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Pine PC design - Project "Al"


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So yeah, finally another mod and my first entry into the CMWS!!

This mod should have been an entry into the CMWS19, but for reasons wasn't finished. This year it will be!

 

Project Al(uminium) because it'll be the most-used material in the build. As an old build of mine was named after the copper theme (Project Cu), I thought I'd keep with the periodic table naming.

 

The mod will be based off the Cooler Master SL600M with a theme based on the patterns that CM has been using in their latest several cases.

The main internal structure will be replaced by custom aluminium panels. There will be alot of polished metal (yikes, first time polishing to a high-mirror finish...!)

No colours: all black and polished metal. Only colour will be added by LED lighting like the fans and LED strips. 

 

Hardware

Case: Cooler Master SL600M

CPU: AMD 1920X

GPU: INNO3D RTX 2080ti Twin X2

Mobo: Asus ROG Strix X399-E Gaming

PSU: Cooler Master V1200

Fans: Masterfan SF360R ARGB

RAM: 64GB INNO3D IChill RGB

Storage: 1x 1TB Samsung 970 EVO

2x 500GB Samsung 850 EVO

2x 2TB WD Blue HDD

 

Thanks ALOT to all of the sponsors of this project:

Alphacool

Cablemod

Cooler Master

Inno3D

 

Cooler Master items

 

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First update right after the introduction post.

 

Here are some pictures of the Cooler Master delivery.

 

The beautiful SL600M!

SL600M_10.thumb.jpg.fce4d18e602268aca7765cb2bcc6ce0a.jpg

SL600M_13.thumb.jpg.6206c404e57d17d91e55372d2d49f644.jpg

SL600M_12.thumb.jpg.609bfe2f5c7a4a08a701a78fc595f6d0.jpg.

 

The amazing V1200 PSU.

V1200_02.thumb.jpg.ff1222bd74a83817b7249ab6e0d4ca19.jpg

V1200_01.thumb.jpg.e1369df07134a6c8d02ccff65264cc31.jpg

 

And now, the beautiful gutted SL600M!
SL600M_Demontage_01.thumb.jpg.96f5222be151e8a300f0a895cb1e177b.jpg

 

Took the motherboard tray out, and disassembled the rest of the case for cutting.

SL600M_Demontage_02.thumb.jpg.29a7651d8be3efe917d7b8874de90f87.jpg

 

 

I still had this amazing reservoir from the Masteliquid Maker 240 kit which I've been waiting for to use for a long time.

This seemed the perfect build for it, so I made a cutout in the front panel for the reservoir to fit through.

 

IMG_2981.thumb.jpg.73d649fda912a7f042602dd0229086fe.jpg

 

Also marked all the unnecessary parts on the case frame and cut those out.

Essentially, all the mounting points were removed and only the bare square structure was remained intact. 

IMG_2984.thumb.jpg.9bdd371945d9bb16b5241febd8f0dc1f.jpg

SL600M_Demontage_03.jpg

Edited by Pine PC design
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Time for another update!

 

The aluminium replacement panels for the internal structure were cut and bent to the right shape.

The right bottom two smaller panels are for the GPU vertical mount. Left front is the PSU mount.

139835848_PSUbracketPanelen_02.thumb.jpg.721699904aa1c2bcf1fc13900b17ff46.jpg

Inner front panel replacement, this will hold the reservoir.

1969759079_PSUbracketPanelen_03.thumb.jpg.6061715bf19b7a4f637e0876a45aec23.jpg

 

Power supply bracket cut to size, holes drilled for mounting with thumb screws.

1223021518_PSUbracketPanelen_01.thumb.jpg.c6abbb0ab1f6daa7206b6a261f11d93e.jpg

Which mounts to the motherboard panel.

Rads_PSUbracket_05.thumb.jpg.68eb5c9bac1745d21ef776161cf30f0b.jpg

 

Behold, the reservoir actually fits!!!

333266135_ProefpasPanelen04.thumb.jpg.becdb1ab34775ace21361ee9883ecf5b.jpg

 

Then a test-fit for all the panels.

666063420_ProefpasPanelen01.thumb.jpg.18a8ac7627eec9af813871009465c768.jpg

1394002773_ProefpasPanelen06.thumb.jpg.6135e6b20b6d48f060a0694a7d83bb37.jpg

 

Next thing was to mount both radiators. The lower radiator is mounted to the stock bracket, upper radiator is mounted to a replacement panel.

