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esplin2966

!nverse: A Highly Versatile Console Form-Factor Case Design

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Hi everyone, I'm here to tell you about an exciting PC case design I am working on. It is called "Inverse". I would very much appreciate any comments or criticisms you may have regarding its design!
 
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My venture into the world of custom-designed cases began when I started building in the tiny Minibox M350 case. Being in a long-distance relationship, I needed something small and powerful so I can take my research with me on a 13-hour train ride every weekend. My pragmatic need for a portable PC soon developed into a full-on obsession as I find myself endlessly tweaking parts and designing mounts to cram as many components as I could into every last bit of space. It is from this obsession that "Inverse" was born.
 
Shaped by the ethos of fitting the most performance and versatility into the smallest amount of space, Inverse is a sub-10L computer case that can accommodate a full-length graphics card, a 240mm closed-loop liquid cooler, 3.5" and 2.5" hard drives, and a SFX power supply. Its versatile internal layout accommodates hard-core gamers, enthusiasts enamored with water cooling, media hoarders looking to create their own home theater, and anyone in between. Its smooth yet eye-catching exterior will blend into and enhance any desktop or home theater setup.
 
 
 
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No exhaust holes on top for a smooth and unobtrusive look.

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All intake holes on the bottom.

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Patterned exhaust holes on the front and side gives a unique flair.

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Internal components are inverted to allow a smooth top panel.

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Monitors, speakers, and other desktop peripherals may be placed on top to created an integrated entertainment unit with minimal footprint.

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Available in black, white, and possibly other colors. Let me know what you like!

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Specifications:
Dimension: 464mm x 308.5mm x 72mm (10.31L)
 
Material: 2mm aluminum for the exterior, and 1.5mm steel for the interior skeleton.
 
Inverse is designed with 4 interior configurations in mind, though other configurations are possible.
 
1) Gaming with air cooling

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.

ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate air coolers up to 55mm in height.
v) Accommodate up to 3 x 3.5" drives and 4 x 2.5" drives.

vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.

Interior, angled top view:
OWgDJMf.jpg
Internal components are mounted in an "inverted" fashion to allow for a smooth top.
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Bottom view, with and without cover frame attached:
 
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All fans intake from the bottom.
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Bottom view, without cover frame and case fans:
7pi4vE2.jpg
 
 
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Low-angle side view, without fans:
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Graphics card is separated from the rest of the components for focused cooling. A stabilizing bracket is provided for the graphics card to reduce sagging.
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Top frame, zoomed-in view:
O6oOW2z.jpg
 
Cable management loops on the top and bottom frame for ease of building.
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2) Gaming with 120mm closed-loop liquid cooling

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.

ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate closed-loop liquid coolers with 120mm radiator and total thickness (including fan) of no more than 60mm.
v) Accommodate up to 1-3 x 3.5" drives and 2-4 x 2.5" drives, depending on the height of the water block.

vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.

Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
9VqlDwb.jpg
The 120mm case fan near the top represents a 120mm radiator with fan. More than 17.5mm space on either side of the fan to accommodate the radiator.
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Low-angle side view:
DkCCpJO.jpg
 
3.5" drives and 2.5" drives mounted beside the 120mm radiator and over the motherboard.
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3) Gaming with 240mm closed-loop liquid cooling

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.

ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodates one graphics card up to 12" (305mm) in length, 5.91" (150mm) in width, and 1.81" (46mm) in thickness.
iv) Accommodate closed-loop liquid coolers with 240mm radiator and total thickness (including fan) of no more than 60mm.
v) Accommodate up to 0-1 x 3.5" drives and 2-4 x 2.5" drives, depending on the height of the water block.

vi) Accommodate up to 2 120mm x 15mm case fans over the graphics card for added cooling.

Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
PHvXdcj.jpg
 
The two 120mm case fans near the top represents a 240mm radiator with fan. More than 17.5mm space on either side of the fan to accommodate the radiator.
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Low-angle side view:
ofsEpAk.jpg
 
One 3.5" drives and up to two 2.5" drives mounted over the motherboard, depending on the height of the water block.
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4) Media Storage

i) Accommodates Mini-ITX motherboard.

ii) Accommodates SFX or SFX-L power supply.
iii) Accommodate up to 6 x 3.5" drives and 8 x 2.5" drives.
Bottom view, without cover frame attached:
BrX3cR3.jpg
 
Four 3.5" drives and four 2.5" drives in the graphics card compartment. Two 2.5" drives and four 2.5" drives around the motherboard. The compartment divider and the graphics card stabilizer is removable.
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Low-angle side view, without fans:
BwaAR6N.jpg
 
One 3.5" drives and up to two 2.5" drives mounted over the motherboard, depending on the height of the water block.
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No ODD supported for any configuration. This is to maintain the smooth look of the exterior, as well as make room to accommodate a 240mm aio cooler.
 
 
 
Project Status:
1) We are in the process of contacting local workshops to do a first prototype for testing. Hopefully we can receive the first sample in a few weeks.
 
2) We are working on getting updated quotes from the hundred or so manufacturers we have contacted in US, China, and Taiwan. Prior negotiation suggests that we will be able to sell this for less than $100 USD/unit. We are continuing to negotiate a lower price without sacrificing quality. The goal is to get it close to the price range of the Silverstone RVZ01.
 
 
 
FAQ:
1)

Q: There are no exhaust holes on the top, only on the sides. Doesn't that go against "hot air rises"? How would that impact temperatures?

 
A: The effects of hot air rising are negligible compared to the forces produced by fans. Please read this article for reference.

 

 
2)

Q: You are drawing cold air in from the bottom only. How tall does the case feet have to be before heating becomes compromised?

 
A: I did a study on this, and it suggests that the case feet just has to be above 9 mm in height, which is pretty standard. I own the Silverstone ML07, and its feet measure 10 mm in height. Here is the link to the study I did.

 

 
 
 
Thanks for reading!
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Looks cool, I'd like to see how it keeps up with thermals.

 

 

Maybe add a mount or bracket so you can stand it upright.


AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Looks cool, I'd like to see how it keeps up with thermals.

 

 

Maybe add a mount or bracket so you can stand it upright.

 

Thanks, I'll definitely report the thermals and performance once I get the prototype and start testing in it :)

 

I've thought about having the option to stand it upright. However, since all the intake is on the side, I'm worried it might look awkward. What do you think? It's also going to be a bit of a challenge to execute, since one edge is rounded.

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It's also going to be a bit of a challenge to execute, since one edge is rounded.

Maybe just have a separate stand to place it in, kinda


AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Maybe just have a separate stand to place it in, kinda

 

A lot of people are asking for this option. It seems that people also want ODD support. I think what I'll do is work on a stand design as I am getting the prototype made. Hopefully, I can work out a stand that you can install an optical drive into  ;)

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Looks pretty good. @LinusTech may find this interesting. Doesn't he always say he wants a really good small form factor PC case?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Update 6/3/2015:
2 prototypes are coming.

 

This does look good. The gpu space is my only worry. Have you put a hot gpu in here yet? Probably not what its marketed as.

 

I'll put the hottest GPU on the market in it when I start testing, so I know that I'm dealing with the worst case scenario.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Update 06/15/2015:

 

Manufacturer is buying materials and accessories right now. Hopefully manufacturing can begin soon.

 

We are having a meeting with the manufacturers to get an update on their progress this week. We also found someone who can physically go to the factory and do some quality control, so we should be able to get some good-quality prototypes!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update 06/24/2015


Just got a message from our manufacturer. They’ll be manufacturing our 2 prototypes in the next 2 days! Super excited!


Now we gotta start buying components for testing and some PC building joy!


