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Custom case build

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Hello Internet!

So I recently built a new system (my 6 y.o. FX system was showing its age) but I couldn't find a case that I liked and was unique, that wasn't $200+. This gave me the idea to make my own case, so I built the pc in a cheap, temporary case just to get it running. I realize I could end up spending well over $200 to make a case, but at least it'll be unique. Thought I'd make a thread to log and share my progress for anyone that cares.

I'm currently in the design stage and was wondering if there was a database here on the forum for all the ATX, PCI, and i/o specs? I'm trying to get the rear of the case laid out.

Thanks for any help. I'll upload some pictures once I have something drawn up, until then, here's my current setup.

pc.png
 
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I'm currently in the design stage and was wondering if there was a database here on the forum for all the ATX, PCI, and i/o specs?
Not really, but we can all make suggestions.

I'm partial to CoolerMaster currently as they have quite a few very stylish and affordable cases. Question is, do you want 5.25" bays?

Here's one that I've taken interest in for MATX/ITX builds and there are two versions, with a 5.25" bay and one without.
With;

Without;

Both have lots of room for cooling fans/rads. Solid construction.
 

hat

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He's not looking to buy a case, he wants to make his own.
 
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The Wikipedia page for ATX has dimensions and diagrams showing screw mount locations. That's probably a good place to start.



ATX is 305 x 244mm.
 
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If it is Your first stab at modding You can canibalize whole rear from old case and cut it to suit Your needs. Saves time and head ache .It helps some times to make cardboard model of build You plan to do just to figure out layout and whatnot. Cheers ,keep on moddin'.
 
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He's not looking to buy a case, he wants to make his own.
Oops, you're right. This is what I get for skimming over things to fast sometimes.
 
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I've decided I'm going to use wood for as much of the case as I possibly can. I'm familiar with the material and working with it, and I think it will give it a more unique/sophisticated look.

The Wikipedia page for ATX has dimensions and diagrams showing screw mount locations. That's probably a good place to start.
The motherboard tray layout was the easy part. I had a little more trouble with the rear i/o and pci slot layouts, but I think I've managed to get them drawn up pretty accurately. Found the ATX Specification and the PCI Express Card Specification PDFs which helped a lot. Links below for anyone interested.

ATX: https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FS8/5ILB/GU59Z1AT/FS85ILBGU59Z1AT.pdf
PCIe: http://read.pudn.com/downloads166/ebook/758109/PCI_Express_CEM_1.1.pdf

If it is Your first stab at modding You can canibalize whole rear from old case and cut it to suit Your needs. Saves time and head ache .It helps some times to make cardboard model of build You plan to do just to figure out layout and whatnot. Cheers ,keep on moddin'.
Thought about it, but I don't have a case that I'm ok destroying.
 
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I've decided I'm going to use wood for as much of the case as I possibly can. I'm familiar with the material and working with it, and I think it will give it a more unique/sophisticated look.
Clint from LGR would approve!
 
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I've decided I'm going to use wood for as much of the case as I possibly can. I'm familiar with the material and working with it, and I think it will give it a more unique/sophisticated look.



The motherboard tray layout was the easy part. I had a little more trouble with the rear i/o and pci slot layouts, but I think I've managed to get them drawn up pretty accurately. Found the ATX Specification and the PCI Express Card Specification PDFs which helped a lot. Links below for anyone interested.

ATX: https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FS8/5ILB/GU59Z1AT/FS85ILBGU59Z1AT.pdf
PCIe: http://read.pudn.com/downloads166/ebook/758109/PCI_Express_CEM_1.1.pdf



Thought about it, but I don't have a case that I'm ok destroying.
You should check out DIY Perks on YouTube. He's built several custom PC cases out of wood and other materials. His builds always look really different from your typical PC.

 
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Clint from LGR would approve!
idk who Clint from LGR is, but he sounds like a pretty cool guy

You should check out DIY Perks on YouTube. He's built several custom PC cases out of wood and other materials. His builds always look really different from your typical PC.

