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48873523103_39e99987dd_b.jpgMorphosis Banner_4 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


My entry for the Cooler Master World Series 2019 Contest is ‘Morphosis’.  Morphosis is inspired by the organic architecture of Zaha Hadid Architects, specifically the Performing Arts Center in Abu Dhabi, as well as the Tree House by Modus Studio. These designs each beautifully translate nature’s organic forms into sculptural architectural works of art with their exceedingly strong design language. Using the sleek SL600M case, my goal is to turn it into a similarly sculptural case by creating custom-machined aluminum panels, carved feet, acrylic machining, and wood work, along with a handful of other tricks along the way. 


The design process of this case began with a rough sketch, shown below, and knowing that I wanted to incorporate the original curves and angles of the SL600M case to create a truly unique design. The goal was then to create a case showcasing the organic design details as well as the highlighting the mechanical nature of the case.




Zaha Hadid Performing Arts Center




Modus Studio Evans Tree House






Parts List:

Case: Cooler Master SL600M

Motherboard: Gigabyte Aorus Elite Wifi x570

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 2700x

Graphics Card: MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT

Storage:   Samsung 500GB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 Internal SSD

Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB DDR4 3200

Power Supply: Seasonic Focus Plus SSR-850FX



Case Fans: Cooler Master MF200R RGB x2, Cooler Master SF360R ARGB

CPU Waterblock: Bitspower Summit EF Nickel

GPU Waterblock: EK-Vector Radeon RX 5700 +XT RGB

Pump/Reservior: Alphacool Eisbecher DDC 250mm

Radiator: Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemisis GTS360

Fittings: Barrow


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To start with, here a picture of my messy workshop.  Its about 11 x 17 feet but it has most of the things I need including my relatively new cnc router.



I started out the case with materials testing.  I wanted to use both acrylic, aluminum and wood in the case but as the cnc router was new to me and I would me machining it all myself, I wanted to make sure I did not mess up on the real pieces.


Acrylic machining test:

48782193816_aedbfb73c2_h.jpgIMG_6425 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Aluminum Machining Test:

48781830368_5b50514bb8_h.jpgIMG_6399 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

A little rough but a nice start.  Getting feeds and speeds dialed for aluminum important.

48782362097_9c9821726b_h.jpgIMG_6421 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

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I liked the design of the case feet but I planned on remaking them out of walnut wood.  It also helped that the rear feet got damaged in shipping which made the choice easier.  I sketched out different foot designs and then made a practice profile:

48781813458_1664017034_h.jpg_8182188 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


The first profile I made is on the right but I needed more space on the top of it to attach the case so I needed to make it wider.  Also, with all the aluminum I'd be putting into the case, it will be pretty heavy.


48782344872_4078725874_h.jpg_8182184 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781813153_f7d15b918c_h.jpg_8182183 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Once I was happy with the base design of the feet, I cut them out of the final walnut material:

48782177061_20aaac99b5_h.jpg_9012710 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I glued the sides to the base with biscuits and glue an then cut the back profile on the table saw:

48782177186_790758e373_h.jpg_9022712 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Front and rear feet together.  The front feet took a bit more work trying to match the compound angle where the front panel meets the feet.

48782345937_f441b27d35_h.jpg_9022714 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Later I will be doing more carving in the feet to slim down the design.

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I wanted to incorporate a fan grill design that used the motifs from my inspiration photos.  This was harder than I thought at first  to get the design to look balanced.  I also wanted to make a design on the main case window so that is what I started with.  I sketched out my ideas, then cut them out of cardboard:

48782191941_2c66059af9_h.jpgIMG_6348 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

I refined the cardboard version and made a model in Fusion 360 which my cnc router could cut out.


I needed several fan grille designs.  One for the 200mm fans on the floor, one for the triple 120mm fans on the top, then a few iterations for other panels in the case.

Once I had the designs sketched out, I made models of them and cut them out in thin MDF or plywood to act as test pieces.

48782360712_b56cdb7980_h.jpgIMG_6353 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782360752_5b28ea8993_h.jpgIMG_6355 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782360812_2e2be1c218_h.jpgIMG_6356 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Once I had my templates I could start mocking them up in the case and see how they go together:

48782187016_2b387178af_h.jpg_8152169 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I also made a practice panel of the top grill design but mounting it would have to wait until later:

48782360972_7808b3c557_h.jpgIMG_6366 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


The top fans would be the Cooler Master SF360R ARGB to simplify wiring:

48782316197_7cb67d62e4_h.jpg_8152165 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I later refined the side panel design to incorporate the lines of the legs.  This would make the panel more cohesive:

48781830118_67c7fc2405_h.jpgIMG_6390 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782193136_2e6e0d5661_h.jpgIMG_6391 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781813003_28c5b9d0f3_h.jpg_8172181 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


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I liked having the GPU vertical but I thought the original design made it too close to the window so i wanted to remake the panel to move it closer to the center.  I used plywood to make a mockup of the replacement panel:

48781812863_618c0d9fba_h.jpg_8172178 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


From there I needed to make something for the GPU to attach to. I modeled something up and made a mockup out of plywood:

48781812768_979f7aea40_h.jpg_8172176 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782175746_dac9b8d506_h.jpg_8172175 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Simple yet effective:

48782175836_224b529c61_h.jpg_8172177 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Together they look like this:

48781812928_d8df2e08c5_h.jpg_8172179 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782175971_aacbe3dd7a_h.jpg_8172180 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I realized later after I'd made this that the plate didn't need to be this big but at this point I hadn't decided to replace the whole back panel yet.

