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Ωhmbreon

3D Printed ATX Case - Designed From Scratch

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I am starting my journey of designing and building a case for myself. I have done so in the past, and also started a lot of projects that I was unable to finish. Now that I have a 3D printer, a Creality CR-10 Max, and have done some test prints to assure functionality and quality of the printer, I can actually easily finish projects. I am unhappy with other cases on the market, and I'm going to design one. This case will replace the one I currently own, and the overall build theme will be black and white, with the case being mostly or entirely black. 

 

This is what I'm thinking of for the first design prototype. The case will have the motherboard with the i/o facing the bottom. The radiator will be at the top at an angle to reduce case thickness. The graphics card will be mounted vertically with enough room to breathe, but a small extension cable will be needed to get the display output to the bottom of the case. There will be some intake fans at the front and rear. The case will be positive pressure.

 

Other modifications will be replacing the motherboard to match the theme and get rid of the stupid X570 chipset fan. B550 is all I need anyways. I'll also be replacing my 360mm radiator with a 420mm. I may print a cover for the motherboard, similar to the old z77 ASUS Sabertooth boards and others from around then. I don't intend to add fans to it like the Sabertooth, but I will keep an eye on temperatures to make sure I'm not suffocating anything. Hopefully I'll be able to snag an RTX 3080 sooner rather than later. (I know RX 6000 series cards are right around the corner but I've had so many issues with Radeon cards, including two 5700XTs dying, that I'm avoiding them for some time).

 

I am designing it in SketchUp if anyone asks in the future. I'm starting today and I'll work on it between classes and homework and life and such, so it may take some time to complete.

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Will be interested in seeing this come to fruition, though if I was doing a custom case, I'd go with Al extrusion and just print some joins.

Best of luck!

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As an SFF owner "Compact" and "ATX" don't feel like they go together :D

 

Seems like parts for an ATX case might be too big to print on a standard 20/30cm printer ubless you make tons of them with a lot of assembly/fastening?


F@H
Desktop: i7-5960X 4.4GHz, Noctua NH-D14, ASUS Rampage V, 32GB, RTX2080S, 2TB NVMe SSD, 2x16TB HDD RAID0, Corsair HX1200, Thermaltake Overseer RX1, Samsung 4K curved 49" TV, 23" secondary

Mobile SFF rig: i9-9900K, Noctua NH-L9i, Asrock Z390 Phantom ITX-AC, 32GB, GTX1070, 2x1TB NVMe SSD RAID0, 2x5TB 2.5" HDD RAID0, Athena 500W Flex (Noctua fan), Custom 4.7l 3D printed case

 

Dell XPS 2 in 1 2019, 32GB, 1TB, 4K

 

GPD Win 2

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, Kilrah said:

As an SFF owner "Compact" and "ATX" don't feel like they go together :D

 

Seems like parts for an ATX case might be too big to print on a standard 20/30cm printer ubless you make tons of them with a lot of assembly/fastening?

The printer has a huge print area of 450x450x470mm so I'm working in the generous confines of that. I guess by "compact" I was trying to say space-efficient. My current case is a Lian LI Alpha 550X and it is large and heavy, and it was taking up too much space in my dorm.

 

I would've gone the actual SFF route but I just can't give up big motherboards and graphics cards and extra expansion.

 

Edit: I changed the title to reflect this because I don't even think this case is going to be very space efficient anymore.

Edited by Ωhmbreon
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Posted · Original PosterOP

Unfortunately I've already hit a little bit of a wall where the motherboard and power supply interfere with each other if I was putting them where I wanted, and if I rotated the power supply to make room, it would interfere with the graphics card. I'm not willing to sacrifice graphics card length and I don't want to change my power supply since I got it specifically for longevity (at least 12 years, likely more). Sooo... the case will be much more conventional and less space efficient. I'll still keep it narrow, but it'll be short in length and tall in height instead of short in height and long in length as I initially intended. I'll have front and bottom intake instead of front and rear now. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is as far as I got last night:

 

1777657755_Screenshot(47).thumb.png.5a26ceaf2c92a711ca22dffe80ec3bae.png

 

I am doing a basic model with less detail before going back and finishing things up such as screw hole placement and additional supports for fans and such. The large cutout at the bottom will house two 120mm intake fans. One or two additional intake fans will be at the front, as well as the power supply. The power supply will intake through the front and exhaust through the bottom, which is not perfectly ideal, but the air coming out of it shouldn't be warm enough to cause any issues if the air gets pulled in by the bottom intakes. I will be printing a separate base for the case to rest on to give it proper elevation. I may put an intake fan at the back, but I'm not sure yet. 

 

Part of the unconventional design, the air from the bottom intake fans will be passed partially behind the motherboard tray to provide the radiator with some air that has not been cycled through the gpu. The other intake fans are pretty much dedicated to providing intake for the radiator and to have a positive pressure case to reduce dust buildup. Also since the radiator is 450mm long and I only have 450mm to work with, a little bit of it will be sticking out of the back of the case.

 

Additionally, the case is a whole 4mm shorter than my first design attempt. I want to accommodate long gpus, so I have provided a very generous 335mm of space. (Longest RTX 3080 is 332mm for example, so the space is not really overkill). Having the radiator at the slight angle actually increases case width by 10mm, but I like the look of it much better than flat or a steeper angle. It is tilted at 55 degrees off vertical.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I got further and worked on the back a little bit:

 

397437617_Screenshot(55).thumb.png.cddde3204d98cfe462638c6ef5fb4547.png1147105449_Screenshot(54).thumb.png.6ffaa262ef1a107e90a631e88e00cdaa.png

 

All the little fins on the back of the motherboard tray are to support it more, and they look neat. I'll likely tweak the design language of the case to make it more unified. That means adding more triangles instead of squares since the top will be slanted at a 30 degree angle off horizontal.

