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Maximum Bubble Mods - Spirit of Motion


Josiah Fast
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Everything looked awesome so I finished shaping the bottom of the angled aluminum to match the mount by sanding and filing it flush. I went over the pieces with a fine file to soften some edges and then lightly scuffed them up to prep for painting.

I also prepped the frame for painting the interior by sanding the inside of the frame lightly with some sandpaper and then taping all my edges carefully with some painters tape. (The two colors are simply because I ran out of one and not for any special reason)

 

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I hung the mounts from wire and an old piece of bamboo before proceeding to spray paint them with a few coats of satin black.
 

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I sprayed the case interior with the same satin black. A few coats here as well. I am very happy with the results. My tape lines came out very clean and the paint sheen is really what I was hoping for.
 

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Time to get rid of all that texture in the clearcoat that is screaming it came from a can.

I grabbed a piece of 1000 and 1500 grit wet and dry paper so that I could carefully sand the clearcoat flat before polishing it back up.

 

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I started by using the 1000 grit with plenty of water and being crazy careful to only go for a little while before rinsing and checking how the paint was looking. I sanded until it was almost flat like you can see in the picture below. I then switched to the 1500 and sanded just a little bit more.

 

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I did not get the surface perfectly flat. I left a tiny amount of texture as it just looked right once I got to a point. Car paint is rarely cut and buffed to perfection and I want this to feel as realistic as possible.

I started in next with a terry pad and cutting compound to start bringing the polish back. Followed by a finer polish that took many rounds.

 

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It difficult to photograph so here is a shot showing the reflection now.
 

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I then wrapped things up with getting the sheet metal put back in the frame. I shouldn't have to take this back out again. Woo!
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tested the 2080 in the case for the first time and it was instantly clear this card was not going to fit the same as the old W8100 I was originally planning to install before NVIDIA set me up. There is a large bump along the cards edge that lifted the card up significantly.

 

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I started cutting my existing 3D printed shelf down substantially so that any card would more likely fit. I also removed material to simply add more airflow on the lower side of the vertically mounted card. There is somewhere around 1/2" clearance below the card now.

 

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The other "fit" issue was the optic drive. It stuck out around 1/16" from the rear I/O panel. Kind of sticks out. Literally haha

 

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I added a washer behind the bracket so that the optic drive would sit perfectly flush with the back panel. I could 3D print a new one to fit perfect but I don't want to waste plastic and the washers worked out great!

I have been hanging the GPU from the top bolt until now but it was time to make the lower bracket that will lock the card in. I cut a little chunk of aluminum, marked it up as needed, used the band saw and a small hand saw to cut to shape, then sanded and filed to final shape.

 

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I then mounted up the 2080 with the top bolt and lower bracket. An M3 screw goes up, through the GPU mount, and into the bracket I just made that is attached to the back panel.
 

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You can now all see the painted and installed hinge. Not attached to the grill in this picture but it is easier to take a picture of when that isn't on. I am really happy with how well it works AND how it looks.
 

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I spent a good hour adjusting the rear hinge as well. I didn't have the foresight to make my grill fit loose before the frame was painted unfortunately. With the many layers of primer, color, and clear coat, it would not close how it should. I used a chamfer drill bit and slotted some hinge hole a bit to allow the grill to come forward. Closes well again.

 

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I did some painting too of the remaining raw metal components of the rear panel.The same satin black I've been using.
 

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You can't tell me that isn't a nice rear panel!

I also had a goal to wrap up the grill finally so I can be done with the metal working and get the metal chips cleaned up for a bit again. I'm always worried one of my boys (1 and 3yo) is going to walk into the garage barefoot with metal shaving/chips down.

I did some final sanding of my brushed finish and rounded some of the sharp edges. I then taped off the brushed finish with some gaffers tape along the spine so I wouldn't accidentally hit it with the polishing wheel. Polished the spine back to a high shine to compliment the brushed grills.

 

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I did a lot of cleaning of soot, oils, tape adhesive, ect. with acetone and then I ended up sealing the faces with clear paste wax. I thought about clear coat (paint) but after reading some forum posts I saw paste wax was relatively common for low wear applications. I happened to have some already for wood working so I buffed that in to a lovely finish.

 

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The painted portion above the grill will have to be 3D printed in three separate pieces because of its size. I started by printed the rear most piece as it has some additional work I can do to it while the others print. I designed in a channel for an intake or exhaust within the print! First of all it looks stupid cool and secondly I want to have a little active air movement. It is designed to fit a Coolermaster MasterFan Pro 140 fan that is still in the mail so I used an old to test the fit.

The first unfortunate thing I noticed when I took the finished piece off the print bed was that the bottom had pulled away from the buildplate slightly. I needed these to be perfectly flat so I could glue them together. I'll have to figure something out to straighten that edge back up.

