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

  1. #71

    LED Cables & Controllers Routed:

    The LED system on the build is extremely complicated and requires the use of several controllers to run many of the functions. My LEDs are usually an expression of my mood so I like a wide variety of options.

    EKWB Revo Pump Mount:

    Earlier in the build log I showed the stand and mount of the EK Revo pump. Since then I have sleeved the PWM cables and cut a hole to mount a rubber grommet. The hole is so that the wiring can come out of the back of the pump, through the stand and into the floor. I didn't sleeve the two power cables as Im going to put a wrap on them.

    Update: Honeycomb Floor Pattern

    I showed the custom cut 12mm thick lexan floor but, I've recently been able to paint the honeycomb inserts. I used 4 different colors to paint the inserts. I will arrange them in patterns. I was inspired by a desktop wallpaper I came across during the Dark Matter build. I added the photo that inspired me to build this below. I'm not 100% finished with the floor but, there's enough done to show you all.

    Inspiration For The Floor:

    Scratch Built Rigid SLI Bridge:

    Due to the crazy mounting locations of my Gigabyte GTX 960 Extreme Ed GPUs I need an SLI bridge that has a 90 degree curve. I can buy a flexible one but, they are insanely ugly. To me the true art of scratch building is building every part possible, thats involved in the build from scratch. I know this isn't possible with everything but, during this build I've attempted to build as much as I can including things like hinges and switches.

    Once I mocked up the mounting locations for the GPUs I could use my calipers to take measurements for the SLI bridge. I then used hard stock to make a rough template that could be used to get the general shape down. Once I had the general shape it was easy to cut and bend some metal. I went back to the hard stock so that I could make the side pieces. Once I have it painted and re-assembled I will update with pics.

  2. #72

    Update: Finishing Up The Rigid SLI Bridge

    Now that I have the side pieces tacked onto the top I can prep it for its first coat of paint. I went with a black backing to match 2 SLI Gigabyte GPUs. I designed some vinyl pieces that are mounted to the top and front of the SLI bridge.

    Arrival: EKWB's Water-cooling Fittings, Tubing, Coolant & Bend Kit

    The fittings I got for me EKWB include pass-through, 90 degree, HDC 12 mm hardline fittings and a fill-port. I decided to go with primarily black nickel which looks beyond awesome and I haven't seen any builds that use them. The pass-through fittings are for the connections that pass-through the motherboard tray. EK also included a bend kit which comes with: hobby saw, sandpaper and two sizes of tubing that goes inside of hardline during bends.

    G.Skill Trident Z Ram Mods:

    I've started doing a few mods to the G.Skill Trident Z ram modules. Originally I wasn't going to do any mods to these because they are the new black and white edition. Since then I came up with the idea of changing the G.Skill and Trident Z logos to match the build. It amounts to being the best of both worlds.

  3. #73

    Gigabyte GTX 960 Xtreme Ed GPU Backplate Changes:

    The first idea I had for the backplates didn't give me the look I really wanted. Im the type of person that will redo something as many times as it takes to get it perfect. The new idea I have really focuses on the shape and design of the GPU and backplate while carrying on a combination of design elements.

    I decided to try this concept using acrylic for the backplate sides. I am extremely happy with the way this backplate addition turned out. It leaves enough of the stock Xtreme edition backplate while taking it to another level. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

    Cooler Master Front Badge:

    In honor of the Cooler Master Case Mod World Series that I am participating in. I felt that it was only right to put a cooler master badge on the front of the case. I used the new special vinyl that I ordered. I love this vinyl but, it takes 10 times longer to make anything with.

  4. #74

    Building Passthrough Plates:

    Currently I'm working on building the pass-through plates that go on the front and backside of the motherboard tray. I started by cutting foam board in order to make a very accurate template. If any of the holes for the past through fittings or even slightly off it will be very very noticeable.

    Once I have the first play cut out of acrylic I will make an exact duplicate for the other side. That will sure that everything lines up perfectly. Due to my lack of sleep lately it is taken me a bit longer than usual to make this but, its all part of the game. In the picture below I show the foam board and acrylic water path plate so you can get an idea of what I'm doing.

    Last Cables & GPU Cable Combs Arrive From Ensourced:

    When the sleep cable were made for dark matter I didn't know exactly which GPUs I would be using. At that time I just had them make a single 8 pin for each GPU. Once the gigabyte GTX 960 Xtreme edition GPUs arrived I realized that I needed another 6 pin to go with the 8 pin. I also requested that Ensourced send their new GPU cable combs due to all the requests to see them. The best part about these GPU cable comes from Ensourced is that you don't need to unpin your cables to install them. They came up with an awesome solution that is a breeze to install.

    Finishing The Front Panel:

    Im starting to get very close to being finished with the front of the case. I just need to do a little vinyl work, permanently mount everything and finish up a few small details. I figured I'd give you a sneak peek at what it looks like since it's primarily together. Using a filter on the image lets you still enjoy the surprise during the final pics I am extremely happy with the changes made to the front.

    Originally I was just going to use a expanded aluminum grille insert to cover the fans. Once I saw mocked up that way I decided it needed more depth so I changed it up and it looks sick. Once the LEDs for the front are on it'll look even better.

  5. #75

    Final Assembly: It Has Begun

    The time has arrived! I am finally ready for reassembly and wiring of all the parts, hardware and case. When I designed the case I took the fact that I would be taking it apart and putting it back together a bunch of times into consideration. This made it a lot easier to put back together for final adsembly. As mentioned earlier in the build log the entire top portion of the case slides off on a track system. This gives you full range of motion throughout the top of the case to the inside.

    Mounting Passthrough & Plates:

    Thanks all my carful measurements the mounting of the pass-through went together rather well. In between the two plates it's about a 30 to 50 mm.