 

The largest hole on the bottom is for two 120mm fans, while the smaller two don't go all the way through and are for lighting, although I'll likely change those a bit too. There's a small chance I'll exceed the printing height limit so I may move the fans and lighting to the base, which I'll print separately. The front supports two 92mm fans. I haven't figured out the rear fans but it's likely a single 92mm. 

 

I haven't exactly figured out where to put the hard drives yet. Since I use all SSD storage and have two SATA SSDs, I kinda want to show them off, but space is limited. I may end up putting them into the power supply shroud area at the front so air can pass over them and provide cooling. I'll give it 4-6 2.5" spaces and no 3.5" spaces. I'm not going to be adding mass storage anytime soon, and if I was, I'd probably work it into a completely different build.

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This sounds super awesome and interesting! I'm trying to get into 3D printing myself, I'll follow this thread and maybe learn a thing or two. Good luck on your project.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've gotten to the top:

 

1483991388_Screenshot(59).thumb.png.498cbb33456c555a56695b9a1637d5b7.png419543002_Screenshot(58).thumb.png.e550e83aecd6f8a3451fae80a5ab23d8.png

 

I did end up running out of space, so I need to move the fans from the bottom of the case to the separate base. I may also have to get rid of the gap to pass the cpu power cable and just put it behind the motherboard. Please note that not being able to remove the cpu power connector without removing the entire motherboard first it horrible design, but I am making this for myself, so it doesn't matter too much to me. If I was designing this for a wider audience, I would definitely keep the gap.

 

I do need to figure out how to support the massive overhang in the back of the case. I'm not remotely done with that area so I'll get to it when I'm working on the rest of the back.

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I really love the concept of this case! If you are able to make this out of metal, or a long lasting plastic, I can't wait to see.

I don't know anything about 3D printing, so I apologize if I sound like I am talking out of my bottom.

 

Keep up the great design.

 

May I ask what you are going to school for? Since you mentioned doing this in your off time. (Just wondering if this is a off time thing, or you are able to do this kind of thing for a living)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
15 hours ago, Jason 57 said:

I really love the concept of this case! If you are able to make this out of metal, or a long lasting plastic, I can't wait to see.

I don't know anything about 3D printing, so I apologize if I sound like I am talking out of my bottom.

 

Keep up the great design.

 

May I ask what you are going to school for? Since you mentioned doing this in your off time. (Just wondering if this is a off time thing, or you are able to do this kind of thing for a living)

I'm just making this out of PLA since it is easy to work with and is cheap. I'm studying industrial design. I'm not sure if I could make a living off of this since I haven't really thought about it too much, but it could definitely supplement income. ITX cases would probably be easier and bring in more profit.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I managed to put in a lot of time and get pretty much all of the medium details done, as well as reworking the case height to fit the printer height:

 

283684667_Screenshot(74).thumb.png.40456f1d606c72d51ae955500880d610.png634345857_Screenshot(73).thumb.png.03d7fbe77cf322e92c061f92afb0316c.png1319322112_Screenshot(72).thumb.png.736ed1c5578e00c9f26fa41a2ed16795.png185743795_Screenshot(69).thumb.png.b3306298494584d0459c98b7c32c6f18.png

 

I got rid of all the wasted space on the motherboard and I'm moving the two fans to the base which I'll design and print separately. I'll also increase the bottom intake fan compatibility to 140mm instead of just 120mm. Here is the fan support for the case:

Front: 1x 140mm

Bottom: 2x 140mm

Top 3x 140mm (plus 30mm thick radiators that are 140mm, 280mm, or 420mm)

Rear 2x 70mm

 

I also changed the top of the case so the radiator will be supported by the top and not the bottom. I also made a larger gap in the power supply shroud so the radiator tubing can fit through. It's pretty much all detail work from here on, since I need to find a way to attach fans easily, and find the proper placement for the screws.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Bonus round!

 

I needed a test bench case asap so I decided to design my own tonight:

 

 1247926469_Screenshot(80).thumb.png.3c4c6b69bae8a3b07ccd6604ebb6fc40.png

 

It is built in five parts and is completely tool-less. The motherboard is held in by captive standoffs, and the motherboard tray fits onto the bottom part that stores the power supply with more captive standoffs, and slots on the back of the tray. The pcie bracket is friction fit and very basic to only stabilize the gpu since it doesn't need to hold it sideways in a case. There are two removeable support standoffs in the bottom to make room for longer power supplies.

 

I do need to tweak the pcie bracket once more to clear any smds (surface mounted devices) on the motherboard, and any motherboard i/o since it intrudes into that area at the top.

 

This'll be a kind of a test run for my case, and will be printed with 20% infill and 2.4mm thick walls on a 0.8mm nozzle. Print settings will be: Bed - 45C, Nozzle - 200C, Speed - 60mm/s. I'll print the top, then bottom, then the three extra parts.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So I was printing the test bench as practice for the case, and one of the belts decided to mess up, so printer is out of commission for a while until I can get a new belt. I'm going to try and get one through warranty repair but if that is going to take too long I'll just try and find one on Amazon or something that can ship faster.

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