Radiators are Alphacool's stainless steel radiators. Everything is copper, just the outside has a stainless steel look. Radiators will be polished.

Rads_PSUbracket_03.thumb.jpg.9ec5e2ed40828bb0d40c0d0ba5cc6cc6.jpg

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Rads_PSUbracket_01.thumb.jpg.601aed46a683f4a7418c50bcc4b4e81d.jpg

 

Edited by Pine PC design
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  • 1 month later...

New update:

I've been busy polishing the outer aluminium panels. The aim is to polish them to a high mirror finish, but as it's my first time doing this it seems to be quite the challenge. 

Hard to sand all the imperfections out of the lower grits, especially when going higher up in grit count (600+). 

 

Panel_sanding_03.thumb.jpg.88401acbf6bed4b53c26bcb5da2473b2.jpg

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Seem to be getting there with the panel polishing (after tens of hours of undocumented hand- and machine polishing.)

Still struggling with getting the lower grits out. Might need to get different sand paper.

IMG_20201010_121543.thumb.jpg.414a82d8003b2947c3a42a1f9ddff3ca.jpg

IMG_20201010_121550.thumb.jpg.6d306d2c5df56dba299ca61d1fc0f82a.jpg

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MemPolish_09.thumb.jpg.848d44719942bd3b329d043eeba3bd4e.jpg

 

Also dismantled the Inno3D memory to make it a high polish.

MemPolish_02.thumb.jpg.dc56263b6b30b02b2e592fef46e6cfae.jpg

 

Removed the anodising with some grill cleaner.

MemPolish_01.thumb.jpg.aa23da0b9b864c13dfdf77e6ae453109.jpg

MemPolish_04.thumb.jpg.de1ddea7e3c1cd0312371a7cc4d50ba1.jpg

 

First results.

MemPolish_08.thumb.jpg.40b645255ac45a55e7085cb0ad814ba4.jpg

mem3.thumb.jpg.2dd2b4892fbca7302d2b35e60e800439.jpg

Did the same to the GPU waterblock as to the memory heatsinks.

 

GPU_block_polish_04.thumb.jpg.bfe78b6dfd4681d664101ea60f94130b.jpg

GPU_block_polish_02.thumb.jpg.bc4a10a7477243db0c19279881e2580f.jpg

 

Same for the radiators, started sanding them and finishing them with the polishing wheel.

Not perfect yet, but getting there. Left is before, right is after polishing with the polish wheel.

 

CR2.thumb.jpg.d10716ede1999fa887915923ea938de6.jpg

Edited by Pine PC design
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  • 4 weeks later...
Very big build update. 
 
First a test fit with the mounted motherboard and GPU.
Note that this is the OLD GPU block.
1218033857_mobotestfit_03.thumb.jpg.d87364183c136b8959e2186b739488dc.jpg
 
GPU was mounted from the back of the motherboard tray.
1119384055_mobotestfit_04.thumb.jpg.31c2b3da53b6929ea6ba8f3748245dbd.jpg
 
Two 500GB SSD's and 2x 2TB HDD's on the back of the motherboard tray.
1973849546_mobotestfit_07.thumb.jpg.bc2843215dce843b25414522e5e85a67.jpg
 
Mounted the HDD's with the original rubber mounts that came with the SL600M.
1071417554_mobotestfit_06.thumb.jpg.c095255152c0d1bc9db43c6d4c3a2340.jpg
 
Test fit in the case.
1149081022_mobotestfit_02.thumb.jpg.ba36f8e87fe4fbf66ecd903e5d0adf98.jpg
 
Also drilled holes for all the watercooling passthrough fittings that'll route the tubes to and from the GPU and CPU waterblock.
IMG_20201002_172723.thumb.jpg.7a3baf800e0eeab73cef7eb6a4c0afe6.jpg
 
And the backside with the SSD's and HDD's mounted.
IMG-1353.thumb.JPG.aca8a998b19da78c30168dbc7cd2078a.JPG
 
Top of the case with the semi-failed polish try...
IMG-1355.thumb.JPG.9f7c4d757eef798fcf31520a7cee79bf.JPG
 
IMG-1357.thumb.JPG.6407c74ab16c7f8af331869c2b07ab91.JPG
 
IMG-1358.thumb.JPG.97a2b944cbb5500f296fe9d7d5758e3b.JPG
 
Painting the radiator sides and inside fins black.
IMG_20201014_213129.thumb.jpg.15feb7c34ff80be746427397872bc8b4.jpg
 