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At some point I knew I would have to start cutting final pieces for the case so I decided to on cutting the case's front panel.  There is a lot of room behind this panel so I decided to put a reservoir and pump behind it, lit by LEDs.  The first step was making a design in Fusion 360 and then I machined a test panel to check the size and make sure the g-code, which is what the cnc router reads, was more or less correct.


Heres the test panel on top of the case front:

48782176581_524bc9948b_h.jpg_9012702 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Making sure its in the right place:

48782176816_0a1f4f01b3_h.jpg_9012705 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I use masking tape and CA glue to affix the part to the table:

48782176946_66b76541bf_h.jpg_9012707 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I was literally shaking nervousness when this started cutting as there was zero room for error.  It turned out great though:

48782176991_e8bce63cd4_h.jpg_9012709 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782193881_7fd0c82fd8_h.jpgIMG_6441 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

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The main color scheme for my case would be both polished and brushed silver, walnut wood, and black.  To achieve what I wanted with Walnut, I would have to attach it to aluminum panels before it could me machined.  The best way I could think of to accomplish this was with contact cement.


To do this, I layed out all the panels and began covering the

48782194026_b051ec6234_h.jpgIMG_6447 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


The walnut veneer took many coats since the veneer kept soaking up the glue but eventually it looked glossy, meaning there was enough glue on the surface to bond:

48781831073_2103d28402_h.jpgIMG_6448 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Once the glue was dry I could carefully set the veneer over the aluminum and use a roller to squeeze out all of the air pockets and make a good bond:

48782194091_6a3de44cd3_h.jpgIMG_6449 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Once the glue was dry, I could finally start cutting panels for the case.  I started with the back panel along with the motherboard try which would remain bare aluminum.  I attached the panels together with square aliuminum bar stock and screws:

48781831193_1c65e863da_h.jpgIMG_6452 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781831218_212726ba6e_h.jpgIMG_6453 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


From there, I could dial in the other panels with more test pieces:

48782194236_ffe643c9e9_h.jpgIMG_6460 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781831128_c8e381a130_h.jpgIMG_6450 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782178226_1cd61c68ec_h.jpg_9082723 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I decided to extend the "floor" fan grill into the front res/pump room to support the pump.  Of course, this required another test piece:

48781831668_69db5efc40_h.jpgIMG_6469 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781831698_8ce015106e_h.jpgIMG_6470 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


After a few tweaks I layed out the design on the final piece:

48782194626_e06c95ec03_h.jpgIMG_6472 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And started cutting:

48782363267_9f6cfc9990_h.jpgIMG_6474 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781831903_ecb7158bee_h.jpgIMG_6478 by greensabbath911, on FlickrIMG_6478 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


About three hours later it was done.  I had to stop the machine after each cutout to clean the tape goo off of the bit.  I was worried the walnut veneer would chip but it turned out pretty clean:

48782363367_1ded05e38f_h.jpgIMG_6479 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782346797_6c8cbcb24e_h.jpg_9082727 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782363547_e18bfd0add_h.jpgIMG_6486 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I repeated the same steps above for the top fan grill design.  Its a good thing I made practice pieces because I messed up on a few parts that I wouldnt have caught otherwise:

48782363512_4a31179cb8_h.jpgIMG_6484 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782363487_b45a274a46_h.jpgIMG_6483 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I machined some cutouts in the above piece to enable removal of the top section of the case.  I also put some finish on the panel to see how the grain would pop against the silver aluminum:

48782363997_92567dab13_h.jpgIMG_6508 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


The walnut burl veneer's grain pops beautifully with a little finish on it:



48782178401_b36502ba30_h.jpg_9092729 by greensabbath911, on Flickr



48781832043_3edb635f1e_h.jpgIMG_6485 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And with the fans which will be mounted to the grill.  I had them upside down in this photo though:

48782348977_62ceb4538a_h.jpg_9142759 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Here's a couple of closeup shots of the bottom grille:

48782179981_dc7c7fff44_h.jpg_9142753 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781817083_c4143c3524_h.jpg_9142754 by greensabbath911, on Flickr



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The next thing I did was start laying out the motherboard tray.  This would be a ccomplicated piece since many parts of the case and hardware will be attached to it and determine the placement of other parts on other panels.  To do this, I started with my trusty layout tool, an old motherboard:

48781832128_7e8335386c_h.jpgIMG_6490 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Once I had a layout that seems decent, I made a model in Cad and then attached the tray to my wasteboard:

48781832228_5b02f65bd5_h.jpgIMG_6495 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


From there, I started cutting.  I did not bother making a practice piece for this one:

48782195261_1d808ace12_h.jpgIMG_6496 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And heres all the cutouts besides the ones that I forgot to make during the first go around.  There are ones for the power cables and peripherals that attach to the motherboard along with exit holes for the PSU cables.  

