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PROJECT LOG "On the wall but it ain't no flower" -- First time attempt at custom case design

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New Member
Aug 24, 2016
"On the wall but it ain't no flower" -- First time attempt at custom case design

Hey guys, I'm new to the forums as well as modding in general but I'm hoping to get some input regarding a custom case that I am looking to build (a big jump considering I have little experience but i figured I'd take the leap and go for the deep end, though I am thoroughly thinking it through)... Anyway, I have access to various resources that I will be using in building the case (tools, CNC, etc.) and parts such as the SSD/HDD tray, Motherboard tray, PCi mounting grill thing, and front I/O will be bought pre-made to ensure that it is mountable, but I want to iron out the component layout first before I go into material purchasing and all that stuff. Hence, I'd appreciate any advice or recommendations on the designs (layouts) I will be posting below regarding the air flow, component arrangement, or just about anything else really.

Designed to fit at least the following components:
- Intel core i5-6500 3.2GHz
- Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler
- MSI Z170 Krait Gaming ATX
- Kingston Savage (2x8GB) DDR4-2400
- A-Data Premier Pro SP600 256GB 2.5" SSD
- WD Black 500GB 2.5" HDD x2
- Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 8GB AMP! Edition
- Thermaltake 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX
- Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120mm x4

- PSU is pink/purple
- Motherboard is green
- Video card is purple
- 2.5" SSD/HDD x4 + 3.5" HDD x2 cage is yellow
- Fans:
- 80x80, 120x120, 200x200
- Intake is blue
- Exhaust is red

Common to all layout designs:
- Video card will be parallel to motherboard (connected using riser cable) fan facing front
- PSU will be mounted on its side with fan facing out
- Designed to be wall mountable (be as thin as possible)
- Mounting plate will have 20mm space between back plate for cable management
- All components facing the front (away from wall)
- The Left side shows view from left to right
- Space between components will have holes for feeding cables through behind mounting plate

I'd like to keep it as slim as possible while maintaining effective airflow and temperature management, the method of wall mounting is still under development (haven't quite pinned an idea but would like to have it as minimally invasive as possible).

So if you have any comments, suggestions, or better ideas please let me know :)

--- For some reason the images load at full size, I do apologize for that, please open the images in a new tab to make it easier to see (though I'm sure you likely already know that)

Layout design 1: 720x370x180mm
- Closed top

Layout Design 2: 720x370x150mm (160mm where fan sticks out to front)
- Closed top
- Has meshing on left and right sides to make up for lost fans (those seen in Layout 1)

Layout Design 3: 720x370x150mm (160mm where fan sticks out to front)
- Same as 2 only features 2 120x120mm exhaust fans at top


New Member
Aug 24, 2016
Update: - Got some feedback from a few friends, decided to build a prototype case to test the layout with a wooden frame (mounting plate for the MoBo and related components will still be metal).
If it arranges nicely within a wooden frame and maintains a reasonable operating temperature then I see no reason why it wouldn't work as an aluminum case (albeit with a slightly modified setup/design)


Dec 21, 2009
Are you 3D printing parts, or machining them from cad drawings? Seems like a cool project. I'm an engineer, so I'm into it when people design their own equipment :)

I'll be following your progress.


New Member
Aug 24, 2016
Thanks :) and I'm looking to CNC most of it as I may be able to use the equipment at school but for parts like the HDD tray and anything along those lines, if I don't find a suitable alternative online (as accessories/parts for existing cases) then I may look into 3D printing.

For the wood worked prototype I'll be using the generic set of tools where possible

- - - Updated - - -

I'm excited to start the project...never really thought of doing anything like this before but after talking to a friend I realized that I have relatively easy access to most of the resources I'd need.

Plus, it's a good use of time and with enough luck and hard work there may be something good and (to a degree) unique out of it


New Member
Aug 24, 2016
Changes have finally been made to the designs for the wood build:
- there are now 2 potential designs for debate between (for which I'd appreciate any input and suggestions)

Common to both designs:
- Front plate opens like a door (hinges on left, latch on right)
- Back plate opening system TBD
-- Green = Motherboard
--Purple = PSU
--Dark Blue = Video card
--Yellow = Hanging HDD
--Blue = Intake fan
--Red = Exhaust fan

Case Design 1: 750x245x390 Standing "Cabinet"
- PSU fan facing front
- VC connected using riser cable; fan facing front
- HDD orientation TBD in bottom right corner
- Intake:
- - one 120mm from the bottom
- - two 12mm and two 80mm from the right
- - one 200mm (or 140mm) LED from front on CPU cooler
- Exhaust:
- - four 80mm and one 120mm out through left

View from left side through to right

View from front to back

Case Design 2:
- PSU and HDD hidden behind mounting plate
- - have their own air flow with one 120mm intake on bottom and one 120mm exhaust out left side
- - PSU has fan facing away from the mounting plate toward the back
- - HDD mounted so far as if hanging sign but up to debate
- - IOs face left
- Motherboard and VC connected traditionally
- - has two 120mm intake fans on the bottom and one 140mm (or 120mm) intake fan on the front towards CPU cooler; has two 120mm exhausts on top left and right sides
- - IOs face left

View from left through to right

View from front through to back

- Alternate views


New Member
Aug 24, 2016
Just as a quick update, I'm currently waiting on one more person for feedback on which case layout he thinks I should go with as i just cant make up my mind between the two.
Both have a certain appeal to me, the first being slightly slimmer and better for swapping parts as well as displaying the components inside, while the second fits better within my room now, and would allow storage and stacking of other things (ps4, cameras, etc.) on top. So ultimately the deciding factor for myself will be which one has better air flow and cooling ability than the other.

If you guys have any feedback or suggestions of your own i'd much appreciate it