I was really doubting what to do with the back panel of the case. Decided to stick with the theme and design the only CNC-made panel in the build. Illuminated plexi with an aluminium overlay that will be polished.
Also got matching side panels from CM. 
IMG_20201108_173012.thumb.jpg.15055e576cf8bf059fd02e8289182a26.jpg
IMG_20201108_173052.jpg
 
 
 
Decided to switch out the bottom radiator shroud for a custom aluminium one as well. Couldn't stand that every panel was custom BUT the lower one, haha.
Thanks to my brother who works at a machine shop, those aluminium plate bends always turn out perfect!
IMG_20201116_212147.thumb.jpg.c13c1c72464ebedf0d68bde4c32bd21d.jpg
 
Drilling holes with a hole saw, perfect diameter for 120mm fans. Needed some drilling fluid, but worked perfectly.
IMG_20201213_210240.thumb.jpg.f0489dfde9e8f3649d33242bf61b001f.jpg
 
IMG_20201220_203650.thumb.jpg.492eb8db1fe5162bc3eb62c43875f4ce.jpg
 
Next job was to fabricate a back panel that hides the ruined original back panel and holds all the I/O that will be routed to the motherboard I/O.
Started with a cardboard template.
IMG_20201025_134356.thumb.jpg.33c1ec8c5a6e5f16385dedce9632db1b.jpg
 
After a rough finish of the template, making an exact 3mm offset from the legs of the SL600M.
IMG_20201116_211937.thumb.jpg.6405a075333adb062908d4f32aed341b.jpg
 
Marking all the holes for:
4x double USB
1x ethernet
1x HDMI
1x power cable
Two Displayport mounts were added later on when I got the cables.
 
IMG_20201213_210252.thumb.jpg.0bd6acda30f93305c8a336b0537c762f.jpg
 
Result, really happy with how this one turned out.
IMG_20201220_203623.thumb.jpg.40705c0cf460fd13e3ffbfd76b291265.jpg

 

 

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MOAR STUFF!
Did some final physical modifications to the chassis/panels.
 
Started with attaching 20mm standoffs to the sideplate storage side. Needed to mount it on quite some locations because it's only 1mm aluminium and is quite thin at the top.
IMG_20201231_142418.thumb.jpg.2f8e6c96a26347ba5d3bf97e8fe39676.jpg
IMG_20201229_224716.thumb.jpg.4daf0ec7ec2627a179a91dfb66469478.jpg
 
Test fit the 3D-printed cable combs for the SATA power and SATA data cables. Really like how this looks.
IMG_20201231_151937.thumb.jpg.62ddef3f94b38400bd35226f1138068d.jpg
 
I took the time to mount the new GPU block on the card. Wrapped it directly so I wouldn't have to take it apart again. First time wrapping, and this quite is a special kind of skill. Needs more practicing, although this piece turned out good enough. You won't be able to see it anyways.
IMG_20210102_171142.thumb.jpg.027cfa9738127b3425052991e7aaed81.jpg
IMG_20210102_173735.thumb.jpg.805925c1a5b9f7806253dd958c1508a8.jpg
IMG_20210102_175632.thumb.jpg.462f35e4306164dc4c92527cabb3ef23.jpg
 
As 95% of all modifications were done it was time to do the final fitup of the hardware.
Everything attached (CABLE MESS!!!!!) and powered on, this was my first try to see if everything worked when installed.
IMG_20210103_193627.thumb.jpg.395a88befc2339ed3ca8fbee9d81e920.jpg
IMG_20210103_193640.thumb.jpg.25305264a7015e4d4cdf42b6977945c9.jpg
 
And.... IT BOOTS!! YEY! Happy camper for sure.
All the storage and RAM is recognized. At these times it is when I love my hobby the most: seeing it all come together for the first time. :D
IMG_20210103_193813.thumb.jpg.af6d229ed711b448cd9b540abbdc0d2d.jpg
 
Next up is doing the finish on all custom aluminium parts. Some will be polished, some will be wrapped and some will have a combination of a wrapped pattern and a chromed finish.
Working on that at the moment, still improving those wrapping skills...
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  • 2 weeks later...
More progress, and more struggles!
 
