Hey everyone, I hope you are having a great day, and thank you for checking out my build log! I have been working on this project for a while, and actually made a forum post a very long time ago (which has been deleted), but progress has been slow until a week or two ago, and I’m stoked to finally be able to post about it! I’ll first lay out everything I’ve done up to this point, and then update this log regularly as I make progress. Without further ado, let’s go!
Background: I’m a highschool student in the Bay Area, and really love PC modding. Apart from a relatively simple and small mod, I haven’t done much - most of my interest is perpetuated by reading/watching other people’s excellent build logs. Hopefully this can be my sort of gateway into the realms of PC modding, and be the first of many projects!
Goal: I’m a stickler for clean, understated builds. Don’t get me wrong - I love the builds that go all out as well, but something about that slate, flat appearance really appeals to me. In addition, I love SFF stuff - trying to cram all of your components into as small of a footprint of possible is a challenge (plus materials cost less!)
With this build, I’m trying to capture the essence of both, creating as small of a PC case as possible given my current hardware, while maintaining a clean and subdued aesthetic - “monolithic” even (which is where the name came from.) As a side note, this build’s name is completely unrelated to MetallicAcid’s Monolith, which I didn’t know of until this build was underway.
As of right now, the build measures in at (273.65 x 112.9 x 264.84mm, 8.18L) excluding the feet, and 8.8L with them included. As it stands now, I believe this is on track to be the smallest M-ATX case built that supports Dual-Slot GPUs (255mm Max), and a fully internal PSU (no DC-ATX Converters.) My intentions aren’t to be the first in the world or anything, I just designed the case around hardware I had (either bought used or donated by friends), and it ended up being pretty small.
Materials: The case is made out of a combination of ⅛ and ¼ inch P95 matte acrylic sheets from Tap Plastics. This stuff looks absolutely gorgeous, the way the matte side catches and swallows the ambient light is really something unique. As far as fastening the panels together, I am using Parvum Mod Cubes, in conjunction with various lengths of button head M3 screws, which make the case look pretty industrial/clean IMO. I also used M3 standoffs and nuts to secure the motherboard to the case, and am 3d printing several brackets to mount the GPU and SSD.
Like I stated above, most of my parts either were free from friends, or bought used (on hardwareswap). I’ll list everything I have now, and update it as needed.
CPU: AMD A10-7890K (Have)
Motherboard: MSI A88XM Gaming (Have)
RAM: 2x4GB DDR3 1600 G.Skill Bare Black PCB RAM (Have)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9A (Have)
SSD: Intel 320 120GB SSD (Have)
GPU: EVGA GTX 750Ti FTW ACX (Have)
PCIe Riser: 3M 500mm PCIe x16 Riser (Have)
PSU: Seasonic M1U Flex ATX 300w (Have)
Laser Cut panels: Tap Plastics P95 Matte Black Acrylic ¼ and ⅛ inch (Have)
Window: Tap Plastics Cast Clear Acrylic ⅛ inch (Have)
Mod Cubes: 2x Sets Parvum Mod Cubes (Have)
Screws: 6/10/16mm Black M3 Button Head Screws from Amazon (Have)
Standoffs: 6+6mm Black Nylon M3 Standoffs (Have)
Nuts: M3 Nuts Black (Have)
M3 Washers: Black 8mm M3 Washers (Have)
3d Printed Parts: Black ABS parts printed with a Zortrax M200 off of 3d Hubs (Shipping)
Sleeving: Paracord Planet 550 Paracord Black (Have)
Wire: Buywireonline UL1007 16AWG White (Have)
Connectors: 24 Pin Female, 18 Pin Female, SATA Crimp connector, PCIe 6 Pin Female, 4+4 Pin EPS/CPU Female (Have)
Terminals: MainFrame Female ATX Terminals (Have)
The Design: The case has certainly been through several iterations, and I would like to believe that the latest design (the one I am using) has benefitted from things I have learned along the way.
My first concept is pretty similar to what I have now, the basic form is still the same, as well as the Parvum Mod Cube fastening method. However, the way the GPU and PSU were mounted at the back was extremely inefficient as well as the weird slotted grill on the right side panel.
My second design is pretty much what I have now. I tweaked things and changed the placement of the PSU and GPU to create a much smaller and more space efficient case, and changed the right side panel to have a direct grill over the CPU cooler. I explain the different aspects of the case in more detail in the spoiler.
What I’ve done so far: At the moment of starting this build log, I have laser cut most of the case panels, and am waiting for the 3d printed parts (I can cut the window on Friday.)
Here are some photos of the case as it stands right now!
Roadmap/Updates: This is as much for me as it is for you guys, which will help me stay on track and culminate my ideas.
3D model the case (Completed)
Laser cut the case (In Progress)
3D print mounts/brackets (In Progress)
Sleeve/Make custom cables (Planned)
LED light the case (Planned)
Finish/paint the case (Planned)
That’s it guys! Hopefully I’ll have some more posts up soon detailing the issues I’ve had so far, as well as explaining more about how everything works. It would mean the world to me if you followed along, and I’d more more than happy to answer any questions!