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Jtalk4456

Making a Desk Drawer Case - Part 1

Design Considerations  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Desk Material

    • Wood - Traditional aesthetic, looks good in most situations. Depending on the wood can be more expensive
      9
    • Metal - Robust, easy to clean, modern look.
      5
    • Have both choices, with the more expensive at a premium cost
      3
  2. 2. Wire Management style

    • Trenches/Channels in the desktop surface with covers, providing quick access to wires and making a cool aesthetic on top of the desk
      4
    • Wire Clips screwed underneath, no aesthetics, but wires are fully hidden. Less access to wires, but cheap and effective, easy to make
      10
    • Have both choices, with the more expensive at a premium cost
      3
  3. 3. Wire Management - Trench Design - Cover Material

    • Same Material as desk, chance to save on material costs this way
      4
    • Different than desk material, great aesthetic, but might cost more in materials
      9
    • Have both choices, with the more expensive at a premium cost
      4
  4. 4. Wire Management - Trench Design - Depth of Trench - Should I assume any more than the depth to cover 2-3 (mouse, keyboard, monitor) wires? Deeper means thicker (more expensive).

    • 2-3 wires is fine, especially if the wire trench splits off in different areas or if there's multiple trenches.
      8
    • Make that trench THICC, like maybe a full inch. I got tons of external wires to manage!
      9
  5. 5. Wire Management - Trench Design - Shape of Trench

    • Rounded
      7
    • Square
      10
  6. 6. Wire Management - Trench Design - Multiple Trenches?

    • One solid trench, with spaced out grooves for a wire to head off, like in an irrigation system (https://livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe40s/media/water_0701.jpg)
      6
    • Several wire trenches splitting off a main branch with multiple exit points
      11
  7. 7. Wire Management - Grommet Choices

    • Use the grommet as a chance to add USB hub functionality since the back of the PC won't be as easily accessible (https://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/ProductImage/A1JM_131425123041724829Xh3mb2Qvor.jpg)
      7
    • Standard Grommet, we can wire up a hub and have it flush with the front edge of the desk for easy access
      5
    • Have both choices, with the more expensive at a premium cost
      5
  8. 8. Wire Management - Grommet Type

    • Hole
      8
    • Brush (https://www.racksolutions.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1//550x/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/n/intergral-grommet_brush_1.jpg)
      9
  9. 9. Power Button - Placement

    • On the desktop somewhere (ideas in the comments please)
      3
    • On the front panel of the drawer case
      14
  10. 10. Rackmount Compatibility?

    • Make the design so that the drawer fits a standard 4-6 U design with the standard width
      2
    • Nah, unnecessary
      6
    • You could have it as a more expensive option, the "Server Tier"
      4
    • Main drawer is nice and big, but a drawer below fits a 1-2 U design so you can have a main computer and a server in the same desk
      1
    • Some combination of these elements (Place ideas in the comments please)
      4


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm looking to take the concept of a PC case to a whole new level. Some desk cases have been made, but imho all with compromises. The LTT Desk PC is great with lots of room for parts and airflow, but it's very deep and won't be as comfortable for taller people who need the extra leg room. Also, it has a lot of rgb and aesthetic focus, which is fine, but not everyone wants that, and some might prefer having the desk pc be more of a hidden feature. Buying one such as the one from Liam Lee might be a bit better since they have better manufacturing capabilities, but they come with a hefty price tag. Also those that cover the whole top of the desk mean changing or maintaining parts involves a lot of shuffling with monitor, speakers and other peripherals. Lastly, the ones that some people make inside a drawer are essentially just a case shoved in a drawer most of the time. They tend to lack the features that I want to see in a good case.

For the sake of ease to change/maintain and not make the desktop thicker, and for ease of production, I like the drawer idea. It just needs some tweaking. It needs to be taken and perfected. So that's exactly what I want to do. I have a lot of thoughts and considerations, and with the poll, I'm limited by the number of questions, so I will be following up with a new thread and new questions once responses on this seem to be done. Please take the poll, but also give as much feedback as you can in the comments, as well as putting anything in that I haven't thought of.

