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Thread: Nanolith

  1. #1


    Here is a quick little project for AMD to highlight their new small but powerful R9 Nano graphics card. They wanted a scratch build, and were pretty flexible on concepts, but the card had to be the main feature. They also wanted an emphasis on small. So after noodling around in Sketchup, I came up with this design:

    I figured what better way to feature the card than putting it up on a pedestal?

    For hardware, I picked out the best parts I could find, keeping in mind the goal of an extremely small footprint. The obvious choice was mITX, so I went with an ASRock X99 board with an Intel 5960x processor, a Crucial M.2 500Gb SSD, G Skill Ripjaw DDR4 memory kit, and a tiny Silverstone 450w power supply. To cool the cpu I got a Corsair Hydro H80i AIO 120mm cooler.

    Once I got the design finalized, I sent the files out for laser cutting. Special thanks go to Primochill for helping me out on this!

    With the cut pieces back, I could start assembling. First up was lining out all the ribs and gluing the cross pieces in to connect them together. I used a couple 1/4" pieces of acrylic to get my 1/2" spacing between ribs.

    After all the ribs were glued, I temporarily assembled the lower box together with the psu and set the rib cage on top for placement. And I had to set the Nano card on it's pedestal to see how it looked, with the backplate taped on for good measure.

    This lower section will be the only exposed part of the ribs.

    Another angle..

    And here are a couple shots with the motherboard in place. I was testing out the fitment of the PCI-e extender cable that will be tucked under the curved support arm.

    Don't mind the toolbox, I was working on this during LANfest, while my son was gaming away next to me lol.

    So far so good! I'll have another update in a couple days. Stay tuned!

  2. #2
    Update on the Nanolith..

    Focusing on the bottom enclosure where the PSU and AIO cooler radiator will be, I glued the bottom piece to the back piece and added the sides. Here's the PSU mounted to the back piece. (dont mind the sticky mess on the PSU, I had double stick tape on it to hold the top piece temporarily.)

    Next I added the Corsair H80i. I will add a couple acrylic blocks in to hold it in place. Not that there's much room for it to go anywhere..

    I glued the top and front piece together, and will screw it to the rest of the box so I can take it apart later.

    And the assembled box. The AIO hoses run thru the front and will bend up and over to the mobo.

    Here's a shot of the back where the PSU is mounted.

    Before I can mount the rib assembly to the box top, I had to do some port work and mount the video card. I removed the bracket from the card and transferred the hole positions over to the red acrylic piece. I will add another piece to the back of the card for additional support.

    More soon!

  3. #3
    Got the card mounted to the rear support last night, by using the tape method of transferring the hole locations. I stuck a piece of blue tape to the card and marked the holes, then placed the acrylic piece over that and traced its outline to the tape.

    Then I took the tape off the card and placed it onto the acrylic piece, using the outline I just drew to line it up.

    I drilled the holes and followed with the chamfer bit.

    All screwed in and mounted!

    Work continues...

  4. #4
    Nanolith gets lit up!

    Making the led backplate for the Nano, and I'll be using this red ledstrip to illuminate the cutout nano lettering.

    I made a frame out of 1/4" acrylic that mounts to the back of the card using existing screw holes in the pcb.

    Then I took the clear backplate with the cutouts and covered the front with aluminum heat tape.

    The alu heat tape is perfect for blocking out the light, so it only shines through the cutout lettering. Still have to cover the edges, then I will apply the final silver vinyl wrap over it.

    I predict an intense 3-day modding weeked ahead!

  5. #5
    With the Nano card up on display, I needed some way to neatly channel the sleeved cables up to it. So rather than routing them in between the ribs unseen, I thought it would be cool to feature them. So I decided to use some thick eyelets as my routing medium and follow the curve of the card support arm.

    After deciding my layout and how many eyelets to use, I simply marked my hole locations, drilled, and tapped.

    I gave the eyelets a quick shot of satin black..

    .. and proceeded to thread the sleeved cables through the eyelets, and up to the card. The last one was a bit tight, but it fit!

    More wiring to come..

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