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Thread: Dark Matter (Scratch Build) W/3D Printed Parts

  1. #21


    Painting: EK Logo

    I test painted the 3D printed EK logo that inserts into the top grill. The logo and insert is made up of a 3D printed plate and a circular piece of acrylic that is cut out around the 3d printed logo. I painted the 3D printed part black and the acrylic portion lime green.








    Xbox Power LED:

    Im thinking about using a power indicator from an Xbox 360 for the Dark Matter build. I already have the spare parts and I just need to figure out the rest of the wiring. I have the option to use the main ring to indicate power for the computer and the other LEDs for basic computer information. Once I have more time to explore this I will update the log.


  2. #22


    Test Painting: PCIe Slot Covers (Vertical Slots)

    I wanted to see what the vertical PCIe slot covers might look like in black. The OC function panel for the DarkPower PSU is mounted in the first vertical slot. This panel is black so I thought it would look better if the PCIe covers matched. I also wanted to add a few bits of vinyl to give it a neat look. My style is futuristic industrial and this helps to define that.



    I designed the vinyl pieces so that they signify the slot number or “sector number.” It starts to get really tricky when your working with tiny font on vinyl. I have involuntary hand jerks due to my brain injury which make the job of placing the small pieces difficult. Luckily I didn't have issues while mounting these pieces.


    Update: Xbox Power LED

    After some testing I found that using the Xbox's PCB is rather difficult. When I have time I will try and trace out the LEDs and switch. I was able to use it as an indicator setup by re-wiring LEDs. I also figured out how to mount the indicator of the Dark Matter build. The original mount is built into the faceplate of an Xbox 360 so this took a bit to get it correct for my use. Some super small screw and tapping a few holes helped.




  3. #23


    3D Printed Switch Panel:

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of using the Xbox 360 power ring. It would take a lot of work to redo the main front switch panel but, its the only way I'll be able to really see what it will look like. I decided to take some time to design a complete front panel that I could 3D print on my Printrbot Plus printer.



    I moved the Xbox ring to the center of the panel and offset the Vandal switch to one side. Since I was taking the time to design and print a front panel I figured I might as well inset the switches like I had originally planned. Once I sand the print and get the dimensions exact I will start applying filler/primer to make it smooth.




    Update: Vertical PCIe Slot Covers & Bezels

    While working on the front switch panel I decided to start working on a few pieces I'm printing for the back panel as well. I want to do a few surrounds or bezels for the vertical PCIe slots. I'm also planing on doing a bezel for the PSU mount and another piece on the back. These help to add dimension to the panel as well as give it a polished look once painted.



    The bezel I printed for the vertical PCIe slots took about 7 minutes using my new UBIS 13s hotend with a 1mm tip. Using my old setup it would take about 20 or so minutes to print the sane thing. The time consuming part is the finish work needed to make 3D printed parts look manufactured. You won't be able to tell the difference between 3D printed parts and other parts on the case when they are finished. As of now I just have it rough sanded but, I will be painting tomorrow.

  4. #24


    Freestyle Modding: Top Panels

    From time to time I like to do some true freestyle modding. I have been playing with an idea to add dimen sion on the front panel. Once I first cut the pieces of acrylic they were too tall. I had to slightly modify them a couple of times to get the height correct.



    Now that the acrylic pieces are the correct size they need to be sanded smooth. Its extremely important that the bottoms of the acrylic are perfectly flat. Having them nice and flat will allow them to bond better when I weld the pieces of acrylic together. I haven't welded or painted them yet but, I will soon to see what it'll look like.




    Part Arrival: Voltmeter

    I was happy to see that my green LED voltmeter arrived safely. Ive always wanted to have an easy way to monitor the voltage coming out of the PSU. The green matches the build perfectly and I managed to snag it for a killer price. Soon I'll mount it somewhere in the build. More than likely I will build a custom mount out of acrylic near the PSU.





    Update: 3D Printed Bezel For Vertical PCIe Slots

    I had a quick update to add on the 3D printed bezel I made for the vertical PCIe slots. I was able to finish priming and painting the bezel so I thought I'd post an update on it. I'm very happy with how it came out and it will look even better once I finish the other bezels for the back of the case.




    OCZ St. Patrick Day:

    I thought I would share the St. Patrick day post by OCZ that was inspired by this build. I was very excited to hear that they wanted to use my modded Vector 180 SSDs for their post.

    Last edited by Envious Mods; 03-18-2016 at 06:22 PM.

  5. #25


    Update: Prepping 3D Printed Switch Panel & Mock-up

    I filed and sanded the 3D printed pieces before applying a filler primer called, “Under Cover.” I've tried a lot of different techniques for prepping 3D printed parts for paint. Im very particular with the finish I want on my 3D printed parts.

    Below you can see the printed panel in its raw form.





    I don't want any remnants on layer lines or uneven tops. Filing allows me to get the layers pretty close. The filler primer fills the low levels making everything very even. Once I have them even I use 200–550 grit sandpaper to smooth it for paint.

    This is the process of making the prints smooth.





    I made a custom insert that fits into the inlay on the switch panel. Originally I was going to go with brushed aluminum but, I had some circle mesh that I wanted to test out first. Im still planning on cutting a piece of aluminum to see which one I like best.




    Update: New Top Acrylic

    I really like the way the new pieces of acrylic look on top of the case. However I feel like it could still be better. Im going to cut a couple pieces of thinner acrylic to add to the center piece. Once I have these pieces cut and prepped I'm going to paint them lime green. The rest of the pieces will be black so it will really make it pop. I just finished cutting them out and I need to sand them to match the middle piece.


