Really nice mate
As promised :-P
You may remember a case Mickey 21 and I did for PNY a few months back. This was the first of two cases for them. The previous was a rush job for CES and the second was to be used for everything else. The project sounded simple enough, we'll build a triangular prism shove the PC into it, sounds easy right? :-P So first there was the material selection. This case is going to be shipped to a lot of places so it had to be very solid. So a quick trip Regal Plastics in Austin yielded a 6ft x 8ftx1/2in sheet of plexi. If anyone has been around 1/2in plexi before the stuff weighs a ton. So plus one sheet of plexi and minus $260 I headed back home. We had an Austin Modders meeting coming up that weekend so I took the plexi and all of the components so we could start the planning process.
We drew out many possible sizes and matched them to the hardware for the best fit before deciding which one to use.
After finding the perfect layout we needed to cut out all of our pieces. Laser cutting was not an option due to the sheer thickness of the plexi, so we opted for the trusty table saw. Unfortunately this left a less than desirable surface on the plexi and would need to be sanded down smooth.
So began the sanding for almost a month solid I spent every day after work sanding for hours. Due to the rough surface left by the table saw. Each side was stepped down using the following grits. 60, 110, 220, 400, 800, 1000, 2000. In total it was 18 sides that needed sanding and it took a lot of time. Here it is between sandings
To assemble the case originally we had planned on using Plexi weld but it was decided due to the weight of the case, bolting it together would be the best option since this case would travel a lot and take some beatings. Each bolt hole was drilled then tapped.
After all the holes were drilled and tapped we needed to design the internal layout. This was fun because the idea was to line the motherboard up so the PNY Video card could be viewed from the front and parallel to the plexi. We created two rails for the motherboard tray to sit on.
Next on the list was the hard drive mount which we positioned under the motherboard.
We came into an interesting issue when it came to the power supply. How do we mount it inside with no flat surfaces to hold it down? The answer came from the one flat surface it was sitting on. We drilled holes through the side of the external case of the power supply and mounted that.
Once we were ready to mount the motherboard try we figured we needed something to hold the cards in place, so an old HP case was gutted and the PCI bracket stolen :-)
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To add some cooling fans were needed. I grabbed my 800mm hole saw and went to work. If you want to use a hole saw to create fan hole in plexi it is fantastic but one thing to remember, run it in reverse. This will carve out the hole. Running it forward the teeth will grab the plexi and spin it of just strait crack it so care must be taken.
Three holes total were one intake and two exhaugst to create pressure throughout the case and pull more air.
Then I needed to handle the I/O of the board, since the motherboard is completely contained inside none of the connections would be available outside. I cut some sheet metal to make an I/O plate then using extensions brought the necessary ports to the back of the case.
They wanted front accessible USB ports so it received the same treatment.
So why use plexi? I mean we obviously don't want the whole inside to be visible and it required a lot of prep work before the case could even start to be assembled. Well Plexi puts off a fantastic shine when painted from behind. If you ever wanted a really really shiny paint job put it behind plexi. Also the plexi allowed us to create windows where and how we wanted. So it was time for a bit of painting prep. Every edge that we had worked so hard to polish was taped off and so were the bolt holes. Since you can look into the edge of the plexi and clearly see the bolts we didn't want it littered with black paint.
I mentioned the windows because two windows were planned for the system, one to view the video card and the other to view their new awesome XLR8 memory. To do this the viewing area was simply masked off before the paint was sprayed then the mask removed.
At this point everything was coming along and a test fit needed to be performed
It looked really slick; unfortunately my table looked like crap because at this point I had been living in my garage for almost 2 months working on this.
After the test fit I went to mounting the lighting. You'll notice two different kinds of cold cathodes in this next picture because PNY wanted the lighting changed to match the kind of card that was in the system. They have two colors, Orange and Blue. These were all wired up to an internal switch so the lights could be changed when the cards were changed.
Then the day we had all been waiting for came. The front panel came back from the sign shop. (Thank you Goober and Sheldog23!)And it was gorgeous!!!! I couldn't have been any happier. The laser work was top notch.
We were coming down to the wire and I needed to get this done. Luckily we were almost there. The system was bolted together and the OS installed to prepare it for shipment. Here are some of the final pictures I got to take.
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Well there it is I hope you enjoyed reading about this and you'll see it around I hope. Any questions or comments are welcome this was a long but fun Project to complete, Thanks to all of the Austin Modders that helped us to pull it off and Thank you to PNY for the opportunity.
Pretty sweet looking and the 1/2 inch plexi is a great idea for the amount of traveling it will do.
I like the lettering and the lights.
Thanks guys glad you like it. This case took a long time. I wish I could take it Quakecon but it doesn't look that is going to happen. They are sending it back to me to make a few updates after a few things got messed up at their first convention but they want it back by July 27th for another show so I don't think it will make it back around in time. I'll see what I can do to get them to send me some pictures from the convention floor.
Looks great! How much were you compensated for this mod? I assume that they gave you all/most of the internals, yes?
For those attending Quakecon stop by the PNY booth, this will be on display for all to see!!!!
Bright, no all of the internals are the systems. I made this case for them to show off. And trust me the payment is never equal to the amount of work done :-P
I figured that, it's just the materials that I was talking about. Do you get to keep it?
No, Quakecon will be the last time I see it (hopefully). Anyone else that has done a vendor knows what I'm talking about :-P
I've learned my lesson though no more 1/2" plexi cases for me :-P
Lol. So it just gets warehoused, or does it go on tour of sorts?
Damn I love speed mods like these. You work so damn hard. I wish I could work hard on mine lol. Come to think of it, damn, I musta got real lucky on a 1/2"x6'x8' white plexi for $35.. Love the mod. I think that the bolts should have been on the sides though - I really love that 1/2" border lit up, it looks fantastic.
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