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Thread: Maker Faire PC

  1. #1

    Maker Faire PC

    So a couple months ago, I was contacted by NVIDIA who invited me to do some live modding at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. This was a great opportunity and I couldn't pass it up! So once again I put my Cruizer build on hold to focus on designing a custom case for the event. After throwing ideas around and taking into consideration the extremely tight deadline, I came up with the idea to create a custom enclosure in the shape of the Maker Faire robot logo, using the tried-and-true layered acrylic method.

    Here is their logo:

    And here is the final 3D concept renderings:

    The idea was to get as much of the difficult modding done ahead of time, then finish it up at the show. I wasn't sure how the NVIDIA booth would be set up, and what I would be allowed to do (dremeling, grinding, cutting, etc..), so I just tried to get as much done as possible prior to driving down.

    First thing I did was to get the design finalized so I could send the files out to be laser cut. Brian at Mod/Smart was instrumental in getting this handled for me. Knowing I was on a tight deadline, he stayed late to make sure all the pieces got cut and sent out to me as quick as possible. I can't thank him enough!

    In the mean time, I started assembling the base, using 1" box tubing and angle bar.

    Once I got the two sides built, I added the ends to complete the box.

    Then I added a couple reinforcement pieces between the two top bars.

    The front would be recessed with the Maker Faire lettering, so a piece of 1/8" acrylic was cut and notched to fit in behind the box tubing.

    Since the lettering would be backlit, I sanded the back side of the panel to diffuse the light, and I shot it with some frosting spray paint for good measure.

    Once dry, I removed the protective coating on the front and proceeded to lay out the letters and glue them down.

    NVIDIA sent me all the components needed to make a kickass gaming rig:
    ASUS Rampage Gene microATX motherboard
    Intel 3970X cpu
    GTX TITAN video cards (x2)
    32Gb Corsair Dominator RAM
    360Gb Corsair SSD
    Corsair AX1200W psu
    Corsair H110 cpu Cooler

    The Maker Faire was May 18-19, so I'll be posting up pics of the event shortly. Needless to say, I did not finish the case there, as it was too problematic to do any significant modding. The original intent was to raffle off the case on the last day of the show, but after seeing it come together, NVIDIA decided to give away a different system, and will be holding on to this one. They are planning to attend the Maker Faire in New York (and possibly a few others), so they will have it on display there and future events.

    And that means I have a little more time to finish it up, which is a huge relief for me! More updates to come...

  2. #2
    Some pics from the Maker Faire...

    Wide shot of the NVIDIA booth

    They had me modding right up front, with PC building and overclocking workshops going on behind me.

    The Maker Faire was a great event to bring the whole family. Tons of cool stuff to see and do! (other than me gluing acrylic together lol)

    My kids checking out dad's progress on the 2nd day.

    I brought the Cruizer case too, just to show an in-progress build. If there was room, I would have brought TRON as well.

    Darthbeavis was there printing stuff from his 3D printer. He also held a few cable management and sleeving classes.

    PCJunkie was also at the event, displaying some of his rigs at the ASUS booth right next to me.

    NVIDIA's cool tool backdrop

    Chris Rey showing attendees how to build your own PC

    Overall, it was a great show. I'd like to thank all the amazing people at NVIDIA for this great opportunity, and I hope we can do this again in the future!

    More progress pics coming up...

  3. #3
    After the show, I got home and continued work on the base, doing the things I couldn't do there, like cutting the fan and PSU holes on the end pieces.

    Going with the theme, I incorporated the letter M into the fan cutout.

    Here's the end piece mounted on the base with the 140mm fan installed.

    On the other side, I got the PSU mounted.

    Once all the panels were on the base, I could move on to the vinyl application. I made up a cool black/green design in photoshop, complete with sponsor logos, and had a local printer output onto 3M adhesive vinyl. This was a super quick way to finish off the base without having to paint anything.

    Starting from the top front lip, I applied the vinyl using a heat gun and squeegie to work out all the bubbles.

    Then I proceeded to cut out the fan and PSU holes.

    Here's a shot of the covered base and the robot legs.

    And the back. I made the design a bit too long, so I had to cut it shorter so the logo strip would still sit at the bottom. I should have cut it right from the corner so the break in the lines wouldn't be so noticeable, but it doesn't look too bad, and it is in the back so probably won't be seen.

    Next up, mounting the legs to the base, and the chest to the legs.

  4. #4
    Mounting the legs onto the base was kinda tricky, in that I needed to fabricate threaded blocks and glue them to the bottom of the legs in order to secure them down. And it had to be strong enough so that it wouldn't break under the load of all that acrylic and components in the chest.

    I took some cubes of 1/2" acrylic square rod and drilled/tapped them for 1/4-20 socket head bolts.

    I made four for each leg, and glued them into the corners. I added a cross brace to support the other two mounts in the center. Those two bolts will utilize the reinforcing angle bar I added to the top of the base to anchor the legs down. Should be plenty strong to keep this robot upright!

    For the chest section, I used eight more bolts to connect it to the legs. I simply drilled/tapped the top of the legs to accept the 1/4-20 socket head bolts.

    All fastened together.

    Now I can move on to the other appendages, and start running cables from the PSU in the base, up through the leg and into the chest.

  5. #5
    More progress...

    Got some work done on the head, mounting the eye sockets. I drilled a hole from the base to the eye openings for the led wires.

    I purchased these green led spot lights and removed the casings.

    Fed the wires through..

    These will be the sockets, with the led strung through the hole at the bottom. I've got the front taped off so I can glue the lenses on after I paint them black.

    For the swivel neck, I took a PVC coupler and notched it.

    The head assembly fits into the slot like so.

    And it slips into the hole on top of the chest.

    I did the same for both arms, adding a set screw to keep the coupler on the arm. These will be painted black as well. Here's a shot of the whole thing.

    And a shot of the back side.

    Getting the cabling worked out now, feeding them up from the PSU in the base, through the leg and into the chest. I'm waiting on a few more items, then I should be able to wrap this guy up.

  6. #6
    Wet Sanded XcaliburFX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Ga ... U.S.A.
    Nice job buddy!

    "Moddin' ... Ain't It Cool!"

  7. #7
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Very Cool Man! No Halle Berry this time?
    Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty #moddersinc @moddersinc

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Canton, Michigan
    Sweet Acrylic work Brian...

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