 Started with sanding the aluminium panels that need to be wrapped to a 120 grit finish.
IMG_20210117_164710.thumb.jpg.d258bced73cf6fdf9b0250783bdbce1f.jpg
 
IMG_20210117_164729.thumb.jpg.1aeeda36e53c81730291736ff38e1c61.jpg
 
First part of wrapping.
IMG_20210117_203305.thumb.jpg.0999f2b444d0d0ebe360ad9959590c54.jpg
 IMG_20210117_195150.thumb.jpg.edab856a7a7ca16b42c1452d0c32421b.jpg
 
 IMG_20210117_210330.thumb.jpg.7b0cc155c32c19386675b628b37a34e6.jpg
 
 IMG_20210117_172631.thumb.jpg.73c14734a68aa602528ca46be9b1853c.jpg
 
 
Then it was time to finish the other panels and make them ready for polishing!
The pictures below are the steps in sanding grits.
 
Used a rotary polishing tool with 150mm pads. Be sure to use an interface pad with these things!
IMG_20210120_202320.thumb.jpg.eaf6eec698fdd76964c4b9379e3a3181.jpg
 
Before sanding:
IMG_20210117_135939.thumb.jpg.6b8ae7c48f6c7b624fc59a76531a9aab.jpg
 
120 grit
 
IMG_20210120_200918.thumb.jpg.5625747e1dc1d92e05b52f295be2d513.jpg
 
240 grit
IMG_20210120_203632.thumb.jpg.55d2612ccbb869497b0e2d1f1674c444.jpg
 
 
400 grit
IMG_20210120_202308.thumb.jpg.5a037d62ea48fb1806a4138af314f01b.jpg
 
600 grit
IMG_20210120_211529.thumb.jpg.8bc94b85354b340cd6ce8058244ede7f.jpg
 
1500 grit
IMG_20210120_212854.thumb.jpg.eeb3a5a7b65c9122f153af2179b292e1.jpg
 
3000 grit
1500 and 3000 grit are both 3M Trizact sanding papers. These things rock!! (And are incredibly expensive at €5 a piece....!)
 
IMG_20210120_214833.thumb.jpg.d0d2b97ce2502a59cfe6ed99277028ae.jpg
 
Aaaaaaand, repeat 7 times for all the other polished parts.
 
After a first polish try.
Just not quite happy with the finish. It also leaves stains in the aluminium that are impossible to remove with solvents.
IMG_20210120_220557.thumb.jpg.32f8f31d2b95abee4798a9507162626a.jpg
 
After trying 5 different techniques I decided to go back to a buffing wheel.
I had tried it before, just with buffing pads that were not the best quality available.
So I bought new buffing pads and buffing compounds to go with it. Also expensive, lol. This polishing has cost more time and money than I would have ever thought in the beginning...
 
And finally, THE STRUGGLING PAYS OFF: THERE IS RESULT!
Man was I happy to see this thing finally come to life as I imagined it. It's perfect!
 
IMG_20210128_191913.thumb.jpg.342f95d0fd465020c5a4008ebbd9f488.jpg
 
 IMG_20210128_191841.thumb.jpg.fd75f8158d57e2c242bdd3097f37d744.jpg
 
AND THEN the following day, I went back to another piece to do the rest, and this happens.....
Small pits form whenever touching the metal with the polishing wheel. Could it be that the aluminium is too soft??
After alot of experimenting and research, I conclude that it probably is because of the cold in my shed. It's about 5 °C in there, which causes the polishing compound to immediately harden upon touching the metal. This creates little dents that are very hard to buff out.
Let's hope this is the case.
 
IMG_20210128_190608.thumb.jpg.28d4a5987c16ea36aee45c0b2ce064df.jpg
 
 IMG_20210128_190707.thumb.jpg.e2c634aca276464ad6e8298847e179a9.jpg
 
So... In these final days of the CMWS before the deadline, I'm still struggling. Tomorrow I'll go and buy a heater and try again in a warm shed. If that doesn't work: finish the parts that can be polished, and I'll have to wrap the other parts..
Fingers crossed!
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  • 4 weeks later...

Unfortunately the deadline of CMWS20 has passed and I haven’t been able to finish the project beforehand, but I am still very glad that this project is coming together like I pictured it in my mind.

Back to the problem with the polishing: the heater helped, but didn’t fix the problem. I had to accept that it wasn’t going to be 100% perfect if I wanted a shot at finishing before the CMWS deadline… In the end I didn’t make it, but overall I am very happy with the aluminium parts.

This is what I’ve been polishing the metal parts with.