Basic idea for context in polls. Cabinet on one/both sides of desk, with one or more drawer designed for a computer to be assembled inside. some form of 90 degree transfer to bring I/O wires up to desktop surface but well managed/hidden. Easy to upgrade/maintain, looks modern and stylish without relying on it. As more details are finalized i'll have some rough sketches

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I've always fancied the idea of a drawer type PC, but with rails so you can pull it out to have better access, or better airflow etc. Mayeb something along the lines of a fixed glass desktop, steel or aluminium frame, and then the rail system married to the frame. Then the actual drawer could be made of anything you want as long as it has the strength of course to hold the components... don't know how practical it would be, but that's been in my thoughts for a long time now.


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I'm gonna need some context here:

  1. Is this a "I'm making this for myself, help me decide what I want" pole, a "I want to design a case better to actually be sold to a broad market", or is this "Design your dream desk PC" because you, me, and a whole community might have different ideas on what we would consider a Good PC Desk (for example most of the community would most likely rather it be as cheap as humanly possible and would definitely give up wire trenches and metal construction materials for example to make it happen)
  2. Have you considered putting the PC in the side cabinets of the table, so the cabinet acts as one of the legs? From a "traditional assembly" standpoint this would be much easier for new or semi experienced builders since you could design the cabinet to have the layout of like a normal PC case (unless this isnt what you're looking to do at all, in which case I fully understand)
  3. Are we considering that the PC will be view able through a window, perhaps through the desk surface? If this is intended to be a "for the community" product that will go a long ways in marketability. 
  4. Will the primary form of cooling be air or water? Again if we are looking at a "for the community", it might be better if it's based on a decent mix of both, but not require custom watercooling (meaning a 360 AIO should be doable somewhere but leave room for a halfway decent air tower if need be) Forcing users to go watercooling for their CPU increases the end users overall cost of the system, especially if they want to stick to a CPU tower. 

I havent answered any of the questions yet, but the Rackmount idea seems over the top and VERY niche (as niche as a desk PC already is)


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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, TVwazhere said:

I'm gonna need some context here:

  1. Is this a "I'm making this for myself, help me decide what I want" pole, a "I want to design a case better to actually be sold to a broad market", or is this "Design your dream desk PC" because you, me, and a whole community might have different ideas on what we would consider a Good PC Desk (for example most of the community would most likely rather it be as cheap as humanly possible and would definitely give up wire trenches and metal construction materials for example to make it happen)
  2. Have you considered putting the PC in the side cabinets of the table, so the cabinet acts as one of the legs? From a "traditional assembly" standpoint this would be much easier for new or semi experienced builders since you could design the cabinet to have the layout of like a normal PC case (unless this isnt what you're looking to do at all, in which case I fully understand)
  3. Are we considering that the PC will be view able through a window, perhaps through the desk surface? If this is intended to be a "for the community" product that will go a long ways in marketability. 
  4. Will the primary form of cooling be air or water? Again if we are looking at a "for the community", it might be better if it's based on a decent mix of both, but not require custom watercooling (meaning a 360 AIO should be doable somewhere but leave room for a halfway decent air tower if need be) Forcing users to go watercooling for their CPU increases the end users overall cost of the system, especially if they want to stick to a CPU tower. 

5. I havent answered any of the questions yet, but the Rackmount idea seems over the top and VERY niche (as niche as a desk PC already is)

1. I want one for myself as a dream build, but I think there's a gap in the market that can be filled with a well designed product. I will be making one for myself, but if I put it out there and. Find enough interest I'd love to sell it.

2. That's essentially the idea though with a drawer in the cabinet allowing for a horizontal mounting surface. Easy to upgrade, no gpu sag, etc

3. I have not settled on the best or most practical way to do this, but there will be at least the option for a tempered glass viewing window

4. With regards to cooling, the drawer should have plenty of room for either air or water. One of the reasons I want to use a drawer is that I can make it deep and have plenty of clearance and airflow if designed right.

That's a fair point, though all of this boils down to market desire, so if enough people would want that, I'd be willing. Plus it's just a dimensional change to the design. It would be easy to conform to, I would assume.

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1 hour ago, Jtalk4456 said:

1. I want one for myself as a dream build, 

2. Easy to upgrade, no gpu sag, etc

3. option for a tempered glass viewing window

4.  plenty of room for either air or water.

Well for a "Jtalk4456 Special" build, I say go all out with wire trenches even if it's a bit more expensive, but if you get interest in the design it's most likely going to be more expensive than most would be willing to pay. Considering most people are stingy spending over $100 on a case usually :D 

 

I'll go through the poll and answer them now


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16 hours ago, Jtalk4456 said:

-SNIP-

This really depends on how much money you want to spend cause this can get very expensive very quick. having a shallow drawer setup would usually be your best bet, that being said space management in something that is low profile will get more difficult. 

