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Project Extric


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Hello everyone

This is my first year competing in CMWS and my first time building a case from scratch so i'm going into this with no prior knowledge.

 

Requirements:

-The case needs to be made from wood and acrylic.

-It needs to be able to fit any component such as 330mm+ GPU's, large tower coolers, hard drives, atx motherboard and power supply, etc. (except for water cooling components)

-It should have a sleek and minimalist design with a cyan or light blue accent colour.

-The case needs dedicated cable management runs and holes to keep the sleek and minimalist design.

-every component (including power supply) needs enough airflow or cooling to keep the temperatures below that of my current case. (silverstone fara f1)

-I have also set myself a budget of $200NZD (~$130USD) and most of the work will be done at my school as i don't have all that equipment to make it at home.

 

planning:

The first plans for a wooden case come from last year but those were created without any requirements or any intention on making them. The first actual designs were made earlier this year and have been refined to what my final design looks like now. I started simple with some reference cases that i liked and just started sketching parts that i liked before I started making some quick 3D models in fusion 360. And the final step was to create a fully functional case that met all the requirements in fusion 360.

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The wood i'm using for this case is Rimu which is a softwood native to New Zealand. The piece I got was 2900x290mm and was cut in half to make it easier to work with.

Before I started sketching out my cuts I made a test joint of the main joint holding the case together which is a finger joint inspired by Nick Falzone's Ikigai.

I cut out all the pieces on the band saw and then used files and and planes to make the sides and edges smooth, some of the pieces have long beveled edges and will require a bit more precision to get a clean edge so i'll need to use a router or something similar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've laser cut some of the acrylic for the first test fit although some of the pieces have some small burn marks and one of the pieces doesn't fit correctly but its good enough for a test fit. the main joint is almost completed but still needs a bit of work for it to look flush. (sorry for the blurry photo of the gluing process)

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  • 1 month later...

Lots of gluing to do, a lot of it has been done but there is still more to be done, the first step was to glue the main joint, this is where the all the components are going to attach to so it needs to be strong and square, I used right angle blocks and large G clamps to keep the joint square. The second step was to glue together the acrylic that goes around the psu at the bottom of the case, for this one I used some scrap wood and some small G clamps as well as some weights just to make sure its square. lastly I glued bottom to the acrylic and that to the top, I only used small clamps of the side of the acrylic since the weight from the top part was enough to hold everything in place. Now its just the back side needs to be done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Big progress update today, I've finished gluing the rest of the wood and acrylic to the back of the case so now its complete. The next thing was to test out some different finishes for the wood, I cut out a few small pieces from the original piece of wood and stained 2 and put vanish is 2, I decided to go with the stain since i think it looked nicer and it matched the colour of the 3d render a lot closer.

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Since I've finished the case I can start building the pc, there are a couple of things I didn't get photos of, I have glued magnets to the back panel so that can stay in place and be easily removed, and I also glued on 4 plastic feet onto the bottom of the case so the PSU can get fresh air from underneath. I'm still waiting on my power button which will be the last thing to arrive so for the time being I just need to use the power button on the motherboard.

 

I've tested the system for a couple of days and everything is running well (and quite), the CPU temperature peaks at around 55 degrees which I think is pretty good considering I'm cooling 135W CPU with an air cooler, and the GPU doesn't go higher than 70 degrees while gaming, in my old case the CPU and GPU was about 5-10 degrees hotter and much louder because of the case fans.

 

The next step is to install the custom cables and maybe paint the GPU shroud white and blue to match the colour scheme.

 

Components for this build:

Motherboard: Huananzhi x79 
CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2690

Ram: YONGXINSHENG ddr3 2*8GB 1600MHz

SSD: Samsung 980 500GB NVMe M.2

GPU: Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 8GB

CPU cooler: Cooler Master hyper 212 white edition

PSU: Cooler Master MWE 650W bronze V2

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Here it is, Project Extric all finished after 2 months of designing and around 4 months building. I'm so happy with how it came out and all the components fit in perfectly, there is plenty of space for cable management and hard drives in the back and comfortably fits an M-ATX motherboard, tower cooler, and a full length GPU, I've been using it for around a month now and haven't had any issues with noise or temperatures. The back of the case can be easily accessed as the rear panel is held on with several magnets which are strong enough to keep the panel on even when moving the case around.

Good luck to all the other competitors and maybe I'll be back next year with another custom case design.

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