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Oh wow, this actually seems really really cool. I like small form factors but this is the first small form factor case I've genuinely wanted to build in. I love my Corsair Vengeance C70 and Z87 Sabertooth but man, I'd trade both in just to have this little mean machine haha!


hating popular things as a personality trait is infinitely more cringe than liking things unapologetically

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Oh wow, this actually seems really really cool. I like small form factors but this is the first small form factor case I've genuinely wanted to build in. I love my Corsair Vengeance C70 and Z87 Sabertooth but man, I'd trade both in just to have this little mean machine haha!

 

Thanks! I really appreciate the support.

 

Btw, I'm not sure if I can build a custom CLC going through both CPU and GPU in this, but I might try for the prototype testing!

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Update 06/24/2015

Just got a message from our manufacturer. They’ll be manufacturing our 2 prototypes in the next 2 days! Super excited!

Now we gotta start buying components for testing and some PC building joy!

 

 

curious to see how this pans out. I'd look into buying one if i wasn't broke.


AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

curious to see how this pans out. I'd look into buying one if i wasn't broke.

 

Thanks for the support! I'm a bit nervous about the quality control of our manufacturer. We'll have someone there to check out the progress, so hopefully even if the production quality is terrible, we'll be able to catch it quickly.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have a friend that would buy this in a heartbeat. How does the GPU connect to the mobo? Some sort of PCIe cable?

 

Yes, you got it; we'll be including a PCIe cable with the case. During prototyping, I'll be testing shielded cables, unshielded cables, and shielding methods, to make sure that we'll be providing something reliable.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Update 07/28/2015:
 
Hey everyone! Big update today.
 
Our manufacturer had produced a sample of our first prototype without any surface finishing, and we visited the factory to quickly test it out. While it worked, we weren't satisfied with its structural rigidity. This case is designed to hold loads (monitors, speakers,etc.), so it's absolutely important that it is physically strong.
 
Furthermore, our manufacturer said that having a varying-size hole pattern is too time-consuming for them to keep the same production price that we had agreed on. There was also mixed reception from the community regarding this design choice. We also received other feedback from the community, asking for the front IO to be moved to the front as well as for the design of a stand to hold the case vertically. Clearly, a redesign is in order.
 
After a lot of work, we updated the design to reflect the points mentioned above while keeping the same internal configuration (anything that it could hold before, it can hold now). The new design (renders updated in the OP) is stronger, has USB and audio plugs in the front, and employs a uniform yet unique hole pattern in the front to keep costs low. This new design has been submitted to the manufacturer, and they have made production prints for it. The second prototype is scheduled to begin manufacturing this week. We are also working on a case stand that also doubles as a slim ODD rack.
 
Despite this small setback in our timeline, we believe that it brought about a big improvement in the design. As always, we welcome any feedback regarding the design. Please don't hesitate to let us know what you think!
 
Edit: Some images of the first prototype, without any surface finishing.
 

NejctQ2.jpg
 
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hkg4OZ0.jpg

 

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Really awesome case. Those renders look really professional, is there somewhere I can source models of components for my case design project? Also what software did you use to render/model. Sorry for all the annoying questions but how did you go about finding a manufacturer because I am stabbing in the dark on my case design project. Once again, love the project, good luck!

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That looks great! what kind of pcie extender/riser are you going to use? I'm looking for one but I'm not sure witch one to buy.


CPU: r7 2700x;  GPU: EVGA GTX 980 ti sli; RAM: 16GB DDR4; MoBo: ASUS CH VII HERO x470; PSU: Seasonic Prime 850 Titanium; Case: Be Quiet! Dark Base 900 PRO; SSD: Kingston 120 GB; HDD: 1x 500 GB 1x 2TB 1x 3TB;

 

My Anime List 300+ completed

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Posted · Original PosterOP

That looks great! what kind of pcie extender/riser are you going to use? I'm looking for one but I'm not sure witch one to buy.

 

Thanks! I haven't decided which PCIe riser cable to use yet, since there is a tradeoff between price and reliability. Once I get the second prototype, I'll test various risers to see which ones are best.

