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Thread: Arcade computer case

  1. #1

    Arcade computer case

    Hey guys,

    I just started working on my very first home made computer case, to hold my very first costum build rig.

    After about 2 weeks looking at boring, square, bulky black boxes, I decided I wanted a different computer case, with something else to it, rather than a plain rectangular sided box.

    The idea was to make something compact and, like I said, not square.

    After another week of planning and thinking, I finally decided on the design. I was going to make my home made case look like an arcade machine !

    I started working on Monday, and since I'm on vacation, I spent my entire days on it (which my back did not appreciate)

    So, this is what it has looked like so far:
    (and Yes, I was working on a bathroom, guest room's bathroom)


    SolidWorks CAD

    Getting on with the drawing

    The first cut piece

    More pieces


    Looking good...

    Some electronic components arrive

    Meet Mr and Mrs HDD support

    Backside, made of spare wood, cause I had enough of runs to the hardware store

    Acrylic windows, side (inside), front and top

    Front fan hole

    Gluing the side pannels

    And after some sanding

    After some more fine sanding, and a grid on, this is how it looks right now,great, is it not?
    (the back slides in)

    BUT, I didn't come here to brag only, I got a few questions for you-
    The way it is designed, this case is all arround compact, having little to none spare space, and that brings me some concerns, regarding cooling and air flow, that I had not considered at first.
    The graphics card sits on the top end of the case, barely fitting on the advanced section on the front side, with the fans facing upwards, sucking air in, and out of the case. The PSU has it's own isolated vent system, air enters from below, and exits through the back, without affecting the rest of the case. The standard intel CPU heatsink fan will sit roughly on the center of the case, sucking air in and out in every direction. With two intake fans (80 and 92mm) on the bottom front end of the case, I'm worried that the air flow isn't tidy enough, specially due to HDD position. Other ideas I had regarding air flow consist of giving up either the top or the front acrylic windows, for more fan holes.

    So my questions are:

    1) Is the airflow going to be has bad as I think it will
    2) Should I move the HDD supports?
    3) What else can I do to improve the overall air flow on the case

    Any other useful answer or comment is welcome, thanks
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-12-2013 at 09:07 PM. Reason: Redundancy

  2. #2
    An answer on the next 8 hours would be great, since I'm planning to paint it tomorrow

  3. #3
    This is roughly how I expect the air flow to be like on the case:

    The area I think is the most troublesome is the one with the red ring, I think that the space is so tight that the GPU fans will have to work too hard to get the air in the graphics card

  4. #4
    Going to move the HDD supports, this is what it should look like

    I think this improves the air flow by a lot

    The change makes the front window kind of useless, but it is needed.
    Maybe when I upgrade to an SSD it won't look so bad
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-14-2013 at 12:26 PM. Reason: something sounded wrong

  5. #5
    Transplant successful!

  6. #6
    Update: Been doing some painting, it honestly does not look as good as I'd like, but hey, for a first time, It's not to bad

    Covering some holes

    After grey-ish primer and blue coats

    Masking for the incoming black

    After a couple of black coats

    As you can see on the last pic, the texture on some pannels is very ugly, I think that is a common problem when doing this sort of stuff with wood

  7. #7
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Will there be any fans on the backside to draw the air out?

    Are you going to make up some stickers that will cover the sides? This will help cover the not-so-pretty side panels.
    Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty #moddersinc @moddersinc

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Americanfreak View Post
    Will there be any fans on the backside to draw the air out?

    Are you going to make up some stickers that will cover the sides? This will help cover the not-so-pretty side panels.
    After fitting everything in, I'll see if there's a need for an exhaust fan, but probably yes. Myabe a 80 or 50mm one, in front of the back plate's grid.
    About the stickers, I have considered it, but it's the front pannels that look the worst, not the side ones

    Today I'm gona spray a coat of varnish and then I'll put up some detail pics
    After that, it's just a waiting game untill the components arrive
    Last edited by Pedro Ferreira; 09-15-2013 at 04:54 AM.

  9. #9
    Have sprayed on the varnish coat in the morning, I am currently putting everything I have in place, before some cool detail shots

  10. #10
    The Main Man Dewayne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Cool you could also use some formica laminate (used to cover kitchen counters or cabinets) to give you a smooth look and tough surface since the control area will get the most abuse.
    Cut it, Paint it, Mod it. Void Your Warranty #moddersinc @moddersinc

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