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Node - 3D Printed PC Case


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Hey man, I dig this project and signed up on this site just to comment on it. For those prices you could nearly buy DMLS parts, FDM should be very reasonable, unless you want that great finish of SLA. If these fit on a Makerbot you should be able to find someone to make them for not much more than the plastic.

If you are having trouble with shrinkage try using PLA, I have my printer running at near 0.2mm tolerences depending on the print direction.

What size envelope do you need to print your largest piece? 


Thanks man, glad you are liking the project.  Yes the prices on the parts is outrageous, but that seems to be average when it comes to working with venders who run $50K+ machines.   The original parts were printed on a makerbot replicator 5 and they were designed for that size of a printer.   The largest piece is 9.5" x 5.5" x 4.5", which just fits inside the makerbot replicator 5.    Im not sure what the issue is honestly, but the prints were not great.  Im willing to have them printed on a lower end machine if someone can guarantee the parts wont warp to badly, the other set of parts warped considerably.

How large is your print bed?

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One of the small problems I saw was too few walls and top/bottom layers.

My machine can only do 8x8x8", closer to 7" with my modifications.

There are a few reddit communities that deal with requests, if you can find someone interested in the project they would probably charge you a song. If my machine was bigger I would absolutely be willing to help out.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Nope, this project isn't dead, just needed a few weeks to work out the logistics of everything.  My last post was about how I was going to redesign the Node to use less parts, be smaller, etc.   Well after spending 2 weeks looking for a 3D printer and trying to redesign the case, it became clear that it was going to be a few months worth of work again.    I would have to start from scratch again and go from the ground up, and after all the time and effort I put into the current design, the thought of going back to step one was not really all that appealing.

While I was able to get a model that had some potential, there were elements about the design I still didn't like, like the lack of edge covers.  This without them you had a clear view to the underside of the paneling and it just didn't look good.

So at this point I decided that the guys who quoted me at $700 to print the entire case were my best option.   I was a bit hesitant at dropping that kind of money so they were nice enough to provide me with one of the larger pieces for free so I could test all the paneling.

And IM SO GLAD I DID!   Every panel I tried fit like a glove, the finish is at a level where a few coats of paint will fill in the ridges and there minimal finish work.   I have already ordered the rest of the parts, and I should have some photos in a few weeks.


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FINALLY!!! FINALLY!! After about 2 weeks of talking back and forth with the printer,  I FINALLY have a quote!  $500! They are FINALLY printing the pieces and I should have them in about a weeks time, so I can get back to work!

More info soon!

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  • 2 weeks later...


All I'm going to say is that this was money well spent.  I have had a grin stuck on my face for the past few hours while working on this.  So happy to be able to begin moving forward wit this project again! Enjoy!!











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  • 2 weeks later...

UPDATE 6/27/2015

And so the work continues!!!  This week it was about putting the final touches the assembly of the case and working on getting the hardware fitted, making sure there are no last minute tweaks to any of the parts (Spoiler Alert: There are, but they are minor)

So first up, the design has hex holes carved out for the nuts that will hold all the paneling, they needed to be glued into place to make sure they won't fall out when you remove the various panels, as this was a minor issue when I was trying to assemble this case for the first time. I got to the last panel on and had issues keeping the nuts in place while trying to screw them in.  So after some super glue and letting it set, this issue has been resolved and we're good to go!





And after a quick trip to the hardware store to pick up the last few pieces of mounting hardware, I got started on mounting and fitting the hardware!











I ran into a minor issue with the motherboard tray, it will need to be redone, but that's because of a few issues.  It's missing pump mounting holes, it's smoked acrylic instead of black, and the motherboard mounting holes are a bit to high.  So when I went to install the I/O shield, this happened:


So other than that, I'm starting the next parts of the build, the water cooling and hardline tubing.  My first time doing hardline, so wish me luck!!

Stay Tuned!

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Update!  (7/3/2015)

Now that the major stuff is out of the way, I can start focusing on the minor things and detail work that needed to be taken care of.  Enjoy!

Taking the heat sinks off for painting.






Pump Mounted



Running a quick leak test



Painting the parts, now to let them sit and dry overnight.



Stay Tuned, more tomorrow.

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Update 7/10/2015

Back with a few more updates, and I'm happy to report it's finally coming together.  I have had this thing together and apart so many times I'm getting pretty good at it.   There were a few more parts that ended up needing to get painted, one of which was the motherboard tray.  I had originally wanted a solid black tray, not transparent.  That's what I had originally ordered but the company who cut it for me screwed up the order. (they has also messed up previous things so I decided not to use them any more)  So I ended up disassembling the entire thing again to  get at the tray and painting the back half with black paint.


A few other things came out nice after painting.




I also marked and drilled holes for the pump to mount to.


I also went about making some custom stickers for the back of the fans so they were not so ugly.  I had access to a printer and cutter so I was able to make them next to perfect.












And so the current state of the case looks something like this!  LOL!


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See it in person!

Hi all, I will be attending 2 shows coming up in a weeks time.  I will be at both PDXLAN 26 and Quakecon 2015 this year and I will be bringing the Node along with me, so if you are interested in seeing it in person, feel free to stop by!


7/17 - 7/20



7/23 - 7/26


Hope to see some/meet people!

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Update 7/15/2015

Another update!  Getting closer and closer to finishing this project, this will be the last "progress" update to the project until it is finished.   I will be posting some images of the project at some of the events I'm taking it to, so keep an eye out for those.

So lets get to it!

Started testing the lighting system, these suckers are bright!  RGB LEDs controlled via IR remote and receiver.


This is one thing I'm not happy with and will be fixing in the future.  The lights are SO bright that they bleed through the 3D printed plastic.  I think the solution to this will be to disassemble the case and paint either the interior of the case or the paint all the parts to add a barrier for the light.  THIS WILL BE FIXED!


As with the last update, we painted the motherboard tray along with a number of other small parts.



SSD's Mounted.


It's all coming together!





As I stated before, I will be taking this project with me to a few show, and to make sure it all gets there in one piece, I ordered a pelican case to ship it all in.




All packed up and ready to go!


Time for a beer!


After the two shows are over, I will be handing the case over to a friend of mine to do all the cabling, at that point I only have a few minor things to take care of and it will be completed!!  

Stay tuned!

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