The Sled - Acrylic Tech Bench

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Prologue

This will be a scratch build of an Acrylic Tech Bench, that can be wall-mounted, and will be able to be used in an upright position or laying down, and thus called The Sled. The case was entered in the Case Modding Showdown 2009 at New Mod City.

Official Sponsor for this Project

Ozito Rotary Tools Australia

Ozito Australia supplied me with one of these wonderful Rotary Tool Kits:

Ozito Rotary Tool

Ozito Rotary Tool

Ozito Rotary Tool

Ozito Rotary Tool

More photos of Ozito Parcel un-boxing can be seen in post #8 of this thread. Also, Beaumont’s Glass, Wonthaggi, gave me a 60% discount on all acrylic plexi for this project.

Material List

Hardware

  • Main Materials Acrylic Plexi.
  • 12mm Aluminium Angle
  • 20mm x 2mm Flat Aluminium Strip
  • 12mm Round Aluminium Tube
  • 5mm Ultra Bright Blue LEDs
  • 5mm Ultra Bright UV (Purple) LEDs
  • 2mm Black Shrink Tube
  • 5mm Black Shrink Tube
  • 5mm x 15mm Machine Screws
  • 5mm x 40mm Machine Screws

Computer Components

  • Corsair HX-520Watt PSU
  • ECS-P45-TA Motherboard
  • E6700 Dual Core CPU
  • Arctic Cooling Freezer Extreme Pro
  • 2-4 Apacer Gig DDR2 Ram 667 ( 4Gig)
  • 80gig HDD IDE
  • Liteon Optical Sata Drive DVD-RW
  • Lazer Multi Card Reader

Note: Full Project Log can be seen here: The Sled -Acrylic Tech Bench

Teaser 3D Render Pics

The Sled

Motherboard Tray (to be mounted on The Sled)

Thank you masbuskado for the 3D program suggestion, eMachineShop works great. When I was in the planning stages of this mod, it dawned on me that since we had just moved to a new house, that the garage didn’t have any benches or shelves to work on projects or do any general PC maintenance. Before beginning the project, I had to first build a work-bench area and also construct the shadow board tool holder for all my hand tools. This worklog post shows photos of my work-bench.

After picking up my acrylic plexi, it was on to marking out for cutting:

Preparing for cutting

The next step was the bending of the acrylic, this was a first for me; here’s a video log of the bending process.

Bending The Plexi

Preparing for First Bend

First Bend Done

First Bend Done

Second Bend Done

Preparing for Third Bend

Third Bend Done

Front View

Side View

Side View w/ Tray Position

Here are a few components that will be used in The Sled Tech Bench – some momentary switches for power & reset and LED illuminated switch for powering LEDs that may be used (that’s still undecided), and some motherboard mounts, and screws.

Components

Switches

Also, while I was out, I picked up a couple of bargains:

Soldering Station

I already had both of these, but could not find them since moving into my new house. They are probably in the same place as the Nikon camera charger that I haven’t found yet, so I am using my wife’s Fuji 6500fd camera. Video Log 2- Bending Acrylic Part 2

Cut out the two 120mm fan holes for the top exhaust ports, and made an “Ozito” badge name plate to go on the case front. The Ozito Rotary Tool cuts the acrylic plexi like butter, also used to make a nifty Ozito name badge.

Two 120mm Fan Holes

Ozito Badge

Destruction and Construction

I’m taking an old case that was my garage PC and dissecting it to use parts for the current project. After de-riveting and some cutting, I pulled the motherboard tray area out and constructed a tray to use in The Sled.  Once removed, I also trimmed the excess pieces that I didn’t need and reinforced with some 12 mm aluminum angle and tray brace.

Destruction Victim Case

Motherboard Tray

Reinforced Motherboard Tray

Reinforced Motherboard Tray

After all that was done, I moved on to cutting some side panels for The Sled case.

Side Panels

Side Panels

Then, I painted the motherboard tray black, but still have to do a second coat and the clear coat.

