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"Aeris Lignea" Custom Desk/Computer Like You Haven't Seen Before

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JLambeth87

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2016

EDH_0059.jpg EDH_0097.jpg EDH_0098.jpg EDH_0100.jpg EDH_0094.jpg EDH_0101.jpg EDH_0128.jpg EDH_0120.jpg EDH_0118.jpg EDH_0113.jpg EDH_0105.jpg EDH_0103.jpg EDH_0138.jpg EDH_0093.jpg

I am proud to present "Aeris Lignea"

Aeris Lignea, which means Copper and Wood, is a custom built computer desk with the computer and water cooling system integrated into the desk. The desk was entirely designed and built by me over the course of the last 6 months.

Before starting this project, I had never welded steel or sweated copper pipe. I learned as I went and made many practice pieces before attempting the real thing.

Once I had decided on the materials I wanted to use for the main desk construction, I started to design it out on paper. The biggest challenge I was going to face was that I wanted to make sure all the computer and cooling components stayed inside the 8" wide I beam. I had to custom build all the mounts for every component to achieve this. I needed to use PCI-E Riser cables to extend from the motherboard to the 3 PCI-E cards (2x GPU's and 1 NIC).

Another challenge was that I did not want any SSD's or HDD's visible. This is why I went with just the 2x M.2s. However since I am a video production guy, I needed to have a large amount of storage. To achieve this I actually built a separate 36TB storage server. This is housed in one of the other areas in the office. The desk system and the storage server are connected via a 10gb network. I am getting sustained transfer speeds of around 800MB/s.

Here are the specifications for the desk and computer:
Desk Components
- The frame is constructed out of 8" wide steel I-Beam.
- The desktop is 2" thick African Zebra Wood. The two reservoir and pump towers are also made from Zebra Wood.
- All the copper piping is 100% functional. They are carrying the water to and from the computer and cooling components.

Computer Components:
-CPU: Intel i9-7980XE Delidded and Overclocked to 4.5Ghz
-RAM: 128gb Corsair DDR4 running at 2666mhz
-Motherboard: MSI X299 Gaming M7 ACK
-GPUs: 2x EVGA 1080Ti Kingpin Hydrocopper Edition OC'd to 2083mhz
-Storage: 2x Samsung 960 EVO 1TB nVME M.2 SSDs
-PSU: EVGA 1600w P2 with full custom sleeved cable's by me (using Teleios Carbon Sleeving).
Network: ASUS 10gb Network adapter
-Audio: Schiit Audio Modi2 DAC and Valhalla2 Tube Amplifier with Beyerdynamic DT770 250ohm headphones.

Cooling Components (Dual Loop System):
-Pumps: 4x EKWB D5s
-Reservoirs: 4x EKWB 250mL X3s
-Waterblocks: EKWB Monoblock
-Radiators: 2x EKWB 480mm Coolstream XE
-Fans: 8x Coolermaster Masterfan Pro AirBalance
-Piping: 1/2" Copper
-Fittings: EKWB Compression
-Flow Meters: LZT M15 Mechanical Fluid Meter

Some fun specs:
-Total weight of the desk is roughly 600lbs.
-There is 87ft of copper tubing to complete the watercooling runs.
-There are 120 copper fittings, all of which needed to be sweated together
-All the copper piping has been sprayed with a matte clear coat finish to protect them from turning green over time.
-The total volume of coolant for the system is 9.7L.
-To fill the loops I need to use a 500gph pond pump to force the water into the system. I can have both loops filled and purged of air within 15 minutes.
-Over 90% of the wiring is not visible unless you are on your back looking at the bottom of the desk.
-The LED lighting on the desk is actually the Philips HUE light strips so they can be controlled even if the computer is off.
The overall size of the desk is 7ft wide, 3.5ft deep, and 33" tall.

I need to give a HUGE shout-out to my wife for letting me do this. I spent more time away from home trying to get this thing done than I probably should have. I also need to give a massive shout out to Dave at Hughes Manufacturing. It was his shop that I did the majority of the fabrication. He taught me everything about welding and sweating copper pipe. I couldn't have pulled this off without him.

If you have any questions about this project, please feel free to ask!

Music: The Grid by DaftPunk from the motion picture, Tron: Legacy

Thank you for looking!

Josh
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
JL I've followed along the way. Honestly, it's #-----& fantastic. Nice work!!!
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
One question: So does the house list to the one side? I usually look at a case mod once, maybe twice but I keep coming back to this one. When others have gone small with tiny detail, you went large. It really is a fresh take on a computer mod. I've also seen computers built into desks but mostly they are pre-built desks or 2x4, plywood. While many of them look nice, this is a higher level than I've ever seen. While I may never do something like this myself, it's opened up a new level of dream build for me.
 
Last edited:

UltraTaco

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Another challenge was that I did not want any SSD's or HDD's visible. This is why I went with just the 2x M.2s.

After reating it through, I noticed this detail? How come you decided not to use any hard drives in this build? It looks like you have plenty of space and they could have been made into some sort of sleeves or some kind where they would look like a very neat addition that complements the sheer mass of the build..
 
OP
JLambeth87

JLambeth87

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
After reating it through, I noticed this detail? How come you decided not to use any hard drives in this build? It looks like you have plenty of space and they could have been made into some sort of sleeves or some kind where they would look like a very neat addition that complements the sheer mass of the build..
Mainly because of how much storage I require. My storage server is 36tb so I wanted to just have a separate box for it.

 
OP
JLambeth87

JLambeth87

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
Oh, you could make it look like an ammo crate:D
That's a lot of storage, man!
Yeah. That's only my working server. I also have two Drobos each with 30-60tb of storage plus it's all uploaded to Backblaze for offsite storage.

 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
I gotta say JL, you didn't think big with this build, you thought HUGE. I'm very glad you also delivered HUGE. Absolutely amazing build. Thank you for sharing the story along the way too.
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
I'll also add, considering the amount of time needed to do this build, It was done rather quickly! :thup:
 

habbajabba

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2005
Location
Oregon
It also doubles as a varidesk when it stands up lol. You should put some scrim (used in theaters) up to make it look even cleaner using little magnet mounts to hide the interior side-leg components. And possibly some nickel plated metal screening to protect all that sweating on top.
 

UltraTaco

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
I kinda agree with habbajaba, some panels to hide the components would be awesome. Definitely would look cleaner. Maybe rgb panels?
It would also help migitate dust damage that accumulates over time

Lol habbajaba, what a name!:rofl:
Ps-this is terrible, I can't do any thanks! at all these days, mods broke it!
 
OP
JLambeth87

JLambeth87

Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2016
Thanks but honestly the last thing I want is RGB on the desk. For me the whole point was to see the components.

I appreciate the feedback though.