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Thread: Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

  1. #1

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    HELIOS, the Titan god of the sun. Tireless is he who is like the deathless gods.
    As he rides his chariot, he shines upon men, and piercingly he gazes with his eyes from his golden helmet.
    Bright rays beam dazzlingly from him, and his bright locks streaming from the temples of his head gracefully enclose his far-seen face.
    A rich, fine-spun garment glows upon his body and flutters in the wind: and stallions carry him.
    Then, when he has stayed his golden-yoked chariot and horses, he rests there upon the highest point of heaven, until he marvellously drives them down again through heaven down to the lasting earth.

    Design Features:
    - Crafted from the worlds highest grades of composite materials and carbon fiber.
    - Showcasing some of the finest watercooling components and computer hardware.
    - Designed to hide every fastener, nut and bolt.
    - A lack of case windows leave the motherboard bare and exposed.
    - High-tech and specially engineered ceramic foam filters and stainless steel mesh keep out dust.
    - Made from virtually indestructible panels over 8MM thick.
    - Taking advantage of air pressure zones to keep hardware dust-free.
    - Fully removable motherboard tray without disconnect or power-down.
    - Highly modular design makes part-swapping as simple as possible.
    - Sleek minimalist design is a call back to swiss modernism and bauhaus principals.
    - Design and fabrication methods tailored to an extreme rapid fabrication cycle.
    - HELIOS is to be a scratch build mod, truly, like no other.

    Hardware List:
    Processor - 1x unknown
    Graphics - 3x nVidia GeForce GTX 480
    Motherboard - 1x unknown
    Memory - 12GB unknown
    Power - Corsair AX1200
    Storage - 8x 120GB SSD
    Display - 3x Asus VW266H 25.5"


    Processor - 1x AquaComputer Cuplex Kryos XT
    Graphics - 3x unknown

    Motherboard - 1x unknown

    Radiators - 2x HW Labs GTX480 (3x140mm)
    Tubing - 20' Tygon AS600038
    Fans - 13x NB-BlackSilentPro PK-3
    Pumps - 4x Laing DDC-1plus
    Pump Tops
    - EK-DDC Dual Top V2
    - Mips RAM Kühler6
    Fittings 1
    - 10x 3/8" Straight Rotary Fitting
    Fittings 2
    - 20x 3/8" 45 Degree Rotary Fitting
    Fittings 3
    - 20x 3/8" Angle Rotary Fitting
    Fittings 4
    - 10x Low-Profile Stop Fitting
    Fittings 5
    - 16x Fitting Spacer
    Fittings 6
    - 16x Mini Fitting Spacer
    Fittings 7
    - 8x No-Spill Quick Disconnect Female
    Fittings 8
    - 8x No-Spill Quick Disconnect Male
    Fittings 9
    - 4x 2-Slot Crystal Sli-Link Tube
    Fittings 10
    - 3x Mini Sli-Adapter

    Fasteners and Hardware:

    Polyethylene Spacer
    - 40x 3/16”OD x .115”ID x 3/8” (McMaster - 92825A009)
    SS Dowel Pin
    - 50x 3mm x 6mm (McMaster - 91585A051)
    SS Press-Fit Threaded Insert
    - 5x 1/4-20 x 1/2” (McMaster - 92394A116)
    SS Press-Fit Bushing
    - 4x .257”ID x 1/2”OD x 1/4” (McMaster - 8492A155)
    SS Knurled Thumb Screw - 4x 1/4-20 x 3/4” x 1” (McMaster - 91830A577)
    Wool/Rayon Adhesive Back Felt - 1x 24” x 32” x 3/64” (McMaster - 8770K3)
    SS Low Head Socket Cap Screw - 75x M4 x 30mm (McMaster - 92855A425)
    SS Knurled Thumb Screw - 24x 6-32 x 1/2” x 1/4” (McMaster - 91746A536)
    SS Low Head Socket Cap Screw - 25x 6-32 x 3/4” (McMaster - 93615A210)
    SS Self-Lock Flat Head Cap Screw 25x 10-32 x 1” (McMaster - 92805A268)
    SS Male-Female Standoff - 18x 6-32 x 3/16”OD x 3/16” (McMaster - 91075A461)
    Hinge / Lid Support
    - 2x 1.744” x 5.313” (McMaster - 14785A51)


    - 8MM thick CNC cut carbon composite panels crafted to the strictest military specifications
    - 2MM thick thermoset carbon composite panels made for aerospace applications
    - Stainless Steel hardware throughout
    - Stainless Steel micro-weave mesh
    - Felt dampening
    - Polyethylene to reduce friction in modular areas.
    - Custom engineered ceramic foam air filters


    - 206mm Wide - 610mm Tall - 610mm Deep
    - unknown
    Performance Statistics
    - unknown

    Design, Prototypes, Mockups and Fabrication log to follow.