IMG_20210129_122320.thumb.jpg.bc4bdaee62e6f1465efe19cc03f2f231.jpg

 

The wheel occasionally caused some problems with sharp edges etc. that caused the thin metal sheets to grab into the cotton/flannel wheel and bend… I’ve had it happen to me multiple times, for example with the GPU block cover.

IMG_20210129_155612.thumb.jpg.926a18be11e3c92d320674087ef18feb.jpg

 

With some  hammering, re-polishing and after the final wrap it looks like this!

IMG_20210129_210452.thumb.jpg.572574698a2588aa625369d4302bdf0d.jpg

 

Onto the other parts!

I put a reflective foil on the backside of the plexi panel and on the inside of the aluminium, hoping the light would bounce back into the panel and help with distributing the lighting.

IMG_20210130_130628.thumb.jpg.f3dbe56816849ff060da0823df1d304a.jpg

 IMG_20210130_130652.thumb.jpg.8a6e46fbce0962d59a7b894a83681f64.jpg

IMG_20210130_133034.thumb.jpg.551aa755ba69df942b139d79aa701a85.jpg

 

And of course the top panels, after 10’s of hours of polishing….

IMG_20210130_134312.thumb.jpg.46cdf6a49628b7724cbe3e70f35638cc.jpg

 

Then all the panels were polished and it was time to start the final assembly….

Started with wrapping the motherboard panel with the black vinyl pattern.

IMG_20210130_212759.thumb.jpg.611a8fe86ec53f03a020f85edafae183.jpg


Installed in the case

IMG_20210130_223309.thumb.jpg.fbbc3f22753812dd680aa37f2f93f3b7.jpg

 

Radiator shroud with radiator+fans installed were next. This thing is THICC!

IMG_20210130_235900.thumb.jpg.da8ceb80b8cffc4f494e8e50f64dd442.jpg

 

All installed in the case.

IMG_20210131_001545.thumb.jpg.eb662c7f9030f9ab2ee00527450a0480.jpg

 

Next up: HDD’s and SSD’s with cables.

IMG_20210131_110446.thumb.jpg.4598a2607962977f44ad39be50290f8d.jpg

IMG_20210131_135000.thumb.jpg.1e4404791338dbbe42b266bcfce34709.jpg

 

And the motherboard…..!

IMG_20210131_135019.thumb.jpg.af41c16c65c11d9391398dfd08fc5386.jpg

 

The devil’s in the details right?

Way too many bolts to mount the GPU panel, but those washers look amazing!

IMG_20210131_141952.thumb.jpg.92fb2b657edcb577792cce374fe119a9.jpg

 

And… GPU, reservoir/pump combo and LED controller are installed!

IMG_20210131_141958.thumb.jpg.b89fdde3e8261c883c15606485d71166.jpg

IMG_20210131_173857.thumb.jpg.a6d95cf0e847ded85dfc6c535ce1ad99.jpg

 

 

Next up: doing all the wiring…

Because the wires need to go through the motherboard panel, they needed to be de-pinned first and re-pinned on the other side. Paying a lot of attention to keep the right order of course!

IMG_20210131_174436.thumb.jpg.823b36abe01cf0346886398de4a2e353.jpg

IMG_20210131_191505.thumb.jpg.b518804c490d4e94ca6d4a650862b4d8.jpg

 

Top radiator installed, and the start of the rest of the wiring.

IMG_20210131_201807.thumb.jpg.402afabea3f33fb4b2c6dbfe1133f892.jpg

IMG_20210131_235647.thumb.jpg.c90cbfdca11c4bf20adf53f530250561.jpg

IMG_20210215_202331.thumb.jpg.90e9568d61b9b5562680beb2d063d4bc.jpg

 

Such a wire mess! Very hard to hide between max. 20mm of space.

IMG_20210207_183151.thumb.jpg.8698e4ded20cf987a2dc295c14a6adea.jpg

IMG_20210207_191856.thumb.jpg.0a8b1c568f1871ddef7149b380093c9c.jpg

IMG_20210207_191903.thumb.jpg.c5ac2985e649c676a76086d09333d3eb.jpg

 

But… The first test for all the Led’s was successful!

Disco space atm, everything will be configured in the software.

IMG_20210207_192040.thumb.jpg.c72606bbfa3d00b84f1a9e4d07ad73a1.jpg

 

Then it was time to get on with the watercooling.

Starting with the backside.

IMG_20210209_221938.thumb.jpg.9ee6a904d5f04d261701f99b0b31f239.jpg

 

Let’s finish this beast!

 

Edited by Pine PC design
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