 

Really awesome case. Those renders look really professional, is there somewhere I can source models of components for my case design project? Also what software did you use to render/model. Sorry for all the annoying questions but how did you go about finding a manufacturer because I am stabbing in the dark on my case design project. Once again, love the project, good luck!

 

Hey, I really appreciate the support. To source models of components, check out the following websites:

 

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/

https://grabcad.com/

http://scc.jezmckean.com/links

 

When I started the project, I also had no idea which manufacturer to go with, so I just did a web search and emailed/called anyone that sounds like they could do something like my project. I ended up contacting at least 200 manufacturers. Here are some tips:

 

1) For a small run production, you'll want to go with a manufacturer that does metal stamping. Don't try to do any form of metal casting; way too expensive. Laser cutting places might also work, but they're still more expensive than metal stamping.

2) Watch videos and read up on how manufacturers do metal stamping and bending. Think about how they would manufacture your case, and if what you're designing can be produced.

3) Read up on how to make proper dimensioned engineering drawings (like a 3-view diagram) as well as a Bill of Materials.

 

Hope that all this is helpful! Don't hesitate to contact me with further questions.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update 08/09/2015:

 

Updated the interior renders to reflect the design of the second prototype.

 

The second prototype is going through final surface finishing right now. Hopefully we can get the completed design soon :)

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So I skimped trough the first post and the 3:rd setup is very appealing to me as I was trying to make a small itx, fully custom loop lan pc in a suitcase but due to reason I put that idea on hold (I messed up due to poor planning)

Silverstone have a interesting case Coming up based on there itx raven 1 case called FTZ01 or something but it doesn't seem to be able to hold a pump/res.

Will this case of yours be able to hold a res and pump as well? Or at least a combo unit?

https://shop.ekwb.com/ek-bay-dcp-2-2-combo-reservoir-acetal

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Looks really interesting. Would be interested in buying the finishede article depending on the price.

 

Thanks! I'm happy to say that price is a major consideration for this project. I've contacted at least 200 manufacturers so far to try and get a competitive price. 

 

 

So I skimped trough the first post and the 3:rd setup is very appealing to me as I was trying to make a small itx, fully custom loop lan pc in a suitcase but due to reason I put that idea on hold (I messed up due to poor planning)

Silverstone have a interesting case Coming up based on there itx raven 1 case called FTZ01 or something but it doesn't seem to be able to hold a pump/res.

Will this case of yours be able to hold a res and pump as well? Or at least a combo unit?

https://shop.ekwb.com/ek-bay-dcp-2-2-combo-reservoir-acetal

 

Unfortunately, I think the only reservoir for a custom loop that will fit in this case is the NCase M1 reservoir, mainly because the internal height of this case is only 65mm. The liquid cooling capabilities of this case is mainly geared towards AIO solutions.

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Thanks! I haven't decided which PCIe riser cable to use yet, since there is a tradeoff between price and reliability. Once I get the second prototype, I'll test various risers to see which ones are best.

 

 

Hey, I really appreciate the support. To source models of components, check out the following websites:

 

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/

https://grabcad.com/

http://scc.jezmckean.com/links

 

When I started the project, I also had no idea which manufacturer to go with, so I just did a web search and emailed/called anyone that sounds like they could do something like my project. I ended up contacting at least 200 manufacturers. Here are some tips:

 

1) For a small run production, you'll want to go with a manufacturer that does metal stamping. Don't try to do any form of metal casting; way too expensive. Laser cutting places might also work, but they're still more expensive than metal stamping.

2) Watch videos and read up on how manufacturers do metal stamping and bending. Think about how they would manufacture your case, and if what you're designing can be produced.

3) Read up on how to make proper dimensioned engineering drawings (like a 3-view diagram) as well as a Bill of Materials.

 

Hope that all this is helpful! Don't hesitate to contact me with further questions.

 

Thanks man, that was really helpful!

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