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Thread: Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

  1. #1

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    This is a joint project between myself (sethnmalice) and fellow aussie modder, Slamaa.
    We wanted to create a home theater pc case, both user friendly and something that pops when sitting in someones living room, and after many many designs and re-designs our project commenced.

    Originally we didn't have a theme, but we knew we wanted it to have some sort of future/space element to it, and this is what we came up with, bare in mind that the project is continuously changing and each time I meet a new obstacle or objective.

    As our project began to take form, we needed a charity organization, and Slamaa chose Cancer Research Australia as the charity.
    - So what has that got to do with this project, well we are building a themed case to auction off and all proceeds are going to the proposed charity.

    Along the way Slamaa sent out emails to various company's and we also got some help from the local forum this project originated from. We picked up some sponsors...



    Sponsored Parts from
    Spring Loaded case handles $19.99 per pair with matching color fasteners

    Powdercoat Black

    Billet Machined Aluminum Case Feet, $29.99 Made by

    Our only downfall at the moment is that we had a sponsor for Water Cooling, but that seems to have fallen through, so our project may be delayed as we raise the funds for the WC Gear.

    (you'll have to forgive my ignorance I'm the builder of the project and I'm winging this portion of the build)

    Without further a due I present...

    Nothing ever goes to plan and rather than not show how we got to where we are now, I'm going to show you the evolution of our creativity and where it has lead us.

    Concept Ideas. (In no particular order)

    0Mod%2001/CCM-SponsorPlaning-08.jpg" alt="" />

    None of these pics represent the final choice, they are a guideline to show our creativity and how everything has been evolving.

    I'll be update this particular post as I get more information on sponsors and the current gear we have, I'm a little in the dark on tech specs of the Motherboard, Video Card, etc, but as soon as I know I'll let you know.

    And once again I apologise for my inexperience.

    A sethnmalice and slamaa custom case build.

  2. #2

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    Slamaa and I have been messing with ideas and thoughts for a few weeks now, and I decided to draw up a design on what the frame should look like...

    Like so...

    And me being well, being me, curiosity got the better of me today so I thought I would make it, this is a mock up version, so I'll be making 2 of them, one as a testing ground for ideas to impliment on and then the actualy one with each final design going into it.

    Not bad at all and only took an hour to wack it together.

    We spoke alot about the top and the bottom and I racked my brain on how it should look at what its function should be.
    What its ment to do is house the chassis in it, as a massive foot support, because this case isnt exactly small, its dimensions are 625mm Height, 400mm Wide and 425 Deep, so its pretty big, its been split into 2 sections, we will address what for later on.

    Yes they are HUGE feet, but they have to be to support the weight of the chassis and also to stop it from tipping should it ever be knocked. These are currently made out of MDF, but may be made from the same 25mm Tubing used on the frame, or alot of plexi glued together or a mix of the two, no final thought on that yet.

    This case will also be sporting some doors, that envelope almost all the chassis and open from the side out, like the doors of a car, im still working on a functional way to do this.

    So this is where we are upto at the moment, and this does not represent the final product in any way shape or form.

  3. #3

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    Mini Update

    The overall size of the case was too big so I reduced the width down to 300mm, and removed most of the middle section , coz I forgot about how the doors would be set up, I'm still not convinced it will work this way and am thinking about changing how its currently set up, in the photos youll be able to see the what is ment to be the motherboard support, still is fixed to the outter frame pieces on the left and right, these may prove to be more problematic that I hoped, so I may bring them in once I find out the motherboard measurements.

    But for now, heres how it looks...

    It gives the appearance that its alot smaller.

    More updates to follow.


  4. #4

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    This Case was meant to have 2 doors, but due to the difficulty of the first one , there's only one and also it weakened the entire case structure, not enough support.

    This section is explaining the door concept, plan and practice.

    I could have just gone the hinge door and been done with it, no grief no fuss, couple of rivets here and there and all is done, but No!!!, I wanted something different and different is what I got.

    I found this stuff at bunings and bought it, and i bought a massive bolt rod thing that is going to server as the door swing, and it will be housed up the tubey thing, itll make sense later, keep reading...

    I really hope you all get the idea I was going for, I was trying to stealth the whole thing and keep the case flush due to the extensive external modding that is going to be taking place further down the track, and I couldnt work out, how I was going to hide the hinges, so this was my alternate plan, and for the better part it has worked.

    The inner bolt tightens onto the outer bolt, to stop it from becoming loose.

    This is a diagram of what you cant see and what I'm having trouble trying to explain.

    This is the door completed.

    So I had to change some of the framework, due to some bad stress points and weakened areas, but its pretty much the same.

    Moving on to reinforcing the top and bottom, I added a sheet of alu to the bottom, and riveted it all together...

    I used L shaped alu thingy drilled a heap of holes, and then at the what is to be the base of the case, lined them around, drilling and riveting as i went, then added the alu base plate and riveted it in place.

