the last year. I launched a Kickstarter that failed ().

I did a lot of thinking after this and went back to the drawing board. I focused on just 1 case and narrowed the scope of what I was trying to do.

I've made between 15-20 prototypes of this case. The initial issues were making sure I could control the thermals in a wooden case. After lots of testing and changes, I was able to run a 7700k @ 4.9ghz and stay around 80c.

Wood is a great sound insulator but, like I just said, isn't great at dissipating heat. However, the ability to run your CPU cooler at a higher RPM, without an increase in sound, makes up for the different.

Here are 21 high resolution pictures and some stats.


Size: 7.5" x 7.5" x 10.5"
Footprint: 7.5" x 7.5"
Weight: Just over 2lbs with fans
Cooling: 2x 92mm
Storage: 2x 2.5 Drives (7mm or 9mm)
CPU Cooler Height 95mm
Max GPU ITX Size ~6.7 inches

Build Materials:
  • Baltic Birch used front and back
  • Red Oak used for the remaining panels
  • Tan parts (Dust screens, front IO, washers) were 3D printed with wooden filament (plastic wood mix) *Rear IO, Motherboard mount were printed in PETG. PETG is an extremely strong plastic that is incredibly heat resistant.
Finish:
  • Front/back received a tung oil finish. This was allowed to cure for several days before any additional finish was applies. This oil penetrates the wood and provides an extremely effective moisture barrier.
  • Red Oak was stained to make it slightly darker
  • 6 coats very thin coats of Polyurethane were applied inside and outside. This was done over a period of several days.- The finish was extreme overkill. One of the worries many people had was the wood swelling due to humidity. I'm fairly certain I could leave this out in the rain, overnight, without damage.
Notes:
  • Over 10 prototypes were designed specifically aimed at testing thermal performance. Will run a 7700k at 4.9Ghz under 80c @ extended full load. (This same CPU would run at 75-76c on water)

  • Wood provides great sound instillation and allows the CPU cooler to run at a higher RPM without the added noise. Extensive testing with overclocked CPU & GPU have addressed any heat related issues.

  • Most pictures are shown with the dust covers removed. I personally like the look of exposed fans and go with dust filters behind the fans. The case is designed to allow either option.
 

loader963

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Jan 21, 2017
658
560
^ I chuckled at that. Man that is a pretty rig. Can you use other hard woods as well? I could see home theater crowds paying for this as long as it's quiet and they can order a wood color to match their speakers.
 

Frazhna

Caliper Novice
Jul 17, 2017
29
22
This is probably the only case in the world that makes Noctua fans look good. XD

I was thinking the same thing.
It's not that Nocuta fans have been the wrong color all along, it's just that everyone has been making their cases out of the wrong material!

Seriously though, nice looking case, and it even looks good with Noctua fans!
 
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ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,431
1,281
".. and, ladies & gentlemen, if you take a look at the left side of the case, you'll see Noctua fans in their natural habitat"

Edit: you should send these pictures to Noctua :cool:
 
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IanMake4

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Aug 3, 2017
13
25
^ I chuckled at that. Man that is a pretty rig. Can you use other hard woods as well? I could see home theater crowds paying for this as long as it's quiet and they can order a wood color to match their speakers.

Yeah, I have used Red Oak, Mahogany, White Oak and Maple.

I really like the baltic birch because of the nice exposed edges. The only problem is that it doesn't stain that well.
 
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IanMake4

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Aug 3, 2017
13
25
".. and, ladies & gentlemen, if you take a look at the left side of the case, you'll see Noctua fans in their natural habitat"

I know I was thinking about it. I would love to actually sell the case with Noctua fans.

2 months later - Noctua sued for burning house down in partnership with wooden PC case