  6. #26


    Update: Painting New Top Acrylic

    I managed to have a couple days of decent weather so I could paint. The temperature fluctuations have been crazy lately. Most of the pieces are painted flat black with the two new additions in lime green.



    I like the way the new panel look but, I think it would look better if I switched the colors of the center pieces. That way it would be green in the middle, sandwiched by flat black. I don't want to overdue the green on the outside of the case because I think hints of color make a bigger statement.




    Update: Xbox 360 Power Ring

    After doing a lot of research and testing I think I came up with a great solution to using the xbox power ring. I found some individually addressable LEDs that will allow me to adjust all of the light colors and settings. This also means that I can make it, “red ring” whenever I want but, have it match the themed colors at other times. These LEDs give me the ability to used each of the 4 ring LEDs as indicator lights. I already have a small tactile switch that I can use for the rings power switch in the middle.


  7. #27


    Update: New Acrylic (Color Switch)

    As I mentioned a little bit ago I decided I wanted to switch the color of the new acrylic pieces. I had a moment to re-paint them and I really like the way it looks. Having a smaller amount of green looks much cleaner.




    Display Case For Case Mod Shows:

    Im modding a case to take to shows with the Dark Matter scratch build. This will allow me to display sponsors on the custom side panels as well as promotional materials for the event and hardware. Its a neat stand that will sit near the Dark Matter build and it will specify: hardware used in the build, some pics of the building process, business cards etc. So far I've added the LED strips to the top and I'm getting ready to add the bottom ones. I will be using a decent amount of custom vinyl work, acrylic and LED lighting to make it a show stopper. As of now its holding some of my PC related gear and hardware.




    Modding The Display Case: Vinyl & Acrylic

    The lower portion of the display case has a large, clear acrylic window. I have designed some vinyl that will serve as a backing for my acrylic, “bomb” that is part of my Envious Mods logo. I managed to get the vinyl pieces mounted and the acrylic primed to be painted. I wanted to mock it up to see what it'll look like once finished.





    The top part of the case will have the Dark Matter logo/design in ice silver vinyl. On each side of the display there are 3 black panels that will be used to display the sponsors logos for this build. I haven't completely decided but, I might also put some neat giveaway items in the case as well. That way enthusiasts at the PC shows will get a neat freebie.

  8. #28


    3D Printed Cable Management:

    A while back I designed a 3D printable cable management system that mounts behind the motherboard tray. I designed them in multiple lengths so that they could be tailored to the cabling its holding in place. The depth is also easily adjusted. The end pieces swap in and out to easily adjust the depth.

    I started mocking these up to see what paths I will use for the wiring to the motherboard, GPUs and SSDs. The first two long ones I mounted will hold the cabling as it goes from the back side of the mobo tray to the passthrough.




    Acrylic Mount: Digital Voltmeter

    After debating on where I should mount the voltmeter I decided that I would make a custom acrylic bracket that would hold it on the side of the PSU. This way it can be seen even when the side panel is closed. The bracket consists of three pieces: two of the pieces go over top of the PSU and the third piece is where the voltmeter is actually mounted. I am going to add another meter next to it so I made it large enough to fit both.



    I also cut a few more pieces of acrylic that will go onto the panel. This will help tie into the overall design. The plan is to also do some neat vinyl work similar to the ones I did for the vertical PCIe slot covers. The 19.1 volts isn't hooked up to my PSU. I just plugged it in to test it.


  9. #29


    Side Panel Work:

    It has begun. The side panels are one if my favorite parts of the design. Theres a lot of thought that went into them. The windows are placed in specific locations to highlight the motherboard, GPUs, water-cooling and other hardware. Depending on the angle you get to spot neat details. When the top to panels open; its time to shine. The two top panels are designed to open out and up similar to a gullwing door or a bird. The bottom two panels open the opposite (out and down.)



    I started cutting the main pieces for the side panels. I have scale templates drawn for all of the side panels except 1 which will be finished soon. There is a lot of inside cuts required which takes quite a bit of time to do. Once I have everything rough cut I will hand file all of it to perfection.

    Here's one of the side panels that is rough cut. This also gives you an idea of where the surround or bezel goes.



    There are a couple pieces of acrylic that will need to be cut for the windows as well. My last build, “StarCraft Day Zero” didn't have any windows so I thought it would be neat to do something different.


    New Acrylic For The Voltmeter:

    I cut a few more pieces of acrylic for the voltmeter mount. I also had enough time to test paint and mount them. I went with a flat black. The acrylic pieces help to give it more style that fit in with the theme. After mocking them up I took some quick pics. I still have a bit more to add to this panel as well as some vinyl work that I'm currently designing.


  10. #30


    Update: Display Case

    Ive made some progress on the display case. The bomb on the front is all painted and re-mounted. I also managed to cut, weed and mount the OCZ logo as well as the BeQuiet logo. I decided to use the companies tagline as well which became very tricky due to the tiny letters.






    I also cut the Printrbot badge/logo out of vinyl but I haven't mounted it yet. The RantoPad logo is being prepped to be cut and it will go up at the same time as the Printrbot logo.


    Update: Work Continues On Side Panels

    I've done some more work as well as cut more panels for the side of the case. I've also started working on making templates for the acrylic pieces I will go on the side panels. The acrylic windows will more than be held in place by allen headed bolts which will help carry the theme. This method will also help to keep the side panels light and rigid.

    I decided to double check where the two panels met in order to make sure that they were perfect after I cut the top one. I re-took measurements and they needed very little modifications to be exact.


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