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Making a case

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Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
Ok I know how everyone doesnt like the totally clear cases but I do. I was wondering if anyone had a guide on how to do it or just some pointers. I know I want it to be a full tower and have 3 cd-rom bays and 2 floppy. Will be using 1/4" lexan most likely for it. So anyone got any links or tips?
Thanks
Chris
 

Turando

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Location
UK
i take it you have all the equipment to "bent" the lexan? not any heat bender will work either, because lexan is bullet proof, it tends to be a tad stronger than plexi;)

Cheers, Turando
 
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Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
I was planning on cutting the 6 diffrent sides not bending them but do you think a heat gun would work because I can get one of those.
 
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Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
Hrm. I was looking to spend about 60-70 on a full town with no psi but after looking I really couldnt find a good one that I liked. Why must Lian-Li cases be so expensive!!?!?!?!
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
ME ME ME ME ME I HELP I HELP!!!

I've made 3 already and here's the one I have pictures of...
1_ingram1.jpg

I can help you layout the parts in my CAD program. PM me to get started. A Do-It-Yourself Clear case only costs $60 including all the hardware you need to put it together (depending on size and configuration). It's also going to take you a week or so to construct the thing and the tools required are...

Table Saw
Drill press (or power drill, a drill press is simply a more precise tool)
Sand paper
Dremel (if you want to make a clear I/O backing plate)
you'll also need a motherboard tray or a crappy case to scalp one from. I have a spare but it's only Micro-ATX in size.

I don't recommend attempting to heat-warp Lexan though. It takes forever and can be very hazardous.
I have a design guide in .DOC format which I could e-mail you, but I'm offering my expertise in designing it as well.
 
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Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Here's the construction design prototype. I'll add the radiator (once I get measurements) and fans next.
_chrisdafu.jpg

It's 20" x 9" x 17" in that picture.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Here's the prototype with radiator and fans. I increase the depth of the case by one inch to make cable organization a little bit easier. That makes the total outer dimension 20"H x 17"D x 9"W
_chrisdafu2.jpg
 

LittlePiggie

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2002
Location
Oregon
looks real nice :D. That'll be sweet when it's done.

it would be sweet to form it though...

you gonna use clear fans?
 

Turando

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2002
Location
UK
lexan is simple to heat warp, IF done properly. but that design drawn up in CAD looks sweet. go for it;)

Cheers, Turando
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Turando said:
lexan is simple to heat warp, IF done properly. but that design drawn up in CAD looks sweet. go for it;)

Cheers, Turando
Heat-warping takes alot of time and would complicate the construction a great deal.

The design I've worked up will be held together with screws and should prove as sturdy as a solid steel case.
 
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Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
Thanks for the link. I now get $35 a week for doing household chores plus I can add the $15 from not eating lunch and Ill have $50 a week to spend. Gonne get the next $20 I need for my wd 80gb se hdd then I am going to start building the case. Anyone know a good place to buy lexan onlince because here they want $5 a square foot for 1/4". I will ue clear fans if I can find some nice 120mm ones that are quiet and have a good cfm. Thanks for all the help so far Captain Slug but where you have the fans isnt where I intened. The one on the very back should be in front of the rad, making the rad have 2 fans on it, and the one near the top of the case I would like to be on the top of the case sucking air out. Also why is there a piece of lexan going from front to back at the top spliting the case into two seperate parts? I know I need one under the drives but should it be all the way along the whole case? Once again thanks for all the help!
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Chrisdafu said:
Anyone know a good place to buy lexan onlince because here they want $5 a square foot for 1/4". I will ue clear fans if I can find some nice 120mm ones that are quiet and have a good cfm.
McMaster.com (search for polycarbonate sheets)
It may be cheaper to buy the sheets locally at a plastics shop. Don't buy it until we have final measurements that you can base your order on.
Chrisdafu said:
Thanks for all the help so far Captain Slug but where you have the fans isnt where I intened. The one on the very back should be in front of the rad, making the rad have 2 fans on it, and the one near the top of the case I would like to be on the top of the case sucking air out.
Okay...
I've had a chimney fn in my case before and they tend to get in the way of all the cabling (it also ate my knuckles on more than one occassion). Second, the power supply will already be sucking the air away from that area anyways.
Chrisdafu said:
Also why is there a piece of lexan going from front to back at the top spliting the case into two seperate parts? I know I need one under the drives but should it be all the way along the whole case? Once again thanks for all the help!
Having it span the whole length will increase the strength of the top half of the case. The last thing you want is wobbling.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
_chrisdafu1.jpg

If the fan were put into the top of the case it would...

a) try to eat your fingers while you're working on the CD-ROM cables
b) require more spacing between the CD-ROMs and PSU
c) cost more money since you'd need more material
d) could be hard to do since you'd need to holesaw a spot for it THROUGH the upper 1/2" lexan plate.
 
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Chrisdafu

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2001
Location
Louisville, Ky
Good point. Thanks for explaining. Everything looks good now. What do you think about some hinges on one side for opening/closing the side for easier access? Also (I think you mentioned it before) but I will need to cut a hole in the sheet seperating the top from the bottom for cables to go through?
Thanks for all the help so far!
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Chrisdafu said:
Good point. Thanks for explaining. Everything looks good now. What do you think about some hinges on one side for opening/closing the side for easier access?
Head to the nearest Home Depot/Lowe's and check their cabinetry hardware department for european style spring hinges. They're extremely sturdy and can hold your case open or closed without a latch mechanism (because they're spring loaded).

2 or 3 sould be plenty and your case has the needed clearance for them to be installed. Since this case is so huge you may also want to look for some nice castoring wheels.

Chrisdafu said:
Also (I think you mentioned it before) but I will need to cut a hole in the sheet seperating the top from the bottom for cables to go through?
Of course. Drill two 1/2" holes in the middle plate than cut out an oval of the material where you need to feed the cables.
I noted that before but didn't explain much...


You're very very welcome. I design alot of cases and have all of the parts prefabbed in this program.