In the mean time I want to make this intake/exhaust grill look cool! I have some old pieces of mesh and grill from an old Corsair case I salvaged from somebody who threw it out. I traced out the shape first and then kept trimming little bit by bit until it fit in there nicely. I used a scissor for the mesh and tin snips for the grill.

 

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I had many screw holes in the design but only think I'll use three of them. I painted the grill black and used some Elmers spray adhesive on the back of it to stick the mesh to the grill. It worked great.

I don't know if I will run this down into the case or use it as exhaust. The case it totally open but I would like to have some kind of air moving actively through it to help. You all should let me know what your feelings are on this one please.

 

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This is a little more picture heavy and word light. Time for the body work!

Like I said previously, I had to print the top in three separate pieces due to build volume limits. I had this creamy white color on hand so that is what I used. Black would have saved a little time since I would not have had to paint the underside black later on.

 

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I test fit the pieces to just see how cool it looks!
 

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One piece had a significant warp and a couple needed a light cleanup to be square so I decided to use the table saw. Using my crosscut sled I made a couple light passes on the faces to square them all up.

 

It cut okay but there was some plastic the re-melted to the cut face. I taped down a sheet of 120 grit sandpaper to the table and sanded away any of the material that remained so that the pieces would sit completely flush with one another.
 

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I decided it would be best to glue the pieces together on the grill. This is because the spine fits in the groove pretty tightly. I don't want to be off the tiniest amount in my glue up and have to sand inside the groove to widen it so the piece fits back on.

I put a little tape on the areas that had a chance of getting superglue on them just to be safe. I also taped the front piece tight to the front of the grill so it was centered and sturdy.

 

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I really like using the small gel super glue tubes and I ended up using one complete tube for each of the slices. I then simply slid the 3D printed piece down the spine and pressed them together tightly for a little bit.
 

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Bondo time. Mixed some up on a piece of plastic, grabbed a soft squeegee, and put a modest layer over the entire surface as quickly as I could.
 

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I waited about 30 minutes and then hit the bondo with 120 grit sandpaper wrapped around a small wood block. I block sanded the bondo in a cross hatch pattern until I started touching through to the plastic.
 

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The print lines and seams were mostly gone now but I could feel a couple areas that were low when I ran my hand across the part. Sooooo..
 

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After the second coat of Bondo I block sanded the part again until I was happy and the part looked and felt great.
 

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I gave the part a quick wipe down with some diluted isopropyl alcohol and sprayed around 6 coats of primer probably with a couple minutes between each. A day later I wet sanded that primer with some finer sandpaper. Sanding the primer took out the remaining surface defects and couple pinholes that remained after the Bondo.
 

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Another wipe down with the alcohol and then I was spraying the red down. So fun to spray a flashy red on a curved part like this!
 

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On the second to last coat I blasted a little bug right out of the air and into my paint job of course.
 

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Surgical bug extraction, a final coat of red paint, and a few minutes later, it was clear top coating time. Like the sides, this had many coats so that I could have material to sand and polish after it dried. Around 5 heavy coats.
 

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A couple days later I took to wet sanding. Started with 1000 grit and then moved to 1500. After I was happy with that I buffed, polished, and waxed. I took some fun progress photos as I went.
 

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And of course I had to put it in the grill the moment I was done!
 

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It's time for some wiring!

First up is the sata cables for the SSD and laptop optical drive. I also needed a slimline sata power cable for that ultra-slim laptop optical drive. I've never seen these before so I just picked an adapter up from a local computer store that I could modify and picked up two 36" sata cables also from there that I needed. Only needed like 22" but that is the way it goes sometimes.

 

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I cut the adapter in half since I only needed the slimline sata power. I just used a razor blade and it cut through easily. I then tested to make sure it plugged in nicely into the optical drive with the accompanying sata cable.
 

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I wanted to try using something other than paracord so I ordered MDPC-X sleeve sample packs from Titan Rig. They come completely unlabeled in baggies though and cost more than $7 each so ended up still needing to make an educated guess on some very similar red colors. A piece of tape on each with the color name would have been really appreciated! I got my sleeving and some materials in though from them and was really happy with the color. I used Italian Red and Blackest Black.

I've never sleeved a sata cable so I'm happy that it came out looking nice. I then ran those from the SSD and optical drive, through the 3D printed channel to the back of the case, below and behind the motherboard, and then out the top to plug into the mobo.

 

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Tackling the power for the SSD and optic drive was a little unique. I made a really short sata power cable and then took the slimline power wires from the sata connector. I simply soldered the wires from the slimline to the wires I had coming from the sata.

 

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I sleeved that and used some 3D printed combs in black to keep things tidy before installing the cables.
 

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