    Next we move onto the top, this I didnt want to leave plain, I wanted something to symbolize the project we are doing, and as I cant get a hold of Slamaa, I just soloed this one.

    I will be cutting this out at some point during the week and eventually it will have acrylic behind it.

    These next pics are bigger than the others, so you dont have to squint looking at anything.



    Other side with door open.



  5. #5

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    This is a progression of photos of the top panel.

    Basically, I cut the panel to the desired length and test fit it, its flush with the rest of the tubing on the top , but have decided to make it a hinged opening, I figure it would be alot easier to work from the top when the time called for it, could be a few hard drive mounts in this (for the person that can never have to many drives).

    I added side rails, these were originally going to be so i could rivet the top panel down, but now i can re work that area for the hinge spots.

    @ Aborted - Sorry to disappoint, but no, cant afford to have anything laser-cut, case has already cost me $200+ in materials and its steadily going up, acrylic is going to cost a bit etc etc...

    All the work your about to see is done by hand - tools used - Hand Nibbler and various metal files, 400/600 grit wet and dry sandpaper and alot of elbow grease.

    Pre drilled tiny holes on all the bits to be cut out.

    Increased hole size so the Nibbler head can get through...

    Cutting out the letters...

    Heat got to the paper template so had to go real slow and steady...

    First part completed...

    Took the template off the alu sheet and began cleaning up the panel...

    Wiped off the metal file shavings, and deburred the under side and started on the top side...

    Used 600 grit and WD40 for the first sand...

    Went back over it just using 600 grit and no lubrication...

    Cleaned it up and used 400 grit with water, trying to remove all the streaks and the black spots that seem to appear...

    Re-sanded again with 600 grit and water as lubrication, then cleaned it up...

    Glamor Shot...

    Back on top of the case.

    I'm heading towards a full polish, I still have to do a 1000/1200 and 2000 grit wet sand, then ill move onto some uber polishing and I hope to get it as close to mirror as possible.

    Slamaa is away, so my update tomorrow is on motherboard placement, Ill have some pics on view, and by the weekend I'll have the lian li stuff, up for viewing too.

  6. #6

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    These are the 3 types of setups that a possible to do, without disfiguring the case too much, I havnt included rom or hard drive bays as i dont have them available, this is just motherboard placement then I'll go from there.

    Fig 01

    Fig 02

    Fig 03

  7. #7

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    This is a small update but the work involved was intense, and is still continuing.

    Sanded the top plate with 600 grit Wet and Dry, cleaned it up then...

    sanded with 800 Grit, cleaned it up, then...

    sanded it with 1000 grit, cleaned it up, then...

    sanded it with 1500 grit, cleaned it up , then...

    sanded it with 2000 grit, cleaned it up, then took a few days off for my arms to get back to normal, 4 days sanding roughly...

    Now onto the polishing, and not that awesome factory polish you'd expect to see, nope, you get 110% hand polishing, bout 3 days worth, even polished for 4 hours on one of those awesome 45 degree days...hows that for dedication ...

    After 3 days of polishing....

    Close up.

    So its still not mirror, but its getting close. I have to go back over and 2K sand it again, there's blemishes and they are annoying me, and I want this to be in short, about as good as machine quality, I cant see it happening, but I'm going to give it my all to get it there.

    I started polishing some of the case tubes as well, because I have no idea how this is going to be painted, or if it can be painted, because the door cant come off, unless someone really wants it to come off, which I hope they don't!!

  8. #8

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    Small Update.

    Today was a good day to mod and a sad day to destroy my lian li server tower, but its done now, an I'll be uses bits n pieces from the tower on the charity case mod.

    Ill be using the 6X 5.25 bay, mainly because I don't have the confidence to make my own, and possibly the 3x 3.5 HDD bay. Lian Li case feet will be used as well.

    basically recreate this on the charity case mod.

    So today I began to think about the motherboard placement, actually I've been thinking about it for a while, but today was crunch day and I'm at a point where it needs to be done so that other bits can begin and be completed.

    I made a flat plate, for where the motherboard tray will be attached somehow (still havnt worked out that bit)

    The problem with this current config is that there isnt enough support for all that going into the tray, this I will have to work on later on.



    Pictures 1 and 2 don't give much explanation, so I'll fill in the gaps, these panels are going to sit flush with frame tubing and at a later date the acrylic will be put over the top, all panels will be like these except for the back plate.

    Random Photo.

    Random Photo.

    Random Photo.

    Random Photo.

    Random Photo.

    In the Random Photos, this show the final configuration for this Case, and the reason for it to be this way, is that had I gone with Figure 2, then nothing would have fitted properly.

    A lot of you may disagree, but I have to imagine that theres a full working PC on that motherboard, with video cards, etc, so I'm pretty sure that the 5.25 bay tray, will conflict with Figure 2, so in order to correct this I moved the motherboard tray and other pieces around till I found a configuration that would work, and this is what you see in each of the Random Photo's.

    Now I have motherboard placement and a alu plate the tray is going to sit on, it dawned on me that there is going to be alot of weight there as well, so I made a brace that will sit underthe motherboard, to hold it in place.

