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Explore Modding - Project A.R.E.S.

Explore Modding

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Aaaah feels good to be back man...


Hey everyone! My name is Alessandro, for those who don't know me, I am the winner of last year's Tower Mod 3rd place. I was super happy to get there as it was my third attempt at this amazing competition, but this year's going to be about beating myself at my own game!


Project A.R.E.S. (acronym for Astral Robot Enclosure System) will be based on the Cooler Master C700M and, as the name suggests, it will be a project themed around SciFi design and space. In particular, my main inspiration will be Robot from Netflix's Lost in Space, from which I will take some elements and merge them into the build. It won't be some sort of Lost in Space themed mod, I will just take some inspiration and make my own thing out of it.


First of all, I would like to give a big shout out to my partners and sponsors, because without them nothing of all this would be possible:

HWLegend Modding - Trippodo - Cooler Master - INNO3D - Asrock - XPG ADATA - Bitspower


Now let's go through some pics of the parts I'll be using, then start with first disassembly of the case and preparatory modifications! :D




























The case will be rotated by 90° so that I can get a more symmetric look with the handles at the front and back, as you have seen I have two C700M's just because the first one had a faulty LED strip and CM was so great that they sent me a second case instead of just a replacement! So I had the idea of taking the top panel from the first case and replace the bottom one with it, so now I have the same panel front and back.








Since I started using a CNC for my projects, I obviously had to start working more on 3D software than just directly on the panels, so that took a looong time to get used to and still trying to get the hang of it, but I must say I almost got used to this by now. Anyway, I start taking some measurements and doing some trial and error on all the internal pieces.




Now to the first real modifications: I took my beloved aluminum L-profiles and splattered them all around the internal frame taking advantage of all those threaded holes that the C700M offers... so handy!

This will allow me to mount all the internal panels and give me some extra clearance between those and the external ones to fit stuff like rad/fans and other fancy stuff that will come later.










The initial idea was to have what I would call "suspension arcs" attached to the handles, those would suspend the case from the floor and create some sort of orbital ring look around the case. I made a couple templates of those arc out of MDF and well, I realized it wasn't really a great idea as it looked silly no matter how I put them. So I almost totally scrapped that idea and went another way, which you'll see in later updates.













Edited by Explore Modding
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  • Explore Modding changed the title to Explore Modding - Project A.R.E.S.
  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/21/2020 at 5:35 AM, TermudaSquare said:

👌🏼💪❤️ Looking forward to how this turns out buddy 😊


On 9/20/2020 at 12:35 AM, Quantum Systems said:

Hi Alessandro, good luck with your build. Looking forward to read your logs!


On 9/19/2020 at 3:06 AM, Derek - Rhoadspc said:

Very cool introduction to you're Project A.R.E.S ! I love the design concept and having the case rotated 90 degrees creates a cool stance, can't wait to see more !


Thank you so much y'all, same goes here, can't wait to see what you guys come up with! :D

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Now that I got the CNC up and running (was doing an upgrade on it), I can start making the juicy parts! First one is this panel for the back of the side, where the Bitspower Hex reservoirs will go. I started by making an MDF template since I had modelled the new panel to be exactly like the original ones so I had to see if all the angles and fillets were right. Turns out everything is good except the bottom section which has to be adjusted, so I went ahead and only cut that piece this time, which turned out 100% accurate! Well then, time to load acrylic up on the CNC for my first time! :D






As you can see, I added a V engraving to the panel, to follow the alien technology design idea.








Aaaand it's done! Huge success for a first time :D






Obviously, now this panel has to be bent, because it covers the whole length of the case, while normally this section is divided into two parts. This will give it a much cleaner and seamless look.

To bend it, I made a couple jigs using some clamps and the original panels to follow the bend radius.






And here are some nice pics of it mounted! It's sad that this panel will have to get painted because that glow from the engravings is sooo good, but something very unique will be done here so I'll have to save the glow for other pieces that will be clear! :D






I then went ahead and cut another panel, this time with just a few holes to mount it in the internal back section, and to mount the three reservoirs on it. This way the external panel will be freely removable and the internals will be easily accessible even one all the tubing is installed. I'll have to make some spacers for the reservoirs because I want them to stick out a bit more.






And now the true MVP... Christmas balls!!! Yeah literally, those are Christmas balls, the type that you can open and fill up with anything you want. I used them to create some sort of space helmet look and after seeing these on, it was one of the very few times I told myself "you're a effing genius" 😂😂





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  • 2 weeks later...

Quick update today! I made these two air flow panels that will go internally on top and bottom, where the two 360mm rads with fans will go. I tried to find the best balance between unique design and optimal air flow. I also added a nice engraving to keep the theme going. These will also get painted so still no light party :D













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First part of the pivot mechanism for the motherboard (and everything else basically) tray. This will probably be the key feature of this project, the whole main panel will be able to rotate 180 degrees to give the option to keep the PC on the right or left side of the setup, and this will be possible on the fly, just by unscrewing a couple screws and releasing the pivot mechanism.






Let's start with some 5mm aluminum to make the front and back panel and the two rotating discs!












Now 8mm aluminum to make the clamps for the main panel. This will be drilled on the edges later and screwed to the discs.








I milled a pocket at the back of the front and back panels to be able to fit ball bearings which will help the rotation




Current state :D






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