Painted Motherboard Tray

Painted Motherboard Tray

My Painting Booth

My Painting Booth

Next up was making the cages to hold an optical drive, card reader, and HDDs from acrylic plexi. Again, some more bending acrylic.

Preparing to Bend

Component Cages

I made the aluminum framing to hold the plexi side panels, incorporated a PSU mount into the frame, and installed motherboard tray stand-offs. Also, cut out the I/O plate area in the plexi.

Standoffs

I/O Plate Opening

PSU Mount

Making some acrylic feet for The Sled, cut out the DVD/Card Reader bay slots and PSU mount opening, and also something special. What do I mean special? Well, we will get to that down below!!!

DVD and 3.5" Floppy Drive Holes

DVD and 3.5" Floppy Drive Holes

NOTE:  Drives in pictures are only for fitting and sizing; they won’t be used in this project.

PSU Opening

Acrylic Feet

Acrylic Feet

Now for something special! What would a Sled be without rails to glide on? So, I have made some for it.

The Sled Rails

Sled rails

Sled rails

Sled rails

Sled rails

Next, I put together some LEDs to light up The Sled. So, here in Post #16 is a sneak peek at some finished. The first few LEDs I did with resistors attached to LEDs, then I remembered I had some circuit board left from another project, so I used that to put all the resistors on and power up the LEDs.

Lighting up Acrylic Case feet with LEDs

Side View

Bottom View

I’m hoping they will look a lot better when the protective paper is removed from The Sled. Next, the motherboard tray gets a second coat of black paint and clear coat.

Rear View

Tray View

I then wired some more LEDs and some teaser pics of testing the LED lighting. It will look a lot better when the protective paper comes off. The top nine LEDs are UV Purple, the case feet and PSU area are ultra bright blue.

Soldering Station

Testing lights on

Testing LEDs in the dark

Getting Down to Some More Cutting

I cut a 120 mm fan hole in the right side for an intake fan, and cut a rear access slot for the rear of motherboard tray for easier installation of aftermarket CPU-HSF back plates, etc. Also, cut vent slots for the PSU fan intake and exhaust.

120mm side intake fan hole

Rear access without tray

Rear access with tray

Note: This will have a removable plate/door cover on it too!

PSU rear hole

PSU instake air grille

Made a front door cover panel and rear access door to motherboard tray opening, hinged with piano hinge. Also, mounted magnetic catches to keep front door panel closed securely.
Also, forgot about these that I got when I bought the wife’s CM Scout:  Arctic Cooling Freezer X-Treme Pro HSF for the CPU, and a 92 mm red LED fan (the red led fan is for a Thermalright HR-03 heatsink).

AC Freezer X-Treme Pro and Red LED Fan

Door panel with magnetic catches

Magnetic Catches (Closed Door)

Magnetic Catches (Open Door)

Rear motherboard access door bottom view

Rear motherboard access door close up

I have wired the power and reset switches, LEDs for PWR and HDD activity, and mounted them. Mounted the PCB LED power resistor board on its own little sled plexi rails, and wired LED power switch to control the case LED lighting. I also did some more work on the HDD cage; cut out my insignia “JS” into the plexi and mounted in The Sled.
NOTE: Tutorial on making the LED circuit board can be seen in Post #40

PCB for Powering LEDs and Switches

HDD Cage with Insignia

Unveiling the new plexi

Unveiling the new plexi

Unveiling the new plexi

Unveiling the new plexi

The LED Lighting Unveiled

Front View

Side View

"Sled" View

I decided to make an acrylic plexi fan grill for the top fans.

Cutting the fan grilles

Cleaning Up the Cuts
Cleaning Up the Cuts

Fan Grill Done

Fan grille done

Fan Grill Installed

Fan grille installed

Front View

Testing the LEDs: front view

Testing the LEDs: angled view

120mm side fan grille cut

120mm fan grille installed

I put some strong black fiberglass fly wire behind the grill to help keep the dust bunnies out…
Worked on the Ozito emblem, and put some clear film (like what you cover books with) to test out how it looks painted at back. I also made a “The Sled” badge too.

