I'm really disappointed at the current market of eGPUs, even the more affordable options like the Akitio Node costs around $300. I wanted to piece together an eGPU without a case or with a 3-D printed case for under that $300 price point. My plan is to go with the V8.0 EXP GDC (NVMe vesion) then find an adapter from NVMe to thunderbolt 3 for maximum convenience and compatibility. The first thing that came to mind is the WS-UTE01-a, a Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe 40Gbps enclosure by Winstars, a Chinese company. However there are two problems. One since I am just a high school student and I have no idea if the enclosure will act perfectly as a bypass for the graphics card dock. Secondly on the manufacturer's official website the enclosure can only be bought in bulk at a minimum amount of 1000 pcs. I'd be very grateful if anyone can confirm the possibility of my plan, and/or if there are any stores that I can buy the enclosure in small quantities. The total price is around $150, with the graphics dock being $90 and the NVMe enclosure being $60. Even without shipping and power supply etc., I reckon that the total price after buying the pissing pieces will still be cheaper than the Akitio node. AND theoretically you can get the same performance as the node since both the NVMe version of the dock supports up to 40Gbps data transfer speeds. I will put the links down below and a big thank you to anyone who took the time to look at this massive paragraph.
P.S.: If my plan works and there is enough interest I might start an indiegogo for the product, but that's an after thought.
EXP GDC NVME Dock: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.18.104.22.168a545d0c7yvTZ6&id=563499841932&ns=1&abbucket=12#detail (I apologize for the website being in Chinese. I can only find this version of the dock on taobao)
My e-mail if you wan to contact me: