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High School Case Build (3D printed/laser cut acrylic)

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CGtechlab

Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Hello everyone!

I am a technology instructor at a High school in Ohio and this year I tasked my students with building a computer case from scratch. We have a Makerbot Replicator 2x 3D printer and a Boss laser cutting machine in our lab and I wanted a way for the students to show of their skills using both. We currently, through a grant, are able to build a custom computer every year but have never had the equipment needed to make our own case. This year the students have exceeded all my expectations by an extreme amount and I feel they should get some recognition for their efforts. The first problem we had with the project was the fact that we wanted the case to be 8" wide and wanted the corners to be 3D printed. That expanse was pushing the limits of the Makerbot to the max as far as the build platform area. The students had a hard time getting the material to stick to the build platform due to the sheer size. Here is the initial design the students came up with.
Image 1.jpg

The box attached to the front of the case is designed to be the liquid cooling reservoir and would be "welded" to the front with the use of Weld-on #4. Once the corner piece dilemma was straightened out the next thing my students began to focus on were the actual dimensions and placement of need components for the build (i.e. Motherboard, I/O shield, Pump, Rads, tubing, HDDs, etc.). Students were able to come up with dimensions of these just by doing some research on Google and they nailed it! I am amazed at the professionalism of my students when it comes to being able to look at schematics and derive an actual working model from them. Here is the top after it was assembled with three 120mm fan guards laser cut top.JPG

The build is coming along nicely and I will continue to update this post as we accomplish more. Here is the most up to date photo that we have:

IMG_4435amsll.jpg

Notice the nice aesthetics of the HDD rack now. Way better than the old box style that was initially designed.
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
That looks pretty nifty man,and water cooled to boot. :clap:
One word on the reservoir. You'll want it above the pump so the pump doesn't run dry.
 
OP
CGtechlab

CGtechlab

Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
The res will be welded to the front of the case just under the power button and if you look at the last photo you can see the waterblock under the HDD rack for the pump so that should have us covered so the pump doesn't run dry. Thanks for the advice!
 

Johan45

Benching Team Leader Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Ahh I think I mistook the HDD cage for the res in the 3D pic you posted. All good
 
OP
CGtechlab

CGtechlab

Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
Here are some photos of today's progress. We were able to get the res constructed as well as getting it welded to the case front. My students did not think things through very well when they chose the design of the res. They wanted it to "water fall" down riffles and then end up at the bottom of the res because they didn't want it splashing where it would fall so far to the bottom(I thought this was a good idea also). They as well as myself did not factor in that we would not be able to get to the other side of the riffles to make them water tight with the Weld-on solution so it allows some of the water to leak between the riffles and the front of the case. Not a major malfunction because it is water tight as a whole and it still looks nice. We are using old components from other builds we have completed to test the res for leakage. So far, we are 3 hours in the test and have yet to determine a leak! Good news! IMG_4449.JPG

We are going to tackle the motherboard tray tomorrow and should have it completed so I'll post more photos tomorrow. We also have some sponsors coming on board and I will be announcing them soon!

Also, the standouts on the corner pieces will house magnets that will hold the doors on
 
Last edited:

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
This is very cool and I am excited to see how it turns out . Are the soft or hard piping the water cooling ?

When I was in high school (late 90s ) most of my teachers were clueless . Im sure only a few would be able to Save a file let alone mod / water a system . The kids are lucky to be exposed to computers in a way other then the mainstream "facebook " crap . Keep up the good work making the next generation better than ours .
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Awesome, sub'd!

There was a fairly recent build here where the entire case was 3D printed and watercooled.
It was based around mITX though, note.
 
OP
CGtechlab

CGtechlab

Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
They are using rigid acrylic tubing for the cooling loop. My students are working on putting the section where the motherboard will attach on the case today. This is one of the most dreaded parts from my perspective. It has to be perfect or it will throw the whole build off. I'll post photos of the progress as they complete for the day.
 

Navig

Senior Case Master
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Looks fantastic. Sub'd also.

Man, the things I could do with access to a laser cutter and a 3d printer!
 
OP
CGtechlab

CGtechlab

Registered
Joined
Feb 24, 2016
My students are in the process of ordering all of the components to fill the system and should be done by the end of next week. I will be posting more photos next week. They are at a stand still at this point due to not having anything else they can accomplish until the computer components arrive. Stay tuned!
 

sporktar

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
I really like that res design! But where is the fillport?
Subbed, this build looks awesome.