  2. #2

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    Concept, Design, and Planning - PAGE 1
    First Stage 3D Mockups - PAGE 1

  3. #3

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    *reserved for final/current image*

  4. #4

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    Using Adobe's Illustrator I created a couple rough perspective drawings, so that I could get a better idea of the concept in my head:
    -At this point the plan was to construct the case in Aluminum.

    REVISION 1.0:

    REVISION 2.0:
    After talking with the community and doing some more planning myself, I made some changes to the plan.
    -Altered some of the chassis dimensions.
    -Trashed the idea of stacked radiators.
    -Relocated the pumps and reservoirs.
    -Added a downward facing PSU fan, which would later be scrapped.
    -Finalized the tubing layouts.
    -Changed from 360MM radiators to 420mm
    -Changed the fabrication material to Grade 38 Titanium

    REVISION 3.0:
    I again posted my designs for the community to critique and made some very minor alterations yet again.

    REVISION 4.0:

    At this point I was getting some really good feedback online and started putting it into practice.
    -I redrew the entire design with new dimensions.
    -Plotted the wiring paths.
    -Refined the tubing layouts.
    -Finalized the pump and reservoir positions


    It was now that I decided to take my design and bring it into the physical plane. The medium I decided upon was cardboard and tape - the board I used is the same stuff one would use to matte pictures when framing.

    REVISION 5.0, current and FINAL revision:

    Happy with the prototype and the general concept, I decided it was time to finalize the plan and fix the little issues. This revision I've kept to myself until this now. I've made many very small changes to the plan.
    -I again completely redrew the design, this time with 8MM thick paneling.
    -I added small routered grooves where the panels fit together to better hide the seams.
    -Altered the relationships of components and their positions.
    -Finalized the design for the PSU cavity.
    -Beveled all the edges of the cuts - to compensate for the diameter of the 1/8" cutting tool on the CNC router.
    -I also swapped out the Titanium for a Carbon Fiber construction instead (I'm going to save the Titanium I acquired for another project down the road).

  5. #5

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    I've been working with an engineer, and friend of mine named John Dalton, who has graciously offered up some time to throw together a 3D mock-up.

    He sent me off the first revision of his model today.

    There are couple of minor errors, due to my vague explanations:
    -In this model the motherboard backplate is flipped 180deg
    -The SSD mounts are affixed to the side panels instead of the rads
    -the motherboard tray is just floating in space.

    They are such minor issues that I have no problem at all sharing some previews with you.
    And John already agreed to rectify the issues for me on Monday.

    Here's an ISO view with perspective.

    Side view with perspective:

    View of the back and side of the chassis.

    A couple of detail shots of the bottom.

    Note here how I managed to save some space by routering out some spots in the chassis and side-panel. These will allow for a couple extra millimeters for the pumps and PSU fan.

    You can CLICK HERE for a live model preview which you can rotate around and navigate in 3D space.

    Unfortunately this HTML export from SolidWorks is only supported by IE, and on PC.

  6. #6

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    That's all I have to share for today.
    I'll have the revised model as well as some renderings to show you all next week.
    As well, next week, I'll share some pictures of the manufacturing process behind the composite panels. Perhaps even some shots of them being CNC cut to spec.


  7. #7

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    I've been diligently plugging away.
    I decided to trade in the project log for a big bang at the end.

    Many issues arose when fabricating the 8mm thick panels - there was a great numbers of unsuccessful trials before arriving at the solution seen in the images below. A total of 64 layers were required to achieve the thickness and rigidity of my specifications.

    As planned:
    There are three small 1/8" pins sticking out 2.5mm from each mated edge. These more than hold it together, there are no visible fasteners. (I've not yet inserted the pins holding the side panels in place - this will be the last step.

    All that remains now is to give the panels a final surface finish.
    A final clean of the edges.
    Dilling of a few remaining holes for mounting things like the motherboard.
    Then a light hammering to seat all the pins into their final positions.

    That's all I have to say for now, I'll let the images do the rest.

    Presenting HELIOS:
    Side-View w/ Side Panel


    Opened Top


    Reverse Side and back of Motherboard

    Detail Shot

    Tune in soon for final pics, the fabrication story, technical specifics, hardware selection and some pretty badass motion graphics.


  8. #8

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    Whats next?

    1) Resurfacing the panels - this will be done by squeezing each piece for a few seconds at ~200,000lbs in a press heated to ~400degress. The pieces will be pressed between a textured sheet of teflon, the texture will be transferred to the surface of the composite panels. The result will be a flat, even surface with a slight texture to it; just to add a bit of character.

    2) Final assembly - this will be where the panels are fixed together using small press-fit steel pins. You wont be able to see these pins once assembly is complete and they will offer more than enough structural stability to hold the chassis together.

    3) Aerogel (Frozen Smoke) pieces
    - I've decided to manufacture the remaining parts of this case from a material known as Aerogel. This material is just... remarkable... it looks just like frozen smoke, it weighs almost nothing, it's the least dense solid on the planet... and it can withstand ~4000 times its weight in compression. I'll leave you with a video discussing it's properties:

    4) Install the hardware
    - I still haven't settled on the hardware for this build... but I think something over-the-top and epically powerful is in order. I'll start gathering the remaining pieces over the next month or so.

    Thanks for the comments and support everyone.
    I look forward to sharing my current progress with you soon.


  9. #9

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    I've been asked some questions regarding the struggles in creating the panels used to construct Helios... so here is goes.

    I will elaborate with a photo walkthrough when I can find the opportunity in the next few weeks.

    Material Composition:

    Base Materials:
    - Carbon
    - Nickel
    - Lithium
    - Teflon
    - Aramid (Kevlar)
    - Polypropylene
    - Glass
    The resin used is the highest performance material currently available on earth:
    "PEEKâ„¢ polymer is regarded as one of the highest performing materials in the world. Its product portfolio is the broadest range of polyaryletherketones on the market today and helps customers improve application performance, realize greater design freedom and achieve systems cost savings."
    As a small qualifier to the performance of this material; combining PEEK with a something like Fiberglass will result in a material stronger than carbon fiber (albeit not as light).

    The process of manufacturing is as such:
    1 - Fibers are grouped 25,000 at a time, in this case, and wound onto rovings.

    2 - The rovings, like big spools of thread, contain about 2.5KM of fiber and weigh only about 1KG (depending on the material).

    3 - The rovings are fed into a machine, 64 at a time, and impregnated with plastic resin

    4 - The result is called "tape" and it's 6inches wide, it's cross section would reveal 1.6million individual fibers held together with resin.

    5 - The tape is then fed into a machine which melts as many as 7 spools together.

    6 -
    The result is a continuous sheet 42" wide and composed of 11.2million individual fibers across.

    7 -
    This 42" wide sheet is then sliced into 42"x42" squares called "unidirectional sheets".

    8 -
    These "unidirectional sheets" are then stacked one atop another, following a strict pattern called a lay-up. For the panels used in Helios the lay-up called for 64 specific layers of materials in the form of unidirectional sheets and woven fabric.

    9 -
    The sheets are then stacked 0degrees -> 90degrees -> 0degrees -> 90degrees -> etc. This is to alternate the direction of the fibers and ensure rigidity in both directions

    10 -
    Every few layers the lay-up calls for a sheet of resin film to be added, this film will melt and help further adhere the layers.

    11 -
    This stack of sheets, fabrics, and resins is now sandwiched between some sheets of teflon fabric and topped off with 1/8" aluminum panels. The aluminum keeps the panel surface straight and the teflon stops everything from sticking to the aluminum (sometimes textured teflon is used for effect).

    12 -
    This 'sandwich', now over 6" tall, goes into a GIANT press heated upwards of 500degrees and capable of exerting several million pounds of force under tens of thousands of PSI.

    12 -
    The Helios panels went into the press for 11mins 400,000lbs @ 420degrees, then another 6mins in a cooled press at 120,000lbs. These unimaginable forces turned the 6" tall lay-up unto an incredibly rigid panel 8mm thick.

    13 -
    In the case of Helios, I've added another step: a second pressing using textured teflon to add a surface texture to the panels. This is because when the panels were made using smooth teflon and I want a more unique look than just plain "shiny".

    RESULT - Each of the 6panels used to construct Helios contains 718,800,000 individual 42" long fibers - each approximately 1/50,000th the width of a human hair and each with a strength of about 48,000 kN·m·kg−1 (High carbon steel is rated about 154 kN·m·kg−1) The panels are as close to the physical embodiment of indestructible that any man could ever hope to see.

    In Short:
    Fiber is wound, injected with plastic, grouped into tape, melted together into sheets, which are stacked together with resin film, which is pressed and cooled... this is how you get thermoplastic panels.

    As you can imagine (even moreso once I get some photos up) there are about a million things which can go wrong during this process... and I think every possible problem showed it's face during this project.

    I hope that illuminates things a bit.

  10. #10

    Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

    I've been asked quite a bit about it, so I've uploaded some images of the surface of the panels.

    It's very hard to capture... but the 'woodgrain' effect you see on pieces labeled "current" is still very much visible through the "final" texture, but the camera has a hard time picking it up.

    That's all for now, I'll be back soon with progress updates.
    Stay classy.


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