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ATX mobo plexi size

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Old 02-13-12, 11:20 PM Thread Starter   #1
Mphaker
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ATX mobo plexi size


Hey guys

I was going over plexi size for my mobo tray and I'm not quite sure what appropriate measurements should be. I want to make the plexi large enough to accommodate my ATX size mobo (ASrock extreme3 gen3) with two grommet holes on the side for wire management. Currently I'm ballparking measurements at around 33cm x 26.5 cm. What do you guys think?

Add: Also, what thickness plexi should I get? I wanted to get quarter inch but all the sizes on Home Depot are pretty thin and online stores don't sell individual sheets, or large ass sheets I don't need that are ridiculously expensive

Edit: Saw some people use 1/8'' for their plexi. Viable, no?

Last edited by Mphaker; 02-13-12 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 02-14-12, 06:50 AM   #2
Dooms101
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Well the bare minimum would be the ATX spec which is 30.5 x 22.4cm; however, you might want to leave room for flexibility and consider the E-ATX (extended) spec with is 30.5 x 33.0cm.

Before I continue I have to ask, what will this be used for? If its going to sit on top of a benching station or open air case then using a piece the size of the motherboard spec you choose plus maybe 4 or 5cm for wire management holes will probably be fine. However, if you're replacing a mobo tray or making one for a regular case then you need to consider many other things (such as: designing the tray so it can provide structural support or making it big enough so it can reach the mounting holes of the rest of the case). The choice of thickness and material type are also affected by what this will be used for.

For general purpose needs (coming from experience using plexi in case mods) 1/8" thick is pretty strong as long as its not the cheap extruded type of plexi. I usually go down to Lowes and pick up some sheets pretty cheap there, they'll even cut them for free.

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Old 02-15-12, 12:52 AM Thread Starter   #3
Mphaker
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Thanks for the reply

I'll be using this plexi for a custom entire-plexi case I'm trying to build. Basically it's a suspended horizontal motherboard tray which I'll keep up by sliding into slots build into the sides of the case. It won't be open air as there's going to be a roof with 2 fans or possibly in the near future a radiator.

What do you mean "extruded" type of plexi? Sorry for the questions but this is my first mod and I don't want to waste any money screwing up where I shouldn't.
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Old 02-17-12, 10:48 PM   #4
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Hi!

Got a bit of experience in this department.

Regarding the size, generally I'd recommend cable pass thru slots or holes to be at least 3/4" (I use 7/8" just to make sure I can pass 3/4" OD watercooling tubing no problem), so factor that in in the extension of your tray. Also, tho, lots of motherboards (for example ROG) are extra wide.

Regarding thickness, I personally recommend against Home Depot or Lowe's. The quality is poor, and the sizes are undersized (for example, typically their "1/8"" is actually .118"). The poor quality means poor machinability and low melting temps. 2 situations where this commonly bites you is when cutting with a dremel or jigsaw, the plastic will craze and melt around the blade. Second is drilling a hole near an edge--will shoot a crack to the edge. Also, generally, their ability to cut panels is very poor resulting in fractured, chipped, and uneven cuts.

Personally wouldn't recommend 1/8" thick acrylic for a tray (and really probably not .118") unless you add some central support. If it isn't going to have much support, go with 1/4".

Extruded acrylic is plastic that is made by pushing semi-liquid plastic thru a die like a Play-do extruder. This process makes the the plastic very brittle and difficult to work with. Cast acrylic is poured into a cast then let cool and popped out of the cast--this retains the best strength. I don't think they make extruded acrylic sheet--if you do happen to see it, run away.

Finally, if you've been to Home Depot, you've also probably seen a product known as Lexan--which is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a bit stronger than acrylic, but more expensive and available in fewer colors.


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Old 02-18-12, 08:31 PM Thread Starter   #5
Mphaker
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Wow, thanks for the detailed advice. You're right, HD or Lowe's don't have exact measured thickness, I went today and brought a ruler just to check.
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