 

Personally if I were to built one I would have in no more than 4" thick, with a heavy glass top to go over everything. For cable management unless one is making all their cables completely from scratch with zero slack and extra length managing it will be a bit tricky getting things perfect, a good option would be to have a removable tray in the bottom of the drawer with say around 0.5" of space for hiding stuff. Other than that you can go all out and get custom milled acrylic channels that will sandwich the cables like in custom distro plate or motherboard plates. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, W-L said:

This really depends on how much money you want to spend cause this can get very expensive very quick. having a shallow drawer setup would usually be your best bet, that being said space management in something that is low profile will get more difficult. 

 

Personally if I were to built one I would have in no more than 4" thick, with a heavy glass top to go over everything. For cable management unless one is making all their cables completely from scratch with zero slack and extra length managing it will be a bit tricky getting things perfect, a good option would be to have a removable tray in the bottom of the drawer with say around 0.5" of space for hiding stuff. Other than that you can go all out and get custom milled acrylic channels that will sandwich the cables like in custom distro plate or motherboard plates. 

When you say 4"thick are you referring to the thickness of the desk top?

I hadn't thought about a wire hiding tray in the drawer... I'll look into what some options would be for that.

When you talk about the distro plates do you have a pic example I could look at to get a better idea of what you are talking about?

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1 hour ago, Jtalk4456 said:

When you say 4"thick are you referring to the thickness of the desk top?

I hadn't thought about a wire hiding tray in the drawer... I'll look into what some options would be for that.

When you talk about the distro plates do you have a pic example I could look at to get a better idea of what you are talking about?

Yes 4" as in the total thickness of the table top with the PC inside and everything, that alleviates the problem with comfort that a lot off desk PC's have due to the thickness of the top other than doing a cutout or step in the desk for the user. The tray could simply be either an acrylic or aluminium motherboard tray, or a complete false bottom with a gap below for cable routing purposes. 

 

Here's an example of guided channels that form that cables yet doesn't hide any of the sleeving work, for something like this each individual wire has to be made to a specific length to conform to the bend radii. 

https://www.singularitycomputers.com/portfolio/spectre-black-silver/

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Spectre-Build2-BlackSilver-32.jpg

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, W-L said:

Yes 4" as in the total thickness of the table top with the PC inside and everything, that alleviates the problem with comfort that a lot off desk PC's have due to the thickness of the top other than doing a cutout or step in the desk for the user. The tray could simply be either an acrylic or aluminium motherboard tray, or a complete false bottom with a gap below for cable routing purposes. 

 

Here's an example of guided channels that form that cables yet doesn't hide any of the sleeving work, for something like this each individual wire has to be made to a specific length to conform to the bend radii. 

https://www.singularitycomputers.com/portfolio/spectre-black-silver/

  Hide contents

Spectre-Build2-BlackSilver-32.jpg

 

ok so what that sounds like to me is a thinner version of what LTT and liam li did having the pc spread inside the actual desktop.  4" wouldn't be enough though for a gpu which is why they are all so thick, along with cpu and cooler height. That's why I want it in a drawer where the height is not a problem. I might be misunderstanding you, but if you're talking about perfecting a design like that, i'd prefer to avoid that style altogether for the inconvenience of having to take everything off the desk to work on the computer. That being said, if the design was compact enough, a small sunk in section over the cabinet wouldn't be too bad

As for the channels, do those in any way impede the ease of assembly/disassembly/maintenance by locking the wires into place?

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16 minutes ago, Jtalk4456 said:

ok so what that sounds like to me is a thinner version of what LTT and liam li did having the pc spread inside the actual desktop.  4" wouldn't be enough though for a gpu which is why they are all so thick, along with cpu and cooler height. That's why I want it in a drawer where the height is not a problem. I might be misunderstanding you, but if you're talking about perfecting a design like that, i'd prefer to avoid that style altogether for the inconvenience of having to take everything off the desk to work on the computer. That being said, if the design was compact enough, a small sunk in section over the cabinet wouldn't be too bad

As for the channels, do those in any way impede the ease of assembly/disassembly/maintenance by locking the wires into place?

The drawer concept it great in terms of ease of access. For thickness 4" is the total not the inside so less on the inside, thinner the better if you can fit the stuff in the thinnest possible profile while maintaining airflow and clearances that would be best. If it was all watercooled in theory 2" or so would be enough but would require careful planning and a solution for radiators/fans. The reason is solely for ergonomics.