Both Badges
Both Badges

"The Sled" Badge (Close Up)

Received a nice parcel from a good friend (ihrsetrdr) here @ OCForums when I recently purchased an ECS-P45T-A – Black Series Motherboard from him. The pics of these can be seen in post #32 of this thread.

Making The Plexi Backplate

At first I wasn’t quite happy with the way the Arctic Cooling Freezer Extreme mounted. It has a mounting plate and no back plate; just these tiny pins that lock the mount bracket in place on the motherboard. We all know how we hate those push pins on the Intel HSF, and how ineffective they can be at times. As with another one of my heatsinks, the Vendetta 2, I did a bolt through mod for the AC Freezer 7 pro. So here is my solution to the AC Freezer Extreme mounting.

Intel tiny mount pins

Making the plexi back plate

The plexi back plate

Installing the AC Freezer Extreme

AC Freezer Extreme installed

This heatsink is a nice beast too, and now very secure with my back plate bolt through mod.

Final case lit up

Final case lit up

Final case lit up

Final case lit up

Final case lit up

Final case lit up

Final case

Final case lit up

After a rather long night of stripping down my main rig and removing the Corsair HX-520 PSU to put in The Sled, it was on to the PSU install, along with all of the hardware.

Hardware installed

Hadware installed

Name emblem

Name emblem

Final Video Log

Final Product

Latest addition to The Sled is my old GPU -Inno 8800GT-512MB with HR-03 and 92 mm fan, which equates to more Folding@home power and PPD for Team32.

Modding Team - Viva la Revolution!


Jolly-Swagman

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Discussion
  1. xXAlphaXx
    Pretty awesome there! I personally would have left the sled rails off if it were me.


    thanks xXAlphaXx,, ahh but then it wouldnt have been quite the Sled theme I was looking for !

    ChanceCoats123
    Holy cows. That's a really nice case. I've seen a lot of acrylic projects, but not many finished. Boy has this really come out well. I'm not normally a big fan of the "blingy" lights and all, but this has an extremely appealing glow to it. :thup: Nice work again!


    Thank you ChanceCoats123, for the wonderful comments, much appreciated!

    Drew@PSU
    Nicely done, the custom acrylic is teh sexy...:rock:


    Thank You Drew@PSU, yeah I suppose it does look teh sexy !! :salute:
    Holy cows. That's a really nice case. I've seen a lot of acrylic projects, but not many finished. Boy has this really come out well. I'm not normally a big fan of the "blingy" lights and all, but this has an extremely appealing glow to it. :thup: Nice work again!
    Jolly-Swagman
    Thank You byongkiko, those cases your company make look pretty cool, and reasonably priced too!


    I like them also... not to be a downer but

    We do not permit advertising OF ANY KIND! This includes posting your URL, offering items for sale or trade or announcements of new sites. This applies equally to commercial and private ads. We do permit Senior Members to post their personal URLs - this is the only exception. Representatives of computer hardware companies and the like should contact Silversinksam or I.M.O.G. who may, at their discretion, make accommodations for you.

    Doesn't this qualify as against the rules?

    Anyways thanks for the article it gave me some great ideas for my own setup.
    Fores
    Wow that one nice build!

    LOL im that kind of person that looks at pictures and do the reading after.

    So i was firts thinking, hmm he builds a case in wood, wierd.

    Then all of a sudden the this beautiful plexi case came, i was like ????!

    Had to go up and start reading too ;)

    Very nice work!


    Thank you Fores ;)
    Wow that one nice build!

    LOL im that kind of person that looks at pictures and do the reading after.

    So i was firts thinking, hmm he builds a case in wood, wierd.

    Then all of a sudden the this beautiful plexi case came, i was like ????!

    Had to go up and start reading too ;)

    Very nice work!
    peperonikiller
    That looks amazing sir!


    Thank you very much peperonikiller :)

    I.M.O.G.
    Really nice work Jolly, and I love how the article turned out - your work looks spectacular!


    Thank You I.M.O.G, once we got around the Pic inserting issue, article has turned out well, Thanks! :)

    EarthDog
    That is great work Jolly... wow! Nice write up!


    Thank You EarthDog for the comments :)