    Yes alot of rivets to be sure, but your looking at this upside down, so they wont be visible to the naked eye.

    Like so...

    Add the plate and its more or less complete, just need to work out some other things, then I can rivet it all together.

    My favorite pic of the day, makes the case look gigantic and menacing.

    There's still a lot more to go so stay tuned, comments welcomed


  9. #9

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    Small update...

    Yesterday was a great day for building unlike today with a strong north wind upto 80k's and its currently 43 degrees, and anyone thats modded in a shed knows, that north wind + 40 degrees is not a smart thing o do, so while I'm enjoying the aircon inside, I thought Id pop out an update.

    This case build changes frequently, and this is mostly due to inexperieience or trying to achieve the impossible and failing at it.
    When we originally set out to build this case, we didnt really consider the inside of it, because we are 'Case' Modders afterall, but when push comes to shove and your building a case from scratch you have to constantly rethink your ideas, in hope that everything will come to plan at the end of the day, with out to many hiccups along the way.

    So my plan was to have the motherboard in the middle and the 5.25 bays near the bottom and the hard drives at the bottom aswell and the psu somewhere else, but my plans were soon to be clouded by the fact that once all these were in place, there wouldnt be any room to use a screw driver to afix DVD-roms into 5.25 cages and so forth, so I had to re0plan these ideas, and ended up settling for Fig 2 setup.

    I worked out the dilema of screwing drives into 5.25 bays, also I havent done it as yet, the idea is in my head and I will be executing it soon.

    The door on the left allows access easily enough to be able to have both hands inside doing most of the work from that side, but the right side is almost completely sealed up, and thats a problem for anyone wishing to upgrade the system at a later date, so I gave it alot of though and came up with an idea to make the right side panel completely removable, should the new owner need to access that side [but thats for another update later on down the track]

    Back to this update...

    As you know I took out the 6x 5.25 bay from my lian-li server and basically made a new from panel for the front right panel, I also intergraded a dual RAD, this wont be the only one, so it can either house 2 x 120 mm fans or a Radiator, and its resest into the right side, so it wont obstruct anything, I'm also going to make another for somewhere else so that slamaa has the option of two different configurations or he can actually use 2 x RAD.

    This took a long time to do, as I wanted it to be accurate so i measured and re-measured many times before I began to cut it out, drew my lines, checked them again, used a jigsaw with fine metal blade, level 3 speed, then used a nibbler to get it close to the lines, then filed it till I was happy.
    In this process my rivet holes werent where they should be so I redid those.

    Half of the panel was complete, then I had a thought about adding in the Radiator, and for a while I couldnt work out how to get this to work, then I went inside and took out my Rad Grill and used it as a template.

    Copied the template...

    Drilled a hole and used a nibbler to cut out the 2 x 120mm holes, also used varies drill bits to drill out the smaller holes, then used a half rasp file and filed away till it was an almost perfect circle, flipped it over and took the rough edge off, also used a larger drill bit on the holes to get them all smooth.

    "" />
    Riveted the 5.25 cage to the front panel...

    My intentions are to make the front panel flush with the tubing, and to do this I used 12x12mm 'L' aluminium, I cut them to the desired lengths, then pre drilled my holes on both sides, mounted them to the chassis, and drilled and riveted them on, also using a simular scrap piece of alu so I could make sure the main panel would remain flush, then I riveted the main panel to the corner pieces, and now that panel is flush with the tubing (there are reasons for this which will be explained later on)...

    From these three pictures you can see all of the case, I had to shorten the middle piece that the motherboard was going to be built on, this may be a place that the hard drives or psu will become home for, the motherboard will be at the bottom-ish.

    Nothing is ever final, till its in an update, so stick around, cool change tonight which means modding tomorrow.


  10. #10

    Project INVADED - A Custom Case for Charity

    Small Update...

    Yesterday it was a stormy day, so we went from a whopping 47 degrees, to 19 degrees, and 19 degrees is a perfect day for modding!!!.

    I added a lip to the mid panel, this will reinforce the side panel when it goes in today
    I also added the back panel and this is what I will be working on for the remainder of the day.

    Random Photos....

    Back Panel and Motherboard Tray Modding.

    This is what it all looks like together, although in this shot it isnt complete.

    With the motherboard in its final position, its time to make it a part of the rest of the back panel.

    I pulled a part the Lian Li Motherboard Tray and made a template of it on the back panel...

    I drilled my pilot hole, then used a Jigsaw to cut it out, well most of it, the rest I used a nibbler to bring it to the next stage, which would be the hand filing...

    Then cleaned it up and de-burred the edges on the other side.

    I added the power supply mount and added several dual rad fan holes, this now gives slamaa 4 possible places to put his water cooling setup. Drilled my pilot holes...

    Drilled the next set of pilot holes, and added other holes for mounting the back plate to the chassis frame.

    I'll have another update later on tonight or tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for viewing comments - good or bad appreciated.


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