48781832263_9a857b7b24_h.jpgIMG_6497 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


From there, I tested the layout with the actual motherboard I will be using, a Gigabyte Aorus Elite WiFi x570:

48781815728_dd0f2c30d0_h.jpg_9122733 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48782363892_34531486d4_h.jpgIMG_6501 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


With the motherboard placement finalized, I could cut the holes on the back panel which include the I/O plate, the GPU mount, and the PSU cable mount.  I then attached the motherboard tray to the back panel with screws:

48782178966_c1a64182c7_h.jpg_9132737 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782355967_978219a81e_h.jpg_9132741 by greensabbath911, on Flickr



48782195461_021c2918ba_h.jpgIMG_6506 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


To attach the GPU to the back panel, I would remake my plywood test piece out of aluminum.  I had an issue while machining this so I had to use my older method of making a plywood template and then machinging it on the router table.  To do this I use lots of double stick tape:

48781816373_f1db20689e_h.jpg_9142743 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782179326_a6967d3860_h.jpg_9142744 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Then with that cut. I needed to do the same on the back panel:

48782179376_8b7a175863_h.jpg_9142745 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And here it is mocked up in the case:

48782349532_44fc71c524_h.jpg_9152766 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I also needed to attach the floor panel to the rest of the case and for this I again used some aluminum bar stock and screws:

48782179566_fc44d7b240_h.jpg_9142748 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782179901_4a2a74ed13_h.jpg_9142752 by greensabbath911, on Flickr



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With the floor of the case made, I could continue working on the Reservoir/Pump room in the front of the case.  The hardware would be placed something like this:

48782363582_8f18d915f6_h.jpgIMG_6487 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I took the design on the front aluminum panel and modified it to fit on the panel behind the Reservoir.  I machined a practice piece to finalize placement.  The watercooling tubing will flow from the radiator in the top into the reservoir, then it will go out the bottom through the pump into the rest of the case:

48782348867_31e0a20e4b_h.jpg_9142758 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781817243_58c62b690e_h.jpg_9142756 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


For this panel, I did not want to machine the pieces all the way through but just the profile so that the machined aluminum and walnut burl veneer would make a striking contrast.  The machining has started here:

48782180546_99250910cc_h.jpg_9142761 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


It turned out pretty clean:

48782353052_e5ddbba969_h.jpg_9182817 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782349372_c809d523ba_h.jpg_9142764 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782191451_e90e9066ea_h.jpgIMG_6523 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And with the front panel on:

48781832538_132eaa4f70_h.jpgIMG_6513 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


Then I cut the top and both sides out of the same material and attached them to eachother with screws and square aluminum:

48781822858_1efd6d89ae_h.jpg_9192843 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


48781818383_564c6afb66_h.jpg_9152773 by greensabbath911, on Flickr




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I wanted to try a finish on the aluminum panels that would go with the casing on the outside.  I have a drum sander I use primarily for making cuttingboards but I decided it might work to brush the aluminum also.  The panels got pretty hot but in the end the effect turned out successfully I think:


Here's the before:

48782353687_bd78a27a8d_h.jpg_9192829 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And the after:

48782185266_47883a4a32_h.jpg_9192834 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48782185336_affde34689_h.jpg_9192835 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I did the same on the motherboard tray.  The spots where it did not quite brush enough would be hidden by the motherboard:

48782353937_586a18bffd_h.jpg_9192833 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I thought it was time to cut the top panel of the case to get a better idea of how it is looking overall.  I modified one of the fan grille designs to the size of cutout I wanted in the top, made a template, and decided where it should fit.

48781820543_139302a1b6_h.jpg_9182804 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I taped it too the wasteboard and after carefully zeroing the coordinates, I got to cutting:

48781820658_c7b3fcd1e5_h.jpg_9182806 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I roughed out the shapes then ran a finishing pass to clean up the last .1mm:

48781821083_62dcaec2b4_h.jpg_9182813 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


I think  it turned out pretty cleanly:

48781821618_1758a4d591_h.jpg_9182821 by greensabbath911, on Flickr

48781822048_981b4c1e23_h.jpg_9182827 by greensabbath911, on Flickr


And with it on top of the mesh.  This should give the case some extra ventilation:

48781823078_9f450c12fa_h.jpg_9192849 by greensabbath911, on Flickr



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