    Bending Hardline & Custom Loop Install:

    Now that I have the pass-through all finished and remounted; I can finish bending the hard line for the rest of the system. Going from the acrylic water path to the pass-through was relatively painless due to the use of 90° fittings. After the tubing gets to the motherboard side it starts to get a little bit trickier. I had to do several bends and I ended up free styling the bends instead of using a mandrel set that I 3–D printed / designed myself '.

    Adding Vinyl: EKWB Coolstream 480mm Radiator

    I designed and custom cut some vinyl pieces for the radiator. The first piece has the Dark Matter logo in green and the second piece is the EKWB logo. I mounted them on the side of the radiator so that they could be seen when you look in the case. Some carefully placed LEDs really make them pop.

  6. #76

    Pics For Cooler Masters Case Mod World Series:

    These are some of the pics taken for the Case Mod World Series. I had some issues with getting the correct parts (o-ring cord) for the large acrylic water-path. The entire system is assembled and everything been leak tested except the water-paths. I had the option of trying to use acetone to permanently glue the block together but, I later decided that I wouldn't do it. I designed the water-path to be a bolt together setup and I refuse to cut any corners on this build.

    I will be taking full on final pics when the parts arrive for the water-path. In the meantime I have taken the photos (posted below) to show my current progress and submission to the competition. Ive also come up with a really neat idea for the mobo 8–pin and the GPUs power cables. It will give it a much cleaner look in my opinion. As many of you who follow my builds know; I will not call this build, “finished” until its up to my standards. Finishing up these few little pieces will get me to the final pics.

    Last edited by Envious Mods; 06-15-2016 at 05:23 PM.

  7. #77
    Here are some more updated pictures from the Case Mod World Series:

    If you like the Dark Matter scratch build you can also vote here:

  8. #78

    Since I had some time while I wait for the replacement o-rings I decided to move ahead with a few things I wanted to try on this build. These new additions will be in the final photo shoot.

    BeQuiet Dark Power Pro 11 Vinyl Work:

    I felt that the front side of the power supply was a little too busy so I decided to remove some of the parts and replace them with some custom vinyl work. We will see how it turns out in the end as I will use whichever one looks best. I really like the layout I designed for the vinyl. It has been cut out of the specialty green vinyl used throughout the build. I took a picture during the design phase as well as after it was weeded. I'll update as soon as its mounted.

    Cable Management:

    I put a good deal of thought into the cable management for the Dark Matter scratch build when I designed it. Originally I had designed it for 2 X 8–pin for the SLI GPUs. The Gigabyte GTX 960 Xtreme edition GPUs use s 6–pin and 8–pin each. This started to add too much wiring for my taste using the original routes. I started thinking of ways to make the cables inside the case a feature instead of hiding the majority of it.

    My idea was to bend some aluminum and make a sort of patch panel where I could plug in the cables coming from the 1,200 BeQuiet Dark Power Pro. Now that I have all the cables where I want them; it was time to come up with a cable comb/clamp that would hold all of the cables together. After playing around with ideas I decided to cut some aluminum strips that are bolted on each side. As you can see I have them roughly mocked up and I still need to shape them. I will do some sketches on hard stock and then transfer that shape to the pieces. My next update will have all of these prices shaped, painted and the last couple sets will be built as well. The pic will give you a sneak peek until then.

    Final Photo Shoot Planning:

    I have invested a good deal of money into photography equipment including various forms of lighting, filters, stands, diffusers and a camera for the final shoot. My two new diffusers had to be re-sent as the first set never arrived. I will be using all this gear for the final photo shoot. These pictures will be sent to my sponsors, used for this build log and I will also have them for future reference. I have two locations planned for the final photo shoot. One location is inside and the other is outside (weather permitting.) I am excited to be able to take my time to take quality photos. It takes a handful of photos to see the entire build due to there being so many details involved in it.

  9. #79

    Water-Cooled By EKWB:

    I decided to design a Water-Cooled By EKWB badge or piece that will more than likely go on the rear water path (distribution block.) I also came up with a neat mounting spot on the front of the case but, to will take more time to do as a mount will have to be made. I tried this out today in between finishing up a couple other pieces. This is a nice addition as EK has sponsored all of the water-cooling components for this build.

    Finished Cable Management:

    I managed to finish up the paint for the cable management pieces that I shaped. I painted them a light grey so that they would match the sleeving on the cables. It gives it a much more sleek look as they blend in well. This new setup for the GPU cables and 8–pin for the mobo works great. It allows me to easily access the cabling and manages to keep everything nice and organized.

  10. #80

    Updates Throughout The Build:

    I managed to get the white bolts mounted in the water distribution block. I now need to finish replacing some of the tubing that goes between the front and rear of the case. I added a little bit longer standoffs to fit the cover plate better. Ive also added a terminal block under the floor on the inside of the case which simplifies and slims down the height of the wiring.

    I took the opportunity while waiting for better weather to finish a couple details on the front of the case as well. Once I have the new pieces back into the case I will add fluid again and leak test everything before adding the sweet EKWB coolant. Hopefully the weather will clear up when these details are finished.

    New Vinyl Mounted On The PSU:

    As I mentioned earlier I decided to remove that amperage label on the power supply. I custom-made a new label that is a lot more fitting for the build. Now that I'm getting ready to re-leak test everything in the case I was able to attach the vinyl to the power supply while it was out of the case.

    Color Change On SLI Bridge Cover:

    I wasn't 100% happy with the look of the SLI bridge cover so I decided to paint it gray to match the rest of the components. I also took this opportunity to swap out the vinyl for the matching green found throughout the build. The combination of this green and gray look absolutely killer in my opinion.

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