 

For the acrylic cable runs such as those they are permanent and essentially locked to that system in those kind of cases since they not only have the cable channels but also waterblocks and channels in the same plates. In a desk setup they could take inspiration from it and not be exactly permanent as such. 

 

All of this really varies as I've seen everyone have their own take and requirements of what they look for especially in a PC Desk since it's much more than just a PC but a workspace that needs to fit that specific individuals needs. 

 

This is probably one of the best workmanship I've seen for a desk PC yet, lots of wood and steel fabrication. 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 minutes ago, W-L said:

The drawer concept it great in terms of ease of access. For thickness 4" is the total not the inside so less on the inside, thinner the better if you can fit the stuff in the thinnest possible profile while maintaining airflow and clearances that would be best. If it was all watercooled in theory 2" or so would be enough but would require careful planning and a solution for radiators/fans. The reason is solely for ergonomics.

 

For the acrylic cable runs such as those they are permanent and essentially locked to that system in those kind of cases since they not only have the cable channels but also waterblocks and channels in the same plates. In a desk setup they could take inspiration from it and not be exactly permanent as such. 

 

This is probably one of the best workmanship I've seen for a desk PC yet, lots of wood and steel fabrication. 

 

That build is amazing! I'm definitely gonna take some time and read through that to look for things I might have overlooked in the details. This is still a whole top set up though. I'm going for the drawer both for ease of access as well as ease of production and affordability. The typical enthusiast isn't buying the $2000 liam li desk case because the other computer parts take priority. I want to make something more affordable. 

As for the 4" i'm trying to work this out in my head, how would you fit a motherboard and gpu and cooling solution into a 2" tall space or even a 4" space. I suppose with riser cables and water cooling it would be possible, but that would reduce airflow tremendously and the user would be spending more money on watercooling and low clearance parts. Not saying it couldn't be done, but i'm not sure i understand why i would make it more confined if i'm using a desk design and have plenty of room to work with. Is there going to be a benefit to me making the pc drawer as small as I can?

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1 minute ago, Jtalk4456 said:

-SNIP-

Yes it would reduce airflow especially if you were to aircool the setup in a short space, most desk setups I've seen have been watercooled with each components splayed out as they do look very empty if mounted close together or it will be a smaller desk. In terms of drawer height that is up to you really and what fits your needs. 

 

If it's compactness you are looking for having an actual drawer PC is also an idea, where you would have a regular desk with a side of drawers for a PC to be completely hidden inside. That would be less of a show piece per say but more in terms of minimalism and space efficiency.

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11 hours ago, W-L said:

 

 

😭😭😭😭😭 Jesus, my soul has been cleansed, and I am a new man for witnessing such perfection 


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Posted · Original PosterOP
18 hours ago, W-L said:

If it's compactness you are looking for having an actual drawer PC is also an idea, where you would have a regular desk with a side of drawers for a PC to be completely hidden inside. That would be less of a show piece per say but more in terms of minimalism and space efficiency.

OK so yeah we're thinking different things. This is what I've been talking about the whole time XD

18ix7mf7viarvjpg.jpg

I basically want to take this, perfect it and build a desk around it

Given that concept and my previous thoughts do you have any feedback or concerns?

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7 hours ago, Jtalk4456 said:

OK so yeah we're thinking different things. This is what I've been talking about the whole time XD

 

I basically want to take this, perfect it and build a desk around it

Given that concept and my previous thoughts do you have any feedback or concerns?

Yeah slightly different concepts, but for sure drawer PC's such as that are very feasible, especially if it's a deep drawer such as that. Main thing is designing in the proper airflow and setting up external IO ports either on the desktop or separately for accessing the PC. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, W-L said:

Yeah slightly different concepts, but for sure drawer PC's such as that are very feasible, especially if it's a deep drawer such as that. Main thing is designing in the proper airflow and setting up external IO ports either on the desktop or separately for accessing the PC. 

I'm currently working on a part 2 to this, so stay tuned. I'll tag you

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On 4/20/2019 at 5:13 PM, Jtalk4456 said:

OK so yeah we're thinking different things. This is what I've been talking about the whole time XD

-snip-

I basically want to take this, perfect it and build a desk around it

This I like because it's much more flexible in terms of hardware. Some ventilated holes from left to right and maybe an optional riser cable to re position the GPU to get more air. 


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