I’ve seen that video! Its interesting what he did with the heatsinks. Not a fan of the rope trim tho lol
 
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idk who Clint from LGR is, but he sounds like a pretty cool guy
 
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Me neither, but you could just as easily make that build without the rope.
nah, it only works for a mini itx and it’s passively cooled. I’m wanting to build a fast gaming/3D modeling pc so passive cooling won’t suffice.

I’ll have to check out Clint’s channel tho
 
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I've decided I'm going to use wood for as much of the case as I possibly can. I'm familiar with the material and working with it, and I think it will give it a more unique/sophisticated look.
I'm really into this thread since the moment you said "custom case", I love modding and when it mixes with craftsman's work it's even more interesting. I really love wood cases, and when they're good finished and polished, boy, they really look unique and sophisticated. Whatever you decide, whatever you do, the best of lucks planning and specially building.

I checked quick online and here are some designs that looked fancy to me:




One a little bit more ghetto but still cool IMHO




And by far, my favourite with round lines and good polishing is this one:



Here's a link to its build log project if you're interested

Even InWin has something really similar to that one, the 806 model:



Hope you share some design mockups soon or even pictures of the first parts aligned!!!

Keep up the good work, cheers!!! :toast:
 
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Those blocks are sweet, when I did purchase my last WC parts recently, I did a quick lurk on EKWB other lines .. and the wooden one was so damn nice, it's a shame that they're charging so much, didn't do a research of why, maybe the materials/assembly, but they do look gorgeous, if the OP is going with wood finally, those should fit perfectly :D (if it's interested into watercooling of course ... which I hope cause a custom case with watercooling it's just perfect)
 
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Even InWin has something really similar to that one, the 806 model:



Hope you share some design mockups soon or even pictures of the first parts aligned!!!

Keep up the good work, cheers!!! :toast:
I like the simplicity of the InWin case, tho it’s a steel box with just a wood face.

The EK lignum blocks are actually one of things that inspired me towards using wood as the main material
 
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I like the simplicity of the InWin case, tho it’s a steel box with just a wood face.

The EK lignum blocks are actually one of things that inspired me towards using wood as the main material
Yup, InWin it's very simple, very straight lines, but you're right, metal is the dominant material on that case, but the previous picture and guide I also posted is more craftsman's work and close to entirely wood, and the lines/design is quite similar to the InWin as well.

Glad you liked those blocks, if you purchase them with a good finished case ... your build is gonna look pretty sick, i'm eager for updates! :D

Rock on :rockout:
 
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Speaking of wood. Check this out. :) Guys on the lab501 forum from my country did this build last year. :)

 

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so passive cooling won’t suffice
There's no reason you couldn't mount ultra quiet fans.. But it was only a suggestion. As displayed above, there are many good ideas.
 
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You could also take some notes from System76 Thelio case.
 
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Watch out for termites :D anyway i salute You for walking extra mile and taking scratch build option. Cheers.
 
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There's no reason you couldn't mount ultra quiet fans.. But it was only a suggestion. As displayed above, there are many good ideas.
I'm not worried about noise, but I need good cooling performance as I'd like to eventually oc. So I'm probably going to build a case that can support a custom loop.
 
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I didn’t realize how hard it was to design a case.. lol

The easy part is done (drawing out the ATX spec and laying out the MB tray and rear I/O); that took about 3 hours of flipping back and forth between SketchUp and the PDFs I found.

Now it’s been about a week of drawing and re-drawing, trying to figure out how I want the case to look, where to place all the components, designing for optimal air flow as well as space for a future water loop, while trying to to keep it as compact as possible.

I had another look at EK’s Lignum line (“lignum” is the Latin word for “wood”), and I don’t remember the prices being so high the last time I looked . I don’t think I’ll be paying $450 for a gpu block. Besides they only make it for the 2080ti, which I don’t see myself buying.
 
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I didn’t realize how hard it was to design a case.. lol
It is an involved task. My advice is keep it simple and use an existing case for donor parts.
 
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